Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of interest (COIs, also referred to as “competing interests”) may indicate the potential to influence the validity or objectivity of research. Editors, authors, and reviewers may be involved into COIs, and MCB considers it essential to identify and seek to mitigate them so as to ensure the integrity of its role in the dissemination and preservation of knowledge. Failure to declare competing interests may result in decline of a manuscript.

Authors must declare all potential conflicts of interest; if they have none to declare, they should state plainly, “The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to report regarding the present study”.

In order to limit COIs, all roles involved in the peer-review process must identify and declare any personal circumstances or associations that may be perceived as having such influence and acknowledge all funding sources for the work. However, COI statements relating to public funding sources, such as government agencies and charitable or academic institutions, need not be supplied.

To be specific, MCB defines a COI as any relationship that may have an impact on the authors, reviewers, or editors of a manuscript during the peer review process, on the making of editorial decisions, or generally on any stage in the path toward publication.

Thus, COIs may include (but not limited to): 
Financial COIs

  • Stock or share ownership

  • Patent applications

  • Research grants

  • Consultancies

  • Royalties

Non-financial COIs

  • Affiliation with the same institution;

  • Personal relationships, e.g., between thesis advisers and their students, friends, family members, etc.;

  • Academic relationships, e.g., among co-authors, collaborators, or competitors;

  • Government employees;

  • Members of MCB editorial board of a Sin-Chn Scientific Press journal.

COIs are not considered permanent; such relationships that have ended more than two years prior to the submission of a manuscript need not be identified as sources of potential conflict.

 

Authors

MCB requires a declaration from all authors of a manuscript regarding any potential COIs that could be relevant to the integrity or reliability of the scientific and professional judgment presented therein, as well as that of otherwise unassociated studies in the same journal. Potential conflict, unless already declared, will be held in confidence while the paper is under review. If the article is accepted for publication, the potential conflict of interest will be included in the acknowledgments. If there is, in fact, no conflict of interest, the authors should state plainly.

 

Reviewers

Reviewers should declare any COIs when they are assigned a manuscript and disclose this information to the editor, who will then assess whether they should proceed with the review process. 

 

Editors

Editors, including Editors-in-Chief, Associate Editors and Guest Editors should be aware of their own potential COIs. If the Editors have authored or coauthored the manuscripts submitted to MCB, Editors might be perceived to be influenced by the relationship. MCB expects the Editor(s) to declare any COIs or potential COIs.