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- The intentional copying of others studies without appropriate attribution or copying content without providing for appropriate references is called Plagiarism.
- The Editorial Team of the Mediterranean Journal of Emergency Medicine takes the necessary measures to examine the incoming papers on their originality, reliability of contained information and correct use of citations.
- The Editorial Team acknowledges that plagiarism is unacceptable and therefore establishes the following policies that state-specific actions (penalties) if plagiarism is identified in a manuscript submitted for publication in the Journal of Mediterranean Journal of Emergency Medicine.
- There is strict policy in case of plagiarism in MJEM within its purview. If any element of plagiarism is detects by the editorial board member, reviewer, author etc.; the authors are recommended to provide proper citations either before, during or after the publication process
- Authors should ensure that they submit only entirely original works. If they have used the work and/or statements of others, this must be appropriately cited or referenced.
- Plagiarism in any forms, including quotations or paraphrasing of substantial parts of another’s article (without attribution), “passing off” another’s article as the author’s own or claiming results from research conducted by others, constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts that are a compilation of previously published materials of other authors (without their own creative and authoring interpretation) are not accepted for publication.
- The plagiarism checking is performed immediately after submission of manuscript and before starting of the review process.
- The authors must ensure that the submitted manuscript:
- describes completely the original work;
- is not plagiarism;
- has not been published before in any language;
- the information used or words from other publications are appropriately indicated by reference or indicated in the text.
- If plagiarism is detected less than 15%, the manuscript is sent for revision. If the plagiarism extent is in the range of 15% to 30%, the manuscript will be sent back to the author. If the plagiarism is detected to be higher than 30%, the manuscript is rejected before the review process and the authors are advised to revise and resubmit the manuscript.
- The manuscript which clears the review process and gets published in the journal but later on detected to contain plagiarized content, the author’s office and funding agencies are contacted. Each page of the PDF is marked and based on the extent of plagiarism; the article may be formally retracted.
- Similarity Check is a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. MJEM uses the Crossref Similarity Check Powered by iThenticate software for detecting instances of similar text and overlapping in submitted manuscripts. Wherever you see the “Cossref” Logo, you can be reassured that the content you are reading is committed to actively combating plagiarism and publishing original research.
- Existing copyright laws and conventions must be observed. Materials protected by copyright (for example, tables, figures or large quotations) should only be reproduced with the permission of their owner.
- For self-plagiarism it is the authors’ own responsibility to clearly demarcate the differences between quoting exact words and paraphrasing as well as citing with proper references.
- The MJEMtakes responsibility to assist a scientific community in all aspects of publication ethics policy, particularly in case of multiple submission/publication and plagiarism. The editors reserve the right to check the received manuscripts for plagiarism.
If the suspected plagiarism is detected in a published article
- The individual who has disclosed the plagiarism content is advised to follow the process to address the issue more effectively.
- The extent of copying in the published article suspected of plagiarism is evaluated.
- The Editorial Board members are intimated and asked for their valuable feedback.
- The author for the article in question is contacted with supporting evidence and asked for a response.
- If the authors are found guilty of plagiarism, MJEM publishes official retraction of the paper.
- The publishers will not consider the author’s any publications in the future for a period of 2 years.
- The authors are required to acknowledge that they are well aware of MJEM policy on plagiarism before they make article’s copyright transfer agreement.
- Different types of plagiarism are explained based on extent, originality of the copied material, context, referencing, intention, author seniority and language. The Journal responses to plagiarism include educating authors, contacting authors’ institutions, issuing corrections and issuing retractions.
- The Editor provides the following documentation in response to the plagiarized work: the description of the alleged misconduct; manuscript title; the list of the authors; title of ideas; list of creators and date of creation; copies of both the manuscripts; full name and address of the complainant.
- The charge of the plagiarism, the supporting materials and the outcomes remain confidential and are known to only those who are involved in the review process.
- The sanctions on the plagiarized manuscript include ban from the submission to MJEM for a period of time; and the author guilty of plagiarism holding the editorial office is removed. The authors are asked to write a letter of apology to the author of the plagiarized paper and admitting to the act of plagiarism.
The Journal expects the authors to follow the ensuing guidelines:
- The focus should be on ideas published in the prior works.
- In Word-to-Word Copying, the authors are expected to ensure their works are properly italicized and indented, citations to include link to URLs.
- Though the Journal adopts double-blind review, however proper attribution is provided.
- The creative contribution of ideas, texts, analyzes presented in a paper which is under consideration for the publication are also cited in subsequent papers as a first source.
- Using, duplicating and copying the empirical data that is employed in the previous published works must be properly referenced and cited.
- When using the mathematical data from the previous works it is always advisable to re-use of notation for the consistency, re-use of variable definition is encouraged.
- When in doubt, it is always best to cite the previous publications or describe the situation writing a cover letter to the editor.
Ethical Considerations in Research
Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide your research designs and practices. Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from people.
The goals of human research often include understanding real-life phenomena, studying effective treatments, investigating behaviors, and improving lives in other ways. What you decide to research and how you conduct that research involve key ethical considerations.
These considerations work to
• protect the rights of research participants
• enhance research validity
• maintain scientific integrity
This article mainly focuses on research ethics in human research, but ethical considerations are also important in animal research.
Why do research ethics matter?
Research ethics matter for scientific integrity, human rights and dignity, and collaboration between science and society. These principles make sure that participation in studies is voluntary, informed, and safe for research subjects.
You’ll balance pursuing important research aims with using ethical research methods and procedures. It’s always necessary to prevent permanent or excessive harm to participants, whether inadvertent or not.
Defying research ethics will also lower the credibility of your research because it’s hard for others to trust your data if your methods are morally questionable.
Even if a research idea is valuable to society, it doesn’t justify violating the human rights or dignity of your study participants.
Getting ethical approval for your study
Before you start any study involving data collection with people, you’ll submit your research proposal to an institutional review board (IRB).
An IRB is a committee that checks whether your research aims and research design are ethically acceptable and follow your institution’s code of conduct. They check that your research materials and procedures are up to code.
If successful, you’ll receive IRB approval, and you can begin collecting data according to the approved procedures. If you want to make any changes to your procedures or materials, you’ll need to submit a modification application to the IRB for approval.
If unsuccessful, you may be asked to re-submit with modifications or your research proposal may receive a rejection. To get IRB approval, it’s important to explicitly note how you’ll tackle each of the ethical issues that may arise in your study.
Types of ethical issues
There are several ethical issues you should always pay attention to in your research design, and these issues can overlap with each other.
You’ll usually outline ways you’ll deal with each issue in your research proposal if you plan to collect data from participants.
Your participants are free to opt in or out of the study at any point in time.
Participants know the purpose, benefits, risks, and funding behind the study before they agree or decline to join.
You don’t know the identities of the participants. Personally identifiable data is not collected.
You know who the participants are but you keep that information hidden from everyone else. You anonymize personally identifiable data so that it can’t be linked to other data by anyone else.
Potential for harm
Physical, social, psychological and all other types of harm are kept to an absolute minimum.
The way you communicate your research results can sometimes involve ethical issues. Good science communication is honest, reliable, and credible. It’s best to make your results as transparent as possible.
Take steps to actively avoid plagiarism and research misconduct wherever possible.
Plagiarism means submitting others’ works as your own. Although it can be unintentional, copying someone else’s work without proper credit amounts to stealing. It’s an ethical problem in research communication because you may benefit by harming other researchers.
Self-plagiarism is when you republish or re-submit parts of your own papers or reports without properly citing your original work.
This is problematic because you may benefit from presenting your ideas as new and original even though they’ve already been published elsewhere in the past. You may also be infringing on your previous publisher’s copyright, violating an ethical code, or wasting time and resources by doing so.
In extreme cases of self-plagiarism, entire datasets or papers are sometimes duplicated. These are major ethical violations because they can skew research findings if taken as original data.
Research misconduct means making up or falsifying data, manipulating data analyses, or misrepresenting results in research reports. It’s a form of academic fraud.
These actions are committed intentionally and can have serious consequences; research misconduct is not a simple mistake or a point of disagreement about data analyses.
Research misconduct is a serious ethical issue because it can undermine scientific integrity and institutional credibility. It leads to a waste of funding and resources that could have been used for alternative research.
Why is research misconduct harmful?
Unfortunately, we have little knowledge of why researchers commit misconduct, but we do know that this reduces the confidence in published research results, and this makes the research less effective. Moreover, it is harmful for the research community's reputation, causing it to lose the trust of those who fund research. Research subjects who volunteer for projects may lose confidence, and public confidence in research may also suffer.
Misconduct may entail harmful or even fatal consequences, for example if the research in question is associated with treatment methods for patients, the safety of construction projects, environmental problems etc. (Gustafson 2005). In addition, problems may arise if political decisions are made on the basis of dishonest or questionable research.
Finally, research misconduct will frequently be decidedly unfair to other colleagues: stealing a colleague's ideas, plagiarizing research results produced by others etc. Another aspect related to colleagues is that funding of dishonest or questionable research comes at the cost of competing projects that abide by the requirements for good research practice. In particular, this is a problem in a situation of keen competition for strictly limited funding.