Publishing Ethics. Malpractice & Consequences
1.1. The publication in a peer reviewed journal serves many purposes outside of simple communication. It is a building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. For all these reasons and especially for biomedical journals (whereas the ethical issues is extremely sensitive subject) it is important to lay down standards of expected ethical behavior by all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, and the publisher (in some cases the society/ other possible proprietor of the journal).
1.2. Publisher has a supporting, investing and nurturing role in the scholarly communication process but is also ultimately responsible for ensuring that best practice is followed in its publications.
1.3. Publisher takes its duties of guardianship over the scholarly record extremely seriously. Our responsibilities is to ensure the journal’s coherence to the most current ethical guidelines and policies at every stage from designing and conducting research or clinical study to properly wring and submitting a manuscript as established by the relevant international bodies or policies to include but not limited to the following:
- WMA Declaration of Helsinki (ethical principles for medical research involving human and animal subjects)
- ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors)
- COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)
- CONSORT (randomized control studies)
- STROBE (observation studies)
- PRISMA (meta-analyses, systematic reviews and other evaluation studies)
1.4. Over 20 potential Malpractices are examined below that could be relevant not only to an author (see clauses 4.1. - 4.10.) but also to an editor and a reviewer (see clauses 2.2.-2.6; 3.1.-3.6.) as result of their possible dereliction of professional duty.
- Duties of Editors
2.1. Publication decision – The Editor of the “Clinical review for general practice” is solely and independently responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published, often working on conjunction with the relevant society (for society-owned or sponsored journals). The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions. The Editor may be guided by the policies of the “Clinical review for general practice” journal’s editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers (or society officers) in making this decision.
2.2. Fair play – An editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
2.2.3. Libel and Defamation– An editor should be alert to language in both submitted manuscripts and also in peer review reports or correspondence which could give rise to legal action for defamation or negligent misstatement. Such language, which can be directed at corporate entities and associations as well as individuals, should not appear within published articles and should be removed from any peer review report or correspondence that is passed on to the author. If in doubt, editors should seek advice from the Publisher.
2.3. Confidentiality – The editor and any editorial staff of “Clinical review for general practice” shall not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
2.4. Disclosure and Conflicts of interest
2.4.1. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
2.4.2. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers.
2.5. Vigilance over published record – An editor presented with convincing evidence that the substance or conclusions of a published paper are erroneous should coordinate with the publisher (and/or society) to promote the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant.
2.6.Involvement and cooperation in investigations – An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher (or society). Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies.
- Duties of Reviewers
3.1. Contribution to Editorial Decisions – Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method. Publisher shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
3.2. Promptness – Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor of “Clinical review for general practice” and excuse himself from the review process.
3.3. Confidentiality – Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorised by the editor.
3.4. Standard and objectivity – Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
3.5. Acknowledgement of Sources – Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
3.6. Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
3.6.1. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
3.6.2. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
- Duties of Authors
4.1. Reporting standards
4.1.1. 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.
4.1.2. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial 'opinion’ works should be clearly identified as such.
4.2. Data Access and Retention – Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
4.3. Originality and Plagiarism
4.3.1. The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
4.3.2. Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, 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 behaviour and is unacceptable.
4.4. Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
4.4.1. An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal of primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
4.4.2. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.
4.4.3. Publication of some kinds of articles (eg, clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
4.5. Acknowledgement of Sources – Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
4.6. Authorship of the Paper
4.6.1. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
4.6.2. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
4.7. Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects
4.7.1. 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.
4.7.2. 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) have 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.
4.7.3. In case of clinical trials authors are required to provide registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment.
We accept publicly accessible registration in any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or in ClinicalTrials.gov, which is a data provider to the WHO ICTRP.
4.8. Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
4.8.1. All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
4.8.2. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest possible stage.
4.9. Fundamental errors in published works – When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in a published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the editor of “Clinical review for general practice” journal and cooperate with Publisher to retract or correct the paper, If the editor or the publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper.
4.10. Libel and use of inclusive language-Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Articles should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of race, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, for instance by using 'he or she', 'his/her' instead of 'he' or 'his', and by making use of job titles that are free of stereotyping (e.g. 'chairperson' instead of 'chairman' and 'flight attendant' instead of 'stewardess').
- Duties of the Publisher
5.1. Publisher should adopt policies and procedures that support editors, reviewers and authors of “Clinical review for general practice” in performing their ethical duties under these ethics guidelines. The publisher should ensure that the potential for advertising or reprint revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions.
5.2. The publisher should support “Clinical review for general practice” journal editors in the review of complaints raised concerning ethical issues and help communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful to editors.
5.3. Publisher should develop codes of practice and inculcate industry standards for best practice on ethical matters, errors and retractions.
5.4. Publisher should provide specialized legal review and counsel if necessary.
The present document is created on the basis of "Guidelines on article retraction" of Russian Association of Science Editors and Publishers (RASEP).
Article retraction is a mechanism of published information correction and readers notification of the fact that the publication contains serious flaws or invalid data that should not be relied on, it also serves for warning readers on redundant publications (when authors present the same data in several publications), plagiarism, and conflict of interest non-disclosure that could influence data interpretation or recommendations for their use.
Rationale for article retraction:
- detection of inappropriate borrowing (plagiarism) in the publication;
- redundant publication that appears in several issues;
- detection of falsifications or fabrications in the publication (for example, experimental data fabrication);
- detection of major errors (for example results misinterpretation) that cast doubt on publication scientific value;
- incorrect authors list (a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included);
- concealed conflict of interest (and other publication ethics violations);
- article republication without author's approvement;
- peer review was not performed for the article.
The procedure of article retraction
I. Article retraction is performed after formal request from editorial board or author.
Iа. The editorial board retracts the article after a formal written request from the author/ team of contributors with a motivated explanation of the reason for the decision. After that the editorial board performs the entire article retraction.
Ib. The editorial board performs the article retraction on the basis of their inspection or submitted information of scientific publication ethics violations. The editorial board must inform the author/ team of contributors of the decision and state the reasons for it (in case of plagiarism the sources should be indicated), it also appoints the date of the retraction. If the author/ team of contributors ignores the notifications, the board informs the ASEP Council of Scientific Publication Ethics.
II. The article and abstract remain on the journal website in the relevant issue, but an electronic version of the text is marked withRETRACTED sign and retraction date, the same marking is placed on the article in the contents list.
III. The information about retracted articles is passed to: