On this page:

Introduction
Research integrity
Fraud and violation of ethics
Authorship
Author contributions
Conflict of interest
Authors' Rights
Consent in research
Consent to Publishing
Obtaining permissions
Final approval of the article
Responsibilities in research and publication
Procedures against the violation of ethics
Retraction

Introduction

RIICS has a social commitment to the scientific community of the Health Sciences, therefore it will ensure that the publication processes are transparent and rigorous, the intellectual property rights are followed according to the law and it will encourage its authors to follow good practices in research, avoid misrepresenting the results of their research and violate copyright in order to protect the reputation of the journal and not to compromise the trust of the journal and its scientific community. For this purpose, RIICS follows the guidelines of the Council of Scientific Editors (CSE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), to the declarations on the scientific integrity of Singapore and Montreal, to the ethical principles of Hong Kong, to the scientific, technical, and administrative standards for health research in Colombia, to the Universal Declaration on bioethics and human rights of UNESCO, to the Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Research Involving Human Subjects, to the International Association of Veterinary Publishers guidelines on animal ethics and welfare. The above guidelines should be taken as a guide for the responsible production of research and not as a regulation. Therefore, investigators and sponsors must adhere to the official policies of the appropriate national agencies and organizations. RIICS requires that manuscripts and authors comply with the principles and responsibilities of the integrity of scientific research and publication and avoid any violation of ethics. Some concepts that authors and the Editorial must take into account in the publishing process are the following:

 

Research integrity

Behavior that is expressed correctly in the practice of science and in which honesty, transparency, justice, and responsibility stand out. Research integrity presupposes respect for ethical and legal principles in the preparation, conduct, and publication of research. RIICS adheres to the Singapore Declaration on Scientific Integrity and encourages authors and sponsors to follow its principles and responsibilities (see here).

 

Fraud and violation of ethics

In research and the scientific publication, fraud and violation of ethics are understood as the materialization of bad behavior that affects people, communities and institutions, and that goes against truth and righteousness. Below, we present some of these bad behaviors, in a very concrete way and through vignettes, identified in funders, authors, evaluators, and editors.

 

Fraud and violation of ethics in funders

An institution or person that finances research falls into bad behavior that violates ethics when:

  1. 1. Alters, eliminates or omits research results.
  2. 2. It exerts pressure so that other people who were not part of the investigative exercise are included as authors.
  3. 3. Hide study data.
  4. 4. Prevents authors from accessing data.
  5. 5. Intentionally delays or delays publication of results.
  6. 6. You do not disclose or declare your participation in the studies.

 

Fraud and violation of ethics in authors

Below are some behaviors that violate ethics in research and scientific publication:

  1. 1. Data fabrication. Invent or use fictitious data in research and publication, presenting them as direct and typical results of the investigative exercise.
  2. 2. Falsification. Handling of materials, technical equipment or processes; change or omission of data or results of an investigation to force the verification of the hypotheses or adjust them to the objectives of the study.
  3. 3. Plagiarism. Take as your own: texts, sections, ideas, methods, or any information (tables, figures, maps, etc.), as well as published procedures or techniques, without giving credit to the original author.
  4. 4. Self-plagiarism. Passing off as original, new or unpublished material published by the same author without giving the respective credit: self-citation.
  5. 5. Inappropriate authorship. Include natural or legal persons as authors without having participated in the research or editing.
  6. 6. Repeated publication. Three cases are identified: 1) Duplicate publication: partial or total publication of an article by the same author that had already been published in another publisher. 2) Fragmented publication: dividing a study into several parts in order to increase the number of articles to be published independently. 3) Inflated publication: add part of the results to a new article without giving the credits.
  7. 7. Premature publication. Disseminate the results of the research in advance without doing the checks or clinical trials.
  8. 8. Bias. Do not take into account studies that contradict the results of the research.
  9. 9. Exclude authors who actively participated in the research or editing of the article.
  10. 10. Affiliate institutions in the article when they did not have any participation or financed the research.
  11. 11. Violate the confidentiality or publish personal data of the participants without their consent.
  12. 12. Submit an article for publication without the consent of the authors.
  13. 13. Submit the article to more than one journal or publisher simultaneously.
  14. 14. Include bibliographic references in the article without having been cited for the purpose of adding indicators for authors, journals or institutions.
  15. 15. Citing a bibliography that is not directly related to the research.
  16. 16. Abusing self-citations in order to increase the h-index or impact factor of the researcher.
  17. 17. Omit information or hide important data from the investigation.
  18. 18. Endanger or harm research participants.
  19. 19. Failure to provide study data to the editor or peer reviewers to validate the results.
  20. 20. Do not declare conflicts of interest.

 

Fraud and violation of ethics in peer reviewers

A peer reviewer violates ethics when:

  1. 1. Plagiarises information from articles you review.
  2. 2. You agree to review an article when there is a conflict of interest.
  3. 3. Violates confidentiality and anonymity in the review process.
  4. 4. Intentionally delay review processes in order to seek personal or third-party benefit.

 

Fraud and violation of ethics in editors

An editor misbehaves in publishing when:

  1. 1. There is a bias in the selection of the articles: due to the profile of the authors, the research groups or the institutions, etc.
  2. 2. Does not submit articles to peer review.
  3. 3. Presents conflicts of interest in the publication of the articles.
  4. 4. Generates pressure for authors to cite the journal itself or other journals in order to increase the impact factor.
  5. 5. He publishes articles of his authorship in the journal without having an editor to accompany the process.
  6. 6. Violates confidentiality, that is, discloses the article to other researchers or reveals the identities of the authors or peers in the review process.
  7. 7. Intentionally delaying the publication of an article.

 

Authorship

RIICS adopts the four criteria for authorship recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

1. Making a substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and

2. Writing the article or making a critical review of important intellectual content; and

3. Providing a final approval of the version to be published; and

4. Agreeing to be responsible for all aspects of the work to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or completeness of any part of the work are properly researched and resolved.

Individuals misstate the truth about authorship when they include names of those who had little or no involvement in the research and leave out people who actively participated on it. It is the authors' responsibility to acknowledge the contribution of all the participants.

 

Author contributions

RIICS adopted the CRediT taxonomy to describe each author's individual contributions to the work. The correspondence author is responsible for providing contributions from all authors. The editorial team expects that all authors have reviewed, discussed, and accepted their individual contributions. Contributions will be published with the final article and must accurately reflect contributions to the work.

Author contributions (CRediT)
1 Conceptualization Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.
2 Data curation Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use.
3 Formal Analysis Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyse or synthesize study data.
4 Funding acquisition Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.
5 Investigation Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.
6 Methodology Development or design of methodology; creation of models.
7 Project administration Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.
8 Resources Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.
9 Software Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.
10 Supervision Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.
11 Validation Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.
12 Visualization Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.
13 Writing – original draft Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).
14 Writing – review and editing Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.

 

 

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest is considered when the author has personal, academic or financial relationships that may bias or affect his or her actions in the research and publication. All authors must inform the Editor if they have any conflict of interest in relation to the manuscript submitted by them to RIICS.

 

Authors' Rights

Authors are entitled to respectful and attentive treatment in the Editorial process, the evaluations of their articles are fair, impartial (for this purpose RIICS will proceed with double-blind evaluation) and they are carried out in a reasonable time. Confidentiality and permissions to proceed with the publication must be maintained. All changes requested by the committee, the peers and the Editor must be explicit and clearly justified.

 

Consent in research

When the experiments have been carried out with animals and humans, they must have the approval of a bioethics committee (approval act); in the case of experiments with humans, they must have made use of the informed consent. In both cases, it must be indicated in the article, in the materials and methods section, that the research was approved by a bioethics committee and, as applicable, that the informed consent was used. This section must also mention the process used with the experimental subjects and the controls carried out.

The author is responsible for following the protocols established by their respective health centers for access to medical record data. The author is required to ensure that all patients have fully informed of their role in the study and to be sure they have signed the informed consent form. 

When submitting the article, the author must attach the approved act of the Bioethics Committee. If there is any doubt or suspicion by the Editor about the ethical conduct of the research, the informed consent applied in the study can be requested from the author.

 

Consent to Publishing

For reporting of all cases, a sample of cases and photographs of individuals, the authors must submit to the Editor copies of the consents to proceed with the publishing process.

The author is responsible for assuring patients the right to privacy, protecting their identity both in the written document and in the published pictures. Names, initials or medical record numbers (or any other data of relevance to the research that can be used to identify the patient) cannot be used in the text, or in photographs, unless the information is essential for the objectives of the research. If this is the case, it must be included in the article that the patient, guardian or relative has signed the consent form authorizing its publication. The authors are responsible for obtaining the informed consent authorizing publication, reproduction, and presentation in print or free access on the Internet.

 

Obtaining permissions

The authors are responsible for obtaining permissions for the total or partial reproduction of material used in the article (text, tables or figures) that is not in the public domain or licensed for use. Under any circumstances, the authors should not proceed with submissions to RIICS that contain material from other institutions without first obtaining permissions.

 

Final approval of the article

The main author is responsible for informing the Editor about the approval of the article for publishing. Before doing it, a review must be done by all the authors to approve the final version of the article.

 

Responsibilities in research and publication

There are various natural or legal persons involved in the research and publication process, and all of them share responsibilities. Some responsibilities of sponsoring institutions, authors, editors, and peer reviewers are described below.

 

Sponsoring Institutions

An institution promotes, manages, and finances research, therefore, it is responsible for generating ethical policies for the development of research; socializing the policy with researchers, and promoting healthy behaviors in accordance with the norm; ensuring that researchers: do not commit fraud (fabricate, falsify or omit research data), including the institutions that supported the research in the manuscripts and give credit to the sources consulted; be clear about authorship and ensure that they are not altered in the process; address any complaint against the investigation or publication, ensuring the protection of complainants and defendants, and fair and objective procedures for conflict resolution.

 

Authors

It is the responsibility of the authors to know and apply the ethical policies for the development of the research; formulate pertinent and relevant research projects, with robust, replicable and current methods, and analyzes consistent with the scope of the study; submit research projects and informed consents to ethics committees for their approval; socialize the informed consents with the research participants and obtain their signatures as a sign of acceptance; guarantee the anonymity of the participants and comply with the legal and ethical aspects for the collection, storage, confidentiality and use of data, especially personal data; have the consent of the participants when the publication of some personal data is necessary (eg photographs); not harm or put research participants at risk; give credits to material cited directly or indirectly; obtain permissions for the reproduction of published material that is not in the public domain or that does not have a license for use; ensure confidentiality and protection of intellectual property rights; declare that the manuscript is unpublished, that is, that it has not been published by any means (printed or digital), that it is not available on the internet (repository, database, web page, blog, etc.), that it is not was simultaneously submitted to another journal or is not being considered for publication by another publisher; declare that the authors of the manuscript are the corresponding ones and that they all accept: the sending of the manuscript to RIICS in its current version, the policies of the journal, the order of appearance in the article, and the contributions according to the CRediT taxonomy ; include in the articles the institutions that supported the research (institutional affiliations); declare conflict of interest; provide the editor with the necessary information to ensure a transparent editorial process; inform the institutional manager if you suspect any behavior that violates the ethics of research or publication.

 

Editor

Among the responsibilities of the editor are the following: generate, promote and guide the journal's ethical policy, and ensure its compliance by authors, peer reviewers and the editorial team; have a cordial, respectful and fair treatment with the authors, peer reviewers and the editorial team without any favoring or discrimination; check that all articles submitted to the journal comply with the submission policies; ensure the scientific quality of the articles through an evaluation by qualified peers under the double-blind modality; make objective and impartial decisions about the publication of articles based on the concept of peer reviewers and the editorial committee; ensure compliance with the criteria of authorship, order of appearance of the authors, their contributions in research and editing, and confirm that all accept the RIICS policies and declare their conflicts of interest; encourage researchers and authors to adopt the highest quality standards in research and publication; attend to complaints of possible cases that violate ethics in research or publication and manage them following the COPE guidelines and the guidelines of the relevant institutional bodies, protecting complainants and defendants and the integrity of the works through corrections or retractions when so is deemed necessary.

 

Peer reviewers

Among the responsibilities of the peer reviewers are the following: to keep confidential the material that is sent to them and the evaluation concept that they subsequently issue: this information may not be shared or used outside the process; preserve confidentiality and anonymity; declare if they have conflicts of interest that impede the objectivity and impartiality of the evaluation; reject the invitation to evaluate if the topic of the article does not fit your academic profile or thematic specialty; objectively review the quality of the article; be clear, technical and argue your feedback: RIICS and the authors welcome any comments that help improve the manuscript; be objective and neutral with criticism, justify statements and be constructive with comments, thus respecting the research and the authors: RIICS asks its peers to avoid disrespectful, personal and unnecessary comments; refrain from making demands on the authors that exceed the limits and objectives of the research carried out; inform the editor if they find coincidences between the article they are reviewing and any work previously published or in the process of review; check if there is plagiarism or self-plagiarism in the work; inform the editor if there are reasonable suspicions or doubts regarding the veracity, manipulation of the data or bias in the investigation; review the sources of information consulted in the article and suggest adjustments if necessary; deliver the requested evaluations on time, or communicate in advance with the editor in case of anticipating delays.

 

Procedures against the violation of ethics

Misbehavior that affects research or publication ethics can be identified by editors, the editorial or scientific committee, peer reviewers, the audience, or others who come into contact with or serve the journal. The editor will be in charge of receiving and managing all the cases, applying the appropriate protocols for each of them, and thus safeguarding the scientific integrity of the publication.

When the editor receives or identifies a bad practice that violates the ethics of research or publication, he must rely on his editorial board and follow the guidelines of COPE: preserve and protect the complete and accurate records of the case, maintain confidentiality and a position neutral that fits the facts, refrain from making accusations (not appropriate), allow the accused to respond to the complaint, inform the authors, funders, editors and other people involved, and delegate the investigations to the corresponding institutions (ethics committee, intellectual property committee, legal advice, or institution responsible for the investigation).

In all cases, the editor must follow the guidelines recommended by COPE and receive advice from the relevant institutional bodies. There will be cases that are identified before or after publication and some will be more serious than others. If the complaint or identification of a lack of ethics is prior to publication, but it is not serious and the authors present their excuses, justifications, and corrections, the editor with prior advice from the corresponding institutional bodies, editorial board and activation of protocols of the COPE will inform the authors of the decision; if the fault is serious, the editor will reject the article and notify all those involved in the process of the decision. If the reporting or identification of ethical misconduct is post-publication, but the misconduct is not serious or the errors in the article are minor, an errata will be published in the next issue of RIICS; If the fault is serious, the article will be retracted and all those involved will be notified of the provisions made by the journal, after consulting the relevant bodies and activating the COPE guidelines.

 

Retraction

It is the statement that a published article has violated good ethical practices in research, writing or publication. When an article is retracted, the word RETRACTADO (RETRACTED) is superimposed on all its pages as a warning to all the people who could have used it or who can consult it; in no case is the article withdrawn or removed from the journal. For RIICS, a correction or retraction is the action that tries to safeguard the integrity of the publication and should not be understood as a punitive action against the authors, or take such action as an act to sanction the authors. It will be the function of the institutions to which the authors belong to investigate the potential breaches of ethics that have been committed and take action in accordance with their regulations or policies.