Conflict of interest (author)


Deceased author


After a manuscript was accepted, an author passed away before they could complete the conflict of interest statement and copyright transfer documents. The publishing company requires that all authors complete these documents prior to publishing.

The other authors do not want to remove the deceased author from the manuscript.

Question(s) for the COPE Forum


In the news: October 2018 Digest

Journal Management

This month’s topic is “journal management” and on first blush, it isn’t obvious how the concept of “ethics” applies to this topic. I thought of things like selection and implementation of a manuscript manager, paying bills, identifying reviewers, etc. But when I got past my concrete thinking it’s clear journals must be managed based on fundamental ethical principles. These include: Autonomy, Justice, beneficence, non-malfeasance.


Undisclosed conflict of interest


We published two peer-reviewed articles—one protocol and one paper with the results of a comparative analysis comparing a group of people associated with a specific “complementary medicine health care organization” (CMG), with the general population, which concludes that the group has “unusual health indicators” (more favourable than the general population).

About this resource

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  • 19 May 2021

    Changed title to match revised ALL Flowcharts PDF

  • 11 February 2021

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About this resource

Written by COPE Council
Version 1 January 2016
How to cite this  
COPE Council. COPE Discussion Document: Handling competing interests. July 2016.

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Author disagreement regarding article corrections


We received an original article which was accepted and published. The article was written by multiple authors from several centres, and the corresponding author undertook the task of standardising the content, making several corrections to the original text. The author proofs were sent to the corresponding author, who reviewed them.


Possible violation of the Helsinki Declaration on Scientific Research with Humans


A manuscript underwent peer review and the resulting reviewer comments raised grave concerns about the ethical legitimacy of the study.
The reviewer:


Author of rejected letter blames global bias against his message and undisclosed conflicts of interest


The editor in chief received a letter to the editor criticising a paper published earlier in the journal. The editor first told the author of the letter that he would publish the commentary after he had given the authors of the criticised paper a chance to respond. When asked by the author of the letter, he later added that he would also publish the letter if the authors failed to respond.