Conflicts of interest (sometimes referred to as competing interests or dual loyalties) are common, some would say almost inevitable.
Conflicts of interest are secondary interests (eg personal, commercial, political, academic or financial) that may influence judgment on a primary decision, in this case what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.
Financial interests may include employment, research funding, sponsorship, stock or share ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, company support for staff commissioning/ funding/sponsoring of any element of the paper, any financial or potential financial benefit, or PR firm involvement.
All authors are requested to complete a conflict of interest form prior to submission of their manuscript online. Conflict of interest is defined as those factors which influence authors, peer-reviewers and editors, including personal, commercial, political, academic or financial interest.
Peer reviewers and editors must declare and avoid these conflicts or competing interests during the submission and assessment of manuscripts.