Conflict of Interest
All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.
Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making. Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author's institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties).These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to those with great potential to influence judgment, and not all relationships represent true conflict of interest.
The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition or excessive pursuit of positive results, and the Chief Editor will do his best to avoid them, using specific policies in the process of peer-review. Everyone involved in the review and publication process will present all relations that could be seen as a potential conflict of interest in public statements. It's very important to make the relationships public when processing comment and review articles as the bias is much harder to be found compaired to original articles. Editors of JITM will make Editorial decisions on the basis of the public information in the "conflict of interest and economic interest statement". And editors should publish the information if they consider this is important when they are processing articles.
4.1 Potential conflict of interest associated with the author
The author has responsibility to disclose all the economic interests and personal relationships that could have biased their work whether the manuscript is an article or a letter. The author must state clearly if potiental conflict of interest exsits without any vague. Author should indicate the conflict of interest in “conflict of interest declaration” page after the title page. Additional details should be provided in the letter if necessary.
Author should provide a list of people that give help of writing or something else and make the sources of funds public.
Researchers must state the potential conflict of interest to the other research participants in public and declare whether this is indicated in the manuscript.
Editors also need to decide whether to publish the information about potential conflict of interest disclosed by the author or not. If in doubt as to publish and it is best for publish.
4.2 Potential conflict of interest associated with the project funding
More and more research projects are sponsered by commercial companies, private foundations and government funds. These fundings may bias the project results or make results untrusted.
Scientists have a moral obligation to submit credible findings. In addition, researchers are directly responsible for their work and should not be involved in those contracts that will interfere with their data acquisition and independent data analysis, manuscript preparing and paper publishing. The authors should decribe the role of sponsors during the process of study design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, report writing and publication decision if necessary. And the author should state clearly if any result is not sponsored by the fund. Sponsor directly participates in the process of research may result in bias, which is similar to other methodological bias. Therefore some journals repuire that methods part should include the information about how the sponsor participate in the research.
If the sponsoring agencies have exclusive rights on results or may obtain economic benefits from the results, the editor should require the author to sign the following statement:" I have obtained all information of this study, I will take full responsibility of the integrity and analysis accuracy of all the data." Editor are supposed to review the copy of the agreements and (or) contract related to the research project and he or she should reject the manuscript if the sponsor has already have master of ownership of publication right.
4.3 Potential conflict of interest associated with the editors and reviewers of the journal
Editors should avoid choosing reviewers that have obviously potential conflicts of interest with the articles, for example, those reviewers, who work at the same unit or the same sector with any one of authors. Authors usually offer a list of reviewers that may have conflict of interest (mostly on specialized field) with and should not review the manuscript. And the explaination should be given if necessary, as all the information is very important to the editors for deciding whether the requirements should be accepted properly.
Reviewers must disclose the conflict of interest that would produce biases in their view. Whenever possible the reviewers should take the initiative to admit they are not eligible for reviewing some certain special manuscripts. Like authors, reviewers keeping slience on whether they are involved in potential conflicts of interest means either such a conflict exists but they do not disclose it or the conflict does not exist at all.
An editior who make the final decision must ensure all the issue he or she needs to make judgments should not be implicated in private, professional and economic interest problems. If other member of the editorial department is involved in editorial decisions, he or she must provide statement on the existing economic interest (as it might be influence the editorial decisions) and take the initiative to avoid making decisions that have any relationship with the conflict of interest. All editors are not permitted to seek personal gains using the information contained in the manuscript handled by themselves. Editors were supposed to regularly publish the potential conflicts of interest statement related to worker of Journals.