Ethical standards

I. Ethical policy: publishing

EDP Sciences is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). IJSMDO, as an EDP Sciences journal, follows COPE’s Code of Conduct and aims to adhere to its Best Practice Guidelines.

We make sure that Authors, Editors, and Reviewers are informed on the best practice in publication ethics. They are expected to and comply with the following practice.

IJSMDO also adheres to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing as defined by COPE, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). In response, several journal policies are in place and described below.

1. Journal policy on authorship and contributorship

1.1 Authorship

IJSMDO authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

    Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content ; AND Final approval of the version to be published; AND 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.
Therefore everyone listed as an author should meet our criteria for authorship. Everyone who meets our criteria for authorship must be listed as an author. However, where authors deliberately don’t comply this is considered to be a form of misconduct.

Of particular concern are:

  • Ghost authorship’ – where an author(s) has substantially contributed to the work but has not been given credit. This also impacts transparency as any competing interests pertaining to a ‘ghost author’ will not be declared.
  • Gift authorship’– where a listed author(s) has not contributed substantially, or at all to the published work.
  • Authorship for sale’– where authors have ‘sold’ an author spot on a paper, or where a researcher has ‘bought’ an authorship spot on a paper.
Concerning the Group Authorship, the ICMJE recommends the following guidelines:

When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.

When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation in the manuscript title page and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments.

We would like to draw the attention of new researchers to this COPE document that may prove useful in case of conflicts around authorship.

1.2 Contributorship

Those contributors who do not meet all of the 4 authorship criteria shall simply be acknowledged.

1.3 Corresponding author

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors are aware of and approve the submission of a manuscript to IJSMDO, as well as the established peer review procedures and the costs involved with publication of an article in the journal.

We encourage readers to discuss the scientific contents of IJSMDO articles directly with corresponding authors, by emailing the corresponding author.

1.4 Changes in authorship

Authors are expected to carefully consider authorship before manuscript submission. For changes in Authorship before publication including any addition, removal, or rearrangement of author names will require: explaining the reason of the change, receive the approval of all authors including any to be added or removed (the authorship change form that includes the signed agreements of all authors, and provides a reason for the change must be provided). Any changes to authorship requested after the manuscript has already been published, requests for a change in authorship will be evaluated and require the publication of a Correction. For more information please consult the COPE guidelines:

2. Research Integrity: reuse of previous work

2.1 Conditions for submission of an article - plagiarism/self-plagiarism, manipulation of the publication process, data fabrication and image manipulation

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For ethics in publishing consult COPE

Authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at:

Systematic manipulation of the publication process is defined by COPE as an individual or group of individuals using dishonest or fraudulent practices to

  • prevent independent assessment or inappropriately influence peer review outcomes,
  • sell or misrepresent authorship, and/or
  • publish fabricated or plagiarized research.
IJSMDO will reject or retract articles suspected of any manipulation of the publication process, and may inform the relevant institution(s) (e.g. an author’s or reviewer’s employer) of our concerns.

IJSMDO does not accept plagiarism in submissions. Plagiarized content will not be considered for publication. If plagiarism is identified, we will follow COPE guidelines.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Directly copying text from other sources without attribution,
  • Copying ideas, images, or data from other sources without attribution,
  • Reusing text from your own previous publications (self-plagiarism) without attribution or agreement of the editor (see the COPE guidelines on text recycling and the text recycling guidance released by the Text Recycling Research Project),
  • Using an idea from another source with slightly modified language without attribution.

IJSMDO uses Crossref Similarity Check to screen submitted content for originality. This tool allows the Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors to quickly identify even partial use of already published content, which cannot be re-published in this journal.

If plagiarism is detected during the peer-review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we may retract the paper. We also could inform authors' institutions about plagiarism.

We expect that editors and reviewers will be vigilant in their evaluation of IJSMDO submissions and will notify the journal about any plagiarism identified.

In case of doubt, and in order to avoid any forms of plagiarism or text recycling, authors are invited to visit relevant webpages of universities across the world dealing with this topic, as well as the websites of their own institutions if relevant.

Here are a few examples of useful pages:

Duplicate (or redundant) publications occur when more than one paper present the same intellectual material (e.g. assumptions, data, discussion, conclusion…) without full cross reference. While it is possible to republish a paper in another language, full and prominent disclosure of the paper’s original source at the time of submission should always be provided. Please note that it is possible to publish an article whose abstract has been previously published during the proceedings of a meeting as long as full disclosure of the situation (reference) is made at the time of submission. More information on the topic of redundant publications can be found here in COPE’s Guidelines on good publication practice.

2.2 Conferences, proceedings

Manuscripts based on conference papers could be allowed but must be expanded upon if they are to be considered as original work. Authors are required to add a substantial amount of original content in the form of new raw material (experiments, data) or new treatment of old data sets which lead to original discussion and/or conclusions, providing value that significantly exceeds the original conference version. In IJSMDO, at least 30% of the content must be original. Authors submitting such work are required to:

  • seek permission for reuse of the published conference paper if the author does not hold the copyright (proof of permission should be provided with the manuscript upon submission);
  • cite the paper published/presented in the conference.

2.3 Preprints

Authors publishing in IJSMDO may share their Author’s Original Manuscript (AOM) before submission the journal, on repositories or to a non-commercial preprint server (such as arXiv, PeerJ Preprints, HAL, and others), provided that the server imposes no restrictions upon the author's full copyright and re-use rights.

Citation of the original source in repositories or preprint servers must be included within the manuscript on submission or during the review process.

If the article is published, authors are then strongly encouraged to link from the preprint server to the IJSMDO publication to enable readers to find, access, and cite the final peer-reviewed version. Please note that IJSMDO will not consider for publication content that has been previously published, or is already under review, within a scientific journal or book.

3. Citation policies

Authors of research articles should cite relevant, timely, and verified literature (peer-reviewed, where appropriate) to support any claims made in the article.

Authors of non-research articles (e.g. a Review or Mini-review) you should ensure the references they cite are relevant and provide a fair and balanced overview of the current state of research or scholarly work on the topic. References should not be unfairly biased towards a particular research group, organization or journal.

Authors must avoid excessive and inappropriate self-citation or prearrangements among author groups to inappropriately cite each other’s work, as this can be considered a form of misconduct called citation manipulation. For more details please read the COPE guidance on citation manipulation.

Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.

4. Territorial descriptions, maps, and affiliations

EDP Sciences remains neutral with regards to published territorial descriptions, maps, and author affiliations. All territorial claims are solely those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organisations, the publisher, the editors, or reviewers.

5. Peer review process

The Peer Review Process is a widely established validation method used in academia whereby a work is critically assessed by expert referees demonstrating both the right level of knowledge in the field of the work, while being fully independent from it. IJSMDO follows the “single-blind” Peer Review Process where referees know the identity of the authors, but the authors do not know who the reviewers are.

All IJSMDO submissions undergo a fair, independent, objective and constructive Peer Review Process: only scientifically sound articles, deemed of high enough interest and originality, will receive favorable reports from our reviewers, hence be accepted for publication.

The Editor-in-Chief, whose subject expertise is closest to the field of the submitted article, chooses the Associate Editor, who will handle the submission, starting by dispatching it to two independent reviewers. The reviewers are informed of the necessity to keep the manuscript confidential before acceptance and publication. The reviewers should have no conflict of interest (please see §5 below) or they will be withdrawn from the process. The reviewers are asked to point out relevant published work, which is not yet cited.

Based on the referees’ recommendation, the Associate Editor will make a first decision for publication, (either acceptance, rejection or revision). Should a revised version of the article be submitted by the author, this will return to the Associate Editor, who may choose at that point to send the revised version back to the original reviewers for another round of review, or make a decision for publication on the work.

6. Complaints and appeals

IJSMDO authors have the right to appeal against a rejection decision made on their manuscript. In order for their formal appeal to be considered, authors should submit a solid, scientific rebuttal, or new facts/data in response to the comments made by the reviewers. All relevant information regarding the article (incl. the exchanges of correspondences, reports and names of the reviewers/editors, who have taken part in the peer review process) will be provided to a member of the Editorial Board, who may seek, if appropriate, the opinion of an additional independent expert. As with the rest of the peer review process, the confidentiality of an appeal consideration will be kept at all times. Until a final decision is made towards their appeal, authors will not be allowed to submit their manuscript to another journal for fear of breaching the ethical rule of duplicate publication to several journals.

Please note that IJSMDO will not consider appeals:

  • That do not comply with the content requirement described above,
  • Which contain offensive language,
  • Which simply consist in an author’s rant against the reviewers,
  • Which are submitted to the journal after 3 months following rejection decision.

7. Data sharing and reproducibility

IJSMDO follows EDP Sciences Data sharing and Citation Policy.

Providing that it is legal and ethical for authors to do so, the EDP Sciences Policy is to encourage authors to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) principles. Findable means that metadata and data alike should be easy to find for both humans and computers; then the users should know how the (meta)data can be accessed, which might be through a specified protocol; in order to meet the interoperable requirement it should be possible to use and combine the data with other datasets in a format that is sufficiently widely distributed; the ultimate goal of the FAIR initiative being that of making data re-usable, users should know what is their provenance and under which conditions the data can be reused.

A relevant statement may be inserted by authors in their article to state if their manuscript has associated data and where the data has been deposited.

Research data submitted to IJSMDO should not be fabricated or manipulated in any way so as to artificially increase the impact of the work presented. Research data should be clearly and accurately described in order to make them reproducible. Authors are encouraged to follow specific-field reporting guidelines (e.g. ARRIVE, CHEERS, CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, etc…).

8. Conflict of interests, competing

IJSMDO fully adheres to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All authors, editors and reviewers must declare any potential conflict of interests (or competing interests) that may interfere with the publication of an article – spanning from its preparation and interpretation, to its evaluation.

Authors should disclose all activities (financial, non-financial, legal, commercial,…), academic commitments (political, religious,…), beliefs, and relationships (professional or otherwise) that might bias or be seen as affecting the work they have submitted for publication.

Likewise, reviewers should inform the journal if they have a particular activity, or relationship with the authors or the study itself, which may prevent them to evaluate in full integrity the work they have been sent for peer review. In such cases, they will be removed from the reviewing process so as to allow the journal to appoint alternative, impartial reviewers.

Editors-in-Chief and members of the Editorial Board are expected to declare any conflict of interests (or competing interests), which may alter their ability to fairly and objectively handle -or directly review- an article for IJSMDO, in which case they will be recused from the editorial decision on the submitted article. If they submit some work to the journal, the same requirement for transparency in disclosing their activities and relationships as these expected from all other IJSMDO authors will apply.

IJSMDO will follow the following COPE’s guidelines if a reviewer suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript and if a reviewer suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article.

9. Ethical oversight

All laws and regulations should be strictly followed. Authors are requested to indicate ethical declarations issued by their institution and concerning their research.

Reviewers should not breach the confidentiality of the peer review process and not disclose any information or results/data from the article they are evaluating for the journal to a third party or use it to their own advantage.

10. Intellectual property

All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, are described in the journal’s website.

Information regarding the costs associated with publishing in the journal are available in our Author’s information and more specifically within the EDP Sciences “APCs price list”.

Authors wanting to find out more about their rights to post a IJSMDO article - whether in its original (preprint), accepted or published (Version of Record, VoR) version - on a preprint server, a repository or a specific webpage are invited to read the relevant information available on the dedicated Sherpa Romeo webpage.

11. Options for post-publication discussions and corrections

While every effort is made at all stages of the peer review and production processes in IJSMDO so as to publish articles, which are correct, complete and authoritative, cases might still occur where Errata should be published or articles retracted depending on the circumstances and significance of the reported error.

Relevant information concerning Post-publication corrections is described in our Instructions for authors.

12. Special issues

For the publication of Special Issues curated by Guest Editors, IJSMDO adheres to the DOAJ criteria for Special Issues.

II. Ethical policy: Business practices

1. Revenue sources

IJSMDO is a gold open access publication. The journal revenue is based exclusively on the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) by authors, whose articles have been accepted for publication in the journal (there are no submission charges).

IJSMDO is included in the Agreement EDP Sciences Transformative deal in place in France, which means that individual authors based at these member Institutions have their APCs paid for centrally through this deal. To ensure that they can benefit from this deal, IJSMDO authors need to be the corresponding authors on their accepted articles.

IJSMDO submissions are judged solely on their scientific merit, irrespective of whether fees have been paid (or any waiver received). The payment of fees does not influence the editorial decision on our submissions.

2. Advertising

Currently IJSMDO does not publish any advertisement to generate additional revenue.

If a change takes place in the future, the IJSMDO Advertising Policy will be recorded here. It will be a journal-specific, adapted version of the more general EDP Sciences Advertising Policy.

3. Direct marketing

Professional (CIM trained/registered) marketing colleagues advise the journal team on how to provide the best visibility for the IJSMDO authors and their high-quality scientific outputs. These same colleagues ensure that special attention is paid, both in terms of frequency and accuracy, to any solicitation correspondence that the journal may send to scientists.

Rules and regulations in place such as GDPR law and the Advertising Standard Authority’s Guidance on the Marketing of Publications are strictly adhered to.