Publication Ethics

Human Rights

The cover letter must include a statement declaring the study complies with the current ethical considerations. Authors reporting the experimental studies on human subjects must include a statement of assurance in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript that:

  1. The informed consent was obtained from each participant included in the study,
  2. The study protocol is consistent with the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki as reflected in a prior approval by the institution's human research committee.

Every experimental or clinical study may raise controversial ethical issues (e.g., Institutional Ethical Approval to study on animal or human subjects). Thus, the journal editorial board expects all authors, reviewers, and editors to consider the COPEICMJEand Equator Network’s reporting guidelines in medical ethics plus the scientific writing. If any, authors should state related declaration(s), otherwise, the following sentence should be given: “None be declared”.

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Animal Rights

In the studies using animal experimentation, assurance must be provided that all animals received humane care according to the criteria outlined in the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" prepared by the National Academy of Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication 86-23 revised 1985). When conducting research on animals we commit to The Basel Declaration which shows outlines fundamental as well as ethical guidelines at the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS).

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Ethical Approval Code

To publish an article in a research journal, author(s) are requested to get the ethical permission from their institute. In this permission, authors will agree upon standard ethical behavior.

  • "Ethical Approval Code" is required for all studies on people, medical records, and human samples.
  • This code must be linked to a webpage showing the details of approval.
  • The code must be approved by the authors' local authorities. For example, the national center of ethics or ethics department of universities.

 


How can I receive the "Ethical Approval Code"?

Before you plan to start a research, project involving human participants or personal data, you must apply for an “ethical approval” for that from one of the University’s research ethics committees. The information requested by your local committee will depend on your discipline and the type of research that you intend to undertake.

Examples of local ethics authorities in different universities:


Which type of manuscripts are required to declare "Ethical Approval Code"?

The below table describes the requirement of approval code and informed consent in different types of manuscript.

Manuscript Type

Ethical Approval Code

Patient Informed Consent

Research Articles

 

 

  • Interventional (on Human participants)

required 

required 

  • Interventional (on Animal participants)

required *

-

  • In vitro studies

required/optional **

required/optional **

  • Real retrospective studies

optional

optional

Case Reports

required/optional ***

required ***

Table notes:

* : Veterinary clinical cases: For studies using client-owned animals, a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care and an informed client consent statement should be included in the Materials and Methods section.

* : Animal Studies: The ethical review committee approval, and the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines followed regarding the animal's welfare is strongly required in these types of studies.

** : In vitro studies on human or animal tissues are obliged to show "ethical approval code".

*** :  Case reports are not obliged to show “Ethical Approval Code”. But it is strongly recommended to obtain written and signed informed consent from patient/ guardians for publishing the case report. 

 


Which type of manuscripts does not need ethical approval code?

  • studies involving the collection or analysis of data
  • studies involving information freely available in the public domain (e.g. published biographies, newspaper accounts)
  • review articles
  • letter or editorial

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Authorship Rules and Regulations

Based on the ICMJE recommends that authorship criteria are as below:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version published.
  4. 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 coauthors. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the gathering of data, technical help, writing assistance, and general supervision of the research group does not warrant authorship. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Please guarantee that anyone stated in the Acknowledgements section has granted its clearance for permission to be listed.


Authorship Statement

An authorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article. Please note that authors' initials must be typed in this statement.

Example:

K.R developed the original idea and the protocol, abstracted and analyzed data, wrote the manuscript, and is guarantor. C.F.N and D.P contributed to the development of the protocol, abstracted data, and prepared the manuscript.


Acknowledgments

Recognize individuals who provided assistance to the project. Report all sources of grant and other support for the project or study, including funds received from contributors, institutions and commercial sources. Consultancies and funds paid directly to investigators must also be listed.


 

Authorship Changes

NEW: Based on our internal policy, we don´t accept any change in the authorship including addition and or deletion of the authors after initial submission except for those cases that are decided by the editorial board.

  • Only Minor changes in the authors including any change in the order of authors will be reviewed by the editorial board. Authors should determine the order of authorship among themselves. In addition, any alterations must be clarified to the Editor/Editor-in-chief.
  • To apply a request for a minor change in the authors, please fill the agreement form and send it to: ijvlms@sums.ac.ir
  • Changes or rearrangements in authorship after acceptance and publication are strictly prohibited.

Competing Interests

A competing interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain - employment, Consultancy, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert- testimony or personal relationship). There is nothing unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and clearly stated. All authors must declare all competing interests in their covering letter and in “Competing Interests” section at the end of the manuscript file (before the references). Authors with no competing interests to declare should obviously state that.

  • The policy of publisher is that none of the editors should have any financial relationship with any Biomedical company.

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Authors' Responsibilities

  • Authors must certify that their manuscript is their original work.
  • Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere, or even submitted and been in reviewed in another journal.
  • Authors must participate in the peer review process and follow the comments.
  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.
  • All Authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research. Level of their contribution also must be defined in the “Authors’ Contributions” section of the article.
  • 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 identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript.
  • Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.
  • Authors must not use irrelevant sources that may help other researches/journals.
  • Authors cannot withdraw their articles within the review process or after submission, or they must pay the penalty defined by the publisher.

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Peer Review/Responsibility for the Reviewers

  • Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information.
  • Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author. No self-knowledge of the author(s) must affect their comments and decision.
  • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments in 500 to 1000 words.
  • Reviewers may identify relevant published work 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 not 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 connected to the papers.

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Editorial Responsibilities

  • Editors (Associate Editors or Editor in Chief) have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article.
  • Editors are responsible for the contents and overall quality of the publication.
  • Editors should always consider the needs of the authors and the readers when attempting to improve the publication.
  • Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record.
  • Editors should publish errata pages or make corrections when needed.
  • Editors should have a clear picture of a research's funding sources.
  • Editors should base their decisions solely one the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.
  • Editors should not reverse their decisions nor overturn the ones of previous editors without serious reason.
  • Editors should preserve the anonymity of reviewers (in half blind peer review journals).
  • Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to international 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 suspicions; they should have proof of misconduct.
  • Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers and board members.
  • Editors must not change their decision after submitting a decision (especially after reject or accept) unless they have a serious reason.

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Publishing Ethics Issues

  • All editorial members, reviewers, and authors must confirm and obey rules defined by 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 any kind of correction honestly and completely.
  • Any notes of plagiarism, fraudulent data or any other kinds of fraud must be reported completely and will be investigated carefully based on the rules of COPE.

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Allegations of Misconduct

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the journal’s or publisher’s attention. Journals must take seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. Policies should include how to handle allegations from whistleblowers.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/misconduct

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Complaints and Appeals

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/appeals

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Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interest

There must be clear definitions of conflicts of interest and processes for handling conflicts of interest of authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers, whether identified before or after publication.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/competinginterests

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Data and Reproducibility

Journals should include policies on data availability and encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials and other study designs according to standard practice in their discipline.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/data

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Ethical Oversight

Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and of business/marketing practices.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/oversight

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Intellectual Property

All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, should be clearly described. In addition, any costs associated with publishing should be obvious to authors and readers. Policies should be clear on what counts as prepublication that will preclude consideration. What constitutes plagiarism and redundant/overlapping publication should be specified.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/intellectualproperty

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Online Submission

The Journal accepts manuscripts only through the online submission system, easy to use and easy to track, thus the submission will be done rather faster by electronically submission. Once you submit an article, it will be forwarded to one of the editors and afterwards to at least two peer-reviewers. At once after submission, the author will be notified of the both submission process via the email and the follow-up ID code. It is recommended to save the sent ID code for all the next correspondence regarding each article, separately.

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Peer Review Processes

All peer review processes must be transparently described and well managed. Journals should provide training for editors and reviewers and have policies on diverse aspects of peer review, especially with respect to adoption of appropriate models of review and processes for handling conflicts of interest, appeals and disputes that may arise in peer review.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/peerreview

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Post-Publication Discussions and Corrections

Journals must allow debate post publication either on their site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubMed Commons or PubPeer. They must have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/postpublication

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Plagiarism and Similarity Rates

The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. We recommend reviewers in the peer review process to completely check and control the similarities and guide authors to avoid similarities with other published materials.

  • We accept all terms and conditions of the COPE regarding similarity rates and plagiarism and in case, any attempt for plagiarism accompanied with convincing evidence is considered. Accordingly, we act based on the flowcharts and workflows by the COPE.
  • The highest responsibility to control and avoid plagiarism is held by the EIC of the journal.

We check all manuscripts using iThenticate plagiarism checker in at least 2 important steps:

  1. Early submission: The journal office detects submissions with high similarity rates and prevents them from proceeding to the next step.
  2. Before the primary stage of publishing:  Accepted manuscripts will be checked once again before the publishing process.