Conflicts of Interest

Except as indicated below, the policies and procedures of the Journal of Renal Nutrition (JREN) follow those of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, as published in the "Uniform Requirement for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication" Updated October 2004 (www.icmje.org; accessed October 1, 2006).

A conflict of interest exists when an author, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships with other persons or organizations that may inappropriately influence or bias his or her actions. There is a potential for a conflict of interest whether or not an individual believes that a relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Conflicts can occur as the result of employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony or opinions, personal and family relationships, or academic competitive pressures.

All participants in the peer review and publication process must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest.

Potential Author Conflicts

Authors are responsible for disclosing any and all financial and personal relationships between themselves and others that might bias, or be perceived to bias, their work. When submitting a manuscript to JREN, authors must complete the Mandatory Checklist form, which asks for full disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest. Here authors must state whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Financial arrangements between any author and any company whose product or competing product plays a prominent role in the manuscript must be noted on both the Mandatory Checklist and the title page of the manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted, the JREN editors will decide whether to publish information about potential conflicts. A statement either noting the potential conflict(s) or informing readers that none were disclosed will appear on the first page of the article.

Potential conflicts related to sponsorship or financial support. Authors should describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation, and the writing of the report. If the sponsor(s) had no such involvement, this should be clearly stated. Authors must attest that they had full access to all of the data in the study, and that they take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Potential Reviewer Conflicts

Editors will not select peer reviewers who have potential conflicts of interest. Authors may provide editors with the names of persons they feel should not review their manuscript, because of a potential conflict. However, when possible, authors should explain the reason(s) for their concerns. Reviewers must disclose any conflicts that could bias their opinions, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing when appropriate.

Potential Editor Conflicts

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement with any of the subject matter in manuscripts they might judge.

When the editor-in-chief (EIC) has a conflict of interest with authors of a new submission, but the co-editor (CE) does not have a conflict:

  • The EIC assigns the paper to the co-EIC who does not have a conflict
  • If the co-EIC decides the paper should be rejected without peer review, he/she asks another Editorial Board Member (EBM) (who also has no conflict) for a second opinion. If both agree, the paper is rejected without further review.
  • When it has been decided that a manuscript should be peer reviewed, the co-EIC assigns it to reviewers. At least 2 reviews are obtained. If the reviewers are fundamentally in agreement, then the co-EIC may make the decision on the manuscript. If peer reviews differ, the co-EIC may ask 1 or more Editorial Board Members without a conflict for opinions before making his/her decision.

1. Should both the co-EICs have a conflict with authors of a new submission:

  • The co-EICs assign the paper to an Associate Editor (AE) who does not have a conflict
  • The AE assigns the manuscript to reviewers. At least 2 reviews are obtained. If the reviewers are fundamentally in agreement, then the AE may make the decision on the manuscript. If peer reviews differ, the AE may ask 1 or more other Editorial Board Members for opinions before making his/her decision.
  • Note that an AE is not given the option of rejecting a manuscript without peer review, since the AE does not have experience in judging the likelihood that a given manuscript will or will not be competitive for publication in JREN.
  • If the manuscript is accepted for publication, a statement will appear on the title page saying that an outside editor entirely handled the peer-review and decision-making processes.

2. When one of the co-EICs is an author of a manuscript submitted to JREN, then that co-EIC is not involved in the peer-review and decision-making processes for this manuscript. The non-author co-EIC oversees the peer review process for this paper.

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