Conflict of Interests

The conflicts of interest, also known as a competing interest, is usually asked by many journals to be disclosed by authors related to their work in a manuscript during the submission process. In Global Sustainability Challenges, the corresponding author must include a summary statement in the manuscript in a separate section “Conflicts of Interest” placed just before the reference list.

All authors are responsible for disclosing any financial or personal relationships or interests that could inappropriately influence or bias their work. Researchers should not enter into agreements with study sponsors, both financial or non-financial, that interfere with their access to the data and their ability to analyze them independently. In case of the sponsor’s involvement (e.g., in study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of data), authors should include their role and information in the Methods section. 

Examples of financial potential conflicts of interest include: employment, consultancies, grants to the author or organization, personal fees (e.g., honoraria, consulting fees, lecture fees), stock or share ownership, paid expert testimonies and patent-licensing arrangements. Examples of non-financial conflicts of interest include: holding a position on boards, close relationships with editors at the journal, access to data repositories, equipment, tools or software and personal, political or academic beliefs.

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should avoid selecting external peer reviewers with obvious potential conflicts of interest, for example, those who work in the same department or institution as any of the authors. Also, they must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Other members of the editorial staff (if they participate in editorial decisions), as well as reviewers, should recuse themselves from providing any decision or reviewing specific manuscripts in which a conflict of interest exists, respectively. 

An example of disclosures of conflicts of interest could be:

Conflicts of Interest: Author A has received a research grant from Organization X. Author B is an employee and owns stock in Company Y.  Author C is the inventor of patent Z. The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

If no conflicts exist, the authors should state:

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.