Conflict of interest (editor)

About this resource

Cite this as

COPE Council. COPE Guidelines: editorial board participation — English.
©2021 Committee on Publication ethics (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Version history

Version 1: July 2021.

Full page history

  • 16 September 2021

    Added DOI to page.

  • 27 July 2021

    Version 1 published.

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


Editor as author of a paper


A subject editor, who oversaw a manuscript, was invited by the authors to become a co-author after the first review round. After inviting the subject editor to become an author (and adding his name to the author list), the revised version of the paper was submitted to the journal. The authors expected that a different subject editor would handle the paper in the next review round.


Confidentiality breach by an associate editor


The authors of a manuscript sent an official complaint to our journal regarding a breach of confidentiality by an associate editor (AE). The authors had been informed by the supervisor of a reviewer of a manuscript.


Review of a book written by an editor of a journal


Two scholars and professional colleagues, A and B, serve as co-editors of a peer-reviewed international journal. Editor A, who recently had a book published, has requested that editor B solicit a review of the book from a scholar in the field. Editor A would like this review to be published in the journal that they edit together.


Possible conflict of interest


Our journal is attempting to encourage the adoption of a uniform standard for the reporting of population genetics data. As part of this, one of the editors of our journal has submitted a proposal requiring authors to submit their data, including raw data, to his own database.  While the intention is laudable, there would appear to be a clear conflict of interest.


Author non-disclosure by editor in chief


Please note, this case is being submitted by the Publishing Director of the journal based on the advice of a senior COPE member because it relates to the conduct of the editor in chief of the journal. The editor in chief of the journal is aware that the case is being submitted.