International Dental & Medical Journal of Advanced Research (IDMJAR) strictly wishes to communicate to all its readers, contributors, authors and co-authors and other concerned not to indulge in any form of plagiarism. The Editorial Board and the Review Committee has decided to take a Serious View in the above matter and shall resort to appropriate action as and when required.
- IDMJAR published by INSPUBLISHERS is a member 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. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com
- IDMJAR is committed to publishing only original material, i.e., material that has neither been published elsewhere, nor is under review elsewhere. Manuscripts that are found to have been plagiarized from a manuscript by other authors, whether published or unpublished, will incur plagiarism sanctions.
- Duplicate Submission & Redundant Publications – Manuscripts that are found to have been published elsewhere, or to be under review elsewhere, will incur duplicate submission/publication sanctions. If authors have used their own previously published work, or work that is currently under review, as the basis for a submitted manuscript, they are required to cite the previous work and indicate how their submitted manuscript offers novel contributions beyond those of the previous work. Redundant publications involve the inappropriate division of study outcomes into several articles.
Duplicate or redundant publication is a publication that overlaps substantially with one already published, in press, or in an electronic media submission. (International Committee of Medical Editors. http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/publishing-and-editorial-issues/overlapping-publications.html)
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published or currently submitted elsewhere. Duplicate publication is a violation of the APA code of ethics (APA Publication Manual, 2010) and will be grounds for prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript. If the editor was not aware of the violation and the article has been published, a notice of duplicate submission and the ethical violation will be published.
- Citation Manipulation – Submitted manuscripts that are found to include citations whose primary purpose is to increase the number of citations to a given author’s work, or to articles published in a particular journal, will incur citation manipulation sanctions.
- Data Fabrication and Falsification – Submitted manuscripts that are found to have either fabricated or falsified experimental results, including the manipulation of images, will incur data fabrication and falsification sanctions.
- Improper Author Contribution or Attribution – All listed authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to the research in the manuscript and approved all its claims. It is important to list everyone who made a significant scientific contribution, including students and laboratory technicians.
- Sanctions – In the event that there are documented violations of any of the above mentioned policies in any journal, regardless of whether or not the violations occurred in a journal published by INS Publishers, the following sanctions will be applied:
- Immediate rejection of the infringing manuscript
- Immediate rejection of every other manuscript submitted to any journal published by INS Publishers by any of the authors of the infringing manuscript.
- Prohibition against all of the authors for any new submissions to any journal published by INS Publishers, either individually or in combination with other authors of the infringing manuscript, as well as in combination with any other authors. This prohibition will be imposed for the entire lifetime.
- Prohibition against all of the authors from serving on the Editorial Board of any journal published by INS Publishers
- In cases where the violations of the above policies are found to be particularly egregious, the publisher reserves the right to impose additional sanctions beyond those described above. Plagiarized and fraudulent published data will lead to withdrawal and retraction of the article.
Handling of Alleged Misconduct
Institutions and journals both have important duties relating to research and publication
misconduct. Institutions are responsible for the conduct of their researchers and for
encouraging a healthy research environment. Journals are responsible for the conduct of
their editors, for safeguarding the research record, and for ensuring the reliability of
everything they publish. It is therefore important for institutions and journals to
communicate and collaborate effectively on cases relating to research integrity. To achieve
this, we make the following recommendations.
1. Reporting of Scientific Misconduct
If a reader believes that there could be an ethical problem with a published manuscript, the
first step would be to contact the editors of the journal where it appeared. Editors must
take all allegations of misconduct seriously and have the responsibility to look into the case.
If there is evidence of serious misconduct, they may need to inform the employer(s) of the
accused author(s) who will then start another (internal) investigation. In some cases,
publication of a notice in the journal will be warranted (usually together with the retraction
of the paper). The author(s) should always get the chance to respond to any allegations of
Journal editors are often the first people to become aware of possible misconduct and
therefore have a responsibility to respond appropriately. Journals also have a responsibility
for everything they publish and should take appropriate remedial action if they discover
they have published anything misleading or fraudulent. However, editors should not
attempt to undertake formal investigations into research misconduct since they have
neither the expertise, the legal standing, nor the resources to do so. Investigating
misconduct should be the responsibility of the institution where the individual researcher
was working at the time the alleged offences occurred. It is therefore important for journals
and institutions to cooperate and exchange information over cases of possible misconduct.
Until recently, little guidance was available on this topic, but in 2012, the Committee on
Publication Ethics (COPE) published guidelines to complement their other guidance for
editors such as the COPE flowcharts (www.publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts).
2. The role of the journal in contacting the publisher, author and author institutions
Despite the unpleasant situation, all correspondence with editors and/or author(s) should
remain objective and kind. If there is no response from the journal or the authors—or if
their answers are not convincing—the reader can still try to contact the author’s employer
(or institution) directly to ask for an investigation/
Journal responses to misconduct affecting published material
As well as having systems for handling cases of suspected misconduct, journals require
policies and processes for retracting or correcting false information that they have
published. Many journals refer to the COPE guidelines on retractions, which also cover
corrections and expressions of concern
(http://publicationethics.org/files/retraction_guidelines.pdf). Because retractions may be
used both in cases of honest error and of fraud, COPE recommends that retraction
statements should include the reason for the retraction. This may require liaison with the
institution if an investigation has taken place. Authors may object to retraction notices that
mention misconduct and may argue for vaguer wording or even threaten legal action
against the journal. Editors should take legal advice to avoid defamatory wording but should
nevertheless strive to provide an informative statement. If the institution has issued a public
statement following an investigation, this makes the journal editor’s task much easier, since
the statement can be quoted and referenced without fear of reprisal. In some cases, not all
of the authors will agree to a retraction and this information should generally be included in
a retraction notice. If the authors refuse to cooperate, a retraction notice may be issued by
the editor, and/or publisher, or by the institution.
Expressions of concern may be used if the author’s institution refuses to investigate the
case, if the editor does not have confidence in the outcome of an investigation, or if an
investigation is underway but will not report for some time. An expression of concern can
alert readers to a potentially unreliable publication, but may later be converted into a
retraction or correction, or itself be retracted, depending on the outcome of the
investigation. Authors (and institutions) sometimes request that an expression of concern
be issued rather than a retraction, perhaps mistakenly viewing this as a less severe sanction
and hoping to avoid a retraction. Journals therefore need clear policies on when retractions,
corrections, and expressions of concern are appropriate (the COPE guidelines may be
helpful in determining this).
Editors need to be aware that authors may request a retraction (or correction) on the
grounds of an innocent error when, in fact, the case is subject to a misconduct inquiry. Using
this tactic, the authors hope to have their work retracted without mention of any
misconduct. To avoid this, if authors request a retraction but the editor has any suspicion
that misconduct may have occurred, the authors’ institution should be contacted to find out
whether an investigation is underway. It is usually advisable to wait until an investigation
has concluded before issuing a retraction, so that the retraction notice can refer to its
findings, but an expression of concern may be used to alert readers to an ongoing
Journal responses to misconduct relating to unpublished submissions
Journal responsibilities in cases that have been properly investigated by an appropriate authority are, in some respects, clear cut. Journals have a responsibility to protect readers from unreliable or misleading work and should therefore endeavour to publish a retraction or correction as soon as the investigation has concluded and found that published work is unreliable. However, cases relating to unpublished work raise special concerns for journals, especially if the institution is unresponsive. In such cases, editors may feel responsible for trying to prevent authors from submitting the work to another, less vigilant, journal, but they generally have no means to do this. Especially if no investigation has taken place, it is not usually appropriate to share information about suspected misconduct with other editors. In response to this dilemma, COPE has issued a discussion document (but no formal guidance) on the topic.
Journal responses to institutions
The COPE guidelines on cooperation between journals and institutions emphasize the
importance of journals responding appropriately when contacted by an institution. Such
communication usually occurs at the conclusion of an investigation, to inform the journal of
the outcome and of any affected publications. However, institutions may also contact
journals to seek information. Sadly, journals do not always respond appropriately and, for
example, sometimes fail to retract fraudulent or unethical work despite clear
communications from institutions or other investigatory bodies.
Journal responses to ‘questionable practices’ and minor offences
Most editors would contact an institution only if they suspected the author had committed
a relatively serious form of misconduct such as major plagiarism or data fabrication.
However, journals also need policies for handling so-called ‘questionable practices’ and
minor offences, which, while not considered full-blown misconduct, should nonetheless be
discouraged. For example, if a junior author copied a single sentence from another article in
their introduction, but this was detected before publication and the author was advised to
paraphrase it or put it in quotation marks, most editors would consider it disproportionate
to inform their institution. On the other hand, if an entire article was plagiarized, editors
would expect to inform the institution. Therefore journals need to determine how much
copying constitutes plagiarism of sufficient severity to warrant informing the institution. The
answer may not be straightforward, as plagiarism depends not only on the number of words
copied, but also on their context and originality. Similarly, defining redundant publication
requires judgment, since there may be legitimate reasons for repeating parts of previous
works, such as the methods section. However, while requiring editorial judgment and
flexibility in their enforcement, journal policies are helpful to ensure consistency.
Editors also need to realize that their definitions of misconduct may differ from those of
institutions. For example, submitting a manuscript to more than one journal simultaneously
is outlawed by journals but may fall outside the definition of misconduct used by institutions
and research integrity organizations. Similarly, including a senior figure who made little or
no contribution to the work as a guest author would go against journal guidelines but may
not be considered misconduct by an institution.
The COPE retraction guidelines state that the purpose of retractions is to correct the
literature, not to punish authors. It can also be argued that journals have no legal standing
to discipline authors, and that this should be left to their institution, employer, or funder.
Yet editors sometimes seek to sanction authors, for instance by refusing to consider future
submissions from them for a certain period. COPE does not endorse such sanctions, and
such blacklisting could, in theory, make the journal (or publisher) vulnerable to legal action
(such as suits for restriction of trade). Other actions by journals may be more appropriate
and still have a deterrent effect. A letter from a journal editor expressing disappointment
over the behaviour of an author or reviewer, but not requesting that the institution
investigate the case, may be effective, especially if copied to the individual’s Head of
Department or Dean. One editor (and former COPE Council member) described such
correspondence as writing to authors 'more in sorrow than in anger.'
3. COPE's Policies and Detailed Flowcharts