The Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form is intended to provide readers of your review with information about your other interests that could influence how they receive and understand your work. The form is designed to be completed and stored electronically.
The following instructions are based on the assumption that you - as a Cochrane author - have received an email from the editorial base of a Cochrane Review Group with a link to the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form for your review, and that you have a user name and password for the Cochrane IMS (RevMan and Archie). If you have been sent an email without having a user name and password, if you think you have received the email by mistake, or if you have other questions that are not answered here, you should contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.
Step 1: Logging in
When you click the link in the email, your Internet browser should open and take you to the Archie login page where you have to enter your user name and password. (This step is skipped if you are already logged into Archie.) Read the next section if you have problems logging in - otherwise proceed to step 2.
- If nothing happens when you click the link, try copying the link into the address line of your browser manually. Also check that your computer is connected to the Internet.
- If you do not remember your user name and/or password you can use the 'Forgot your password?' link on the login page.
- If the link is not working, i.e. you get a 'page not found' error or a blank page before or after logging in, check that the link has not been broken up by your email sofware, so it extends over multiple lines.
An intact link should look like this, except the code at the end will be different:
If the link appears broken, try piecing it together by copying each part to the address line of your browser. Make sure all of the code is included.
- If you see the message 'You are not authorised to perform this action' after logging in, you have to make sure that the user name and password you have entered are in fact your own (the author's). You should never use another person's login details.
- If you see other error messages or experience problems that cannot be solved by following these instructions, please contact the Managing Editor of the Review Group.
Step 2: Completing the form
After logging in you should see the Conflicts of Interest form for your review. If this does not happen, e.g. if Archie opens on another page, try clicking the link in the email again.
The first form you open in Archie will be blank. After submitting your form for the first time, you will not have to start over again (see note below). When your review group sets up forms for a new review or review version, Archie will create a prefilled draft based on the following principles:
- If a previous version of the same review had a form attached, this will be used.
- Otherwise, the most recent form for any other review will be used.
Each form is tied to a published review version - or for draft forms, the next review version.
Note: Until at least one form has been fully submitted, all new draft forms will be blank, so it is possible that mutiple blank forms can be created for you at the outset. If you open a blank form, but have submitted a form for another review, you will have the option of updating the blank form.
You have one hour to complete the form, or you will be logged out and have to start the process again. You should never leave your computer unattended with the form open.
You must complete this form in one editing session, as it is not possible to save a draft. If you need to close the form without submitting it, you can either close the browser window, or you can click the Cancel button at the end of the form.
Step 3: Submitting the form
To submit the form, click the Submit button. A pop-up box with the message 'Thank you for submitting the form.' should then appear. Click OK.
Unless specifically agreed, you do not have to inform the Review Group that you have completed the form.
Note: You will not receive a confirmation email from the system. If you want to make sure the form has been submitted you can open it again, see the next section.
Returning to the form
You can always return to a form you have submitted if you want to check a detail or, in exceptional circumstances, to retract it.
The easiest way to access the form is to click the link in the email. If you no longer have the email, you can also log into Archie from the front page (http://archie.cochrane.org) and browse or search for your review. When found, right-click on the review title and choose Reports > Conflicts of Interest Forms, then click the Open button next to your name to see the form.