A potential conflict of interest exists when an author, editor, publisher, reviewer or Scientific Board member has a personal or financial interest or belief that could influence his/her actions or affect objectivity.
The following are the most obvious examples of conflicts of interests:
- financial relationships - direct (employment, stock ownership, patents) and indirect (consultancies to sponsoring organizations, paid expert testimony), e.g. an author carried out research commissioned by the reviewer;
- personal relationships especially in academic competition or intellectual passion;
- personal beliefs that are in direct conflict with the topic of investigation.