What is the ethical conduct of research?
You may have often heard the term "ethics." Ethics is a set of principles that distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior or way of conducting a task. These guidelines or regulations may vary across countries, disciplines, institutions, and laboratories. For instance, these ethics may dictate the conduct and functioning of an organization, government, and business entity! Do you know which codes you should follow when conducting your research?
One of the most commonly known ethical codes in medical practice, the "Hippocratic Oath," dates back to 500 B.C. Over the years, guidelines such as the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki have been introduced and implemented into practice. Moreover, ethical policies addressing plagiarism, fabrication, conflicts of interest, etc., are being outlined at different governmental and academic levels. Refer to the ethics timeline below for a detailed overview.
Why is it essential for you as a researcher to follow these ethical codes?
How does adherence to these can impact your credibility and repute in the scientific community?
Firstly, these ethical codes help maintain scientific integrity and safeguard the primary aim of conducting the research, i.e., to promote knowledge and truth. Secondly, these values encourage trust, respect, and objectivity in a collaborative work environment by avoiding conflicts related to authorship, copyrights, and others. Moreover, these codes help maintain the safety and interest of human subjects and ensure appropriate care of animal subjects in a clinical or laboratory setting. Lastly, these ethical norms make researchers accountable for the quality and outcome of the research that may directly or indirectly affect public health and interests.
PUBLICATION ETHICS (COPE)
The Netherlands Press is committed to supporting stringent peer review processes and scientific, ethical, and quality standards in publishing. As such, we work hard to educate researchers, authors, board members, editors, and reviewers on understanding and meeting those standards as a team. The Netherlands Press follows the COPE Best Practice guidelines and this statement is according to the procedures and standards developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR EDITORS
ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWERS
ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS
We can also consider appropriate action against authors depending upon the seriousness of the case which includes;
COPE flow charts will also be considered while dealing with plagiarism complaints
Redundant or duplicate submission/publication:
Duplicate or redundant submission is the same manuscript (or the same data) that is submitted to different journals at the same time. International copyright laws, ethical conduct, and cost-effective use of resources require that readers can be assured that what they are reading is original. An author should not publish manuscripts that describe the same concept or present similar data, in more than one Journal. Submitting the same manuscript to multiple journals is unacceptable and unethical.
ETHICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE PUBLISHER
The Publisher is supposed to protect the intellectual property and copyright of the contents submitted by the authors. We respect the privacy and personal data, especially for authors and peer reviewers. We work in close co-operation with the editors and peer reviewers to maintain editorial independence and to guarantee transparency and integrity in the peer-review process.
In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the Publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question.
PUBLISHING ETHICS ISSUES
Monitoring: The Editor in chief must ensure to establish the mechanism for monitoring and safeguarding of publishing ethics. All the complaints received from the reviewers or the authors or anybody else should be taken into the proper consideration and appropriate action should be taken promptly for such complaints.
Retraction & Corrections: The published articles will be retracted if there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable. The retraction can be a result of scientific misconduct or honest error. To maintain the integrity of the scientific record, the retracted article will not be removed from the Journal's website, however, a notice of retraction will be posted and is made freely available to all readers. Retraction can be published by the authors or the Editor or the Publisher. In rare cases involving legal infringement, the Publisher may remove an article. Bibliographic information about the article will be retained to ensure the integrity of the scientific record. We follow the COPE guidelines in such a case. Sometimes it may be necessary to publish corrections/erratum in an article published in the Journal to maintain the integrity of the academic record. Appropriate notice regarding the correction will be placed and made freely available to the readers. We are always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.
Article withdrawal: We expect our authors to comply with best practices in publication ethics as well as in the quality of their articles. To avoid withdrawal of articles, we sincerely request the corresponding author to undertake the issues related to authorship, publication ethics and accurateness of data and results at the time of submission of the manuscript.
The authors can withdraw their article(s) at any stage of the peer-review and publication process (before the publication of the article that will not yet have the complete volume/issue/page information). The authors should be aware that the withdrawal action takes the manuscript out of the peer review & publication process and places it back into the author's dashboard, in the withdrawn Manuscripts list. The manuscript number of withdrawn articles cannot be used by the system and cannot be resubmitted.
If an article found to violate the ethical publishing guidelines of the Journal such as duplicate submission, fraudulent data, plagiarism, false claim of authorship, etc., the article will be withdrawn by the Journal. In case the article is under the 'Online first' stage, the Journal will remove the article from the website and an appropriate note for article withdrawal will be posted.
No response from the authors to journal communication after review and provisional acceptance is also considered as withdrawal of the article.
Submissions from editors, employees, or members of the editorial board
Furthermore, all the reviewers and handling editors are required to disclose the conflict of interest for the articles they are handling/reviewing before they submit their feedback/comments to the electronic manuscript handling system.