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Publication ethics and malpractice statement (PEMS) Authorship Peer-review Policies Open Access Policy and Fees Copyright Anti-plagiarism Policy Errata, Corrections, Retractions CrossMark Information About Funding Research Data Policy Research Involving Human Beings and/or Animals Informed Consent for Publication Archiving Advertising Policy
The journal understands an author of a published work as an individual who has intellectually contributed to it in a significant form. Following the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), in order to be considered an author the following criteria must be met:
- Having contributed significantly to the conception and design, or the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data of the study that resulted in the article.
- Having contributed significantly to the writing or the critical revision of the text.
- To have approved the final version of the text submitted.
Those who do not meet these three criteria can only be mentioned in the acknowledgements. In order to avoid the risk of ghostwriting or fictive/purloined authorship it is advisable that before the document is submitted all authors agree upon their contributions and upon the order in which they will appear on the list of co-authors.
In order to specify the contribution of each author to the work it is advisable to use the criteria established by the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy):
- Conceptualization – Ideas, formulation or evolution of the research’s objectives and general goals.
- Data curation – Managing duties to write down data (produce metadata), filter and keep record of the data (including the software code, whenever necessary to interpret the data themselves) for present or future use.
- Formal analysis – Use of statistical, mathematical, computational or any other technique to analyze or synthesize data.
- Fundraising – Securing financial support for the project that leads to the publication.
- Research – Carrying out the research, specifically conducting experiments or the data/evidence gathering.
- Methodology – Development or design of the methodology and models.
- Management of the project – Responsibility of the management and coordination of the planning and execution of the research.
- Resources – Providing the study materials, chemical reagents, laboratory samples, instruments, patients, animals, digital resources and/or any other analysis tools.
- Software – Software programming and development, design of software tools, implementation of code and supporting algorithms, testing of exiting code.
- Supervision – Responsibility of oversight and leadership in the planning and execution of the research, including the audit external to the core team.
- Visualization – Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically the visualization and presentation of data.
- Writing – first draft – Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically of the first draft (including translations).
- Writing – review and editing – Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by the members of the original research group, and of critical revisions and notes. This includes the stages before and after publication.
The contribution of each author must be stated at the end of the work in a note named “Author contribution statement”
In order to determine the order in the signing of the article, authors can resort to any of the three standard practices:
- 'First-last-author-emphasis' approach (FLAE): the first and last signature are equally important. Between these two, the order of signature indicates decreasingly the grade of contribution.
- 'Sequence-determines-credit' approach (SDC): the order indicates the significance.
- 'Equal contribution' norm (EC): alphabetic order is used to acknowledge equal contributions and/or to avoid disputes in collaborative groups.
The opinions and facts included in each article are the sole responsibility of the authors, just as the ethic appropriateness of the same. Furthermore, authors must state explicitly that the authorship of the text is theirs and that the rights of intellectual property of any third party have been observed. Likewise, it is their responsibility to make sure they have the necessary authorizations to use, reproduce and print any material whose property belongs to a third party (tables, graphics, maps, diagrams, photographs, etc.). By sending an article for submission, authors accept that the work is original and has not been sent for consideration to or has been published in any other journal.
To avoid any possible confusion with the authors’ names and to guarantee the adequate attribution of publications and quotes, the journal requires the ORCID ID from all involved authors. Although, by itself, this cannot guarantee completely a correct identification, the adoption of ORCID constitutes an additional form of control against authorial fraud.
Changes in authorship
Any incorporation, exclusion or reorganization of the authors’ names must be done before the work has been accepted for publication and needs to be approved by the journal’s editor.
To request this change, the author must send to the editor:
- The motive that justifies the modification of the list of authors.
- The written confirmation of all involved authors stating their agreement with the incorporation, exclusion or reorganization of the list of contributors. In the cases of incorporation or exclusion, the confirmation of the author affected needs to be included as well.
Once a manuscript has been accepted, the incorporation, exclusion or reorganization of the contributors’ list will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. The publication of the article will stop while the request with the changes is evaluated. If the manuscript is published online already, the changes appertaining to a granted request will be introduced in a correction note.
Conflicts of interest
Conflicts of interest easily identified are financial interests such as direct employment, payment for consultancies, participation in a company, salaries fees, patent exploitation or payment for lectures. However, there may also exist conflicts derived from friendships, intellectual rivalry, academic competition or personal beliefs. When sending an article for publication, all authors are required to declare any financial or personal involvement with any public or private institution that might influence (even if unintentionally) the results of their work. Likewise, authors must declare any non-financial relation that may cause a conflict of interest in their work (personal, academic, ideological, intellectual, political or religious).
Conflicts of interest, both financial and non-financial, must be notified when the article is submitted. The rationale behind this requisite is not to impede the publication of authors who potentially may have competing interests, but to ensure that these can be identified clearly, so that readers are able to judge if authors may be predisposed or influenced in their work.
At the end of the work, a note referred to as “Conflict of interest” will be published. If no conflict exist, the note included will appear as 'None'.