Policies on Conflict of Interest, Human and Animal rights, and Informed Consent
Conflict of Interest
A Declaration of Conflicting Interests policy refers to a formal policy a journal may have to require a conflict of interest statement or conflict of interest disclosure from a submitting or publishing author.
‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’
To ensure that the review process is free of conflicts:
- Editors should select a guest editor when there is a conflict of interest with respect to an author. Editors should ensure that reviewers are free of conflict of interest with respect to an author.
- Reviewers should contact the editorial office to declare any potential conflicts of interest in advance of refereeing an article.
Minor conflicts do not disqualify a reviewer from reporting on an article but will be taken into account when considering the referees’ recommendations.
All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest when submitting their article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, advisory affiliations, etc.). If the article is subsequently accepted for publication, this information should be included in the end section.
Editors should not make any editorial decisions or get involved in the editorial process if they have any COI (financial or otherwise) for a submitted manuscript.
An editor may have COI if a manuscript is submitted from their own academic department or from their institution in such situations; they should have explicit policies for managing it.
When editors submit their own work to their journal, a colleague in the editorial office should manage the manuscript and the editor/author should recuse himself or herself from discussion and decisions about it.
Human and Animal Rights
All research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. If there is suspicion that work has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, Editors will follow may reject the manuscript, and/or contact the author(s)’ ethics committee. On rare occasions, if the Editor has serious concerns about the ethics of a study, the manuscript may be rejected on ethical grounds, even if approval from an ethics committee has been obtained.
- Articles conducting any animal or clinical studies should contain a statement in accordance with the animal and human ethics committee.
- Research should be carried out in a manner that animals do not get affected unnecessarily.
- Registration is required for all clinical trials.
In the International Journal of Public Health Excellence (IJPHE), patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Patient consent should be written and archived either with the journal, the authors, or both, as dictated by local regulations or laws. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance, and editors should so note, that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.