Policies on Conflict of Interest, Human and Animal rights, and Informed Consent
Conflict of Interest
A formal policy requiring a conflict-of-interest statement or conflict of interest disclosure from a submitting or publishing author is known as a Declaration of Conflicting Interests policy.
'Conflicts of interest occur when authors, reviewers, or editors have hidden interests that may influence their decisions on what is published.' They've been described as "those that, if discovered later, would lead a reasonable reader to believe he or she has been mislead or duped."
To ensure that there are no conflicts during the review process:
- When an editor has a conflict of interest with an author, a guest editor will be chosen. Editors should make certain that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with an author.
- Before refereeing an article, reviewers should contact the editorial office to declare any potential conflicts of interest.
- Minor conflicts do not disqualify a reviewer from reporting on an article, but they will be considered when the referees' suggestions are considered.
When submitting a paper, all authors and co-authors must state any potential conflicts of interest (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, advisory affiliations, etc.). This information should be provided in the end section if the article is accepted for publication.
If an editor has a conflict of interest (financial or otherwise) for a submitted article, they should not make editorial decisions or participate in the editorial process.
In such cases, an editor may have a conflict of interest if a manuscript is submitted from their own academic department or institution; they should have explicit policies in place to manage it.
When editors submit their own work to a journal, the manuscript should be managed by a colleague in the editorial office, and the editor/author should refrain from discussing or making decisions about it.
Human and Animal Rights
All study must have been conducted in accordance with established ethical guidelines. Editors may reject a submission and/or contact the author(s)' ethics committee if there is a suspicion that work was done outside of an approved ethical context. Even if clearance from an ethics committee has been acquired, the paper may be rejected on ethical grounds if the Editor has substantial reservations about the study's ethics.
Animal and human ethical committees should be consulted before any animal or clinical studies are conducted, and research should be conducted in such a way that animals are not harmed unnecessarily.
All clinical trials necessitate registration.
Patients have a right to privacy, according to the National Journal of Community Medicine, which should not be breached without informed consent. Identifying information, such as names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be included in written descriptions, images, or pedigrees unless it is necessary for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) has given written informed consent. In order to obtain informed consent for this purpose, an identifiable patient must be shown the paper that will be published. After publication, authors should inform these patients whether any potentially identifiable material will be available on the Internet as well as in print.
As stipulated by local legislation or laws, patient consent should be written and archived with the journal, the authors, or both. Identifying details that aren't absolutely necessary should be left out. If there is any concern about maintaining anonymity, informed consent should be acquired. Masking the eye region in images of patients, for example, is insufficient anonymity protection. If identifying traits are changed to maintain anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should ensure that the changes do not impair scientific meaning, and editors should highlight this. It should be stated in the published paper when informed consent has been received.