Editorial policies

Overview

The journals published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences endorse the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions, the Council of Science Editors’ White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

Submitting a manuscript to a journal published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences implies that all contributors listed as authors have read and agreed to the content of the submitted work and that the submission observes the policies of the journal.

Table of contents

Ethics and consent

Ethics approval

The journals published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and adhere to its Best Practice Guidelines.

Every submission reporting a research must include a statement to verify that ethics approval was sought for the study (or a statement that it was not required and why), including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s), the reference number/ID of the approval(s), and a statement that participants gave informed consent before participating. Even when a study has been approved by a research ethics committee or institutional review board, editors may ask authors for more detailed information about the ethics of the work. Also, research involving human subjects, human tissue, or human data must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. Submissions may be declined if the journals’ editors come to conclusion that a research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. The editors may also contact the institutions’ ethics committee for further information in certain cases.

Allegations of publication misconduct, both before and after publication will be carefully inspected and we reserve the right to contact authors' institutions, funders, or regulatory bodies if necessary. If a conclusive evidence of misconduct is noticed, proper steps will be taken to correct the scientific record, which may include supplying a correction or retraction.

Authors are assumed that they are aware of publication ethics, specifically with regard to authorship, dual submission, plagiarism, figure manipulation, competing interests and compliance with standards of research ethics. In cases of suspected misconduct, COPE standards and practices will be followed and advice from the COPE forum will be ascertained.

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the submission for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the discretion of the journals’ editors.

Patient consent and confidentiality

Any item submitted to the journals published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patient’s explicit consent before it can be published. Consequently; all studied patients are required to sign an informed consent form after reading the studies’ information sheet.

If consent cannot be obtained because the patient cannot be traced in a study, then publication will be possible only if the information can be sufficiently anonymized. Anonymization means that neither the person nor anyone else could identify the individual with certainty.

If the patient is dead the authors should seek permission from a relative (as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics). If the relatives are not contactable, the journals will balance the worthwhileness of the case, the likelihood of identification, and the likelihood of offence in decision to publish a submitted paper.

Images—such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of undistinctive parts of the body—may be used without consent so long as they are anonymized by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patients’ identity.

Research involving animals

Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The Basel Declaration outlines fundamental principles to adhere when conducting research on animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.

For experimental studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.

Trial registration

Based on the ICMJE recommendations a clinical trial is defined as “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect, relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome.”

In agreement with the ICMJE’s recommendations, all journals published by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences will not consider reports of clinical trials unless they were registered prospectively before recruitment of any participants.

As a condition of consideration for publication, journals published by the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences require registration of all trials in a public registry of trials approved by the ICMJE (any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/index.html).

The trial registration number and the date of registration should be included in the last line of the submission abstract.

Standards of reporting

Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript. Authors should adhere to these guidelines when drafting their manuscript, and peer reviewers will be asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating such studies. This will ensure that the authors have provided enough information for editors, peer reviewers, and readers to understand how the research was performed and to judge whether the findings are likely to be reliable.

The key reporting guidelines are: