Compliance with standards provided by international organizations of publishing ethics and recommendations
The journal is committed to the standards outlined by ICMJE regarding all aspects of publishing and all actors involved in the publication process, authors, journal editors and the publisher (http://www.icmje.org/). This concerns issues of publishing ethics, the publication itself, authorship, the author’s responsibilities, the peer review process, as well as the editor’s responsibilities. Major aspects are also the protection of research participants, the patient’s right to privacy, the respect of animals’ rights, the requirement for informed consent, the necessity to have a registration of a clinical trial, as well as reporting guidelines depending on the studies design. In addition, at any stage, any conflict of interest has to be declared, allowing that no biased decisions will be taken by the Editors or the reviewers, and that the reader has full insight into the financial or other conflicts of interest related to the accepted article.
The journal also follows the standards and guidelines provided by COPE, especially regarding misconduct and fraud, and how to act in front of such a case. COPE provides a code of conduct with best practices in publishing and flowcharts that describe the publisher’s and editor’s actions, if such a case has to be resolved: http://publicationethics.org/. To authors with proven misconduct or fraud the actions available in the flowcharts will be applied. Regarding Radioprotection, detailed instructions are given in the instructions for authors. Here you will find the main points describing the publication of an article in this journal:
1 Conditions for submission of an article
Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For ethics in publishing consult COPE http://publicationethics.org/.
Authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.
The journal has adopted a rigorous examination of every submitted manuscript towards plagiarism or text recycling using Similaritycheck. This tool allows the Editors-in-Chief to quickly identify even partial use of already published content, which cannot be re-published in this journal for various reasons, such as copyright issues, autoplagiarism, plagiarism, etc. In case of doubt, and in order to avoid any forms of plagiarism or text recycling, authors are invited to visit relevant webpages of universities across the world dealing with this topic, or probably the websites of their own institutions.
Please visit these few examples:
- Standford University
- University of Toronto
- Université du Québec
- Universität Bamberg
- Univesität Heidelberg
- Université de Paris Descartes
If nevertheless an article is submitted containing any forms of already published content without citing the sources, the authors will be informed by the Editors-in-Chief. For a not yet published article, in case of conflicts, the relevant COPE guidelines are applied. The detailed and updated version of the way of action of the Editors-in-Chief is available on the website of COPE.
The ICMJE recommends that all those designated as authors meet all of the criteria they describe. The list of criteria is available at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/. Those contributors who do not meet all of the criteria shall be acknowledged.
3 Conflict of interest
Authors must disclose whether or not they have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. They should also state that they have full control of all primary data and that they agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested. Therefore, the manuscript must be accompanied by the "Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form" at the initial submission.
Any additional conflict of interest, on personal or any other level must also be disclosed.
4 Peer Reviewing
The manuscripts have all identifying information removed from them by the editors prior to the beginning of the review process. Then, all manuscripts submitted to the journal are submitted to reviewers independent from the editorial committee of the journal. The reviewers are informed of the necessity to keep the manuscript confidential before acceptance and publication, and their identity will not be disclosed to the authors. Based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the editorial board decides whether the manuscript is:
- Accepted without modifications
- Accepted, after modifications (depending on a second peer reviewing)
The Editors-in chief have full authority for acceptation/rejection of the submitted manuscripts. Persons with a conflict of interest towards a submitted manuscript shall declare it and be withdrawn from the peer reviewing of this particular article.
5 Policies for publication of errata and for article retraction
Despite careful peer reviewing and article production, situations might occur where errata should be published or articles retracted. The Editors-in-chief, together with the publisher therefore follow the flowcharts established by COPE and published on their website (http://publicationethics.org/).
6 Statement of Informed Consent
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.
Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note, authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.
7 Statement of Human and Animal Rights
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.