Publication ethics and malpractice statement

  1. Authorship is based on the following four criteria:
  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;  
  • Drafting the work 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 work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.
We include only one corresponding author per article and the order in which the names of authors are represented in the publishing paper is an exact match to the one presented by the authors in their copyright form.
  1. The individuals who conduct the work are responsible for identifying who meets these criteria and ideally should do so when planning the work, making modifications as appropriate as the work progresses.
  2. When a large multi-author group has conducted the work, the group ideally should decide who will be an author before the work is started and confirm who is an author before submitting the manuscript for publication. All members of the group named as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, including approval of the final manuscript, and they should be able to take public responsibility for the work and should have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of other group authors.
  3. Authorship disputes if they cannot be resolved amongst authors should be brought up to the relevant institutional authority. 
  4. Any further contribution details (e.g., equal contribution) must be included in the contributors or acknowledgement sections at the end of the article.
  5. The corresponding author is the one who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors.
  6. To name the institutions or organizations not contributing in the process of the research is against the publication ethics.
  7. When the journal gets suspicious whether there is a ghost writer or not, documents must be asked from the corresponding author. The corresponding author must provide the documents needed and if he or she fails, not only the manuscript will not be published or if published will be retracted, but also the matter will be brought up to the authorities.
Duties:
  • Reporting Standards
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.
  • Data Access and Retention
Authors may be asked to provide the research data supporting their paper for editorial review and/or to comply with the open data requirements of the journal.  Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable number of years after publication. Authors may refer to their journal’s Guide for Authors for further details.
  • Hazards or Human or Animal Subjects
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.
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.
  • Clinical Trial Transparency
We support clinical trials transparency. All the information must be declared clearly and confidentiality should be considered seriously.
  • Notification of Fundamental Errors
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper if deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or the publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains an error, it is the obligation of the author to cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where requested.
  • Image Integrity
It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly.

  • Publication Decisions
The editor of a peer-reviewed journal is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published, often working in 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 drive such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the 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.
Peer review
The editor shall ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely.  Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary the editor should seek additional opinions.
The editor shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field and shall follow best practice in avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. The editor shall review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias.
  • 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.
  • Confidentiality
The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript, the corresponding author, reviewers and potential reviewers.
  • Conflicts of Interest
Any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the editor, and then updated if and when new conflicts arise. The publisher may publish such declarations in the journal.
The editor must not be involved in decisions about papers which s/he has written him/herself or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Further, any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently of the relevant author/editor and their research groups, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.
  • 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, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
  • Vigilance over the Published record
The editor should work to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing reported or suspected misconduct (research, publication, reviewer and editorial), in conjunction with the publisher (or society).
 
  • 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.
  • 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 and excuse himself from the review process.
  • Confidentiality
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
  • Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
  • In case of noticing one, it must be conveyed to the relevant authorities. There should be an investigation for each case separately.
Notice: No one is to know about the investigation until there is proof.
  • In case there is proof, the editor in chief must:
Not publish the manuscript (if it is not published yet),
Publish an amendment in the next issue (if it is already published),
Not publish the author(s) papers for a specific period,
Omit the previous papers of the author(s),
Retract the paper if published.
  1. Manuscripts with unethical behavior may be retracted due to the decision made by the board.
What is Retraction:
When an article retraction is marked in data bases, can threat an author’s reputation and credit. So the reasons according to which an article is retracted have to be clear and be represented with proof. Also there must a line be drawn between a human error and unethical behavior.
Human error: error in collecting categorizing and analyzing data that was not deliberate.
Unethical behavior: duplication, misconduct, plagiarism, conflict of interest, data fabrication and picture manipulation.     
Notice: All correspondence would be confidential until the result of the investigations for unethical behavior is finalized.
A retraction must be done based on clear documents that are already represented to the author(s). In case the journal does not get a response from author(s) in time, or the unethical behavior is proved, the article can be retracted. In case of a human error, the article can be edited scientifically and republished. No need for retraction. In case of an unethical behavior being conducted, the article is retracted.
If the journal is an online one, the editor in chief can do as it is said below:
Marking the word RETRACTED in the beginning and at the end of the article when a note is written telling the reason why the article was retracted and full text and abstract are omitted from the website.
Marking the word RETRACTED in the beginning and at the end of the article when a note is written telling the reason why the article was retracted, omitting the full text but leaving the abstract on the website.
In case the full text is not omitted all the pages can be marked with the watermark of RETRACTED.
Sending all the documents to the committee of the publication ethics of the university.
 Sending all the documents to the committee of the publication ethics of the university where the author(s) are based.
Sending all the documents to the committee of the publication ethics of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.
Sending all the documents to the Publisher.
Receiving any manuscript from the author(s) should be avoided.
  1. There is also a right for authors to withdraw their manuscript as there is a right for editors not to accept it.
What is Article Withdrawal?
Author can take withdraw his/her article before the final decision is made by the editors. Author must email the editorial board and explain clearly why he is withdrawing his/her article. Editor in chief is free to decide whether to return the manuscript or not. If the author gives any reasons below, the article can be withdrawn by the editor’s decision:
Flaws in ethical codes
Contradiction in data
Flaws in the methodology or conclusion

The editor in chief can return the manuscript in the cases below:
Finding flaws in the data or methodology 
Finding misconduct
Failing the rules of authorship
Plagiarism
Unethical behavior
In case the article is ready to publish the editor in chief can act as it is mentioned below:
The PDF and HTML will not be published; only the title will be published online accompanying a note explaining why the article is withdrawn. This article does not belong to any of the issues and will not have page number.
In case there is a court sentence in special occasions such as risk in publication, insanity in the data of the article, risk of mistaken publishing, publishing confidential and risky information, the article can be completely omitted. In this case only there remains the title and author(s) name and everything will be erased from the data base. This ca only be done by the editor in chief’s decision.
 
 




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