Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of interest (COI) refers to situations in which truthfulness of an academic activity, specifically research, might be perceived as compromised by monetary or other personal interests. A conflict of interest happens when a secondary interest either gets distorted or has the potential to distort judgement or decision associated with the primary interest. Additionally, a professional’s judgement does not essentially have to be prejudiced because that researcher to have a conflict of interest, even the manifestation of a conflict of interest is ethically troublesome. COI is defined as anything that has potential to create a divided loyalty or appearance of one between researcher, institution, and individuals enrolled in research. COI could be circumstances, cause risk that scholar professional judgements or actions concerning primary interest [academic uprightness, employee benefits & societal obligations] will be markedly influenced by a secondary interest [personal, monetary & professional benefits].

Interests are broadly categorized into two types: conflicts of commitment and financial benefits. In this linking, the conflicts could be a personal affiliation; such as family association, friends relationships, and any other close personal associations; beliefs and ideologies, such as religious or political that is relevant to the research work; the academic interests such as competitors or somebody whose research work is critiqued; affiliation such as the employment, advisory board membership, or membership of an organization with an interest in the outcome of said work; financial such as funding, goods, services, and any other payments received/anticipated by author(s) related to the subject of the work or from an organization with an interest in the outcome of the work and maybe an intellectual property such as the trademarks or patents owned by an individual or an organization.

For Authors

All manuscripts, articles, editorials, original research reports, book reviews, comments, reviews, and letters that are submitted to journal must be accompanied by a conflict-of-interest disclosure statement or a declaration by the authors that they do not have any conflicts of interest to declare. All the research work such as articles, etc., published in this journal should mandatorily accompany conflict-of-interest disclosure statement or a statement that the authors have replied that they have no conflicts of interest to declare. To facilitate this policy, all authors must privately disclose ‘ALL their potential conflicts of interest’ to editors at time of submission. These include all financial and non-financial interests and relationships with other organizations. Authors should disclose any conflict of interest that may have influenced either the conduct or presentation of the research to editors, including but not limited to close relationships with those who might be helped or hurt by publication, academic interests and rivalries, and any personal, religious or political convictions relevant to topic at hand. In the article, authors must include a draft statement that discloses all relevant conflicts of interest and affiliations.

For Editors and Reviewers

Editors and reviewers must reject/decline to be involved with the submission when they have a recent/current publication or submission with author. Share or recently shared affiliations with author, collaborate, or have close relationships with the author or financial interest/gain, or feel unable to be objective. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Reviewers must declare any remaining interests in the ‘Confidential’ section of review form, which will be considered by the editor. Reviewer(s) must declare any conflict of interest which may affect their review work. In cases of conflict of interest, reviewer(s) are requested to notify the editorial team of their inability to review a particular research paper. Editors and peer reviewers should disclose interests that might appear to affect their ability to present or review work objectively. These might include the relevant financial interests or the personal, political, or religious interests, and detailed descriptions about tasks, responsibilities of all parties on how to avoid and manage COIs.