Publishing the results of a study completes the research conducted. As mentioned by EH Miller, “If it was not published, it was not done”. Although there are numerous guidelines and checklists that one follows under the publication cycle, following publication ethics is of top priority. Every aspect of publishing a manuscript is guided by ethical principles. Most peer reviewed journals, keep publication ethics their top most requirement failing which the manuscript cannot be accepted. The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) strives to reinforce and make recommendations on publication ethics to the scientific community.
Any study begins with a study design. The study design must be made to adequately address the research question. Approval of the study design with every aspect must be obtained prior to the beginning of the study from the institutional review board or ethics committee. In addition, all animal studies must be conducted with full compliance of the local, national, ethical, and regulatory principles, and the local licensing arrangements.
Ensuring that the work being published is original, all authors enlisted are aware of the submission, obtaining copyright permission for tables and figures, including paper affiliations, and ensuring that the manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal at a time are a mandate for following publication ethics. Other important types of ethical violations include failure to inform the editor regarding related papers, unrevealing the conflict of interests which may affect the results of the study, misinterpretation of research findings by the use of selective or fraudulent data to support a hypothesis or claim.
Breach of publication ethics sooner or later come to light leading to unavoidable consequences. In most cases, the manuscript is retracted or the authors may be asked to submit an apology to the corresponding journal of submission. In severe cases, the authors of the paper may be blacklisted from further submissions in the journal which can hamper the reputation of the authors in the scientific committee.
In conclusion, any kind of breach can be avoided by preparing a focused manuscript with originality. Appropriate citing of references to avoid plagiarism and declaration of conflict of interests among the authors must be considered. Adequate knowledge of the ethical guidelines is the key factor for preparation of documents which comply with all ethical principles.
Turacoz Healthcare Solutions as a socially responsible company spreads the word and awareness and looks forward to collaboration or associations with other agencies/companies with similar goals and aspirations. We have a skilled and competent team of medical writers, clinicians, researchers and biostatisticians. Our clients include major pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and healthcare professionals. Our experience has been in supporting publications, creating regulatory documents, conducting observational studies, designing and creating for print and digital marketing as well as customizing sessions on medical writing.