Conflict of Interest/Competing Interest
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) defines a conflict of Interest as
"A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest."
Mostly common conflict of interest cases involves financial or business relationships which undermines the journals or author’s creditability. In order to preserve research integrity, we encourage authors, editors, and peer reviewers to mandatory disclose any conflict of interest inclusive of personal relationships, financial aid, academic competition, or ideological beliefs that might affect their work or review impartially.
With a strict competing interest policy of AJER, its mandatory for everyone involved in the peer-review or publishing process to identify the potential conflict of interest and declare all inappropriate interests in order to ensure transparency.
It’s compulsory for authors to disclose all financial & personal interest that might influence their submitted content evaluation and publication. In case of no conflict of interest, the author should mention "The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests."
Reviewers are bound to declare their conflict of interest upon receiving a review Invitation. In case of any possible conflict that might bias their judgment of the manuscript, the reviewer should decline the invitation and provide a summary of conflict to the editor. Most popular conflicts of interest with a reviewer perspective include:
- A History of disagreement with the author(s)
- Working on the same research project
- Being a co-author in recent publications
- A part of the pre-review process before the submission of a manuscript
A reviewer may request guidance from our editorial staff in case of being unsure of the potential biasness. Also, the reviewers are not allowed to use the concept, methodology, or any segment of the manuscript under the reviewer before its publication.
Like authors and reviewers, the Conflict of interest policy applies to the editors too. In case of any sort of relationship or conflict that might bring biasness, the editor is recommended to refuses the handling of such manuscripts immediately.