Policy on Conflict of Interest, Human and Animal Rights, and Informed Consent for Publications

POLICY ON CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

UVJOR will only publish articles after the author/s have confirmed that they have disclosed all potential conflicts of interest.

Disclosure of the Conflict of Interest. All sponsors supporting the work including all the institutions involved must be acknowledged in text. All sponsors and institution involved must be notified for the submission of the article for publication. This includes declaration of no commercial association that may pose conflict of interest. It is the researcher’s sole responsibility to any issues pertaining to this matter.

Public Trust. Public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how transparently conflicts of interest are handled during the planning, implementation, writing, peer review, editing, and publication of scientific work.

COI. A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.

Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. Authors should avoid entering in to agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and non-profit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyze and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose. Authors may be required to provide the journal with the agreements in confidence.

Purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest is a form of misconduct, as is discussed in section III.B.

Participants

All participants in the peer-review and publication process—not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals—must consider their conflicts of interest when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest.

a. Authors

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The ICMJE has developed a Form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest to facilitate and standardize authors’ disclosures. ICMJE member journals require that authors use this form, and ICMJE encourages other journals to adopt it.

b. Peer Reviewers

Reviewers should be asked at the time they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have conflicts of interest that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.

c. Editors and Journal Staff

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to their own commitments and those of their journal staff. Guest editors should follow these same procedures.

Journals should take extra precautions and have a stated policy for evaluation of manuscripts submitted by individuals involved in editorial decisions. Further guidance is available from COPE and WAME.

Human and Animal Rights

UVJOR requires authors to submit IRB or IACUC clearance when UVJOR suspects there is violation to the human or animal rights. When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors shall indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or national review board. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors shall be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Informed Consent

Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and ICMJE recommendations for reporting about research participants. Research Participant have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without prior informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the research participant (or parent or guardian) has given written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires the research participant be shown the manuscript to be published. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential, but research participant data should never be altered or falsified to attain anonymity. We understand that complete anonymity is difficult to achieve. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of the research participant is inadequate protection of anonymity. Consents shall be submitted together with the manuscript during submissions.