Publication Ethics

 

Best Practices in Research Reporting

 

GMJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions. GMJ also endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

Research submitted to GMJ must comply with internationally-accepted standards for research practice and reporting, including data management, figure preparation, reproducibility, and reporting guidelines.

We reserve the right to enforce standards that may be more strict than local legal or ethical frameworks. Issues discovered after publication will be addressed according to guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and may lead to a correction, retraction, or expression of concern. We may also contact authors’ institutions as appropriate.

Ethics and consent

Ethics approval

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.

 

Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

 

New clinical tools and procedures

Authors reporting the use of a new procedure or tool in a clinical setting, for example as a technical advance or case report, must give a clear justification in the manuscript for why the new procedure or tool was deemed more appropriate than usual clinical practice to meet the patient’s clinical need. Such justification is not required if the new procedure is already approved for clinical use at the authors’ institution. Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.

 

Consent to participate

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. For manuscript reporting studies involving vulnerable groups (for example unconscious patients) where there is the potential for coercion (for example prisoners) or where consent may not have been fully informed, manuscripts will be considered at the editor’s discretion. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained.

 

Ethical oversight

We uphold rigorous standards for research ethics. Read our policies on human subject’s research and animal research

 

Reporting guidelines for specific study types

Authors are expected to comply with standard reporting guidelines for study designs. Check the EQUATOR Network for reporting instructions and supporting documentation. Documentation for specific studies should be uploaded as supporting information during manuscript submission. Read the submission guidelines.

Clinical trials

Clinical trial reports must adhere to the relevant reporting guidelines for their study design, such as CONSORT for randomized controlled trials, TREND for non-randomized trials, and other specialized guidelines as appropriate.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses must adhere to the PRISMA statement as a guide, and include a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram to accompany the main text. Blank templates of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded from the PRISMA web site.

Authors must also state within their Methods section whether a protocol exists for their systematic review, and if so, provide a copy of the protocol as Supporting Information.

We support the prospective registration of systematic reviews. Authors whose systematic review was prospectively registered (e.g., in a registry such as PROSPERO) should also provide the registry number in their abstract. Registry details and protocols will be made available to editors and reviewers, and included alongside the paper for readers if the report is ultimately published.

Diagnostic studies

Reports of studies of diagnostic accuracy should conform to the STARD requirements.

Observational studies in epidemiology

For reports of epidemiological studies, authors should consult the STROBE initiative.

Microarray experiments

Reports of microarray experiments should conform to the MIAME guidelines published by the Functional Genomics Data Society (FGED), and the data from the experiments must be deposited in a publicly accessible database.

Biological and biomedical research

We recommend that authors refer to the BioSharing Portal for prescriptive checklists for reporting biological and biomedical research where applicable.

 

 

Human Subjects Research

Researchers submitting studies involving human participants must meet the following requirements:

Obtain prior approval for human subjects research by an institutional review board (IRB) or equivalent ethics committee(s)

Declare compliance with ethical practices upon submission of a manuscript

Report details on how informed consent for the research was obtained (or explain why consent was not obtained)

Submit, upon request from the journal, documentation from the review board or ethics committee confirming approval of the research.  

For clinical trials, provide trial registration details, the study protocol, and CONSORT documentation (more information below)

Confirm that an identified individual has provided written consent for the use of that information

Read the submission guidelines for studies involving human subjects research. 

 

Policy enforcement

All submissions describing clinical research and/or research on human subjects will be checked by journal staff to ensure that the requirements above are met. Failure to meet requirements may be grounds for rejection. If issues are discovered after publication, we may issue a correction or retraction as appropriate. We also reserve the right to contact the author’s institution. 

 

Clinical studies

Clinical investigations must be conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki.

 

Clinical trials

GMJ follows the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of a clinical trial:

A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes [...] Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc.

Our policies for clinical trial submissions are designed to promote transparency and reproducibility and to ensure the integrity of the reporting of patient-centered trials. Compliance with our policies is required at submission in order for a manuscript to proceed.

Editors and reviewers should carefully review trial protocols and registration details and assess manuscripts according to CONSORT or other relevant guidelines. Most clinical trial submissions will also be reviewed by a statistician.

Concerns about clinical trial submissions should be brought to the attention of the editorial office as quickly as possible.

Registering clinical trials

All trials submitted to GMJ must be entered in a publicly accessible registry approved by the WHO or ICMJE. See the list of approved registries.

GMJ consider prospective trial registration (that is, registration before participant enrollment has begun) to be best publication practice, as recommended by the ICMJE. Clinical trials that began to enroll participants before ICMJE recommendations took effect on July 1, 2005 may be retrospectively registered.

More information about trial registration, including the WHO definition of a clinical trial, is in the  ICMJE FAQ.

Authors wishing to submit a clinical trial that was not publicly registered before participant enrollment began must register the trial retrospectively in a publicly accessible registry. They must also:

o Register all related clinical trials and confirm they have done so in the Methods section

o Explain in the Methods the specific reasons for failing to register before participant enrollment

o Confirm that future trials will be registered prospectively

 

GMJ editors may decline to further consider any clinical trial for which, in the editor’s judgment, absence of prospective registration raises concerns of selective publication or selective reporting of research outcomes. 

GMJ supports the public disclosure of all clinical trial results, as mandated, for example, by the 2007 FDA Amendments Act. Prior disclosure of results on a clinical trial registry site will not affect consideration.

 

Required documentation

Clinical trial reports must adhere to the relevant reporting guidelines for their study design, such as CONSORT for randomized controlled trials, TREND for non-randomized trials, and other specialized guidelines as appropriate.

For all clinical trial submissions, authors must include the following:

o   Registration details (reported in the Methods section and in the submission form)

o   CONSORT checklist or relevant reporting guideline (uploaded as supporting information)

o   CONSORT flow diagram (uploaded as Fig 1)

o   Trial protocol (uploaded as supporting information)

Details of prior approval for human subjects research by an institutional review board (IRB) or equivalent ethics committee(s)

The submission will not be considered if documentation is not provided. The checklist, flow diagram, and protocol will be published with the article if the manuscript is accepted.

The manuscript file must include the following information:

o   An explanation of any deviation from the trial protocol

o   Description of informed consent obtained from participants

o   Any information on statistical methods or participants not indicated in the CONSORT documentation

GMJ reserves the right to ask for a blank sample copy of any forms used in the trial.

Read the submission guidelines for more information about submitting clinical trials.

 

Patient privacy and informed consent for publication

We uphold the right to anonymity and take all necessary steps to protect the privacy of those who participate in research.

Authors must avoid providing identifying information unless strictly necessary for the submission. If identifying information is necessary, authors must confirm that the individual has provided written consent for the use of that information as per the Consent Form for Publication in a GMJ. Download the consent form.

All submissions are checked for documentation of patient consent for publication and for any potentially identifying information. Submissions that include identifying patient information without appropriate patient consent will not be considered for publication.

If identifying information is discovered after publication, the article will be temporarily withdrawn while any content compromising participant privacy is removed. 

 

Cell lines

At submission, authors must declare what cell lines were used. Describing sources of cell lines indicates their origin and allows for the research to be reproduced.

For de novo cell lines derived from human tissue, authors must confirm that they obtained approval from an institutional review board or equivalent ethics committee and consent from the donor or next of kin.

Manuscripts using cell lines are checked at initial submission. Those that do not meet the requirements for cell line research will be rejected. Issues with cell lines’ identity, ethical oversight, or potential contamination discovered after publication may lead to a correction or retraction.

Editors and reviewers should evaluate cell line information during peer review and notify the journal if any concerns arise.

 

Animal Research

Studies involving animals must be conducted according to internationally-accepted standards.

Authors must obtain prior approval from their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent ethics committee(s).

The name of the IACUC or equivalent ethics committee, as well as relevant permit numbers, must be provided at submission.

 

Non-human primates

Non-human primate studies must be performed in accordance with the recommendations of the Weatherall report, The use of non-human primates in research. Manuscripts describing research involving non-human primates must include details of animal welfare, including information about housing, feeding, and environmental enrichment, and steps taken to minimize suffering, including use of anesthesia and method of sacrifice if appropriate.

Read the submission guidelines for more information about reporting non-human primate research.

 

Reporting guidelines

We encourage authors to comply with the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines, developed by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

The ARRIVE guidelines can be applied to any area of bioscience research using laboratory animals. They aim to improve standards of reporting to ensure that the data from animal experiments can be fully scrutinized, reproduced, and utilized.

Relevant information should be included in the appropriate section of the article (e.g. title, abstract, or methods, etc.), as outlined in the ARRIVE guidelines. Where research could be confused as pertaining to human clinical research, the animal model should also be noted in the article title.

 

Unregulated research

Where unregulated animals are used or ethics approval is not required by a specific committee, authors should include a clear statement of this fact and the reasons why ethical approval is not required. The journal staff and editors will assess these situations on a case-by-case basis.

 

Policy enforcement

All submissions describing research involving animals will be checked by journal staff and editors to ensure that the requirements above are met. Failure to meet requirements may be grounds for rejection.

We reserve the right to reject work that the editors believe has not been conducted to a high ethical standard, even if authors have obtained formal approval or if approval is not required under local regulations.

If concerns are discovered after publication, the journal staff will investigate and, should substantial concerns arise regarding the handling of animals or oversight for the research, we may issue a correction or retraction as appropriate. We also reserve the right to contact the authors’ institution, ethics committee or other appropriate body in relation to these concerns.

 

Availability of data and materials

Submission of a manuscript to GMJ implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.

GMJ strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers, and where there is a community established norm for data sharing, GMJ mandates data deposition (for data types with required deposition, see below).

We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the list of recommended repositories (see blew) .

Support on our data policy for authors and editors can be found at info@gmj.ir. This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories. It is independent of journal, book and conference proceedings editorial offices and does not advise on specific manuscripts.

 

Availability of data and materials section

All authors must include an “Availability of Data and Materials” section in their manuscript detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. Authors who do not wish to share their data must state that data will not be shared, and give the reason.

 

Availability of data and materials statements can take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets):

·      The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]

·      The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

·      All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].

·      The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

·      Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.

·      The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].

·      Not applicable. If your manuscript does not contain any data, please state 'Not applicable' in this section.

 

GMJ endorses the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).

 

Note: This section will not be show in the published articles.

 

List of recommended repositories

A list of recommended repositories by subject area and data type can be found on the blew table. If you have questions as to the suitability of a given repository, please contact the helpdesk at info@gmj.ir.

 

Repository Name

Information on fees/costs

Size limits

Integrated with Scientific Data's manuscript submission system

Re3data / FAIRSharing entry

Dryad Digital Repository

$120 USD for first 20 GB, and $50 USD for each additional 10 GB

None stated

Yes _

view FAIRsharing entry

figshare

100 GB free per Scientific Datamanuscript. Additional fees apply for larger datasets

1 TB per dataset

Yes _ - To qualify for the 100 GB of free storage, data must be uploaded to figshare via our submission system. Download instructions.

view FAIRsharing entry

Harvard Dataverse

Contact repository for datasets over 1 TB

2.5 GB per file, 10 GB per dataset

No

view re3data entry

Open Science Framework

Free of charge

5 GB per file, multiple files can be uploaded

No

view FAIRsharing entry

Zenodo

Donations towards sustainability encouraged

50 GB per dataset

No

view re3data entry

 

 

 

Community-established norm of data deposition

Mandatory deposition

Suitable repositories

Protein sequences

Uniprot

DNA and RNA sequences

Genbank

DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)

EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)

DNA and RNA sequencing data

NCBI Trace Archive

NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA) 

Genetic polymorphisms

dbSNP

dbVar

European Variation Archive (EVA)

Linked genotype and phenotype data

dbGAP

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)

Macromolecular structure

Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)

Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB)

Microarray data (must be MIAME compliant)

Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

ArrayExpress

Crystallographic data for small molecules

Cambridge Structural Database

 

 

Publication of clinical datasets

For datasets containing clinical data, authors have an ethical and legal responsibility to respect participants’ rights to privacy and to protect their identity. Ideally, authors should gain informed consent for publication of the dataset from participants at the point of recruitment to the trial. If this is not possible, authors must demonstrate that publication of such data does not compromise anonymity or confidentiality or breach local data protection laws, for the dataset to be considered for publication. Authors must consider whether the dataset contains any direct or indirect identifiers and consult their local ethics committee or other appropriate body before submission if there is any possibility that participants will not be fully anonymous. Authors must state in their manuscript on submission whether informed consent was obtained for publication of patient data. If informed consent was not obtained, authors must state the reason for this, and which body was consulted in the preparation of the dataset.

 

Software and code

Any previously unreported software application or custom code described in the manuscript should be available for testing by reviewers in a way that preserves their anonymity. The manuscript should include a description in the Availability of Data and Materials section of how the reviewers can access the unreported software application or custom code. This section should include a link to the most recent version of your software or code (e.g. GitHubor or Sourceforge) as well as a link to the archived version referenced in the manuscript. The software or code should be archived in an appropriate repository with a DOI or another unique identifier. For software in GitHub, we recommend using Zenodo. If published, the software application/tool should be readily available to any scientist wishing to use it for non-commercial purposes, without restrictions (such as the need for a material transfer agreement). If the implementation is not made freely available, then the manuscript should focus clearly on the development of the underlying method and not discuss the tool in any detail.

 

Competing Interests

A competing interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to GMJ.

Competing interests can be financial or non-financial, professional, or personal. Competing interests can arise in relationship to an organization or another person.

Declaring all potential competing interests is a requirement at GMJ and is integral to the transparent reporting of research.

Failure to declare competing interests can result in immediate rejection of a manuscript. If an undisclosed competing interest comes to light after publication, GMJ will take action in accordance with COPE guidelines and issue a public notification to the community. 

 

What to declare

All potentially competing interests (see below) must be declared if they occurred within 5 years of conducting, or preparing for publication, the research under consideration.

Interests outside the 5-year time frame must also be declared if they could reasonably be perceived as competing according to the definition above.

 

Financial competing interests

Financial competing interests include but are not limited to:

o Ownership of stocks or shares

o Paid employment or consultancy

o Board membership

o Patent applications (pending or actual), including individual applications or those belonging to the institution to which the authors are affiliated and from which the authors may benefit

o Research grants (from any source, restricted or unrestricted)

o Travel grants and honoraria for speaking or participation at meetings

o Gifts

 

Non-financial competing interests

Non-financial competing interests include but are not limited to:

o Acting as an expert witness

o  Membership in a government or other advisory board

o  Relationship (paid or unpaid) with organizations and funding bodies including nongovernmental organizations, research institutions, or charities

o  Membership of lobbying or advocacy organizations

o  Writing or consulting for an educational company

o  Personal relationships (i.e. friend, spouse, family member, current or previous mentor, adversary) with individuals involved in the submission or evaluation of a paper, such as authors, reviewers, editors, or members of the editorial board of GMJ               

o  Personal convictions (political, religious, ideological, or other) related to a paper's topic that might interfere with an unbiased publication process (at the stage of authorship, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication)

 

Who must declare competing interests?

Authors

At the time of submission, authors must state what competing interests are relevant to the submitted research. These may include but are not limited to:

o   Names of all funding sources

o   Description of funder’s role in the study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the paper; and/or decision to submit for publication

o   Whether they have served or currently serve on the editorial board of the journal to which they are submitting

o   Whether they have acted as an expert witness in relevant legal proceedings

o   Whether they have sat or currently sit on a committee for an organization that may benefit from publication of the paper

 

Editors and reviewers

Editors (professional or academic, paid or unpaid) and reviewers must declare their own competing interests and if necessary disqualify themselves from involvement in the assessment of a manuscript.

Common reasons for editors and reviewers to recuse themselves from the peer review process may include but are not limited to:

o   They work at the same institution or organization as an author, currently or recently

o   They collaborate with an author, currently or recently

o   They have published with an author during the past 5 years

o   They have held grants with an author, currently or recently

o   They have a personal relationship with an author that does not allow them to evaluate the manuscript objectively

 

Readers

Anyone who comments on published GMJ articles must declare all competing interests (financial or non-financial) at the time of posting the comment.

 

Editorial actions and decisions

GMJ editors must take all competing interests into account during the review process and ensure that any relevant ones are declared in the published article.

GMJ editors will not publish commissioned or any other non-research articles if they are aware of a competing interest that, in their judgment, could introduce bias or a reasonable perception of bias.

GMJ editors do not consult reviewers who have competing interests that, in the editors' judgment, could interfere with unbiased review. 

 

Disclosure of Funding Sources

GMJ authors are required to declare what support they received to carry out their research. Declaring funding sources acknowledges funders’ contributions, fulfills funding requirements, and promotes greater transparency in the research process.

We support GPP2 Good Publication Practice for Communicating Company Sponsored Medical Research.

 

What to declare

Each author must individually declare all sources of funding received for the research submitted to the journal. This information includes the name of granting agencies, grant numbers, and a description of each funder’s role. If the funder has played no role in the research, this must be stated as well.

Authors are not required to provide the complete list of every single grant that supports them if the grant is not related to the research published

Funding statement

A Funding Statement is included in the metadata of each published article. The Funding Statement includes the funding information declared by the authors.

Inaccurate information about funding discovered after publication may require a correction.

 

How to declare

Funding information is entered in the online submission system. Read the submission guidelines.

 

Funding from tobacco companies

GMJ will not consider for publication manuscripts in which any of the research costs or authors' salaries have been funded, in whole or in part, by a tobacco company.

 

Content License

GMJ applies the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) license to works we publish. This license was developed to facilitate open access – namely, free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types.

Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

 

Using GMJ content

No permission is required from the authors or the publishers to reuse or repurpose GMJ content provided the original article is cited. In most cases, appropriate attribution can be provided by simply citing the original article.

If the item you plan to reuse is not part of a published article (e.g., a featured issue image), then indicate the originator of the work, and the volume, issue, and date of the journal in which the item appeared.

For any reuse or redistribution of a work, you must also make clear the license terms under which the work was published.

 

Figures, Tables, and Images

Figures, tables, and images are published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

 

Data

If any relevant accompanying data is submitted to repositories with stated licensing policies, the policies should not be more restrictive than CC BY.

 

Submitting copyrighted or proprietary content

Do not submit any figures, photos, tables, or other works that have been previously copyrighted or that contain proprietary data unless you have and can supply written permission from the copyright holder to use that content. This includes:

o maps and satellite images

o slogans and logos

o social media content.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is not acceptable in GMJ submissions. Plagiarized content will not be considered for publication. If plagiarism is identified, we will follow COPE guidelines.

 

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

·      Directly copying text from other sources without attribution

·      Copying ideas, images, or data from other sources without attribution

·      Reusing text from your own previous publications without attribution or agreement of the editor (read the COPE guidelines on text recycling)

Exception: Reusing text from the Methods section in the author’s previous publications, with attribution to the source, is acceptable.

·      Using an idea from another source with slightly modified language without attribution

GMJ uses Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) to screen submitted content for originality. We will do a follow-up investigation if the software raises any concerns. If plagiarism is detected during the peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we may issue a correction or retract the paper, as appropriate. We reserve the right to inform authors' institutions about plagiarism detected either before or after publication. We expect that editors and reviewers will be vigilant in their evaluation of GMJ submissions and will notify the journal about any plagiarism identified.

 

Confidentiality

We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the peer review process, in accordance with COPE guidelines. All submitted material should be treated as strictly confidential until published. The peer review process is confidential to all parties. Correspondence as part of the review process is also to be treated confidentially by all parties, including authors. Authors may provide basic details about the nature of the research presented in manuscripts currently under review. Editors and reviewers are required to treat all submitted manuscripts in strict confidence and should not share information about submissions with any other parties unless previously agreed with the editor. The involvement of a third party in the review must be declared at the time of the submission of the review. We expect that editors and reviewers will not make use of any material or take advantage of any information they gain through the peer review process. We will follow up on any and all breaches of confidentiality. If there are any concerns about misconduct during the review process, we will follow COPE guidelines in investigating them.

 

Anonymity

Reviewers may identify themselves by signing their names at the time reviews are submitted if they wish.

 

Preprint servers

GMJ allows and encourages researchers to share early versions of their original research manuscripts via preprint servers.

Posting a research article on a preprint server prior to or concurrently with submission to a GMJ journal will not preclude consideration of your manuscript for peer review in any GMJ journal. You are also free to post revisions of your manuscript on a preprint server prior to acceptance.

We ask that you include the DOI of your preprint with your GMJ submission to facilitate linking between the preprint and the accepted peer-reviewed article upon publication.

Publication platforms that post your article immediately upon submission and automatically provide post-publication peer review are not preprint servers. When you commit to peer review and publication by submitting your article to either a journal or a publication platform with post-publication peer review, you may not submit it to GMJ while it is under consideration. 

 

Submission and publication of related studies

Author requirements

Upon submission of a manuscript, authors must indicate whether there are any related manuscripts under consideration or published elsewhere. If related work has been submitted or published elsewhere, authors must include a copy of it with their submission and describe its relation to the submitted work.

Prior publication of research as a thesis, presentation at medical or scientific conferences, or posting on preprint servers will not preclude consideration of your manuscript.

GMJ supports the public disclosure of all clinical trial results, as mandated, for example, by the 2007 FDA Amendments Act. Prior disclosure of results on a clinical trial registry site will not affect consideration.

 

Editor and reviewer requirements

Reviewers and editors should evaluate any related content and notify the journal of overlap. Editors and reviewers should alert the journal if they identify duplicate submissions or publications during the review process.

 

Policy enforcement

If related content is found to be too similar to the GMJ submission, or if a duplicate submission is discovered, we will reject the manuscript.

Duplicate content discovered after publication will be addressed depending on the degree of overlap. GMJ may issue a correction or a retraction as appropriate.

 

Figure preparation

Image files should not be manipulated or adjusted in any way that could lead to misinterpretation of the information present in the original image.

 

Biosecurity and dual use research of concern

We recognize that certain research may fall into the category of “dual use research of concern.” This is defined by the NSABB as any "biological research with legitimate scientific purpose that may be misused to pose a biologic threat to public health and/or national security." As an Open Access publisher, GMJ remains committed to the widespread dissemination of research while being sensitive to the issues of responsible publication standards. In this context, we assess the risks and benefits of the research. If the risks outweigh the benefits, we will not consider the research for publication.

 

Author requirements

Authors are obligated to disclose potential bioethics/dual use concerns to the journal office at the time of initial submission.

 

Editor and reviewer requirements

Editors and reviewers are expected to evaluate potential risks and alert the journal with any concerns.

 

Policy enforcement

We follow standards set by national and public agencies and we work with these agencies to verify potential risks. We may also refer concerns to the GMJ Dual Use Committee for further deliberation. Manuscripts are checked at submission for any potential risks. Issues identified at submission may lead to rejection of the manuscript. If risks are identified after publication of an article, we will take steps to minimize that risk in accordance with prevailing guidelines. We will follow up with authors’ institutions depending on the severity of the issues.

 

Research conducted by GMJ

In our efforts to improve the peer review system and scientific communication, we have an ongoing research program on the processes we use in the course of manuscript handling at the GMJ. If you are a reviewer, author or editor at GMJ, and you wish to opt out of this research, please contact the relevant journal office. Participation does not affect the editorial consideration of submitted manuscripts, nor GMJ' policies relating to confidentiality of authors, reviewers or manuscripts.

Individual research projects will be subject to appropriate ethical consideration and approval and if necessary individuals will be contacted for specific consent to participate.

 

Authorship

Everyone listed as an author should meet our criteria for authorship. Everyone who meets our criteria for authorship must be listed as an author.

We expect that all authors will take public responsibility for the content of the manuscript submitted to GMJ. The contributions of all authors must be described.

All authors will be contacted by email at submission to ensure that they are aware of and approve the submission of the manuscript, its content, and its authorship. Some GMJ journals require that all co-authors confirm their assent to publication by email. 

 

Authorship criteria

An 'author' is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. We recommend that you adhere to the guidelines for authorship that are applicable in your research field or, in the absence of any guidelines, to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines. According to the ICMJE guidelines, to qualify as an author one should have:

 

1.   made substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;

2.   been involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content;

3.   given final approval of the version to be published. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content; and

4.   agreed 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.

 

Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not usually justify authorship.

 

Group authorship

The ICMJE recommends that group authorship adhere to the following guidelines:

When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully

meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.

 

Author contributions

The contributions of all authors must be described. GMJ has adopted the CRediT Taxonomy of author contributions. As the submitting author will be responsible for completing this information at submission, it is expected that all authors will have reviewed, discussed, and agreed to their individual contributions ahead of this time.

Contributor Role

Role Definition

Conceptualization

Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.

Methodology

Development or design of methodology; creation of models.

Software

Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.

Validation

Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.

Formal Analysis

Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.

Investigation

Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.

Resources

Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.

Data Curation

Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later reuse.

Writing – Original Draft Preparation

Creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).

Writing – Review & Editing

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.

Visualization

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.

Supervision

Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.

Project Administration

Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.

Funding Acquisition

Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.

 

 

Contributor Role

Role Definition

Conceptualization

Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims.

Methodology

Development or design of methodology; creation of models.

Software

Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components.

Validation

Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs.

Formal Analysis

Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.

Investigation

Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection.

Resources

Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools.

Data Curation

Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later reuse.

Writing – Original Draft Preparation

Creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation).

Writing – Review & Editing

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages.

Visualization

Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation.

Supervision

Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team.

Project Administration

Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution.

Funding Acquisition

Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication.

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.

 

Professional medical writers

The involvement of any professional medical writer in the publication process must be declared.

The European Medical Writers' Association Guidelines contain additional information about the role of medical writers. 

 

Authorship changes

GMJ follow the COPE guidelines for changes in authorship.

Changing the author list after submission requires agreement from all authors. This includes additions, deletions, and changes in ordering. Authors wishing to make changes to authorship will be asked to complete our change of authorship form. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

If the change is deemed to be appropriate, the corresponding author must receive and provide to GMJ the consent to the change from all the authors, including any being added, deleted, or reordered. 

Authorship issues identified after publication may result in a correction. In the case of an authorship dispute, GMJ will not arbitrate. If the authors are unable to resolve the dispute themselves, we will raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.

 

 Author identification

GMJ endorses ORCID and encourages every author, editor, and reviewer to register and use their ORCID.  We participate in the auto-update feature implemented by Crossref such that when a paper is published, the authors’ ORCIDs (where we have them) are deposited and subsequently used to update each author’s ORCID record.

In the near future, GMJ will begin requiring corresponding authors to provide their ORCID when submitting a manuscript.

 

Corresponding Author Responsibilities

The corresponding author takes responsibility for, and speaks on behalf of all authors.

 

Pre-publication

- Ensure that the manuscript is in full adherence to all GMJ Editorial Policies and Publication Ethics.

- Ensure that all authors have access to the final version of the manuscript that is submitted to the journal, and agree to the author list and author contributions. 

- Ensure that all authors have seen the final draft of the manuscript before it is published.

- Provide to GMJ written confirmation that all authors consent to any requested changes in the manuscript’s authorship.  

 

Post-publication

- Continue to be the point of contact for queries about the published paper.

- Inform all coauthors of any matters arising and ensure such matters are dealt with promptly.

 

Editor and reviewer requirements

Editors should be aware of the author list and author affiliations when they invite reviewers to review a manuscript in order to reduce the likelihood of inviting individuals with potentially competing interests that would disqualify them from participating in the peer review process.

Editors and reviewers should contact to GMJ with any concerns about the author list or if they identify any potentially competing interests that should be declared or that mean they should recuse themselves from the process.

 

Citations

Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.

Authors should consider the following guidelines when preparing their manuscript:

 

- Any statement in the manuscript that relies on external sources of information (i.e. not the authors' own new ideas or findings or general knowledge) should use a citation.

- Authors should avoid citing derivations of original work. For example, they should cite the original work rather than a review article that cites an original work.

- Authors should ensure that their citations are accurate (i.e. they should ensure the citation supports the statement made in their manuscript and should not misrepresent another work by citing it if it does not support the point the authors wish to make).

- Authors should not cite sources that they have not read.

- Authors should not preferentially cite their own or their friends’, peers’, or institution’s publications.

- Authors should avoid citing work solely from one country.

- Authors should not use an excessive number of citations to support one point.

Ideally, authors should cite sources that have undergone peer review where possible.

- Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.

 

Corrections and Retractions

Rarely, it may be necessary for GMJ to publish corrections to, or retractions of, articles published in its journal, so as to maintain the integrity of the academic record.

In line with GMJ’s Permanency policy, corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing an Erratum or a Retraction article, without altering the original article in any way other than to add a prominent link to the Erratum/Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent Erratum or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory, we may have to remove that material from our site and archive sites.

 

Corrections

Changes to published articles that affect the interpretation and conclusion of the article, but do not fully invalidate the article, will, at the Editor(s)’ discretion, be corrected via publication of an Erratum that is indexed and linked to the original article.

 

Retractions

On rare occasions, when the scientific information in an article is substantially undermined, it may be necessary for published articles to be retracted. GMJ will follow the COPE guidelines in such cases. Retraction articles are indexed and linked to the original article.

 

 Check List of Ethical Requirements and Responsibilities

Authors' Responsibilities

- Authors must certify that their manuscript is their original work.

- Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere, or even submitted and been in reviewed in another journal.

 - Authors must participate in the peer review process and follow the comments.

- Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.

- All Authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research. Level of their contribution also must be defined in the “Authors’ Contributions” section of the article.

- Authors must state that all data in the paper are real and authentic.

 - Authors must notify the Editors of any conflicts of interest.

- Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript.

 - Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.

- Authors must not use irrelevant sources that may help other researches/journals.

- Authors cannot withdraw their articles within the review process or after submission, or they must pay the penalty defined by the publisher.

·       

Peer Review/Responsibility for the Reviewers

- Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information.

 - Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author. No self-knowledge of the author(s) must affect their comments and decision.

 - Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments in 500 to 1000 words.

- Reviewers may identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.

- Reviewers should also call to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

- Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

 

Editorial Responsibilities

 - Editors (Associate Editors or Editor in Chief) have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article.

- Editors are responsible for the contents and overall quality of the publication.

 - Editors should always consider the needs of the authors and the readers when attempting to improve the publication.

- Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record.

 - Editors should publish errata pages or make corrections when needed.

 - Editors should have a clear picture of a research's funding sources.

 - Editors should base their decisions solely on the papers' importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to publication's scope.

 - Editors should not reverse their decisions nor overturn the ones of previous editors without serious reason.

 - Editors should preserve the anonymity of reviewers (in half blind peer review journal).

 - Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to international accepted ethical guidelines.

 - Editors should only accept a paper when reasonably certain.

- Editors 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.

 - Editors should not reject papers based on suspicions; they should have proof of misconduct.

 - Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers and board members.

 - Editors must not change their decision after submitting a decision (especially after reject or accept) unless they have a serious reason.