Ethics for reviewers

Conflicts of interest

To uphold impartiality, you should consider any potential conflict of interest before agreeing to review and should contact the editorial office in the following instances:

  • You are in direct competition with the authors
  • You are a co-worker or collaborator with 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.

Minor conflicts do not disqualify you 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 >£5000/year) do disqualify you. You should act within the spirit of the Nolan principles of public life.

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

Anonymity and confidentiality

Referee names are kept strictly confidential. Referee identities may only be disclosed to journal Editorial Board members, who are also instructed to maintain confidentiality. You should not disclose your identity to the authors, including sending reports directly to the authors.

We also ask that you do not discuss the papers you have reviewed with colleagues unless they have been published.

For more information on ethics please read our ethical policy.