Authors, reviewers, and editors are required to disclose conflicts of interest at the earliest possible opportunity - for example, when a manuscript is submitted or a review assignment is accepted. Conflict of interest is defined as any competing personal, professional, or financial interest that may introduce bias into the publishing process of the journal.
Example conflicts of interest:
- financial support from commercial enterprises that have a vested interest in the results;
- personal relationships that would compromise objectivity during review or publication;
- professional competition that would prevent objective evaluation of a submitted manuscript.
Disclosure of a conflict of interest by an author does not necessarily mean that a manuscript will be denied acceptance to the journal. If an author is found to have a conflict of interest that was not disclosed during the submission and review process, the editor will identify an appropriate remedy, which may include a published correction or a retraction.