Policies of Conflict of Interest (COI)
AJO's COI policy generally continues to be subject to COPE's advice. Conflicts of interest (often referred to as competing interests or dual loyalties) are normal and sometimes unavoidable. A conflict of interest is primarily a secondary interest (such as personal, commercial, political, academic or financial) that may have some influence on the judgment of the main decision, in this case the content of the publication. They are described as things that, when later revealed, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. Financial benefits may include a lot of items, such as employment, research grants, sponsorships, stock or share ownership, lecture or travel expenses, consulting, company support for any part of a paper commissioned/funded/sponsored by an employee, any financial or potential financial benefits, or the involvement of a public relations firm.
Management of conflicts of interest
AJO anticipates that any conflicts of interest, including potential ones, must be identified and addressed. If you question the existence of a conflict, err on the side of misdisclosure. Most conflicts of interest can be managed well by following the following procedures: However, in some cases, conflicts of interest are too extreme to be published.
This does not list the full range of potential conflicts, but rather indicates the range of potential conflicts of interest:
A. Potential Author COIs Authors are required to consider all aspects, including taking conflict of interest into account in the instructions given to authors and then stating it in writing on the form.
B. Potential Reviewer COIs The journal uses a single-blind review; however, the editors exclude individuals with potential COIs. The editors also attempt to satisfy the authors and exclude potential reviewers because they may be genuine COIs, and if this is achieved, the review is likely to be rigorous and comprehensive. When invited to review, each person must disclose any coi that might bias their opinion, and sometimes must waive their credentials to review. If a COI is evident during the review process, the reviewer must contact the journal office and, where appropriate, request recusal. The following situations are considered conflicts and should be avoided:
a) Co-authored at least one paper in the last 3 years;
b) Colleagues in the same group/department or similar organizational unit for the last 3 years;
c) Supervising/having supervised the author's doctoral work or are supervising/have supervised the author's doctoral work;
d) To gain professional or personal benefit from the review;
e) Maintainning a personal relationship with the author (e.g. family, close friends);
f) There is a direct or indirect financial interest in the papers being reviewed.
A conflict of interest is not considered to exist if the reviewer and the author work together in a collaborative project (e.g. EU), or if they jointly organize an event.
Editorial board member
Articles by editorial board members will be considered to be of that type and will go through the same peer review process. In this case, another editor will be assigned to manage the peer review process. If no editor can determine who does not have a conflict of interest, then a guest editor may be invited to manage the manuscript. Any guest editor must have a good knowledge of the subject.
Potential editor COI
Editors do not act as decision makers, especially in articles where they perceive a conflict of interest with the author, such as collaborating with the author or conducting competitive research. Editors work with authors for a maximum of six months, and if they are within that period, they may be eligible to edit an article. In the editor's opinion, it is impossible to overcome certain conflicts, such as personal friendships, which time cannot limit. Being familiar with the author does not in itself mean that the editor is therefore unable to manage the article. Editors should try to avoid articles with which they have a conflict of interest and discuss any concerns they have about their own conflict of interest with the editor-in-chief in order to select the most appropriate editor for the article.
Manuscripts submitted by co-editors are handled by the managing editor, who will designate the processing editor relevant to the topic and ultimately decide whether to accept or not. Manuscripts submitted by the Executive Editor will be processed by a co-Managing Editor, who will appoint/subject relevant processing editors and make the final decision on acceptance.