||ISRA MEDICAL JOURNAL
Excellence in Medical Education
الأربعاء 19 ربيع الثاني 1438
Wednesday 18th January 2017
A journal’s reputation is predicated on its ability to publish high-quality scientific works and depends upon the trust of authors, researchers, readers, reviewers, editors, and administrators of public health policy. This trust is enhanced by describing the journal’s policies as explicitly as possible to ensure the ethical treatment of all participants in the publication process. This can be achieved only, if the entire peer review and publication process is thorough, objective, and fair. Almost every aspect of this process should involves important ethical principles and decisions which are seldom openly stated and even less often shared with the readership.
Moreover, the medical journals seek to advance the state of medical art by publishing the highest quality scientific research and such quality cannot be achieved if plagiarism is abided or if the concept of plagiarism is not fully understood by clinicians, researchers, policy makers, public health workers, and physician-scientists. The scientific manuscripts submitted for publication are laboriously vetted by the peer-review process in an order to maintain the public’s trust in our profession and the trust of our readership, authors/contributors, researchers, and reviewers.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, Plagiarism is defined as “taking and using the thoughts, writing, and invention of another person as one’s own”.
Plagiarism can be subdivided into two categories: one where the author intends to mislead the reader’s to author’s contribution by passing off another’s work product as his own; and one where the author does not intend to mislead the reader but misunderstands proper citation or attribution. This second category is more accurately described as sloppy research work product or “innocent error of omission due to ignorance”.
The most common forms of scientific misconduct include (the following are taken with minor modification from the ORI publication Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct [ http://ori.dhhs.gov/html/polanal2.htm, full report in PDF format http://ori.dhhs.gov/html/publications/studies.asp, accessed 3/13/04]):
- Falsification Of Data: Ranges from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or distortion of data.
- Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas, or thoughts of another without crediting their true source, and representation of them as one's own original work.
- Self-Plagiarism: The verbatim or near-verbatim re-use of significant portions of one’s own copyrighted work without citing the original source.
- 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 The Ideas Of Others: An important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. 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. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
- 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.
- Material Failure To Comply With Legislative And Regulatory Requirements Affecting Research: Including but not limited to serious 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, biologic, or chemical materials.
- Inappropriate Behavior In Relation To Misconduct: This includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.
The editorial board of IMJ acknowledges that there are grey areas of plagiarism such as the ones listed above where the author’s intent is not to mislead. If the author appears to have engaged in merely sloppy research/writing and this is the author’s first offense, the executive board will provide the author with the opportunity to revise his manuscript so that it is in accordance with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. To this end, the editorial board will provide the author guidance on the proper citation/attribution of reference material.
- The aim of this policy is to apprise students, teachers, researchers about plagiarism and how it can be avoided.
- It is also aimed at discouraging Plagiarism by regulating and authorizing punitive actions against those found guilty of the act of Plagiarism.
- To publish highest quality scientific research free from plagiarism
The policy is applicable to all manuscripts submitted for publication in IMJ.
Beginning July 1st 2012, IMJ will implement this policy for dealing with acts of plagiarism and academics dishonesty. Plagiarism, if detected and proved, would be considered a punishable offence. Immediate and unbiased action will be taken by the Plagiarism Committee.
- All manuscripts will be scrutinized through Turnitin (software for detecting plagiarism) for generating and analyzing the originality report of that article. A minimum of a week will be given to the focal person for analyzing the article.
- As per HEC Guidelines (Annex-I), If the report has similarity index <=19%, then benefit of doubt may be given to the author but, in case, any single source has similarity index >=5% without citation then it needs to be revised and will be sent back to the author for revision to bring similarity index down to permissible limit.
- After revision, it will again be processed through the same software for checking its originality. After satisfactory report (Sl below 19%), it will be sent to reviewers for peer review.
- If author fails to comply, the article will be sent back to the author again for review.
- If after second revision the author fails to comply, then the manuscript is rejected and further processing stopped.
If plagiarism is reported in an under process manuscript, then the manuscript processing will be stopped immediately and correspondence author will be informed regarding dishonesty and asked to explain the allegations raised against manuscript in two weeks.
The plagrism committee will decide the further action regarding processing of article, after receiving the response from correspondence author.
In case of complaint received from author, readers, reviewers, editors, institution regarding plagiarism in a published article,
- The Plagrism committee (made up of members of the editorial board) will evaluate the accusation including any supporting documentation provided to it within two weeks.
- During all committee proceeding, editors shall ensure the confidentiality of both the author and the individual who submitted the complaint alleging plagiarism.
- If the committee determines that the evidence is sufficient to warrant a fuller investigation, the committee shall notify the author accused of plagiarizing within ten business days and will give the author a reasonable amount of time to respond to the allegations and procure evidence to support a claim of innocence if necessary.
- In case of failure of author(s) to either respond within the stipulated time, or in case they are unable to provide a suitable explanation, the Editor will convene a meeting of the Plagiarism Committee of the Board of Editors of the Journal to consider further action.
- Further action will depend upon the nature of the offence and may include rejection of the published article along with possible debarment of the author(s) from further publishing in the Journal. The period of debarment will depend upon the nature of the offence and may range from a period of a few months to permanent.
- Final decision of committee will be informed to both parties within seven days
- Information regarding this action may be published in the forth coming issue of the Journal on a numbered page and the Editor will be obliged to withdraw the article from the journal website, Medline and Pakmedinet.
- If the committee elects to alert the IMJ readership of an author’s academic dishonesty by publishing a written notice or statement, it may do so without will not providing advance notice or obtaining permission from the author in question.
It was unanimously decided that the editors have the responsibility to promote the highest level of ethics and academic integrity in the field of medicine. We have developed this policy on plagiarism to urge our fellow researchers and physician-scientists to properly cite our colleagues’ work product, thereby, recognizing the effort put into developing such research and the contribution that research makes to our field of medicine.