Conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an author or his/her partner (a spouse or other person with whom s/he has a close personal relationship), or the administrative unit where the author is employed, has a financial or other interest that could unduly influence the author’s position with respect to the subject matter being considered.

An apparent conflict of interest exists when the existence of an interest could result in the author’s objectivity being questioned by others, and a potential conflict of interest exists with an interest which any reasonable person could be uncertain whether or not it should be reported.

Types of financial and other interests that should be disclosed by all authors include proprietary interests and patents, shares or bonds in a related commercial entity, employment or consultancies, paid work or research, and grants or fellowships from a commercial entity that has an interest in the subject-matter of a review.

The authors of SUPPORT Summaries rarely, if ever, have important conflicts of interest in the subject-matter of the reviews that they are summarising. Nonetheless, the authors are asked to explicitly consider and declare any conflicts of interest that they might have and this is published on the last page of each summary.

We do not ask those who provide feedback on draft or published versions of the summaries to declare any conflicts of interest that they may have. However, final decisions about the content of the summaries and any changes that are made in response to the feedback that is received are made by the authors of the summaries together with the editors who manage the peer review process.