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 firstly use this information to inform his or her editorial decisions. They may then publish such disclosures to assist readers in evaluating the article. Or, instead, the editor may decide not to publish your article on the basis of any declared conflict. You can declare the conflict of interest 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:
- Advocacy groups
- Fees and honoraria
- Stock or share ownership
If necessary, please describe any potential conflicts of interest in a covering letter. In addition, you should fully acknowledge all funding sources supporting the work.
Institutional conflicts of interest
Similarly, if you are aware of your employer having any financial interest in, or conflict with, the subject matter or materials you discuss in your manuscript, please provide additional detail in your cover letter to the editor.
You should also include a relevant disclosure statement with the text of your article. You can do this 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].
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 then publish the following statement: “No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.”