Publishing Ethics and Policy

Duties of Publisher, Editors and Editorial Staff

Editors for any Dougmar journals follow the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guide for Journal Editors. It is the duty of the Publisher to maintain and promote ethical policies for their journal(s) and act to enforce these policies. Journal Editors exercise high standards of personal integrity and work with authors and Editorial Board members to ensure these standards are clear and adhered to.  Editors consider and evaluate all submitted articles according to their intellectual merit, without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, political philosophy, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).  Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, or other editorial advisors.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Recommendations by peer reviewers are the single most important determining factor in whether a manuscript is accepted for publication. They may also help the author improve a manuscript that has been accepted pending revisions.

Peer reviewers are asked to complete their reviews within three weeks of receiving a refereeing assignment. If they cannot complete the report within three weeks, they may ask for an extension. 

Any manuscript received for review will be treated as confidential. It must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the Journal editorial team.

Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgment of Sources and Identification of Possible Plagiarism
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Reports of statements, observations, or arguments that have been noted elsewhere should be accompanied by a relevant citation. A reviewer should also call the editor's attention to any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
If a peer reviewer feels unqualified to review a particular manuscript, he or she must notify a member of the Journal editorial team to be excused from the assignment. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not be used for personal benefit. 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, our institutions connected to the papers under review.

Duties of Authors

Reporting Standards
Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance.

Data Access and Retention
Authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with the paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, whenever possible. In any event, authors should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable amount of time after publication.

Originality and Plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original work, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Articles found to have plagiarized material will be withdrawn from publication consideration. If plagiarism is found after an article is published, the publisher will contact the author for a response to the allegations. In cases of proven plagiarism or non-response/non-adequate response, the offending paper will be retracted and a statement from the publisher will be inserted in its place in the relevant journal issue.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication
Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and it is unacceptable. Manuscripts must only be peer reviewed by a one journal at a time.

Acknowledgment of Sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.

Authorship of the Paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who participated in certain substantial aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged are listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
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 the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should 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 promptly notify the publisher and cooperate with the editorial team to correct or retract the paper.

Research Ethics

For manuscripts reporting medical studies involving human participants, authors are asked to provide a statement identifying the ethics committee that approved the study, and that the study conforms to recognized standards. Authors are encouraged to take adequate steps to minimize harm to participants, to avoid coercion or exploitation, to protect confidentiality, and to minimize the risk of physical and psychological harm.

In biomedical sciences, editors should consider only publishing information and images from individual participants where the authors have obtained the individual's free prior informed consent.

Research involving animals should be conducted with the same rigor as research in humans. Authors should confirm that ethical and legal approval was obtained prior to the start of the study, and state the name of the body giving the approval. Authors should also state whether experiments were performed in accordance with relevant institutional and national guidelines and regulations.

Informed Consent

Authors should protect the confidentiality of individual information that is obtained through the doctor–patient relationship. Authors must obtain written informed consent from patients described in case reports/articles and for photographs of patients.  It may be possible for an author to publish without explicit consent in cases where patient consent is not readily available or accessible.