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.
It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society of society-owned or sponsored journals.
Duties of Editors
1. Peer review:
The editor should:
- Ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary the editor should seek additional opinions.
- Select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field.
- Review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential bias.
2. Fair play:
The editor should:
- Evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content, academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope regardless the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
- Encourage transparency, complete, honest reporting, and ensuring that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected from them.
- Use the journal’s standard electronic submission system for all journal communications.
- Determine the timing of publishing articles and have full authority on editing them.
- Involvement, cooperation and take responsive measures in investigations when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper.
The editor must:
- Protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers, unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers.
- Protect reviewers’ identities.
- Keep privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review confidential and not used for personal advantage.
- Recuse himself from considering manuscripts in which he/she has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, he/she will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.
- Declare any potential editorial conflicts of interest to the publisher.
- Detect any misconduction made by the publisher by using plagiarism programs.
Duties of Reviewers
1. Contribution to Editorial Decisions:
- Assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author.
- Assists the author improving the paper with observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments without personal criticism of the authors.
- Is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies in the heart of the scientific method.
- Can inform the editor and decline participation in the review process if he/she feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible.
- Identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
- Draws the attention of the editor and the author for ethical issues in the article including any similarity, overlap with other published papers or any observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications and not accompanied by the relevant citation.
- Not share the review or information about the paper with anyone or contact the authors directly without the permission of the editor.
- Keep manuscripts received as confidential documents.
- Not use unpublished articles for personal advantage.
- Not have any bias towards or against authors so names of authors are kept confidential from reviewers.
- Mention any conflicts of interest to the editors and decline the invitation.
Duties of Authors
1-Following Journal’s Instructions:
a) Present an accurate account of the work performed followed by an objective discussion.
b) Fulfill all details and references to permit others to replicate the work.
c) Follow editorial opinions and technical modifications.
d) Not enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original (only manipulations for clarity of the figure is accepted).
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable.
Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from "passing off" another's paper as the author's own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
a) Not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal.
b) Give the permission for obtaining information in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications.
5-Authorship of the Paper:
Only persons who meet these authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content:
a) Made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study.
b) Drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content.
c) Have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication.
All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section after their written permission to be named as been obtained.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.
6-Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Authors should disclose any conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript.
7-Hazards and animal subjects
Authors must clearly identify in the manuscript if his work involves any unusual hazards. If the work involves the use of animals participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines.
Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided on request.
Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions necessary", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.
Author must notify:
- When he/she discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper if deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or the publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains an error, it is the obligation of the author to cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where requested.
- At the earliest stage possible (generally by submitting a disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript)—disclose any conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript.
Duties of Publisher
1-Handling of unethical publishing behavior:
In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work.
The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.
2-Access to journal's content:
The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.