Ethical Aspects and Dilemmas of Preparing, Writing and Publishing of the Scientific Papers in the Biomedical Journals
Acta Inform Med. 2012; 20(3): 141-148
Introduction: In this paper author discussed about preparing and submitting manuscripts – scientific, research, professional papers, reviews and case reports. Author described it from the Editor’s perspective, and specially talked about ethical aspects of authorship, conflict of interest, copyright, plagiarism and duplicate publication from the point of view of his experiences as Editor-in-Chief of several biomedical journals and Chief of Task Force of European Federation of Medical Informatics journals and member of Task Force of European Cardiology Society journals. The scientific process relies on trust and credibility. The scientific community demands high ethical standards to conduct biomedical research and to publish scientific contents. During the last decade, disclosure of conflicts of interest (COI), (also called competing loyalties, competing interests or dual commitments), has been considered as a key element to guarantee the credibility of the scientific process. Biases in design, analysis and interpretation of studies may arise when authors or sponsors have vested interests. Therefore, COI should be made clear to the readers to facilitate their own judgment and interpretation of their relevance and potential implications. Results and Discussion: Authors are responsible to fully disclose potential COI. In October 2009 the ICMJE proposed an electronic “uniform” format for COI disclosure. Four main areas were addressed: authors´ associations with entities that supported the submitted manuscript (indefinite time frame), associations with commercial entities with potential interest in the general area of the manuscript (time frame 36 months), financial association of their spouse and children and, finally, non-financial associations potentially relevant to the submitted manuscript. Consumers of medical scholarship expect a reliable system of disclosure in which journals and authors make disclosures appropriately and consistently. There is a stigma surrounding the reporting of COI that should be progressively overcome. Further actions are required to increase awareness of the importance of COI disclosure and to promote policies aimed to enhance transparency in biomedical research. In this article author discuss about important ethical dilemmas in preparing, writing and publishing of scientific manuscripts in biomedical journals.
1. Masic I. How to Search, Write, Prepare and Publish the Scientific Papers in the Biomedical Journals. Acta Inform Med. 2011; 19(2): 68-79.
2. Gasparyan YA, Ayvazyan L, Kitas DG. Biomedical journal editing: elements of success. CMJ. 2011; 52: 423-428.
3. Marusic A. Importance of Ethical Publishing in Developing Countries. Acta Inform Med. 2012; 20(1): 4.
4. Marusic A. Problems of editors with authorship in small medical journals. The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2011; 2(3): 130-132.
5. O’Dowd A. Peer review system needs thorough evaluation. MPs hear. BMJ. 2011; 342: d3046.
6. Moher D, Weeks L, Ocampo M. et al. Reporting guidelines for health research: a review. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2011; 64(7): 718-742. doi. 10.1016/j.clinepi.2010.09.013.
7. Drazen JM, Van der Weyden MB, Sahni P, Rosenberg J, Marusic A, Laine C, Kotzin S, Horton R, Hébert PC, Haug C, Godlee F, Frizelle FA, de Leeuw PW, DeAngelis CD. Uniform format for disclosure of competing interests in ICMJE journals. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(19):1896-7.
8. International Committee of Medical Journals Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscript Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication. (Updated October 2008). Available: http://www.icmje.org/.
9. Council of Science Editors. CSE’s White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. Editorial policy committee (2005-2006). Available: http://www.CouncilScienceEditors.org
10. World Association of Medical Editors. WAME recommendations on Publication Ethics and Policies for Medical Journals. Available: http://www.wame.org/resources/ethics-resources.
11. Committee On Publication Ethics. COPE. Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Available: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines.
12. Alfonso F, Timmis A, Pinto JF, Ambrosio G. et al. Conflict of Interest Polices and Disclosure Requirements Among European Society of Cardiology National Cardiovascular Journals. Med Arh. 2012 Jun; 66(3): 148-154.
13. Blum JA, Freeman K, Dart RC, Cooper RJ. Requirements and definitions in conflict of interest policies of medical journals. JAMA 2009;302(20):2230-34.
14. Cooper RJ, Gupta M, Wilkes MS, Hoffman JR. Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policies and Practices in Peer-reviewed Biomedical Journals. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21(12):1248-1252.
15. DeAngelis CD, Fontanarosa PB. Resolving unreported conflicts of interest. JAMA 2009;302(2):198-199.
16. Gustavii B. How to Write and Illustrate Scientific Papers. Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2008: 1-2.
17. Masic I, Kern J, Zvarova J, de Lusignan S, Vidmar G. Task Force of the European Federation of Medical Informatics Journals: backgraound, rationale and purpose. Acta Inform Med. 2009; 17(4): 180-182.
18. Wager E. Why has COPE Developed Guidelines for Cooperation Between Journals and Research Institutions? Med Arh. 2012 Aug; 66(4): 220-221.
19. Wager E, Kleirnert S. Cooperation Between Research Institutions and Journals on Research Integrity Cases: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Acta Inform Med. 2012 Sep; 20(3): 141-145.
20. Masic I, Milinovic K. On-line Biomedical Databases – the Best Source for Quick Search of the Scientific Information in Biomedicine. Acta Inform Med. 2012; 20(2): 72-84.
21. Thorakkal S. The latest developments in plagiarism detection in medical literature. Euroepean Science Editing. 2012 May; 38(2): 56.
22. Habibzadeh F, Shashok K. Plagiarism in scientific writting: words or ideas. Croatian Medica Journal. 2011; 52(4): 576-577.
23. Mehrad J, Arastoopoor S. Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC): Evaluating Scholarly Journals Based on Citation Analysis. Acta Inform Med. 2012; 20(1): 40-43. doi. 10.5455/aim.2012.20.40-43.
24. Markusova V. All Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Acta Inform Med. 2012 Jun; 20(2): 113-117.
25. Masic I, Sivic S, Toromanovic S, Borojevic T, Pandza H. Social Networks in Improvement of Health Care. Mat Soc Med. 2012; 24(1): 48-53.
26. Masic I, Sivic S. Social Networks in Education of Health Professionals in B&H – the Role of PubMed/MedLine in Improvement of Medical Sciences. Acta Inform Med. 2012; 19(4): 196-202.