All contributions, including Journal Reviews and Responses, must include a positionality statement, in which the contributor describes their professional affiliations, biases, and/or potential conflicts of interest. This context is essential for readers to understand and make use of the published contribution, since an individual’s personal context plays a central role in determining whether a particular journal is the right fit for that individual.
In general, potential contributors should err on the side of transparency - disclosing a potential conflict of interest regardless of how important it seems. Omitting or concealing conflicts of interest, or misrepresenting one’s affiliation, will trigger investigation by the editorial board and possible retraction.
Problematic conflicts of interest for Journal Review contributions could include:
- Submitting a Journal Review while employed by the journal under review, its publisher, or an equivalent organization
- Holding an active editorial or publishing role with the journal or an affiliated organization, paid or unpaid
- Receiving compensation from the journal or publisher in connection with the Journal Review contribution
Some conflicts of interest may be fine, as long as they are transparently declared when the Journal Review contribution is submitted. However, deliberately or accidentally omitting these conflicts will result in investigation by the editorial board and possible retraction.
Roles to be disclosed include:
- A former editorial or publishing role with the journal or an affiliated organization, paid or unpaid
- Previously submitted articles published or rejected by the journal
- Current membership in a scholarly or professional society affiliated with the journal
- Prior employment or volunteer service with the journal or its publisher
Conflicts of interest are less likely in the Response format, but could include:
- Affiliation with the journal’s competitor
- Misrepresentation of the contributor’s connection with the Responding journal
- Receiving compensation from a third party in connection with the Response contribution
Submitting authors may also read the Editorial Board Conflicts of Interest. Editors will recuse themselves from consideration of submissions as appropriate to their own conflicts of interest.