Q: What is the threshold amount for disclosure of financial conflict of interest?

Detailed Question -

In Japanese Society or Journal, the criteria for total amount of money to be disclosed for Conflict of Interest is clearly specified. However, the international journal where I plan to submit does not specify it; there is no description stating “Disclose the amount of money in case of over XX EUR/USD).” Does this mean I have to disclose any amount, even if I received 100 yen from the relevant company or organization?

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Answer:

According to the National Insititutes of Health (NIH), a financial conflict of interest exists when “an Investigator's Significant Financial Interest is related to a NIH-funded research project and could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting” of the research. While most international journals do not specify a threshold amount to be disclosed for conflict of interest, “significant financial interest” is defined as any amount more than $5000, according to the Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) 2011 Revised Regulation. Additionally, all significant financial interest of the investigator or researcher’s spouse or dependent children, exceeding the abovementioned threshold amount, must be disclosed. Along with that, any equity interests that might benefit the researcher, their spouse, or dependent children should also be reported. 

You will have to include the following information:

  • Name, type, and purpose of the organization with which you have a financial interest, along with the nature of relationship that you or your family has with the organization.  
  • Specific amount (in dollars) of the financial interests of you or your family (including total compensation received in the last 12 months, and/or the number of stock shares you and your family members hold).
  • If you do not have any significant financial interest, you have to give a declaration to that effect.