Conflicts of interest

MedEdPublish – Conflicts of Interest Policy
Version 01: June 2019
Last update: June 2019

Contents

1. Scope of the policy
2. Definition of conflicts
3. Disclosure of conflicts
4. Research funding
5. Submission of articles by Editors, Board Members, Panel Reviewers or AMEE staff

1. Scope of the policy

This policy statement applies to authors, peer-reviewers, editors, Editorial Board members, AMEE staff and members of the wider community who may choose to leave comments or reviews on published articles. Further statements applying to specific circumstances can be found in our Editorial Policy, Guidelines for Authors and Guidelines for Reviewers.

2. Definition of conflicts

Conflicts of interest refers to any factor(s) which may bias the publication and/or review process. Conflicts can be:
Personal: where authors, editors and/or reviewers are known to each other as colleagues, collaborators, competitors or co-authors on prior publications
Financial: where an individual or their institution might profit directly or indirectly from the publication – e.g. holding a patent or receiving fees from a company that may lose or gain financially from the publication of the article
Non-financial: holding strong religious, academic, personal or political views which could bias the publication process

3. Disclosure of conflicts

We require full disclosure of any actual or potential conflicts of interest at the time of submission for both articles and reviews. Accidental failure to disclose a conflict should be raised with the editors as soon as it comes to light, and a correction notice will be applied to the article. Deliberate failure to declare a conflict may be grounds for retraction of an article or removal of a reviewer from the Panel.

4. Research funding

All authors must make a statement to indicate how their research was funded. This should include “all sources of funding (government, corporate, other) and any products or services (such as materials and equipment, statistical analysis, and scientific writing) provided by third parties in the course of the research, analysis, or reporting.”[1] Where no external funding was received, this must be explicitly stated.

We will not automatically reject commercially-sponsored studies, but authors will be expected to make a full disclosure of the extent to which the sponsor was involved in the research. If it is subsequently discovered that the sponsor has been engaged in unethical practices, this may constitute grounds for retracting the article.

In addition, if any authors have been denied access to raw data (e.g. through legal agreements with study sponsors), this needs to be stated clearly in the conflicts of interests, and reasons must be given.

5. Submission of articles by Editors, Board Members, Panel Reviewers or AMEE staff

Editors, Board members, Panel Reviewers and members of AMEE staff are not excluded from submitting to the journal but must declare their role in the conflicts of interest section. Care will be taken by the Editorial Team to ensure the manuscript is processed and reviewed fairly and transparently and that nominated Panel Reviewers declare any personal conflicts. Panel members should refuse the nomination if they do not feel able to provide an unbiased review. Editorials, opinion pieces and invited commentaries are excluded from these requirements.