Electronic Journal of General Medicine is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal. Publisher, editors, reviewers, and authors must follow the following ethical guidelines to ensure the delivery of research material of the highest quality.
The journal supports the code of conduct set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (https://publicationethics.org/) and has adopted the Requirements for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/).
Authorship: In accordance with ICMJE recommendations on authorship, authorship must be based on 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. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Non-author contributors should be acknowledged. All author information must be added to the submission system during manuscript submission. Additionally, individual contributions of each author should be clearly specified.
Conflicts of interest: Authors are required to disclose any conflict of interest that might bias or be seen to bias their submission. Such conflicts may stem from financial relationships, personal relationships, rivalries, beliefs, etc. To prevent ambiguity and to standardize the disclosures, authors are asked to state explicitly in an accompanying ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Authors must reveal any conflict including 1) financial interests or arrangements with a company whose product was used in a study or is referred to in a manuscript, 2) any financial interests of arrangement with a competing company, 3) any direct payment to an author(s) from any source for the purpose of writing the manuscript, and 4) any other financial connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. Authors may be asked to provide additional details about the interest. Depending on the details, the article may be prevented from publication. If the manuscript is published, such information must be communicated in a note following the text, before the references.
Funding: Funding sources of the study should be clearly stated. The funder can be a person, a commercial company or a government institution, such as a research council or a university. If the funder is involved in the design or fabrication of the article, details should be clearly defined.
Ethical conduct of research using human subjects & using animals: Authors must ensure that all research works submitted to the journal comply with applicable laws and regulations of the affiliated institutions and governing bodies. Specifically, for experimental, clinical, and drug researches that involves human or animal participants, authors must strictly follow all procedures defined by the international agreements and laws on human and animal rights (such as “WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research involving Human Subjects”, “Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals”, or any other relevant set of ethical principles). Authors are obliged to obtain and document institutional ethics committee approvals, informed patient consents, and other legal permissions related to the study.
Consent of publication: In order to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, appropriate signed consents and permissions must be obtained to include any participant information, such as case images, case details. Authors should not send the signed consent forms to the journal since they include confidential patient information. Instead, authors must include a statement to the journal that informed patient consent was obtained from the participants and that the original forms are held by the treating institution.
Clinical trials: If the study involves clinical trials, authors must register the clinical trials in a publicly accessible primary registry that participates in WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or in https://clinicaltrials.gov/, which are accepted by ICMJE. Authors must provide the trial registration number during submission.
Vulnerable groups and individuals: Groups or individuals that may be incapable of anticipating, coping with or recovering from the impact of the research setting must receive special consideration. They may be unable give an informed consent and are susceptible to coercion. Research may involve vulnerable groups and individuals if and only if it is impossible to carry out the research without their involvement, and the vulnerable group benefits from the outcomes of the research.
Handling confidential data: Right of privacy of the persons or organizations that are included in the work is of utmost importance and should not be violated without their informed consent. Authors must take all necessary precautions to protect participant names such as healthcare information. Patient images should be made anonymous. Images that may cause offense should be avoided. Whenever necessary, authors must take measures to minimize any potential physical and psychological harm to the participants of the study.
Data sharing and reproducibility: Manuscript submissions must be accompanied by data sharing statements that include whether data of the study will be shared, what data will be shared, whether additional documents such as study protocols will be available, when and for how long the data will be available, and by what access criteria data will be shared. Authors may use Mendeley Data to store and share the research data. Studies involving clinical trials must include a data sharing plan in trial registration.
Intellectual property: In line with related laws and regulations, authors are required to obtain written permissions from the copyright holders for any copyrighted material used in the study. Additionally, the original source must be properly cited.
Ethical oversight: All related persons and establishments are expected to strictly follow ethical principles throughout the publication process. COPE guidelines states that “Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and ethical business/marketing practices.” Accordingly, editors, editorial staff, and publisher of the journal constantly observes the compulsory compliance with ethical principles and regulations.
Complaints and appeals: Editors have large discretion in managing the editorial processes and in determining which article to be published in the journal. Editors take into account many factors including article quality, priority of the topic of interest, author/topic/geographical diversity, etc. to reach their final decisions. In some cases, authors may be dissatisfied with the editorial process and/or outcome. In these cases, complaints and appeals may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Description of the concerns, and additional information supporting the concern, should be concise and comprehensive. Complaints and appeals will be investigated in line with relevant guidelines and flowcharts provided by COPE.
Post-publication corrections and retractions: Although all articles undergo rigorous peer review and production stages, honest errors may still be present in the published content. When detected, these errors must be corrected by publishing a correction notice that include detailed changes to the original publication. Errors that are serious enough to invalidate the results and conclusions of the original study may lead to retraction notice.
Responsibilities of the authors
By submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors confirm that:
- All submitted manuscripts are the original works of the author(s).
- Article, or part of the article, is not published elsewhere or is not being evaluated in another journal at the same time.
- If part of data has been used in any other publication or presentation, editor is informed during submission.
- Any conflict of interest, including financial and personal relationships that might bias the manuscript or the editorial process, is clearly disclosed.
- Studies involving human or animal subjects are conformed to the institutional, national, international laws and regulations, and proofs of ethics approval and patient consents are provided.
- All references are properly cited.
- All contributions while preparing the manuscript, such as funding, technical help, general support, etc., are acknowledged.
- The manuscript is prepared in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the journal.
- If significant errors and inaccuracies are found in submitted manuscript or published article, editor is to be informed immediately about the details of this case.
Responsibilities of the peer-reviewers
- Any invited reviewer who feels unqualified to evaluate the manuscript or has conflict of interest about the invitation must inform the editor.
- All information regarding the manuscript must be kept confidential.
- Review reports must be prepared objectively and in timely manner.
Responsibilities of the editors
- Editors have the authority over the editorial content and are responsible to manage the peer review process of the manuscripts.
- Editors invite reviewers and collect the review reports. Depending on the review reports and their own objective evaluations, editors are responsible to decide whether to accept or reject the manuscript for publication.
- In case of a conflict of interest, editor must inform the managing editor and release from the duties regarding the manuscript.
- All the manuscript information must be kept confidential.
- When detected, errors to a published article must be corrected by correction or retraction notices.
- In case of malpractice, necessary actions and/or sanctions must be applied by editors.
Responsibilities of the publisher
- Publisher must take every measure to ensure the editorial autonomy of the editors and reviewers.
- Publisher furnishes the journal with necessary infrastructure and facilities such as a state-of-art submission system, easy access to plagiarism checking software, web site hosting, content archiving, etc
The peer review procedure for manuscripts submitted by an editor or an editorial board member must be handled by another editor with absolute transparency and rigour.
Disclaimer: The authors must ensure that all submitted manuscripts are prepared in accordance with the ethical guidelines, relevant agreements and laws, and that all related ethics approvals, patient consents, permissions, etc. are obtained prior to the submission of the manuscript. The publisher, journal, or editors do not accept responsibility if proved otherwise.
Plagiarism and Malpractice Policy
The items in the list below are considered unethical and misconduct behavior. Authors are strongly suggested to be very well informed about them and avoid them under all circumstances.
- Fraud Authorship/Denied Authorship
- Research/Data Fabrication
- Salami Slicing/Salami Publication
- Breaching of Copyrights
- Prevailing Conflict of Interest
The above list is non-exhaustive. For more information you may consult resources like the one below:
Wager E, Kleinert S. Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 50. In: Mayer T, Steneck N (eds.). Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2011. pp. 309-16. (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7)
Graf C, Wager E, Bowman A, Fiack S, Scott‐Lichter D, Robinson A. Best practice guidelines on publication ethics: a publisher's perspective. International journal of clinical practice, 2007; 61(s152): 1-26.
Luther F. Publication ethics and scientific misconduct: the role of authors, Journal of Orthodontics, 2008; 35(1): 1-4.
WAME Publication Ethics Committee. Recommendations on publication ethics policies for medical journals. 2017. Available at: http://wame.org/recommendations-on-publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals
By submitting a manuscript to the journal, authors confirm that the manuscript is free from any of the malpractices listed above. Authors take full responsibility for the opinions, findings and discussions presented in the manuscripts as well as resolution of all disputes arising from using copyrighted materials in their manuscripts without proper permission. To prevent articles from being unrightly duplicated or being subject to any other misconduct, every party involved in the publishing has to behave according to the ethical guidelines.
All manuscripts submitted to the journal are initially screened with iThenticate through the manuscript submission and editorial system to prevent plagiarism. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service provided by Crossref that checks the similarity of the manuscript against millions of published research articles and documents. Editors may run this service for all revisions of the manuscript. Manuscripts that are highly similar to existing works in the literature will be subject to sanctions
Editors will take appropriate measures when ethical concerns are raised against a manuscript under review or a published article, even if it is discovered after years after publication. In cases of suspected misconduct, appropriate COPE flowcharts will be followed. In the event of documented malpractices or lack of reasonable explanations, one or more of the following sanctions may applied:
- Immediate rejection of the manuscript under review,
- Immediate rejection of all the manuscripts of all co-authors,
- Prohibition of the co-authors from submitting new manuscripts up to five years,
- Prohibition of the co-authors from serving as a reviewer or editorial board member of the journal,
- Retracting the published article that involves the malpractice.
- Informing appropriate legal entities about the details of the case.
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