RESEARCH ETHICS AND POLICIES
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
All potential conflicts of interest that could have a direct or indirect influence on the work must be disclosed by the authors. Even if an author does not have a conflict, disclosing affiliations and interests allows for a more comprehensive and open approach, which leads to a more accurate and objective evaluation of the work. Conflicts of interest, whether genuine or imagined, are a perspective to which the readers are entitled.
The publication of a conflict statement in the article itself, as well as the submission of the conflict disclosure form, is required for all types of papers. It is not necessarily the case that a monetary relationship with examination support or funding for counseling work is inappropriate.
The following are some examples of potential conflicts of interest that are directly or indirectly related to the research:
Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Type of support / grant number
- Name of institution
- Funds received by the author
- Fund received by the institution
- Travel allowances for the research
- Funds received for article preparation and reviewing
- Funds for conducting review activities
- Support provided for article writing assistance, for drugs, equipment, etc.
- Editorial board member
- Advisor or expert opinion
- Paid lectures
- Expert advice for scientific and technical issues
- Pending fund or grant
In addition, interests other than monetary and any funding (non-financial interests) should be declared if they are relevant to readers. Personal relationships or conflicting interests directly or indirectly related to research, as well as professional interests or personal opinions that may impact your research, are examples of these.
Intellectual property, in basic terms, refers to any intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights, etc. Similarly, this section seeks to know about copyright and patent (licensed patent, pending or issued) and any payment received for intellectual property such as,
- Licensed Patent
- Issued Patent
- Pending Patent
- Funds received for article preparation and reviewing
All conflict of interest disclosure forms are collected by the corresponding author. It is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors in author collaborations when legal agreements for representation allow it. The templates of the form can be found here.
Before the reference list, the corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the article that reflects what is reported in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form (s).
Any research assistants or other individuals who assisted with the research but are not listed as authors, such as those who carried out the literature review, produced, computerized, and analyzed the data, or helped with the language, writing, or proofreading of the article, or offered any comments or suggestions, should be acknowledged. Briefly, everyone who has contributed significantly to the improvement of the paper should be acknowledged. It is recommended to mention the "Declared None" if there is no acknowledgement for the study.
Guest or honorary authorship based solely on position (e.g. research supervisor, departmental head) is discouraged
The specific requirements for authorship have been defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( www.icmje.org). Examples of authors' contributions are: 'designed research/study', 'performed research/study', 'contributed important reagents', 'collected data', 'analyzed data', 'wrote paper' etc. This information must be included in the submitted manuscript as a separate paragraph under the heading ‘Authors' Contirbution’. The corresponding author is responsible for obtaining permission from all co-authors for the submission of any version of the manuscript and for any changes in the authorship.
HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS:
Research Involving Humans
All clinical investigations should be conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki principles. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee are required.
Compliance with the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/protection-of-research-participants.html) is recommended, in accordance with the patient’s consent for research or participation in a study as per the applicable laws and regulations regarding the privacy and/or security of personal information, including, but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") and other U.S. federal and state laws relating to confidentiality and security of personally distinguishable evidence, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 and member state implementing legislation, Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, India's Information Technology Act and related Privacy Rules, (together "Data Protection and Privacy Laws").
It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that:
- Patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers are not mentioned anywhere in the manuscript (including figures).
- Authors are responsible for obtaining the patient consent-to-disclose forms for all recognizable patients in photographs, videos, or other information that may be published in the Journal, in derivative works, or on the journal’s website and for providing the manuscript to the recognizable patient for review before submission.
- The consent-to-disclose form should indicate specific use (publication in the medical literature in print and online, with the understanding that patients and the public will have access) of the patient's information and any images in figures or videos, and must contain the patient's signature or that of a legal guardian along with a statement that the patient or legal guardian has been offered the opportunity to review the identifying materials and the accompanying manuscript.
- If the manuscript has an individuals’ data, such as personal details, audio-video material, etc., consent should be obtained from that individual. In case of children, consent should be obtained from the parent or the legal guardian.
- A specific declaration of such approval and consent-to-disclose form must be made in the copyright letter and in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the article especially in the case of human studies where inclusion of a statement regarding obtaining the written informed consent from each subject or subject's guardian is a must. The original should be retained by the guarantor or the corresponding author. Editors may request to provide the original forms by fax or email.
- All such case reports require by a proper consent being obtained prior to publishing. Please refer COPE guidelines available at https://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines/journals%E2%80%99-best-practices-ensuring-consent-publishing-medical-case-reports
Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.
Anonymous images, that do not identify the individual directly or indirectly, such as through any identifying marks or text, do not require formal consent, for example, X-rays, ultrasound images, pathology slides or laparoscopic images.
In case consent is not obtained, concealing the identity through eye bars or blurring the face would not be acceptable.
Research Involving Animals:
For research involving animals, the authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the standards set forth in the eighth edition of “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” ( https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals_prepub.pdf . published by the National Academy of Sciences, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.).
Research work on animals should be carried out in accordance with the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines. For In Vivo Experiments, please visit https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines.
Authors should clearly state the name of the approval committee, highlighting that legal and ethical approvals were obtained prior to initiation of the research work carried out on animals, and that the experiments were performed in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations stated below.
- US authors should cite compliance with the US National Research Council's " Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
- The US Public Health Service's " Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" and " Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
- UK authors should conform to UK legislation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations (SI 2012/3039).
- European authors outside the UK should conform to Directive 2010/63/EU.
- Research in animals must adhere to ethical guidelines of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
- The manuscript must clearly include a declaration of compliance with relevant guidelines (e.g. the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or relevant permissions or licences obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Research Involving Plants
All experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), should comply with international guidelines. The manuscript should include a declaration of compliance of field studies with relevant guidelines and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Any unusual risks associated with the use of any chemicals, procedures, or equipment used in the work must be explicitly stated by the author in the manuscript, preferably in both the materials and methods section and the declaration section. For more information, visit The World Medical Association (https://www.wma.net/what-we-do/public-health/chemicals)
SEX AND GENDER EQUITY IN RESEARCH (SAGER) GUIDELINES
We strive to promote gender and sex equity in research and adhere to the guidelines of Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) to ensure inclusivity and rigor of the work. All authors submitting research papers are required to follow the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines. These guidelines are intended to encourage the inclusion of sex and gender considerations in research in order to improve the rigor and relevance of our publications.
The SAGER guidelines for reporting sex and gender information in methodology or study design, data analysis, results, and interpretation of findings are strongly encouraged. Authors of review articles are advised to address the methods used for selecting, locating, extracting, and synthesizing data; systematic reviews are required to do so.
RESEARCH CONDUCTED IN SPECIAL OR CRITICAL SITUATIONS
Bentham Science expects all contributors to respect values of justice, benevolence, and autonomy when conducting research. We understand that certain situations such as medical emergencies or humanitarian crises may differ from non-emergency scenarios. Bentham Science recommends that research efforts should not hurt human subjects/respondents or the researchers, and should be conducted with sufficient scientific rigor as permissible in these situations, respectively. Care should be taken to address potential problems faced by persons who may be victims of disasters or involved in a medical emergency. These are vulnerable individuals and their privacy and dignity should be respected. Researchers should make note of this in their research and identify potential issues in their work that may arise because of such situations. Research directed in emergency circumstances should be to the greatest advantage of survivors involved in the research and with the goal of minimizing any future casualties. For guidance, the essential requirements of research in emergency situation are the preservation of human life, wellbeing and security, along with the rights to protection, privacy and confidentiality of subjects.
Unethical behavior and misconduct may be pointed out by anyone to the Editor and Publisher with sufficient evidences. The Editor, in consultation with the Publisher, will initiate investigation against this Unethical misconduct, complete the procedure till an unbiased decision is reached, and maintain confidentiality throughout the process of the investigation. The Author should be given the opportunity to reply to all minor or major accusations.
In case of serious breaches, the employer may be informed where appropriate, by the Editor/Publisher, after reviewing all available information and evidences or after seeking help from experts in that field.
- Author(s) and Reviewers must be informed in case of misinterpretation or mishandling of International Acceptable Standards.
- A strict notice should be sent to the author and reviewer to avoid future unethical misconduct.
- An Editorial on the reported misconduct should be published or official notice of unethical behavior should be posted on the website.
- Official letter about this misconduct should be issued to the Head of Departments, Funding Agencies of the accused author and the reviewer, as well as Abstracting & Indexing Agencies.
- Where required, retraction and withdrawal of publication may be undertaken from the Publisher’s journal in discussion with the Head of the Department of the author or reviewer, and other higher authorities should be informed.
- The Publisher may impose restrictions for some period on future publications from the accused author in the journals.
Consent for Publication:
If the manuscript has an individuals’ data, such as personal detail, audio-video material etc., consent should be obtained from that individual. In case of children, consent should be obtained from the parent or the legal guardian.
A specific declaration of such approval and consent-to-disclose form must be made in the copyright letter and in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the article especially in the case of human studies where inclusion of a statement regarding obtaining the written informed consent from each subject or subject's guardian is a must. The original should be retained by the guarantor or corresponding author. Editors may request to provide the original forms by fax or email.