All research articles published by Open Medical Publishing are subject to rigorous ethical standards. Open Medical Publishing meets and upholds ethical behavior at all stages of the publication process, by following the standards for best practices by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).
Below a summary of duties of editors, peer-reviewers, and authors.
Editors are expected to:
- act in a balanced, objective and fair way while evaluating manuscripts, considering solely their intellectual merit without regard to authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.
- handle submissions for sponsored supplements or special issues in the same way as other submissions, so that articles are considered without commercial influence.
- adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Journal, where appropriate.
- give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. Documentation associated with any such complaints should be retained.
- not disclose any information about a manuscript that is submitted to the journal to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
Reviewers are expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive. They should:
- assist in improving the quality of the published paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively, in a timely manner.
- comment on major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as a written communication, independent of the design, methodology, results, and interpretation of the study.
- maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author and not retain or copy the manuscript.
- alert the editor to any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review.
- be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and to alert the editor to these.
Authors have an ethical obligation to submit creditable research results for publication. They should:
- confirm that the manuscript as submitted is not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere.
- confirm that all the work in the submitted manuscript is original and to acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources. To obtain permission to reproduce any content from other sources.
- declare any potential conflicts of interest.
- maintain records of data associated with their submitted manuscript, and to supply or provide access to these data, on reasonable request.
- ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements and confirm that approval has been sought and obtained where appropriate. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.
- notify promptly the journal editor or publisher if a significant error in their publication is identified.
Procedures for dealing with misconduct / unethical behavior
- Misconduct and unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the Editor and Publisher at any time, by anyone.
- Whoever informs the Editor or Publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated.
- An initial decision should be taken by the Editor, who should consult with or seek advice from the Publisher, if appropriate.
- Evidence should be collected, while avoiding extending any claims beyond those who need to know.
- Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
- Serious misconduct (scientific misconduct in research and non-research publications includes but is not limited to: data fabrication; data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images; purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest; and plagiarism) will entail that the Editor(s).
- Inform or educate the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misapplication of acceptable standards or a misunderstanding occurred.
- Notify readers of the outcome if appropriate, including a formal letter to the head of the Author’s or Reviewer’s department or funding agency.
- Impose a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
- Report the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.
- Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the Author’s or Reviewer’s department, Abstracting and Indexing services and the readership of the publication.
Formal retraction will be prominently labelled and appear in an online and/or a print Table of Contents to ensure proper indexing, and include in their heading the title of the original article.
Online, the retraction and original article will be linked in both directions and the retracted article should be clearly labelled as retracted in all its forms (Abstract, full text, PDF, HTML).
The text of the retraction will explain why the article is being retracted and include a complete citation reference to that article. Retracted articles will remain in the public domain and be clearly labelled as retracted.
The validity of previous work by the author of a deceitful paper cannot be assumed.
Editors may ask the author’s institution to assure them of the validity of other work published in their journals, or they may retract it. If this is not done, Editors may choose to publish an announcement expressing concern that the validity of previously published work is uncertain.
Open Medical Publishing medical journals’ Editors strictly adhere to the ICMJE’s clinical trial registration policy.
The registration of clinical trials in a public trials’ registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment is a condition of consideration for publication.
The Open Medical Publishing Medical Editors 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.
The authors are expected to ensure that they have met the requirements of their funding and regulatory agencies regarding aggregate clinical trial results reporting in clinical trial registries.
It is the authors’, and not the journal editors’, responsibility to explain any discrepancies between results reported in registries and journal publications.