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Publishing Ethics

 | Post date: 2019/10/29 | 
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences as a member of Arak University of Medical Sciences, co-published by Negah Institute for Scientific Communication, is committed to apply ethics of publication, based on the COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices. You may find the journal’s code of publication ethics, here.

Introduction:
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences aims to be a main channel of data communication, sharing of ideas and information to the scientific researching community. It is mandatory for us to follow certain code of ethics and it is advices to adhere strictly to the following code of ethics, which will enhance the quality of the published works heavily. This currently written code of ethics is focusing to provide guidance on the proper behavior of editors, authors and reviewers in the process of scientific publication. 

Authors and Co-authors

Authors
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences is committed to follow and apply “International Standards for Authors” of Committee on Publication Ethics in designing and leading the Journal’s reviewing and publishing process and dealing with their issues. You may find the International Standards for Authors, here. Authors should read the standard and apply it on their works, completely.
Authors submitting a paper confirm that the understanding that the manuscript have been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the Journal. Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences adheres to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (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.
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. 
In addition, authors are advised to follow the following code of ethics strictly Submit manuscripts, which are their originals works or of the work, they are associated with during their tenure. 
Submitted manuscripts should contain original and new results, data, and their ideas, which are not submitted for publishing to other publications or published elsewhere. Fabrication of data and results, intellectual property theft and plagiarism are highly unacceptable, it is beyond the ethics of an author. Information obtained via various media should be provided in the manuscript only with prior permission from the owner of the source of information or data. 
They should properly cite the work they are referring; authors are advised to crosscheck the reference before submission of manuscript. 
They may not promote in any form via any media to get their works published. No article should have an author who is not directly involved in the work for any means or reasons. 
Authors and co-authors are requested to review and ensure the accuracy and validity of all the results prior to submission. Any potential conflict of interest should be informed to the editor in advance. Authors are bound by the Creative Commons licensing policy of publication. 
All authors are requested to submit the copyright transfer form without failure once they receive the acceptance of their article for publication. 

Editors 
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences is committed to follow and apply “International Standards for Editors” of Committee on Publication Ethics in designing and leading the Journal’s reviewing and publishing process and dealing with their issues. You may find the International Standards for Editors, here. The journal's editors should read the standard and apply it in their editorial tasks and procedures, completely.
The term editor is a common terminology used to refer Chief Editor of any journal, Content editor, Section Editor (An expert who is the manager of reviewing process in a subject centered section), and Editorial board members. Editors of the Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences are insisted to have full responsibility for editorial and technical decisions of the journal. Any editor or office bearer should not intervene or give comment on any editorial decisions taken on any manuscript by the concerned editor. Editors are requested to give unbiased considerations for the articles submitted. Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences aims for rapid publication, editors are advised to process the manuscripts promptly and diligently. 
Editors are the sole responsible persons for the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript, it may be subjected to peer review but the final decision is bound to the concerned editor. 
Any decision taken or matter of concern about a submitted article should not be revealed to anyone by an editor. If one of the editor is willing to publish an article the article should be processed by another editor. 
Editor should refrain from using the information, data, theories, or interpretations of any submitted manuscript in her/his own work until that manuscript is in press.

Reviewers 
Reviewers are the main members contributing for the benefit of the journal being a peer reviewed (double-blind review) journal they are insisted not to disclose their identity in any form. 
A reviewer should immediately decline to review an article submitted if he/she feels that the article is technically unqualified or if the timely review cannot be done by him/her or if the article has a conflict of interest. 
All submissions should be treated as confidential, editorial approval might be given for any outside person’s advice received. 
No reviewer should pass on the article submitted to him/her for review to another reviewer in his own concern, it should be declined immediately. 
Reviewers being the base of the whole quality process should ensure that the articles published should be of high quality and original work. He may inform the editor if he finds the article submitted to him for review is under consideration in any other publication to his/her knowledge. 
There are no hard and fast rules to analysis an article, this can be done on case-to-case basis considering the worthiness, quality, and originality of the article submitted. 
In general, cases the following may be checked in a review 
· Structure of the article submitted and its relevance to author guidelines 
· Purpose and Objective of the article 
· Method of using transitions in the article 
· Introduction given and the conclusion/ suggestions provided 
· References provided to substantiate the content 
· Grammar, punctuation and spelling · Plagiarism issues 
· Suitability of the article to the need 
A reviewer’s comment decides the acceptance or rejection of an article and they are one major element in a peer review process. All our reviewers are requested to go through the articles submitted to them for review in detail and give the review comments without any bias, which will increase the quality of our journals. 
Breach of Code 
Being an association dedicated for the researcher fraternity, we all should ensure that the code of ethics formed is followed in all possible ways. Being a not-for-profit body it is the internal responsibility of a person whom should have to follow the codes, there is no enforcement to follow. 
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences committee members are entitled to take action against an individual if they found to be violating the code. 
http://irct.ir/fa/faq.php

COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts
The Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics in its reviewing and publishing process and issues. For more information, please click here.
...
COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices
1. Editors
Chief Editors is accountable for everything published in the journal. This means the editors
1.1 strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;
1.2 strive to constantly improve their journal;
1.3 have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;
1.4 champion freedom of expression;
1.5 maintain the integrity of the academic record;
1.6 preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
1.7 always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
Best Practice for Editors would include
  • actively seeking the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes
  • encouraging and being aware of research into peer review and publishing and reassessing their journal’s processes in the light of new findings
  • supporting initiatives designed to reduce research and publication misconduct
  • supporting initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
  • assessing the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revising policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct
  • ensuring that any press releases issued by their journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context.
2. Readers
2.1 Readers should be informed about who has funded research or other scholarly work and whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was.
    Best practice for editors would include:
  • ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers including statistical review.
  • ensuring that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are clearly identified
  • adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists
  • considering developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles
  • adopting authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e. so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g. ghost and guest authors)
3. informing readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation
4. Relations with authors
4.1 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.
4.2 Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
4.3 New editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.
4.4 A description of peer review processes should be published, and editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes.
4.5 Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.
4.6 Editors should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
4.7 Editors should provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor following the standards within the relevant field.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • reviewing author instructions regularly and providing links to relevant guidelines
  • publishing relevant competing interests for all contributors and publishing corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication
  • ensuring that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)
  • respecting requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned and practicable
  • publishing details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct
  • publishing submission and acceptance dates for articles
5. Relations with reviewers
5.1 Editors should provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
5.2 Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.
5.3 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.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • encouraging reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects (including animals), inappropriate data manipulation and presentation)
  • encouraging reviewers to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism
  • considering providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications (e.g. links to cited references and bibliographic searches)
  • sending reviewers’ comments to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libelous remarks
  • seeking to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal
  • encouraging academic institutions to recognize peer review activities as part of the scholarly process
  • monitoring the performance of peer reviewers and taking steps to ensure this is of high standard
  • developing and maintaining a database of suitable reviewers and updating this on the basis of reviewer performance
  • ceasing to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews
  • ensuring that the reviewer database reflects the community for their journal and adding new reviewers as needed
  • using a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g. author suggestions, bibliographic databases)
  • following the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct
6. Relations with editorial board members
6.1 Editors should provide new editorial board members with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and should keep existing members updated on new policies and developments.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • having policies in place for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review
  • identifying suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal
    • regularly reviewing the composition of the editorial board
  • providing clear guidance to editorial board members about their expected functions and duties, which might include:
  • acting as ambassadors for the journal
  • supporting and promoting the journal
  • seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g. from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions
  • reviewing submissions to the journal
  • accepting commissions to write editorials, reviews and commentaries on papers in their specialist area
  • attending and contributing to editorial board meetings
  • consulting editorial board members periodically (e.g. once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenge
7. Relations with Negah Publisher
7.1 The relationship of editors to Negah Publisher and the owner is based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.
7.2 Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from Negah Publisher.
7.3 Editors have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with Negah Publisher.
7.4 The terms of this contract is in line with the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • communicating regularly with Negah Publisher
8. Editorial and peer review processes
8.1 Editors should strive to ensure that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.
8.2 Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains confidential while under review.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review and journal management
  • keeping informed about research into peer review and technological advances
  • adopting peer review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves
  • reviewing peer review practices periodically to see if improvement is possible
  • referring troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected
  • considering the appointment of an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally
9. Quality assurance
9.1 Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • having systems in place to detect falsified data (e.g. inappropriately manipulated photographic images or plagiarised text) either for routine use or when suspicions are raised
  • basing decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of reporting (e.g. adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance) rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference
10. Protecting individual data
10.1 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 (e.g. from case reports or photographs). 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.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • publishing their policy on publishing individual data (e.g. identifiable personal details or images) and explaining this clearly to authors
Note that consent to take part in research or undergo treatment is not the same as consent to publish personal details, images or quotations.
Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences Encouraging ethical research (e.g. research involving humans or animals)
1.Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences Editors should endeavour to ensure that research they publish was carried out according to the relevant internationally Declaration of Helsinki for clinical research, and the AERA and BERA guidelines for educational research.
2. Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences Editors should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. However, editors should recognize that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • being prepared to request evidence of ethical research approval and to question authors about ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed
  • ensuring that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki, Good Clinical Practice.
  • appointing a journal ethics advisor or panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies periodically
12. Dealing with possible misconduct
12.1 Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.
12.2 Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
12.3 Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.
12.4 Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.
12.5 Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.
13. Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
13.1 Errors, inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
13.2 Editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • taking steps to reduce covert redundant publication (e.g. by requiring all clinical trials to be registered)
  • ensuring that published material is securely archived (e.g. via online permanent repositories, such as PubMed Central)
  • having systems in place to give authors the opportunity to make original research articles freely available
14. Intellectual property
14.1 Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with Negah Publisher to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • adopting systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised)
  • supporting authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism
  • being prepared to work with Negah Publisher to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g.  by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright
15. Encouraging debate
15.1 Editors should encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their journal.
15.2 Authors of criticized material should be given the opportunity to respond.
15.3 Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • being open to research that challenges previous work published in the journal
16. Complaints
16.1 Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.
16.2 Editors should follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints.
17. Commercial considerations
17.1 Journals should have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions (e.g. advertising departments should operate independently from editorial departments).
17.2 Editors should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and on processes for publishing sponsored supplements.
17.3 Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction needs to be included in which case it should be clearly identified.
Best practice for editors would include:
  • publishing a general description of their journal’s income sources (e.g. the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, sponsored supplements, page charges, etc.)
  • ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal
  • ensuring that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and decisions about such supplements are not influenced by commercial considerations
18. Conflicts of interest
18.1 Editors should use ICMJE form and procedure for managing the conflicts of interest issues.
18.2 Journals should have a declared process for handling submissions from the editors, employees or members of the editorial board to ensure unbiased review.

19. Plagiarism

(Based on recommendations on publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals, prepared by the WAME Publication Ethics Committee

Plagiarism is the use of others' published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source. The intent and effect of plagiarism is to mislead the reader as to the contributions of the plagiarizer. This applies whether the ideas or words are taken from abstracts, research grant applications, Institutional Review Board applications, or unpublished or published manuscripts in any publication format (print or electronic).
  
Self-plagiarism refers to the practice of an author using portions of their previous writings on the same topic in another of their publications, without specifically citing it formally in quotes. This practice is widespread and sometimes unintentional, as there are only so many ways to say the same thing on many occasions, particularly when writing the Methods section of an article. Although this usually violates the copyright that has been assigned to the publisher, there is no consensus as to whether this is a form of scientific misconduct, or how many of one's own words one can use before it is truly "plagiarism." Probably for this reason self-plagiarism is not regarded in the same light as plagiarism of the ideas and words of other individuals.
 

Plagiarism Policy

All articles submitted will be checked using the iThenticate plagiarism detection software and Samim Noor and HamtajooFarsi plagiarism detection software (for Persian Papers).
A specific process is followed to manage a case of plagiarism. Negah Journals follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)'s guidelines presented in the  following flowcharts:
 
For other plagiarism issues and scientific misconduct, Negah journals apply the COPE Guidance on Plagiarism Cases.
 

Types of Plagiarism

We detect and consider the following types of plagiarism in the journal and ‎prevent them to be used:‎

Full Plagiarism: Previously published content without any changes to the text, idea, and grammar is considered as full plagiarism. It involves presenting exact text from a source as one’s own.

Partial Plagiarism: If content is a mixture from multiple different sources, where the author has extensively rephrased text, then it is known as partial plagiarism.

Self-Plagiarism: When an author reuses complete or portions of their pre-published research, then it is known as self-plagiarism. Complete self-plagiarism is a case when an author republishes their own previously published work in a new journal. (Read the COPE guidelines on text recycling)
 
 

Self-plagiarism or Text Recycling Guidelines

(Based on COPE's guideline: Text recycling guidelines for editors)

Self-plagiarism, also referred to as ‘text recycling’, is a topical issue and is currently generating much discussion among editors. Opinions are divided as to how much text overlap with an author’s own previous publications is acceptable, and editors often find it hard to judge when action is required.
 

How to deal with text recycling

Introduction

These guidelines are intended to guide editors in dealing with cases of text recycling. Text recycling, also known as self-plagiarism, is when sections of the same text appear in more than one of an author’s own publications.
Editors should consider each case of text recycling on an individual basis as the most appropriate course of action will depend on a number of factors.

When should action be considered?

Text recycling can take many forms, and editors should consider which parts of the text have been recycled.
  • Duplication of data is likely to always be considered serious (and should be dealt with according to the COPE guidelines for duplicate publications [1,2].
  • Use of similar or identical phrases in methods sections where there are limited ways to describe a common method, however, is not uncommon. In such cases, an element of text recycling is likely to be unavoidable in further publications using the same method. Editors should use their discretion when deciding how much overlap of methods text is acceptable, considering factors such as whether authors have been transparent and stated that the methods have already been described in detail elsewhere and provided a citation.
  • Duplication of background ideas in the introduction may be considered less significant than duplication of the hypothesis, discussion, or conclusions.
When significant overlap is identified between two or more articles, editors should consider taking action. Several factors may need to be taken into account when deciding whether the overlap is considered significant.

Text recycling in a submitted manuscript

Text recycling may be identified in a submitted article by editors or reviewers, or by the use of plagiarism detection software, e.g. CrossCheck. Editors should consider the extent of the overlap when deciding how to act.
  • Where overlap is considered to be minor, authors may be asked to re-write overlapping sections, and cite their previous article(s).
  • More significant overlap may result in rejection of the manuscript.
  • Where the overlap includes data, Editors should handle cases according to the COPE flowchart for dealing with suspected redundant publication in a submitted manuscript [1].

Text recycling in a published article

If text recycling is discovered in a published article, it may be necessary to publish a correction to, or retraction of, the original article. This decision will depend on the degree and nature of the overlap, and several factors will need to be considered. As for text recycling in a submitted manuscript, editors should handle cases of overlap in data according to the COPE flowchart for dealing with suspected redundant publication in a published article [2].
Journal editors should consider publishing a correction article when:
  • Sections of the text, generally excluding methods, are identical or near identical to a previous publication by the same author(s);
  • The original publication is not referenced in the subsequent publication; but
  • There is still sufficient new material in the article to justify its publication.
The correction should amend the literature by adding the missing citation and clarifying what is new in the subsequent publication versus the original publication.
Journal editors should consider publishing a retraction article when:
  • There is significant overlap in the text, generally excluding methods, with sections that are identical or near identical to a previous publication by the same author(s);
  • The recycled text reports previously published data and there is insufficient new material in the article to justify its publication in light of the previous publication(s).
  • The recycled text forms the major part of the discussion or conclusion in the article.
  • The overlap breaches copyright.
The retraction should be issued in line with the COPE retraction guidelines [3].

How far back should this be applied?

Attitudes towards text recycling have changed over the past decade. Editors should consider this when deciding how to deal with individual cases of text recycling in published articles. Editors should judge each case in line with accepted practice at the time of publication.
In general, where overlap does not involve duplication of results, editors are advised to consider taking no corrective action for cases where the text recycling occurred earlier than 2004. Editors may wish to take corrective action in the case of duplication of data prior to this date and should follow the COPE flowchart for dealing with suspected redundant publication in a published article [2].

Opinion, Review and Commentary articles

Non-research article types such as Opinion, Review and Commentary articles should in principle adhere to the same guidelines as research articles. Due to the critical and opinion-based nature of some non-research article types, action should be considered when text is recycled from an earlier publication without any further novel development of previously published opinions or ideas or when they are presented as novel without any reference to previous publications.
 

References/further reading

1. COPE flowchart for suspected redundant publication in a submitted manuscript http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/01A_Redundant_Submitted.pdf

2. COPE flowchart for suspected redundant publication in a published article http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/01B_Redundant_Published.pdf

3. COPE guidelines for retracting articles https://publicationethics.org/files/retraction-guidelines.pdf


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