Guidelines: Conflicts of interest

Disclosure of any potential conflict of interest is essential for the responsible conduct of research.

Procedures for the disclosure of a research worker's affiliation with, or financial involvement in, any organisation or entity with a direct interest in the subject matter, or in the provision of materials for the research, must be formulated and advertised within institutions.

These procedures must cover the full range of interests. These would include benefits in kind such as the provision of materials or facilities for the research, and the support of individuals through the provision of benefits (for example, travel and accommodation expenses to attend conferences).

The procedures should include guidelines on confidentiality of disclosures and any limits on this. They should cover disclosure of such interests to the persons responsible for institutional research management, to the editors of journals to which papers are submitted (some editors already require this) and to bodies from which funds are sought.

Relevant forms

All conflicts of interest must be disclosed to participants in the Participant Information Statement: