Conflict of Interest Policy
The Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal (PAFMJ) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct in research and publication. This Conflict of Interest Policy is in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and is designed to ensure the identification, disclosure, and management of conflicts of interest among individuals involved in the publication process.
2. Definition of Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest arises when an individual's professional judgment or actions could be influenced by personal, financial, or other interests, potentially compromising the objectivity, integrity, or impartiality of their role in the research and publication process.
This policy applies to all individuals involved in the publication process, including authors, reviewers, editors, and members of the editorial board.
4. Disclosure Requirements
Authors are required to disclose all financial and non-financial interests that could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest in relation to the submitted work.
This disclosure should be included in the manuscript, preferably in the acknowledgment section or a separate declaration.
Reviewers are expected to declare any potential conflicts of interest that could affect their ability to provide an unbiased and objective review.
Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts in cases where a conflict of interest is identified.
4.3 Editors and Editorial Board Members:
Editors and editorial board members must disclose any conflicts of interest that may compromise their ability to make fair and unbiased editorial decisions.
Editorial conflicts of interest should be disclosed and appropriately managed.+
5. Handling Conflicts of Interest
5.1 During Review Process:
If a conflict of interest is identified during the review process, the editorial office may assign an alternative reviewer.
Authors may be asked to address and provide clarification on disclosed conflicts of interest.
5.2 Editorial Decision-Making:
Editors and editorial board members with conflicts of interest will recuse themselves from decision-making processes related to the affected manuscript.
Alternative editorial arrangements will be made to ensure impartial decision-making.
5.3 Publication Decisions:
Decisions regarding acceptance, rejection, or modification of a manuscript will be based on the merit of the work and its scientific and ethical validity.
Conflicts of interest disclosed by authors, reviewers, editors, and editorial board members will be acknowledged transparently. If no conflicts of interest are present, this will also be explicitly stated.
7. Training and Education
All individuals involved in the publication process will be educated about the importance of identifying and managing conflicts of interest. Training sessions will be organized to enhance awareness and understanding.
8. Periodic Review and Updates
This policy will be periodically reviewed to ensure its relevance and effectiveness. Updates will be made in response to changes in industry standards, regulations, or ethical considerations.
This Conflict of Interest Policy underscores PAFMJ's commitment to upholding the integrity of the publication process and fostering trust among readers, authors, reviewers, and editors.