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The journal’s policy for conflicts of interest or competing interests is based on the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

A conflict of interest can also be known as ‘competing interest’. A conflict of interest can occur when the authors, or their employer, or sponsor have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence the research.

When the authors submit paper to the journal, full disclosure is required. The Editor in Chief will firstly use this information to inform initial editorial decision. Then, after the acceptance, there will be a published disclosure to assist readers in evaluating the article. The Editor in Chief may decide not to publish the paper on the basis of any declared conflict of interest.

The author can declare the conflict of interest in the cover letter or on the manuscript submission form in the journal’s Open Journal System.

Conflict of interests can be financial or non-financial in nature. To maintain transparency, any associations which can be perceived by others as a conflict of interest must also be declared.

Some examples of financial conflicts of interests include:

  1. Employment or voluntary involvement
  2. Collaborations with advocacy groups relating to the content of the article
  3. Grants from an entity, paid to the author or organization
  4. Personal fees received by the authors as honoraria, royalties, consulting fees, lecture fees, or testimonies
  5. Patents held or pending by the authors, their institutions, funding organizations, or licensed to an entity, whether earning royalties or not
  6. Royalties being received by the authors or their institutions
  7. Stock or share ownership
  8. Benefits related to the development of products as an outcome of the work


Examples of non-financial conflicts of interests:

  1. Receipt of drugs, specialist equipment, tools, computer programs, or digital applications
  2. Access to data repositories, archival resources, museum collections, by an entity that might benefit, or be at a disadvantage financially or reputationally from the published findings
  3. Holding a position on the boards of industry bodies or private companies that might benefit, or be at a disadvantage financially or reputationally from the published findings
  4. Writing assistance or administrative support from a person or organization that might benefit, or be at a disadvantage from the published findings
  5. Personal, political, religious, ideological, academic and intellectual competing interests which are perceived to be relevant to the published content
  6. Involvement in legal action related to the work


If there are no competing interests to declare, authors should include a statement to the article to confirm that there are no relevant financial or non-financial competing interests to report.