Ethics and Negligence Policy


This journal is committed to ethics and quality in its publication. We support ethical behavior standards expected of all parties involved in the publication of our journal: the author, editor and proofreader. We do not tolerate plagiarism or other form of unethical behavior.


Publication decision The journal editor is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal will be published. The editor is guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by the legal requirements that are in effect regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may consult with the editorial board or reviewers in decision making.

Fair play: The editor must evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origins, citizenship, or political philosophy.

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

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: The editor must not use unpublished information in his/her own research without the express written consent of the author. The editor must refuse to consider manuscripts in which he/she has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or (possibly) institutions linked to the articles.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations: The editor must take reasonable steps to respond when ethical complaints are raised regarding a submitted manuscript or published article.


Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, can also help them to improve their articles.

Punctuality: Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review research reported in a manuscript or knows that immediate review will be impossible should notify the editor and exempt themselves from the review process.

Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others.

Objectivity Standards: Reviews must be conducted objectively and referees must express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Source acknowledgment: Reviewers should identify relevant published works that have not been cited by the authors. The peer reviewer should also draw the editor's attention to any similarity or substantial overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published article of which he or she is personally aware.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Inside information or ideas obtained through peer review must remain confidential and not used for personal advantage. 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 linked to the articles.


Reporting Standards: Authors of original research reports must provide an accurate account of the work undertaken, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. The underlying data must be accurately represented in the article. An article must contain sufficient detail and references to allow others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Originality and Plagiarism: Authors must ensure that they have written entirely original work and, if they have used the work and/or words of others, that it has been properly cited or referenced. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication: An author should generally not publish manuscripts that essentially describe the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal simultaneously and/or publishing the same article in different journals constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Source Acknowledgment: The work of other authors should always be duly acknowledged. Authors should cite publications that influenced the nature of their work. Information obtained privately, such as in conversations, correspondence, or discussions with third parties, should not be used or reported without the source's prior written permission. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as arbitration manuscripts or grant applications, should not be used without the express written permission of the author of the work related to those services.

Article Authorship: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the study in question. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. When other have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author must ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the article, and that all co-authors have viewed and approved the final version of the article and agreed to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: All authors must disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that could be interpreted as having influenced the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project must be disclosed.

Fundamental Errors in Published Works: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, it is the author's obligation to immediately notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the article.


We are committed to ensuring that advertising, reprinting or other commercial income does not impact or influence editorial decisions.

Our articles are peer-reviewed to ensure the quality of scientific publication and we are also users of iThenticate

Study design and ethical approval

Good research must be well justified, well planned, properly designed and ethically approved. Conducting surveys of a lower standard may constitute misconduct. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) Research protocols should seek to answer specific questions, rather than only collecting data; (2) Research protocols must be carefully agreed on by all authors; (3) Advance agreement is advised regarding the precise roles of authors, and on issues of authorship and publication; (4) Statistical issues should be considered early in the study design, including power calculations, to ensure that there are neither too many nor too few respondents; (5) Formal and documented ethical approval from a duly constituted research ethics committee is required for all studies involving anonymous people, medical records, and human tissues; (6) The consent of research participants must always be sought; and (7) Formal oversight, usually the responsibility of the principal researcher, should be provided for all research projects, and this should include quality control and frequent review and long-term retention (may be up to 15 years) of all research projects. records and primary results.

Definition of data analysis

Data must be properly analyzed, but inadequate analysis does not necessarily mean misconduct. Fabrication and falsification of data constitute misconduct. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) All sources and methods used to obtain and analyze data, including any electronic pre-processing, must be fully disclosed, and detailed explanations must be given for any exclusions; (2) Analysis methods should be explained in detail and referenced if not in common use; (3) Post hoc analysis of subgroups is acceptable provided it is disclosed, and failure to disclose that the analysis was post hoc is unacceptable; and (4) The discussion section of an article should mention any bias issues that were considered and explain how they were addressed in the design and interpretation of the study.

Definition of authorship

There is no universally accepted definition of authorship, although attempts have been made to provide one. Authors must at the very least assume responsibility for a specific section of the study. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) Authorship must balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study with data collection and other routine work. If there is no task that can reasonably be assigned to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with authorship; (2) To avoid disputes over the attribution of academic credit, it is useful to decide early in the planning of a research project who will be credited as an author and who will be recognized; and (3) All authors must assume public responsibility for the content of their article. The multidisciplinary nature of much research can make this difficult, but this can be addressed by disclosing individual contributions.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest include those that may not be fully apparent and that may influence the judgment of the author, reviewers and editors. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel cheated. They can be personal, commercial, political, academic or financial in nature. “Financial” interests may include employment, research funding, stock ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancy and company support for employees. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) Such interests, when relevant, must be declared to the editors by researchers, authors and reviewers; and (2) Publishers must also disclose relevant conflicts of interest to their readers. In case of doubt, it is advisable to disclose. Editors may sometimes need to withdraw from the review and selection process for a certain submission.

Peer review

The reviewers are outside experts chosen by the editors to issue written opinions, with the aim of improving the study. Working methods vary from journal to journal, but some use open procedures in which the reviewer's name is disclosed, along with the full or “edited” report. Therefore, the following actions are to be expected: (1) Suggestions from authors about who can act as reviewers are often helpful, but there should be no obligation for the editors to follow these suggestions; (2) The expert reviewers must guarantee confidentiality when evaluating a manuscript, and this obligation extends to the reviewers' colleagues, who may be asked (with the editor's permission) to comment on specific sections; (3) The submitted manuscript must not be retained or copied; (4) Reviewers and editors must not make use of the data, arguments or interpretations in an article without the authors' permission. (5) Reviewers must provide a prompt, accurate, courteous, unbiased, and justifiable report; (6) If reviewers suspect misconduct, they must write to the editor and report it in confidence; (7) Journals must publish accurate descriptions of their peer review, selection, and resource processes; and (8) Journals should also provide regular audits of their acceptance rates and publication times.

Redundant publication

Redundant publication occurs when two or more articles, without complete cross-referencing, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) Published studies do not need to be repeated unless further confirmation is required; (2) Prior publication of an abstract during meeting minutes does not preclude later submission for publication, but full disclosure must be made at the time of submission; (3) Republishing an article in another language is acceptable, provided there is full and prominent disclosure of its original source upon submission; and (4) Upon submission, authors must disclose details of related articles, even if in a different language, and similar articles in press.


Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of the published and unpublished ideas of other authors, including applications for research grants, to submission under “new” authorship of a full article, sometimes in a different language. It can take place at any stage of planning, research, writing or publication, applying applies to both print and electronic versions. As such, all sources must be disclosed, and if large amounts of written or illustrative material by others are used, permission must be sought.

Editors’ Duties

Editors are the managers of journals. They normally take over the magazine from the previous editor(s) and always strive to deliver the periodical in good condition. Most editors provide guidance for the journal and build a strong management team. They must consider and balance the interests of many parties, including readers, authors, employees, owners, editorial board members, advertisers, and the media. Therefore, the following actions are expected: (1) Editors' decisions to accept or reject an article for publication should be based solely on the importance, originality and clarity of the article and the relevance of the study to the journal's mandate; (2) Studies that contest previous work published in the journal should be viewed with considerable goodwill; (3) Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded; (4) All original studies must be peer-reviewed before publication, taking into account the possibility of bias due to related or conflicting interests; (5) Editors must treat all submitted articles as confidential; and (6) When a published article is later found to have major flaws, editors must accept responsibility for correcting the record conspicuously and promptly.

Dealing with bad conduct

(1) The general principle that defines misconduct is an intention to make others believe what is not true. (2) The examination of misconduct must therefore focus not only on the particular act or omission, but also on the intent of the researcher in question. (3) The deception may be intentional through reckless disregard for possible consequences or through negligence. It is implied, therefore, that “best practice” requires complete honesty, with full disclosure. (4) Codes of practice can raise awareness, but they can never be exhaustive.

Investigation of bad conduct

(1) Editors should not simply reject articles that raise issues of misconduct. They are ethically obligated to pursue the case. However, knowing how to investigate and respond to possible cases of misconduct is difficult. (2) COPE is always willing to advise, but for legal reasons, it can only advise in anonymous cases. (3) It falls to the editor to decide what action to take.

Serious faults

(1) Editors must take all allegations and suspicions of misconduct seriously, but must recognize that they generally do not have the legal standing or means to conduct investigations in serious cases. (2) The editor must decide when to alert employers about the accused author(s). (3) Some evidence is needed, but if their employers have a process for investigating allegations (as they are increasingly required to do) editors do not need to build a full case. Indeed, it may be ethically unwise for publishers to do so, because such action usually means consulting experts, thus spreading serious questions about the author(s) abroad. (4) If editors are presented with compelling evidence (perhaps by reviewers) of serious misconduct, they should immediately inform their employers, notifying the author(s) that they are doing so. (5) If allegations of serious misconduct are not accompanied by convincing evidence, editors should confidentially seek expert advice. (6) If experts raise serious questions about the research, editors must notify their employers. (7) If experts find no evidence of misconduct, editorial processes should proceed as normal. (8) If convincing evidence of serious misconduct is presented, and there is no employer to whom one can refer, and the author(s) are registered physician(s), the cases may be referred to the General Council of Medicine. (9) If, however, there is no organization with the legitimacy and means to conduct an investigation, then the editor may decide that the case is sufficiently important to warrant publishing something in the journal, in which case legal advice will be essential. (10) If editors are satisfied that an employer has not conducted a proper investigation of a serious allegation, they may feel that publishing a notice in the journal is warranted, and legal advice to this end will be essential. (11) Plaintiffs should have the opportunity to respond to allegations of gross misconduct.

Less serious fault

(1) Editors may feel that it is not necessary to involve employers in less serious cases of misconduct, such as redundant publication, mistaken authorship, or failure to declare a conflict of interest. Sometimes the evidence speaks for itself, although it may be wise to appoint an independent expert. (2) Editors should bear in mind that even minor allegations of misconduct can have serious implications for the author(s), and employers may need to be asked to investigate. (3) Authors must have the opportunity to respond to any accusation of minor misconduct. (4) If convinced of wrongdoing, editors may wish to impose some of the sanctions described below.


Sanctions can be applied separately or in combination. The following items are ranked in approximate order of severity: (1) A letter of explanation (and education) to the authors where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of the principles; (2) A letter of reproof and warning concerning future conduct; (3) A formal letter to the head of the relevant funding institution or body; (4) Publication of notice of redundant publication or plagiarism; (5) An editorial providing full details of the misconduct in question; (6) Refusal to accept future submissions for a specific period from the individual, unit or institution responsible for the misconduct; (7) Withdrawal or formal withdrawal of the article from the scientific literature, informing other editors and the indexing authorities; and (8) A report the case to the General Medical Council, or other authority or organization that can investigate and act with due process.

*This declaration is based on the recommendations of Elsevier and the COPE Guidelines on Good Publication Practices.