LUMEN Publishing House adheres to the COPE principles of transparency and supports the COPE’s principal objects, “promotion, for the public benefit, of ethical standards of conduct in research and ethical standards in the publication of academic journals.” (COPE). LUMEN Publishing House also aims to comply with the Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines (Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers)
In respect of the COPE principles, LUMEN exposes the following statements of ethical practice in publishing; a manuscript publication is made only after the ethical review is completed by one or two different reviewers, who evaluated the work scientifically and must consider at least the following aspects:
- The avoidance of the risk of plagiarism and respect for intellectual property;
- Respect for the rights of human subjects in research;
- The identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct;
- The identification of and dealing with manipulations of citations;
- The disclosure of any conflicts of interest;
- Withdrawal from the distribution of publications.
The Research Ethics Committee (REC) and Editorial Ethics Committee of LUMEN Association has written this editorial ethics’ regulation. It is required, where applicable, that an affidavit of the author of informed consent in all research that was conducted with human subjects. Also the opinion of the REC is needed – where applicable.
- THE AVOIDANCE OF THE RISK OF PLAGIARISM AND RESPECT FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Plagiarism is the exposing of another person’s thoughts or words as though they were your own, without permission, credit, or acknowledgment, or because of failing to cite the sources properly. Plagiarism can take diverse forms, from literally “copying” to paraphrasing the work of another. In order to judge properly whether an author has plagiarized, we emphasize the following possible situations:
- An author can literally copy another author’s work by copying word for word, in whole or in part, without permission, acknowledgement or citing the original source. This practice can be identified by comparing the original source and the manuscript/work which is suspected of plagiarism.
- Substantial copying implies an author has reproduced a substantial part of the work of another author, without permission, acknowledgement or citation. The term substantial can be understood both in terms of quality and quantity, often being used in the context of intellectual property. Quality refers to the relative value of the copied text in proportion to the work as a whole.
- Paraphrasing involves taking ideas, words or phrases from a source and crafting them into new sentences within the writing. This practice becomes unethical when the author does not properly cite or does not acknowledge the original work/author. This form of plagiarism is the more difficult form to be identified.
LUMEN Publishing has an intensive preoccupation concerning the right of ownership and the avoidance of plagiarism. The main responsibility lies with the authors in publishing contracts expressly stipulating the obligation, including an affidavit that all materials belong to the author and that quotations are made in accordance with the law.
In accordance with the quality assurance principle of COPE, the following practices were developed by LUMEN Publishing House:
- requesting of author copies of the reprinting rights for illustrations, graphs, tables etc. subject to copyright;
- adopting systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised);
- supporting authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism;
- being prepared to work with their publisher to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g. by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites), irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright.
- RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF HUMAN SUBJECTS IN RESEARCH
Related to ethical compliance in research on human subjects, LUMEN Publishing House adheres also to the statements included within the WMA Helsinki Declaration 2013; statements which refer to Research Registration and Publication and Dissemination of Results.
“Authors, editors and publishers all have ethical obligations with regard to the publication of the results of research. Authors have a duty to make publicly available the results of their research on human subjects and are accountable for the completeness and accuracy of their reports. They should adhere to accepted guidelines for ethical reporting. Negative and inconclusive as well as positive results should be published or otherwise made publicly available. Sources of funding, institutional affiliations and conflicts of interest should be declared in the publication. Reports of research not in accordance with the principles of this Declaration should not be accepted for publication.” WMA Declaration of Helsinki, 2013, Paragraph 36
In addition, LUMEN Publishing can request the author to provide a copy of the ethical approval from the REC of the institution in which the research was conducted, in order to be assured of the informed consent of the research participant, the right to withdraw from the research and the confidentiality of data on subjects enrolled in the research)
- THE IDENTIFICATION OF, AND DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF, RESEARCH MISCONDUCT
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) defines research misconduct as: “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results”, while Council of Science Editors defines “research misconduct” as ”applying to any action that involves mistreatment of research subjects or purposeful manipulation of the scientific record such that it no longer reflects observed truth.”
Respecting COPE statements, LUMEN Publishing has the duty to act if misconduct is suspected or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to us. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. We comply to the following:
- “Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
- Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.
- Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.
- Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.”
THE IDENTIFICATION OF, AND DEALING WITH, THE MANIPULATION OF CITATIONS
The practice of manipulating citations is often seen as a form of coercion, coming from the editors, publishers or editorial board members who put pressure on the authors, binding them to add citations from the journal, with the purpose of increasing citation rates and the journal’s impact. Also, authors are known to self-cite their previous work and excessive citation may fall under citation manipulation (Publication Integrity & Ethics (PIE).
LUMEN Publishing ensures, through the process of peer review and its reviewers (both editorial and technical review), the quality of the citations used within a scientific manuscript. Reviewers are encouraged to verify the correlation between the sources used in the text and those mentioned within the bibliography chapter. Also, in the case of the identification or suspicion of citation manipulation, the reviewers have the duty to ask for supplementary explanations of the utility of the sources in the text, as in the case of identifying sources that are not necessary, in connection with the topic approached by the author.
- TO AVOID CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
LUMEN Publishing House requires that sources of financial support for the work reported within the manuscript are fully acknowledged, and any potential conflicts of interest noted.
LUMEN Publishing House requires a statement about authors’ conflicts of interest for all manuscripts submitted to the journal. Authors are kindly asked to disclose any possible conflict of interest at the end of the manuscript. Any reported conflicts of interest will be published in a highlighted zone as part of the article. If no conflicts of interest are reported, the statement “No conflicts of interest have been declared.” will be included.
Possible conflicts of interest include financial interests relating to issues discussed in the manuscript; for example, patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies, speakers’ fees.
Manuscript submission by author affiliated at same institution as one of the editors
A manuscript submitted by an author who is affiliated to the same institution as one of the editors will be taken in charge by one of the other editors who is not at that institution. The other editor will select reviewers and make all the decisions on the manuscript.
Manuscript submission by family member of editor or by author whose relationship with editor might create the perception of bias
This type of situation will be also handled by another editor. The other editor will select reviewers and make all decisions on the manuscript. If in doubt, the editors will consult with one another, or will appeal to a third party, as an advocate.
Manuscript submission by an editor
A manuscript submitted by an editor will be processed by one of the other editors who is not affiliated to the same institution as the submitting editor. The other editor will select reviewers and make all the decisions on the manuscript. The peer review process will be handled in such a way that the author does not have access to information or correspondence relating to the submission that is not meant for authors.
Potential conflict of interest for reviewers
Prior to a manuscript being assigned to a reviewer, the reviewer will receive an invitation letter that includes the following paragraph: “If you know or think you know the identity of the author, and if you feel there is any potential conflict of interest in your reviewing this manuscript because of your relationship with the author (e.g. in terms of close friendship or conflict/rivalry) or for any other reason, please DECLARE IT. By accepting this invitation, it is assumed there is no potential conflict of interest.”
- WITHDRAWAL FROM DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS
After the appearance of a publication for as long as it is in distribution, it can be withdrawn from broadcast at the request of Lumen Publishing ethics’ committee for the following reasons:
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement;
- Breaches of confidentiality in published research;
- Exposure of persons or institutions to libellous and defamatory statements or at the request of the author.