Authors should be aware of a possible Conflict of Interest. In such a case authors can still take responsibility for the accuracy of their paper, but must inform the reader with an appropriate statement in the Acknowledgements.
Conflicts include the following:
Financial: funding and other payments, goods and services received or expected by the authors relating to the subject of the work or from an organization with an interest in the outcome of the work
Affiliations: being employed by, on the advisory board for, or a member of an organization with an interest in the outcome of the work
Intellectual property: patents or trademarks owned by someone or their organization
Personal: friends, family, relationships, and other close personal connections
Ideology: beliefs or activism, for example, political or religious, relevant to the work
Academic: competitors or someone whose work is critiqued
Declared conflicts of interest will be considered by the editor and reviewers and included in the published article.
Reviewers should be asked at the time they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have conflicts of interest that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
Editors and Journal Staff
Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to their own commitments and those of their journal staff. Guest editors should follow these same procedures.