Provision on Ethical Rules
Provision on Ethical Rules Applied to Scientific Content Published in the Quarterly Thematic Journal Practical Oncology and Responsibility for Their Violation
1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. Editors of the quarterly thematic journal Practical Oncology (hereinafter referred to as the Editorial Board) recognise that it is extremely important not to ever admit any violations of the common ethical rules when publishing scientific content in their journal.
1.2. The Editorial Board regards as blatant and completely unacceptable such violations as dissemination of knowingly unreliable information, data fraud, plagiarism, misappropriation of someone’s research findings, violation of the rules of conflict of interest or publication of findings based on research conducted in violation of the ethical principles adopted by the medical community.
1.3. Our Editorial Board is totally against any manifestations of violation of research publication ethics. We firmly believe that violations of copyright and related rights as well as moral standards are by no means acceptable from the ethical point of view and hinder the progress of science.
1.4. Our Editorial Board sees its top priority in preventing violations of ethical standards and rules, established both among scientists in general and in the medical community in particular.
1.5. Our journal accepts and follows the Code of Conduct published by the Committee on Publication Ethics on its website at http://goo.gl/aWy7WX. We are also committed to the Declaration of Helsinki on compliance with ethical principles in the medical community (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/), developed by the World Medical Association (WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, 2013).
1.6. The present Rules were adopted as mandatory for authors, reviewers and editors and are to be unfailingly followed.
1.7. There is a separation of rights, obligations and responsibilities of authors, reviewers and editors.
1.8. At any time, as the research paper gets prepared for publication, the Editorial Board commits itself to making every effort to identify and prevent publications in which dishonest methods and practices are used. Any information that reaches the Board and reveals someone’s unethical behaviour will be subject to detailed verification, followed by a decision to apply appropriate measures.
The Editorial Board shall coordinate its work in this direction with all of those involved in the publication process. We invite editors, reviewers, authors and readers to make every possible effort to achieve this goal by exchanging information and suppressing the possibility of publishing unacceptable content in our journal.
1.9. If any violation of ethical standards is identified, the principle of inevitability of specific consequences will be applied.
1.10. All articles addressed to the Editorial Board are subjected to compulsory review and examined for ethical violations. A reviewer is appointed providing the absence of a conflict of interest or any biased treatment of the author’s findings. The paper is checked for compliance with ethical standards based on the principle of confidentiality, which implies the preservation of the authors’ and reviewers’ anonymity.
1.11. If a violation of ethical standards is found in the manuscript, the Editorial Board rejects its publication. In the presence of irrefutable evidence of unlawful acts, the Board has the right to give publicity to these facts.
1.12. In the event of outright slander, violation of legislation or copyright, the Editorial Board disavows the published articles, completely removing them from its website and web databases. These measures are applied with maximum openness and publicity.
1.13. The transparency of our publication policy contributes to the high level of ethical responsibility, equally shared by all those involved in the preparation of research for publication.
1.14. Research content is accepted for publication free of charge. Any proposal from the authors or other concerned parties to give a financial reward to the Editorial Board for publishing scientific papers in the journal are grounds for refusal to publish.
1.15. In its work the Board adheres to the conflict of interest policy recommended by ICMJE, in line with which authors of the articles sent to the Board must fill out a special disclosure form.
2. EDITORS’ OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
2.1. All editors of the Practical Oncology are permanent members of the Editorial Board based on personal membership rights and are personally liable for checking the compliance of published research with ethical standards.
2.2. Editors have the right for an independent opinion and freedom of expression and can come up with an initiative regarding the activities of the Editorial Board.
2.3. In order to ensure author/reviewer confidentiality, editors take action to protect data about the author’s and reviewer’s identity, position, employer as well as any private information that cannot be published without the rightholder’s consent. To perform this work for every thematic issue, the Editor-in-Chief appoints an Issue Managing Editor who cannot review the content they edit.
2.4. Editors must control the quality of the content published and keep the academic reputation of the publication untarnished.
2.5. Editors shall take effort to cater for the legitimate interest of the readers and authors by giving them priority over any business interest or personal benefit.
2.6. Editors shall invite acknowledged and respected academics to cooperate for the sake of the journal’s progress.
2.7. The Editorial Board is fully responsible for providing the content for the journal.
2.8. If necessary, the Board shall prepare and accept for publication any corrections to the previous papers, clarifications, retractions and apologies.
2.9. Every editor’s personal responsibility for unlawful acts shall cause one of the following consequences: apologies shall be rendered to the victim for unlawful acts; public apology shall take the form of a personal publication in the journal if the paper inflicted damage on the public at large; Editor can be dismissed by the decision of the General Meeting of the Editorial Board for a limited or unlimited period of time.
3. REVIEWERS’ OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
3.1. All reviewers involved shall follow the reviewing rules and all the procedures established by the Editorial Board.
3.2. Reviewers shall be selected by the Managing Editor.
3.3. Reviewers exercise full freedom of expression.
3.4. Reviewers can stay anonymous throughout all of the reviewing stages.
3.5. Reviewers can get consultations on any procedure-related matters from the members of the Editorial Board by submitting a respective written request through the Managing Editor.
3.6. Reviewers shall be objective and independent in delivering a judgment on the content they review.
3.7. Reviewers shall pay special attention to the compliance of the reviewed content with the adopted ethical standards.
3.8. If the Reviewer sees any professional or ethical impediments to their review, they shall respectively notify the Editorial Board in due time and request a substitute.
3.9. Review shall be submitted to the Editorial Board within the deadlines in a prescribed format and in compliance with all of the review procedures.
3.10. In the case of a negative review, the Reviewer shall give full details to substantiate the rejection.
3.11. Reviewers bear personal liability for the quality of their review and compliance with ethical standards before the Editorial Board. Reviewers get evaluations, references and recommendations from the Editorial Board based on the results of their work.
4. AUTHORS’ OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
4.1. Before submitting their paper, Authors shall read these rules and observe them throughout their entire work.
4.2. When preparing the manuscript, Authors shall make the part that will go under review anonymous. All the author’s/co-author’s data, their addresses and employer details shall be submitted separately from the main manuscript text.
4.3. All Authors shall fill in a special conflict of interest disclosure form.
4.4. Authors are responsible for maintaining complete anonymity of the patients participating in research. It is recommended to avoid any information that enables the reader to identify the patient by the research place, name, physical characteristics, medical images or photos.
4.5. If the organisation where the paper comes from has a Local Ethics Committee which approved the research involving people, this fact should be mentioned in the text of the paper (in the “Material and Methods” section). This requirement applies to both prospective and retrospective research which directly involved patients or analysed all or part of their medical data (e.g. medical images).
4.6. If the Local Ethics Committee’s rules do not require an approval of this particular type of research, this fact should be also reported in the text of the paper.
4.7. If the organisation has no Ethics Committee (or had none when research started), this fact should be reflected in the “Material and Methods” section with a confirmation that the principles of the Helsinki Declaration were observed during research.
4.8. If research involved the use of drugs or medical devices not adopted as standard practice, the text must indicate that the patient(s) was (were) informed thereabout and gave a Voluntary Written Informed Consent (if possible).
4.9. If research was done on animals, the text of the manuscript shall specify that the research protocol was approved by the Local Animal Protection Committee. If the organisation has no such Committee, it shall note that international principles for protection of laboratory animals were observed, such as, for instance, Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the US National Institutes of Health (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/Guide-for-the-Care-and-Use-of-LaboratoryAnimals.pdf).
4.10. Authors are liable for compliance with the ethical rules applied to scientific publications before the academic community and society as a whole. Their reputation and authority depend entirely on the quality of their research findings.
5. MATTERS OF PROCEDURE
5.1. The paper accepted for publication shall meet the requirements relating to its significance, originality and clarity as well as its relation to the subject matter of the journal.
5.2. Information about research funding resources and sponsor contribution shall be public.
5.3. All the procedures related to the submission of manuscripts, review, acceptance for publication and appeals against the Board’s decisions are published and available to all concerned parties.
5.4. The Editor is authorised to bring forward an oral question or proposal at the meeting of the Editorial Board or submit them in writing to the Editor-in-Chief or Deputy Editor-in-Chief at any time.
5.5. Oral questions and proposals shall be considered straight at the meeting while those submitted in writing shall be brought up at the earliest upcoming regular meeting of the Editorial Board.
5.6. Ethical issues requiring voting shall be solved by simple majority.
5.7. Every member of the Editorial Board has one vote in any voting at the meeting.
5.8. The decision to accept the paper for publication can be cancelled only in the presence of highly critical problems that were unknown when the initial decision was made.
5.9. Decisions of the Board to reject research papers can be contested through a complaint submitted to the Editor-in-Chief. This complaint shall list arguments proving the unjustified character of the rejection.
5.10. The Board shall reconsider the acceptance of the paper. If the manuscript is rejected for the second time, the author can appeal to the higher authorities of the Committee for Publication Ethics.
5.11. If any possible violations of the ethics were detected in either published or unpublished papers, Editors shall submit a written request to the accused party to produce evidence regarding the alleged violations. If the response was not deemed satisfactory, the Board, represented by the Editor-in-Chief, seeks further investigation with the employer or other authorities.
5.12. If, for some reason, the Editorial Board accepted the publication of research papers with significant inaccuracies, misleading information or distorted findings, the next issue shall incorporate respective corrections with apologies to the readers.
5.13. If the investigation detected a fact of falsification, the corresponding paper shall be withdrawn.
5.14. Corrections and reviews shall be respectively reflected in the indexing systems.
6. PUBLISHER’S ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
6.1. The Publisher shall not interfere with the editorial policy or affect the Board’s decision-making process as far as it concerns its competence.
6.2. The Publisher shall fully comply with the decisions of the Editorial Board regarding the ethics of publications, including advertisements.
6.3. The Publisher acknowledges that publication decisions shall be primarily based on the quality and importance for the viewer rather than financial or political benefits.
6.4. The Publisher shall create favourable conditions for independent creative work of all Board members.
6.5. The Publisher shall take over the whole burden of technical organisation related to the preparation of the journal before it is printed and its issue.
6.6. The Publisher shall take control of the observance of regulations governing the publication of research and advertising as well as conflicts of interest.
6.7. Additional runs and reprints shall be published by the Publisher following the approval of the Editorial Board.
7.1. Our Editorial Board is open to cooperation with all concerned parties and to sharing the experience with other editorial boards, publishers and journals.
7.2. The current rules and regulations can be developed, augmented and improved through the study and integration of the experience of other academic publications as well as brought in line with progressive scientific standards related to the ethics of scientific data publication.