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Conflict of interest

I'm the OP, thanks for posting this. I wanted to add two points:

1) I am not against conflict of interest statements per se. What surprised me in particular is that they were required in the blinded manuscript, and so visible to peer reviewers. I think it is worthwhile to be transparent about conflicts of interests when a paper is published, and also towards editors so they can ensure impartial review (although I also agree that in philosophy there seems to be less need for it than in say medical science). But I don't see why reviewers should see this information, and I think it might actively harm philosophy if such information biases reviewers. For example, suppose that my research *is* funded by the tobacco industry, but it is actually scientifically in perfect order. If the referee has no knowledge about the funding, then hopefully they'd reach the verdict that the paper is publishable. But if they read, prior to reviewing the paper, that it was funded by the tobacco industry, that might influence their opinion in a negative way and lead them to reject the paper.

2) I think for most people in philosophy, the only conflicts of interest to declare are sources of funding. I believe these are typically included in conflict of interest statements. I understood this to include bona fide public funding bodies, such as the research councils in the UK - or am I mistaken? So, a more specific question is whether it is important to be transparant about that kind of information in particular, both before and after peer review.

a postdoc

I've had manuscripts sent back for this reason several times in the last year and don't recall encountering the issue before then. It'd be nice if journals with this sort of policy would inform authors of it during submission or have a form about it authors must complete during submission.

elisa freschi

The point is just declaring that you have no conflict of interest.
Springer publishes a lot of journals and in the case of medicine the problem is real, e.g., you might be working for a certain company and write against the medicine produced by your rival company.
Declaring your source of funding is NOT part of your conflict of interest statement unless they have "skin in the game". You just thank them in the acknowledgements, that peer reviewers don't see.


Concerning "Conflict of interest": Could it be that you should have just selected "no conflict of interest", just in order to tick that box? Having a scholarship is not a conflict of interest! The point of this Q is rather for stuff like you publishing about medicine B while working for company A, that produces a direct competitor to B.

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