Conflict of Interest Policy

Scope: This policy applies to all journals published or hosted by Discover STM Publishing Ltd, aligning with global publishing ethics standards and COPE guidelines.

Definition and Declaration:
A conflict of interest occurs when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that may influence their judgments on what is published, potentially misleading readers. Conflicts might arise from relationships, allegiances, or hostilities to specific groups or organizations, especially when resulting in personal gain.

Authors' Obligations:
  • Authors must disclose all forms of financial support, including pharmaceutical company support, in their contributions.
  • Any commercial or financial involvements that might present a conflict of interest must be disclosed in a covering letter with the submission. These potential conflicts will be discussed with the Editor regarding their disclosure in the journal.
  • Authors must not have restrictive agreements with sponsors that prevent the publication of both positive and negative results or require sponsor approval before publishing.
  • Authors should check the manuscript submission guidelines for specific journal requirements on conflict of interest declarations and comply accordingly.

Editor Obligations:
  • Editors and guest editors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest that might influence their editorial decisions.
  • They must ensure fair and unbiased review processes, irrespective of any declared conflicts of interest.

Peer Reviewer Obligations:
  • Peer reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, including any financial, personal, or professional relationships with the authors or related entities.
  • If potential conflicts might interfere with an unbiased review, reviewers should recuse themselves from the manuscript review process.
  • Reviewers should adhere to confidentiality and objectivity standards, avoiding any actions that could be construed as leveraging their position for personal gain.

Declaration Process:
For journals requiring a Declaration of Conflicting Interests, include it at the end of the manuscript, following Acknowledgements, under 'Declaration of Conflicting Interest'.
If no conflict exists, state: "The Author(s)/Reviewer(s)/Editor(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest".
Disclosure must include any financial relationship with sponsoring organizations and with for-profit products discussed in the text.

Additional Information:
For further details on Conflict of Interest policies, refer to the following resources:

COPE Guidelines on Conflict of Interest:
ICMJE Conflict of Interest guidelines:
Common Standard for Conflict of Interest Disclosure by the Center for Science in the Public Interest: