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Research and publication ethics > EDITORIAL POLICY > Research and publication ethics



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The Acute and Critical Care journal adheres completely to the ethical guidelines for research and publication described in the Guidelines on Good Publication (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines), the ICMJE Recommendations (http://www.icmje.org), and Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA; (http://doaj.org/bestpractice). Furthermore, all processes addressing research and publication misconduct shall follow the flowchart of COPE (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts).

Statement of Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

Any investigations involving humans and animals should be approved by the Institutional Review Board and Animal Care Committee, respectively, of the institution at which the study took place. ACC will not consider any studies involving humans or animals without appropriate approval. Informed consent should be obtained, unless waived by the institutional review board, from patients who participated in clinical investigations. Human subjects' names, initials, hospital, dates of birth or other personal or identifying information should not be used. Images of human subjects should not be used unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and explicit permission has been given as part of the consent. Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurances that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning. Formal consents are not required for the use of entirely anonymized images from which the individual cannot be identified- for example, x-rays, ultrasound images, pathology slides or laparoscopic images, provided that these do not contain any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that might identify the individual concerned. If consent has not been obtained, it is generally not sufficient to anonymize a photograph simply by using eye bars or blurring the face of the individual concerned. If experiments involve animals, the research should be based on national or institutional guidelines for animal care and use. Original articles submitted to ACC that address any investigation involving humans and animals should include a description about whether the study was conducted with approval of the institutional review board (with or without patient informed consent) and animal care committee, respectively, of the institution at which the study was conducted. ACC may also request an approval by the institutional review board or animal care committee for other types of articles when necessary. The content of each article is the responsibility of the authors and not of ACC.

Registration of Clinical Trial Research

Any research that deals with a clinical trial should be registered with a primary national clinical trial registration site such as https://cris.nih.go.kr/cris/index.jsp, or other primary national registry sites accredited by the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/) or clinicaltrial.gov (http://clinicaltrial.gov/), a service of the United States National Institutes of Health.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) their actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from being negligible to having great potential for influencing judgment. Not all relationships represent true conflicts of interest. On the other hand, the potential for a conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects their scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the Journal, the authors, and science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion (http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/). If there are any conflicts of interest, authors should disclose them in the manuscript. The conflicts of interest may occur during the research process; however, the important point is the disclosure itself. Disclosure allows the editors, reviewers, and readers to approach the manuscript with an understanding of the situation under which the research work was processed.

Authorship

Authorship credit should be based on (1) substantial contributions to the conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article 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. Authors should meet these four conditions. If the number of authors is greater than six, a list should be included of each author’s role for the submitted paper. Policies on research and publication ethics that are not stated in the Instructions can be found in the Guidelines on Good Publication (http://publicationethics.org/) or Good Publication Practice Guidelines for Medical Journals (http://kamje.or.kr/).

Originality and Duplicate Publication

Manuscripts that are under review or have been published by other journals will not be accepted for publication in ACC, and articles published in this journal are not allowed to be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any type of publication without the permission of the Editorial Board. Figures and tables can be used freely if the original source is verified according to the Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. It is mandatory that all authors resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open-access. Regarding duplicate publication, plagiarism, and other problems related to publication ethics, the “Good Publication Practice Guidelines for Medical Journals” (http://kamje.or.kr/publishing_ethics.html) should be followed.

Secondary Publication

It is possible to republish a manuscript if it satisfies the condition of secondary publication of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, available from: http://www.icmje.org/ as follows:

Certain types of articles, such as guidelines produced by governmental agencies and professional organizations, may need to reach the widest possible audience. In such instances, editors sometimes deliberately publish material that is also published in other journals with the agreement of the authors and the editors of those journals. Secondary publication for various other reasons, in the same or another language, especially in other countries, is justifiable and can be beneficial provided that the following conditions are met. The authors have received approval from the editors of both journals (the editor concerned with secondary publication must have a photocopy, reprint, or manuscript of the primary version). The priority of the primary publication is respected by a publication interval of at least one week (unless specifically negotiated otherwise by both editors).

The paper for secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; therefore, an abbreviated version could be sufficient. The secondary version faithfully reflects the data and interpretations of the primary version. The footnote on the title page of the secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper has been published in whole or in part and states the primary reference. A suitable footnote might read: “This article is based on a study first reported in the [title of journal, with full reference].”

Management of Research and Publication Misconduct

When the Journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct such as redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflicts of interest, ethical problems with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, or complaints against editors, the resolution process will follow the flowchart provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). Discussions and decisions on suspected cases are conducted by the Editorial Board.

Editorial Responsibilities

The Editorial Board will continuously work to monitor/safeguard publication ethics: guidelines for retracting articles; maintenance of the integrity of the academic record; preclusion of business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards; publishing corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed; and ensuring that there is no plagiarism and no fraudulent data in publications. Editors maintain the following responsibilities: the responsibility and authority to reject/accept articles; no conflicts of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept; the acceptance of a paper when reasonably certain; promoting the publication of corrections or retractions when errors are found; and the preservation of the anonymity of reviewers.

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