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International Journal of College of Palliative Medicine of Sri Lanka

Ethical and Malpractice Policies

Ethical Guidelines and Malpractice statement to Publication of research articles

The Editor-in-chief and editorial board members of journals published by the publisher provide a set of ethical guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of research articles, especially, for editors, authors, and manuscript reviewers. The guidelines embodied in this document were developed by the Editors of the journals published by the publisher. The ethics guidelines are revised regularly to ensure their clarity and the guidelines embodied in this document were revised by the Editors of the Publications Division of the publisher in March 2021.

The publishers Ethical Guidelines are offered from a belief that the loyalty of high ethical standards is so energetic to the whole scientific enterprise that a definition of those standards should be brought to the attention of all concerned. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior.

“Breaking the publishing ethics rules can badly damage your reputation as a researcher”


“All journals serve to further academic discussions of topics, irrespective of their nature – whether religious, gender-based, environmental, ethical, political, or other potentially or topically contentious subjects. Ethics and malpractice statement is binding oneself to meeting and sustaining standards of ethical behavior at all stages of the review and publication processes.”

The publishers serves the scientific profession in various fields (such as Science, Engineering, Arts, Sports) by publishing journals which present the results of scientific research works. Every editor of this journal publication has the responsibility in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge by maintain the ethical guidelines for selecting, reviewing and accepting research articles submitted to the journals and it is directly reflected the quality of work of the authors and the standard of the journal that published. And importantly, these guidelines derived by the editor perception of standards of quality for scientific work and its presentation.

In this direction, the editors of journals published by the publisher now present a set of ethical guidelines for persons engaged in the publication of research articles, specifically, for editors, authors, and manuscript reviewers. These guidelines are substantial help to those who are relatively new to research.

A summary of our key expectations for authors, editors and (peer-) reviewers, is here detailed:

Guidelines Ethical Obligations of Authors of Scientific Journals

“The ethical guidelines embodied in this series, we provide you with the support and advice you need to ensure your manuscript and actions are ethically sound.”

  • To submit the manuscript using the format outlined in the Instructions to Authors;
  • To certify that their manuscripts are their original work, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Authors must state that all data in the paper are real and authentic. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable;
  • All Authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co- authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication;
  • To identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript;
  • Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work;
  • Authors should ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements (e.g. WMA Declaration of Helsinki, NIH Policy on Use of Laboratory Animals, EU Directive on Use of Animals) and confirm that approval has been sought and obtained where appropriate. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.
  • We explore why it is crucial to observe the existing guidelines and the consequences when you fail to meet those obligations. We then look at some of the rules around authorship and plagiarism in a little more detail. And, we explain your rights as an author, and how you go about obtaining permission to use content from copyrighted publications.

Guidelines Ethical Obligations of Editors of Scientific Journals

  • To evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the Authors;
  • To not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors of the manuscript, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate;
  • To do diligences in a balanced and objective mode while carrying out their expected duties, without discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors;
  • To send the uploaded papers to be reviewed by at least two reviewers designated by the associated field editors. The reviews should be operated based on First Come – First sent for review;
  • To use and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature;
  • To give to authors a reasonable chance to respond to any issued complaints. All complaints should be investigated. Documentation associated with any such complaints should be retained in a proper way;
  • The editor has complete responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for
  • publication or to reject it. The editor may confer with reviewers for an evaluation to use in making this decision;
  • The editor is responsible for the contents and overall quality of the publication;
  • The editor should act if they suspect misconduct, whether a paper is published or
  • unpublished, and make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem;
  • The editor should not allow any conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers and board members;
  • Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used in the own research of the Editor-in-Chief or the members of the Editorial Board without the express written consent of the author;
  • If the editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a paper published in the journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate paper pointing out the error and, if possible, correcting it.

Guidelines Ethical Obligations of reviewers of Scientific Journals

  • To contribute thoroughly to the reviewing process and to assist in improving the quality of the paper uploaded for review and publish by reviewing the manuscript objectively, in the assumed time frame;
  • To keep the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author.
  • To not retain or copy the manuscript in any way;
  • To inform the editor in chief to any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review and which is not cited properly;
  • To be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and to alert the editor to these, if necessary withdrawing their services for that manuscript.

Identification of unethical (malpractice) behavior:

  • Misconduct and unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor in chief and publisher at any time, by anyone using any way of communication;
  • Misconduct and unethical behavior may include, but need not be limited to, examples as delineated above;
  • Whoever informs the Editor-in-Chief or Publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.


  • An initial decision should be taken by the Editor-in-Chief, who should consult with or seek advice from the publisher, if appropriate;
  • Evidence should be gathered, while avoiding spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know. Breaches:
  • Minor misconduct might be dealt with/without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations;
  • Serious misconduct might require that the employer of the accused be notified. The Editor-in-Chief, together with the Publisher, should make the decision whether or not to involve the employers, either by examining the available evidence themselves or by further consultation with a limited number of experts. Outcomes:
  • Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards;
  • A more strongly worded letter to the author or reviewer covering the misconduct and as a warning to future behavior;
  • Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct;
  • Publication of an editorial detailing the misconduct;
  • A formal letter to the head of the Author's or Reviewer's department or funding agency;
  • Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the Author or Reviewer's department, Abstracting & Indexing services and the readership of the publication;
  • Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period in this way, papers found with signs of plagiarism / self-plagiarism are rejected; the author will receive a letter where he is also announced that he is barred from sending another paper proposal to the Journal for 2 years;
  • Reporting the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.

Important definition:

  • Conflict of interest means that Authors submitting a paper must declare any potential conflicts of interest - of any type: financial, nonfinancial, professional, or personal.
  • Conflicts of interest are those that could be considered or viewed as exerting an undue influence on the presentation, review or publication of their work.

Plagiarism detection (iThendicate)

In addition to making available this Publishing Ethics and malpractice Resource Kit, publisher is also active in other publishing ethics initiatives, internally and externally. With the CrossRef Association it is involved in a plagiarism software project called Crossref Similarity Check (Powered by Ithendicate). This link provides more information about this initiative.