Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest in Publications and Presentations

A conflict of interest (COI) occurs when investigators (or their sponsors, staff, or close relatives; and/or the university) have a financial, legal, professional or personal relationship with other organizations (or their employees) that is related to, and could therefore influence, their research.

Although these relationships are natural (and often encouraged), there is a risk that they may bias the design, conduct or reporting of research—therefore, they must be managed appropriately. COI management plans typically include disclosure of the COI in research-related publications and presentations. Such disclosure helps editors, reviewers, readers, and audiences make informed judgments about potential for bias in the reported research.

For publications and presentations, a disclosure statement should be included each time the article or presentation is related to the interest and/or to the research, in accord with the COI management plan and with the policies of the journal or meeting’s host organization.



  • Potential COIs relating to a submitted manuscript (or a presentation) might include consultancies, service on scientific/managerial boards, advocacy groups, research grants/contracts, honoraria, intellectual property (including patents), licenses/royalties, and/or stock options/ownership.
  • If a COI existed during the design or conduct of the research, the relevant interest should be disclosed even if it is no longer held.
  • Remember to disclose both to the journal editors (or meeting organizers) and in the publication/presentation itself. Individual journals, may, for example, have specific disclosure forms to be filled out and reviewed by the referees/editors. If the journal does not have a form, it’s good practice to disclose in the cover letter.
  • For articles, individual journals may have specific formatting rules (e.g., disclosures are at the end of the article, or at the beginning). If not, the Acknowledgements section is an appropriate place for your disclosures. Remember that the corresponding author is responsible for soliciting and reporting disclosures of ALL authors.
  • Disclose only those relationships relevant to the publication/presentation in question. A long list of unrelated relationships serves only to obscure the most relevant interests.
  • The more specific the disclosure, the easier it is for the recipients to judge the potential for bias. Investigators with multiple relationships to a single entity should disclose each specific relationship (e.g., Chief Scientific Officer and equity holder).
  • If making a presentation, disclosures should be made in an introductory slide. Presenters should explain what is being disclosed, and keep the slide visible long enough to allow the audience time to digest the disclosure statement(s), and to ask questions if they arise.

Additional Information

Additional information can be obtained from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), or by contacting Dr. Lory Hayes, Director of the UM Office of Disclosures & Relationship Management (DRM) at 305-243-5036 or lhayes@miami.edu.