Declaration of interest
Of Substance often publishes material written by people who work within the alcohol and other drug sector. This can lead to potential conflicts between their physical work and readers’ perception that the published material comes from an independent, and therefore, unbiased source. Of Substance has a policy of transparency, thus it is important to avoid undisclosed bias or plagiarism.
Of Substance welcomes submissions from people wishing to have articles published. The following policy offers writers guidance to assist them in informing both the editors and readers about factors which may influence any material they submit.
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest exists when a writer’s professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). For example, this may occur if a writer has a financial interest that may influence — potentially without their knowing — their interpretation of their results or those of others.
To assist writers in determining whether or not they need to declare an interest, please review the following checklist:
- Have you ever accepted any of the following from an organisation that may experience financial gain or loss (e.g. receiving a government grant, a fall in product sales) from the results of your study or the conclusions of your review, editorial, or letter:
- Reimbursement for attending a symposium?
- A fee for speaking?
- A fee for organising education?
- Funds for research?
- Funds for a member of staff?
- Fees for consulting on the subject?
- Have you ever been employed by an organisation that may experience financial gain or loss from the results of your study or the conclusions of your review, editorial, or letter?
- Do you hold any financial interest (e.g. stocks or shares) in an organisation that may experience financial gain or loss from the results of your study or the conclusions of your review, editorial, or letter?
- Have you acted as an expert witness on the subject of your study, review, editorial or letter? Or peer reviewer?
- Do you have any other competing financial interests?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, we consider that you may need to declare an interest. Please draft a statement to publish with the article. It might, for example, read:
- ‘RS has been reimbursed by Shangri La Products, the manufacturer of elysium, for attending several conferences’
- ‘TD has been paid by Shangri La Products for running educational programs and has her research registrar paid for by the company’
- ‘NP has shares in the company’.
If you want to declare such a competing interest then please add it to your statement.
This policy is based on the ‘conflicting interest policy’ of the BMJ.