Ethical Considerations:

The Journal is a member of the 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).

 

Human Rights

The cover letter must include a statement declaring the study complies with the current ethical considerations. Authors reporting the experimental studies on human subjects must include a statement of assurance in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript that:

  1. The informed consent was obtained from each participant included in the study,
  2. The study protocol is consistent with the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki as reflected in a prior approval by the institution's human research committee.

Every experimental or clinical study may raise controversial ethical issues (e.g., Institutional Ethical Approval to study on animal or human subjects). Thus, the journal editorial board expects all authors, reviewers, and editors to consider the COPE, ICMJE and Equator Network’s reporting guidelines in medical ethics plus the scientific writing. If any, authors should state related declaration(s), otherwise, the following sentence should be given: “None be declared”.

Animal Rights

In the studies using animal experimentation, assurance must be provided that all animals received humane care according to the criteria outlined in the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" prepared by the National Academy of Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication 86-23 revised 1985). When conducting research on animals we commit to The Basel Declaration which shows outlines fundamental as well as ethical guidelines at the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS).

Ethical Approval Code

To publish an article in a research 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.

 


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” for that 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.

Examples of local ethics authorities in different universities:


Which type of manuscripts are required to declare "Ethical Approval Code"?

The below table describes the requirement of approval code and informed consent in different types of manuscript.

Manuscript Type

Ethical Approval Code

Patient Informed Consent

Research Articles

 

 

  • Interventional (on Human participants)

required 

required 

  • Interventional (on Animal participants)

required *

-

  • In vitro studies

required/optional **

required/optional **

  • Real retrospective studies

optional

optional

Case Reports

required/optional ***

required ***

Table notes:

* : Veterinary clinical cases: For studies using client-owned animals, a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care and an informed client consent statement should be included in the Materials and Methods section.

* : Animal Studies: The ethical review committee approval, and the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines followed regarding the animal's welfare is strongly required in these types of studies.

** : In vitro studies on human or animal tissues are obliged to show "ethical approval code".

*** :  Case reports are not obliged to show “Ethical Approval Code”. But it is strongly recommended to obtain written and signed informed consent from patient/ guardians for publishing the case report. 

 


Which type of manuscripts does not need ethical approval code?

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

 


Link to the main ethics page: Ethics in Publishing Policy.

Authorship Rules and Regulations

Based on the ICMJE recommends that authorship criteria are as below:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version published.
  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.

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.


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. For studies using live animals or human subjects, the author should also include a statement that all experiments were performed in compliance with the relevant laws and institutional guidelines, and also should state the institutional committee(s) that has approved the experiments. Moreover, the templates can be seen from WHO.

 

Authorship Statement

An authorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article. Please read more on this page.


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. Read more


 Authorship:

Based on the ICMJE recommends that authorship criteria are as below:

1.         Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.

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

3.         Final approval of the version published.

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.

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.

________________________________________

Authorship Statement

An authorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article.

 

Conflict of Interest:

A competing interest 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 - employment, Consultancy, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert- testimony or personal relationship). There is nothing unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and clearly stated. All authors must declare all competing interests in their covering letter and in “Competing Interests” section at the end of the manuscript file (before the references). Authors with no competing interests to declare should obviously state that.

 

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.

  • 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. 

 

Image Manipulation:

The 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.

 

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.

 

Authorship Changes

NEW: 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.

 

 

Competing Interests

A competing interest 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 - employment, Consultancy, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert- testimony or personal relationship). There is nothing unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and clearly stated. All authors must declare all competing interests in their covering letter and in “Competing Interests” section at the end of the manuscript file (before the references). Authors with no competing interests to declare should obviously state that.

  • The policy of publisher is that none of the editors should have any financial relationship with any Biomedical company.

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 must not use irrelevant sources that may help other researches/journals.
  • Authors cannot withdraw their articles within the review process or after submission, or they must pay the penalty defined by the publisher.
  •  

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.

 

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.