Q: "Legal" is required as a mandatory file in the submission process. What is this?
When I was going to submit my manuscript to Cardiovascular Pathology, I found that “Legal” is required as a mandatory file. COI is required as another mandatory file, so I’m not sure what is meant by “Legal”. One of my assumptions is that it is the information relating to copyright, but I’m not sure about this even after reading the Instructions for Authors. Is there any template for this mandatory file?
From what we know of the manuscript submission process for Elsevier journals, which Cardiovascular Pathology is a part of, ‘Legal’ is a main section in the submission form and ‘Conflict of Interest’ (COI) is a sub-section under Legal, and not files. In Conflict of Interest, you need to declare if you have such a conflict; if not, you simply write ‘None’. You typically don’t need to submit a separate file for conflict of interest, although you do need to mention in a separate section of your manuscript, if you do indeed have such a conflict.
A conflict of interest arises when there is some potential bias that could affect the researcher’s work. It could be a financial or non-financial gain. In research and research publication, it typically happens in the form of the researcher’s affiliation or association with an individual, group, or organization, or through the source of funding. To know more about conflicts of interest, you may go through these resources:
- Conflicts of interest
- How to identify and deal with conflicts of interest in research publication
- Disclosure of conflicts of interest: what do journals expect from authors?
For more information about Elsevier’s specifications for conflicts of interest, refer to these resources:
- What are Conflict of Interest Statements, Funding Source Declarations, Author Agreements/Declarations and Permission Notes?
- FACTSHEET: Competing Interests
Finally, if needed, and because conflicts of interest can sometimes be challenging to identify and resolve, you may also speak with a senior for further help and support. Additionally, the journal editor may also contact you later about this as needed.