Ethical standards

Compliance with standards provided by international organizations of publishing ethics and recommendations

The journal is committed to the standards outlined by ICMJE regarding all aspects of publishing and all actors involved in the publication process, authors, journal editors and the publisher (http://www.icmje.org/). This concerns issues of publishing ethics, the publication itself, authorship, the author’s responsibilities, the peer review process, as well as the editor’s responsibilities. Major aspects are also the protection of research participants, the patient’s right to privacy, the respect of animals’ rights, the requirement for informed consent, the necessity to have a registration of a clinical trial, as well as reporting guidelines depending on the studies design. In addition, at any stage, any conflict of interest has to be declared, allowing that no biased decisions will be taken by the Editors or the reviewers, and that the reader has full insight into the financial or other conflicts of interest related to the accepted article.

The journal also follows the standards and guidelines provided by COPE, especially regarding misconduct and fraud, and how to act in front of such a case. COPE provides a code of conduct with best practices in publishing and flowcharts that describe the publisher’s and editor’s actions, if such a case has to be resolved: http://publicationethics.org/. To authors with proven misconduct or fraud the actions available in the flowcharts will be applied.

Regarding Security and Safety, detailed instructions are given in the instructions for authors. Here you will find the some main points describing the publication of an article in this journal:

1. Conditions for submission of an article

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For ethics in publishing consult COPE http://publicationethics.org/.

Authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.

Plagiarism, Duplicate Submission/Publication Policy

Plagiarism is the unreferenced use of published and unpublished ideas.

The journal has adopted a rigorous examination of every submitted manuscript towards plagiarism or text recycling using Similaritycheck. This tool allows the Editors-in-Chief to quickly identify even partial use of already published content, which cannot be re-published in this journal for various reasons, such as copyright issues, auto plagiarism, plagiarism, etc. In case of doubt, and in order to avoid any forms of plagiarism or text recycling, authors are invited to visit relevant webpages of universities across the world dealing with this topic, or probably the websites of their own institutions.

Please visit these few examples:

Duplicate publication is publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published, without clear, visible reference to the previous publication.

Should plagiarism or duplicate submission/publication be identified, the authors will be informed by the Editors-in-Chief. For a not yet published article, in case of conflicts, the relevant COPE guidelines are applied. The detailed and updated version of the way of action of the Editors-in-Chief is available on the website of COPE.

2. Authorship

The ICMJE recommends that all those designated as authors meet all of the criteria they describe. The list of criteria is available at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/. Those contributors who do not meet all of the criteria shall be acknowledged.

3. Conflict of interest

Authors must disclose whether or not they have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. They should also state that they have full control of all primary data and that they agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.

Therefore the manuscript must be accompanied by the "Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form" at the initial submission.

Any additional conflict of interest, on personal or any other level must also be disclosed.

4. Peer Reviewing

The manuscripts and videos will have all identifying information removed from them by the editorial office prior to the beginning of the review process. Then, all manuscripts submitted to the journal are submitted to two reviewers independent from the editorial committee of the journal. If an Editor-in-Chief, any other Editor or Editorial board member is (co)-author of a submitted article, the process is organized so that this person will not be involved with neither evaluation nor decision taking. The reviewers are informed of the necessity to keep the manuscript confidential before acceptance and publication, and their identity will not be disclosed to the authors. Based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the editorial board decides whether the manuscript is:

  • Accepted without modifications
  • Accepted, after modifications/revision (depending on a second peer reviewing)
  • Rejected

Reviewers remain anonymous throughout the entire publication process. They should not contact authors (if any questions, they must contact the Editorial Office). Security and Safety utilizes a single-blind review process; reviewers can access author identities to further inform their review and prevent any conflicts of interest. However, the editor will compile all peer review comments with any editorial comments and send these to the authors on the reviewers' behalf.

The Editors-in chief have full authority for acceptation/rejection of the submitted manuscripts. Persons with a conflict of interest towards a submitted manuscript shall declare it and be withdrawn from the peer reviewing of this particular article.

5. Policies for publication of errata and for article retraction

Despite careful peer reviewing and article production, situations might occur where errata should be published or articles retracted. The Editors-in-chief, together with the publisher therefore follow the flowcharts established by COPE and published on their website (http://publicationethics.org/).

Data sharing policy

Authors may be invited to share with the peer reviewers during the article evaluation process in a confidential manner the data on which the research is based. Further, as long as the publication of data is not in opposition with patients’ privacy, authors are invited to upload supplemental datasets related to their research to an online repository. Doing so makes it available for both human and machine reading in order to further aid the acceleration of scientific discovery.

Authors are invited to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR data principles. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. The principles are available here. To summarize this, the dataset should be findable through a complete set of metadata, including a license for re-use and a data identifier (DOI or other). The dataset is accessible when access is open. Interoperable means that the data can be used and combined with other datasets in a format that is sufficiently widely distributed. Re-usability is achieved when the dataset is deposited with a corresponding Creative Commons open license and is downloadable. Furthermore, re-usability implies that parameters describing how this dataset has been collected needs to be disclosed. Machine and experimental conditions must be documented.

We hold scientific integrity as the top priority in any consideration of publication. Therefore, our authors are strongly suggested to upload their raw data onto Research Data Deposit (RDD) for further verification in case our readers have any doubt on the scientific integrity of the studied project. Please use this link for uploading your raw data onto RDD: http://www.researchdata.org.cn

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, videos, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript and video to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note, authors should identify Individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Statement of Human and Animal Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Research reported must meet the definition of human subjects research and requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) review (World Medical Association, Declaration of Helsinki and Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Research Council, Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals).

In countries where institutional review is not established practice, a statement must be included in the methods section that the research was carried out in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration.

Disclaimer

The Journal and the Publishers disclaim all liability arising from damages to persons or property arising from use of the information contained in the video articles.