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Almost every step in the publishing process involves important ethical principles. Having clear statements on these issues can encourage responsible publication practices.
COPE has designed guidelines that can be used to audit the journal in order to define which of the processes and practices require attention. A clear description of ethical principles will help manage author expectations and will help manage situations that may arise if these statements have not been adhered to by authors.

The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of work of the author and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior.
Ethics topics to consider when publishing:

  • Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study.
  • Originality and plagiarism: 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.
  • Data access and retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data.
  • Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. AB does not view the following uses of a work as prior publication: publication in the form of an abstract; publication as an academic thesis; publication as an electronic preprint. Information on prior publication is included within each AB’s journal’s Guide for Authors.
  • Acknowledgement of sources: Proper acknowledgment.
  • Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.
  • Fundamental errors in published works: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
  • Reporting standards: Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.
  • Hazards and human or animal subjects: Statements of compliance are required if the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects.
  • Use of patient images or case details: Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper.

    Peer-review systems and Publication Policy
    Editors are responsible for ensuring the peer-review process is fair and should always aim to minimize bias.

    • The journal has a peer-review system that best suits our journal.
    • Journal has a clearly set policy of blind review which also explains the deficiencies in the paper.  Only research articles and review articles are peer reviewed.
    • The journal applies consistent standards in their peer-review processes.
    • If discussions between an author, editor, and peer reviewer will take place in confidence, they should remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties or there are exceptional circumstances.
    • Editors or board members are never involved in editorial decisions about their own work. Journal has clearly set-out policies for handling submissions from members of their editorial board or employees.
    • Journal editors, members of editorial boards and other editorial staff (including peer reviewers are withdrawn themselves from discussions about submissions where any circumstances might prevent them offering unbiased editorial decisions.