A competing interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research findings) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). By requiring the disclosure of all funding sources and competing interests, we are seeking to improve the transparency of scientific communications by providing information that could be useful in the review process and in the interpretation of the author's conclusions. It is a statement included at the end of the manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, it is still important to indicate in the publication that there were no funding sources and/or no competing interests by stating: ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.
The Editor will review and approve the statement prior to its publication with the paper.