Editorial Conflict of Interest Policy | Authorship | Conflict of interests of Authors | Copyright and Author Rights | Corrections and Retractions | Data sharing | Funding | ORC ID for Authors and Reviewers | Patient Consent Policy | Ethical approval of research involving human participants | Informed Consent | Ethical approval of research involving animals | Scientific Misconduct | Trial registration | Responses to published work: Letter to the Editor
TJEM and WKM follow the suggestions, policies, and checklists of The Council of Science Editors (CSE), guidelines on editorial independence produced by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), and the code on good publication practice by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and checklists and advice for good research reporting of the EQUATOR network.
WAME indicates that "conflict of interest exists when an author, reviewer, or editor in the publication process (submission of manuscripts, peer review, editorial decisions, and communication between authors, reviewers, and editors) has a competing interest that could unduly influence his or her responsibilities (academic honesty, unbiased conduct and reporting of research, and integrity of decisions or judgments) in the publication process." TJEM requires that each author, reviewer, and editor must disclose to the Editor any conflict of interest related to family, personal, financial, political, or religious issues as well as any competing interest outlined above at the WAME's definition. If a reviewer, an associate editor, or an editor has a conflict of interest or believes that it is not appropriate to be a reviewer or an editor for a given manuscript, the reviewer or the editor should resign from the assignment.
The ICMJE Recommendations state that authorship credit requires:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data.
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
- Final approval of the version published.
- 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.
All of these conditions must be met. Each author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. Besides, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. Any individuals listed as co-authors on a manuscript will receive an e-mail confirmation of the manuscript submission. The authors' collective responsibility is to determine that all people named as authors meet all four criteria. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, data collection, or general supervision of the research group does not justify authorship. We wish authors to assure us that all authors included on a paper fulfill the criteria of authorship. Conversely, we also ask for assurance that no one else meets the requirements that have been excluded as an author.
Submitting author information
On submission, you will be asked to provide a name, e-mail address, ORC ID, and institutional affiliation for all contributing authors. The final published article will be constructed from these completed fields and not from the submitted first pages file. Affiliations listed should be those where the work was carried out when the research/article was written. If an author's affiliation has changed during the research/article, the author may list the affiliation when the research/article (or most significant portion of the research/article) was conducted, their current affiliation, or both. For clarity, the change of affiliation can be explained in the acknowledgments section. During the final author proof, you will be able to check and confirm this information.
The authors should list all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship in the Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided general supervision of a research group or administrative support, writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Please ensure that anyone acknowledged has granted permission to be listed. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed as Collaborators (e.g. ‘Clinical Investigators’), and their contribution should be described clearly in the contributorship statement – for example, “served as scientific advisors”, “critically reviewed the study proposal”, “collected data” or “ provided and cared for study patients”. All persons must give written permission to be acknowledged in the manuscript, and this document should be available to editors if requested.
If there is a very large number of authors, we may ask for confirmation that everyone listed met the ICMJE criteria for authorship. If they did, we might then suggest that the authors form a group whose name will appear in the article byline.
Author Contribution Statement
A contributorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should outline who has contributed to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article. This should include both authors and contributors.
Joint first authorship
Joint first authors can be indicated by the inclusion of the statement ‘X and X contributed equally to this paper’ in the author details section of the manuscript. Further information can be provided in the contributorship statement if necessary.
Alteration to authorship
All authors must approve any change in authors after initial submission. This applies to additions, deletions, a shift in the order of the authors' names, or a modification to the attribution of contributions. Any alterations must be explained to the Editor. The Editor may contact any of the authors to ascertain whether they have agreed to any alteration.
Deceased persons deemed appropriate as authors should be included with a dagger symbol (†) next to the author's name and a footnote stating that the author is deceased and giving the date of their death, e.g., †Deceased 10 October 2014.
According to the ICMJE uniform declaration of competing interests, authors should disclose four types of information:
- Their associations with commercial entities that provided support for the work reported in the submitted manuscript (the time frame for disclosure in this section of the form is the lifespan of the work being reported).
- Their associations with commercial entities that could be viewed as having an interest in the general area of the submitted manuscript (the time frame for disclosure in this section is the 36 months before submission of the manuscript).
- Any similar financial associations involving their spouse or their children under 18 years of age.
- Non-financial associations that may be relevant to the submitted manuscript.
We are not aiming to eradicate competing interests as they are almost inevitable. We will not reject papers simply because authors have competing interests, but these will be declared in the published article. There is nothing inherently unethical about a competing interest, but it should be acknowledged and openly stated. Examples of competing interests include the following: board membership, consultancy, employment, expert testimony grants (including pending), contract research, lectures/other education events, speakers' bureau, patents (planned, pending or issued), receipt of equipment or supplies, royalties, stock/stock options/other forms of ownership, additional expenses not included in COIs already specified, other personal or professional relationships that may influence or appear to affect.
The corresponding author will be required to include a summary Conflict of Interests statement for all authors in the first pages file, which will be included in the published article. If there are no conflicts of interest for any authors, the default statement on the published article will be 'None declared’.
The entire contents of the Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine are protected under Indian and international copyrights. The Journal, however, grants to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, perform and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any reasonable non-commercial purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship and ownership of the rights. The journal also grants the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal non-commercial use under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International Public License.
Corrections to published work
Errors are a part of science and publishing and require publication of a correction when they are detected. We expect authors to inform us of any mistakes they have noticed (or have been informed of) in their article once published. To maintain the scientific record, minor corrections that do not affect the paper's scientific understanding (formatting, typographical errors, wording) may be rejected. If the article has already appeared in an issue, an Erratum will be printed in the next available issue. The online version of the article will link to the Erratum, and vice versa. We may also choose to correct the actual pdf and xml published online with a note to the performed changes.
Journal editors consider retractions in cases of evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, and unethical research. We may consider an expression of concern notice if an article is under investigation. All retraction notices explain why the paper was retracted. A replacement version of the paper will be posted containing just the metadata, with a retraction note replacing the original text. The PDF will be replaced with a version watermarked with “Retracted” but the original text will remain accessible. A retraction notice will also be published in the next available print issue. In rare cases, we may have to remove the original content for legal reasons. In such cases, we will leave the metadata (title and authors) and replace the text with a note saying the article has been removed for legal reasons. A retraction notice will also be published online.
Sharing the full data sets underlying your article's results enables reuse, reduces research waste, and promotes collaboration. We do not consider data deposition, including clinical trial data, in recognized repositories, to be prior publication. We encourage you that the data generated by your research that supports your article be made openly and publicly available upon publication of your article. Where it is not possible or viable to make data openly available (due to confidentiality or sensitivity issues), they should be shared through a controlled access repository. There are several public repositories to deposit data, such as OSF, Figshare, Zenodo, Dryad, fairsharing, re3data.org. If you share your data on the above repositories, we recommend that you cite them in the reference list – whether they are data generated by the author(s) or by other researchers. Where data are publicly available, these should be cited in the reference list in line with the recommendations of DataCite. Please use the following format: Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType. Identifier.
Data availability statement
Authors are asked to create a Data Availability Statement if they have shared their data, as below: Data is available in a public, open access repository: Please give the repository name, the persistent URL, and any conditions of reuse (e.g., license, embargo). Data are available upon request: Please state what the data are (e.g., de-identified participant data), who the data are available from, their publishable contact details (e.g., a generic lab email address or an individual's ORCID identifier – please ensure you have permission) and under what conditions reuse is permitted. Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available: Please state what the data are (e.g., de-identified participant data), who the data are available from, their publishable contact details (e.g., a generic lab email address or an individual's ORCID identifier – please ensure you have permission), and under what conditions reuse is permitted.
All sources of funding should be declared under the heading "Funding" with the First Pages File. Authors must describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; in the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication. If the funder(s) had no such involvement, this should be stated.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) is an international, not-for-profit organization created to benefit researchers, research organizations, funders, and publishers. An ORCID iD is a unique and persistent digital identifier used to disambiguate researchers from one another. We have long supported the use of ORCID by integrating ORCID into our submission systems. We mandate ORCID iDs for all submitting and co-authors. Reviewers are also encouraged to connect their JournalOnWeb accounts to ORCID. Those who do not currently have an ID will be required to register, but this is free and takes a matter of seconds.
Healthy living and capable patients
Any article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires the patient’s explicit consent before we can publish it. Any form in the patient's language, declaring that the patient is aware of the publication and use of his/her data is acceptable. When informed consent has been obtained, it is indicated in the published article. If consent cannot be obtained because the patient cannot be traced, then publication will only be possible by the approval of the local Ethics Committee and if the information can be sufficiently anonymized (see below).
Patients who lack capacity
If the patient lacks the mental capacity to decide on publication, no one can consent on behalf of the patient. Even if someone has this power, by means, for example, of a health and welfare power of attorney, it has to be exercised in the patient's best interests. There may be some benefit to the patient having their case described in a publication, but this is usually not obvious or certain. In such cases, we will generally require any personal information to be anonymized or will not be able to publish it.
If the patient is deceased, according to the Turkish Law on Regulation On Personal Health Data issued in 21.06.2019 on Legal Gazette no:30808, the author(s) should seek permission from the next of kin as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics. If the relatives are not contactable, then publication will only be possible by the approval of the local Ethics Committee and signed declaration of the authors for legal accountability against the law mentioned above.
If the patient is under the age of 18, we require parents or guardians to provide consent on behalf of the minor. If the child has sufficient understanding of the consent process and its implications, the child must also sign the consent form. For younger children, even if parents consent, authors should consider whether the child might regret the publication of his or her identifiable details in the future. That ultimate decision to use material involving children (and those unable to consent for themselves legally) will rest with the journal editor. The editor will consider the possibility of future damage to an individual from the publication of material about them as a minor. For controversial cases, additional advice will be sought from the Ethics Committee of EMAT.
Images of patients
If there is any chance that a patient may be identified from a photograph or other static or moving image, or its legend or accompanying text, we need the patient's written consent to publication. Images – such as x rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of undistinctive parts of the body – or multimedia files (e.g., video, audio) may be used without consent so long as they are anonymized by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patient’s identity through clinical or personal detail.
Any anonymized article cannot include any direct identifier (patient’s name, geographic location such as village or town, exact age, identity numbers, biometric data, photographs, and images including identifiable facial features. Images should be anonymized as instructed above.
TJEM operates to the highest standards of research and publication ethics. The journal will act by the relevant international rules of publication and research ethics (COPE guidelines, WAME resources, WMA policies, and ORI) if any ethical misconduct is suspected. We expect authors to follow the World Medical Association's (WMA) Declaration of Helsinki.
An ethics committee's approval of research protocols following international agreements WMA Declaration of Helsinki is required for all studies. We need every research article submitted to include a statement that the study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not needed and why), including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s), the number/ID and Date of the approval(s).
We welcome detailed explanations of how investigators and authors have considered and justified their work's ethical and moral basis. If such detail does not easily fit into the manuscript, please provide it in the cover letter or upload it as a supplemental file when submitting the article. We will also be pleased to see copies of explanatory information given to participants. Even if we do not include such detailed information in a final published version, we may make it available to peer reviewers and editorial committees. We already ask peer-reviewers to consider and comment on the ethics of submitted work.
Editorial appraisal of the ethical issues
Ethics Committee approval or presence informed consent from patients is incredibly important, but an editorial appraisal of ethical issues goes beyond those two mandatory components. Editors of TJEM should judge whether each piece of work's overall design and conduct are morally justifiable, which may be as summed up by the following questions: How much does this deviate from current normal (accepted, local) clinical practice? What is the (additional) burden imposed on the patients (or others)? What (additional) risks are posed to the patients (or others)? What benefit might be added to the patients (or others)? What are the potential benefits to society (future patients)? Even when a study has been approved by a research ethics committee or institutional review board, editors may be worried about the work's ethics. They may ask authors for more detailed information.
Editors of TJEM may ask other editorial colleagues to evaluate the ethical aspects of an article, the authors’ comments, and the response of the relevant research ethics committee to the journal’s queries about ethics approval. This consultation may be informal, between the journal’s editors, or more formal, through seeking the advice of the EMAT Ethics Committee or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Our stance on unethical research
We believe that editors of TJEM have to take on issues of unethical research to prevent unethical practice and protect patients. If the Editor, with or without the advice of EMAT Ethics Committee or COPE, considers the work in a submitted article ethically unsound, the editor may seek further advice or recommend investigation or action. The fact that the article would have been rejected anyway for other scientific or editorial reasons would not prevent the editor from taking such further action on serious ethics problems. In the first instance, the editor would usually contact the department head where the work was done to explain their concerns and recommend a local investigation. Secondly, the editor might write to the paper's guarantor or principal investigator's professional registration body. For a physician in Turkey, this body would be the Clinical Research Department of the Turkish Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency.
For articles concerning experimental research on humans, a statement should be included that clearly states that participants gave informed consent before taking part following a detailed explanation of the procedures they may undergo.
Manuscripts will be considered for publication only if the work described follows international, national and institutional guidelines for the humane treatment of animals and complies with relevant legislation; has been approved by the ethics review committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists); for studies involving non-human primates, demonstrates that the standards meet those of the NC3Rs primates guidelines; for studies using client-owned animals, shows a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care and involves informed client consent.
Before a manuscript can be accepted, authors must confirm that legal and ethical requirements have been met with regards to the humane treatment of animals described in the study; specify in the Materials or Methods section the ethical review committee approval process, and the international, national, or institutional guidelines followed.
Approval of the research protocol by an ethics committee per international agreements "Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals (8th edition, 2011)" or "International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals (2012)" is required for all experimental studies.
There are differing definitions of scientific misconduct. We deal with these problems on a case by case basis while following guidance produced by bodies that include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
WAME gives a useful overview of misconduct, using a slightly amended version of the US Office of Research Integrity definition of scientific misconduct and including these behaviors:
- Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to dishonest reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression or distortion of data.
- Plagiarism, redundant and duplicate publication: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts without crediting their real source and representation of them as one's original work.
- Simultaneous submission: this occurs when a person sends a paper to different publications at the same time, which can result in more than one journal publishing that particular paper. Articles submitted for publication must be original and must not have been submitted to any other journal. We require authors to disclose any details of related papers in press, including translations. This restriction does not apply to an abstract presented in scientific meetings and congresses.
- Improprieties of authorship: improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
- Misappropriation of others' ideas: Scholars can acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information can constitute fraud.
- Violation of generally accepted research practices: serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results. A lack of declaration of competing interests and funding/sponsorship and other failures of transparency.
- Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: including but not limited to severe or substantial, repeated, willful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.
- Inappropriate behavior about misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding of information relevant to a claim or misconduct, and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.
- Salami slicing (or salami publication): is defined as the unnecessary splitting of findings from a single study across several publications. Salami slicing is considered a form of redundant publication. We do not accept publications where we suspect salami-slicing has occurred, as these publications have the potential to skew the scientific record and create biases in the results of meta-analyses. All submitted articles will be assessed for potential salami-slicing by our editorial team as part of our standard checks. Studies that share significant similarities in the hypotheses, population, and methods should usually be presented to the readers in a single paper. If you believe that you have legitimate grounds to submit multiple publications based on the same study, we ask that you inform the editorial office about all potentially overlapping papers (published or unpublished). For further information about best practices, please refer to the ICMJE guidance on overlapping publications.
Submission to TJEM implies that the work described has not been accepted for publication elsewhere, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and does not duplicate material already published.
Allegations of misconduct
If an editor has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered misconduct in research, publication, or professional behavior, we may discuss the case in confidence with the EMAT Ethics Committee. If the case cannot be resolved by discussion with the author(s) and the Editor still has concerns, the case may be reported to the proper authorities. If, while reviewing an article, an editor is alerted to potential problems (for example, fraudulent data) in another publication, the editor may contact the journal in which the earlier publication raised concern. Readers that suspect misconduct in a published article are encouraged to report this to TJEM or WKM. Cases of research publication misconduct may also be referred to COPE in an anonymized format.
TJEM and WKM are members of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. All submitted manuscripts are screened with iThenticate to detect overlapping and similar text instances during the evaluation process. High similarity scores (> 20%) may lead to the rejection of a manuscript. In cases of suspected plagiarism, the manuscript will be immediately rejected, and the steps of “our stance on unethical research” will be considered (see above).
Thorough and transparent reporting of clinical trials is incredibly essential. Their results underpin many clinical policies and funding decisions about treatments, and their findings must be robust and reliable. To ensure that all trial registries include the same kind of information, the World Health Organisation has developed a minimum dataset and a web portal that links to the major national and international trial registries. We encourage all authors to register their studies.
Responsible debate, critique, and disagreement are essential features of science; we welcome reader responses, questions, and comments to published articles to promote the discussion. Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be reviewed by the editor and shown to the original article's authors. Correspondence that is irrelevant or lacking cogency will not be considered.