Conflicts of interest


All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest when submitting their article. Any conflicts of interest should be included in an acknowledgements section.

Examples of financial interests that should be disclosed:

Any direct sources of funds (employment, grants, patents, stock ownership, sponsorships etc.) or indirect sources of funds (consulting fees, honoraria, equipment supplies etc.) where the funding organisation stands to gain/lose from the publication of the article or could be seen to have influenced the submitted work.

Examples of personal relationships/academic competitions that should be disclosed:

Any unpaid roles that the authors have that could influence the publication process. These would include unpaid advisory affiliations and memberships of professional organisations.

Any personal relationships/beliefs that could be seen as a conflict should also be disclosed. This would include having a relative who works for an organisation funding the work.

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.

Declaring conflicts of Interest:

Any potential conflicts of interest should be declared in the acknowledgements section.

If you are submitting to a double-anonymous review journal, the full disclosure should be included in your cover letter.


To uphold impartiality, reviewers should consider any potential conflict of interest before agreeing to review and should decline in the following instances:

  • You are in direct competition with the authors
  • You are a co-worker or collaborator or have a personal relationship with one of the authors
  • You are affiliated with the same institution as one of the authors
  • You are in a position to exploit the authors’ work (commercially or otherwise)
  • You are in a position which prevents you from giving an objective opinion of the work.

Reviewers are expected to act within the spirit of the Nolan principles of public life.

If you are unable to act as a reviewer due to a conflict of interest, we will select an alternative reviewer.

If you have been asked to review an article for one of our double-anonymous journals, please notify the journal staff if you suspect a potential conflict of interest.