Principles of Publishing Ethics

Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly (HDQ) as a member of Negah Journals, published by Negah Institute for Scientific Communication, is committed to apply ethics of publication, based on the COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices. You may find the journal’s code of publication ethics, here.

International Standards for Authors and Editors

Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly is committed to follow and apply International Standards for Authors and Editors of Committee on Publication Ethics in designing and leading the Journal’s reviewing and publishing process and dealing with their issues. You may find the International Standards for Authors, here. Also, you may find the International Standards for Editors, here.

Authorship and Acknowledgements: 

Authors submitting a paper confirm that the understanding that the manuscript have been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the Journal. Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly adheres to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • 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.

It is a requirement that all authors have been accredited as appropriate upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under Acknowledgements. 

Acknowledgements: 
Under acknowledgements please specify contributors to the article other than the authors accredited. Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly requires that all sources of institutional, private and corporate financial support for the work within the manuscript must be fully acknowledged, and any potential conflicts of interest noted. Grant or contribution numbers may be acknowledged, and principal grant holders should be listed. Acknowledgments should be brief and should not include thanks to anonymous referees and editors. 

Ethical Approvals: 

Experimentation involving human subjects will only be published if such research has been conducted in full accordance with ethical principles, including the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (version, 2002www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm) and the additional requirements, if any, of the country where the research has been carried out. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and written consent of each subject and according to the above mentioned principles. A statement regarding the fact that the study has been independently reviewed and approved by an ethical board should also be included. Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there are doubts as to whether appropriate procedures have been used. The authors should obtain code of ethics from Ethical committee. Also for protection of human subjects in research projects, criteria for IRB should be under consideration.

Conflict of Interest and Source of Funding:

Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly requires that all sources of institutional, private and corporate financial support for the work within the manuscript must be fully declared , and any potential conflicts of interest noted. Grant or contribution code may be acknowledged, and principal grant holders should be listed. Please include this information under Acknowledgements. 

Appeal of Decision: 

 The decision on a paper is final and cannot be appealed.

Permissions:

 If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned. In most cases, this will be the original publisher of the material. It is the author's responsibility to obtain these in writing and provide copies to the Publishers.

COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts

Health in Emergencies and Disasters quarterly is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics in its reviewing and publishing process and issues. For more information, please click here.

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COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices

1. Editors

Chief Editors is accountable for everything published in the journal. This means the editors

1.1 strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;

1.2 strive to constantly improve their journal;

1.3 have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;

1.4 champion freedom of expression;

1.5 maintain the integrity of the academic record;

1.6 preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;

1.7 always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

Best Practice for Editors would include

  • actively seeking the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes

  • encouraging and being aware of research into peer review and publishing and reassessing their journal’s processes in the light of new findings

  • supporting initiatives designed to reduce research and publication misconduct

  • supporting initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics

  • assessing the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revising policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct

  • ensuring that any press releases issued by their journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context.

2. Readers

2.1 Readers should be informed about who has funded research or other scholarly work and whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was.

    Best practice for editors would include:

  • ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers including statistical review.

  • ensuring that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are clearly identified

  • adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists

  • considering developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles

  • adopting authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e. so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g. ghost and guest authors)

3. informing readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation

4. Relations with authors

4.1 Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal.

4.2 Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.

4.3 New editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.

4.4 A description of peer review processes should be published, and editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes.

4.5 Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.

4.6 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.

4.7 Editors should provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor following the standards within the relevant field.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • reviewing author instructions regularly and providing links to relevant guidelines
  • publishing relevant competing interests for all contributors and publishing corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication

  • ensuring that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)

  • respecting requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned and practicable

  • publishing details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct
  • publishing submission and acceptance dates for articles

5. Relations with reviewers

5.1 Editors should provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.

5.2 Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.

5.3 Editors should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected unless they use an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • encouraging reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects (including animals), inappropriate data manipulation and presentation)

  • encouraging reviewers to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism

  • considering providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications (e.g. links to cited references and bibliographic searches)

  • sending reviewers’ comments to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libelous remarks

  • seeking to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal

  • encouraging academic institutions to recognize peer review activities as part of the scholarly process

  • monitoring the performance of peer reviewers and taking steps to ensure this is of high standard

  • developing and maintaining a database of suitable reviewers and updating this on the basis of reviewer performance

  • ceasing to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews
  • ensuring that the reviewer database reflects the community for their journal and adding new reviewers as needed

  • using a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g. author suggestions, bibliographic databases)

  • following the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct

6. Relations with editorial board members

6.1 Editors should provide new editorial board members with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and should keep existing members updated on new policies and developments.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • having policies in place for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review

  • identifying suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal
    • regularly reviewing the composition of the editorial board

  • providing clear guidance to editorial board members about their expected functions and duties, which might include:

  • acting as ambassadors for the journal

  • supporting and promoting the journal

  • seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g. from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions

  • reviewing submissions to the journal

  • accepting commissions to write editorials, reviews and commentaries on papers in their specialist area

  • attending and contributing to editorial board meetings

  • consulting editorial board members periodically (e.g. once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenge

7. Relations with Negah Publisher

7.1 The relationship of editors to Negah Publisher and the owner is based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.

7.2 Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from Negah Publisher.

7.3 Editors have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with Negah Publisher.

7.4 The terms of this contract is in line with the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • communicating regularly with Negah Publisher

8. Editorial and peer review processes

8.1 Editors should strive to ensure that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.

8.2 Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains confidential while under review.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review and journal management

  • keeping informed about research into peer review and technological advances

  • adopting peer review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves

  • reviewing peer review practices periodically to see if improvement is possible

  • referring troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected

  • considering the appointment of an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally

9. Quality assurance

9.1 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.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • having systems in place to detect falsified data (e.g. inappropriately manipulated photographic images or plagiarised text) either for routine use or when suspicions are raised

  • basing decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of reporting (e.g. adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance) rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference

10. Protecting individual data

10.1 Editors must obey laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction. Regardless of local statutes, however, they should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions. It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from people who might recognize themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or photographs). It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, it is impossible to obtain consent and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • publishing their policy on publishing individual data (e.g. identifiable personal details or images) and explaining this clearly to authors

Note that consent to take part in research or undergo treatment is not the same as consent to publish personal details, images or quotations.

11. Encouraging ethical research (e.g. research involving humans or animals)

11.1 Editors should endeavour to ensure that research they publish was carried out according to the relevant internationally Declaration of Helsinki for clinical research, and the AERA and BERA guidelines for educational research.

11.2 Editors should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. However, editors should recognize that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • being prepared to request evidence of ethical research approval and to question authors about ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed

  • ensuring that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki, Good Clinical Practice.

  • appointing a journal ethics advisor or panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies periodically

12. Dealing with possible misconduct

12.1 Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.

12.2 Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.

12.3 Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.

12.4 Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.

12.5 Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.

13. Ensuring the integrity of the academic record

13.1 Errors, inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.

13.2 Editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • taking steps to reduce covert redundant publication (e.g. by requiring all clinical trials to be registered)

  • ensuring that published material is securely archived (e.g. via online permanent repositories, such as PubMed Central)

  • having systems in place to give authors the opportunity to make original research articles freely available

14. Intellectual property

14.1 Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with Negah Publisher to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • adopting systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised)

  • supporting authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism

  • being prepared to work with Negah Publisher to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g.  by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright

15. Encouraging debate

15.1 Editors should encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their journal.

15.2 Authors of criticized material should be given the opportunity to respond.

15.3 Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • being open to research that challenges previous work published in the journal

16. Complaints

16.1 Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.

16.2 Editors should follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints.

17. Commercial considerations

17.1 Journals should have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions (e.g. advertising departments should operate independently from editorial departments).

17.2 Editors should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and on processes for publishing sponsored supplements.

17.3 Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction needs to be included in which case it should be clearly identified.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • publishing a general description of their journal’s income sources (e.g. the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, sponsored supplements, page charges, etc.)

  • ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal

  • ensuring that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and decisions about such supplements are not influenced by commercial considerations

18. Conflicts of interest

18.1 Editors should use IJJME form and procedure for managing the conflicts of interest issues.

18.2 Journals should have a declared process for handling submissions from the editors, employees or members of the editorial board to ensure unbiased review.


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