Conflicts of interest
Articles should include a full list of the current institutional affiliations of all authors, both academic and corporate. We also encourage authors to provide ORCID identifiers for each named author on submission. If a researcher is not affiliated to an institution or company, they can list themselves as “independent researcher”.
All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed in the article.
All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest when submitting their article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licences, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc.). If the article is subsequently accepted for publication, this information should be included in an acknowledgments section.
It is difficult to specify the threshold at which a financial or other interest becomes significant. Two practical guidelines are:
to declare any competing interests that could embarrass you were they to become publicly known after your work was published;
to declare any information which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.
Reviewers should contact the editorial office to declare any potential conflicts of interest in advance of refereeing an article (e.g. being a co-worker or collaborator with one of the authors, or being in a position which precludes giving an objective opinion of the work).
Minor conflicts do not disqualify a reviewer from reporting on an article but will be taken into account when considering the referees’ recommendations. Major conflicts of interest (especially relating to a financial commercial interest of over £5000/year) do disqualify a referee. Reviewers should act within the spirit of the Principles of Public Life.