ETHICS FOR QUALITEN PRESS
Qualiten publishes scholarly content for public use; thus, it is our duty to serve with full integrity, transparency and accountability. Additionally, we promote ethical conduct by authors, editors, reviewers and readers to maintain the credibility of scientific and medical scholarly output.
ALL ETHICS FOR QUALITEN PRESS (Code of Conduct)
Ethics in publishing and services that we provide
- Guiding Principles & Adaptations
- Open Access
- Copyright & Licenses
- Quality Peer Review System
- Transparency – Peer Review Result Publication
- Promoting Data Sharing & Deposition
- Protection of Human & Animal Subjects
- Gross Image Masking
- Responsibility for Biosecurity & Cultures
- Long Term Preservation & Archiving
- Fair Service Charge
- Transparency & Fairness
- Accountability & Communication
- Respect for Other
- Global Citizenship
- Law Abiding
- Personal Data & Privacy
WHY PUBLICATION & BUSINESS ETHICS ARE IMPORTANT?
Peer-reviewed science and medical journals are considered as trusted sources of scholarly content that fosters further innovation and advancements in science and healthcare for public benefit. The soundness, reproducibility and usability of scholarly content directly depend on the integrity and ethics collectively followed by authors, reviewers, readers and publishers. Professional and ethical conduct of publisher throughout its processes and practices helps in maintaining the virtue and trustworthiness of scientific and medical scholarly communications.
The open access publication of peer-reviewed articles is possible because of diligent work by scientist, feedback provided by expert peer-reviewers, and funding supported by the scientific community. A global community is involved in culmination of scientific output; hence, it is our duty as publisher to perform our services with full integrity, transparency and accountability.
Qualiten Press strictly adheres to its publishing and business ethics. Additionally, we provide ethics guidelines to help authors, editors, reviewers and readers, who are involved in creation, review and usage of scholarly content. We have developed our publishing ethics guidelines based on standards recommended by international bodies such as Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), World Medical Association (WMA), Office of Research Integrity – US Department of Health & Human Services (ORI – US DHHS), UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO), Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS – UNESCO – WHO) and others.
1. Guiding Principles & Adaptations
We have developed our publishing ethics guidelines based on standards recommended by international bodies on research and publication ethics. Few of those associations, funders and initiatives are:
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is UK based non-profit organization that has been developing and promoting standard practices in publication ethics for over 20 years. COPE provides essential educational resources (ten “Core Practices”, flowcharts to handle misconduct, eLearning courses, etc.) and a common platform (COPE Forum, Seminars, etc.) for discussion and exchange of ethics related information for editors and publishers worldwide.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is an exclusive committee of 14 members that includes representations from few journals as well as US National Library of Medicine and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). Since 1978, ICMJE (previously known as Vancouver Group) has developed, revised and published “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals”, which guides individuals and publishers with best practices and ethics involved in scholarly publishing.
World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) is a non-profit organization (formed in 1995) to facilitate virtual collaboration and communication between editors of peer-reviewed medical journals worldwide. It is an open member-based organization with core focus on improving editorial standards, educating on ethics and encouraging self-improvement in medical editing and publishing.
Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) is an international biomedical association established in 1949 by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). CIOMS provides guidance and resources for safety in medical product development and bioethics in public health. CIOMS has published multiple reports on bioethics and pharmacovigilance, such as Management of Safety Information from Clinical Trials (2005), Practical Approaches to Risk Minimization for Medicinal Products (2014), CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans (2016), CIOMS Guide to Active Vaccine Safety Surveillance (2017).
World Medical Association (WMA) was founded in 1947 and is one of the largest international medical association of physicians. WMA has produced various declarations, resolutions and reports to drive professional conduct and promote highest possible medical ethics for physicians. Some major policies from WMA are described in Declaration of Geneva (modern medical oath), Declaration of Helsinki (code of conduct in medical research involving human subjects), Declaration of Tokyo (guidelines to prevent torture), Declaration of Taipei (use of health database, big data and biobank).
Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement was developed by a group of scientist and medical editors in 1996 (revised in 2010) to standardize the reporting of randomized control trials (RCTs) and to protect healthy individuals involved in clinical trials. CONSORT contains a 25-item checklist and a flow diagram that assist authors in developing article for publication. Reporting of randomized control trials during publishing helps readers to clearly understand the methodology and to interpret the trial results.
Good Publication Practice 3 (GPP3) is a set of guidelines developed by International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP). ISMPP is a US non-profit organization founded in 2005 for promotion of ethical and effective medical communication from medical publication professionals such as medical writers and publishers. GPP guidelines assist medical writers to write and report medical finding sponsored by pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies ethically and responsibly.
Few other resources on ethics in science research and publishing include, EQUATOR Network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of Health Research), TREND (Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs – CDC), STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies), PRISMA Statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), STROBE Statement (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology), 3Rs (National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research–NC3Rs), etc.
Qualiten Press follows many other resources on publication ethics and keeps itself and its authors, editors and reviewers abreast with current standards in the field.
2. Open Access
Public is the funder, creator and user of research; hence public should get unrestricted access to published research outcomes. All articles at Qualiten Journals are immediate Open Access, which implies that anyone in the world can access and utilize our articles with no delay or paywall hindrance. Open access publication has multiple public benefits over subscription-based publication.
3. Copyright & Licenses
All articles published with Qualiten Journals are open access and licensed under most permissive Creative Commons license. Authors retain the copyright to their articles, thereby having the right to disseminate the knowledge they have created through their hard work and intellect. This is not possible in many subscription-based traditional journals that require authors to surrender the copyrights during publication.
Articles published in Qualiten Journals are the copyright property of its Author(s). Rights to all other content, graphics, designs, features and presentations (including website UI/UX and web codes), etc. are reserved by Qualiten Press.
Qualiten Journals’ articles are published under CC BY 4.0 (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International) license. This license permits that anyone in the world can use, reuse and share these articles given that authors and publishing journals are cited appropriately.
4. Quality Peer Review System
Managing and promoting a rigorous and honest peer review is the core professional duty of any scholarly publisher. Also, it a moral obligation of a scholarly publisher that helps in maintaining public trust in scholarly content.
Qualiten Press performs multilevel and multistage quality control before any article gets published. Qualiten Press performs plagiarism check, scientific merit check, ethical compliance and other checks before initiating a formal double-blinded peer review of articles. During peer review stage, articles are thoroughly evaluated by handling editor and reviewers who are independent subject matter experts in the field of articles. The handling editors freely make decision on articles acceptance or rejection (based on personal evaluation and other reviewers’ comments), without any involvement of Qualiten Press in decision process. Qualiten Press’ role is only to facilitate the double-blinded peer review by maintaining the communication between authors, handling editors and reviewers.
Qualiten Press also continuously monitors articles for any misleading facts or technical errors post-publication through our journal club, whistleblowers, readers’ comments, etc. Any minor errors are informed to author and asked for edits. Major factual errors or data fabrication leads to the retraction of article from Journal.
The eventual goal of scholarly publication is to share the new knowledge that is useful and reproducible by others to solve unmet needs in science, medicine and healthcare. You may find more details of our process at “Peer Review Process”.
5. Transparency – Peer Review Result Publication
Qualiten Press publishes Peer-Review Summary along with manuscript to inform readers with critical comments and limitations of articles. Also, it promotes transparency and helps in development of new ideas for future research.
An efficient publication process requires coordinated efforts from handling editor, reviewers, authors and journal staff. Qualiten Press staff diligently work to maintain the timeliness (without affecting quality of work) by maintaining efficient communications with editors, reviewers and authors.
Efficient processes expedite the publication of accepted articles. Moreover, a timely provision of rejection decisions to authors saves time and resources for authors that can be utilized by them to revise and improve the manuscript.
7. Promoting Data Sharing & Deposition
Qualiten Press provides resources and guidance to its authors to report and deposit data in reputed international repositories for easy access to other researchers. Few of such repositories are: “ClinicalTrials.gov”, “WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP)”, “Universal Protein Resource (UniProt)”, “GenBank”, “European Nucleotide Archive (ENA)”, “DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ)”, “Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)”, “Database of Genotype and Phenotype (dbGaP)”, “ArrayExpress”. If you are an author, check further details in “Resources for Authors” and “Ethics for Authors”. Authors can also refer to a detailed list of repositories at Biological Repositories, which is regularly updated by Qualiten Press team.
Also, we promote sharing of unprocessed data and materials that can reduce redundancy of experiments and improve reproducibility of research studies.
8. Protection of Human & Animal Subjects
Qualiten Press strictly adheres to the goals of protection of human and animal subjects in science and medical research. Any study submitted for publication in our journals, should follow the acceptable standard ethics and guidelines in the field, to protect the human and animal subjects. Studies involving human and animal subjects go through additional scrutiny during peer review process at Qualiten Journals.
We recommend that authors follow the institutional, local jurisdiction and international guidelines throughout the research process, whenever human and animal subjects are involved. We provide detailed information on ethics involved in usage of human and animal subjects at our “Ethics for Authors” page. Authors should refer to Declaration of Helsinki (World Medical Association, WMA) and Belmont Report (National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, USA). Both provide ethical principles and guidelines for medical research involving human subjects. Authors are encouraged to use validated in vitro models wherever possible. However, if use of animal subjects is unavoidable, then well-known animal welfare Principles of 3Rs (developed by National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research, UK) should be followed.
9. Gross Image Masking
Science and medical scholarly content may involve publication of images or graphics that might disturb some viewers (for example surgery procedures, specific medical conditions, etc.). Qualiten Press takes extreme care and uses image masking technology if images are perceived to be disturbing to some viewers. In such cases, images show warning and viewers discretion is required to see those images.
10. Responsibility for Biosecurity & Cultures
All manuscripts submitted to our journals go through quality check from our staff as well as peer review from independent subject matter experts. During this process, if content of manuscript is found to be damaging to biosecurity, environment, specific cultures or heritage then it is reported to author. We intend not to publish any manuscript that poses threat to public health, people’s cultures, and environment. As a scholarly publisher, it is our responsibility to safeguard and filter out any such content from being published in our Journals. Furthermore, we actively engage with readers to understand whether the published article is negatively affecting public health, cultures or environment.
11. Long Term Preservation & Archiving
Long-term preservation and indexing of authors’ articles at independent, reliable and publicly accessible platforms are our priority. Proper archiving, cataloging and indexing of journals increase accessibility of articles and safeguards the scholarly work for future.
Qualiten Journals are following all the quality standards and guidelines, to facilitate its future indexing at following platforms: PORTICO, CLOCKSS, NLM Catalog, Sherpa/Romeo, WorldCat, DOAJ, Research4Life, Google Scholar, PubMed Central, MEDLINE. Qualiten Journals are in communication with standard archives and indexes for the collaboration and inclusion of our content.
12. Fair Service Charge
Qualiten Press believes in publishing novel and rigorously peer-reviewed content of significant impact, which is accessible to readers without any paywall. Development, maintenance and sustainability of good quality Journals is a complex, demanding and expensive undertaking.
Qualiten Press services involved in publication of the article include article quality check, independent peer review, tracking, production and publication processes from submission to publication. All articles (except for editorial and commentary) go through full peer review process, where novelty, impact, soundness of research method, and ethical considerations are evaluated by independent subject matter experts (peer-reviewers and handling editors). Based on reviewers’ comments and authors’ revision, handling editors make final decision on acceptance or rejection of articles.
All articles which are rejected after peer review are returned to authors along with peer-review summary that authors can utilize to improve their work. No service fee is charged to the Authors for rejected articles. Article Processing Charge (APC) is a fair service charge that is generally paid on behalf of author (by author’s institute, library, funding agency, etc.) or by author itself, only upon successful acceptance of their article for publication. Accepted articles undergo production and open access publication in specified Qualiten Journals. Additional post publication services are provided to author to enhance the reach and impact of the content.
Qualiten Press strictly adheres to its publishing and business ethics. Authors, editors, reviewers and readers are encouraged to report any ethical misconduct by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our ethics committee is dedicated to handle and take appropriate decision based on standard ethical principles in scholarly publishing. We refer to misconduct handling guidelines provided by international bodies such as Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), World Medical Association (WMA), Office of Research Integrity – US Department of Health & Human Services (ORI – US DHHS), UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO), Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS – UNESCO – WHO) and others.
EASE TO USE (USER EXPERIENCE ENHANCEMENT)
Qualiten Press publishes all its content online, and it is free to readers without any paywall barrier. To democratize the scholarly content, Qualiten Press believes in making information accessible and easy-to-understand. We utilize multiple features to make our content easy-to-understand and improve users’ experience. More details of all features of Qualiten Press website are at “Resources for Readers”.
We are deeply involved in innovating and improving accessibility of scholarly articles for benefit of public. As a scholarly journals’ publisher, we are FIRST IN THE WORLD (as far as we know) to develop and implement following features in peer-reviewed scholarly journals that improve accessibility and understanding of scientific and medical content:
- Article-level Dictionary for easy understanding of scientific content for public.
- Article associated Authors’ Activity to increase collaboration between authors and users (such as other researchers and readers).
- Article Q&A to increase understanding of content and improve audience engagement.
Additionally, we implemented Text-to-Speech feature with each article to improve accessibility for all users, including people with visual impairments or reading difficulties. Furthermore, through Qualiten Insight we publish easy-to-understand latest news, blogs, analysis, opinions, interviews, infographics, quizzes, humor, jobs, etc. to educate and inform public about latest developments in science and medicine.
NO DISCRIMINATION, LIBEL & DEFAMATION
The peer review process in Qualiten Journals involves critical evaluation of articles by handling editors and reviewers and responses of authors. After peer review, accepted articles are published online where worldwide readers have the opportunity to comment on manuscripts or contact authors through our platforms. Being a facilitator of communication and publisher of scholarly content including peer-review summary and comments, it is our ethical responsibility to take care that no derogatory or defamatory content is published online that may harm individuals or institutions. We encourage our editors, reviewers and readers to provide constructive feedback on scholarly content to guide others on quality of work rather than using disrespectful language or tone targeting individuals or institutions.
Qualiten Press ensures that at no stage any discrimination or bias be shown by our authors, reviewers, editors, readers or journal staff based on sex, creed, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin or age. Qualiten Press’ quality assurance team monitors our content and tries to make our platforms a conducive place for scholarly information exchange with goal to advance science and add value to public.
Qualiten Press does not rely on advertisement as a mode of revenue. Advertisements are considered as an opportunity to facilitate connections and collaboration between scholarly community without hindering or influencing the accessibility of scholarly content. All advertisement applications are thoroughly evaluated by our quality assurance team and only the content that is perceived to add meaningful value to our authors, funders, reviewers, and readers are approved for advertisement on our digital and print media. Qualiten Press does not charge any fee for advertisement to our authors, editors, reviewers and non-profit patient advocacy group partners; and there is a nominal fee for for-profit companies. We desire to build a global community that works together to solve unmet needs in science and medicine.
Qualiten Press is socially and environmentally responsible service provider. We volunteer or donate in local science and healthcare related events to promote innovation and awareness for science. We also look forward to global charity in supporting patients to be able to participate in clinical trials and network with researchers.
We believe in minimizing consumption of natural resources and building our planet for long-term sustainability of mankind and other lives. All our services – whether Qualiten Journals, Qualiten Insight or Rare Is Special – operate through secure & fully online platforms, significantly decreasing usage of paper, ink and other resources.
In honor of contribution towards scholarly content by our authors, editors and peer-reviewers, we support National Forest Foundation (a non-profit partner of United States Forest Service) in plantation of 10 plants for each article that we publish.
GENERAL BUSINESS ETHICS
Our brand, our name (Qualiten) and our team are instilled with following business ethics and we take pride in the services we provide for the benefit of science and society. Additionally, we are committed for continuous learning from our experiences and feedback from content authors, reviewers and users.
We stand by our commitment to keep scholarly publication open access, economical and useful to the public. In order to do so, we perform quality checks, peer reviews, productions, and post publication monitoring with full integrity.
2. Transparency & Fairness
Our goals, processes, quality of output, service charges, etc. are fully defined and explained on webpages. We clearly and openly represent our editorial board members, internal quality check process, peer review process, open access commitment, article processing charges, production process, partnerships, advertisement policies, and other business information at our website or to anyone who required to know any information during our services. We believe in maintaining a collaborative and sustainable relationship with our authors, editors, reviewers, partners and readers.
3. Accountability & Communication
We are accountable and take responsibility of providing the services we promise and accept mistakes or limitations whenever it happens. We believe in keeping all communications prompt and very clear to our users. We invest heavily in processes and developing better solutions for our authors, editors, reviewers and readers.
4. Respect for Other
Our staff provides services and feedbacks in a professional manner, taking care of the dignity and respect of individuals. We are a fully open access and online publisher of scholarly content, which is reviewed and accessed by users worldwide. Thus, we also encourage our users to be respectful to others while peer reviewing a manuscript, responding to reviewers’ comments or commenting on an article. We believe in creating a healthy and dignified platform of scholarly exchange and communication.
5. Global Citizenship
Science and medicine scholarly publishing is a community-driven model where funders, authors, editors, reviewers, users, and public from all walks of lives are involved (directly or indirectly) in funding, creating, utilizing and refining the research for betterment of human civilization. We believe in a global citizenship and serving the people without any limitations of geographies. Together we can create a better world based on increasing understanding of science and healthcare.
6. Law Abiding
All businesses should follow all the laws and regulations at local, national and international levels for the safety of public and environment. We believe not only in following all regulations but also to support the society to move forward in creating a better and healthier environment of sustainable community driven business.
7. Personal Data & Privacy
We take necessary measure to safeguard the personal data of our users that are required to be kept confidential. Also, we take appropriate measure if any such incidence occurs unknowingly.
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