Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Guidelines
Ethical standards for publication exist to make certain high-quality scientific publications, public trust in scientific findings and that people receive credit for their work and thoughts.
Medical Microbiology Reports is following International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Code of Conduct and best practice guidelines for the journal editors on publication ethics.
All manuscripts are subject to peer review and are expected to meet standards of academic excellence. If accepted through the editor, submissions will be considered by peer reviewers, whose identities will remain anonymous to the authors.
Our research integrity team will occasionally seek advice outside standard peer review, for example, on submissions with serious ethical, security, biosecurity, or societal implications. We may consult experts and the academic editor before deciding on appropriate actions, including but not limited to recruiting reviewers with specific expertise, assessment by additional editors, and declining to further consider a submission.
Authors need to no longer use the words, figures, or ideas of others without attribution. All sources must be cited at the point they are used, and reuse of wording should be restrained and be attributed or quoted in the text.
Manuscripts which can be observed to be plagiarized from a manuscript by other authors, whether published or unpublished, will be rejected and the authors may additionally incur sanctions. Any published articles can also need to be corrected or retracted.
Duplicate submission and redundant publication
Medical Microbiology Reports considers only original content, i.e. articles that have not been previously published, including in a language other than English. Articles based on content previously made public only on a preprint server, institutional repository, or in a thesis will be considered.
Manuscripts submitted to this journal must not be submitted elsewhere while under consideration and must be withdrawn before being submitted elsewhere. Authors whose articles are found to have been simultaneously submitted elsewhere may incur sanctions.
If authors have used their own previously published work, or work that is currently under review, as the basis for a submitted manuscript, they must cite the previous articles and indicate how their submitted manuscript differs from their previous work. Reuse of the author’s own words outside the methods should be attributed or quoted in the text. Reuse of the author’s own figures or substantial amounts of wording may require permission from the copyright holder and the authors are responsible for obtaining this.
Medical Microbiology Reports will consider extended versions of articles published at conferences provided this is declared in the cover letter, the previous version is clearly cited and discussed, there is significant new content, and any necessary permission are obtained.
Redundant publication, the inappropriate division of study outcomes into more than one article, may result in rejection or a request to merge submitted manuscripts, and the correction of published articles. Duplicate publication of the same, or a very similar, article may result in the retraction of the later article and the authors may incur sanctions.
Authors whose submitted manuscripts are found to include citations whose primary purpose is to increase the number of citations to a given author’s work, or to articles published in a particular journal, may incur sanctions.
Editors and reviewers must not ask authors to include references merely to increase citations to their own or an associate’s work to the journal or to another journal they are associated with.
Fabrication and falsification
The authors of submitted manuscripts or published articles that are found to have fabricated or falsified the results, including the manipulation of images, may incur sanctions, and published articles may be retracted.
Authorship and acknowledgements
All listed authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to the research in the manuscript, approved its claims, and agreed to be an author. It is important to list everyone who made a significant scientific contribution. Submitting authors must provide an ORCID and we encourage all authors to provide one. Changes in authorship must be declared to this journal and agreed to by all authors. An author may change their name on a published article (see below).
Anyone who contributed to the research or manuscript preparation, but is not an author, should be acknowledged with their permission.
Submissions by anyone other than one of the authors will not be considered.
Conflicts of interest
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
Editor will take reviewer misconduct seriously and pursue any allegation of breach of confidentiality, non-declaration of conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), inappropriate use of confidential material, or delay of peer review for competitive advantage. Allegations of serious reviewer misconduct, such as plagiarism, will be taken to the institutional level.
Authors must declare all potential interests in a ‘Conflicts of interest’ section, which should explain why the interest may be a conflict. If there are none, the authors should state “The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.” Submitting authors are responsible for co-authors declaring their interests.
Authors must declare current or recent funding (including article processing charges) and other payments, goods or services that might influence the work. All funding, whether a conflict or not, must be declared in the ‘Funding Statement’.
Declared conflicts of interest will be considered by the editor and reviewers and included in the published article.
Author(s) should state that the study they are submitting was approved by the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board. If human participants were involved, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each. If experimental animals were used, the materials and methods (experimental procedures) section must clearly indicate that appropriate measures were taken to minimize pain or discomfort, and details of animal care should be provided.
Editors and Reviewers
Editors and reviewers should decline to be involved with a submission when they
- Have a recent publication or current submission with any author
- Share or recently shared an affiliation with any author
- Collaborate or recently collaborated with any author
- Have a close personal connection to any author
- Have a financial interest in the subject of the work
- Feel unable to be objective
Reviewers must declare any remaining interests in the ‘Confidential’ section of the review form, which will be considered by the editor.
Editors and reviewers must declare if they have previously discussed the manuscript with the authors.
Corrections and retractions
When errors are identified in published articles, the publisher will consider what action is required and may consult the editors and the author’s institution(s).
Errors by the authors may be corrected by a corrigendum and errors by the publisher by an erratum.
Retracted papers will be retained online, and they will be prominently marked as a retraction in all online versions, including the PDF, for the benefit of future readers.
All authors will be asked to agree to the content of the notice.
An author name change after publication will be made to the article and any citing articles published by journal without requiring documentation, a corrigendum notice, or informing any other authors, following a request to the journal.