Conflict of interest

Definition: A conflict of interest (COI, also ‘competing interest’) is a financial or non-financial relationship, activity or other interest that might compromise objectivity or professional judgement on the part of an author, reviewer, editor, or editorial staff. The Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) states that journals should have policies on publication ethics, including policies on COI (DOAJ, 2018). COIs should be made transparent so that readers can properly evaluate research and assess for potential or actual bias(es). Outside publishing, academic presenters, panel members and educators should also declare COIs. Purposeful failure to disclose a COI may be considered a form of misconduct.

Related terms: Objectivity, Peer review, Public Trust in Science, Publication ethics, Transparency

References:, & DOAJ, 2018:

Drafted and Reviewed by: Christopher Graham, Flávio Azevedo

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