Publication Ethics: Conflict of interest

Conflicts of interest in academic and scientific research can occur when a person’s interests influence or appear to influence their research and decisions. Types of conflicts of interest include financial conflicts of interest, personal conflicts of interest, and professional conflicts of interest.

Conflicts of interest in academic and scientific research refer to situations where a person’s personal, financial, or professional interests may compromise or appear to compromise the objectivity, integrity, or impartiality of conducting, reporting, or reviewing research. An example of a financial conflict of interest is if a researcher has received funding from a pharmaceutical company, he or she may be influenced to present data favorable to that company.

Self-interest can arise from personal relationships such as family, friends, or colleagues. Financial interests include monetary benefits that may accrue to the researcher, such as salary, research grants, stock ownership, and intellectual property rights. An example of a personal conflict of interest may occur if a researcher has to review a close friend’s or family member’s work, which may cause difficulties in providing an unbiased review.

Professional interests are related to career advancement, professional reputation, or the success of the researcher’s affiliated institution. An example of a professional conflict of interest may occur if a researcher has a leadership position in a professional organization that could influence decisions that benefit the organization.

Conflicts of interest can be detrimental to research credibility and public trust. Researchers can maintain ethical standards of research practice by identifying, disclosing, and managing conflicts of interest. This will ensure that research is conducted with integrity and is not influenced by factors that may compromise objectivity.

Transparently addressing conflicts of interest helps maintain the integrity of scientific research and ensures that its findings are trustworthy and credible. Researchers can uphold ethical standards and foster trust in their work by disclosing and managing conflicts of interest.

By: I. Busthomi