All participants in the publication and peer review process—not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals—must consider their conflicts of interest when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Conflict of interest also exists when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence his/her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties).
All authors should disclose their conflicts of interest, i.e., (1) financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony), (2) personal relationship, (3) academic competition, and (4) intellectual passion.
These conflicts of interest must be included as a footnote on the title page. Each author should certify the disclosure of any conflict of interest with his/her signature. Peer reviewers must disclose to editors 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. Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related 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 (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Further guidance is available from COPE (https://publicationethics.org/files/A_Short_Guide_to_Ethical_Editing.pdf
) and WAME (http://wame.org/conflictof-interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical-journals
). If undisclosed conflict of interest is suspected in a submitted manuscript or published article, a committee composed of Editorial Board members will be held and discussed, and JMIS will follow the process of the applicable COPE flowchart (https://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts