Arthritis & Rheumatology
© 2014 American College of Rheumatology
Edited By: Joan M. Bathon, MD
Impact Factor: 7.871
ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 3/30 (Rheumatology)
Online ISSN: 2326-5205
Associated Title(s): Arthritis Care & Research
Editor Conflict Guidelines
ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY
CONFLICT OF INTEREST GUIDELINES
Implemented July 12, 1995 and Revised April 2003 and May 2007 and September 2009
1. An author disclosure form accompanying a submitted manuscript must disclose information about financial support and consulting activities, for all authors, that might be interpreted as constituting an actual or possible conflict of interest for the described studies.
2. All authors of manuscripts (basic or clinical research, case reports, letters, reviews, editorials or commentary) accepted for publication will be asked to sign a full disclosure form regarding actual or possible conflicts of interest for that individual, any member of his/her immediate family, or any other individual or entity with whom the author has a significant relationship, including:
a) ownership or control of stock in a company developing, manufacturing, or distributing a product studied or discussed in the manuscript, or a competing product.
b) service as a consultant or advisor to a company developing, manufacturing, or distributing a product studied or discussed in the manuscript, or a competing product.
c) any patent/license/royalty arrangements relating to any product studied or discussed in the manuscript, or a competing product.
d) any other possible financial benefit, such as derived income from a diagnostic test or product described or discussed in the manuscript, or legal work as an expert witness or consultant in cases related a product studied or discussed in the manuscript, or a competing product.
3. The corresponding author must indicate the role that each author played in the project giving rise to the manuscript and attest to the fact that all authors have participated sufficiently in the project to meet the criteria for authorship and to take public responsibility for the work done.
4. Information reported on the author disclosure form will be published with the manuscript.
1. All potential reviewers will be asked in the initial contact to state that if they agree to review the manuscript, they have no financial, personal or intellectual conflict of interest which would interfere with performing an unbiased review. If a potential reviewer has questions about what might constitute a possible conflict, he/she should contact the Editor. The Editor will communicate to the potential reviewer areas of possible conflict for the reviewer’s consideration including clauses A2a-d and the following:
e) previous (over the past three years) or current close collaborative relationship with any of the authors, or is from the same institution as any of the authors.
f) any other reason the individual feels his/her review may be biased, i.e. intellectual conflict such as research competitor or is performing the same studies.
C. EDITOR AND DEPUTY AND ASSOCIATE EDITORS
1. The following policies are intended to ensure that all manuscripts receive an unbiased judgment concerning publication and that the Editor and the Deputy, Co- and Associate Editors do not engage in activities that would compromise or have the appearance of compromising their abilities to exercise this judgment.
2. The Editor or a Deputy, Co, or Associate Editor will not review, assign reviewers or make decisions on a manuscript where a potential conflict of interest may exist, such as defined in clauses A2a-d and B1e-f.
3. Using the American College of Rheumatology Confidential Disclosure Statement form (as used for members of the Board of Directors and committees), the Deputy, Co-, and Associate Editors will file disclosures in the Editor’s office, which will be kept confidential, regarding all financial arrangements with any company, either as owners of stock, consultants, advisors, or recipients of royalties, or any legal work as an expert witness or consultant over the past five years. These disclosures will be filed at the beginning of each Deputy, Co-, and Associate Editor’s term and updated annually on July 1. The Editor will use this information to make decisions regarding assignments of tasks to the Deputy, Co-, and Associate Editors.
4. The Editor will file a similar disclosure of current activities using the American College of Rheumatology Confidential Disclosure Statement form, which will be openly discussed by the Deputy and Co-Editors. The Editor will state in writing specific areas of research where he/she will not be involved in handling manuscripts; the responsibilities for such manuscripts will be turned over to one of the Deputy or Co-Editors not located at the same institution. This disclosure form and the Editor’s written statement regarding types of manuscripts he/she will not handle will be filed at the beginning of the Editor’s term and updated annually on July 1.
5. During their five-year term the Deputy, Co-, or Associate Editors will not engage in any legal work as expert witnesses or consultants on a specific topic where they have written editorials, commentaries or reviews during their term as Deputy or Associate Editor, nor will they write any such articles for Arthritis & Rheumatology during their five-year term if they have testified as an expert witness or consultant on that topic during their term.
6. The Editor will not engage in any legal work as an expert witness or consultant during his/her term, nor will he/she write any editorials or commentaries on specific topics where he/she has been involved in work as an expert witness or consultant during the five years preceding the term as Editor. An exception to the prohibition against the Editor’s serving as an expert witness may be made if the Editor is required to testify on an uncompensated basis on behalf of the institution at which he/she is employed, in his/her capacity as an employee of the institution, and not as journal Editor.
7. All unsolicited manuscripts submitted from the institutions of the Editor, Deputy Editors, Co-Editors, and Associate Editors will be handled outside the normal review process, e.g., forwarded to a Deputy, Co-, or Associate Editor not from the same institution, to the immediate past Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology, or to the Editor of Arthritis Care & Research for a complete review and decision process.
D. COMMITTEE ON JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS
1. The Editor will send copies of his/her disclosure form, and a letter stating what restrictions the Editor will impose on his/her involvement in the journal as a result of any past or present activities that might be perceived as constituting a conflict of interest, to the Chair of the Committee on Journal Publications. The Editor will send a copy of the form and letter to the journal office at the American College of Rheumatology, where it will be kept on file. This disclosure form and letter will be sent at the beginning of the Editor’s term and updated annually on July 1. Upon receipt of the disclosure form and letter from the Editor, the Chair of the Committee on Journal Publications and the Managing Editor will review both documents for adequacy and to determine if any additional steps need to be taken by the Editor to address activities that may pose a conflict or be perceived as constituting a conflict. Should the Editor disagree with their recommendations, the matter will be referred to the full Committee on Journal Publications for final resolution.
2. Annually, within 30 days after review of the disclosure information from the Deputy, Co-, and Associate Editors, the Editor will write a letter to the Chair of the Committee on Journal Publications what specific responsibilities each Deputy, Co- or Associate Editor will be excused from, i.e. specific topics where they will not be involved in the review or decision process, or any other restrictions that are deemed appropriate.
3. The Editor will consult the Chair of the Committee on Journal Publications regarding any specific questions or problems that may arise regarding disclosure or conflict of interest issues.