The editor and publisher require all authors and reviewers to declare any conflicts of interests that may be inherent in their submissions.
When submitting a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, the authors are responsible for recognizing and disclosing the financial and other conflicts of interests that might affect their work. They should acknowledge all the financial support to the work and other financial or personal connections to it in the manuscript.
The conflict of interests for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process – the author, reviewer or editor – is connected to the activities that can inappropriately influence his or her judgment, whether or not this judgment is in fact affected.
The financial relationships with the industry, for example, through employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, expert testimony, either directly or through immediate family, are usually considered to be the most important conflicts of interests. The financial relationships and their effects are less easily detected than other conflicts of interests.
However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition and intellectual passion. The public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend partly on how well the conflict of interests is handled during the writing process, peer review and making the editorial decision. A bias can often be identified and eliminated by a careful attention to the scientific methods and conclusions of the work.
The participants of the peer review and publication should disclose their conflicting interests, and the information should be made open, so that the others can judge their effects.
The external peer reviewers should disclose to the editors any conflicts of interests that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing the specific manuscripts if they consider it appropriate.
The editors must be made aware of reviewers’ conflicts of interests to interpret the reviews objectively and judge for themselves whether the reviewer should be disqualified. Editorial Board and reviewers should not use the knowledge connected with the paper before its publication to promote their own interests.
Direct contacts – are the main and most preferred way to resolve disputes between the editors, authors and third parties in the process of review and preparation of materials for publication, as well as in relation to already published articles. If you have complaints or claims you must report them to the editor-in-chief of the journal in written form to the e-mail of the journal or mail to the address listed on the website of the journal.
The letter must contain the essence of the controversial issue, the circumstances, the person's name and/or the product in respect of which the claim is being made. Persons or organizations who complain to the journal editorial office for some issues can be sure that these complaints will be dealt within reasonable time.
Editors, while analyzing the complaints and disputes, are following the accepted Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.