Conflicts of Interest Policy

As an Open Access publisher, IntechOpen is dedicated to maintaining the highest ethical standards and principles in publishing. In addition, IntechOpen promotes the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior in scientific research and peer-review. To maintain these principles IntechOpen has developed basic guidelines to facilitate the avoidance of Conflicts of Interest. 

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 during the review process and ensures maximum transparency in implementing its policies.

A Conflict of Interest is a situation in which a person's professional judgment may be 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.

A Conflict of Interest can be identified at different phases of the publishing process.

IntechOpen requires:

  • 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 or potential Conflict of Interest, 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 – ACADEMIC 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 (templates for 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 Academic Editors of Conflicts of Interest:

For manuscripts submitted by the Academic 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 an Academic Editor's family or is personally or professionally related to the Academic Editor in any way, either as a friend, colleague, student or mentor, the work will be handled by a different Academic 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 Academic 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 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:

FINANCIAL AND MATERIAL

  • ownership of relevant stocks or shares;
  • past and/or present work or consulting work for the research funder;
  • membership of the relevant board;
  • payment to the Reviewer/Academic Editor of financial fees by the Author;
  • acceptance by the Reviewer/Academic Editor of gifts from the Author;
  • other direct or indirect sources of funding or material benefit gained by the Reviewer/Academic Editor through the Author.

NON-FINANCIAL

  • professional or personal relationships with institutions and funding bodies, including non-governmental organizations, research institutions and charities;
  • membership of 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, whether they are Authors, Reviewers or Academic Editors.

Authors are required to declare all potentially relevant non-financial, financial and material Conflicts of Interest that may have had an influence on their scientific work.

Academic 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, Academic Editors and Reviewers should exclude themselves from handling it.

All Authors, Academic 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.

EXAMPLES:

Authors should declare if they were or they still are Academic 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.

Academic Editors should declare if they were coauthors or they have worked on the research project with the Author who has submitted a manuscript.

Academic 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: 2016-06-09