World LUMEN Congress 2021

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 and its publications 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)

We will not accept to publish any research on human subjects without a mention, either in the Methodology chapter or in the Acknowledgment section, regarding the informed consent obtained from the participants or their legal representatives, and the approval of the Research Ethics Committee of the institution, or from an IRB (Independent Research Board). LUMEN can offer such services through the REC of the Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences, in case you don’t have access to any of the above-mentioned committees.

  • 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.

FOR AUTHORS:

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.

FOR EDITORS:

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.

FOR REVIEWERS:

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.

LUMEN, as member of COPE, aims at complying  with the Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines and in order for our users to be up- to – date regarding the guidelines that COPE is expressing in order to sustain and develop a good practice in editorial processes, we expose some extracts from the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, as it follows:

***

“7. Editorial and peer review processes
7.1. Editors should strive to ensure that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.
7.2. Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains
confidential while under review.
Best practice for editors would include:
• ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate
training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review
and journal management
• keeping informed about research into peer review and technological advances
• adopting peer review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves
• reviewing peer review practices periodically to see if improvement is possible
• referring troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the
COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected
• considering the appointment of an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be
resolved internally

8. Quality assurance
8.1. Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish,
recognising that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.
Best practice for editors would include:
• having systems in place to detect falsified data (e.g. inappropriately manipulated photographic
images or plagiarised text) either for routine use or when suspicions are raised
• basing decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of
reporting (e.g. adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance such as CONSORT2) rather than
simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference.

9. Protecting individual data
9.1. Editors must obey laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction. Regardless of local statutes,
however, they should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in
the course of research or professional interactions (e.g. between doctors and patients). It is
therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from
people who might recognise themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or
photographs). It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if
public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, it is impossible to obtain consent and a
reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.
Best practice for editors would include:
• publishing their policy on publishing individual data (e.g. identifiable personal details or images) and
explaining this clearly to authors
Note that consent to take part in research or undergo treatment is not the same as consent to publish
personal details, images or quotations.

10. Encouraging ethical research (e.g. research involving humans or animals)
10.1. Editors should endeavour to ensure that research they publish was carried out according to the
relevant internationally accepted guidelines (e.g. the Declaration of Helsinki
for clinical research,the AERA and BERA guidelines for educational research).
10.2. Editors should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body
(e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. However, editors
should recognise that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.
Best practice for editors would include:
• being prepared to request evidence of ethical research approval and to question authors about
ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained or what methods were
employed to minimize animal suffering) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed
• ensuring that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki8, Good Clinical
Practice
and other relevant guidelines to safeguard participants
• ensuring that reports of experiments on, or studies of, animals cite compliance with the US
Department of Health and Human Services Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
or other relevant guidelines
• appointing a journal ethics advisor or panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies
periodically

11. Dealing with possible misconduct
11.1. Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought
to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.
11.2. Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are
ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
11.3. Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.
11.4. 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.
11.5. 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.

12. Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
12.1. Errors, inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due
prominence.
12.2. Editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions
Best practice for editors would include:
• taking steps to reduce covert redundant publication (e.g. by requiring all clinical trials to be
registered)
• ensuring that published material is securely archived (e.g. via online permanent repositories, such as
PubMed Central)
• having systems in place to give authors the opportunity to make original research articles freely
available.

13. Intellectual property
13.1. Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with their publisher to handle
potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.
Best practice for editors would include:
• 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.

14. Encouraging debate
14.1. Editors should encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their
journal.
14.2. Authors of criticised material should be given the opportunity to respond.
14.3. Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.
Best practice for editors would include:
• being open to research that challenges previous work published in the journal.

15. Complaints
15.1. Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied
complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal
and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.
15.2. Editors should follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints.

16. Commercial considerations
16.1. Journals should have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do
not affect editorial decisions (e.g. advertising departments should operate independently from
editorial departments).
16.2. Editors should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and
on processes for publishing sponsored supplements.
16.3. Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction needs to be
included in which case it should be clearly identified.
Best practice for editors would include:
• publishing a general description of their journal’s income sources (e.g. the proportions received from
display advertising, reprint sales, sponsored supplements, page charges, etc.)
• ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the
main journal
• ensuring that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit
and interest to readers and decisions about such supplements are not influenced by commercial
considerations.

17. Conflicts of interest
17.1. Editors should have systems for managing their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their
staff, authors, reviewers and editorial board members.
17.2. Journals should have a declared process for handling submissions from the editors, employees
or members of the editorial board to ensure unbiased review
Best practice for editors would include:
• publishing lists of relevant interests (financial, academic and other kinds) of all editorial staff and
members of editorial boards (which should be updated at least annually)”

Source:  COPE –  Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors available online at http://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct