4. Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Conflicts of interest may influence, or appear to influence, scientific objectivity.  Conflicts of interest can be financial or non-financial, professional or personal, and can arise in relation to an organization or an individual.

While conflicts of interest are defined in various ways by different organizations and publishers, most scientific journals have a formal process for reporting and managing potential conflicts of interest among the editors, editorial board, reviewers, and authors. The intent of conflict of interest disclosures is to help to ensure transparent scientific publishing practices.

Editors, editorial board members, and reviewers are generally required to complete annual disclosure forms and are asked to recuse themselves from handling manuscripts for which they may have a conflict.  Author disclosures are often managed by requiring a disclosure statement in the submitted manuscript and published article.  A conflict may not necessarily preclude a manuscript from review provided that the information is reported in a way that readers and journal decision-makers can review the findings in comparison with other literature and if it can be managed with disclosure.  

The conflict of interest policy for Optica Publishing Group journals includes information on how conflict of interest disclosures are managed and should be referenced in manuscript submissions.