The publishing of an academic paper means that publishers, editors, and authors work together to generate content for articles in scientific journals. The handling of ethical problems related to academic journals is no exception, and the publishing of ethical issues often gives rise to or involves legal issues. As the first step in addressing any potentially serious problems, editors and the publishing department will discuss these issues.
These discussions will happen before taking any further action, and legal advice will be sought if applicable with issues regarding potential defamation, breach of contract, or copyright infringement. Our expectation is that all parties will have a common understanding and acceptance of the statement on publishing ethics and malpractice. Here are our declarations for researchers starting their research or writing papers.
Authorship refers to the authors and co-authors of papers, as well as those involved in the investigations and data analysis. If any of the following problems occur, the editorial office should deal with them as much as possible.
The journal requires that the author submit their manuscript using the submission form. In addition to attaching to the manuscript, the submission form must answer to the category of the paper, the affiliations and email addresses of all authors, the invoice address, duplicate publications, and the confirmation of native speaker including authorship.
If submitted without the permission of a co-author, a complaint may come from a co-author who received the acceptance email for the manuscript submission. In this case, it is required to check the situation with all authors and to not proceed with peer review until the issue is resolved.
In addition, if some authors are excluded when the revised paper was resubmitted, it is necessary to check with all the authors at the time of the previous submission to see if they have agreed to the change of author. Furthermore, when adding an author, it is confirmed whether not all authors agree.
Conflict of interest refers to a situation in which an external interest impairs the fair and proper judgment necessary for research, or a condition in which a third party raises concerns.
When creating and using a derivative work by copying or modifying another person’s work, consent must be obtained from the copyright holder of the work.
Copyright law allows publicized works to be “ln line with fair practice” and to be cited in the work “within the reasonable limits of the press, criticism, research and other citations”.
If any errors are found that may affect the interpretation of the data or information contained in the paper, the author should encourage readers and authors to report it. When an error is identified in a publication, the following measures should be taken.
Editors must be careful not to use words that could lead to defamation or legal proceedings in the drafts and peer-reviewed reports, or communication submitted.
Defamatory terms used for companies, organizations, or individuals must not appear in published papers and must be removed from all peer-reviewed reports and communicated to the authors.
If it makes sense, the editor should seek advice from the publishing department in ASHS.
If a paper is published and later found to be redundant, the editor should refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics flowcharts and should consider working with their publisher to retract the duplicate paper.
The following types of prior publication are not considered to be duplicate or redundant publication:
In the case of clinical research with human subjects, it is necessary to have a statement that has been examined by the research ethics committee to ensure appropriate ethical considerations and scientific validity, in line with the purpose of the Declaration of Helsinki. This consideration is to protect the individuals’ dignity and the human rights of the research subject.
If there is no approval by the research ethics committee or if there is no information regarding the consent of the participant, the peer review will be stopped, and the author will be asked to add it before continuing.
If the author’s institution does not have a research ethics committee, it is necessary to request another institution or apply to the research ethics committee in Asian Society of Human Services (ASHS) for ethical permission.
When research data is collected or presented as images, any alterations made to these images may misrepresent the data. The author should be careful to avoid image alterations that could result in falsification, forgery, or incorrect representation of the data.
A publishing ethics seminar by experts will be held for editors and members (some authors and reviewers) sponsored by the academic society.
In addition, editors participate in publication ethics seminars held by volunteers from universities and academic societies, and publishers to collect information and share it with the editorial board.
Editors must treat the manuscript as confidential and ensure that they do not disclose any details of the manuscript to anyone other than the reviewers without the author’s permission.
Editors may ask reviewers to decline to peer review in the event of any circumstances that may prevent them from being peer-reviewed.
If the reviewer collaborates with the author, or if the reviewer is in direct competition with the author, or if the reviewer is in personal conflict or personal close relationship with the author, in a draft where financial interests are involved, this could be a case of a potential conflict of interest.
When editors review submitted manuscripts, they can prevent plagiarism and theft by alerting the author. The editorial office recommends screening manuscripts using iThenticate, a fraud detection tool based on text pattern matching, and respond to prevent the publication of any suspect manuscript.
The journal takes the following measures to prevent plagiarism, theft, and duplicate publication.
If the author quotes other studies in their manuscript, it is necessary to clearly distinguish them from the author’s own findings.
When using a similar methodology as previous research in Materials and Methods, it is necessary to either rewrite it with a slight change each time, or it must be clearly stated that the previous research is cited and conforms to the existing methodology. In addition, unauthorized citations from internet sites should be avoided.
When quoting previous research indirectly, care must be taken not to misrepresent the author’s intentions to the reader. Furthermore, the author must be careful not to cite only the part that is convenient for them, ignoring the context before and after the quoted part.
The World Health Organization and the Declaration of Helsinki state that registrations of all clinical trials should be performed prior to subject enrollment.
Editors must require clinical trials to be registered in publicly accessible databases and request them to be registered.
A withdrawal must be published if an error may affect the interpretation of the data or information, if copyright fraud is proven, or if any other serious ethical misconduct is found (e.g., Duplicate publication, all authors’ consent has not been obtained or plagiarism is found).
A statement of concern may be published if the editor has grounded concerns or doubts and decides that the reader should be informed of potentially misleading information.
Editors must be careful in publishing their statements of concern. Since expressing concerns can undermine a researcher’s reputation as well as withdrawal, it is often preferable to wait until the final decision is made by an independent investigation and the withdrawal is published.
The practice of removing, deleting, or concealing the content of a paper should be limited to the following situations:
The journal welcome genuine appeals to reviewer decisions. However, the author will need to provide strong evidence or new data and information in response to the editor’s and reviewers’ comments. Editors and reviewers don’t expect frequent appeals and will rarely reverse their original decisions. Therefore, if the author receive a decision to reject their manuscript, the author are strongly advised to submit to another journal.
If the author believe that their article has been rejected unfairly, please submit an appeal letter to the journal’s online editorial office. Please address this to the editor and clearly explain the basis for an appeal. All appeals must be submitted within 30 days of the rejection decision. The author should:
Complaints about the journal’s review processes or publication ethics will in the first instance be handled by the editor responsible for the journal. If the reviewer’s decision is the subject of the complaint, please approach the journal’s online editorial office. For complaints about processes, such as time taken for review, the editor will review and respond to the complainant’s concerns. This feedback will be provided to relevant stakeholders to further improvements to processes and procedures.
Published 1, March, 2022
Last updated 1, August, 2022