Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE)

Scienceline Journals are members of ICMJE | International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and follow the ICMJE Recommendations (http://www.icmje.org/).

This statement is based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for Journal Editors that explains ethical behavior of all parties involved in the act of publishing an article for journals, i.e. the author, the Editor in Chief, the peer-reviewers and the publisher.

According to the ICMJE authorship criteria should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design of, or acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data, 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3. It is a requirement that all authors have been accredited as appropriate upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under Acknowledgements.

 

Roles and Responsibilities of Authors, Contributors, Reviewers, Editors, Publishers, and Owners

The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. In order to publish high-quality scientific resources, public trust in findings, and credit for people's ideas, the ethical standards for publication are followed:

 

A) The Role of Authors and Contributors

 

  1. Why Authorship Matters
  2. Who Is an Author?
  3. Non-Author Contributors

The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Before submission, the authors should make sure that the manuscript being submitted IS NOT a plagiarized and duplicated manuscript or a manuscript with falsificated and fabricated data, published previously and IS NOT being submitted for publication elsewhere. They are required to Report Standards, Accurate Data, Sufficient Detail and References, and provide the raw data to editor if needed.
Authorship of the article: The significant contributors should be listed as co-authors. Other contributors can be acknowledged. The corresponding author is solely responsible for communicating with the journal editors and with managing communication between coauthors. Before submission, the corresponding author ensures that all authors are included in the author list, its order has been agreed by co-authors, and that all authors are aware that the paper was submitted.
The authors are required to promptly notify the fundamental errors in published works.

 

B) Disclosure of Financial and Non-Financial Relationships and Activities, and Conflicts of Interest

  1. Participants
  2. Reporting Relationships and Activities

The funding acknowledgement and all sources of financial support for the project or any substantive conflict of interest that might be interpreted to influence the results of the paper should be disclosed.

The corresponding authors of manuscript being submitted are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The ICMJE has developed a Disclosure Form (.docx) to facilitate and standardize authors’ disclosures. Although Scienceline journals have their own declaration forms but the editors of journals accept ICMJE Disclosure Forms that filled and signed by the authors.
Articles should be published with statements or supporting documents, such as the ICMJE Disclosure Form, declaring:

  • Authors’ relationships and activities; and
  • Sources of support for the work, including sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources if any in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; any restrictions regarding the submission of the report for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement or restrictions regarding publication; and
  • Whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is on-going.

Reviewers should be asked at the time they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have relationships or activities that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests. 

 

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their relationships or activities (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which an interest that poses a potential conflict exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should regularly publish their own disclosure statements and those of their journal staff. Guest editors should follow these same procedures. 

 

 

C) Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process

 

  1. Authors: Authors should abide by all principles of authorship and declaration of relationships and activities. see full description
  2. Journals: a) Confidentiality; b) Timeliness; c) Peer Review; d) Integrity; e) Diversity and Inclusion; f) Journal Metrics; see full description
  3. Peer Reviewers

Reviewers should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential.
They must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published.
They must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.
Reviewers who seek assistance from a trainee or colleague in the performance of a review should acknowledge these individuals’ contributions in the written comments submitted to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript as outlined above.
Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed.
Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite.
Reviewers should declare their relationships and activities that might bias their evaluation of a manuscript and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists.
Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. Reviewers should explain and support their judgement so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments.
Reviewers should indicate whether their comments are theri own opinion or are reflected by the data and evidence.
When reviewers' decisions are as "Revise – either major or minor" they should explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether they would be happy to review the revised article. If reviewers are recommending a revision, they must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is necessary.

 

 D) Journal Owners and Editorial Freedom 

  1. Journal Owners
  2. Editorial Freedom

Owners and editors of medical journals share a common purpose, but they have different responsibilities, and sometimes those differences lead to conflicts.

The Scienceline journals by adhering ICMJE adopts the World Association of Medical Editors’ definition of editorial freedom , which holds that editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Journal owners should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions. Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the commercial goals of the publisher. 

The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. Scienceline plays no part in this decision. The editor will weigh all views and may call for another opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision. 

Editors-in-chief should also have the final say in decisions about which advertisements or sponsored content, including supplements, the journal will and will not carry, and they should have final say in use of the journal brand and in overall policy regarding commercial use of journal content... see full description

 

 

E) Protection of Research Participants 

 

Researchers should have proper regard for conservation and human and animal welfare considerations. For animal welfare, attention is drawn to the 'Guidelines for the Treatment of Animals in Research and Teaching '. Any possible adverse consequences of the work for populations or individual organisms must be weighed against the possible gains in knowledge and its practical applications. If the approval of an ethics committee is required, the authors should provide the name of the committee and the approval number obtained, in declaration section of the manuscript.

All investigators should ensure that the planning conduct and reporting of human research are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013 . All authors should seek approval to conduct research from an independent local, regional or national review body (e.g., ethics committee, institutional review board). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the local, regional or national review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. Approval by a responsible review body does not preclude editors from forming their own judgment whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Patient consent should be written and archived with the journal, the authors, or both, as dictated by local regulations or laws. Applicable laws vary from locale to locale, and journals should establish their own policies with legal guidance. Since a journal that archives the consent will be aware of patient identity, some journals may decide that patient confidentiality is better guarded by having the author archive the consent and instead providing the journal with a written statement that attests that they have received and archived written patient consent.
Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are de-identified, authors should provide assurance, and editors should so note, that such changes do not distort scientific meaning.
The requirement for informed consent should be included in the journal’s instructions for authors. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare .

 


Scienceline journals have also extra precautions and a stated policy for evaluation of manuscripts submitted and involved in editorial decisions.

 

Duties of the Publisher

We are committed to ensuring that commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. In addition, Scienceline journals will assist in communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful to editors. The publisher also has the right to consult with the editor of the journals every year and, if necessary, make changes to improve the publications to the highest possible level. Finally, we are working closely with other publishers and industry associations to set standards for best practices on ethical matters, errors and retractions--and are prepared to provide specialized legal review and counsel if necessary. To better understanding how publishers and editors work together please visit here (topics are: Selecting a good editor, How publishers and editors work together, Changing editors ... ).

Sanctions

In the event that there are documented violations of any of the above mentioned policies in Scienceline journals, the following sanctions can be applied:
• Immediate rejection of the infringing manuscript, every other manuscript submitted to our journals by any of the authors of the infringing manuscript.
• Prohibition against all of this manuscript's authors for any new submissions, either individually or in combination with other authors and also serving on the Editorial Board of Scienceline Journals, for a minimum of five years.
• If the violations of the policies are found to be particularly outrageous, the publisher reserves the right to impose additional sanctions.

Plagiarism Detection

Peer review is at the heart of the processes and the success of not just journals but of all of science. It is the method by which grants are allocated, papers published, academics promoted, and Nobel prizes won (Richard Smith, 2006 ). As part of our commitment to the protection and enhancement of the peer review process, our journals have an obligation to assist the scientific community in all aspects of publishing ethics, especially in cases of (suspected) duplicate submission or plagiarism (including self-plagiarism). All manuscripts will be checked by ​Docol©c​, a plagiarism finding tool. The received papers with plagiarism rate of more than 10% for research papers and 20% for review papers are immediately rejected (See sample of Docol©c-Report).

Checklist

1. Publication and authorship:
- list of references, financial support;
- no plagiarism, no fraudulent data;
- forbidden to publish same research in more than one journal.

2. Author's responsibilities:
- authors obliged to participate in peer review process;
- all authors have significantly contributed to the research;
- statement that all data in article are real and authentic;
- all authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.

3. Peer review / responsibility for the reviewers:
- Judgments should be objective;
- reviewers should have no conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors and/or the research funders;
- reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited;
- reviewed articles should be treated confidentially.

4. Editorial responsibilities:
- e.g. editors have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article;
- editors should have no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept;
- only accept a paper when reasonably certain;
- when errors are found, promote publication of correction or retraction;
- preserve anonymity of reviewers.

5. Publishing ethics issues:
- Monitoring/safeguarding publishing ethics by editorial board;
- Guidelines for retracting articles;
- Maintain the integrity of the academic record;
- Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
- Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed;
- no plagiarism, no fraudulent data.

 


 Copyright Notice

altScienceline journals licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions: 

1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving. 

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms: 1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. 2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. 3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

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(Revised on 09 January 2021)