Nepalese Heart Journal

The official journal of the Cardiac Society of Nepal.

PUBLICATION ETHICS

Ethical Policy

NHJ is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behavior at all stages of the publication process. We closely follow the industry associations, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) and 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.

ETHICAL EXPECTATIONS

Editors’ responsibilities

  1. Editors should be responsible for everything published in their journals.
  2. Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal.
  3. Editors have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept and ask for modification of an article.
  4. Editors should have no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept.
  5. Editors should accept a paper when reasonably certain.
  6. Editors should preserve anonymity of reviewers.
  7. Editors should strive to meet the needs of readers and authors.
  8. Editors should constantly work to improve the journal.
  9. Editors should ensure the quality of the material they publish.
  10. Editors should respect the freedom of expression.
  11. Editors should maintain the integrity of the academic record. Editors should preclude business needs from compromising intellectual standards.
  12. Editors should always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
  13. Editors should act in a balanced, objective and fair way while carrying out their expected duties, without discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors.
  14. Editors should handle submissions for sponsored supplements or special issues in the same way as other submissions, so that articles are considered and accepted solely on their academic merit and without commercial influence.
  15. Editors should adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the journal where appropriate.
  16. Editors should give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. All complaints should be investigated no matter when the original publication was approved.
  17. Editors should retain document associated with any such complaints. Editors should inform readers about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.
  18. Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards. A description of peer review processes should be published, and Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes. Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against Editorial decisions.
  19. Editors should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
  20. Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission. Editors should publish guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
  21. Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains confidential while under review.

Reviewers’ responsibilities

  1. Reviewer should contribute to the decision-making process, and to assist in improving the quality of the published paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively, in a timely manner.
  2. Reviewer should maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author.
  3. Reviewer should not retain or copy the manuscript.
  4. Reviewer should alert the editor to any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review.
  5. Reviewer should be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and to alert the editor to these, if necessary withdrawing their services for that manuscript.
  6. Reviewer judgments should be objective.
  7. Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited.

Authors’ responsibilities

  1. Author should maintain accurate records of data associated with their submitted manuscript, and to supply or provide access to these data, on reasonable request. Where appropriate and where allowed by employer, funding body and others who might have an interest, to deposit data in a suitable repository or storage location, for sharing and further use by others.
  2. Author should confirm that the manuscript as submitted is not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere. Where portions of the content overlap with published or submitted content, to acknowledge and cite those sources. Additionally, to provide the editor with a copy of any submitted manuscript that might contain overlapping or closely related content.
  3. Author should confirm that all the work in the submitted manuscript is original and to acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources.
  4. Author should obtain permission to reproduce any content from other sources.
  5. Authors should ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements (e.g. WMA Declaration of Helsinki, NIH Policy on Use of laboratory Animals, EU Directive on Use of Animals) and confirm that approval has been sought and obtained where appropriate.
  6. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.
  7. Author should declare any potential conflicts of interest (e.g. where the author has a competing interest (real or apparent) that could be considered or viewed as exerting an undue influence on his or her duties at any stage during the publication process).
  8. Author should notify promptly the journal editor or publisher if a significant error in their publication is identified. Authors are obliged to participate in peer review process. All authors have significantly contributed to the research.
  9. Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.

Society responsibilities

Cardiac Society of Nepal shall ensure that good practice is maintained to the standards outlined above. Cardiac Society of Nepal will provide assurance that they subscribe to the principles outlined in ethical standard guideline, or to substantially similar principles, either adopting these formally or producing their own for the attention of their editors and editorial boards.

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR

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. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.

Investigation
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 breaches
Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.

Serious breaches
Serious misconduct might require 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 (in increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction)

  1. Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
  2. A more strongly worded letter to the author or reviewer covering the misconduct and as a warning to future behavior.
  3. Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
  4. Publication of an editorial detailing the misconduct.
  5. A formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
  6. 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.
  7. Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
  8. Reporting the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.

Publication and authorship
Authors should submit an Authorship form, which should carry in sequence information on primary author, corresponding author, and other authors, with authors’ full names, affiliations, departments, email and addresses of institute affiliated (street, city, country).

NHJ will follow the ICJME recommendation with the following criteria for authorship;

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

  1. Authorship credit should be based on Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and Final approval of the version to be published.
  2. When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments.
  3. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
  4. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  5. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Authorship of multicenter trials is attributed to a group. All members of the group who are named as authors should fully meet the above criteria for authorship. The group should jointly make decisions about contributors/ authors before submitting the manuscript for publication. The corresponding author/guarantor should be prepared to explain the presence and order of these individuals. It is not the role of editors to make authorship decisions or to arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

Order of Authorship
The authors themselves should decide the order in which authors are listed in an article. No one else knows as well as they do their respective contributions and the agreements they have made among themselves. Many different criteria are used to decide order of authorship. Among these are relative contributions to the work and, in situations where all authors have contributed equally, alphabetical or random order. Readers cannot know, and should not assume, the meaning of order of authorship unless the approach to assigning order has been described by the authors. Authors may want to include with their manuscript a description of how order was decided. If so, editors should welcome this information and publish it with the manuscript.

Authorship criteria
To qualify for authorship, the author must have contributed substantially to the intellectual content of the manuscript.

A

  • conception and design
  • acquisition of data
  • analysis and interpretation of data

B

  • drafting of the manuscript
  • critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content

C

  • statistical analysis
  • obtaining funding
  • supervision

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chairperson who provided only general support. Editors should ask corresponding authors to declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If such assistance was available, the authors should disclose the identity of the individuals who provided this assistance and the entity that supported it in the published article. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under such headings as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described—for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, these persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.

Authorship Disputes
Disputes about authorship are best settled at the local level, before journals review the manuscript. However, at their discretion editors may become involved in resolving authorship disputes. Changes in authorship at any stage of manuscript review, revision, or acceptance should be accompanied by a written request and explanation from all of the original authors.

Plagiarism Policy

  1. The Journal follows the authorship guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/).
  2. The Journal assigns equal responsibility of intellectual integrity of the manuscript to all authors whose names appear on the manuscript/article.
  3. When submitting a manuscript, the Journal requires that all authors sign a statement accepting this responsibility.
  4. This statement must indicate that no part of the manuscript has been plagiarized.
  5. Any such material should be made accessible to the Editor and should only be used with referencing according to the guidelines of authorship. This may otherwise form the basis of a redundant publication/ duplicate publication/”salami slicing” and appropriate action may be taken by the Editor which may range from rejection of the manuscript to debarment of the authors(s) from further publication in the Journal.
  6. It is emphasized that the Journal considers self plagiarism as equally unethical as plagiarism in any other form. If material is to be used from the authors previous work, standard referencing guidelines must be followed.
  7. All manuscripts submitted to the Journal will be checked for plagiarism. If a manuscript submitted for publication (or a manuscript accepted for publication or an article that has already been published in the Journal) is found to be based on plagiarized material, the Editor will be obliged to write to the author(s) seeking an explanation. The corresponding author will be required to respond with an explanation within 30 days of receiving the letter from the editor.
  8. Any such manuscript for review will be held up till the matter is resolved.
  9. After receiving the author’s explanation, if considered necessary, the Editor may also send a letter of information to the Head of the Institution or any other relevant authority at the author(s) institution.
  10. In case an acceptable explanation is provided by the author(s), the Editor may recommend appropriate changes after which the review process for the submitted manuscript may commence.
  11. In case of failure of author(s) to either respond within the stipulated time, or in case they are unable to provide a suitable explanation, the Editor will convene a meeting of the Plagiarism Committee of the Board of Editors of the Journal to consider further action.
  12. Further action will depend upon the nature of the offence and may include rejection of the manuscript from publication along with possible debarment of the author(s) from further publishing in the Journal. The period of debarment will depend upon the nature of the offence and may range from a period of a few months to permanent.
  13. Information regarding this action may be published in the forth coming issue of the Journal on a numbered page.

Plagiarism, if detected and proved, would be considered a punishable offence.

Immediate and unbiased action will be taken by the Plagiarism Committee.