Competing Interests
A competing interest is anything that interferes with, or could be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision making, or publishing of an article. A detailed definition can be found at PLOS and ICMJE. Any potential competing interests are required to be declared at Bio-protocol (by authors, editors, and reviewers)
Because each published protocol should objectively document how the experiments have been performed, including the sources of reagents and equipment, we specifically request that competing interests also consider the choice of reagents and equipment.
What to declare
Competing interests can be either financial competing interests or non-financial competing interests, which are described in detail at PLOS. At Bio-protocol, one typical type of financial competing interest is the receipt of funding or free products from the vendors of the reagents/equipment or other advertisers.
How to declare
All potential competing interests are required to be disclosed in the “Competing interests” section designed for authors or editors or reviewers. In addition, there should be a clear indication in "Materials and Methods," "Software," or "Equipment" sections whenever the said reagents/equipment were funded or donated by the associated vendors.
Who should declare
Authors: At the initial submission, authors are responsible for disclosing all financial or non- financial competing interests that might be perceived to bias their work. Bio-protocol follows ICMJE guidelines and requires authors to complete a "Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest" form during the initial submission step.

Editors and reviewers: Editors and reviewers (paid or unpaid) must declare their own competing interests. Our guidelines to associate editors describe how to recommend protocols, including a section on recognizing COI when selecting protocols shown below.

Editors may not invite authors to publish a protocol with Bio-protocol for some common reasons listed below (but are not limited to):
  • They work at the same institution or organization as an author, currently or recently (within 5 years)
  • They collaborate with an author, currently or recently (within 5 years)
  • They have a financial relationship with the company who funded the research
  • They are the recipient of funding or free products from the vendors of the reagents/equipment that are used in the recommended protocol.
  • They have a personal relationship with an author that does not allow them to evaluate the manuscript objectively.

Associate editors receive small compensation for their time and effort spent recommending a protocol as well as reviewing the recommended protocol.

In our review form, our reviewers are also requested to review the author’s COI statement as well as declare their own potential COI.

Bio-protocol follows the guidance of the World Association of Medical Editors and the Council of Science Editors regarding editorial independence. The Editor-in-Chief and associate editors (or guest editors) at Bio-protocol have sole responsibility and accountability for the editorial content of the journal. Bio-protocol editors are completely shielded from the Bio-thing business. Editorial decisions are made solely based on scientific merit.

Executive staff who are involved in the editorial process must recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict or perceived conflict of interest exists. They must not influence the decision-making process on the selection or publication of these protocols.

The funders and sponsors of Bio-protocol as well as Bio-thing do not play any role in the selection, reviewing, or publishing of content. There is absolutely no influence of the advertisers on what protocols are selected/published and never will be.

Readers: Anyone who comments on published bio-protocols is required to declare all potential competing interests (financial or non-financial) at the time of posting the comment.

If an undisclosed competing interest comes to light after publication, Bio-protocol will take action as recommended in the COPE guidelines.
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