These occur when outside issues affect, or are perceived to affect, the neutrality or objectivity of research. This can happen at any stage in the research cycle, including during the experimentation phase, while a manuscript is being written, or during the process of turning a manuscript into a published article.
Conflicts of interest do not always stop work from being published or prevent someone from being involved in the review process. However, they must be declared. A clear declaration of all possible conflicts – whether they actually had an influence or not – allows others to make informed decisions about the work and its review process.
If conflicts of interest are found after publication, this may be embarrassing for the authors, the Editor and the journal. It may be necessary to publish a corrigendum or reassess the review process.
Some common conflicts include:
You should carefully consider how these and other similar topics may affect you, and how they could affect others involved in the handling of the manuscript.
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