COPE Principles of Transparency, Best Practice Guidelines and the COPE Code of Conduct have made the following guidelines more reliable. Further information can be seen at: https://publicationethics.org.
Serious action is ensured against any misconduct regarding publication to create the best standards in publication ethics. The Sudan Association of Paediatricians fulfils its responsibility as a publisher by taking the guardianship. The Sudan Association of Paediatricians makes sure about their moral and ethical responsibilities.
Editor’s duties and responsibilities
Apart from the editor’s overall responsibilities like working to make the quality and reliability better, to fulfil the needs of the author and readers, to boost up the academic debates, they try their best to maintain their quality in the following responsibilities.
The renowned experts of the field will be generating the editorial board. It is editor’s duty to provide all the details (including name, updated contact information and affiliation of the member) to the editorial office on the journal webpage.
It is the responsibility of the editor to decide about publishing of the articles in the journal. The importance of the manuscript for the audience and the readers derives the decision. The editor is guided about the policies by the editorial board and controlled by the legal requirements of copywriting and plagiarism. The editor may discuss the decision with other editors.
Peer review process
All the content undergoes the process of peer review. The articles which are in the que of being published go through the process of double blind, peer review. Editors are the first to review the articles. The editor has the right to reject the article for two reasons that it might not be according to the subject matter of the journal or the quality of the article is not up to the standard. The appropriate articles are further transferred to two experts in that field of paper. Referees of a paper are unknown to each other. Referees are requested to categorize the paper as publishable immediately, publishable but with some changes or not publishable. The end result of the manuscript is based on the evaluation of the referees. The comments given by referees are then considered by the author.
If there is any deviation from the prescribed process, editor needs to justify that deviation. Until and unless there is some serious issue, editors cannot change their decision on publication of the article.
Guidance should be provided by the editor to the author or the reviewer about any query that can be expected from them. The guidance should be updated on regular basis.
The evaluation of the manuscript should be regardless of age, rivalry, gender, sexual orientation, religious acceptance, cultural origin, nationality, or political idea of the authors. The editor’s decision of publication of the paper should only be according to the importance, quality, uniqueness and precision of the paper. It can also be according to the relevancy of the journal.
The digital protection of access to the journal content by the academic directories should be ensured by the editor.
It is to be ensured by the editors that the article under the process of publication will remain confidential and any information regarding the article should not be disclosed to anyone except for the author, reviewer, potential reviewers, publisher or the editorial board.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Without the written consent of the author, editors cannot use the unpublished manuscript in their own research. Any idea, information or knowledge gained through the process of peer-review cannot be used for the personal benefit of any member rather it should be kept confidential. Editors should be careful while reviewing the manuscripts of the author known to them through any link. Editor should delegate the process of review of such paper to co-editor, associate editor or any member of editorial board.
Procedures for dealing with unethical behavior
Unethical behavior should be informed immediately to the editor or the publisher. The person informing about the unethical behavior should have sufficient information and proof to get the investigation initiated. Every accusation should reach a proper conclusion or successful decision after being investigated properly. Every unethical deed should be noticed even if it appears after years of publication.
The responsive measures should be taken by the editor coming across any ethical complaint regarding the submitted manuscript. The measures depend on the seriousness of the issue by communicating the author in relevance to the complaint or by interacting the relevant institutes or research bodies.
Misconducts on smaller level can be dealt without consulting anyone. The authors have the chance to respond to any claims on any occasion.
Application for some serious misconducts might require the following measures:
Open access policy
Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics is available free online. The acceptance of this open access policy allows access and reuse of all published articles to the authors. Creative Commons copyright license policy CC-BY publishes all the articles under their name. Without the payment or any further permission users can copy and redistribute the data in electronic or printed form just by giving the right credits.
A proper account of the work and the important objective discussion should be presented by the author. All the data should be presented properly in the paper. If someone wants to replicate the work from the paper, it should have sufficient details and references accordingly. Any spam or intentionally improper statements shows unethical behavior and are unacceptable. The accuracy and objectivity should be present in review and professional publication articles. The clear identification of editorial and opinion work is also important. For reporting guidelines, refer to EQUATOR Network for further details (http://www.equator-network.org/).
Data access and retention
The raw data and the public access to that data for editorial review should be provided by the authors. The raw data can be retained from the author even after publication for a reasonable time.
Originality and plagiarism
The authors need to ensure the data presented by them is entirely original. If other’s work or words are used, the author need to give their reference or cite them properly in the paper.
Plagiarism can be in different ways, from passing off someone’s paper as author’s own paper or to duplicate some extensive parts without mentioning or to entitle results of research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all these forms is not only unethical but is also unacceptable.
The same research of the author cannot be published in two journals. It is an unethical behavior to submit the same article in two journals. A previously published paper cannot be submitted by the author in another journal for consideration.
According to open access publishing, the copyright remains with the authors (CC-BY), so they have the right to decide about the ultimate publication of their manuscript. In the secondary publication, primary reference must be quoted.
Other’s work must be given the proper acknowledgment. The publications should be cited which help the author to complete their work. Without the written permission of the third party, any verbal discussion, communication or interaction must not be reported or used in the manuscript. Any information or knowledge obtained in reference to confidential services, like refereeing data or grant application must not be used without the written permission of the author involved in this work.
Authorship of the paper
The people who have made some important contribution to the formation, design, implementation of the research should be given the authorship. The one with significant contribution during the research should be entitled as co-authors whereas the ones who have who have helped in certain aspects should be acknowledged or recognized as contributors. The author need to confirm the presence of all appropriate co-authors and absence of inappropriate co-authors. The final version of the paper should also be approved by all the co-authors and should have agreed upon submission of the paper for publication.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Any financial or fundamental conflict of interest needs to be mentioned clearly in their manuscripts by the authors that might affect the results of their research. Any kind of financial support needs to be disclosed. The conflicts of interest which need to be discussed in the manuscript consist of employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. At the start of the process, the potential conflict of interest should be disclosed. The role of the funders and who has funded research should be informed to the readers.
Fundamental errors in published work
Any error or inaccuracy noticed by the author in his/ her own should be informed urgently to the editor or the publisher. The author should cooperate with the editor for the correction of the mistake. If it is informed from third party about the error in the work to the editor or the publisher, it is mandatory for the author to promptly correct the error or provide evidence to correct the mistake in the paper by the editor.
Through peer review, the editor gets help in making editorial decisions. The editorial communication can be really beneficial for the author to improve the paper. The important section of the formal scholarly communication is the peer review. It is essential for the author who wishes to have some contribution in the publication to review the paper.
Any referee who is selected to review the paper feels unqualified or have the idea that the review will not be possible within the given time span needs to urgently inform the editor and excuse himself from being in the process of review.
Confidentiality of the document received for the review is very significant. The referee is not allowed to discuss about the document with anyone except for the authorized people referred by the editor.
Standards of objectivity
Personal criticism is not allowed by the author. The reviews conducted should be accurate. Supporting arguments should be presented clearly with the reviews of referee.
Acknowledgment of sources
The relevant published work which is not being cited should be identified by the reviewers. Any argument, statement or source mentioned previously should be cited with the relevant citation. It’s the reviewer’s responsibility to bring the attention of the editor to the manuscript under consideration about any overlapping or the similarity of the data with previous published paper.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Reviewers cannot use the unpublished material from the submitted data in their own research without the consent of the author. Any creative idea or confidential information should be kept confidential and reviewers cannot use it for their personal benefit. Reviewers should avoid considering the manuscripts having conflicts of interest due to some personal relationship with the author or the company.