Conflict of Interest

According to ICMJE recommendation, all participants in the peer-review and publication process—not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals—must consider and disclose their relationships and activities when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication.

For authors: A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by, or may be perceived to be influenced by, their personal, political, academic relationships or financial relationship with other people or organizations, such as reimbursement for salaries, equipment or supplies, or a personal belief that may influence their objectivity and motivation, and consequently affect the data interpretation. This can include competing patents, grants, funding, employment, personal relationships and strong ethical beliefs, among other factors. Such conflicts must be declared, as they may affect the integrity or reliability of the science in the study, as well as that of otherwise unassociated studies in the same journal. The statements of competing interests for public funding sources, including government agencies, charitable or academic institutions, is best to be included.

Full disclosure of the competing interests is to be made in the cover letter and manuscript at the time of submission, in addition, each author also should submit a separate form and is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the submitted information, even if the author judges that it has not influenced the work. If no conflict exists, this must also be stated clearly in the manuscript as follows: “Competing interests: the authors declare that they have no competing interests”. All authors should confirm its accuracy. If there is a conflict, please include it in a “Competing interest” section. Examples of conflict of interest statements include: This study was supported by the University of XXX under grant number XXX, and the authors declare that they received no intervention from the funding agency during the trial period, that they had full access to all the data in this study, and that they fully agree to "take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.". Authors may be asked to confirm or update, or provide further details regarding such disclosure statements following acceptance of the manuscript. Further details regarding requirements for conflict of interest statements are provided in the ICMJE policy.

For reviewers: External peer reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. Should any such competing interest be declared, the journal editor will judge whether the reviewer’s comments should be recognized or if they will interpret the reviewer’s comments in the context of any such declaration.

For Editors: Forum Multimedia Publishing requires that editorial staff or editors not be involved in processing their own submissions. The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board. Submissions will be assigned to at least two independent outside reviewers. The submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process. Decisions will be made by other Editorial Board Members who do not have a conflict of interest with the author.

Guest Editors should not hold conflicts of interest with authors whose work they are assessing (e.g., from the same institution or collaborate closely) or relevant to the article topic. If there are any potential conflicts of interest, the Editor-in-Chief or a suitable Editorial Board member will make final acceptance decisions for submitted papers.

If an editor is one of the authors, please use the following wording: "Given [his/her/their] role as [Guest] Editor [in Chief], <NAME of Editor> had no involvement in the peer review of this article and has no access to information regarding its peer review. Full responsibility for the editorial process for this article was delegated to <NAME of delegated editor>".

For any non-research articles such as commentaries or Editorials written by editors or members of the Editorial Board, an impartial editor will be responsible for evaluating the piece and deciding whether it should be peer reviewed or not. In the case of peer review, a process similar to reviewing for original articles will be followed.