Ethics and Policies

Middle East Journal of Science (MEJS) is committed to following the Code of Conduct   and   Best Practice Guidelines   of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). It is a duty of our editors to follow Cope Guidance for Editors   and our peer-reviewers must follow COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. We expect all prospective authors to read and understand our Ethics Policy before submitting any manuscripts to our journals.

Please note that submitted manuscripts may be subject to checks using the iThenticate service, in conjunction with CrossCheck, in order to detect instances of overlapping and similar text.

The iThenticate software checks submissions against millions of published research papers, documents on the web, and other relevant sources. If plagiarism or misconduct is found, consequences are detailed in the policy.

We expect all authors to read and understand our ethics policy before submitting to our journal. This is in accordance with our commitment to the prevention of ethical misconduct, which we recognise to be a growing problem in academic and professional publications. It is important to note that most incidents of plagiarism, redundant publication, copyright infringement or similar occur because of a lack of understanding, and not through fraudulent intent. Our policy is one of prevention and not persecution.

Authors’ Responsibilities

Authors should:

Ensure that all researched work submitted is original, fully referenced and that all authors are represented accurately. The submission must be exclusive and not under consideration elsewhere.

Provide accurate contact details for a designated corresponding author, who shall be deemed by the publisher and editor as fully responsible for the authorship of the paper and all communications concerning the ethical status and originality of the paper. This includes any queries or investigations that may arise, pre- or post publication.

Expect to formally agree publication terms which defines the author and the publishers rights for the work. Visit our website for further information.

Expect the editor to scan submissions using plagiarism detection software at iThenticate to check a paper's originality before sending out for review.

Fully correspond and comply with the editor and publisher in any requests for source data, proof of authorship or originality in a timely manner, providing reasonable explanation for discrepancies or failures to disclose vital information.

Fully co-operate with any consequent investigations if the editor and/or publisher are dissatisfied with the evidence available or the explanations provided.

Expect transparency, efficiency and respect from the publisher and the editor during the submissions process.

Remain in good communication with both the publisher and the editor.

Co-operate fully with the publication of errata and with the retraction of articles found to be unethical, misleading or damaging.

Remain in good communication with the editor(s), the publisher and any co-authors.

 

Editors’ Responsibilities

Editors should:

Read and understand COPE guidelines as well as MEJS's ethics policy, and follow them during all editorial processes.

Protect the reputation of their journal(s) and published work by only publishing content of the highest quality and relevance in a timely and responsible manner.

Carry out thorough, objective and confidential peer review for original article submissions that pass the initial quality check and editorial assessment, in adherence with COPE guidelines and MEJS' ethics policy.

Detail and justify any article types which will not be peer reviewed (e.g. editorials, opinion pieces etc.).

Provide a transparent review and publication process as far as is possible, with full respect and care paid to the author(s).

Provide advice and give reasonable explanation and updates to authors during the submissions process and once a decision has been made.

Allow authors the right to appeal any editorial decision.

Only accept papers based on the original merit, quality and relevance of their content.

Support authors in queries concerning the originality of their submissions and request the support of MEJS if necessary.

Remain in good communication with both the publisher and the author(s).

Reviewers’ Responsibilities

Reviewers should:

Adhere to MEJS’s policy of confidential peer review of their journals. This includes, but is not restricted to, keeping their identity hidden from authors and not externally distributing any work that is passed to them for their eyes only.

Only accept invitations to review work that is relevant to their own expertise and speciality.

Review submitted work in a responsible, impartial and timely manner.

Report any suspected ethical misconduct as part of a thorough and honest review of the work.

Avoid the use of unnecessarily inflammatory or offensive language in their appraisal of the work.

Accept the commitment to review future versions of the work and provide 'follow up’ advice to the editor(s), if requested.

Seek advice from the editor if anything is unclear at the time of invitation.

Remain in good communication with both the publisher and the editor.

MEJS’s Responsibilities

MEJS will:

Protect the reputation of our journal and published work by only publishing content of the highest quality and relevance in a timely and responsible manner.

Provide detailed information concerning both our understanding of publication ethics and our implementation of the same. Emphasise a desire for prevention, not eventual detection, of ethical misconduct.

Uphold our COPE membership (or of such similar organisations) and keep our editorial offices, publishing staff and society partners up-to-date with their guidelines and policies, adapting our own where appropriate (and publicising any update).

When necessary, request proof of originality/accuracy from the corresponding author of any work submitted to any of our journals.

Use plagiarism detection software when necessary for any submission to any journal at any stage of the submissions and publication process.

Provide a transparent submissions and publication process, with full respect and care paid to the author. This includes detailed and dedicated instructions to authors for each journal, outlining referencing style, accepted article types and submission processes.

Investigate thoroughly any suggestion of ethical misconduct detected during any stage of the submissions process. This can include, but is not restricted to, the following: plagiarism, redundant publication, fabrication or misuse of data and authorial disputes.

When necessary, retract articles that we deem to be unethical, misleading or damaging.

When necessary, publish errata, corrigenda and retractions in a timely and responsible fashion, detailing the decision online in an open access format and publishing in print as soon as possible.

Remain in good communication with editors, authors, reviewers and society partners (where applicable).

Further reading

Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study.

Originality and plagiarism: 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.

Data access and retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. IJHSRP do not view the following uses of a work as prior publication: publication in the form of an abstract; publication as an academic thesis; publication as an electronic preprint. Information on prior publication is included within each MEJS and its journal Guideline for Authors.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.

Fundamental errors in published works: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.

Reporting standards: Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.

Hazards and human or animal subjects: Statements of compliance are required if the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects.

Use of patient images or case details: Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper.

MEJS has also accessed and learned from the existing policies of other publishers and leading experts as well as open access articles that detail and define ethical misconduct.

'Plagiarism and the law', Joss Saunders, Learned Publishing, 23:279-202: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/alpsp/lp/2010/00000023/00000004/art00002

iThenticate Plagiarism Resources: http://www.ithenticate.com/resources/6-consequences-of-plagiarism