A conflict of interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, commissioning, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to AGSER Journals.
A conflict of interest exists if a person or institution has a relationship, personal or otherwise, which has the potential to compromise or in any way interfere with professional objectivity or judgment in issues related to the relationship.
A conflict of interest is actual if a relationship exists, or apparent if the possibility for a relationship could be inferred. In either case, it is the responsibility of journal Editors, Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, authors, and reviewers to declare Conflicts of Interest, actual or apparent, in order that appropriate mitigating action is taken.
As conflict of interest is common, it reaches the level of concern when an observer may wonder if the individual’s behaviour or judgment was motivated by his or her competing interest. Having competing interest does not imply wrongdoing, however it could undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of the journal. AGSER Journals, through this policy, aims to protect the integrity of the journals.
AGSER Journals has in place procedures by which potential conflict-of-interest information is obtained from all Editors and Associate Editors on a regular basis; annually, or upon appointment or re-appointment. Such information includes identification of editorial service with related or competing journals, institutional affiliations, paid consultancies, etc.
Editors, in consultation with AGSER Journals, manage their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their Associate Editors, staff, authors, reviewers and Editorial Board members. They maintain a summary of relevant interests (financial, academic, and other kinds) of all editorial staff and members of editorial boards (which is updated at least annually).
Article submissions from the Editors, Editorial Board members, or employees are managed so that no details of the review process, other than the anonymous reviews and decision, are accessible to the Editor or employee.
The author has the obligation to reveal any personal interest or relationship that has the potential to be affected by publication of the submitted manuscript. Sources of funding must be acknowledged in the manuscript. All authors must report any financial interest in corporate or commercial entities dealing with the subject matter of the manuscript. On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author has the responsibility to advise the Editor of an actual or apparent conflict of interest at the time of submission of the manuscript. Such conflicts will be acknowledged in the published article.
A reviewer is entrusted to provide an unbiased assessment of the scientific merit of a manuscript under review. Reviewers are tasked with evaluating any author-disclosed conflicts-of-interest as well as self-disclosing any situation or relationship to the Editor that could bias or be perceived to bias their assessment of the submitted manuscript. These include personal relations to the authors, concurrent competitive research on the same subject in the manuscript, or professional or financial ties to an organization with interests in the subject under review. In such cases where an actual or apparent Conflict-of-Interest is disclosed, the use of a review provided or requested is at the discretion of the Editor.