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Disclosing Research Conflicts of Interest (COI) in Publications and Presentations

Overview

Demonstrating transparency and objectivity in research is important for higher education, academic journals, and professional organizations in order to maintain credibility and influence. 

Therefore, it is important that authors, editors, and reviewers provide full disclosure to mitigate or eliminate perception of any financial or personal gain that may be obtained through research described in publications or presentations. Many publications and organizations have specific requirements and standards for disclosure of related financial interests and board service relationships. 

When to Provide Disclosure

When a potential research conflict of interest exists and a disclosure is required in publications or presentations, it must be provided in cases of real and perceived COIs:

  • Real Conflicts of Interest: Real COIs include significant financial interest, IP, or other relationships that could potentially bias the research being reported in the publication/presentation. Service on a board such as CEO or President of a company is considered a financial interest. These COIs could be possible in cases of outside employment, being a consultant, ownership in a private company, income from intellectual property, board service, or similar relationships/interests of your spouse and/or dependents.
  • Perceived Conflicts of Interest: Any of the interests or relationships described above, if they could be perceived to be related to your UTA research or responsibilities. If the outside activities are focused on or working with an outside entity that focuses on products or research that could be perceived by a reasonable person to be related to what you do at UTA, then a disclosure should be provided in the publication/presentation to alleviate the potential COI and provide transparency. 

How to Provide Disclosure

  • Publications: In publications, you must comply with the COI disclosure policies of the publisher or journal. If the publisher/journal does not have an explicit policy on disclosing conflicts of interest, you should provide disclosure whenever possible in order to provide full transparency and protect the integrity of your work. See "Example Disclosure Statement" below for guidance; however, the statement may need to be altered in order to fit the context or guidelines of the particular journal. 
  • Presentations: In presentations, you must provide a disclosure statement in your presentation for any real or perceived COIs as defined above. See "Example Disclosure Statement" below for the minimum information to be included. You may add additional details as you deem necessary. 

Example Disclosure Statement

[Dr. /Mr. /Ms. name] has a potential research conflict of interest due to a financial interest with company [name of entity]. A management plan has been created to preserve objectivity in research in accordance with UTA policy.