Guidance for MEs on DoI forms in Convey

Guidance for Managing Editors – Editorial Manager/Convey
Guidance for Managing Editors – Editorial Manager/Convey

If you have queries about any aspect of this guidance, please contact support@cochrane.org

  1. Background
  2. Notifications to authors
  3. View authors' declarations in Editorial Manager
  4. Authors' 'Declarations of interest' section in reviews
  5. Access to Convey for editorial teams
  6. Declarations of Interest within the editorial process

1. Background

Cochrane is moving its editorial process to Editorial Manager. Within Editorial Manager, authors’ Declarations of Interest (DoIs) are requested and completed via Convey, a not-for-profit Declaration of Interest management system provided by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Convey allows Cochrane to support the requirements of the Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020), including assessment of author declarations before new titles are registered; and automated annual reminders to authors to update their declarations while their review is in progress.

Cochrane’s revised Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020) runs in parallel with the previous Commercial Sponsorship policy (2014) which is applicable to protocols, reviews and updates in progress before 14 October 2020. All authors submitting work to Editorial Manager answer the same questions and declare their interests in the same way in Convey regardless of which policy applies; editorial staff then assess these declarations against the applicable policy.

Back to top


2. Notifications to authors
 

A. New submissions

All authors who submit work to Editorial Manager will automatically receive an email from AAMC following their submission, asking them to create an account and log in to Convey and declare any relevant interests. The automated email is triggered for new submissions (not revisions), for:

• Full title proposals
• Draft protocols, reviews and updates

The submission confirmation email to authors contains the following text:

Cochrane uses Convey, a service run by the Association of American Medical Colleges to facilitate the collection of Declarations of Interest. You will shortly receive an email from ‘Do_Not_Reply@aamc.org’ asking you to complete a Declaration of Interest for %GLOBAL_MS_ID%. Please check your junk and spam folders in case this email is misdirected. Please follow the instructions in the email to declare all relevant interests. If you have not used Convey previously, select 'Create Account' on the Convey login screen. When you have created your Convey account, you will be redirected to the Declaration of Interest form for your review. (Please note that if you have submitted an unsolicited title proposal, you will only be asked to submit your conflicts should the CRG ask for a full review proposal.) 

 B. Weekly reminders

Authors who do not complete their declaration will receive a weekly reminder email from Convey, asking them to do so. Author queries on Convey emails, Convey account login and any other issues should be sent to support@cochrane.org

C. Annual reminders

Authors of protocols, reviews and updates in progress, will receive an automated annual reminder to review and update their DoI statement. Authors can use the link in their original request email from Convey to update their interests at any time; they can also log into Convey and update the relevant disclosure. Authors are also asked to let the editorial team know of any relevant changes by email. See instructions to authors on contacting Review Groups.

D. Ad hoc reminders

Editorial teams can also send reminder emails to authors from within Convey. See 5C below.


3. View authors’ declarations in Editorial Manager
 

A. View DoI information in Editorial Manager

Authors’ declarations made in Convey, are visible within Editorial Manager, as part of the submission details. Editorial staff do not need to log in to Convey to view DoI details.

When you receive a new submission, view the Details from the Action menu. If the automated email to authors has been sent, the link to View CoI Disclosure will be visible in the Conflict of Interest section. Please note that it may take up to 60 minutes after authors submit their work, for the automated request to be sent. When authors have received the emails, when you click View CoI Disclosure the status will show as Requested.

If the Corresponding Author has not listed all co-authors when submitting, you can Edit Submission to add co-authors and trigger notifications. There is currently a known bug which is means automated emails are not being triggered for authors added after submission. In such cases please contact support@cochrane.org for assistance.  

Click View CoI Disclosure to open the summary report from Convey.



Use the arrows on the right-hand side to expand and collapse each author’s record. Show Full Details shows the author’s responses to Cochrane’s CoI form within Convey. Please note that you should always click Show Full Details and should not rely on the information shown under ‘Summary of interests’ as this will not show the answers to any questions asked in Convey that are specific to Cochrane’s policy.

B. Update DoI information in Editorial Manager

Updates to declarations will not automatically show up in Editorial Manager. However, you can use the Request Updated COI Data link to pull any additional information authors have added to Convey since their last disclosure. Please note that this does not send a request email to authors. You can refresh DoI information in Editorial Manager via the Request Updated COI Data link:

  • If authors contact you to let you know their DoI information has changed
  • Prior to publication

C. Flag DoI status

If one or more authors have not yet completed their declarations, click on the Flag icon next to Details and add a Submission Flag Missing DOI. Continue to check daily until all authors have submitted their DoIs. You can then add additional flags, DOI Complete and/or Author indicates conflicts to show the submission’s status in the system.

D. DoI collection for Amendments

In line with the Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020), DoIs should be collected for all Amendments that require a new citation version. For Amendments, you will need to manually trigger the request to authors to complete a DoI form in Convey. To do this, once the Amendment has been submitted to Editorial Manager, view the Details from the Action menu and click on Initiate CoI Disclosure Retrieval. When authors have received the emails, when you click View CoI Disclosure the status will show as Requested.

Back to top


4. Authors’ 'Declarations of interest’ section in reviews

The DoI form in Convey does not ask individual authors to write a DoI statement, but to declare all relevant interests. For new titles registered on or after 14 October 2020, the Editorial & Methods Department (EMD) can draft the initial DoI statement. When you accept a new proposal, you can assign an Editorial Task and choose Declaration of Interest Writing Task to send a request to the Research Integrity team. This service is just to draft the DoI statement, and the ME is responsible for checking compliance of the author team with the CoI policy. Please note that, if the protocol exceeds 12 months to write or publish, the ME is responsible for checking any subsequent changes to authors’ DoI form responses and ensuring the ‘Declarations of interest’ section of the protocol is updated accordingly.

Where the EMD-statement writing service is not available, the review Contact Person (Corresponding Author) may draft a statement for all authors, based on the information in the submitted forms. The Corresponding Author has permission to view forms for the whole author team in Editorial Manager. You may prefer to draft this statement within the editorial base. The statement drafted by the Research Integrity team or editorial staff, can be included in the invitation email asking authors to begin work on their protocol. Authors can then add the statement to the ‘Declarations of interest’ section of the protocol.

When checking authors’ statements, or drafting your own, please follow the below guidelines.

Declarations in reviews governed by the Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020) must include all financial and non-financial relationships that are relevant to the topic of the review (see definition of ‘relevant’) that existed 36 months before title registration, or work commencing on a review update, through to publication of the review or review update.

  1. All interests declared in the DoI form must be included in authors’ DoI statements.
  2. A DoI statement for each author must be provided even if an author has not declared any interests.
  3. If the information provided by an author in the DoI form is incomplete, unclear, or contradictory, the author should be asked to provide/clarify the information and update their DoI form. The DoI statement must be updated when any changes are made to the DoI form.
 Statement template text  Example
No interests declared XX: has declared that they have no conflict of interest. FR: has declared that they have no conflict of interest.
Financial interests declared Payments to institution: XX: reports ‘relationship/activity’ from ‘company/organisation name’; paid to institution. GM: reports consultancy fees and travel expenses from Pfizer; paid to institution.
SB: reports grant for research from Bayer; paid to Ottawa Hospital.
Personal payments: XX: reports ‘relationship/activity’ from ‘company/organisation name’; personal payment. HY: reports ownership of stocks in AstraZeneca; personal payment.
Non-financial interests declared XX: reports ‘relationship/activity’ that is related to the topic of this review + ‘company/organisation name’. SG: reports being the PI of a study that is eligible for inclusion in the work; the study was funded by GSK but the researchers retained complete control over the study design, methods, data analysis and reporting.
RK: reports declaring an opinion on the topic of the review in the BMJ.

 

In future, the following text will also appear in the ‘Authors’ Declarations of Interests’ section of reviews in RevMan Web, to notify authors that they should not provide any information in this section which does not appear in their DoI forms. We will keep MEs updated on the implementation timetable for this.

The statement entered here must accurately reflect all interests declared by authors in their individual Declaration of Interest (DoI) forms. Please do not add any new information in this section. If your circumstances have changed, please contact your editorial team.

Back to top


5. Access to Convey for editorial teams

For the majority of reviews, all authors’ DoI information will be pulled from Convey into Editorial Manager, and no direct access to Convey is needed. However, editorial staff need to log in to Convey to generate a link to request author declarations, and to view the declarations, in the following scenarios:

  1. Before work begins on a review update 
  2. For annual reminders for invited submissions where the authors have not yet submitted work to Editorial Manager 
  3. A new author joins an existing team who have not yet submitted work to Editorial Manager 

You may prefer to have one Convey account login for your group, to allow different editorial team members to log in and access author disclosures at the same account. When your group starts using Editorial Manager, please let the Support Teams know which email address you would prefer to use to access the system. Your chosen email address will receive an automated message from Do_Not_Reply@aamc.org, inviting you to create a Convey account as a Disclosure Manager. If you have not received this email and your group is using Editorial Manager please contact support@cochrane.org.

Convey is not linked to the Cochrane Account system. You will need to create a separate account.

A. Create a DoI link for an individual author, or author team

Log in to Convey. If you have multiple roles in the system select the Disclosure Manager role.


On the Managing Disclosures screen, select Manage Discloser Lists.

 

On the Discloser Lists screen, select Create New List

Enter the review title in both the Discloser List Name and Description fields. The Description field is important as this information is pulled in to system notification emails to authors, asking them to complete a disclosure.

Enter Disclosure Purpose using the following naming conventions:

  • For review updates – Pre-Update-Disclosure
  • For annual reminders – Annual-Disclosure
  • For additional authors New-Author-Disclosure

Enter your contact details and add dates if relevant. Set the Automatic Email Distribution to On and Create List.

On the Manage Disclosers screen, select Add and enter each author's details in turn. Use the author email as IDAdd & Send Request to trigger emails to authors.

On the Discloser Lists screen, you can select to receive notifications each time an author completes a disclosure related to this list, or a daily summary of new disclosures.


B. View and export author disclosures

To view and export disclosures associated with a link you have created, log in to Convey as a Disclosure Manager and select Manage Disclosures on the top toolbar.

Select List from the Discloser List dropdown and find the review title


To export DoIs for an author or an author team, select the relevant authors using the tickboxes on the left-hand side of the screen and click the blue Export Disclosures button.

Tick to export Disclosure with Supporting Documents and Disclosure with Additional Questions and click the blue Export button. 

You can add these as attachments to the File Inventory on the relevant review in Editorial Manager.

If you are collecting DOIs prior to authors starting work on an update, when the update is submitted to Editorial Manager the authors will automatically be requested to re-submit their DoI, which will be visible in Editorial Manager directly (as in 3A above).


C. Send reminder emails to authors

Authors who do not complete their declaration will receive a weekly reminder email from Convey, asking them to do so. However, Convey does provide the option to re-send requests and reminders to authors.

  • Log into Convey and select Manage Discloser Lists. Search for the list using the Global Manuscript ID. This is visible on the submission Details in EM. (Please note that the Global Manuscript ID is due to be replaced with the Manuscript number and title in Convey. This change is due to be made at the end of September 2021.)
  • Tick to select author(s) who have not yet submitted disclosures, and click Send Email.

  • Select Message on the email screen to re-send a previous message or to compose a new message. Selecting Most recent message will give you the option to resend a reminder.
  • Edit the opening paragraph of the message on the email screen as needed and Review and Confirm.
  • Confirm and Send and then the confirmation pop-up appears, choose Yes, send the Email.
  • You will see an onscreen notification that the reminder was sent.

Back to top


6. Declarations of Interest within the editorial process

In accordance with the Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020), the key timepoints for authors to declare their interests are:

  • Before title registration
  • Before work begins on an update
  • Prior to publication

A. New review proposal submitted

 Task  Further information
Authors submit full review proposal in Editorial Manager (full title proposals are submitted after authors have submitted an uninvited short title proposal; or when authors are invited to submit a new review). Full review proposals
Authors receive DoI request email from Convey and submit DoI.  
ME receives submission and adds flag Missing DOI. Flag DoI status
ME checks daily for completed forms and checks DoI in Editorial Manager when all forms received. View DoI information in Editorial Manager
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to Research Integrity Editors and CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME may assign editorial task Declaration of Interest Writing Task. Assign an editorial task
ME invites authors to begin work on protocol directly after accepting the full review proposal. Protocols, reviews and updates
ME adds DoI statement to invitation email to authors, for authors to copy into their protocol in RevMan. Declaration of interest statements


B. New protocol, review or update submitted for editorial approval

 Task  Further information
Authors submit draft to Editorial Manager.  
Authors receive DoI request email from Convey and submit DoI.  
ME receives submission and adds flag Missing DOI. View authors’ declarations in Editorial Manager
ME checks daily for completed forms and checks DoI in Editorial Manager when all forms received. View DoI information in Editorial Manager
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to Research Integrity Editor CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements


C. Revised protocol, review or update submitted for editorial approval 

 Task  Further information
Authors submit draft to Editorial Manager.  
Authors receive acknowledgement email from Editorial Manager asking them to update declarations in Convey if needed and inform editorial team by email.  
ME refreshes interests in Editorial Manager using Request Updated COI Data link. Update DoI information in Editorial Manager
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements


D. Protocol, review or update accepted for publication

 Task  Further information
Authors submit final draft to Editorial Manager.  
Authors receive acknowledgement email from Editorial Manager asking them to update declarations in Convey if needed and inform editorial team immediately by email.  
ME refreshes interests in Editorial Manager using Request Updated COI Data link. Update DoI information in Editorial Manager
When sending for copy-edit, ME adds note to ask copy-editor to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Set Final Disposition


E. New updates invited

 Task  Further information
ME logs in to Convey and creates Discloser List and sends emails to authors. Create a DoI link for authors
ME adds flag Missing DOI. Flag DoI status
ME checks daily for completed forms and exports report when declarations received. ME adds report to File Inventory in Editorial Manager. View and export author disclosures
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements


F. Annual reminders if over 12 months since last submission, for protocols, reviews or updates in development where there is a previous submission in Editorial Manager

 Task  Further information
Authors receive annual reminder emails from EM, if it has been over 12 months since their last submission. Reminder email asks authors to contact editorial team to report any change in DoI.  
Authors update declarations in Convey if needed and inform editorial team by email.  
ME refreshes interests in Editorial Manager using Request Updated COI Data link. Update DoI information in Editorial Manager
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements


G. Annual reminders if over 12 months since authors invited to submit, for protocols, reviews or updates in development where there is no previous submission in Editorial Manager

 Task  Further information
Authors receive annual reminder emails from EM, if it has been over 12 months since they were invited to submit. Reminder email asks authors to contact editorial team to report any change in DoI.  
Authors inform editorial team by email of any relevant changes.  
If informed of a relevant change by an author, ME logs in to Convey and creates Discloser List and sends emails to authors. Create a DoI link for authors
ME adds flag Missing DOI. Flag DoI status
ME checks daily for completed forms and exports report when declarations received. ME adds report to File Inventory in Editorial Manager. View and export author disclosures
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements

H. Amendment requiring new citation version submitted to Editorial Manager

 Task  Further information
Amendment submitted to Editorial Manager.  
ME manually triggers DoI request for from Editorial Manager.  DoI collection for Amendments
Authors receive DoI request email from Convey and submit DoI.  
ME checks daily for completed forms and checks DoI in Editorial Manager when all forms received. View DoI information in Editorial Manager
If necessary, ME adds flag Author indicates conflicts and refers queries to CoI Panel using current processes. Conflict of Interest panel
If no prohibitive conflicts, ME adds flag DOI Complete. Flag DoI status
ME asks authors to update DoI statement in RevMan file if required. Declaration of interest statements


Back to top


Editorial staff and group editors

The Conflict of Interest policy for Cochrane Library content (2020) applies to everyone involved in the editorial process. From January 2021 the role-based DoI forms for editorial staff and group editors will collect information required to assess compliance with the revised policy.

Editorial DoI forms will not move into Convey. Editorial staff and group editors should continue to complete these in their Cochrane Account. MEs can review the forms submitted by editorial staff and editors in their group by filtering the review group list on the Organisational Chart of Declarations of Interest.

Newly-appointed editors must be free of relevant financial interest from the date of appointment. Editors already in post have 5 years from policy launch to divest themselves of any financial interests relevant to the group’s topic area. If they have relevant financial interests, during the 5 years from policy launch, they should not undertake peer review, be a contact editor or provide sign-off on Cochrane Reviews to which their conflicts relate. Editors should not acquire any new relevant financial interests during the 5-year grace period, so that by October 2025 they will be free of any relevant financial interests.


Click here for a recording of a training session on using Editorial Manager / Convey to collect author declarations of interest. The slides from the session are also available here

Back to top