The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) delineates conflicts of interest as situations "which may not be entirely evident and could impact the judgment of authors, reviewers, and editors." A conflict of interest can be described as situations that, if disclosed later, might leave a reasonable reader feeling misguided or deceived. Such conflicts of interest may involve personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial considerations. Authors, reviewers, and editors are obligated to disclose these interests, and when uncertain, it is advisable to err on the side of transparency by making a disclosure.

Authors’ conflicts of interest

Authors are prompted in the submission details form to affirm the declaration of any potential conflicts of interest. These may include employment affiliations, funding sources, ownership of shares, and compensation for lectures or travel. If a potential conflict of interest exists, it must be disclosed in the submission details form and will be documented in the published version if the article is accepted for publication. It is essential to note that the presence of a potential conflict of interest does not necessarily result in the rejection of the submission.

Reviewers’ conflicts of interest

Reviewers are instructed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in the manuscript review form. Examples of such conflicts include submissions by family members or students and the identification of the authors. A conflict of interest does not automatically invalidate the review report.

Editor-in-Chief’s conflicts of interest

The same policy governing conflicts of interest for authors applies when the Editor-in-Chief serves as the author of editorials and manuscripts undergoing peer review. Regarding the assignment of reviewers and the decision-making process for a manuscript, the editor will recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest, such as in the case of a submission by a family member or student.

Editorial board or advisory committee members

Members of the editorial board or advisory committee are permitted to publish in the Journal. Submissions from these members undergo the same treatment as other submissions concerning anonymous reviewing and confidentiality.