Automating Research COI Disclosures in Editorial Workflow

Conflicts of interest (COIs) arise in scholarly publishing when Authors, Editors, or Reviewers have competing interests that can risk professional and ethical judgment. These conditions include potential financial, legal, commercial, or relationship interests with involved individuals or organizations. It is critical for Authors to disclose conflicts-of-interest prior to peer review to maintain research integrity and an unbiased editorial assessment. Many publishers require full disclosures upfront, though standards and policies vary between journals and are unevenly applied. Additionally, publications often see many discrepancies from one manuscript to the next due to inconsistent disclosures completed by researchers.

To streamline the disclosure process, Aries Systems and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have collaborated to integrate Convey®, a centralized  global disclosure system, with Editorial Manager® (EM), the leading manuscript submission and peer review tracking system. Publications that subscribe to Convey can request, retrieve, and view Author disclosures and attachments directly within Editorial Manager. This collaboration allows publishers to seamlessly manage their conflict-of-interest collection and reporting without disruption of editorial workflow.

Equipped with industry standard disclosure forms, Convey eliminates redundancies and aggregates information in one platform, allowing data to be entered and accessed in a single place. This decreases the need for Authors to fill out questionnaires across multiple journals and for Editors to manually sift through PDF manuscripts, saving valuable time. Authors and Reviewers have configurable levels of visibility into the submitted disclosure in EM, either standard or blinded versions of the report, depending on journal preference. Editors can manually request for an initial or updated disclosure or automate the process by configuring disclosure triggers and reminders at various workflow points in EM. Understanding that disclosure collection is critical in publisher’s efforts to maintain research integrity, Convey allows you to determine when and how to collect disclosures based on individual publication or organizational compliance requirements.

This powerful integration promotes consistency and transparency of industry and relationship information across organizations while providing publishers with a flexible, automatic, and centralized disclosure solution. For more information on how to enable Convey for your journal sites, contact your Aries Account Coordinator.