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Editorial Policies

Editorial Policies Adopted by Scholarly Journals Published by Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences (HUMS)

Authorship

The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.

2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.

3. Final approval of the version published.

4. 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.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their coauthors. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the gathering of data, technical help, writing assistance, and general supervision of the research group does not warrant authorship. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Please guarantee that anyone stated in the Acknowledgements section has granted its clearance for permission to be listed.

Contributorship statement

A contributorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article.

Acknowledgements

Recognize individuals who provided assistance to the project. Report all sources of grant and other support for the project or study, including funds received from contributors, institutions and commercial sources. Consultancies and funds paid directly to investigators must also be listed.

Authorship Changes

Any change in authorship (i.e., order, addition, and deletion of authors) after initial submission must be approved by all authors. Authors should determine the order of authorship among themselves. In addition, any alterations must be clarified to the Editor/Editor-in-chief.

Competing interests

A competing interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain - employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert- testimony or personal relationship). There is nothing unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and clearly stated. All authors must declare all competing interests in their covering letter and in “Competing Interests” section at the end of the manuscript file (before the references). Authors with no competing interests to declare should obviously state that.

The policy of HUMS is that none of the editors should have any financial relationship with any biomedical company.

Ethical approval of research/Publication Ethics

HUMS journals is following of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and aim to adhere to its Best Practice Guidelines.

We strongly consider allegations of publication misconduct, both before and after publication, and we reserve the right to contact authors' institutions, funders, or regulatory bodies if needed. If we find conclusive evidence of misconduct, we will take steps to correct the scientific record, which may include supplying a correction or retraction.

Authors are expected to be aware of publication ethics, specifically with regard to authorship, dual submission, plagiarism, figure manipulation, competing interests, and compliance with standards of research ethics. In cases of suspected misconduct, we will follow COPE standards and practices and may seek advice from the COPE forum if needed.

Statement of Ethics Approval

We require every research article submitted to include a statement that the study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required and why), including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s), the number/ID of the approval(s), and a statement that participants gave informed consent before taking part. Even when a study has been approved by a research ethics committee or institutional review board, editors may ask authors for more detailed information about the ethics of the work.

Patient consent and confidentiality

Any article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires the patient’s explicit consent before we can publish it. We would like the patient to sign our consent form, which requires the patient to have read the article.

If consent cannot be obtained because the patient cannot be traced then publication will be possible only if the information can be sufficiently anonymized. Anonymization means that neither the patient nor anyone else could identify the patient with certainty.

If the patient is dead the authors should seek permission from a relative (as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics). If the relatives are not contactable we will balance the worthwhileness of the case, the likelihood of identification, and the likelihood of offence if identified in making a decision on whether we should publish without a relative’s consent.

Our policy on obtaining consent for publication of pictures of patients is a subset of our general policy on patient confidentiality. If there is any chance that a patient may be identified from a photograph or other image or from its legend or accompanying text we need the patient’s written consent to publications by HUMS.

Images – such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of indistinctive parts of the body – may be used without consent so long as they are anonym zed by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patient’s identity through clinical or personal detail.

Research reporting guidelines

Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network. This will ensure that you provide enough information for editors, peer reviewers and readers to understand how the research was performed and to judge whether the findings are likely to be reliable.

The key reporting guidelines are:

Clinical trial registration

Based on ICMJE recommendations, a clinical trial defines as “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome”.

In agreement with the ICMJE, journals published by HUMS will not consider reports of clinical trials unless they were registered prospectively before recruitment of any participants.

Trial Registration

As a condition of consideration for publication, journals published by HUMS require registration of all trials in a public trials registry that is acceptable to the ICMJE (any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform www.who.int/ictrp /network/primary/en/index.html or in ClinicalTrials.gov, which is a data provider to the WHO ICTRP).

Plagiarism detection

Journals published by HUMS use iThenticate software, which is a plagiarism detector service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. If plagiarism is identified, we will follow COPE guidelines.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Directly copying text from other sources
  • Copying ideas, images, or data from other sources
  • Reusing text from your own previous publications
  • Using an idea from another source with slightly modified language

If plagiarism is detected during the peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we reserve the right to issue a correction or retract the paper, as appropriate. We reserve the right to inform authors' institutions about plagiarism detected either before or after publication.

Permissions

It is the author’s responsibility to secure all permissions prior to publication.

Material from other sources

Any written or illustrative material that has been or will be published elsewhere must be duly acknowledged and accompanied by the written consent of the copyright holder (this may be the publisher rather than the author). This includes your own previously published material, if you are not the copyright holder.

Reproducing material published by HUMS

Materials published by HUMS may be reproduced in full or part in any medium or language only on the condition that the original material is cited properly.

Publication

The publication frequency and all related information regarding the journals are listed on their website.

Copyright and Licensing

Open Access Agreement

Upon submitting an article, authors are asked to indicate their agreement to abide by an open access Creative Commons license (CC-BY). Under the terms of this license, authors retain ownership of the copyright of their articles. However, the license permits any user to download, print out, extract, reuse, archive, and distribute the article, so long as appropriate credit is given to the authors and the source of the work. The license ensures that the article will be available as widely as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific archive.

 

Corrections and retractions

 

In line with accepted norms of the academic community, corrections to, or retractions of published articles will be made by publishing an Erratum or a Retraction article, without altering the original article in any way other than to add a prominent link to the Erratum/Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent Erratum or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory, we may have to remove that material from our site and archive sites.

It may be possible for minor corrections to published articles to be made by the original author(s) posting a comment on the published article. This would only be appropriate where the changes do not affect the results or conclusions of the article.

Corrections

Changes to published articles that affect the interpretation and conclusion of the article, but do not fully invalidate the article, will, at the editor(s)’ discretion, be corrected via publication of an Erratum that is indexed and linked to the original article. Changes in authorship of published articles are corrected via an Erratum. See Authorship policy for further information.

Retractions

On rare occasions, when the scientific information in an article is substantially undermined, it may be necessary for published articles to be retracted. HUMS will follow the COPE guidelines in such cases. Retracted articles are indexed and linked to the original article.