Publication ethics and malpractice statement

Editors

The role of Editors is to assess the suitability of a paper for publication in the journal. This includes considering the quality, whether it meets the Aims and Scope of the journal and its originality. Reviewers are an essential part of this process, and Editors will select reviewers that they believe have the necessary knowledge and experience to assess the paper. Reviewers’ reports will form an important part of the Editor’s decision as to the acceptability of the paper, but the final decision is the Editor’s.

Confidentiality

Editors will ensure that reviewers’ identities are protected. Editors will also ensure that they keep details of the submitted paper and the work reported in it confidential and will not make use of information they glean from the paper other than in judging its suitability for publication in the journal until it has been published.

Ethical considerations

Editors will check that the research reported in a paper has been conducted in accordance with relevant ethical standards.

Editors are responsible for investigation and correction of any errors discovered, or reported to them by authors or others. Should work reported in a paper prove to be invalid or fraudulent it will be retracted.

Conflicts of interest

Editors do not handle papers that they have authored, have been authored by close associates or where other potential conflicts of interest may arise. In these cases, another Editor who does not have conflicts will be assigned to handle the paper.

Editors will also ensure that papers submitted by members of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board are handled without prejudice.

Reviewers must be selected that do not have potential conflicts of interest, to the best of the Editor’s knowledge. (Reviewers are expected to notify the Editor of any potential conflicts when they are invited to review a paper.)

Reviewers

Prompt and informed review of papers is essential, so reviewers should only accept invitations to review a paper when they have sufficient subject knowledge and time to complete the review in an appropriate period. If this is not the case, they must inform the Editor at the earliest opportunity.

Conflicts of interest

Reviewers should not undertake reviews of papers in which they may have a conflict of interest: for instance, one of the authors is a close associate or the paper may discuss results that could directly influence research the review is currently engaged on. If the reviewer has any doubts, these should be discussed with the Editor before accepting the review.

Reviews should be written in a constructive and helpful way. Most papers are neither immediately accepted nor rejected, and reviewers’ reports are a vital part of the process of improving the paper and, where possible, bringing it to an acceptable standard.

Confidentiality

Reviewers must keep details of papers they are reviewing confidential until those details are published.

Ethical considerations

Reviewers should comment if they believe that research has been conducted or may have been conducted outside relevant ethical standards.

Authors

Authors need to consider a number of things beyond simply “writing up their results”.

Authorship

It is the responsibility of the author submitting the paper to the journal to ensure that the list of authors accurately reflects the contribution of each author. All authors must have agreed to have their name included and be happy for the paper to be submitted to the journal.

All authors should sign the journal’s publishing agreement before it is submitted. Should it prove difficult to obtain signatures from one or more authors, the corresponding author may sign on their behalf as long as he/she has explicit permission to do so and this is stated on the form.

Conflicts of interest

Sources of funding and potential conflicts of interest must be reported in the paper. If you are in any doubt whether something should be disclosed, please consult the Editor-in-Chief.

Copyright material

If you need to reproduce material (figures, tables etc.) from other sources, you must obtain explicit permission before submitting the paper and include any copyright statements and acknowledgements that may be required in the manuscript. Please include copies of any permissions you have obtained with the manuscript.

Needless to say, it is unacceptable to include plagiarised material, or material that has already been published without permission and acknowledgement. IM Publications is a member of CrossCheck and screens submissions for potential plagiarism.

Ethical considerations

Any research that is reported must have been carried out in accordance with prevailing ethical standards and within current legislation. It is helpful to include a section within your paper detailing this.

Data and results must be presented accurately and without inappropriate manipulation or selection.

Should an author discover, after publication, any significant inaccuracy or error, they must inform the Editor-in-Chief as soon as practical. After investigation, the journal will publish a Corrigendum or Erratum. Should the errors invalidate the results described in the paper, a retraction of the paper may be appropriate.

Publisher

The Publisher supports Editors in their work and is responsible for publication of accepted papers. The Publisher will ensure prompt publication after acceptance and that authors can check proofs for any copy editing or other corrections that may have been made to the manuscript before its publication. In the rare event that authors do not respond to proofs, the paper may be published after checking of the proofs by the Editor-in-Chief.

The Publisher is a member of CrossCheck and screens submissions for plagiarism.

Should errata (errors introduced by the publisher), corrigenda (author errors) or retractions need to be published, the Publisher will ensure that these appear promptly.

Complaints

Initially, complaints concerning the editorial and peer review process should be directed to the journal’s Editor-in-Chief. If a satisfactory reply is not received, please contact the Publisher.