1. Reporting standards
Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work.
The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial ‘opinion’ or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such.
Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
2. Data access and retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable.
In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
3. Originality and plagiarism
Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited.
Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited.
Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another’s paper as the author’s own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others.
Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
4. Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication
Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal.
Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behaviour and unacceptable.
The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met.
The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document.
The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
5. Authorship of the manuscript
Only persons who meet these authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content:
- Made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study.
- Drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content.
- Have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication.
All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the “Acknowledgements” section after their written permission to be named as been obtained.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the author list and verify that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.
6. Disclosure and conflicts of interest
(1) at the earliest stage possible (generally by submitting a disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript).
(2) disclose any conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript.
Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include financial ones such as honoraria, educational grants or other funding, participation in speakers’ bureaus, membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest, and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, as well as non-financial ones such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.
All sources of financial support for the work should be disclosed (including the grant number or another reference number if any).
7. Acknowledgement of Sources
Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from the conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.
8. Hazards and human or animal subjects
If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript.
If the work involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them.
the manuscript should contain a statement to this effect.
Authors should also include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants.
The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed.
9. Peer review
Authors are obliged to participate in the peer-review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions.
In the case of a first decision of “revisions necessary”, authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.
10. Fundamental errors in published works
When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper.
If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the author’s obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper.