Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Updated April 18, 2021
All authors, reviewers, and editorial board members of Acta Medica Leopoliensia (AML) are advised to consult and adhere to relevant points of editorial recommendations by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, updated December, 2019), Council of Science Editors (CSE, updated 2018-2020) and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, developed in 2017). Additionally, AML responsible and publishing editors are required to follow the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (developed in 2018). Regular updates of this document will be based on revised global and local editorial guidelines.
The Editors of this Journal take full responsibility for processing, accepting, and publishing ethically sound, related to the scope of interests, based on rational hypotheses, and properly validated articles impacting science growth in Lviv, Ukraine, and across Eastern Europe. In line with the COPE recommended practices, the editors will do their best to comprehensively check ethics statements in processed original research, reviews, opinion pieces, and other items.
The AML authors may be asked to provide proofs of their research ethics approvals, written informed contents, and permissions to process original data and reproduce confidential biomedical materials. The Editor-in-Chief may reject submissions that do not meet ethical requirements or contain redundant and otherwise unethical contents.
The AML submissions will be checked by the Editor-in-Chief who may assign Editors responsible for additional checks of statistics, ethics, language, and design. The Editor-in-Chief and Handling Editors may assign external reviewers for comprehensive evaluation of professional aspects of submissions. The Publisher will provide all required resources and tools for professional evaluation of submissions and publication of properly validated articles.
The AML Editorial Board members will be appointed for an extendable three-year term. The extension of the term will depend on previous contributions to the Journal. The Editorial Board members with author and reviewer activities within the past three years will have an advantage for taking editorial posts and extending their terms of membership. The experts with proven editorial credentials and credits of continuing professional development in science editing will have an additional advantage.
The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for regularly updating the AML editorial policies, securing resources for fair and professional processing of all submissions, and for upgrading his/her own editorial credentials in agreement with relevant recommendations of global and local editorial associations. The Editor-in-Chief takes full responsibility for publishing relevant contents of interest to medics in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. The Editor-in-Chief assigns other Handling Editors and Editorial Board members to ensure the quality and integrity of published articles.
Processing the AML submissions is managed by the Editor-in-Chief, who is the main authority to reject outright, return manuscripts to authors for revision, or issue an acceptance note after thorough in-house and external expert evaluations. The Editor-in-Chief is supported in his/her actions by Handling Editors, Statistics Editor, and Research Integrity Editor. If necessary, the Editor-in-Chief may initiate additional checks of submitted and accepted manuscripts to ensure the integrity and quality of published contents.
In line with the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) recommendations, the Editor-in-Chief decisions are independent of the AML Owner interests. All procedures will be in place to disclose and avoid financial and non-financial conflicts of interest, including those related to publishing the Editor’s own articles in this Journal. The Editor-in-Chief’s occasional submissions will be handled by editors who free of conflicts of interest.
Handling Editor Responsibilities
- The Editor-in-Chief and other decision-making (Handling) Editors of this Journal are expected to provide fair and professional decisions to publish ethically sound and quality articles of prime interest to the medical communities in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
- Handling Editors should fairly and objectively process all submissions, regardless of the authors’ origin, affiliations, and funding.
- To handle complains and disputes, Handling Editors should act in line with the Core Practices of the COPE.
- Handling Editors should regularly advance their editorial skills by attending global and local science editing and other continuing professional development meetings.
Editorial Board Member Responsibilities
- Editorial Board members should regularly act as ad hoc reviewers of the AML submissions in their field of expertise provided there are no conflicts of interest.
- They are required to occasionally submit editorials or letters commenting on published articles in their field of expertise.
- They should promote this Journal during professional meetings and congresses, networking and social media events, and act as ambassadors for attracting the best authors and publishing their great articles in this Journal.
- They should attend the AML regular online editorial meetings to help further improve the editorial strategies and discuss matters arising.
- They should act responsibly in line with the Core Practices of the COPE.
Peer reviewers are experts in their professional fields who are invited by the Editor-in-Chief to fairly and objectively evaluate the AML submissions. The best reviewer credentials relate to their professional knowledge, statistical skills, and previous quality reviewer accomplishments, among many other factors. Reviewers are required to confidentially evaluate professional aspects of the processed submissions, paying attention to the novelty, rationality of hypotheses, methodological rigour, accuracy of the data, referencing, and availability of relevant ethics approval. They should adhere to the statements of the Core Practices of the COPE and consult the WAME recommendations on peer review. Consulting additional guidance on how to structure reviewer comments is also advisable.
Being familiar with research reporting standards of the EQUATOR Network, reviewers should enforce these standards during the peer review process. To increase the AML transparency and get deserved reviewer credits, the AML reviewers will be acknowledged by publicizing their names annually. They are also advised to list their reviewer contributions on their ORCID IDs and forward the official reviewer acknowledgements to Publons. The AML reviewer responsibilities include the following:
- Providing confidential, timely, courteous, and evidence-based evaluations of the assigned submissions;
- Declaring financial and non-financial conflicts of interests that may question their objectivity during the peer evaluations;
- Reporting to the Editor-in-Chief any suspicion of duplication and plagiarism of texts, graphics, and ideas in the evaluated submissions;
- Avoiding any unethical act such as copying and re-using the submissions under evaluation for their own interests;
- Suggesting revisions and amendments that may improve the quality of the evaluated works;
- Providing links to highly relevant and missing references, and avoiding coercive (auto)citations;
- Recommending publication decisions accept/revise/reject without insisting to act accordingly since final decisions are taken by the Editor-in-Chief.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
All AML contributors (authors, reviewers, editors) are requested to fill in and submit the ICMJE Disclosure of Interest form (updated February 2021). All types of financial and non-financial support from research funding organizations, pharmaceutical agencies, and other sponsoring bodies should be disclosed and reported with grant funding protocol numbers and related e-links, if available.
On rare occasions of the submission of editorial and research works from the Editor-in-Chief and other Handling Editors, extra efforts will be taken to avoid any conflicts and assign unrelated Editors to process and evaluate these works for publication. Definitions and disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are available at: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
By submitting their manuscripts to this Journal, authors should take full responsibility for the integrity, correctness, and overall quality of their works. They should be informed that the AML publishes articles that are not under evaluation and not published elsewhere in whole or in part in any languages. The authors should submit manuscripts with all required ethics statements, proper referencing of all scientific facts, and correct editing of sentences. Submitting manuscripts containing unethically copied ideas, texts, and graphics is absolutely unacceptable. Adopting graphical materials from other sources is acceptable provided there is an official permission from primary copyright retainer/publisher.
- The AML authors are ultimately responsible for the scientific quality and correctness of their submissions.
- All contributors listed as authors should meet all four authorship criteria of the International Committee of Medical Editors (ICMJE, updated in 2013):
- 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.
All non-substantive contributors (e.g., technical staff, information facilitators, statisticians, advisors) who do not meet the ICMJE all 4 authorship criteria should be listed in the manuscript Acknowledgment section upon their agreement.
- Corresponding authors are responsible for listing as co-authors only contributors with substantial contributions to the work and expected accountability for all its aspects. They are also responsible for properly coordinating revisions, responding to editor and reviewer comments, listing all authors’ ORCID iDs and obtaining final approvals from all co-authors.
- Upon reasonable request, authors of original research should provide access to their records of primary data and statistical analyses.
- Authors are responsible for archiving their published works at institutional and individual online repositories and networking websites such as ResearchGate in line with the AML licensing and archiving regulations.
- Authors should ensure that their studies involving human or animal subjects conform to local and global regulations such as the WMA Declaration of Helsinki and NIH Policy on Use of Laboratory Animals. The approval of an original research by an ethics committee is required along with statements about human subjects’ consent and their privacy. If the authors’ research involves chemicals, vaccines, radioactive materials, or any hazardous substances that may put at risk the examined human and animal subjects’ health, related statements must be clearly presented in the manuscript. The privacy of human subjects should be observed. Case studies with photographs and other materials that may disclose the subjects’ identity should be properly masked.
- Authors should provide statements on financial or non-financial conflicts of interest in their manuscripts and submit the Disclosure of Interest forms (updated February 2021).
- Authors sponsored by pharmaceutical agencies should report the role of the sponsor at all stages of research and writing.
• Authors should notify the Editor-in-Chief if any mistake or major error is identified in their articles after publication to initiate corrections or retractions.
Plagiarism and Retractions
All submissions to this Journal should be free of any unethical copying of ideas, graphics, and texts. Discussing others’ ideas and referring to previously published scientific facts require proper citation(s). Verbatim copying is allowed for quotations which should be enclosed in quotations marks and linked to relevant reference(s) or Internet site(s). The AML Editors will check all submissions by iThenticate and other anti-plagiarism software and manually recheck all suspicious parts to avoid unethical textual and graphical similarities in the published articles. The AML adopts “zero plagiarism” policy which means any unethically copied parts in the submissions should be avoided. The authors of review articles may be asked to add Disclaimers stating that manuscripts are free of any unethically copied and published parts.