Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Publication of an article in an academic peer-reviewed journal serves several functions, one of which is to validate and preserve the “minutes” of research. It is therefore of immense importance that these “minutes” are accurate and trustworthy. The act of publishing involves many parties, each of which plays an important role in achieving these aims. It therefore follows that the author, the journal editor, the peer-reviewer, the publisher and the owner of society-owned journals have responsibilities to meet expected ethical standards at all stages in their involvement from submission to publication of an article.
The Journal of Travel Medicine and global Health is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behavior at all stages of the publication process. We follow closely the industry associations, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), that set standards and provide guidelines for best practices in order to meet these requirements. Below is a summary of our key expectations of editors, peer-reviewers and authors.
- All submitted manuscripts to the IJTMGH are reviewed by at least three reviewers who are experts in the area of applied biotechnology.
- The factors in which must be considered in reviews are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language.
- The reviewers' possible decisions include acceptance, acceptance with revisions, or rejection.
- If authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit a submission, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted.
- None of the rejected manuscripts will not be re-reviewed.
- The manuscript acceptance is constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
- No research can be included in more than one publication.
All authors should have significantly and sufficiently participated in the research to take responsibility for the whole content. According to the guidelines of ICMJE, authorship credit should be only based on (a) significant contributions to conception and design; or acquisition of data; or interpretation and analysis of data, and (b) drafting the manuscript or revising it critically, and (c) final approval of the version to get published. All the above mentioned conditions (a, b and c) must be met.
All authors must complete and submit an Authorship Statement Form once submitting a manuscript to the IJTMGH. In addition, the corresponding author must identify all the authors’ contribution to the work described in the manuscript.
Also, all those who have made effective contributions to the research reported in the manuscript (e.g., data collection, analysis, writing or editing assistance) but at the same time do not fulfill the authorship criteria must be mentioned along with their specific contributions in the Acknowledgments Section of the manuscript. Moreover, authors must justify that the manuscript represents authentic and valid research and that neither this manuscript nor one with significantly similar content under their authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere.
Overall, according to the guidelines of the ICMJE, all authors must fulfill 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
- Drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content
- Final approval of the version to be published
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the research assuring that all questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the research are appropriately investigated and resolved.
For more information on authorship criteria, please see the ICMJE website.
- Authors must verify that their manuscripts are their original work.
- Authors must verify that the manuscript has not been previously.
- Authors must verify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
- Authors must participate in the peer review process.
- Authors must provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.
- All Authors who have been mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research.
- Authors must state that all data in the paper are real and authentic.
- Authors must notify the editors of any conflicts of interest.
- Authors must mention all the sources used in the creation of their manuscript.
- Any errors discovered by the authors in the published version of their manuscript must be reported to the editors.
- Reviewers should keep all information related to the manuscripts confidential and treat them as privileged information.
- Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author.
- Reviewers should clearly express their views with supporting arguments.
- Reviewers should identify relevant published research that has not been cited by the authors.
- Reviewers should also call to the editor- in-chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
- Reviewers should decline reviewing 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.
- Editors have responsibility and authority to reject/accept manuscripts.
- Editors are responsible for the contents and also the quality of publications.
- Editors should always consider the needs of the authors and the readers when attempting to improve publications.
- Editors should guarantee the quality of the manuscripts and the integrity of the academic record.
- Editors should publish errata pages or make corrections when needed.
- Editors should have a clear view of the funding sources of researches.
- Editors should base their decisions on the papers’ importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication’s scope.
- Editors should not change their decisions nor overturn the ones of previous editors without serious reason.
- Editors should preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
- Editors should assure that all the research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines.
- Editors should only accept a paper when reasonably certain.
- Editors should act if they suspect misconduct, whether a paper is published or unpublished, and make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem.
- Editors should not reject papers based on any suspicions. They should be sure of any possible misconduct.
- Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers and board members.
Procedures for Dealing with Unethical Behavior
Identification of Unethical Behavior
- Misconduct and unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone.
- Misconduct and unethical behavior may include in the manuscript, but definitely need not be limited to, examples as outlined above.
- Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should present sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All accusations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.
- An initial decision should be taken by the editor, who should consult with or seek advice from the publisher, if appropriate.
- Evidence should be gathered, while avoiding spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know.
- Minor misconduct may be dealt without the need to consult more extensively. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
- Serious misconduct might desire that the employers of the accused be notified. The editor, in consultation with the publisher or society as appropriate, should make the decision whether or not to involve the employers, either by examining the available evidence themselves or by further consultation with a limited number of experts.
Outcomes (increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction)
- Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
- A more strongly worded letter to the author or reviewer covering the misconduct and as a warning to future behavior.
- Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
- Publication of an editorial detailing the misconduct.
- A formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
- Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer’s department, abstracting & indexing services and the readership of the publication.
- Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
- Reporting the case and its outcomes to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigations and actions.
Publishing Ethics Issues
- All editorial members, reviewers and authors must confirm and obey rules defined by the COPE.
- The corresponding author is the main owner of the article so she/he can withdraw the article when it is incomplete (before entering the review process or when a revision is asked for).
- Authors cannot make major changes in the article after acceptance without a serious reason.
- All editorial members and authors must publish corrections honestly and completely.
- Any notes of plagiarism, fraudulent data or any other kinds of fraud must be clearly reported to the COPE.
Authors reporting experimental studies on human subjects must include a statement of assurance in the Patients and Methods section of the manuscript. They must mention that the project was done with the consideration of ethical issues and obtaining license from the ethics of their local committee and obtaining a written consent of participants. They should also state that it was done according to ethical standards of human experimentation in accordance to the Helsinki Declaration (www.cirp.org/library/ethics/helsinki).
Authors reporting experimental studies on animal subjects must include a statement of assurance in the Materials and Methods section that, the project was carried out with consideration of ethical issues and obtaining license from the ethics committee of local institute. Also, the general care of the experimental animals used for this study was done in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=5140&page=114).
In case research is carried out on human subjects, an informed consent and other ethical considerations should be mentioned in the "methods" section of the manuscript. Authors should include a statement which informs that a consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects. As IJTMGH follows ICMJE, please consider their guideline for more information. In cases where a study involves the use of live animals or human subjects, authors should also include a statement that all experiments were performed in compliance with the relevant laws and institutional guidelines, and also state the institutional committee(s) that has approved the experiments. Moreover, the templates can be seen from WHO.
Conflict of Interests
The authors must declare any conflict of interests of contributed authors very briefly in a separate paragraph at the end of the paper. All sources of funding should be declared; unless otherwise the following sentence should be given “Authors declare no conflict of interests”.
To prevent the information on potential conflict of interest for authors from being overlooked or misplaced, mention this information in the cover letter. Authors must identify any potential financial conflicts of interest before the review process begins. Declared conflict of interest will not automatically result in rejection of paper but the editors reserve the right to publish any declared conflict of interest alongside accepted. The following would generally be regarded as potential conflicts of interest:
- Any direct financial payments to an author for the production of the research or manuscript by the sponsor of a product or service evaluated in an article.
- Ownership of shares by an author in the company sponsoring a product service evaluated in an article (or in a company sponsoring a competing product).
- Personal consultant for companies or other organizations with a financial interest in the promotion of particular health care products and services.
Submission of an article implies that:
- The presented manuscript is authentic and valid and that neither this manuscript nor one with similar content under this authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in other languages.
- All authors have agreed to allow the corresponding author to serve as the primary correspondent with the editorial office, to review the edited manuscript and the galley proof.
Duplicate/Previous Publication or Submission
Manuscripts are assumed not to have been previously published in print or electronic version and that they are not under consideration by another publication. Copies of related or possibly duplicated materials (including those containing significantly similar content or using same data) that have been previously published or are under consideration for another publication must be provided at the time of online submission.
For more information on ethical issues, please read the following COPE’s guidelines that might be helpful for authors as well as editors:
Changes to Authorship
This statement is related to the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of the authors' names in the authorship of submitted manuscripts as described in below:
After the manuscript is submitted or accepted for publication, the corresponding author is required to send a request to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the authors’ names of the submitted/accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the authors’ names rearranged and (b) the IJTMGH Change to Authorship Form must be signed by all the authors who agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Managing Editor to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. No authorship change will be done after the publication of manuscripts.
Role of Funding Source
The authors are asked to clearly identify who provided financial support to conduct the research and/or preparation. They are also requested to briefly describe the role of the funder/sponsor in any part of the work including design and conduct of the study, data collection, data management, data analysis and interpretation, preparation, review and approval of the manuscript. The following rules should be followed:
- The sentence should begin with: ‘This work was supported by …’.
- The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI'(one of the 27 sub institutions) or 'NCI at NIH’.
- Grant numbers should be completely and accurately provided in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number ABX CDXXXXXX]’
- Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX]’
- Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
In case any attempt at plagiarism accompanied by convincing evidence is brought to our attention, the following steps will be taken:
- After consulting with the editorial board members, the authors guilty of plagiarism will be denied from publishing their papers in IJTMGH.
- Heads of the Departments/Institutes of the offending authors will be informed of the occurrence of the mentioned plagiarism.
- In case plagiarism is confirmed in an already published article, the editor will consider an article retraction based on COPE retraction guidelines.
Note: All manuscripts will be checked out in regards to plagiarism by iThenticate software.
Falsification and Fabrication
If the journal editor has clear evidence of fabrication (the intentional misrepresentation of research results by making up data) or falsification (manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record), he/she will consider an article retraction based on COPE retraction guidelines.
Open Access Policy
IJTMGH is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited. Users are free to copy and redistribute the IJTMGH published articles in any medium or format under the Creative Commons License terms and conditions.