Publication Ethics and Editorial Policy of the Bulletin of Contemporary Clinical Medicine journal

After submission of an abstract or an article (according to the rules of submitted manuscript) the peer-reviewing process begins. At the first stage, responsible secretary checks the following aspects:

The study needs to be scientifically valid with clear aims and objectives. The sample size is adequate and the results are adequately and clearly presented and explained.

The investigators excluded or considered the possible confounding factors and/or biases?

The ethical harms have been minimized; confidentiality is protected, the risk of physical and psychological harm was minimized.

The benefits outweigh the harms in this particular study case.

If there is a doubt about local law or Russian Federation regulations, editors ask the authors to provide a letter from the ethics committee [1].

To provide the research integrity we offer our authors to follow Singapore Statement on Research Integrity. (www.singaporestatement.org):

The value and benefits of research are vitally dependent on the integrity of research. In case of national and disciplinary differences in the way research is organized and conducted, there are also principles and professional responsibilities that are fundamental to the integrity of research wherever it is undertaken.

Honesty in all aspects of research.

Accountability in conduction of research.

Professional courtesy and fairness in working with others.

Good stewardship of research on behalf of others [2].

Peer-review

Transparency

Before peer-review process begins, secretary assures that the authors have read and understood the Instructions to Authors, Publication Ethics guidelines and check author’s statement (see below)

  • Funding information
  • Competing interest declaration
  • Permission to use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web) was obtained
  • Documentation for any citations to unpublished work (e.g. articles in press/ personal communications)
  • Information about previous submissions to other journals (e.g. name of journal, reviewer comments)
  • Confirmation that the manuscript has been submitted solely to your journal and was not published in press or submitted elsewhere.

Each author signs an authorship declaration. Who is the Author? Author is the person who has participated in the article: created ideas, design, workflow, analyzed and interpreted the data, reviewed drafts, criticized and approved the final version of the article. Editorial board can require statements of each individual’s contribution to the research and publication. As usual, Author who has performed the most of the work on the article is the first Author. On the other hand, we need to clarify that not all analyze and data interpretation refers to the Authorship criteria (for example, X-ray interpretation as a part of the routine work).

To exclude guest-Authors and to include ghost-Authors please provide statements of each individual’s contribution. Someone considers including to the Author’s list a person who did not contribute to the article a routine practice in scientific world. We believe that such behavior is unethical and unacceptable. To avoid this, we recommend discussing this before the publication. We recommend putting all people who did not participate in the article to the gratitude list after the main text. On the other hand, a “ghost writer” is frequently ignored. A technical writer who only processed the text has a conflict of interest as well.

All Authors must be in communications (e.g. acknowledging receipt of a submission) not just the corresponding Author.

An information letter from the ethics committee with study approval must exist in the article.

Reviewers’ ethics

-        Reviews conduct reviews objectively.

-        Reviews avoid personal criticism of the Author

-        Reviewers decline to review 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 related to the papers.

-        Reviewers respect the confidentiality of material supplied to them and should not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in their own work. If a reviewer wants to pass a review request to the colleague, they should get the editor’s permission beforehand.

Reviewers should check ethical aspects of the submission such as:

-        Has the Author published this research before?

-        Has the Author plagiarized another publication? Was it an auto plagiarism? We check articles by anti plagiarism systems.

-        Is there any indication that the data has been fabricated or inappropriately manipulated?

-        Has the text been recycled?

The recycled text is a special case of auto plagiarism – when from publication to publication Author repeats the same paragraphs of recycled text. This is unacceptable – auto plagiarism reduces the quality and scientific novelty of the publication. Editorial board evaluates how much the text was recycled, if there is a reference to the literature. Distinguish a few of their own borrowing phrases from the recycling of old articles is not difficult. When it comes to the materials and methods, the recycled text, of course, cannot be avoided but the results and conclusions of the study should not be repeated. If the revised text repeated in Author’s several review articles, according to the guidance of the Committee on Publication Ethics (UK, http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines) this article should be considered as auto plagiarism. If the Authors do not provide a link to his previous work, it speaks more in favor of auto plagiarism than an honest mistake.

Since those clone articles are widespread, here are some options to adopt them for publication:

1. The Authors completely rewrite the review with new sources

2. The Authors cites own text in quotes or summarize it with the obligatory reference to their previous publication.

3. The Authors cut the article to abstract size or a short message with reference to the materials and methods from the previous publication.

4. The Authors publish only the results and calculations with reference to the previous publications and compare them to those or with other Authors.

Any of these options will enhance the originality and citation rate of the articles.

In case of detection of a revised text in reviewing article, Editorial Board will ask the Authors to rewrite these parts. Upon detection of revised text in published article, the article will be withdrawn or the corrected article will be published by the Author. Questions related to the text or recycled auto plagiarisms are assessed taking into account the competence of the Author, age and scientific experience.

Publication of the members of editorial board

Publication of the members of editorial board is allowed. The review process of these manuscripts takes place without Authors participation. Member of the Editorial Board declares a conflict of interest with the publisher and the editorial board; a member of the editorial board is not involved in the process of peer-reviewing of his own article. Communication with the editors on publication is performed only through the executive secretary.

The review process is independent from the constitutors. All members of the Editorial Board have a written agreement with the constitutors. The constitutors have no right to influence the review process.

Commercial publications and advertisements are peer-reviewed equally as scientific publications with no benefits. [3]

Manuscripts retraction

We retract manuscripts in case of:

- There are any signs that the data has been fabricated or inappropriately manipulated

- They were already published

- Plagiarism was found

- The research was unethical

- In case when the investigation of supposed malefaction associated with article were no fair or convincing evidences were not provided.

In case of Authors replacement and the reliability evidence provided, the manuscripts will not be retracted.

Manuscript retraction process begins as soon as we find reasons for retraction, as usual accompanying the peer-review process. Published articles can be retracted too.

Manuscript retraction process can be initiated by Author, Editorial Board or other journal.

How we treat articles that are ready to be retracted?

If there is a possibility of correction, after the removal of all the queries, the article can be accepted for publication. Retracted articles mostly contain severe disabilities.

If the article has been published previously, in the next issue we publish a note referring to an earlier publication. The BCCM journal notifies the journal where the article has been published earlier.

“Cross articles”. Articles containing previously published data, together with the original data with appropriate references are not retracted. The purpose of the retraction process is not to punish the Authors, but to provide reliable data. [4]

Conflict of interest

Each Author must declare a conflict of interest.

A conflict of interest occurs in circumstances when the primary professional interest becomes affected by secondary interest (financial benefits, career advancement, encouragement of colleagues, friends, relatives, countrymen, highlighting the role of his department, institution). Influence of secondary interest leads to moral and ethical conflicts in relation to patients, health professionals and to the whole scientific community.

In medicine, the primary professional interests are related to quality of care, proper treatment of diseases, the well-being of patients, professionalism, impartiality and integrity of the research, as well as open and honest editorial work. The secondary interests are numerous, complex in their origin and not always easily distinguishable even for professionals. They can arise from a desire to benefit financially from professional activities or to strengthen the position of some scientific statements or to advance his/her career development or for the benefit of family members, friends and colleagues from the same city, country or institution, etc.

A conflict of interest can be commercial (financial), intellectual, academic (competitive), ideological, having a personal character or territorial characteristics.

Most often, there is a commercial conflict of interest in the publication of data in biomedical research. You must declare the sponsorship, grants and other types of material incentives.

In the absence of a conflict of interest no conflict of interest must be declared. When there is a doubt, the editorial board will always help. Declaring a conflict of interests helps readers to critically evaluate the article with the influence of secondary interests of the Author [5].

1. Guidance for Editors: Research, Audit and Service Evaluations / http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines

2. www.singaporestatement.org

3. A short guide to ethical editing for new editors / http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines

4. Retraction guidelines / http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines

5. Croat Med J. 2013;54:600-8 doi: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.600 Armen Yuri Gasparyan1, Lilit Ayvazyan2, Nurbek A. Akazhanov3, George D. Kitas1,4a.gasparyan@gmail.com Conflicts of interest in biomedical publications: considerations for Authors, peer reviewers, and editors.

e-subscription: http://vskmjournal.org/ru/podpiska.html

Reference Information:

The Universal Copyright Convention.

http://elementy.ru/library9/convavtor.htm

Ethical issues

Authorship.

All persons designated as "authors" have to meet the criteria of this concept. The participation of each author has to be sufficient to assume responsibility for its content. The right to be called the author is based on the following facts:

1) significant contribution to the concept and design of the study or to the analysis and data interpretation;

2) preparation of the text of the article or introduction of fundamental changes;

3) the final approval of the version that is submitted for printing.

Participation, consisting only in securing financing or selecting material for the article, does not justify inclusion in the author's group. The overall management of the research team is not recognized as sufficient for the authorship.

The editors have the right to inquire the contribution of each author in preparation of the article; this information can be published.

All members of the team who do not meet the authorship criteria have to be listed according to their consent in the section "Expression of gratitude".

The order in which the authors are to be listed is to be determined by their joint decision.

Conflict of interest. Conflict of interests concerning a particular manuscript arises if in the process of review or publication one of the participants - the author, reviewer or editor - has obligations that could affect his or her opinion (even if this does not happen in reality). The most frequent reason for the conflict of interest is financial relations (for example, related to hiring, consulting, ownership of shares, fee payment and paid expert opinions), directly or through close relatives. There are other possible reasons - personal relationships, scientific rivalry and intellectual predilections.

Participants of the review and publication process have to report a conflict of interest.

The authors, when presenting the manuscript, are responsible for disclosing their financial and other conflicting interests that can influence their work. The manuscript has to contain all persons and organizations that provided financial support, as well as other financial or personal participation. The role of the sponsor/sponsors in the research structure, in data gathering, analysis and interpretation have to be described.

The authors have to indicate the names of those who, in their opinion, should not review the manuscript because of possible, as a rule, professional, conflict of interests.

Reviewers have to notify the editorial office on any conflicts of interest that may affect their opinion on the manuscript; they have to refuse to review a particular article if they consider it justified. In turn, the editorial staff has to be able to evaluate objectivity of the review and decide whether it is worth to abandon the services of this reviewer.

The Editorial Board can use the information provided in the reports on the presence of a conflict of interest and on financial interests as a basis for making editorial decisions.

Editors who make decisions on a manuscript cannot have personal, professional or financial interest/participation in any matter. Other members of the editorial team, if they participate in decision-making, have to provide the editors with a description of their financial interest (since it may have an impact on editorial decisions) and refuse to participate in decision-making if there is a conflict of interest.

Compliance with patients' rights and confidentiality. Patients have a right to maintain confidentiality, which cannot be disclosed without their consent. Personal information, including patient names, initials, hospital numbers and case histories, cannot be published as written descriptions, photographs or pedigrees unless this information is of a great scientific value or if the patient (or parent or guardian) does not provide (provide) written consent for publication. The authors have to inform the patients if there is a possibility that the material to be identified can be accessed via the Internet after publication. The authors have to provide written informed consent of the patient for sharing the information and report this in the article.

Protection of humans and animals in scientific research. If there are descriptions of human experiments in the article, the authors have to indicate whether they have been conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the committee responsible for experiments involving people (part of the institution or national) and the 1975 Helsinki Declaration and its revised version from 2000. In doubtful cases, the authors have to provide a justification for their approaches and evidence that the review board of the institution has approved the questionable aspects of the study. When presenting experiments involving animals, the authors have to indicate whether the requirements on keeping and using laboratory animals of the national leadership or institution managers have been met.

Publication of negative results. Many studies showing negative results are in fact non-committal/inconclusive. The possibility of publishing incomplete research results is considered by the editorial board in a special order, as often such articles do not have biomedical value and consume resources belonging to the journal.

Multiple publications. The editors do not consider manuscripts that are simultaneously submitted for publication in other journals, as well as the works that have for the most part already been published as an article or have become part of other work submitted or accepted for publication by some other print publication or electronic media. This policy does not exclude consideration of an article not accepted for publication by another journal, or a complete description presented after the publication of preliminary results, i.e. theses or posters presented at professional conferences.

Correspondence. Readers can, if necessary, direct their comments, questions or criticisms to published articles that will be published in the journal. If desired, the authors of the articles can respond to the comments.

Author's copies are included; upon the issue of the volume, the electronic version of the journal in pdf format is being sent to the responsible author at the e-mail address specified in the article. It is also possible to receive the journal by subscription (see Subscription section).

The articles previously published or directed to other journals or digest are not accepted. The editors reserve the right to shorten and edit received articles.

Article clearance which does not comply with these requirements will not be considered. The submitted manuscript denied in publication will not be returned back.

The details of the "Unified Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals", developed by the International Committee of Editors of Medical Journals, in particular ethical issues, can be found (in translation from 2006), the original version (in English, 2010) at the site www.ICMJE.org.

Declaration of Privacy

Authors and Reviewers

Manuscripts have to be reviewed with due respect for the authors' confidentiality. Presenting their manuscripts for review, the authors trust editors with the results of their scientific and creative work, on which their reputation and career may depend. The rights of the authors can be violated by disclosure of confidential information during review of their manuscript. In addition, the editor should respect the right of reviewers for confidentiality. It can be broken only in order to counter fraud and deceit.

Editors can not disclose to anyone, except authors and reviewers, information about manuscripts (including their gathering, content, status in the process of reviewing, criticism of reviewers and final fate). This includes requests for the use of materials to resolve legal issues.

Editors have to notify their reviewers that the manuscripts sent for review are confidential information and private property of the authors. Thus, reviewers and editorial staff should respect the authors' rights and not discuss publicly the work of the authors until the publication of the manuscript. Reviewers are prohibited from copying manuscripts and transferring them to the third parties, except as permitted by the editor. The reviewer's comments cannot be published or publicized in any other way without the consent of the reviewer, the author and the editor.

Reviewers are anonymous to the authors. If the authors receive a review without the signature of the expert who performed it, the reviewer's identity should not be disclosed to the author or to other persons without the consent of the reviewer.

The reviews cannot be accepted for publication together with the manuscript without the consent of the authors and reviewers. At the same time, reviewer's comments should be sent to other persons who review the same manuscript, which contributes to their learning in the process of reviewing. In addition, reviewers can be informed on the decision of the editor to accept or reject the manuscript.

Patients and participants in research

Patients have the right to protect personal information that cannot be disclosed without informed consent. Personal information that includes names, initials or numbers of medical records cannot be published in writing or in the form of photographs or pedigrees unless it is necessary for scientific purposes and the patient (parent or guardian) has not provided written informed consent to similar publication. When informed consent is obtained, the identifiable patient has to be provided with the manuscript that will be published. The authors have to inform the patient whether the personal information will be available on the Internet or in printed versions after the publication of the manuscript. Taking into account the relevant requirements and legislation, the written consent of the patient has to be kept in the editorial office of the journal or with the authors, or both. The relevant legislation varies from region to region, and journals should implement their own privacy policy, taking these differences into account. In order to protect the confidentiality of patients better, the written consent of patients can be kept by the authors. In this case, the authors must notify the editorial office in writing that they have received the written informed consent of the patients.

Inessential personal information should be omitted. Informed consent must be obtained when there is a doubt that the anonymity of patients will be preserved. In particular, masking the patient's eye area on a photograph is not a guarantee of anonymity. If authors change personal data in order to protect anonymity, for example, when describing genetic genealogies, the absence of distortion of scientific results has to be provided by the authors and verified by editors.

The requirement for informed consent has to be included in the Rules for authors on the preparation of the manuscript. Obtaining informed consent has to be indicated in the published article.