Conflict of interest (author)


Letter from the COPE Chair: July 2021

Here we are, just past the halfway point of the year and the pandemic persists. We have seen great progress holding off COVID-19 in some regions of the world while others slide back as new strains appear. The UK is gearing up to remove COVID-19 based restrictions this month in an attempt to return to normal. But what is the new normal? Flexible work arrangements are becoming the norm and some companies have simply shifted away from centralised offices. And yet, COPE’s work continues.


Post-publication conflicts of interest

Undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article: updated flowchart

The COPE flowcharts are consistently rated by members as being among the most useful and frequently consulted COPE resources. Available in different languages, they offer practical guidance to handle a variety of ethical issues encountered in scholarly publishing either before or after publication.


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

Cite this as

COPE Council. COPE Flowcharts and infographics - Undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article - English.
©2021 Committee on Publication Ethics (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Version history
Version 2: July 2021
Version 1: 2006

Full page history

  • 6 September 2021

    Version 2 of flowchart published.

  • 6 July 2021

    Changed title to match revised ALL Flowcharts PDF

  • 11 February 2021

    Sabah title

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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Full page history


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.