Ethics topics to consider when publishing
Process for identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct
JSCE is reasonable to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. To do so, JSCE follows COPE’s guidelines in dealing with allegations. The publication of peer reviewed articles is an essential model for JSCE. It is necessary 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 and the publisher. JSCE ethical statement is based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
Duties of Editors:
Duties of Reviewers:
Duties of Authors:
Duties of the Publisher:
All submitted articles are evaluated at the submission stage to meet the structural and subject principles of JSCE. The matched articles will be gone under a peer-review process who are selected by the Editorial Board members according to their field specialties. The Editorial Board members have the final responsibility to select the articles.
- A peer-reviewed journal is one that regularly obtains advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers who are not part of the journal’s editorial staff.
- Peer review is intended to improve the accuracy, clarity, and completeness of published manuscripts and to help editors decide which manuscripts to publish.
- Peer review does not guarantee manuscript quality and does not reliably detect scientific misconduct.
- Peer review manipulation, also referred to as fraudulent peer review, can be defined as subversion of the peer review process, in which, an author or another person engaged on behalf of the author deceives a journal editor into sending a peer review invitation, such that the authors or a third party related to them can determine or control the contents of the review.
- Peer reviewers should be experts in the manuscript’s content area, research methods, or both; a critique of writing style alone is not sufficient.
- Peer reviewers should be selected based on their expertise and ability to provide high quality, constructive, and fair reviews.
- For research manuscripts, editors may, in addition, seek the opinion of a statistical reviewer.
- Peer reviewers advise editors on how a manuscript might be improved and on its priority for publication in that journal.
- Editors decide whether and under which conditions manuscripts are accepted for publication, assisted by reviewers’ advice.
- Peer reviewers are sometimes paid for their efforts but usually provide their opinions free of charge, as a service to their profession.
- Editors should require all peer reviewers to disclose any conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, related to aparticular manuscript and should take this information into account when deciding how to use their review. Generally speaking, people with a direct financial interest in the results of the manuscripts should not be
- To be considered peer reviewed, a journal should have obtained external reviews for the majority of manuscripts it publishes, including all original research and review articles. Some editors request peer review for other kinds of articles, such as opinion pieces (commentaries/editorials) and correspondence. To have been peer
reviewed, a manuscript should have been reviewed by at least one external reviewer; it is typical to have two reviewers and sometimes more opinions are sought.
- Editors of peer-reviewed journals need not send all submitted manuscripts out for review. Manuscripts that seem unlikely to be published in that journal may be returned to authors without external review, to allow authors to submit the manuscript to another journal without delay and to make efficient use of reviewers’ and
- Editors should state their journal’s peer review policies, including which kinds of article are peer reviewed and by how many reviewers, in the instructions for authors.
- Statistics describing the journal’s review process, such as number of manuscripts submitted, acceptance rate, and average times from manuscript submission to rejection letter to authors and, for accepted manuscripts, time to publication will be issued upon request of concerned authorities.
- Editors should avoid using author-recommended peer reviewers to review a paper.
- Editors should not use an author-recommended reviewer unless the person’s contact information is obtained from an independently validated source, e.g., from the reviewer’s publications or referred by a member of the Journal’s editorial board. Note that email addresses with top level domains such as .edu/ac. are more likely to be reliably linked to the correct individual than those with other less tightly controlled domains (e.g., Gmail or yahoo accounts). However, editors should not require reviewers to use their .edu or other professional email addresses because some institutions may not have reliable email access, particularly in low or middle income countries, and their faculty may prefer to use non-institutional email addresses. [In these limited cases, Editors may want to encourage potential reviewers to include the non-institutional email address on their institutional Web page]. Editors should consider applying similar diligence to reviewer-suggested reviewer names and emails.
- If the editor determines that an author has supplied a reviewer email address that is not correct, then the editor should ask the author for an explanation. Merely supplying an incorrect email address (e.g., with a typo or an outdated email address) does not imply a deliberate intent to deceive or manipulate. If the email address
appears to have been submitted with intent to deceive the editor as to the address's owner, then the editor should take additional steps depending on the source of the deception, such as contacting the author’s institution.
- Editors should make every effort to find expert reviewers in the topics(s) addressed in the manuscript who are free of significant conflicts of interest. These efforts include the editors’ own expertise, and use of electronic databases, manuscript reference lists, editorial board recommendations, journal database searches, and the like. For highly specialized areas, chairs of departments and the like may have suggestions as to faculty with expertise.
- To avoid inviting peer reviewers with significant conflicts of interest, editors generally should exclude from consideration: (a) individuals who have coauthored manuscripts with the authors in the recent (e.g., 10 years) past, (b) individuals who work at the same institution as the authors, particularly if they are in the same area as
an author or the institution is small, and (c) individuals who have other conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, for or against the paper. If editors make exceptions to these general principles when inviting reviewers, they should keep in mind the exception and its potential implications for the reviewer’s recommendations.
- Potential reviewers should be asked to recuse themselves prior to accepting a peer review invitation if they have a conflict of interest for or against the manuscript or if they are otherwise unable to review the manuscript objectively. Reviewers who agree to review and then discover a potential conflict should contact the editor.
- Every peer-reviewed journal should have its own Conflict of Interest policies for authors, reviewers, and editors that are publicly available and these should be provided to potential reviewers.
- Journal peer review systems should include a step asking the reviewers to report their potential conflicts of interest, requesting explanation and preventing review without editor intervention if reviewers answer in the affirmative.
JSCE is under the scientific control of the Editorial Board whose members are recognized experts in the subject areas. Some executive roles of the Editorial Board members are delegated to the Editor-in-Chief who is well-known in the journal’s scope. Decision about submitted manuscript to JSCE is based only on its importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the journal’s scope and content. Studies with negative results despite adequate power, or those challenging previously published work receive equal consideration. JSCE editorial team has the responsibility to edit the accepted manuscripts before publishing to prevent potential
falsifications and consistency of structural principles.
If a published paper is subsequently found to have errors or major flaws, JSCE take responsibility for promptly correcting the written record in the journal. The specific content of the correction may address whether the errors originated with the author or the journal. The correction is listed in the table of contents to ensure that it
is linked to the article to which it pertains in public databases.
Ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics of editors are periodically assessed to assure optimal journal performance and contribute to decisions on reappointment. Individual performance data must be confidential. These performance measures are also used to assess changes in process that might improve journal performance. The handling of manuscripts that may represent a conflict of interest for editors is described under the section on conflict of interest.
Authorship is a way of making explicit both credit and responsibility for the contents of published articles. Credit and responsibility are inseparable. The guiding principle for authorship decisions is to present an honest account of what took place. Criteria for authorship apply to all intellectual products, including print and electronic publications of words, data, and images. Journals should make their own policies on authorship transparent and accessible.
- Everyone who has made substantial intellectual contributions to the study on which the article is based (for example, to the research question, design, analysis, interpretation, and written description) should be an author.
- It is dishonest to omit mention of someone who has participated in writing the manuscript (“ghost authorship”) and unfair to omit investigator who have had important engagement with other aspects of the work.
- Only an individual who has made substantial intellectual contributions should be an author.
- Performing technical services, translating text, supplying materials, and providing funding or administrative oversight over facilities where the work was done are not, in themselves, sufficient for authorship, although these contributions may be acknowledged in the manuscript.
- It is dishonest to include authors only because of their reputation, position of authority, or friendship (“guest authorship”).
- Many journals publish the names and contributions of everyone who has participated in the work (“contributors”). Not all contributors necessarily qualify for authorship. The nature of each contributors’ participation can be made transparent by a statement, published with the article, of their names and contributions.
- One author (a “guarantor”) should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole. Often this is the corresponding author, the one who submits the manuscript and receives reviews. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript.
- It is preferable that all authors be familiar with all aspects of the work. However, modern research is often done in teams with complementary expertise so that every author may not be equally familiar with all aspects of the work. For example, a biostatistician may have greater mastery of statistical aspects of the manuscript than other authors, but have somewhat less understanding of clinical variables or laboratory measurements. Therefore, some authors’ contributions may be limited to specific aspects of the work as a whole.
- All authors should comply with the journals’ policies on conflict of interest.
- Editors should not arbitrarily limit the number of authors.
- There are legitimate reasons for multiple authors in some kinds of research, such as multi-center, randomized controlled trials. In these situations, a subset of authors may be listed with the title, with the notation that they have prepared the manuscript on behalf of all contributors, who are then listed in an appendix to the published article.
- A “corporate” author (e.g., a “Group” name) representing all authors in a named study may be listed, as long as one investigator takes responsibility for the work as a whole. In either case, all individuals listed as authors should meet criteria for authorship whether or not they are listed explicitly on the byline.
- If editors believe the number of authors is unusually large, relative to the scope and complexity of the work, they can ask for a detailed description of each author’s contributions to the work. If some do not meet criteria for authorship, editors can require that their names be removed as a condition of publication.
- The authors themselves should decide the order in which authors are listed in an article.
- No one else other than authors knows as well as they do their respective contributions and the agreements they have made among themselves.
- Many different criteria are used to decide order of authorship. Among these are relative contributions to the work and, in situations where all authors have contributed equally, alphabetical or random order.
- Readers cannot know, and should not assume, the meaning of order of authorship unless the approach to assigning order has been described by the authors.
- Authors may want to include with their manuscript a description of how order was decided. If so, editors should welcome this information and publish it with the manuscript.
- Disputes about authorship are best settled at the local level, before journals review the manuscript. However, at their discretion editors may become involved in resolving authorship disputes.
- Changes in authorship at any stage of manuscript review, revision, or acceptance should be accompanied by a written request from corresponding author and explanation from all of the original authors.
- The integrity of the published record of scientific research depends not only on the validity of the science but also on honesty in authorship.
- Editors and readers need to be confident that authors have undertaken the work described and have ensured that the manuscript accurately reflects their work, irrespective of whether they took the lead in writing or sought assistance from a writer in the field.
- The scientific record is distorted if the primary purpose of an article is to persuade readers in favor of a special interest, rather than to inform and educate, and this purpose is concealed.
- Ghost authorship exists when someone has made substantial contributions to writing a manuscript and this role is not mentioned in the manuscript itself. To prevent some instances of ghost authorship, editors should make clear in their journal's information for authors that writers can be legitimate contributors and that their roles and affiliations should be described in the manuscript. When editors detect ghost written manuscripts, their actions should involve both the submitting authors and commercial participants if they are involved.
Several actions are possible:
• publish a notice that a manuscript has been ghost written, along with the names of the responsible companies and the submitting author;
• alert the authors' academic institutions, identifying the commercial companies; and
• provide specific names if contacted by the popular media or government organizations;
Together, these actions would increase transparency and public accountability about ghost writing and its manipulation of the scientific record and deter others from this practice.
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Conflicts of interests
JSCEs' Editorial Board members and the Editor-in-Chief submitted articles are gone under the same reviewing process as the other authors gone. In the cases that a reviewer suspects undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript or a reader suspects undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article (all
authors are filling the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest at the submission time) JSCE will follow COPE’s guidelines.