Ethical Policy of Women's Health Bulletin

 

Women's Health Bulletin follows the flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE’s flowcharts and guidelines are approached in confronting any ethical misbehavior. The journal also follows the guidelines mentioned in the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). 

Find out more: publicationethics.org/oversight

Human rights

Any research that involves human subjects, human material, human tissues, or human data requires ethics approval. The lead corresponding author should declare a clear statement based on the Declaration of Helsinki of 2013 rules. Please find more information from here.

Based on the Declaration of Helsinki of 2013 rule number 23, an approval from an ethics committee should have been obtained before beginning the research. If your manuscript does not include ethics approval, it will not be sent out for the peer-review. The following principles are mandatory for Original Article and Short Communications:

  • Authors should include the Ethical Issues/Statement in both the main manuscript under the method section and the Title Page. If pursuing the ethical approval was not necessary for the study (eg, using secondary data), authors are still required to declare the reasons.
  • Procedures for securing informed consent should be provided.

Ethical Approval Code

To publish an article in a journal, author(s) are requested to get the ethical permission from their institute. In this permission, authors will agree upon standard ethical behavior.

  • "Ethical Approval Code" is required for all studies on people, medical records, and human samples.
  • This code must be linked to a webpage showing the details of approval.
  • The code must be approved by the authors' local authorities. For example, the national center of ethics or ethics department of universities.
  • The ethics code should be written in the manuscript like this: The Ethics Review Board of ……………………, approved the present study with the following number: IR…...( ethics code is obligatory).

How can I receive the "Ethical Approval Code"?

Before you plan to start a research, project involving human participants or personal data, you must apply for an “ethical approval” from one of the University’s research ethics committees. The information requested by your local committee will depend on your discipline and the type of research that you intend to undertake.

Example of local ethics authorities:


Which type of manuscripts does not need ethical approval code?

  • studies involving information freely available in the public domain (e.g. published biographies, newspaper accounts)
  • review articles
  • case reports
  • letter or editorial

Authorship Rules and Regulations

Each author should have participated significantly and sufficiently in the work to take responsibility for the whole content. According to the ICMJE, authorship credit should be based only on:

1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;

2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;

3) Final approval of the version to be published; and

4) 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.

Conditions 1 to 4 must all be met. All who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors and their names should be included in the Title Page.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their coauthors. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the gathering of data, technical help, writing assistance, and general supervision of the research group does not warrant authorship. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Please guarantee that anyone stated in the Acknowledgements section has granted its clearance for permission to be listed.

Role of the Corresponding Author

The corresponding author is the individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal office during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process. The corresponding author typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, and disclosures of relationships and activities, are properly completed and reported, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors.

The corresponding author will check the proof edition, if the manuscript is accepted for publication, although a copy of conversations will be sent to all co-authors. The corresponding author should be also 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.


Authorship Changes

Based on our internal policy, we don´t accept any change in the authorship including addition and or deletion of the authors after initial submission except for those cases that are decided by the editorial board.

  • Only Minor changes in the authors including any change in the order of authors will be reviewed by the editorial board. Authors should determine the order of authorship among themselves. In addition, any alterations must be clarified to the Editor/Editor-in-chief.
  • To apply a request for a minor change in the authors, please fill the agreement form and submit it via our support portal.

Informed Consent

To research on human subjects, the informed consent and other ethical considerations should be mentioned in the "Methods" section of the manuscript. The author should include a statement that informed consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects. As the journal follows ICMJE, for more information, please consider their guideline.


Authors' Contribution

Authors' contribution should be stated for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article.


Acknowledgments

Recognize individuals who provided assistance to the project. Report all sources of grant and other support for the project or study, including funds received from contributors, institutions and commercial sources. Consultancies and funds paid directly to investigators must also be listed.


Disclosure of Financial and Non-financial Relationships and Activities

The potential for conflict of interest and bias exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest. Thus, the lead corresponding author should complete the Disclosure Form to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and helps to maintain trust in the scientific process. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable, the ones most often judged to represent potential conflicts of interest and thus the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and science itself.

Other interests may also represent or be perceived as conflicts, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. Authors should avoid entering in to agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and nonprofit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyze and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose. Policies that dictate where authors may publish their work violate this principle of academic freedom. Authors may be required to provide the journal with the agreements in confidence. Purposeful failure to report those relationships or activities specified on the journal Disclosure Form is a form of misconduct.

All participants in the peer-review and publication process must consider and disclose their relationships and activities when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication:

1. Authors

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The lead corresponding author is responsible to complete and submit the Disclosure Form.

2. Peer Reviewers

Reviewers should declare if they have relationships or activities that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they are reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.

________________________________________

Plagiarism and Similarity Rates

The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. We recommend reviewers in the peer review process to completely check and control the similarities and guide authors to avoid similarities with other published materials. Women's Health Bulletin uses the Cross iThenticate Plagiarism detector to screen submitted manuscripts for originality. Using this service, we can detect if a manuscript contains passages of text that appear in other publications or resources. The duplication should not be more than 10%.

  • We accept all terms and conditions of the COPE regarding similarity rates and plagiarism and in case, any attempt for plagiarism accompanied with convincing evidence is considered. Accordingly, we act based on the flowcharts and workflows by the COPE.
  • The highest responsibility to control and avoid plagiarism is held by the EIC of the journal.

Data Fabrication/Falsification

Falsification is the practice of omitting or altering research materials, data, or processes so that the results of the research are no longer accurately reflected. Fabrication is the practice of inventing data or results and reporting them in the research. Both of these misconducts are fraudulent and seriously alter the integrity of research. Therefore, articles must be written based on original data and use of falsified or fabricated data is strongly prohibited. In confronting cases with fabricated or falsified data COPE’s flowcharts and guidelines are followed.

Researchers who perform randomized controlled or clinical trials (RCTs) are advised to keep their original data at hand. The journal keeps the right to ask for raw data even after publication. 


Overlapping Publications

1. Duplicate Submission

Authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously to more than one journal. The rationale for this standard is the potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish a manuscript that has been submitted simultaneously to more than one journal, and the possibility that two or more journals will unknowingly and unnecessarily undertake the work of peer review, edit the same manuscript, and publish the same article.

2. Duplicate Publication

Duplicate publication is publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published, without clear, visible reference to the previous publication (Please see COPE flowcharts for more information).


Image Manipulation

Women's Health Bulletin encourages authors to send their original images. All digital images in manuscripts accepted for publication will be checked for inappropriate manipulation. No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable as long as they are applied to the entire image and do not misrepresent any information present in the original, including the background. The editors will request the original data from the authors to compare the manipulated figures in cases suspected of inappropriate manipulation.


Copyright

If a manuscript contains any previous published image or text, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain authorization from copyright holders. The author is required to obtain and submit the written original permission letters for all copyrighted material used in his/her manuscript.

The journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Free Access Policy

This journal provides immediate free access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public and supporting a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Retraction Policy

Women's Health Bulletin uses the COPE flowchart for retraction of a published article to determine whether a published article should be retracted.

When should a publication be retracted?

Only published items can be retracted. Publications should be retracted as soon as possible when the journal editors are convinced that the publication is seriously flawed and misleading (or is redundant or plagiarized).

What Are the Compelling Reasons?

  • Plagiarism
  • Bogus claims of authorship
  • Multiple submission
  • Fraudulent use of data
  • Infringements of professional ethical codes
  • Redundant publication
  • Failure to disclose a major competing interest

Should retraction be applied in cases of disputed authorship?

Authors sometimes request that articles are retracted when authorship is disputed after publication. If there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings or the reliability of the data it is not appropriate to retract a publication solely for an authorship dispute. In such cases, the journal editor should inform those who are involved in the dispute that s/he cannot adjudicate in such cases, but they may be willing to publish a correction to the author/contributor list if the authors/contributors (or their institutions) provide appropriate proof that such a change is justified.


Authors' Responsibilities

  • Authors must certify that their manuscript is their original work.
  • Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere, or even submitted and been in reviewed in another journal.
  • Authors must participate in the peer review process and follow the comments.
  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.
  • All Authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research. Level of their contribution also must be defined in the “Authors’ Contributions” section of the article.
  • Authors must state that all data in the paper are real and authentic.
  • Authors must notify the Editors of any conflicts of interest.
  • Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript.
  • Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.
  • Authors cannot withdraw their articles within the review process, or they must pay the penalty defined by the journal.

Peer Review Process/Responsibility for the Reviewers

  1. Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author. No self-knowledge of the author(s) must affect their comments and decision.
  2. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
  3. Reviewers may identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
  4. Reviewers should also call to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
  5. Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
  6. Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information.

Allegations of Misconduct

This journal follows COPE Core Practices Guideline for allegations of misconducts. 

Find out more: publicationethics.org/misconduct


Data and Reproducibility

This journal have policies on data availability and encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials and other study designs according to standard practice in their discipline.

Find out more: https://publicationethics.org/data


Intellectual Property

All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, is clearly described. In addition, the journal's charge policy is obvious to authors and readers. Also, What constitutes plagiarism and redundant/overlapping publication is specified.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/intellectualproperty


Journal management

This journal has policies on journal management.

Find out more: https://publicationethics.org/management


Post-Publication Discussion and Corrections

The journal will publish an erratum when a factual error in a published item has been documented.

Find out more: https://publicationethics.org/postpublication


Complaints and Appeals

This journal follows COPE Guidelines for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher.

Find out more: publicationethics.org/appeals


Publishing Ethics Issues

  • All editorial members, reviewers, and authors must confirm and obey rules defined by COPE.
  • The corresponding author is the main owner of the article so she/he can withdraw the article when it is incomplete (before entering the review process or when a revision is asked for).
  • Authors cannot make major changes in the article after acceptance without a serious reason.
  • All editorial members and authors must publish any kind of correction honestly and completely.
  • Any notes of plagiarism, fraudulent data or any other kinds of fraud must be reported completely and will be investigated carefully based on the rules of COPE.