Ethics & Malpractice Policy

MyJA is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record and endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines.

General considerations

Manuscripts submitted to MyJA should not have been published previously (in part or in full) and should not be under consideration before another journal. The only admitted exception is that the submitted manuscript is an expansion of previously published work. In this respect, transparent reuse of any previously published material has to be ensured by the authors to avoid text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all co-authors have granted explicit consent to submit, and that consent has also been granted —tacitly or explicitly — by the responsible authorities of the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

Upon request, authors should be ready to send any documentation or data that may be useful to verify the validity of the results. Required information could be in the form of raw data, samples, and records, whereas requirement of access to confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

Authorship criteria

Each author must meet the criteria for authorship, which include all the following points:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Individuals who have contributed to the manuscript but do not meet all criteria for authorship should be acknowledged in the manuscript.

Protection of research participants

Clinical research should be conducted in accordance to the Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2018. Clinical studies that do not meet the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki will not be considered for publication. Informed consent must be obtained from all patients or legal guardians prior to inclusion in the study. For animal subjects, research should be performed based on the national or institutional guide for the care and use of laboratory animals and ethical treatment of all experimental animals should be safeguarded. All studies should have approval (or exemption) by an appropriate ethics committee or institutional review board of the organization where the study was conducted, including reference number for study approval. Ethics approval, informed consent,

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) provides written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Any manuscripts containing clinical data and/or images that may identify individual patients must submit the MyJA Informed Consent for Publication signed by the corresponding author stating that informed consent was granted by the patient for publication. Case reports and case series that do not provide this consent form will not be considered for publication.

Funding and competing interests

Authors should disclose all sources of funding that have supported the study as well as competing interests for all authors. The corresponding author is responsible for collating the sources of funding for the study as well as the competing interests for all co-authors and filling in the appropriate sections in the Declarations section as outlined in MyJA’s Author Guidelines. Failure to disclose sources of funding and/or competing interests may be considered ethical misconduct.

Plagiarism and fraud

Plagiarism occurs whenever the authors of a submitted manuscript present the work of others as if it was their own without full acknowledgment. Plagiarism includes copying the entire body of a previously published work, and/or significant portions of it, without due acknowledgment. Authors are required to ensure:

  • No data have been fabricated, falsified, or manipulated (including deceptive images) to support their conclusions.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgement to other works must be given (including material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized, and/or paraphrased). Quotation marks are used for verbatim reproduction of material. Permissions are secured for any copyrighted material, including text, figures, tables, and other types of material. This is exclusively the authors’ responsibility.
  • Failure to publish the results of clinical trials and other human studies, or selective inclusion of results may be considered to be scientific misconduct.
  • MyJA may use software tools to screen for plagiarism.

Handling ethical misconduct

In case of suspected misconduct, the Chief Editor will initiate appropriate procedures as detailed by COPE. Should the investigation validate concerns raised in the allegation, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the implementation by the Chief Editor of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be published alongside the article or, in severe cases, retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be detailed in the published erratum or retraction note. Please note that ‘retraction’ means that the paper is maintained on the platform, watermarked ‘retracted’ and motivation for retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.
  • The authors’ institution may be informed.
  • MyJA may elect to publish an expression of concern pending the outcomes of investigation as detailed by COPE. If the procedures involve an investigation at the authors’ institution, MyJA may seek to discover the outcome of that investigation and notify readers of the outcome if appropriate. If the investigation proves scientific misconduct, MyJA will publish a retraction of the article. There may be circumstances in which no misconduct is proven, but an exchange of letters to the editor may still be published to highlight matters of debate to our readers.