A conflict of interest, also known as competing interest, is a situation in which a person's professional judgment may be influenced or could be perceived as influenced by a range of factors, including financial gain, material interest, or some other personal or professional interest. For IntechOpen as a publisher, it is essential that all possible conflicts of interest are avoided. Each contributor, whether an Author, Editor, or Reviewer, who suspects they may have a conflict of interest, is obliged to declare that concern in order to make the publisher and the readership aware of any potential influence on the work being undertaken.
In each instance of a possible conflict of interest, IntechOpen aims to disclose the situation in as transparent a way as possible in order to allow readers to judge whether a particular potential conflict of interest has influenced the Work of any individual Author, Editor, or Reviewer. IntechOpen takes all possible conflicts of interest into account, pre- and post-publication, and ensures maximum transparency in implementing its policies.
A conflict of interest can be identified at different phases of the publishing process.
- Authors to declare all relevant conflicts of interest that might have any bearing on research reported in their submitted manuscript.
- Book Editors and Reviewers to declare all possible conflicts of interest that might warrant their exclusion from any further handling of submissions.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST - AUTHOR
All Authors are obliged to declare every existing conflict of interest or those that might be perceived as such, including financial or personal factors, as well as any relationship which could influence their scientific work. Authors must declare conflicts of interest at the time of manuscript submission, although they may exceptionally do so at any point during manuscript review. For jointly prepared manuscripts, the corresponding Author is obliged to declare potential conflicts of interest of any other Authors who have contributed to the manuscript.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST – EDITOR
Editors can also have conflicts of interest. Editors are expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct, which are outlined in our Best Practice Guidelines. Among other obligations, it is essential that Editors make transparent declarations of any possible conflicts of interest that they might have.
Avoidance Measures for Editors:
For manuscripts submitted by the Editor (or a scientific advisor), an appropriate person will be appointed to handle and evaluate the manuscript. The appointed handling Editor's identity will not be disclosed to the Author in order to maintain impartiality and anonymity of the review.
If a manuscript is submitted by an Author who is a member of the Editor's family or is personally or professionally related to the Editor in any way, either as a friend, colleague, student or mentor, the work will be handled by a different Editor who is not in any way connected to the Author.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST - REVIEWER
All Reviewers are required to declare possible conflicts of interest at the beginning of the evaluation process. If a Reviewer feels he or she might have any material, financial or any other conflict of interest with regards to the manuscript being reviewed, he or she is required to declare such concern and, if necessary, request exclusion from any further involvement in the evaluation process. A Reviewer's potential conflicts of interest are declared in the review report and presented to the Editor, who then assesses whether or not the declared potential or actual conflicts of interest had, or could be perceived to have had, any significant impact on the review itself.
EXAMPLES OF, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:
FINANCIAL AND MATERIAL
- employment or paid consultancy;
- ownership of stocks or shares;
- past and/or present work or consulting work for the research funder;
- membership in a relevant board;
- grants received;
- payment to the Reviewer/Editor of financial fees (lectures, royalties, consultancy, etc.) by the Author;
- acceptance of gifts from the Author/Editor/Reviewer;
- patents (pending or actual);
- other direct or indirect sources of funding or material benefit gained by the Reviewer/Editor through the Author.
- professional or personal relationships with institutions and funding bodies, including non-governmental organizations, research institutions and charities;
- membership in relevant company boards or governmental organizations;
- personal relationships, either through friendship, marriage, acting as a mentor, family relationships or being a student of other contributors, with Authors, Reviewers or Academic Editors;
- personal, religious, ideological, academic, or political convictions that might influence the publication process or be perceived as relevant to the published content.
Authors are required to declare all potentially relevant non-financial, financial and material competing interests that may have had an influence on their scientific work.
Editors and Reviewers are required to declare any non-financial, financial and material conflicts of interest that could influence their fair and balanced evaluation of manuscripts. If such conflict exists with regards to a submitted manuscript, Editors and Reviewers should exclude themselves from handling it.
All Authors, Editors, and Reviewers are required to declare all possible financial and material conflicts of interest in the last five years, although it is advisable to declare less recent conflicts of interest as well.
Authors should declare if they were or still are Editors of the publications in which they wish to publish their work.
Authors should declare if they are board members of an organization that could benefit financially or materially from the publication of their work.
Editors should declare if they were coauthors or whether they have worked on the research project with the Author who has submitted a manuscript.
Editors should declare if the Author of a submitted manuscript is affiliated with the same department, faculty, institute, or company as they are.
Policy last updated: 07 June 2023