Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
What constitutes a competing interest?
Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any [financial competing interests] but also any [non-financial competing interests] that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the manuscript.
Please see [Commercial organizations] for more information relating to competing interests on manuscripts from commercial organizations.
Financial competing interests
Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript
Non-financial competing interests
Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests. If, after reading these guidelines, you are unsure whether you have a competing interest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as competing interests on submission. They should also adhere to the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies (GPP2), which are designed to ensure that publications are produced in a responsible and ethical manner. The guidelines also apply to any companies or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations and communications companies. ISCI will not publish advertorial content.
To give appropriate credit to each author, the individual contributions of authors should be specified in the manuscript.
An ‘author’ is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines, to qualify as an author one should have:
- made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
- been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
- given final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content; and
- agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not usually justify authorship.
Please see individual journal’s Submission Guidelines for information on the format for listing author contributions.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Changes in authorship
In line with COPE guidelines, ISCI requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submitted manuscripts or published articles. This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm that they agree with the proposed changes. If there is disagreement amongst the authors concerning authorship and a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the authors must contact their institution(s) for a resolution. It is not the Editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via publication of an [Erratum].
Scientific (medical) writers
The involvement of scientific (medical) writers or anyone else who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content should be acknowledged, along with their source of funding, as described in the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) guidelines. The role of medical writers should be acknowledged explicitly in the ‘Acknowledgements’ or ‘Authors’ contributions’ section as appropriate.