Disclosure and CONFLICT OF INTEREST, correction and retraction of research articles, contribution and consent of each author and any other information

When submitting a manuscript to IBLL, the authors are always asked to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Ideally, conflicts of interest should be avoided, but in reality, this is not always possible.

Conflicts of interest can be financial or non-financial. Form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest does include both financial and non-financial relationships. Only relationships relevant to the study in the manuscript need to be declared. There is no definite cut-off as to how relevant or how much money is involved when a conflict of interest has to be reported. The authors will need to make their judgment, but if it is something that a reader might perceive as can affect the objectivity of the author, it should be disclosed.

If a conflict of interest is not disclosed in a published paper but later found out by a reader and reported to the journal, the journal usually will ask the authors to clarify whether such a claim is true and may ask the authors’ institution to investigate if the research is still credible. Failure to disclose conflicts of interest generally will not lead to retraction of the paper by the journal, but the authors will need to update their disclosure and the journal would publish a correction. However, retractions may happen if journals find that the authors have omitted major conflicts of interest that are likely to influence the study.

Of course, authors are not the only ones who need to disclose conflicts of interest during the publication process. Reviewers and editors are also required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the editorial board when handling a paper.