Ethical Guidelines for Publication

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 the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of ethical behaviors for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the peer reviewer, the journal editor, the publisher, the sponsor or the society. This becomes more important in the journals that publish papers in the field of medicine.
The Editors of Worldwide Medicine, as the publishers of the journal, take its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously and they recognize the ethical and other responsibilities.
The editors committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial income has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. Additionally, the Editorial Board will assist in communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful to editors. The Editors work closely with other publishers and industry associations to set standards for best practices on ethical matters, errors and retractions and are prepared to provide specialized legal review and counsel if necessary.

Reporting Standards
Authors should present an accurate declaration of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. False or knowingly inaccurate explanations constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
The authors are required to declare in writing that they have complied with the Declaration of Helsinki Research Ethics in the treatment of their sample, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment.

Data Access and Retention
Authors may be asked to provide the data in connection with the paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if applicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.

Originality and Plagiarism
The authors should provide that they have written completely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms and all its forms constitute unethical publishing behavior and are unacceptable.

Multiple and Concurrent Publication
The authors should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
In general, the authors should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g. clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Proper acknowledgment of the study of others must be stated. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the work. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research, they should be acknowledged as contributors.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors and contributors are included on the paper, and that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects
If the study involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly state these in the manuscript. If the study involves the use of animal or human subjects, the authors should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Conflicts of Interest and Financial Support
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.

Basic Errors in Published Papers
When the authors discover a significant error or mistake in the published paper, it is the authors’ obligation to promptly inform the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.

Contribution to Editorial Decision
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and forms the basis of the scientific method.

Promptness and Quality
Any selected referees who feel unqualified to review the study reported in a manuscript or know that its prompt review will be impossible should inform the editor and excuse themselves from the review process.

Any manuscripts received for review process must be accepted as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.

The reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting evidence.

The reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statements about observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. The reviewers should also inform the editor for any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Conflict of Interest and Financial Support
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in the reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. The reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Publication Decision
The editor of a peer-reviewed journal is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or referees in making this decision.

The editor should examine the content of manuscripts without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

The editor must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Conflicts of Interest and Financial Support
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own study without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through submission process must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
The editors should recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
The editors should request all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other interventions should be taken like the retraction of a publication or expression of concern.
It should be ensured that the peer-review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal. Items in sponsored supplements should be accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and not be influenced by commercial considerations.

Involvement and Cooperation
The editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper. These measures will usually include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies. If the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or another note, as may be appropriate. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.

These guidelines are prepared based on the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) Best Practice and Guidance.