What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest can occur when you (or your employer or sponsor) have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence your research.

Full disclosure is required when you submit your paper to a journal. The journal editor will use this information to inform his or her editorial decisions, and may publish such disclosures to assist readers in evaluating the article. The editor may decide not to publish your article on the basis of any declared conflict. The conflict of interest can be declared on your cover letter or on the manuscript submission form in the journal’s online peer-review system.

Personal conflicts of interest

Potential conflicts of interest in relation to your submitted manuscript could include:

  • Consultancies
  • Employment
  • Advocacy groups
  • Grants
  • Fees and honoraria
  • Patents
  • Royalties
  • Stock or share ownership

If necessary, please describe any potential conflicts of interest in a covering letter. All funding sources supporting the work should also be fully acknowledged.

Institutional conflicts of interest

If you are aware of your employer having any financial interest in, or conflict with, the subject matter or materials discussed in your manuscript, please provide additional detail in your covering letter to the editor.

Disclosure statement

You should also include a relevant disclosure statement with the text of your article, in conjunction with any acknowledgments and details of funders.

Conflict of interest: sample disclosure statements

In accordance with Taylor & Francis policy and my ethical obligation as a researcher, I am reporting that I [have a financial and/or business interests in] [am a consultant to] [receive funding from] (delete as appropriate) a company that may be affected by the research reported in the enclosed paper. I have disclosed those interests fully to Taylor & Francis, and I have in place an approved plan for managing any potential conflicts arising from [that involvement].

or

This research is sponsored by [company A] and may lead to the development of products which may be licensed to [company B], in which I have a business and/or financial interest. I have disclosed those interests fully to Taylor & Francis, and have in place an approved plan for managing any potential conflicts arising from this arrangement.

If there is no disclosure, we will publish the following statement: “No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.”