The most easily identifiable conflicts of interest are economic relationships such as direct employment, payment for consultancies, participation in companies, fees, authorship of patents or payments for conferences. However, there may also be conflicts of interest arising from friendships, intellectual rivalries, academic competitions or beliefs. When submitting a manuscript for publication, all authors are responsible for declaring any financial or personal relationship with any public or private entity that could (intentionally) influence the results of their work. Similarly, authors must declare any non-financial relationship that could cause a conflict of interest in their manuscript (personal, academic, ideological, intellectual, political or religious).
Conflicts of interest, both financial and non-financial, must be disclosed at the time the manuscript is submitted. The idea is not to prevent authors with potential conflicts of interest from publishing; it is that such conflicts can be clearly identified, so that the readers can judge if the authors could be affected by some predisposition and this could influence the work.