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Publishing Ethics

¡¡¡¡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 authors¡¯ work and 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: authors, journal editors, peer reviewers, publishers and society of society-owned or sponsored journals.
Duties of Editors
Publication decision
¡¡¡¡Editors¡¯ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper¡¯s importance, originality and clarity, and the study¡¯s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal. Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
Fair play
¡¡¡¡Editors should ensure that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are clearly identified, all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers (including statistical review where appropriate), and submissions from members of the journal¡¯s staff or editorial board receive an fair, objective and unbiased evaluation. Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from the journal owner/publisher
¡¡¡¡Editors should provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them including the need to keep submitted material to their journals in confidence while under review. Editors should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers¡¯ identities are protected unless they use an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.
¡¡¡¡Editors must obey laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction. Regardless of local statutes,however, they should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions. It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from people who might recognize themselves or be identified by others. It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, it is impossible to obtain consent and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.
Disclosure and Conflicts of interest
¡¡¡¡Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission. Editors should send reviewers¡¯ comments to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libelous remarks.
Involvement and cooperation in investigations
¡¡¡¡Editors should seek to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal encouraging academic institutions to recognize peer review activities as part of the scholarly process, should monitor the performance of peer reviewers and taking steps to ensure this is of high standard, and should develop and maintain a database of suitable reviewers and update this on the basis of reviewer performance
Duties of Reviewers
¡¡¡¡Contribution to editorial decision
¡¡¡¡Standards of objectivity
¡¡¡¡Acknowledgement of source
¡¡¡¡Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Duties of Authors
¡¡¡¡Reporting standards
¡¡¡¡Data access and retention
¡¡¡¡Originality and plagiarism
¡¡¡¡Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
¡¡¡¡Acknowledgement of sources
¡¡¡¡Authorship of the paper
¡¡¡¡Hazards and human or animal subjects
¡¡¡¡Disclosure and conflicts of interest
¡¡¡¡Fundamental errors in published works
¡¡¡¡Publishing responsibilities of authors
¡¡¡¡Reporting standards
¡¡¡¡Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
¡¡¡¡Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial opinion works should be identified as such.
Hazards and human or animal subjects
¡¡¡¡If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
Use of patient images or case details
¡¡¡¡Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper.
¡¡¡¡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 in publication. 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.
¡¡¡¡Particular care should be taken with obtaining consent where children are concerned (in particular where a child has special needs or learning disabilities), where an individual¡¯s head or face appears, or where reference is made to an individual¡¯s name or other personal details.