Code of Conduct

PUBLICATION ETHICS AND PUBLICATION MALPRACTICE STATEMENT

IJIM is committed to upholding the highest standards of publishing ethics and promoting responsible academic practices as one of the leading publishers of high-quality scholarly journals. IJIM adheres to the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines and the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. We urge journal editors to adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors and to refer reviewers when appropriate to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. To the extent possible, allegations of wrongdoing will be reviewed in compliance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines.

IJIM provides best practice recommendations in the following main areas to its journal editorial teams and authors:

  • Proprietorship
  • Submission of papers
  • Potential for conflict of interest
  • Editing and peer review conducted in a reasonable manner
  • Advocating for responsible science

Identity of the author

IJIM requires that all published publications contain simple and correct authorship attribution. The author is responsible for equally acknowledging all writers who contributed to the work and ensuring that the published author list correctly represents individual contributions. IJIM urges journal editorial teams to follow the COPE guidelines detailed here when authorship disputes occur. When writers engage the services of third-party agencies prior to submissions, such as language editing or manuscript formatting/preparation, they must ensure that all services provided adhere to the following guidelines.

Authorship changes

Changes of authorship must be made in writing to the Journal's chief executive editor. Changes in authorship will be allowed only when clear reasons are given and both authors consent. Authorship changes made after publication are generally made by a published correction, for which writers can be fined.

Authorship by a 'ghost,' a 'guest,' or a 'gift'

IJIM regards all types of ghost, guest, and gift authorship as immoral and collaborates closely with editors and publishing partners to take a strong stand against such activities. Allegations of ghost, visitor, or gift authorship will be investigated in compliance with the COPE guidelines outlined below. The article's authors will be removed by a post-publication correction or erratum where such activities are discovered. Additionally, the Journal can opt to inform the authors' institutional or local ethics committees.

The term 'ghost' authorship refers to writing or preparing an article for publication with the assistance of an unidentified author. Often (but not exclusively), ghostwriters have compensated sponsors, staff, junior scholars, or external academic affiliates.

The term 'guest' or 'gift' authorship refers to the practice of appointing a person as an author on an article who made little or no contribution to the report. The principal author's gift authors are usually (but not exclusively) senior researchers, related researchers, associates, or colleagues. Additionally, specific organisations charge a fee for gift authorship.

Submission of an article

IJIMmakes every effort to ensure that all submissions are treated with dignity, in confidence, and compliance with COPE ethical standards by editors, peer reviewers, and journal editorial staff. IJIM requires all individuals submitting manuscripts to journals published by IJIM to adhere to existing publishing standards and ethics. When instances of misconduct are established, the disciplinary action taken varies by Journal and context but may include one or more of the following:

  • Withdrawal of previously published work.
  • Publication of a correction or a concern statement.
  • Potential submissions will be rejected.
  • Notification of author wrongdoing to his or her home institution, superior, and/or ethics committee.

Duplicate publication (dual submission or publication)

Submissions to IJIM-reviewed journals are evaluated on the assumption that they have not been published in or concurrently sent to another journal. We urge all IJIM-published journals to conduct comprehensive investigations into claims of redundant publication in compliance with the COPE guidelines detailed here. Additionally, we urge editors and journal editorial staff to maintain a thorough record of all correspondence between writers, editors, and peer reviewers about the submissions they manage. These documents are securely maintained and can be referred to in conducting inquiries into alleged instances of wrongdoing. We will contact and/or collaborate with other publishers and journals when required to recognise instances of redundant publication.

Uniqueness and Plagiarism

IJIM journals assess submissions on the basis that they are the author's original work (s). We anticipate that references to another person's work or concept inside a manuscript or article would be appropriately credited. Similarly, we anticipate authors obtaining all necessary permits before release. Guidelines about when and how to obtain permissions are available here.

Plagiarism includes the re-use of text, data, statistics, or photographs without proper acknowledgement or permission, as well as the paraphrasing of text, concepts, or ideas. Allegations of plagiarism are thoroughly investigated in compliance with the COPE guidelines outlined here. IJIM journals run submitted papers through an automated plagiarism detection programme (TurnItIn) to classify potential instances of plagiarism.

Accusation

Although IJIM strives to encourage free speech whenever possible, it will not publish something that could jeopardise the credibility of a person, company, community, or organisation unless and until it can be established that it is accurate. We take all reasonable steps to ensure the published work is free of libellous, slanderous, or defamatory text.

Potential conflict of interest

IJIMis committed to full disclosure in situations where a possible conflict of interest exists. We encourage our journals and editors to publish and periodically review policies on the author, publisher, and peer reviewer conflict of interest.

The Authors

Conflict of interest occurs when an author's private interests are perceived to be affecting the objectivity of his or her study or experiment, to the point that a rational observer might question whether conflicting interests influenced the individual's behaviour or judgement. The accompanying author must ascertain whether co-authors have any conflicts of interest. Prior to acceptance, the corresponding author will be expected to coordinate the completion of written forms by all co-authors and send them to the editor or journal administrator. Additionally, the following should be declared, either in the manuscript's Acknowledgements section or at the time of submission:

  • All sources of funding for science, including direct and indirect financial support, equipment or materials supply (including specialist statistical or writing assistance).
  • Any related financial and non-financial interests and relationships that might be deemed likely to influence the interpretation of their results or that editors, reviewers, or readers might reasonably wish to know. These can include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, board of director membership, membership on a company's advisory board or committee, consulting for a company, or receipt of speaker's fees from a company.

Editorial staff

IJIM expects its journal editors to announce and amend their conflicting interests when they settle on a decision. The standard editor agreement with IJIMrequires the editor to disclose any possible conflict of interest during the editorship period before entering into any agreement or role. Editors are expected to recuse themselves from individual manuscripts if they have a possible conflict of interest and avoid creating such conflicts through handling editors or peer reviewers.

Arbitrators

We urge editors and journal administrators to exercise caution when appointing reviewers. Where a reviewer discloses a possible conflict of interest, the editor will choose substitute reviewers. Failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest could result in the reviewer's removal from our journal database.

Editing and peer review conducted fairly

IJIM urges all parties involved in the publishing process to follow proven ethical publishing standards. This includes writers, journal editors, reviewers, and editorial and publishing staff at journals.

Independence of the editor

Editors maintain complete editorial autonomy. Although IJIM may discuss strategy, procedure, and policy with editors, we will never knowingly impose commercial or political pressure on editors to accept manuscripts. We do, however, anticipate and encourage IJIM-published journals to have established processes and policies for the handling of contributions by the editor or editorial board members to ensure that, where applicable, these submissions achieve the same degree of peer review as other submissions.

Peer evaluation and the actions of reviewers IJIM endorses the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers and directs its editors to them. IJIM does advocate a double-blind peer review framework and includes information about the review process in our submission guidelines, for example:

Two independent experts in the relevant field review manuscripts. The reviewers provide the editors with a scientific evaluation and a recommendation. Writers are unaware of reviewers. Before making a final decision about whether to approve, accept with revisions, or reject a manuscript, the handling editor considers the manuscript and the reviewers' comments.

Confidence

Unless otherwise stated, IJIM requires editors and reviewers to maintain the confidentiality of all submissions. If a reviewer wants to assign the analysis or request the opinion of a colleague on a particular aspect of the article, they must first obtain permission from the publisher.

Fraudulent peer review

As is the case with many other journals, IJIM journals allow authors to recommend preferred reviewers. The lead author is responsible for ensuring that only genuine reviewers and their contact information are submitted. Any suspicions or allegations of writers fabricating reviewer information will be thoroughly investigated. If such claims are proven, the article in question will be automatically rejected or retracted if it has already been released. Usually, the Journal may inform the authors' institutional or local ethics committees and prohibit all submissions from the author party.

Encouragement of ethical science

IJIM's publishing activities contribute to its goal of promoting the highest quality of science. A critical component of this is ensuring that the research we publish is done fairly and ethically. We publish in various fields of study, all of which have their standards and guidelines for conducting research.

Wherever possible, we expect published research involving human subjects to identify the local ethics committee that approved the study (or clarify that no such approval is required) and/or describes how the study adheres to recognised standards. IJIM strongly urges journals and managing editors to return any manuscripts that do not meet appropriate standards.

The following table summarises IJIM's guide to the most frequently encountered issues of research credibility.

Confidentiality of patients

Journals that publish research involving human subjects should ensure that patients' right to privacy is not violated without their permission. We urge journals to adhere to the ICMJE's guidelines for human subject reporting. Signed patient consent is required to publish material that includes detailed patient details about a living person.

Forgery and fabrication

Prior to release, submitted papers that contain misleading or fabricated data will be returned to the author with a request for clarification. If the Journal does not obtain an explanation or if the explanation given is deemed inadequate, the Journal will notify the authors' organisation, local ethics committee, or superior. Additionally, the Journal can decline to accept further submissions from the author for a specified period of time.

Falsification or fabrication of data may take the form of image manipulation, cropping gels/images to alter their context, omitting selected data, or fabricating data sets. IJIM recognises that forgery is not intentional and would allow its journals and publishing partners to evaluate each case on its own merits.

Uniqueness and Plagiarism

IJIM journals assess submissions on the basis that they are the author's original work (s). We anticipate that references to another person's work or concept inside a manuscript or article would be appropriately credited. Similarly, we anticipate authors obtaining all necessary permits before release. Guidelines about when and how to obtain permissions are available here.

Plagiarism includes the re-use of text, data, statistics, or photographs without proper acknowledgement or permission, as well as the paraphrasing of text, concepts, or ideas. Allegations of plagiarism are thoroughly investigated in compliance with the COPE guidelines outlined here. IJIM journals run submitted papers through an automated plagiarism detection programme (TurnItIn) to classify potential instances of plagiarism.

Index of Similarity

When an author submits a manuscript to IJIM, the author must ensure that the manuscript is an original work. Before sending manuscripts to the IJIM journal, the author should search for potential plagiarism using software such as TurnItIn, iThenticate, or another similar programme.

All manuscripts must fall within the Journal's permissible similarity index range: less than 25% – PASS; between 30% and 40% – RESUBMIT MS; greater than 40% – REJECT.