PUBLICATION ETHICS AND MALPRACTICE STATEMENT

Editorial policy and process

The JBUMDC strictly follows the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

JBUMDC is included in the list of journal following ICMJE recommendations.

Submission of a manuscript to the JBUMDC implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.

Open access policy

The JBUMDC is an open-access journal. All the articles and material published in the Journal of Bahria University Medical and Dental College will be freely available for everyone at the journal’s website. The full text of all the articles can be freely accessed and downloaded by the readers of the journal. There is no need to pay any subscription or pay-per-view charges to read articles published by JBUMDC. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access.

 

Copyright statement

Authors who publish in Journal of Bahria University Medical and Dental College, (JBUMDC) retain copyright to their work. Submission of a manuscript to the journal implies that all authors have read and agreed to the content of the undertaking form or the Terms and Conditions. It is a condition of publication that manuscripts submitted to a journal have not been published and will not be simultaneously submitted or published elsewhere.

Articles published in the Journal of Bahria University Medical and Dental College are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 This license permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium; provided the original work is properly cited. The material can not be used for commercial purposes.

Peer-review policy

All manuscripts will be initially reviewed by the in-house member of the journal to check its similarity index, compliance with the journal guidelines, and ethical considerations.

The JBUMDC  follows a double-blind peer review policy, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. To facilitate this, please include the title page (with author details) separately.

At least two independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, scientific validity, and significance to community/society/literature.

Although, the Journal of Bahria University Medical And Dental College does utmost effort to ensure a speedy and fair review.  Author(s) are also advised to submit the revised version within 4 weeks of the authors being notified to avoid any delay in the review process. In case of delay, a notification will be sent to the author for the final decision process.  

Authors may suggest potential peer reviewers for their manuscripts. For this purpose, authors should provide the institutional email address and expertise of the reviewer in the relevant field. However, it is not obligatory that the journal would send the articles to those reviewers for peer review. 

Note that the suggested peer reviewer must not be from the same institution/research group as the author and they must not have published together. Providing falsifying information, intentionally or unintentionally, will result in not only the rejection of the manuscript but may lead to further investigation in line with the journal misconduct policy.

Plagiarism Policy

All manuscripts submitted to the JBUMDC are screened for textual similarity to other previously published works using the Turnitin Software. JBUMDC follows the HEC and ICJME guidelines and discourages plagiarized work. The journal is strict in its plagiarism policy.

The JBUMDC only accepts the manuscript with a similarity index of less than 17% with no single source of more than 5%. All manuscripts irrespective of their originality will not be considered for publication if the similarity index report is unsatisfactory.

Data presented must be original and not inappropriately selected, manipulated, enhanced, or fabricated. This includes:

  • Exclusion of data points to enhance significance of conclusions,
  • Fabrication of data
  • Selection of results that support a particular conclusion at the expense of contradictory data,

Deliberate selection of analysis tools or methods to support a particular conclusion

Repository Policy

As Journal of Bahria University Medical and Dental College is an Open Access journal authors are entitled to make their article publicly available according to the terms of the CC BY license:

Authors who have published under a  CC BY-NC 4.0 license may share and distribute their article on non-original place of publication and correct citation details should be given. Authors should also deposit the URL/DOI of their published article in any repository, in addition to the Version of Record.

When making their article available according to the terms of their Open Access license, we strongly encourage authors to deposit the Version of Record. This will guarantee that the definitive version is readily available to those accessing your article from such repositories and means that your article is more likely to be cited correctly.

 

ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS:

JBUMDC welcomes the manuscript/articles from both national and international authors. JBUMDC follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines. The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged.

 Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. "Clinical Investigators" or "Participating Investigators"), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," "provided and cared for study patients", "participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript").


It is important to note that:

  • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship.
  • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
  • Once authorship certificate is submitted no further change will be allowed in the sequence and addition of new authors.

The corresponding author is the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process. The corresponding author should ensure that :

  • All the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and disclosures of relationships and activities are properly completed and reported.
  • He/ she should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Deceased Authors

Deceased authors would be included with a death dagger (†) next to the author's name and a footnote stating that the author is deceased along with the date of death.

ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWERS:

JBUMDC follows ICJME guidelines for peer review process. Manuscripts submitted to journals are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details.

  • Reviewers therefore should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential.
  • Reviewers must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published.
  • Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.
  • Reviewers who seek assistance from a trainee or colleague in the performance of a review should acknowledge these individuals’ contributions in the written comments submitted to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript as outlined above.
  • Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite.
  • Reviewers should declare their relationships and activities that might bias their evaluation of a manuscript and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists.

ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR EDITORS:

The editors take responsibility for overseeing the integrity of the editorial process. The following provides details on specific ethical aspects of their role.

  • Editors should defend the confidentiality of authors and peer-reviewers (names and reviewer comments) in accordance with ICMJE policy.
  • Editors should take all reasonable steps to check the facts in journal content, and should ensure that staff working for the journal adhere to best journalistic practices including contemporaneous note-taking and seeking a response from all parties when possible before publication.

To support the Editor checks are made by Managing Editor, Associate Editors and Assistant Editors. However, editors should still report any concerns on any aspect. Checks include:

  • Ethical approval and permissions for research involving human subjects, animals.
  • Plagiarism, duplicate publication, and that necessary permission from the copyright holder to include already-published figures or images.
  • An international clinical trial register for pre-register clinical trials or and to cite a reference to the registration in the Methods Section.
  • Author background and qualification.

If the assistant editor has ethical concerns about a manuscript sent for review or decision, or receives information about a possible ethical breach after publication, they must contact the editor as soon as possible. Our Editorial Office will then conduct an investigation according to COPE guidelines.

When making a final acceptance decision on a manuscript, academic editors should consider the following:

  • Any facts that might be perceived as a possible conflict of interest of the author(s) must be disclosed in the paper prior to submission.
  • Authors must accurately present their research findings and include an objective discussion of the significance of their findings.
  • Data and methods used in the research need to be presented in sufficient detail in the paper, so that other researchers can replicate the work.

Editorial freedom

The JBUMDC adopts ICMJE guidelines for editorial freedom, which adopts the World Association of Medical Editors’ definition of editorial freedom, which holds that editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content.

Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the commercial goals of the publisher.

 

ETHICAL ISSUES REGARDING THE RESEARCH WORK:

Originality

Instructions to authors appear on the last page of each issue. Prospective authors should consult these before submitting their articles and other material for publication. The JBUMDC accepts only original material for publication with the understanding that except for abstracts, no part of the data has been published or will be submitted for publication elsewhere before appearing in this journal. However, a complete report following the publication of a preliminary report, usually in the form of an abstract, or a paper that has been presented at a scientific meeting, if not published in full in a proceeding or similar publication may be submitted. The Editorial Board makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of material printed in the journal. However, conclusions and statements expressed are views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editorial Board or the JBUMDC. Publishing of advertising material does not imply an endorsement by the JBUMDC.

 

Ethical approval

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The submission of ethical/institutional approval letter is a mandatory requirement. The approval letter must contain the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate. Moreover, a statement including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number must also be mentioned in the manuscript. An example is shown below:

  • The study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of Bahria University Medical and Dental College (Ref #. 43/2019).

If a study was granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the given ethics committee for further information. In addition, the journal will not be approved studies without IRB approval or the manuscript with post-study IRB approval. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

 

Research Involving Human Subjects

When reporting on research that involves human subjects, human material, human tissues, or human data, authors must declare that the investigations were carried out following the rules of the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975 (https://www.wma.net/what- we-do/medical-ethics/declaration-of-helsinki/), revised in 2013. According to point 23 of this declaration, an approval from an institutional ethics committee should have been obtained before undertaking the research. A statement including the project identification code, date of approval, and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board should be stated in methodology section of the manuscript.

 

Consent Policy

A written informed consent for publication must be obtained from participating patients who can be identified (including by the patients themselves). Patients’ initials or other personal identifiers must not appear in any images. For manuscripts that include any case details, personal information, and/or images of patients, authors must obtain signed informed consent from patients (or their relatives/guardians) before submitting the manuscript to JBUMDC. Patient details must be anonymized as far as possible, e.g., do not mention specific age, ethnicity, or occupation where they are not relevant to the conclusions. A blank version of the form used to obtain permission (without the patient names or signature) must be uploaded with your submission.

Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research

In case the study is based on experiments on animals, authors will be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed or not. Manuscripts containing original research on animal subjects must have been approved by an institutional ethical review committee. The project identification code, date of approval and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board must be cited in the Methods Section. For research involving animals, any potentially derived benefits must be significant in relation to harm suffered by participating animals. Authors should particularly ensure that their research complies with the commonly accepted '3Rs':

  • Replacement of animals by alternatives wherever possible;
  • Reduction in number of animals used;
  • Refinement of experimental conditions and procedures to minimize the harm to animals.

 

Clinical Trials Registration

JBUMDC follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines which require and recommend registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment as a condition of consideration for publication. Purely observational studies do not require registration. A clinical trial not only refers to studies that take place in a hospital, but also refer to all studies which involve participant randomization and group classification in the context of the intervention under assessment.

Authors are strongly encouraged to pre-register clinical trials with an international clinical trials register and cite a reference to the registration in the Abstract and Methods section. Suitable databases include; clinicaltrials.gov. Approval to conduct a study from an independent local, regional, or national review body is not equivalent to prospective clinical trial registration. JBUMDC reserves the right to decline any paper without trial registration for further peer-review.

 

Citation Policies

Authors should ensure that where material is taken from other sources (including their own published writing), the source is clearly cited and that where appropriate permission is obtained.

  • Authors should not engage in excessive self-citation of their own work.
  • Authors should not copy references from other publications if they have not read the cited work.
  • If DOI ID is available for a certain article being referenced, it should be mentioned in the reference.
  • Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’, or institution’s publications.
  • Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.
    In accordance with COPE guidelines, the editorial team expects that “original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations”. This condition also applies to an author’s own work. COPE have produced a discussion document on citation manipulation with recommendations for best practice. ( https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.3.1)

Misconduct Policies

The JBUMDC follows COPE and ICMJE recommendations regarding ethical policies and dealing with misconduct like falsifying data, plagiarizing others' works, breach of privacy, and dishonesty in suggesting the reviewers. In all cases, the author or reviewer will be contacted directly. Furthermore, the journal can approach the author’s or reviewer’s parent institute or other appropriate organization if severe misconduct is suspected or observed.

Note that if any misconduct is suspected during the review process the manuscript will be held until any concerns have been resolved. Furthermore, the article will be retracted if misconduct is proved after publication.

Plagiarism and other publication misconduct, fabrication (picture as well), falsification, salami slice, duplicate submission, redundant publication, multiple submission, selective and misleading reporting, selective and misleading referencing are liable to strict action. Names of the individuals found guilty will be reported to HEC, author’s institute and other concerned authorities.

UPDATING PUBLISHED PAPERS:

JBUMDC differentiate between Addendum, Erratum, Corrections and Retractions. Complaints made against papers or requests to update are thoroughly investigated by the Editorial Office with the support of the Editorial Board and final approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Other persons and institutions will be consulted as necessary, including university authorities, or experts in the field.

  • Addendum
    If crucial results (e.g., additional affiliation, clarify some aspect of methods/analysis, etc) were unintentionally omitted from the original publication, the original article can be amended through an Addendum reporting these previously omitted results. The Addendum will be published, with article numbers added, in the current issue of the journal.
  • Erratum
    Errata should be published for scientifically relevant formatting changes, or changes to authorship if the author or contributor list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included. Scientifically relevant formatting issues that require an Erratum might include missing or unclear figures, or errors introduced during proofreading (e.g., missing text). Minor errors that do not affect readability or meaning (e.g., spelling or grammatical errors) do not qualify for an Erratum. All authors should proofread the final version carefully.
  • Corrections
    Corrections should be submitted for any scientifically relevant errors in published articles. Any changes may be evaluated by the Assistant Editor. Any changes after publication that affect the scientific interpretation (e.g., changes to a misleading portion of an otherwise reliable publication, an error in a figure, error in data that does not affect conclusions, or addition of missing details about a method) are announced using a Correction. This is a separate publication that links to the original paper, which is updated. A note will also be added to the abstract page, which tells the readers that an updated version was uploaded.
  • Retractions

    Sometimes an article needs to be completely removed from the body of research literature. This could be due to inadvertent errors made during the research process, gross ethical breaches, fabrication of data, large amounts of plagiarism, or other reasons. Such articles threaten the integrity of scientific records and need to be retracted. JBUMDC follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for retraction. Potential Retractions are thoroughly investigated by the Editorial Office with the support of the Editorial Board and final approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Other persons and institutions will be consulted as necessary, including university authorities, or experts in the field. If a Retraction is published, the original publication is amended with a “RETRACTED” watermark, but will still available on the journal’s website for future reference. However, retracted articles should not be cited and used for further research, as they cannot be relied upon. For published articles, the allegedly plagiarized article will be temporarily retracted from publication and a notice to the effect will be published in the JBUMDC. The author will be served an explanation demand and in case of non-response in the stipulated time or unsatisfactory explanation, the article will be permanently retracted and the author will be on watch. The Higher Education Commission, Pakistan Medical Council and author’s institute will also be notified.