Publishing Ethics and Malpractice
Open Access Policy:
The journal supports open access to scientific research and encourages authors to publish their work under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license. This allows for maximum dissemination of research findings and encourages collaboration and reuse of data, while allowing authors to retain copyright to their work. JMLPH’s open access policy allows users to read, download, distribute, copy, or link to the full texts of articles with proper attribution, under a CC-BY.
There is no charge to submit or to publish in The Journal of Medicine, Law & Public Health. The journal publishes its articles continuously on the website; jmlph.net.
The Journal of Medicine, Law & Public Health (JMLPH) is committed to maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct and scientific integrity in the publication of research articles. All authors, reviewers and editors involved in the publication process are expected to adhere to the medical publishing ethics published by the ICMJE in their Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. JMLPH invites scientifically sound research articles that incorporate a well-founded research question, appropriate methodology and analysis, and compliance to the relevant standards of the research field.
JMLPH welcomes manuscripts covering, but not limited to, the following broad areas of research:
- Disease epidemiology and modelling
- Digital public health
- Nutritional and mental health
- Ageing and public health
- Occupational health and practices
- Environmental health, hazards and safety
- Public health education and training
- Health informatics
- Health communication, policies and economics
- Emergency medicine
- Physical and social determinants of health
- Behavioural and other disorders
- Health services and infrastructure
- Medical law and ethics
Originality refers to the quality of being new or novel. Submitted articles should comprise original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Authors are expected to report their research methods, results, and conclusions to accurately reflect the data and the findings of their research, without overstatement or misinterpretation. Sufficient detail should be provided by the authors to allow for accurate reproducibility by other researchers.
The journal is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in scientific publishing, and to ensuring that all authors are properly acknowledged for their contributions to a research article. All authors listed on a manuscript should have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the research, and have approved the final version of the article for publication.
According to ICMJE recommendations, all persons listed as authors should qualify for authorship. A separate paragraph may be included at the end of the manuscript describing the specific contributions of each author to the research. Consensus should be reached regarding the order and contributions of the authors, before submitting the manuscript and before publication of the final version.
The manuscript should be submitted by a corresponding author, who will be responsible for compliance with JMLPH policies and will be the point of contact with the Journal. The corresponding author must ensure the agreement of all authors on their order and their contributions, prior to final submission and final publication. The corresponding author is also responsible for the timely response to queries regarding the published paper.
Articles published in JMLPH may have two co-first authors. The decision regarding placement of these co-authors’ names should be explained on the first page: according to seniority or to alphabetical order, for example.
Peer Review Process:
JMLPH follows a rigorous and impartial peer review process to ensure that articles are evaluated on the basis of their scientific merit and relevance to the field. The journal embraces a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors’ identities are not revealed to editors or reviewers, thus ensuring impartial observations and decisions regarding each article. A minimum of two independent field experts (reviewers) are required to assess the quality, originality and significance of a submitted manuscript. Areas for constructive feedback to the authors include methodology and research design; data quality and interpretation; scientific rigor and validity; and clarity and readability.
The Journal aims to provide authors with a prompt and fair review process, and to ensure that this process does not unduly delay publication of their research. The Journal reserves the right to decline publication if the manuscript does not meet its standards.
Conflicts of Interest:
To promote transparency in publishing, all authors, reviewers and editors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest, whether personal or commercial, direct or indirect, that could impact the publication of an article. In the interest of consistent standards, impartiality and independence are expected unless otherwise stated. Should the author/editor/reviewer doubt their ability to be impartial and independent, they must explain this in writing to the Journal’s editorial board.
Although a disclosure does not imply the existence of a conflict of interest, any doubt as to whether an author/editor/reviewer should disclose specific facts or circumstances should be resolved in favour of disclosure in writing.
More information about conflicts of interest can be found in the “Conflict of Interest” factsheet, published by Elsevier.
All articles undergo a rigorous peer review process that includes a review of the findings and of the statistical analysis. The fabrication of research data is strictly prohibited, and the Journal holds the right to request the datasets for original articles. We encourage post-publication critique; however, editors, reviewers and readers should contact the Editor-in-Chief for any concerns regarding scientific misconduct, data fabrication, or the integrity of the published work. In such cases, the editorial board is committed to following the steps outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
In the event of proven misconduct, including but not limited to falsified, fabricated or modified data for publication, the article will be rejected. Additionally, the authors will be banned from future submissions to JMLPH and their institutions will be notified of their misconduct. The journal will take the measures necessary to prevent the publication of the work and may retract the article, if necessary.
Ethics Committee Approval:
All articles involving human participation, animal interventions, or sensitive data require approval from the appropriate ethics committee, such as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), before the research is conducted. The Journal may request documentation of ethics committee approval as part of the manuscript review process. For other studies, IRB approval is recommended, but not required.
The Journal is committed to protecting the privacy and rights of research participants, including patients. In research involving human participants, obtaining informed consent is a critical component of ethical research practices, and we expect authors to protect patients’ privacy. Personal identifying information must be removed or de-identified in published articles, and photographs or other images must be suitably obscured to protect the identity of the participants. Should a manuscript include any image or personal information that may identify a patient, permission for its publication should be provided. The Journal holds the right to request consent where applicable.
The Journal prohibits any form of plagiarism, including the use of text or ideas from other sources without proper attribution, which is deemed a violation of scientific integrity. Authors are expected to properly cite and reference all sources used in their research, including direct quotes and paraphrased material. Submissions are routinely screened for plagiarism using plagiarism detection tools. Any evidence of plagiarism is handled according to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Journal will take appropriate action, which may include immediate rejection of the article.
Redundant or Duplicate Publications:
Authors should not submit redundant or duplicate work from already-published articles, whether in the same or different languages. The Journal has the right to reject or withdraw any publication that overlaps substantially with one already published, unless the new manuscript is considered a secondary publication. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides more information on their website about redundant or duplicate publications. Information about secondary publications can also be found on website of The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
The Journal recognises the importance of making research freely and widely available to the scientific community, as timeously as possible. Authors are therefore encouraged to share their work on preprint servers, such as arXiv or bioRxiv, to promote early dissemination and facilitate constructive feedback from the community. However, authors should note the following guidelines when posting preprints:
- Timing: Preprints should be posted prior to formal submission to the Journal, and authors should inform the Journal if they have posted their work on a preprint server.
- Crediting the Journal: If the preprint is accepted for publication, authors should ensure that the final version of the manuscript includes a statement acknowledging the Journal and a link to the Journal’s website.
- Preprint and published versions: Authors should ensure that the preprint and published versions of their work are consistent and clearly distinguishable from one another.
- Copyright: Authors should retain the copyright to their preprint and ensure that the preprint is licensed in a manner that allows for reuse and redistribution.
The Journal supports the open dissemination of research and encourages authors to use preprint servers as part of their publication strategy.
Permissions to Reproduce Previously Published Material:
The Journal recognises that it is sometimes necessary for authors to reproduce previously published material in their manuscripts. However, it is important that this material is used appropriately and in compliance with copyright law.
Authors should follow the guidelines below when reproducing previously published material in their manuscripts:
- Permission: If the previously published material is still under copyright, it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain all the necessary copyright permissions to reproduce the third-party material in their manuscript.
- Attribution: Authors should clearly identify the source of the previously published material and provide proper attribution to the original source.
- Justification: Authors should provide a clear justification for the inclusion of the previously published material in their manuscript, and demonstrate how it adds value thereto.
The majority of the manuscript must be original work and not simply a compilation of previously published materials. The Journal reserves the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with these guidelines and to take the measures necessary to prevent the publication of any inappropriate use of previously published material. If you have any questions about the appropriate use of previously published material, please contact the Journal.
The Journal adheres to the COPE Retraction Guidelines and its criteria for retracting articles include:
- Serious misconduct: If there is clear evidence of scientific misconduct or unethical behaviour, such as plagiarism, data fabrication, or data manipulation, the Journal will retract the article.
- Significant errors: If significant errors or inaccuracies are found in an article that impact the validity of the research, the Journal may retract the article.
Retractions will only be made based on clear evidence and after a thorough investigation. The Journal will notify the authors, the readers, and the scientific community of the retraction, and include a clear explanation of the reasons for such retraction. The retraction will be recorded in the public records, including on the Journal’s website and with relevant indexing services, to ensure that the scientific record is accurate and complete. The Journal assumes complete responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the scientific record and will take all necessary measures to correct the record when errors or misconduct are uncovered.
The Journal reserves the right to reject any article that does not meet these ethical standards and will take any measures necessary to prevent the publication of unethical research. If you suspect any misconduct or unethical behaviour in the publication process, please notify the Journal immediately.