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KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal


Policies on conflict of interest, Human and animal rights, and Informed consent

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Research & publication ethics
  • Enacted on Jun 22, 2012
  • First revision Jul 1, 2017
  • Second revision Jan 1, 2022
  • Recently revised Sept 1, 2023

Conflict of Interest

"Conflict of Interest" refers to situations in which the professional judgment of researchers and IRB members, IRB administrators, etc. (hereinafter referred to as IRB stakeholders) regarding primary interests may be unduly influenced or potentially influenced by secondary interests.
"Significant Financial Conflict" means cases in which researchers and IRB stakeholders have significant financial interests related to the research, which may fall under any of the following circumstances:
  1. Cases where researchers stand to gain financial benefits such as patents or intellectual property rights if the research results are commercialized.
  2. Cases where the researchers or their immediate family members serve as directors, executives, or officers of pharmaceutical or bio-related companies.
  3. Cases where the researchers or their immediate family members have received remuneration exceeding 5 million KRW from publicly traded entities or hold equity interests valued at more than 5 million KRW as of the reporting date within the past year.
  4. Cases where the researchers or their immediate family members have received remuneration exceeding 5 million KRW from non-publicly traded entities or the researchers hold shares (e.g., stocks, stock options or other equity interests) in such entities.
"Immediate family members" refers to parents, spouses, children, and cohabitants in a de facto marriage relationship.
"Conflict of Interest Review Board (COIRB)" is a committee established to review reports related to conflicts of interest involving individuals and organizations. The COIRB examines whether significant conflicts of interest exist and manages such conflicts when verified.
The corresponding author of each article is responsible for informing the editor about any potential conflicts of interest that could impact the research or interpretation of data. It is important to disclose potential conflicts of interest in the cover letter, even if the authors are confident that their judgment has not been influenced during the preparation of the manuscript. Examples of such conflicts may include financial support or personal affiliations with pharmaceutical companies, political pressure from interest groups, or academic disputes. The disclosure forms should follow the format of the ICMJE Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflicts of Interest. The editor will decide whether to include details of the potential conflict in the published paper. Additionally, all sources of funding for the study must be explicitly stated. KMJ requests authors to inform its editor about any conflicts of interest before reviewing a specific manuscript.

Human and Animal rights

In accordance with stringent ethical standards, all research studies involving human subjects or human data within the KMJ must undergo a thorough review and obtain approval from a responsible Institutional Review Board (IRB). For guidance on investigations involving human materials, researchers are urged to adhere to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki (
Upon request, authors are expected to furnish a statement from the IRB or ethics committee confirming the approval of their research. KMJ retains the right to reject any work that may not meet the high ethical standards, even after formal approval has been obtained.
Subjects participating in the research should have received comprehensive instructions and must have expressed their informed consent by signing the appropriate paperwork. Authors may be required to submit a sample copy of a subject consent form for review.
In cases where consent is verbal rather than written, or if consent could not be secured, authors must elucidate the reasons for this in the manuscript. Above all, the use of verbal consent or the absence of consent must have been duly approved by the IRB or ethics committee.
Protecting patient privacy and anonymity is of utmost importance, and identifying information, including photographs, should be excluded from the manuscript unless an explicit written consent has been obtained from the individuals involved.
For studies involving humans, including case reports, it is crucial to specify whether informed consents were obtained from the study participants. The editor of KMJ may request copies of informed consents or IRB approval documents related to clinical studies involving human subjects.
Regarding animal experiments involving vertebrates or cephalopods, approval must be obtained from the authors' Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent ethics committee(s), and the research must align with applicable national and international guidelines. This approval must be secured before commencing the research. Additionally, studies involving pathogens requiring a high degree of biosafety should undergo review by a relevant committee (IBC), and details of such approval should be described in the Methods section of the manuscript. KMJ adheres to the guidelines established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, to address any instances of misconduct.

Informed Consent

In the research study, all participants, referred to as subjects, are required to undergo proper instruction about the study's objectives, procedures, and potential risks before they can participate. Their consent to participate is of utmost importance, and they express their willingness to join the study by signing the appropriate informed consent paperwork.
For authors intending to publish their research findings, they may be asked to provide a sample copy of the subject consent form, which is a crucial document outlining the subjects' understanding and agreement to participate in the study.
It is essential to adhere to ethical guidelines in obtaining consent. In some cases, consent might be given verbally rather than in written form. In such instances, the manuscript should include a comprehensive explanation of the reason behind opting for verbal consent, or if, for any reason, consent could not be obtained from certain participants. It is also crucial to mention that the use of verbal consent or the absence of consent was duly reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the ethics committee overseeing the research.
To ensure patient privacy and anonymity, the authors are encouraged to follow the guidelines provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) on Privacy and Confidentiality. These guidelines serve as a valuable resource for maintaining the confidentiality of the subjects' personal information while reporting the research findings accurately and transparently.
By following these stringent ethical considerations and privacy guidelines, researchers can uphold the integrity of their studies and respect the rights and well-being of their subjects, fostering trust and credibility within the scientific community.

KMJ : Kosin Medical Journal