Conflict of interest (reviewer)


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.

About this resource

About this resource


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.

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Cite this as

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


Version history

Version 1 2006. Redesigned May 2021.


Full page history

  • 6 September 2021

    Made citation visible.

  • 24 July 2021

    Changed page alias

  • 24 July 2021

    Redesigned PDF uploaded, new page alias, updated citation information.

  • 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 of rejected paper publicly names and criticises peer reviewer


The first author of a paper rejected by our journal publicly identified one of the four peer reviewers for the paper by name. She did this during a media interview conducted after the paper was published by another journal. The first author implied in that interview and subsequently on Twitter that the paper was rejected because of that person's review and also claimed the reviewer did not reveal relevant COIs.


Author requests for certain experts not to be included in the editorial process


A prospective author contacted the editorial office of a medical journal to request that an intended submission was not reviewed or consulted on by experts involved in a number of published guidelines on the topic of the paper. The author named some of these experts, which included members of the journal’s editorial board (including editor A).