Ethics and Publication Malpractice


Articles must be submitted by the authors of their own manuscript and should not be submitted by anyone on behalf of others. The principal/corresponding author will be required to submit a Copyright Letter along with the manuscript, on behalf of all the co-authors (if any). It is this author’s responsibility to inform all coauthors of matters arising and to ensure such matters are dealt promptly. The name and e-mail address of this author is published in the paper.

The author(s) will confirm that the manuscript (or any part of it) has not been published previously or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Furthermore, any illustration, structure or table that has been published elsewhere must be reported, and copyright permission for reproduction must be obtained.

Authors must suggest suitable independent reviewers when they submit their manuscripts, but these suggestions may not be followed by the journal.

Bioethics and Bio-Security

Authors must comply with the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( with regard to the patient’s consent for research or participation in a study. Patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers must not be mentioned anywhere in the manuscript (including figures). All reasonable measures must be taken to protect patient anonymity. Black bars over the eyes are not acceptable. In certain cases, we may insist upon obtaining evidence of informed consent from authors. Images without appropriate consent will be removed from publication.

Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study. Studies should be in compliance with human studies committees and animal welfare regulations of the authors’ institutions. Human studies must be performed with the subjects’ written informed consent. If radiation is used in a research procedure, the radiation exposure must be specified in the methods.

The threat posed by bioweapons raises the unusual need to assess the balance of risk and benefit in publication. Editors are not necessarily well qualified to make such judgements unassisted, and so we reserve the right to take expert advice in cases where we believe that concerns may arise. We recognize the widespread view that openness in science helps to alert society for potential threats and to defend against them, and we anticipate that only very rarely (if at all) will the risks be perceived as outweighing the benefits of publishing a paper that has otherwise been deemed appropriate for a Journal. Nevertheless, we think its appropriate to consider such risks and to have a formal policy for dealing with them if need arises.

We have established an editorial monitoring group to oversee the consideration of papers with biosecurity concerns. The monitoring group includes the Editor-in-Chief of respective journal and Director Editorial Office.

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