Research and Publication Ethics
Regarding policies on research and publication ethics not addressed in these instructions, authors should refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on good publication (http://publicationethics.org/), the Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals by the ICMJE, 2013 (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/) or Good publication practice guidelines for medical journals, 2nd edition, by the KAMJE, 2013 (http://www.kamje.or.kr/intro.php?body=publishing_ethics).
Statement of human and animal rights and informed consent
Any investigations involving humans and animals should be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), respectively, of the institution where the study took place. In addition, investigations with pathogens requiring a high degree of biosafety should obtain approval by relevant committee (Institutional Biosafety Committee; IBC). Informed consent should be obtained, unless waived by the IRB, from patients (or legal guardians) who participated in clinical investigations. Human participants should not be identifiable, such that patients' names, initials, hospital numbers, dates of birth or other protected healthcare information should not be disclosed. If experiments involve animals, the research should be based on national or institutional guidelines for animal care and use. Original articles submitted to PEMJ that address any investigation involving humans and animals should include a description about whether the study was conducted under an approval by the IRB (with or without patient informed consent) or IACUC, respectively. IRB No. is required for submission process, and if absent, the process cannot proceed. PEMJ can request an approval by the IRB or IACUC when necessary. It is noteworthy that a Korean act of bioethics and biosafety was revised on November 11, 2014.
Authorship and author’s responsibility
The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflicts of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely manner, and should be available to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information or questions about the paper even after publication.
Authors must meet all aspects of the following 4 criteria: (1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; (2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; (3) Final approval of the version to be published; and (4) 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. Any persons who do not meet any aspect of the above criteria, may be listed as contributors in the Acknowledgments section.
Maximal number of authors are recommended to be limited to 3 for review, 5 for systematic review, and 10 for case report, respectively. Only one author should correspond with the editorial board. A footnote indicating that the two first authors made equal contributions is permissible, as long as the authors certify that each had a "first author" role equally. The editorial board does not allow adding authors or changing the first or the corresponding authors once its decision of ‘Accept’ is made. Any change in the byline (addition or deletion of authors, change in the name order) requires a letter signed by all authors indicating agreement with the same. The editorial board has no responsibility for such changes.
Originality and duplicate publication
Manuscripts under review or published by other journals will not be accepted for publication in PEMJ, and articles published in this journal are not allowed to be reproduced in whole or in part in any type of publication without permission of the editorial board. Figures and tables can be used freely if original source is verified according to Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. It is mandatory for all authors to resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open access.
It is possible to republish manuscripts if the manuscripts satisfy the condition of secondary publication of ICMJE as followings: certain types of articles, such as guidelines produced by governmental agencies and professional organizations, may need to reach the widest possible audience. In such instances, editors sometimes deliberately publish material that is also being published in other journals, with the agreement of the authors and the editors of those journals. Secondary publication for various other reasons, in the same or another language, especially in other countries, is justifiable and can be beneficial provided that the following conditions are met. The authors should receive approval from the editors of both journals (the editor concerned with secondary publication must have a photocopy, reprint, or manuscript of the primary version). The priority of the primary publication is respected by a publication interval of at least 1 week (unless specifically negotiated otherwise by both editors).
The paper for secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; an abbreviated version could be sufficient. The secondary version faithfully reflects the data and interpretations of the primary version. The footnote on the title page of the secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper has been published in whole or in part and states the primary reference. A suitable footnote might read: “This article is based on a study first reported in the [title of journal, with full reference].”
Process to manage research and publication misconduct
When the editorial board faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct such as duplicate publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflicts of interest, ethical problem with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, complaints against editors, and etc., the resolving process will follow the flowchart provided by COPE (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). The editorial board makes a decision on suspected cases, and KAMJE may be consulted on a debatable matter.
The editorial board will continuously work towards monitoring and safeguarding publication ethics: guidelines for retracting articles; plagiarism screening for all manuscripts (https://crosscheck.ithenticate.com/en_us/login), maintenance of the integrity of the academic record; preclusion of business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standard; publishing corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed; avoiding plagiarism, and fraudulent data. The responsibilities of the editorial board shall include: responsibility and authority to reject or accept article; avoid conflicts of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept; acceptance of a paper when reasonably certain; promoting publication of correction or retraction when errors are found; preservation of the anonymity of reviewers.
Conflicts of interest
A conflicts of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could bias the author’s decisions regarding the manuscript. Authors are expected to provide detailed information about all relevant financial interests and relationships or financial conflicts, particularly those present at the time the research was conducted and through publication, as well as other financial interests (such as patent applications in preparation), that represent potential future financial gain. All disclosures of any potential conflicts of interest, including specific financial interests and relationships and affiliations (other than those affiliations listed in the title page of the manuscript) relevant to the subject of their manuscript will be disclosed by the corresponding author on behalf of each coauthor, if any, as part of the submission process. Likewise, authors without conflicts of interest will be requested to state so as part of the submission process. If authors are uncertain about what constitutes a relevant financial interest or relationship, they should contact the editorial board. Failure to include this information in the manuscript will prohibit commencement of the review process of the manuscript. For all accepted manuscripts, each author’s disclosures of conflicts of interest, relevant financial interests and affiliations, and declarations of no such interests will be published. The policy requesting disclosure of conflicts of interest applies for all manuscript submissions. If an author’s disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is determined to be inaccurate or incomplete after publication, a correction will be published to rectify the original published disclosure statement. Authors are also required to report detailed information regarding all financial and material support for the research and work, including but not limited to grant support, funding sources, and provision of equipment and supplies as part of the submission process. For all accepted manuscripts, each author’s source of funding will be published.
The authors should disclose all potential conflicts of interest in the unblinded full title page. If there is a disclosure, the editors, reviewers, and readers can interpret the manuscripts with this understanding.