Haematologica follows the ICMJE Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research. The most relevant parts for both authors and publisher are summarized below.
1. DEFINING THE ROLE OF AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
Authorship is based on the following 4 ICMJE 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.
All members of the group named as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, including approval of the final manuscript, and they should be able to take public responsibility for the work and should have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of other group authors. They will also be expected as individuals to complete disclosure forms. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged.
If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission, journal editors should seek an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.
Some large multi-author groups designate authorship by a group name, with or without the names of individuals. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should specify the group name if one exists, and clearly identify the group members who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors. The byline of the article identifies who is directly responsible for the manuscript, and MEDLINE lists as authors whichever names appear on the byline. If the byline includes a group name, MEDLINE will list the names of individual group members who are authors or who are collaborators, sometimes called non-author contributors, if there is a note associated with the byline clearly stating that the individual names are elsewhere in the paper and whether those names are authors or collaborators.
1.2. Non-Author Contributors
Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, the corresponding author should obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.
2. DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL RELATIOSHIPS AND ACTIVITIES, AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Potential conflicts of interest must be reported according to the ICMJE recommendations
The potential for conflict of interest and bias exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest. Readers must be able to make their own judgments regarding whether an author’s relationships and activities are pertinent to a paper’s content. These judgments require transparent disclosures.
All participants in the peer-review and publication process - not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors - are asked to disclose their relationships and activities when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication.
Authors. When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work.
Reviewers. They are asked at the time they are judging a manuscript if they have relationships or activities that could complicate their review. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
Editors and Journal Staff. Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their relationships or activities.
2.2. Reporting Relationships and Activities
Articles should be published with statements declaring:
- Authors’ relationships and activities; and
- Sources of support for the work, including sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources if any in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; any restrictions regarding the submission of the report for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement or restrictions regarding publication; and
- Whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is on-going.
To support the above statements, editors may request that authors of a study sponsored by a funder with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as 'I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.'
3. RESPONSIBILITY IN THE SUBMISSION AND PEER-REVIEW PROCESS
A more detailed discussion on this matter written by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) can be found here
Confidentiality. Editors must not share information about manuscripts, including whether they have been received and are under review, their content and status in the review process, criticism by reviewers, and their ultimate fate, to anyone other than the authors and reviewers. Editors must also make clear that reviewers should keep manuscripts, associated material, and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers and editorial staff members must not publicly discuss the authors’ work, and reviewers must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy paper copies of manuscripts and delete electronic copies after submitting their reviews.
Timeliness. Editors should do all they can to ensure timely processing of manuscripts with the resources available to them. If a journal has no intention of proceeding with a manuscript, editors should endeavor to reject the manuscript as soon as possible to allow authors to submit to a different journal.
Peer Review. Peer review helps editors decide which manuscripts are suitable for their journals. Peer review often helps authors and editors to improve the quality of reporting. A peer-reviewed journal is under no obligation to send submitted manuscripts for review, and under no obligation to follow reviewer recommendations, favorable or negative. The editor of a journal is ultimately responsible for the selection of all its content, and editorial decisions may be informed by issues unrelated to the quality of a manuscript, such as suitability for the journal. An editor can reject any article at any time before publication, including after acceptance if concerns arise about the integrity of the work. Journal requirements for independent data analysis and for public data availability are in flux at the time of this revision, reflecting evolving views of the importance of data availability for pre- and post-publication peer review. It is recommended that investigators maintain the primary data and analytic procedures underpinning the published results for at least 10 years. It is encouraged the preservation of these data in a data repository to ensure their longer-term availability.
Integrity. Editorial decisions should be based on the relevance of a manuscript to the journal and on the manuscript’s originality, quality, and contribution to evidence about important questions. Those decisions should not be influenced by commercial interests, personal relationships or agendas, or findings that are negative or that credibly challenge accepted wisdom.
3.2. Peer Reviewers
Reviewers should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews. Reviewers who seek assistance from a trainee or colleague in the performance of a review should acknowledge these individuals’ contributions in the written comments submitted to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript as outlined above. Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite. Reviewers should declare their relationships and activities that might bias their evaluation of a manuscript and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists.
4. JOURNAL OWNERS AND EDITORIAL FREEDOM
It is the responsibility of medical journal owners to appoint and dismiss editors. The editor’s performance may be assessed using mutually agreed-upon measures, including but not necessarily limited to readership, manuscript submissions and handling times, and various journal metrics. Owners should only dismiss editors for substantial reasons, such as scientific misconduct, disagreement with the long-term editorial direction of the journal, inadequate performance by agreed-upon performance metrics, or inappropriate behavior that is incompatible with a position of trust.
4.2. Editorial Freedom
Editor-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the commercial goals of the publisher.
5. PROTECTION OF RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS
All investigators should ensure that the planning conduct and reporting of human research are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013 . All authors should seek approval to conduct research from an independent local, regional or national review body (e.g., ethics committee, institutional review board). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the local, regional or national review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. Approval by a responsible review body does not preclude editors from forming their own judgment whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Since a journal that archives the consent will be aware of patient identity, Haematologica believe that patient confidentiality is better guarded by having the author archive the consent and instead providing the journal with a written statement that attests that they have received and archived written patient consent.
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
Haematologica accept advertising, which generates income and allows the Ferrata-Storti Foundation to keep publishing costs low for authors. However, advertising does not interfere in any way with editorial decisions.
Advertisements must be clearly identifiable and separated from editorial content. Haematologica does not accept advertisements intended to be juxtaposed with editorial content on the same product. The label 'Advertisement' may be required.
Editors have full and final authority for approving advertisements.