Competing Interest Statement

JKPIs is committed to ensuring that research is as free from bias as possible, and is seen to be so. It is the responsibility of journals and their editors to take all competing interests into account during the review process and to ensure that any relevant ones are declared in the published article. We therefore have the following requirements (with acknowledgement).

  • Authors must declare all relevant competing interests for consideration during the review process.
  • Editors (professional or academic, paid or unpaid) and reviewers must declare their own competing interests and if necessary recuse themselves from involvement in the assessment of a paper.
  • Anyone who comments on or rates published papers in JKPIs must declare their competing interests at the time of posting their comments and/or rating.

What is a competing interest?

JKPIs defines a competing interest as anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to one of the journals. Competing interests can be financial or non-financial, professional, or personal. Competing interests can arise in relationship to an organization or another person. See below for definitions and examples of various competing interests.

Who needs to declare competing interests?

Everyone involved in authorship, funding, review, and editorial decision making of submitted articles, or who wishes to comment on or rate published articles must declare any and all relevant competing interests.

It is increasingly recognized that everyone has competing interests of some sort—authors, authors' employers (whether an academic institution, government department, commercial company, or other), sponsors of the work, reviewers, editors, and publishers. It is difficult for individuals to assess objectively whether their competing interests could have biased their presentation, peer review, or decision to publish any given work. Declaring one's competing interests allows others to better evaluate the possibility of such bias.

Examples of competing interests

Financial

Financial competing interests include but are not limited to:

  • Ownership of stocks or shares
  • Paid employment or consultancy
  • Board membership
  • Patent applications (pending or actual), including individual applications or those belonging to the institution to which authors are affiliated and which the authors may benefit from
  • Research grants (from any source, restricted or unrestricted)
  • Travel grants and honoraria for speaking or participation at meetings
  • Gifts

Authors must declare all potential financial competing interests involving people or organizations that might reasonably be perceived as relevant.

Similarly, reviewers and academic and professional editors, paid or unpaid, must consider and declare any potential financial relationships that could reasonably be perceived as relevant and/or could influence their objective review of the paper, and recuse themselves from handling the paper if necessary.

Anyone wishing to comment on or rate a published paper must also consider, and then disclose, whether they have any relevant financial interests.

As a guide, any competing interest that arose within the five years either before or after the commencement of the research described, or within five years of the article being written, or within five years of events described in the article, should be declared. However, interests outside this time frame may also be relevant; if so, they should also be declared so that their relevance can be judged by the editorial team.

Non-financial

Non-financial competing interests include but are not limited to:

Professional

  • Acting as an expert witness
  • Membership in a government or other advisory board
  • Relationship (paid or unpaid) with organisations and funding bodies including nongovernmental organisations, research institutions, or charities
  • Membership in lobbying or advocacy organisations
  • Writing or consulting for an educational company

Personal

  • Personal relationships (i.e., friend, spouse, family member, current or previous mentor, adversary) with individuals involved in the submission or evaluation of a paper, such as authors, reviewers, editors, or members of the editorial board of a JKPIs journal
  • Personal convictions (political, religious, ideological, or other) related to a paper's topic that may interfere with an unbiased publication process (at the stage of authorship, peer review, editorial decision making, or publication)

Authors, reviewers, editors, and anyone wishing to comment on a published paper must consider and then disclose whether they have any non-financial interests that might influence their reporting, handling, or review of the paper, or that might be negatively or positively affected by publication of the paper.

For example, authors are required to declare if they have served or currently serve on the editorial board of the journal to which they are submitting, have acted as an expert witness in relevant legal proceedings, or have sat or currently sit on a committee for an organization that may benefit from publication of the paper.

Reviewers are required to declare if they have held grants, co-authored papers, or worked in the same institution or organization with the authors of the study they are asked to review, or if they are in an adversarial relationship with authors.

Similarly, editors—academic or professional, paid or unpaid—are required to recuse themselves from deliberations if they cannot evaluate a paper in an objective way because of personal relationships with authors.

Finally, anyone who comments on or rates published papers in JKPIs must declare non-financial competing interests at the time of posting their comments and/or rating.