AME journals comply with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' uniform requirements on Conflicts of Interest.
Conflicts of Interest exist when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships with other individuals or organizations that could inappropriately influence his or her actions in a way that creates bias. The existence of such a relationship does not necessarily represent a true conflict of interest. The potential for conflicts of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects their judgment. Financial relationships (e.g., employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patents) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and the scientific value of the research (http://www.icmje.org/index.html).
All participants in the peer-review and publication processes (not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals) must consider their conflicts of interest when carrying out their roles in the article review and publication processes and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest.
When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work.
b. Peer Reviewers
Reviewers are asked at the time they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have conflicts of interest that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they are reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
c. Editors and Journal Staff
Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have any conflicts of interest or relationships that could pose potential conflicts of interest in relation to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts of interest (as these could influence editorial decisions) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff. Guest editors should follow these same procedures.
2. Reporting Conflicts of Interest
Articles are required to be published with statements or supporting documents, declaring:
Any conflicts of interest the author(s) has, along with sources of support for the work, which includes sponsor names and explanations of the role of those sponsors, if any, in: the study design; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; the writing of the report; or the decision to submit the report for publication. Whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is ongoing. If the supporting source had no such involvement, then a statement should be included accordingly. To support the above, editors may request that authors of a study sponsored by a funder with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement.
Updated on Feb. 22, 2020