Publication ethics and publication malpractice statement
The Perak Medical Journal (PMJ) is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics. We take all possible measures against publication malpractice. The ethics statements are based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
General duties and responsibilities of the Chief Editor
The Chief Editor of PMJ should be responsible for everything published in the PMJ. The Chief Editor should:
- Strive to meet the needs of readers and authors
- Constantly improve the journal in the aspect of research and development publications to the scientific committee
- Ensure the quality of the material they publish. Publication decision should be supported with Evidence Based Medicine and the respectful reviewers
- Champion freedom of expression
- Maintain the integrity of the academic record
- Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual standards
- Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed
- Screen the quality of peer reviewers
Relations with readers
The readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research, if any. Acknowledgements should be written in detail.
Relations with authors
The Chief Editor should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.
The Chief Editor’s decision to accept and reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal as well as recommendations via the comments from peer reviewers as well as tight plagiarism criteria.
A description of peer review processes should be published for submitted articles, and the Editor should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes when requested by email.
The Chief Editor should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code. This will be named as Guideline for Authors.
The Chief Editor should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identiﬁed with the submission such as issues of copyright, intellectual property rights and plagiarism.
A New Chief Editor should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous Editor unless serious problems are identiﬁed.
Relations with reviewers
The Chief Editor should publish guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code. The peer reviewer guidelines is given by email attachment or mail when they are oﬃcially invited by PMJ Editorial Team.
The Chief Editor should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected- unless they have an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.
The peer-review process
The Chief Editor and the editorial staﬀ shall ensure that material submitted to PMJ remains conﬁdential while under review.
The Chief Editor and the editorial staﬀ should ensure that the peer-review process is fair and unbiased.
The Chief Editor should follow the procedure set out in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ﬂowchart on complaints, where applicable subject to Clinical Research Centre HRPB Ipoh rules and regulations and laws governing them.
The Chief Editor should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisﬁed complainants to take complaints further.
Cogent criticisms of published work should be published unless the Chief Editor have convincing reasons why they cannot be. Authors of criticised material should be given the opportunity to respond.
Certain studies that challenge previous work published in the journal should be given an especially sympathetic hearing. Those studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.
Encouraging publication concerning research and integrity
The Chief Editor should ensure that research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines.
The Chief Editor should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board). However, The Chief Editor should recognise that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.
Protecting individual data
The Chief Editor and the editorial staﬀ should protect the conﬁdentiality of individual information (e.g. that obtained through the doctor–patient relationship). It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent from patients described in case reports and for photographs of patients.
The Chief Editor have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.
The Chief Editor should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
The Chief Editor should ﬁrst seek a response from those accused of misconduct. If they are not satisﬁed with the response, they should ask the relevant employers or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body) to investigate.
The Chief Editor should make all reasonable eﬀorts to ensure that a proper investigation is conducted; if this does not happen, The Chief Editor should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.
Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
Whenever it is recognised that a signiﬁcant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
If, after an appropriate investigation, an item proves to be fraudulent, it should be retracted. The retraction should be clearly identiﬁable to readers and indexing systems.
Relations with journal owners and publishers
The relationship of the Chief Editor to publishers and owners is often complex but should in each case be based ﬁrmly on the principle of Editorial independence. Notwithstanding the economic and political realities of their journals, The Chief Editor should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for readers rather than for immediate ﬁnancial or political gain.
The Chief Editor should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and on processes for publishing supplements.
Misleading advertisements must be refused, and the Chief Editor must be willing to publish criticisms, according to the same criteria used for material in the rest of the journal.
Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction is to be added.
Conﬂict of interest
The Chief Editor and the editorial staﬀ should have systems for managing their own conﬂicts of interest as well as those of their staﬀ, authors, reviewers and Editorial board members.
The Chief Editor may adopt systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised). The Chief Editor shall support authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism and be prepared to defend authors’ rights and pursue oﬀenders (e.g. by requesting retractions or removal of material).