Ethical Guidelines and Conflict of Interest
Ethical Guidelines for Publication in Journals and Reviews
A.0 Appendix - Declaration of 'Conflict of interest'
A.1.1 Guidance for editors, authors and referees of Journals and Reviews.* The Managing Editor of the RSC Journal concerned should be informed of any significant** conflict of interest that editors, authors or referees may have, in order to determine if any action may be appropriate (such as adding a declaration of an authors conflict of interest to a published piece, or disqualifying a referee). Conflicts of interest are almost inevitable and it is not intended to attempt to eliminate these.
- Financial. Editors, authors and referees of an article, editorial, etc., should inform the Managing Editor of any significant financial interest - recent, present or anticipated - in any organisation that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the piece (e.g. employment by such an organisation; funds for research; funds for a member of staff; fees for consulting; stock or share holdings; patent interests). If you have such an interest, you may have a conflict of interest, which, in the spirit of openness, should be declared to the Managing Editor.
- Other interests. An editor, author or referee may wish to disclose to the Managing Editor another conflict of interest that would be embarrassing if it became generally known (e.g. an academic link or rivalry or a close relationship with, or a strong antipathy to, a person whose interests may be affected by publication of an article, editorial).
* For a description and discussion of some leading journals' policies on conflicts of interest see: F. van Kolfschooten, ''Conflicts of interest: Can you believe what you read?'', Nature, 28 March 2002, vol. 416, pp. 360-363; DOI: 10.1038/416360a.
** Significance may be judged by considering whether an undeclared conflict of interest could be embarrassing were it to become publicly known after the fact.
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