Publishing Ethics and Malpractice Policies:
The Van Medical Journal adheres to a set of robust publishing ethics and malpractice policies, which are guided by well-established industry standards and best practices. Specifically, the journal follows the principles outlined in:
Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing: This set of principles is jointly endorsed by prominent organizations in the publishing field, including COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), WAME (World Association of Medical Editors), and OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association). These principles emphasize transparency, ethical conduct, and best practices in scholarly publishing.
ICJME's Recommendations: The journal also references and incorporates recommendations from the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. These recommendations are essential for maintaining the integrity and quality of medical research publications.
By aligning with these guidelines and recommendations, the Van Medical Journal upholds high standards of publishing ethics and practices, promoting transparency, integrity, and professionalism in all its processes. This commitment benefits authors, reviewers, editors, and readers, ensuring the journal's credibility and the reliability of the research it publishes.
Protection of Personal Information:
The Van Medical Journal is committed to safeguarding the personal information of individuals who use its website. Here are the key principles related to the handling of personal information on the website:
Stated Purposes: Personal information collected through the website will only be used for the specific purposes stated by the Van Medical Journal. These purposes typically revolve around the operation and management of the journal, such as article submission, peer review, and editorial processes.
Non-Disclosure: Personal information will not be made available for any other purpose or shared with any other party. The journal is dedicated to maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the data provided by users.
Data Retention: To protect the confidentiality of studies, data related to returned, withdrawn, or rejected articles will be deleted from the online article system within one month. This practice helps ensure that sensitive research information is appropriately managed and retained only for as long as necessary.
These policies reflect the journal's commitment to data privacy, confidentiality, and responsible data management. Users of the Van Medical Journal's website can have confidence that their personal information is handled with care and used solely for the intended purposes.
Promotion of Gender-Neutral Language:
The Van Medical Journal is committed to promoting inclusive and respectful language in all of its publications. To advance this commitment, the journal encourages the use of gender-neutral language. This approach acknowledges and respects the diversity of gender identities and ensures that the journal's content is inclusive and free from gender bias.
The use of gender-neutral language is an important step towards fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment in the field of medicine and research. It reflects the journal's dedication to creating a space where all individuals, regardless of their gender, feel respected and represented in the scientific community. This practice helps ensure that research and scholarly communication are accessible and welcoming to a wide range of audiences.
Ethical Consent, Human and Animal Rights
The Van Medical Journal upholds stringent ethical standards in medical and pharmacological research, aligning with internationally recognized guidelines. The journal's policies regarding ethical consent, human rights, and animal rights are as follows:
- Ethical Frameworks: The ethical standards in medical and pharmacological research followed by the journal are rooted in two important documents:
- World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki: This declaration sets forth ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. It emphasizes the protection of the rights, safety, and well-being of research participants.
- World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Recommendations: The WAME Recommendations on Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals provide guidelines on ethical conduct, reporting, and publication in medical research.
- Declaration of Compliance: Authors conducting experiments on humans or human tissues, as well as those involving animals or animal tissues, are required to declare their compliance with the ethical standards of the institutional or regional committee responsible for human and animal experimentation.
Ethics Committee Approval: In studies that necessitate approval from an ethics committee, the following information must be included:
- Materials and Methods Section: A clear mention of the ethical approval, with the committee's name (which can be left blank), the approval date, and the approval number.
- Before the References: Similar information regarding ethical committee approval should be presented in a dedicated section immediately before the list of references.
These policies ensure that all research published in the Van Medical Journal adheres to the highest ethical standards. They also demonstrate the journal's commitment to the protection of human and animal rights, as well as the ethical conduct of medical research involving human and animal subjects.
Informed Consent for Participant Privacy:
The Van Medical Journal places significant emphasis on respecting the rights and privacy of study participants. In the realm of informed consent and participant data, the journal adheres to the following principles:
- Participant Rights: Every participant in a study has the fundamental right to determine the fate of their personal data, the content of their statements during a study or interview, and any photographs taken of them. This principle underscores the importance of respecting individual autonomy and privacy.
- Written Informed Consent: Prior to the inclusion of participants in a study, it is mandatory to obtain written informed consent from each participant. This process ensures that individuals are fully aware of the study's purpose, procedures, and potential implications for their privacy.
- Protection of Identity Information: Identity information such as names, dates of birth, identification numbers, and other personally identifiable data should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or genetic profiles of the participant, unless it is deemed essential for scientific purposes.
- Anonymity and Informed Consent: In situations where ensuring complete anonymity is challenging, authors should make diligent efforts to obtain informed consent from participants. Any doubts regarding the protection of participant privacy should be addressed through this process.
- Preserving Scientific Meaning: In cases where descriptive features are altered to preserve participant anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors must provide assurances that these changes do not compromise the scientific integrity and meaning of the data.
- Withdrawal of Photos or Videos: Photos or videos of patients should be promptly removed from publication upon request or warning from the patient or a legal authority acting on their behalf.
- Inclusion in Article Text: The article text should contain specific statements regarding informed consent. These statements should affirm that informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additionally, if the identity information of some patients is included in the article or supplementary materials, a statement should confirm that informed consent was obtained from all such individuals.
By adhering to these principles and practices, the Van Medical Journal ensures that participant privacy and informed consent are upheld with the highest ethical standards in the publication of medical research.
Handling Research Misconduct:
The Van Medical Journal takes a strong stance against research misconduct and has established clear procedures for addressing such issues. Research misconduct encompasses various activities that compromise the integrity and credibility of research, including:
- Manipulation of Research Materials, Equipment, or Processes
- Modifying or Excluding Data to Impact Research Results
The journal's approach to addressing research misconduct is as follows:
- Suspected Misconduct: When research misconduct is suspected, the editors of the journal will follow the relevant COPE guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), a respected authority in publication ethics.
- Editor-in-Chief Review: All allegations of misconduct are referred to the Editor-in-Chief, who conducts a thorough review to determine if the incident is related to possible misconduct. The process is confidential, and the identity of those submitting relevant documents is protected as much as possible.
- Addressing Misconduct by Authors: If misconduct is attributed to authors, an explanation will be requested from them. If the issue can be resolved as a mistake or misunderstanding, it will be rectified. However, if the misconduct is confirmed and is not easily resolved, the article may be rejected or returned. Additionally, the editors may impose a ban on the individual responsible for submitting articles to the journal for a specified period.
- Suspension of Peer-Review and Publication: In cases where allegations are directed at authors, the peer-review and publication process for their submissions will be temporarily suspended until the matter is thoroughly investigated. Even if the authors withdraw the article, the review process will continue until satisfactory answers are received.
- Handling Misconduct by Reviewers or Editors: Allegations of misconduct against referees or editors will result in their removal from their roles pending an investigation. If they are found to be involved in scientific misconduct, they will be prohibited from any further involvement with the journal. Furthermore, this situation will be reported to their respective institutions.
By adhering to these strict measures, the Van Medical Journal maintains the highest ethical and professional standards in research and publication, ensuring the credibility and integrity of the content it publishes.
The Van Medical Journal maintains a clear set of policies and procedures for article retractions, in accordance with the COPE Retraction Guidelines
provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Articles may be retracted for the following reasons:
- Unreliable Findings: Articles may be retracted if there is clear and compelling evidence of unreliable findings resulting from either fraud (e.g., fraudulent use of data) or honest errors (e.g., miscalculations or experimental errors).
- Unnecessary Publication: Retractions can also occur if the article contains findings that have previously been published elsewhere without the appropriate cross-reference, permission, or justification. This includes instances where the publication was unnecessary.
- Plagiarism or Other Unethical Research: Articles may be retracted if they are found to contain plagiarism or other forms of unethical research conduct.
- Retraction Procedure:
- The process for retracting an article from the Van Medical Journal is as follows:
- Online Article System: Retractions are initiated through the online article system. Authors, editors, or other stakeholders involved in the publication process can submit a request for retraction by filling out the Article Retraction Form.
The journal's adherence to these retraction policies ensures the integrity and credibility of the published content. It demonstrates a commitment to addressing and rectifying situations where articles are found to contain errors, ethical violations, or other issues that warrant retraction.
Authors submitting articles to the Van Medical Journal are expected to adhere to a set of ethical and professional responsibilities, ensuring the quality, transparency, and integrity of their work. The journal outlines these responsibilities as follows:
Responsibilities of the Referees
- Ethical Approval: Authors must obtain ethical approval for all clinical and experimental studies involving humans and animals. This approval should be explicitly mentioned in the article. For such studies, authors are required to provide details about ethics committee approval, compliance with international agreements (e.g., the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, revised in 2013),), and the acquisition of written consent from study participants, especially in case reports.
- Open Access License: Authors agree to publish their articles in an open-access format under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.
- Originality: Authors must ensure the originality of their manuscripts and avoid simultaneous submission of the same article to multiple journals. Previously published articles should not be resubmitted for consideration.
- Correct Language and Grammar: Authors should present their articles in a correct and grammatically accurate form, ensuring clarity and professionalism in their writing.
- Error Correction: If authors discover significant errors in their articles, they have an obligation to promptly withdraw or correct them.
- Contributorship: All authors listed must have made significant contributions to the research and writing of the article.
- Conflict of Interest: Authors should report any potential conflicts of interest to the editors. If such conflicts exist, authors should download and submit the ICMJE Potential Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form separately.
- Source Attribution: Authors are responsible for identifying and citing all sources used in the creation of their articles.
- Error Notification: Authors should promptly inform the editors of any errors they discover in their published articles.
- Acknowledgment of Funders: Authors should acknowledge all major funders of research related to their manuscript and provide a list of relevant financial sponsors. They should also clearly cite sources of support, including funding for article processing fees and language editing, when applicable.
Reviewers play a vital role in maintaining the quality and integrity of the peer review process at the Van Medical Journal. They are expected to uphold a set of ethical and professional responsibilities, ensuring the fairness, objectivity, and confidentiality of their reviews. The journal outlines the responsibilities of reviewers as follows:
- Subject Expertise and Timely Review: Reviewers should agree to review articles for which they possess the necessary subject expertise and can conduct the review in a timely manner.
- Confidentiality: Reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of the review process and should not disclose any details of the article or review to third parties during or after the peer review process.
- Non-Exploitation of Information: Reviewers should not use information obtained during the review process for their own benefit, the benefit of others, or to the detriment of the authors or the journal.
- Declaration of Conflicts of Interest: Reviewers should declare all potential conflicts of interest, even if they are uncertain about whether such conflicts are relevant.
- Unbiased Review: Peer reviews should be impartial and should not be influenced by the origin, nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender, or other personal characteristics of the authors, or commercial considerations.
- Constructive Feedback: Reviewers should provide constructive, objective, and non-hostile feedback. They should refrain from making defamatory or derogatory personal comments about the authors' work.
- Timely Review: Reviewers should recognize that peer review is a collaborative effort and should commit to conducting their reviews in a timely manner.
- Accurate Information: Reviewers should provide journals with accurate personal and professional information that reflects their expertise.
- Impersonation: Reviewers should be aware that impersonating another person during the review process is considered a serious form of misconduct.
For further details and guidance on ethical peer reviewing, reviewers are encouraged to refer to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers
. These responsibilities are designed to ensure the fairness, confidentiality, and professionalism of the peer review process in the journal.
Responsibilities of the Editors
Editors hold a central role in ensuring the scientific quality and ethical conduct of the articles published in the Van Medical Journal. Their responsibilities are crucial in maintaining the integrity and reputation of the journal. The journal outlines the key responsibilities of editors as follows:
- Scientific Quality: Editors are primarily responsible for the scientific quality of the articles under consideration. Their decisions should be based solely on the importance, originality, clarity, and relevance of the articles to the scope of publication.
- Scholarly Quality: Editors are not expected to provide comprehensive linguistic editing or copy editing of an article. Instead, they should focus on the scholarly quality and overall style of the article, ensuring it adheres to good practice in clear and concise academic writing.
- Minor Error Correction: Editors should detect and correct minor errors in spelling or style during the editing process.
- Author and Reader Needs: Editors should always consider the needs of both authors and readers when attempting to enhance the quality of publication.
- Quality Assurance: Editors must ensure the quality of manuscripts and the integrity of academic records.
- Reviewer Anonymity: Editors are responsible for maintaining the anonymity of reviewers.
- Ethical Compliance: Editors should ensure that all research materials published in the journal comply with internationally accepted ethical rules.
- Addressing Misconduct: Editors must take action if they suspect misconduct and make reasonable efforts to find a solution to the problem. They should not reject articles based on suspicion but should have evidence of misconduct.
- Conflict of Interest: Editors should not allow conflicts of interest between authors, reviewers, and board members. If there is a conflict of interest involving any of the article authors or their institution, the article should be withdrawn.
- These responsibilities underscore the critical role of editors in upholding the journal's standards and ensuring the quality and ethical conduct of the research and publication process. Editors are essential to maintaining the integrity and credibility of the journal's content.