Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The Italian Journal of Dental Medicine is an open access quarterly journal publishing original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies in all areas of dentistry. The journal provides relevant information for researchers, scientists, students of dentistry and practitioners with the ultimate goal of promoting oral health. The Italian Journal of Dental Medicine is a peer-reviewed journal and therefore it is important not only for the publisher, but also for the authors, the editors and the reviewers to adhere to recognized standards of ethical behavior.

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, ICMJE, peer review is “an important extension of the scientific process”, and our policy conforms to the publication ethics and publication malpractice policies as outlined by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), where a wealth of resources are available for editors and researchers. COPE aims to define best practice in the ethics of scientific publishing, in particular through the publication of its Code of Conduct. Beside COPE, other organizations set guidelines in the field of publishing and research ethics to which The Italian Journal of Dental Medicine aligns its policy.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is a group of general medical journal editors who meet annually and fund their work on the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) submitted to biomedical journals, and we all refer to these recommendations.

The Council of Science Editors (CSE) publishes the CSE’s White paper on promoting integrity in scientific journal publications, which promotes excellence in the communication of scientific information, it is a reference for the definition of roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in publishing and identifies research misconduct as well as guidelines for conduct.

Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) provides recommendations for randomized trials and helps in the critical appraisal and interpretation of their reporting.

Publisher committment

We are committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions.

We are committed to support the peer review process, which is at the heart of the success of scientific publishing, therefore we support editors’ and reviewers’ awareness of publishing ethics, especially in cases of (suspected) plagiarism. On this regard, we refer to COPE’s Code of Conduct for journal publishers.

The editorial process is managed by the editors, with the assistance of the publisher, the help of reviewers and the cooperation of authors. The editorial workflow is ensured by our web based system for manuscript submission, peer review, and tracking.

We safeguard the quality of our publications also by being vigilant agaist plagiarism and raising awareness about it during the editorial process. On this regard manuscripts submitted will be checked using the most common free plagiarism detection tools available online.

Open Access Policy We believe that open access helps the dissemination of high-quality research which is beneficial to researchers, institutions, and ultimately all health operators, thus improving patients care. Therefore, our content is available free of charge, in order to support better exchange of knowledge. Users are allowed to read and download the articles, thus providing a forum for publication and dissemination of original articles in the field of dentistry.

Duties of editors

Decision on the Publication of Articles

Editors decide which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published and to reach this decision they may refer not only to reviewers but also to the journal’s editorial board. Legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism should also be considered while making this decision. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the journal’s guidelines.

For any doubts, we suggest editors to refer to COPE’s Code of Conduct http://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct, in particular to the Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Flowcharts.

Review of manuscripts

Each manuscript is initially evaluated by the editors to examine its contents and appropriateness; then it is forwarded to two referees for single blind peer review; each reviewer will be asked for their opinion on the publication, with comments, requests of modifications or rejection of the manuscript. The editor will weigh all views and may call for a third opinion or ask the author for a revised version before making a final decision on whether to accept or reject the manuscript.

Plagiarism: We ask editors to be sensitive about plagiarism and self plagiarism as defined in COPE Text recycling guidelines. Moreover, each manuscript will be checked using the most common free plagiarism detection tools available online.

Fair Play: manuscripts shall be evaluated solely on their intellectual merit without regard to authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: the editor is bound to treat the manuscript as confidential, and must not use the information obtained for personal advantage. A reference is ICMJE Author Responsibilities—Conflicts of Interest

Confidentiality: editors and editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher.

Ethics: Editor may refer to COPE Guidance for Editors: Research, Audit and Service Evaluations

Timing of publication: editors should aim to ensure timely peer review and publication for manuscripts, especially when they may have important implications (for which priority publication is suggested). The timing of publication may also be influenced by editorial requirement (such as themed issues) that may prevent articles from being published in the order they were accepted.

Duties of reviewers

Reviewer are suggested to refer to COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. The editors provide deadlines for the review and highly appreciate being informed in a timely manner if the reviewer is able to complete the review or not. Should any reviewer feel that it is not possible to review a manuscript within the allotted time, they should tell the editors, so that the manuscript can be sent to another reviewer. There are no consequences for refusing to review a paper. If reviewers feel the review will take longer to complete than normal, they are expected to contact the editor to discuss the matter. The editor may ask to recommend an alternate reviewer, or may accept to wait a little longer.

The final decision of whether to accept or reject a particular manuscript lies with the editor.

Standards of objectivity: reviewers should make sure that the article they have been asked to review relates to their area of expertise. Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author must be avoided.

Fair play: The double blind peer review process ensures that manuscripts shall be evaluated only on their intellectual merit without regard to authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: reviewers should disclose to editors if they have conflicts of interest with any of the companies, or institutions connected to the manuscript under review. A conflict of interest will not necessarily eliminate a reviewer from reviewing an article, but full disclosure to the editors will allow them to make an informed decision. Therefore reviewers, when responding to the editor’s invitation for review, should specify, for example, if they have a professional or financial connection to the article. A reference is ICMJE Author Responsibilities—Conflicts of Interest

Confidentiality: manuscript received for reviewing are confidential, and reviewers must not use the information obtained for personal advantage. Manuscripts must not be shown to, or discussed with, others except as authorized by the editor. Requesting the opinion of a single colleague may be appropriate in some circumstances but reviewers should always agree this with the editors. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Reviewers should not attempt to contact the author. Reviewer identity is not shared with the author, so no names should appear in the text of the comment.

Acknowledgement of sources: reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. If this occurs, it should be highlighted to the editors’ attention.

Plagiarism: if you suspect plagiarism in an article under review, please let the editor know, supplying as much detail as possible. Reviewers can check manuscripts using the most common free plagiarism detection tools available online.

Fraud: if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor. In the web site of the Italian National Research Council (Cnr) it is possible to link to the most relevant documents on research integrity.

Other ethical concerns: if reviewers suspect a violation of confidentiality or the accepted norms in the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects, they are suggested to refer to COPE’s recommendations and to inform the editor.

Reviewer’s comment

Once the evaluation of the article is completed, the reviewer’s next step is to write a report. Reviewers should express their views clearly and support their judgment so that both editors and authors are able to understand the comments. Reports should be constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details including the reviewer’s name. Authors only see the comments made for their specific manuscript; editors may edit them.

Reviewers are also requested to make a recommendation regarding the manuscript as follows:

  • Reject (explain reason in report)
  • Accept without revision
  • Revise (either major or minor)

Here are reported some key points for manuscript commentary that reviewers can use as a checklist.

Originality: is the article sufficiently novel and interesting? Does the article adhere to the journal’s standards? Are the interpretations and conclusions sound and justified by the evidence? Are the references relevant, adequate complete, and current?

Structure: authors are required to adhere to the journal’s guidelines. If the difference is remarkable, reviewers should note this, because if the paper is otherwise good, the editor may choose to ask the author to restructure the paper before publication.

Title: does it clearly describe the article?

Abstract: does it reflect the content of the article?

Introduction: it should summarize relevant research to provide context, describe the experiment, the hypothesis and the general experimental design or method. Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are they consistent?

Method: does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information to replicate the research? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded, has the author been precise in describing measurements?

Statistical errors: reviewers can refer to the CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) 2010 guideline.

Results: they should be clearly presented and in a logical sequence. Has the appropriate analysis been conducted? Are the statistics correct? Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.

Conclusion/Discussion: is the content of this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable?

Language: if an article is poorly written, reviewers do not need to correct the English, but should bring this to the attention of the editor.

Duties of authors

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) defines authorship criteria (refer to ICMJE Recommendations).

Further reference to the COPE Guide for authors and COPE International standards for editors and authors is suggested.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the whole scientific endeavor.

We suggest authors to refer for Conflict of interest to ICMJE Recommendations on this regard.

Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include the following.

  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. Authors are discouraged to split up a single study into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions to journals. Again, authors should be careful on the re-use of material in order to avoid the so-called “self-plagiarism”.
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support conclusions.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Any statement that had been previously reported elsewhere should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given and quotation marks must be used for verbatim copying (permissions should be secured for material that is copyrighted).
  • Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities, tacitly or explicitly, at the institute or organization where the work has been carried out.
  • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
  • Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript and may be considered only after receipt of written approval from all authors and a convincing, detailed explanation about the change. Final acceptance of the change rests with the editors and may be refused.
  • Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be, for instance, in the form of raw data, samples, records. If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will follow the COPE guidelines. In case misconduct is established, the editors may decide to reject and return the article to the author or to inform the author’s institution.
  • Compliance with ethical standards

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest, informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals. Authors can refer to the WHO guidelines on Ethics and Health.

Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list:

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest,
  • Research involving Human Participants and/or Animal,
  • Informed consent.

The corresponding author can be requested during peer review to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest: authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have influence on the work.

Authors may refer to ICMJE Recommendations on Author Responsibilities—Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms

The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors; when allowed, the corresponding author can sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors.

Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number),
  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia,
  • Financial support for attending symposia,
  • Financial support for educational programs,
  • Employment or consultation,
  • Support from a project sponsor,
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships,
  • Multiple affiliations,
  • Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest,
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights),
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work.

Research involving human participants and/or animals: statement of Human Rights; whenever human participants are involved, authors should include in the text a statement that the study has been approved by the appropriate research ethics committee and has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki, and its later amendments.

Statement on the welfare of animals: the welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution where the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists).

Informed consent

A statement should be included confirming that informed consent was obtained from all participants. Authors may refer to the templates developed by the WHO ERC.

Identifying details about participants, (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) should not be published and in case such information is included in the article, then it must be stated that additional informed consent was obtained from all individuals.

Before submitting their manuscripts, authors should carefully read the journal’s guidelines.