Conflict of Interest Policy

A conflicting interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as a patient’s welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). It represents a situation in which financial or other personal considerations from authors, reviewers or editors have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. It may arise for the authors when they have a financial interest that may influence their interpretation of their results or those of others. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, grants, or other funding.

A conflict of interest declaration must be submitted on the title page of each submission and should list each author separately by name, e.g., ‘John Smith declares that he has no conflict of interest. Paula Taylor has received research grants from Drug Company A. Mike Schultz has received a speaker honorarium from Drug Company B and owns stock in Drug Company C.’ If multiple authors declare no conflict, this can be done in one sentence.

Reviewers and/or Section Editors may also have a conflict of interest or a competing interest concerning the subject matter of a manuscript. Such conflicts are disclosed to the handling editor and/or the Editor-in-Chief as early in the review process as possible. If warranted, a different reviewer will be reassigned to evaluate the manuscript. All SAOJ editors have disclosed any conflicts of interest to the Editor-in-Chief, who has resolved those as necessary to ensure that an editor conflict of interest does not impact the review of any manuscript submission. The Editor-in-Chief has no known conflicts of interest or competing interests and makes the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of all manuscripts submitted.

Sources of funding must be acknowledged and disclosed at the end of the manuscript text. Authors should declare any involvement of study sponsors in the study design; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the manuscript; the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, this should be stated.

If any conflict of interest should arise, action shall be taken as recommended by COPE.