Conflict of Interest Policy
Editorial Board members of the American Journal of Transplantation (AJT) may have significant financial relationships with outside public and private entities that have an interest in transplantation issues. This is expected. Nevertheless, all participants in the activities of AJT should be governed exclusively by the best interests of the journal. Significant financial or administrative relationships that might create a conflict of interest must be fully disclosed.
All relationships in which a covered individual or immediate family member may have a material interest, including but not limited to those listed below. Disclosure for all Editorial Board members is updated annually. Where it is appropriate, individuals with conflicted interests will relinquish responsibility for specific editorial duties. The disclosure information is kept on file at the editorial office of AJT: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Holding stock of a worth greater than $50,000 US (as of January 1, 2003) in a company with an interest in transplantation or immunosuppression. This includes xenotransplantation and stem cell research.
- Having an ongoing consulting relationship with a corporation, including members of designated advisory boards worth more than $10,000 US per year. (This need not include ad hoc or one-time only advisory groups.)
- Having a spouse or 'significant other' with either of the above relationships, or some other member of immediate family.
- Holding a research grant or participating in a clinical trial as the principal investigator of $50,000 US or greater in the current year, for a company with an interest in transplantation as defined in number 1 above.
- Being an employee of a company with an interest in transplantation, or having a spouse, 'significant other', or immediate family member who is an employee of such a company.
Conflict of Interest for Reviewers
Conflict of interest for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process – an author, reviewer, or editor - has ties to activities that could inappropriately influence his or her judgment, whether or not judgment is in fact affected. Financial relationships with industry (for example, through employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, expert testimony), either directly or through immediate family, are usually considered to be the most important conflicts of interest. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.
Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making. Bias can often be identified and eliminated by careful attention to the scientific methods and conclusions of the work.
Participants in peer review should disclose their conflicting interests when called upon to review and excuse themselves where appropriate.
Disclosure of conflict of interest Information pertaining to the Editorial Board is kept on file at the editorial office (E-mail: email@example.com) and is updated annually. Where it is appropriate, individuals with conflicted interests will relinquish responsibility for specific editorial duties.
Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published.
Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential, but patient data should never be altered or falsified in an attempt to attain anonymity. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.
The requirement for informed consent should be included in the journal's instructions for authors. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.
Editorial Board Membership
The composition of the editorial board is determined by the Editor-in-Chief. The editorial board is approved en bloc by the Joint Council of the American societies (AST, ASTS). Membership on the editorial board is based on ensuring appropriate regional, national, and gender representation. The potential candidates are selected largely on the basis of their expertise in their field and their excellent past performance as referees for the journal, including the number of papers refereed and the quality of the reports. The term of appointment of the Associate Editors is normally three years, but is renewable. The Deputy Editors in turn are selected for representation of the organs, regions and areas of transplantation science that they cover. The term of Deputy Editors is usually five years, but also is renewable. The term of the Editor-in-Chief is normally five years, but is also renewable.
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