Submissions

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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published and it is not before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • All metadata including emails, ORCIDs, degrees, and affiliations of all authors is accurate, upload with the metadata, and is included with the submission
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format using the proper IJMS Template.
  • The text is in 10-point font, 1.5 spacing, and when required employs italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Instructions for Authors.
  • At least one author of the manuscript is a current medical student in any University in the world, or a physician up to two years after graduation.
  • The submission supplementary files include (if any): EQUATOR Guidelines checklist filled, Figures, Tables, Photographs, Images, and/or Diagrams.
  • The lead author affirms that this manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.
  • Conflict of interest, funding, and acknowledgments has been disclosed in the manuscript.
  • If the article is not an Experience or a Letter to the Editor, the submission should include as a supplementary file a filled checklist based on the study design (STROBE, CARE, PRISMA, SANRA, CONSORT, etc)

Author Guidelines


General Principles

The International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS) is a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal, created to give a voice to the thousands of medical students worldwide, who actively participate in research and who contribute with their actions to the development of better science and medical progress.

The IJMS follows the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of conduct for editors

Every submission excepts for Letters to the Editor or Experiences should include as supplementary material a filled checklist from the EQUATOR's Network, specific to the study design and indicating where in the manuscript the item is fulfilled. For cross-sectional studies, case-control, or cohorts use the STROBE checklist, for case-reports the CARE checklist, Narrative reviews the SANRA checklist, Systematic reviews & Meta-analysis the PRISMA checklist, and for Clinical trials use the CONSORT checklist. Failure to submit the checklist will cause delays in the editorial process.

The IJMS is committed to improving transparency in authorship. Every author must create and link their Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) with their account on the Open Journal System (OJS) prior to acceptance. For more information please visit orcid.org

Article Types

Research Studies Accepted for Publication

The IJMS accepts clinical trials, survey research, reports of diagnostic tests, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and observational and analytical studies. These studies must be adherent to their specific guidelines posted in the EQUATOR Network and must be registered in their specific platforms (i.e., clinicaltrials.gov, PROSPERO, etc.)

Five types of manuscripts may be submitted:

  1. Original Articles.
  2. Short Communications.
  3. Case reports.
  4. Reviews
  5. Special Section: Letters, Experiences, and Interviews.

Specific Criteria

Original Articles

The IJMS prioritizes manuscripts of original research in which there was active participation of at least one medical student or recently graduated physician. This includes papers of clinical, translational, and basic science research. The document should be about 3500 words with around 30 references.

An excepcion applies when the article is a systematic reviews and meta-analysis; the manuscript should contain around 4500 words (without including the Abstract and References), with up to 100 references and adherent to the PRISMA guideliness.

The Abstract should be structured into four sections (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words (See Original Article Template).

Introduction: The Introduction should provide a clear statement of the problem, the relevant literature on the subject, and the proposed approach or solution. It should also include the study’s objective and hypothesis

Methods: Include the design of the study, setting, type of participants or materials involved as well as a description of all interventions and comparisons. The authors should also provide a description of the type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation when appropriate. Well-established methodologies should simply be mentioned and referenced. For new methods, the protocols should be included. The authors should provide enough detail to enable the reproduction of the findings.

Results: The results should be presented with clarity and precision. The results should be written in the past tense. Results should be explained, but largely without referring to the literature. Discussion, speculation, and detailed interpretation of data should not be included in the Results but should be put into the Discussion section. The data should be presented in a logical order and according to the sequence of tables and figures (e.g., firstly, the description of the population, then follow a logical order according to the study).

Discussion: The discussion should interpret the findings in view of the results obtained in this and in past studies. Do not repeat the results in the Discussion section. The first paragraph is usually a summary of the Results section. Then the discussion is presented in a logical order. Limitations of the presented study should be included in this section. State the conclusions in a few sentences at the end of the Discussion section, typically as the final paragraph of this section.

References: The references should be around 30 references. Authors are encouraged to keep the number of references limited to those that are important for the understanding of the manuscript and of scientific relevance.

Short Communications

Short Communications should present a complete study that is more limited in scope than a full-length paper. This indicates that all the requirements specified for Original Articles mentioned above are also required upon submitting a Short Communication to the IJMS, with the following exceptions:

  1. The abstract should be structured into four sections (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words.
  2. The manuscript should contain 2000 words (without including Abstract and citations) and maximum 25 references (See Short Communication Template).
  3. A maximum of two Figures and one Table.

Case Report

Case reports are intended to inform, entertain, and inspire. Present a diagnostic conundrum, and explain how it was solved. The main aspects that should be presented are: presentation, history, examination, investigations, management, and outcome. In the Discussion, educate the reader about the reported case. Case reports should enlighten readers about a condition or presentation that they find interesting. Rarity and overspecialization are not necessary (See Case Report Template).

The following specific criteria should be considered for Case Report Manuscripts:

  1. The abstract should be structured into three sections (Background, Case, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words.
  2. The manuscript should contain 1500 words (without including the Abstract and References), with up to 10 references.
  3. Figures (up to a maximum of two) can be helpful.
  4. Highlights about the case, 3 to 5 bullets calling the attention about the importance of the case.

An Informed Consent Form is available for authors. Authors should not upload the consent to the Journal but they should seek consent from the patient or a representative for publication.

Review

The suggested outline of the Discussion of reviews of medical disorders includes an Introduction, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management and Prevention (See Review Template).

The IJMS encourages authors to adhere to the SANRA guidelines before submitting a Narrative Review. All Reviews should include a brief section entitled “Search strategy and selection criteria” stating the sources (including databases, keywords and free-text search terms and filters, and reference lists from journals or books) of the material covered, and the criteria used to include or exclude studies. Citations to papers published in non-peer-reviewed supplements are discouraged.

The following specific criteria should be considered for Review Manuscripts:

  1. For narrative reviews, the abstract should be unstructured (just a paragraph), not exceeding 250 words. For systematic reviews and/or meta-analysis, the abstract should be structured into four sections (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words
  2. The manuscript should contain around 4500 words (without including the Abstract and References), with up to 100 references.
  3. Figures and tables (up to a maximum of five) can be helpful to aid the reader.

Meta-analysis are considered Original Articles in the IJMS

Special section

This section includes Letters, Experiences, Interviews, and other types of publications of interest to IJMS readers. We welcome correspondence on content published in the Journal or on other topics of interest to our readers, through a Letter to the Editor. Letters of general interest, unlinked to items published in the journal, are also accepted. These can be up to 1000 words long and include up to 10 references.

Letter to the Editor

Correspondence letters are not usually peer-reviewed (we rarely publish original research or Case Reports in this section), but the journal might invite replies from the authors of the original publication, or pass on letters to these authors. Only one table or figure is permitted, and there should be no more than five (5) references and five (5) authors. All accepted letters are edited, and proofs will be sent out to authors before publication (See Letter Template).

Experiences

In Experiences, medical students can send their medical experiences in the areas of academic, social outreach, student exchanges, research, and others. This manuscript should have a maximum of 1000 words and at least 1 figure, with a maximum of up to 5 pictures. In case that you do not have pictures, a mandatory diagram describing the idea (conceptual framework, examples, steps, etc.) is required (See Experience Template).

Interviews

Interviews and other sections will be called for by the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Medical Students. This section will also include short communications from our Partners about their national or international meetings and outcomes (See Interview Template). We do not publish elective experiences unless they represent particular interest to the readership.

References, Tables, and Figures

In brief, journal articles (even if they are online, are classified as journal articles) should be cited including year, month(s) and if described the date of publication, as follow:

  • Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002 May 10;935(1-2):40-6.

Websites should be cited as follow:

Simple website addresses should be included in the references section. It should follow this format: [Organization]. [Title]. Available from: [URL]. Last updated [Month day, year]; cited [Month day, year].

Where updated is the date the website was updated and cited the last date the authors visited the website. Please make sure to remove the brackets ([]) when replacing the information. It should read: 

Further information about references, tables, and figures, can be found in the Appendix of these norms for authors.

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General Instructions for All Types of Articles

Authors must submit the manuscript using the Articles Template, available at their corresponding type below. The editorial process of a submitted manuscript will not start if the manuscript is not in this format.

General instructions for articles:

  • The manuscript must be typed with Arial 10 and 1.5 spacing. No spaces before the lines of the paragraphs.
  • All names of bacteria or other names in Latin should be in italic.
  • All abbreviations are first described and then expressed in parenthesis: World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The Title should be brief and descriptive of the data presented, without overrepresentation of the results and conclusion. Each word should be capitalized except connectors, no period at the end of the title.
  • For Abstract: It must be written in complete sentences, using past tense, active verbs, and third person. Abbreviations should be avoided. No literature should be cited in this section. The aim of the study should be clearly stated in the Background section. Following the abstract, provide five Keywords obtained from MeSH/MEDLINE for indexing purposes.
  • The use of an instrument of evaluation should be stated clearly depending on the type of study, preferably in the Methods. For example: a systematic review (and meta-analysis) with PRISMA, a clinical trial with CONSORT, an observational study with STROBE, a case report with CARE, a clinical practice guideline with AGREE, and for diagnostic tests, STARD.
  • For animal studies, authors must make it clear that the procedures they used were as humane as possible and complied with the guidelines for animal care of their institutions or with national/international guidelines.
  • Only published articles or accepted manuscripts (in press) should be included in the References. Conference abstracts and articles which have been submitted but not yet accepted for publication and personal communications should not be cited in the reference list.
  • Simple website addresses are included in the references section. It should read: [Organization]. [Title]. Available from: [URL]. Last updated [Month day, year]; cited [Month day, year].
    • Where updated is the date the website was updated and cited the last date the authors visited the website. Please make sure to remove the brackets ([]) when replacing the information.
  • The references in the text should be shown with Arabic numerals indicated as superscript after the punctuation mark, at the end of the sentence (e.g. “... sample text.1”, “... sample text two.2-4,7”). We strongly recommend the use of such software (e.g. EndNote©, Reference Manager©, etc.). The IJMS uses the numbered citation method. Click here to download IJMS style for EndNote and follow the tips for installing the referencing style of IJMS described below. If using another reference manager software, please select the output style as Vancouver style (See Appendix A). The references shall not cite retracted articles except in the context of referring to the retraction.

Tips for Installing Referencing Style of IJMS:

  1. Download style file “Int J Med Students.ens” EndNote® by clicking here. Open the file location, it is usually in the downloads folder in C:\Users\User\Downloads.
  2. Cut and paste the file “Int J Med Students.ens” in the "Styles" Folder of EndNote®, usually the folder "Styles" is located in: C:\ProgramFiles\EndNote X\Styles.
  3. Following this, open the manuscript in Word® and click in EndNote® tab and click in Style section on the box and "Select Another Style…". After this a new window will appear, please select style "Int J Med Students" and automatically the format of your references in the document will change to the Journal regulation.

Note: If the title of the article is in a language different than English, please include it translated into English in brackets [], and in EndNote® in the "Language" section, please include the name of the original language of the article.

For Tables and Figures (See Appendix B):

  • The use of Tables and Figures should be adequate. They should effectively support and convey the information on the manuscript.
  • The Tables and Figures should be put in their corresponding sections, after the Discussion, and before the References sections. Check the Articles Templates below for clarification.
  • The Tables should be designed to be as simple as possible without colors. Tables are to be typed single-spaced throughout, including headings and footnotes.
  • There are two ways of presenting Figures: photos or graphics. Photos should be sent in JPG or PNG format in the best possible resolution at least 300 dots per inch (DPI), and size at least 1024 x 768 pixels. However, the overall size of a figure should be less than 1 megabyte. Tip: use Photoshop and export the image as “very high” or “maximum” resolution). Graphs such as charts, bars, lines, diagrams, Box-Plots, schemes, etc; must be prepared necessarily in Microsoft Office Excel©, SPSS© or Stata© and then inserted in the manuscript file.
  • Each Table/Figure should be on a separate page, within the same manuscript, numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, ..., Figure 1, Figure 2, …) and supplied with a heading and a legend.
  • Tables/Figures should be self-explanatory without reference to the text (i.e. the reader can completely understand the table or figure while reading it without having to read the text of the manuscript). All abbreviations included must be explained in the legend along with any other necessary details that correspond to the Table/Figure.
  • The details of the methods used in the experiments should preferably be described in the legend instead of in the text. The same data should not be presented in both table and graph form or repeated in the text.
  • Each word in the title should be capitalized except connectors, no period at the end of the title. The title should include sufficient description so that the Table is understandable without reading the text of the manuscript.
  • The Tables/Figures should be appropriately referenced to within the text (i.e. when describing the information of them in the text, they should state the Table/Figure number at the end of the sentence as: (Table 1) or (Figure 1) (PREFERRED!); or commented: as shown in Table 1 or Figure 1).
  • If the Table/Figure was not originally prepared by the author: (1) the source should be cited in the legend. It should read: “From [cite reference according to ICMJE guidelines]. Copyright© (Year of Publication being used) [Rightsholder]. Reprinted with permission from [rightsholder].” or as stated by the rightsholder in their terms and conditions. (2) the author also should attach the permissions from the entity with copyright for them (usually the editorial and not the author themselves) for use in the IJMS. It should be clear that they obtained permission to reproduce the table/figure from the applicable Rightsholder to use in a Journal or specifically in IJMS.
  • If the original table/figure is not in English, it should include permission rights for translation to English and the translation should be provided by the authors. The license has to be directly granted to one of the authors, it cannot be sublicensed, assigned, or transferred by the author to any other person or entity without permission from the rightsholder.

The IJMS encourages the submission of separate supporting information files, all appendices, detailed protocols, or details of the algorithms pertaining to new protocols or less well-established methods. These are published as online appendices but will be linked to the main article in a fully searchable format.

Generic drug names should generally be used and in cases where proprietary brands have been used, the brand names must be included in parenthesis. Where available, the accession numbers of any nucleic acid sequences and protein sequences cited in the manuscript and the corresponding database name should be provided.

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Publishing Criteria

The criteria that a manuscript needs to meet to be published in the IJMS include: originality, transparency, readability, factual accuracy, clear authorship roles and involvement, and conflict of interest disclosure.

Authorship

At least one author of the manuscript must be:

  • A current medical student in any University in the world. or
  • A physician up to two years after graduation.

Additionally, at least one of the authors of any original article, short communication or review article submitted for consideration for publication needs to be a senior researcher, someone who has experience in the area of research and who preferably has formal research training (i.e. graduate degree).

Each author must have contributed directly to the intellectual content of the manuscript, the genesis, and the analysis of their data. All authors are required to identify their contributions to the work in the manuscript. The IJMS has adopted the CRediT Taxonomy to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work.

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer-review, and pre-post publication process.

Acknowledgments

Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. “Clinical Investigators” or “Participating Investigators”), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” “provided and cared for study patients”, “participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript”).

Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, the corresponding author must obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could influence or bias the author’s decisions, work, or manuscript. Each author’s disclosure of conflicts of interests should be accurate, up-to-date, and consistent with what is reported in the “Conflicts of Interest statement” and “Financing” sections on the first page of the manuscript based on the ICMJE Form.

The policy requiring disclosure of conflicts of interest applies for all manuscript submissions, including letters to the editor. If an author’s disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is determined to be inaccurate or incomplete after publication, a correction will be published to rectify the original published disclosure statement, and additional action may be taken as necessary.

Ethical Approval of Studies and Informed Consent

For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants or animals, formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee is required and should be described in the Methods section. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2008 should be followed. For investigations of humans, state in the Methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (i.e., oral or written).

For case reports, authors should obtain informed consent from the patient or their legal representative in agreement with the COPE specific guidelines for informed consent in case reports. The journal has a consent form for case reports in case the authors require one.

IJMS is adherent to the Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Editors of the International Association of Veterinary Editors (IAVE). All material published in IJMS must adhere to high ethical standards concerning animal welfare.

Plagiarism

There is a zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) in the IJMS. Manuscripts are screened for plagiarism before, during, and after publication, and if found they will be rejected at any stage of processing. In case that a paper is already published in the Journal, but plagiarism is still detected, it will be retracted and the authors' institutions and department heads will be notified to take action.

If you take notice of any unethical irregularities in IJMS content, please let us know at contact@ijms.info.

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Submission & Editorial Process

Submission

Submission to the IJMS is through our website. At least the Corresponding Author should be registered on the website as Author. From User Home, choose “New Submission” to start the five-step submission process. Here are some notes on each step:

  1. There is a space dedicated for notes for the editor, the IJMS encourages authors to provide contact details (including e-mail addresses) and area of expertise of a maximum of three potential peer-reviewers in this space. These suggested reviewers should be experts in the field of study relevant to the manuscript and should not be members of the same research or academic institution as the authors.
  2. Note that the manuscript must be submitted as ‘Submission file’.
  3. The Submission Metadata includes the authors’ information. Choose “Add Author” to add the information of co-authors. The authors’ and co-authors’ metadata must be filled out completely and clearly. The Bio Statement of the Corresponding Author must be written for publication purposes. The title, abstract, keywords, and References should be entered in the metadata.
  4. The documents mentioned in Table 1 must be uploaded as supplementary files. Delays in uploading all the required documents result in delaying the editorial process.
  5. Confirm the submission. Upon completing the 5 steps, an acknowledgment will be sent to the Corresponding Author’s email address.

Table 1. Documents, Formats, and File Extensions to be Submitted as Supplementary Files.

Document

Format

Extensions

1

Photos, if any.

JPG or PNG format

.jpg or .npg

2

Graphs: charts, histograms, diagrams, Box-Plots, schemes, etc; if any.

Excel©, SPSS© Output Navigator or Stata© Graph

.xls/x, .spo

or .gph

After submission, the Corresponding Author can keep track of the progress of the editorial process by logging into the IJMS website and choosing the manuscript submitted.

Editorial and Peer-Review Process

The IJMS aims to provide all authors with an efficient, unbiased, fair, and consistent editorial process. Submitted manuscripts will be evaluated by the Scientific Editor for fulfilling the IJMS requirements. Then they will be assigned to a member of the Editorial Board (usually an Associate Editor). The Associate Editor with his team of Student Editors will assess the manuscript to determine whether it is within the scope of the Journal, the quality of the data presented, and the standard of presentation before sending it for peer-review. If the article is suitable for the Journal, Two Student Editors will carry an independent review of the manuscript based on standardized forms specifically designed to assess each type of article based on international guidelines for the preparation of manuscripts (i.e., STROBE, CONSORT, AGREE, etc.). The Associate Editor will review the Student Editors' responses and send a response by email to the author with the required editions standardizing the responses and checking their accuracy. After this first step and receiving the response from the authors, the manuscript is sent to Peer-Reviewers.

The author could suggest or be asked to suggest reviewers and they will be considered alongside other potential reviewers identified by their publication record or recommended by Editorial Board members. However, the final decision on the choice of reviewers rests with the Editorial Board without any obligation to contact any of the authors recommended peer reviewers.

Manuscripts will be sent to at least two Peer-Reviewers who will independently assess if the manuscript is technically and scientifically sound and coherent. The final editorial decision is made based on the recommendations of the Peer-Reviewers provided these observations are in accord without any strong dissenting opinions. Once all reviews have been received and considered by the Editors, a final decision is made and a letter is drafted to the corresponding author. The final decision on acceptance, revisions required, or rejection of manuscripts is under the discretion of the Executive and Editorial Board.

The review process takes twelve weeks on average and the decision is notified by email

Possible final decisions include:

  • Accept Submission.
  • Revision required.
  • Resubmit for review.
  • Decline submission.

Where there are issues with the standard of presentation or clarity of language, the authors will be informed accordingly and provided with suggestions or assistance for rectification.

The editorial process of IJMS is described in the figure below:

Editorial process IJMS

Source: Ryan PM. More than a Manuscript: The International Journal of Medical Students as an Educational Institution. Int J Med Students. 2021 May-Jun;9(2):108-9.

Copyediting and Layout

After a manuscript is accepted, a copyeditor communicates the final style and language corrections to the author as an Initial Copyedit. The author should be able to comply with the requested edits accordingly and upload a new version of the manuscript with the suggested changes promptly. The Final Copyedit is then moved to the next step: Layout. In the Layout step, the Design Editor diagrams the final copy of the to-be-published article.

Proofs and Reprints

Electronic proofs will be available on the website to the corresponding author as a PDF file.

Page proofs are considered to be the final version of the manuscript prior to its publication. With the exception of typographical or minor errors, no significant changes will be made to the manuscript at the proof stage. The corresponding author is expected to approve the final PDF copy promptly to avoid unnecessary delays in publication.

Because IJMS will be published freely online, authors will have free electronic access to the full text (in PDF) of the article. Authors can freely download the PDF file from which they can print unlimited copies of their articles.

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Editorial & Publishing Ethics

Ethical Standards

Various authorities have their own definitions of scientific misconduct. At the IJMS, we address these issues on a case-by-case basis while adhering to guidelines produced by regulatory bodies which include the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Allegations of Misconduct

The IJMS follows the COPE guidelines for allegations of misconduct. In brief, we follow the 6 steps described by Dr. Wager former Chair of COPE (J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2014 Dec;15(2):146-50) of (1) Assess, (2) Give people an opportunity to explain, (3) Seek an investigation, (4) Protect readers from potentially misleading work, (5) Have clear journal policies and processes, and (6) Educate authors and reviewers.

Scientific misconduct includes these behaviors:

Falsification of data

From fabrication and/or deliberate suppression and/or distortion of data to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data.

Plagiarism

The use of others' language, ideas, or thoughts without crediting the original source and presenting them as one's own original work. Plagiarism is evaluated in every submission using an iThenticate. Authors are informed of the findings and if there is clear plagiarism the article is rejected.

Improprieties of authorship

Improper credit assignment, such as excluding others, misrepresenting the same material as original in multiple publications, including individuals as authors who have not made a significant contribution to the work published, or submitting multi-authored publications without consent of all authors.

Misappropriation of the ideas of others

The exchange of ideas among colleagues is an important aspect of scholarly activity. During the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts, scholars can pick up new ideas from others. However, if this information is misused, it can result in fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.

Violation of generally accepted research practices

Serious deviations from accepted practises in proposing or conducting research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biassed results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results are all examples of serious deviations from accepted practises.

Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research:

For example, serious or substantial, repeated, willful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, animal care, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biologic, or chemical materials.

Inappropriate behavior in relation to misconduct

Unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct, and retaliation against people involved in the allegation or investigation are all examples of this.

 

Many journals, including The IJMS, also consider redundant and duplicate publication, lack of declaration of competing interests and of funding/sponsorship, and other failures of transparency, to be forms of misconduct.

If we suspect misconduct

We take seriously all possible misconduct.

If an editor has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication, or professional behavior, we may discuss the case in confidence with The IJMS's ethics committee.

If the case cannot be resolved by discussion with the author(s), and the editor still has concerns, s/he may report the case to the appropriate authorities. If during the course of reviewing an article, an editor is alerted to possible problems (for example, plagiarism) in another publication, The IJMS editor may contact the journal in which the previous publication appeared to raise the concern.

The IJMS is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Cases of research or publication misconduct may also be referred to COPE in an anonymized format.

Corrections, Expressions of Concern, and Retractions

IJMS publishes three types of post-publication notice:

  • Corrections
  • Expressions of Concern (EOCs)
  • Retraction notices

As discussed below, we use these notices to address:

  • Errors that impact an article’s interpretation or indexing
  • Concerns about compliance with journal standards and policies
  • Concerns that have implications for the integrity, reliability, and/or validity of published IJMS articles

In addressing issues raised about IJMS publications, we uphold our journals’ policies, publication criteria, and editorial standards, and we follow ICMJE and COPE guidelines, where applicable. The IJMS Publication Ethics team works in collaboration with journal editors on post-publication cases that involve serious ethics or integrity concerns, including those for which the issues may warrant an Expression of Concern or retraction.

Notifying IJMS of concerns about submitted or published work

  • If you wish to notify IJMS of an error in your publication that may warrant a correction, please email the Journal (ijms.eic@library.pitt.edu) directly with the relevant details (article citation & DOI, complete description of the error). 
  • If you wish to notify IJMS of concerns pertaining to the integrity, validity, or reliability of an IJMS article, please email the Journal (ijms.eic@library.pitt.edu) directly and we will call for the creation of the Publication Ethics Committee to analyze the situation if required. Include in your email the full citation and DOI of the article in question and details as to your specific concerns.

Corrections

We publish corrections to address errors in articles published in IJMS if, per our editorial assessment, all of the following criteria have been met:

  • The errors have an impact on the article's main points or understanding.
  • The overall findings and conclusions of the article are upheld.
  • There are no concerns about the reported work's integrity or reliability.

An error that affects key aspects of the publication's metadata (e.g., misspelling of an author's name, or errors in the competing interests, funding, or data availability statement) may also result in an IJMS correction.

In most cases, a correction notice will appear as a post-publication notice linked to the original IJMS article. In rare cases, the IJMS may choose to republish a corrected version of an article instead of the original online version. When we republish an article, we usually include a correction notice that is linked to the article and documents the changes.

Corrections for typographical errors or other minor issues that have no bearing on the scientific integrity, comprehension, or indexing of the article are not published in the IJMS. Authors are encouraged to post comments on their article's webpage to keep readers informed about these issues. Please contact the journal office if you have any questions about whether a correction or comment should be used to address an error in an IJMS article.

Expressions of Concern

Expressions of Concern (EOCs) are notices published at the discretion of the editors to alert readers to serious concerns about previously published work. We will usually finish the case's follow-up before publishing a notice, but in some cases, we may publish an EOC as an interim notice while IJMS or another entity investigates an issue. If we reach the end of our follow-up process and issues remain unresolved, an EOC may be used as a resolution to a post-publication case.

IJMS staff and/or the journal's Editor(s)-in-Chief or Executive Committee write EOCs. An EOC, like a correction, is posted at the top of the article's IJMS webpage and linked to the article's publication record. The status of the linked research article does not change as a result of an EOC. Following the publication of an EOC, the same article or the EOC itself may be corrected or retracted, depending on the editors' evaluation of information, data, and/or materials received in subsequent discussions.

Before publishing an EOC, IJMS makes an attempt to notify the authors of the affected article, but we do not require their approval or agreement. With an EOC, the editor may seek to publish data or other materials received from the authors as supporting files; in such cases, the authors are consulted and have the option of not having their files/materials published.

Retractions

Retraction is a mechanism for correcting the literature and notifying readers of major concerns about the integrity, validity, or reliability of an article, as discussed in COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. If the editors determine that issues that have not been resolved in our discussions with the authors warrant retraction, the article will be retracted in accordance with COPE guidelines. IJMS may also retract an article if we discover after it has been published that it violates key aspects of the journal's requirements or editorial policies; or if there are image or data concerns for which the original raw data is not provided, not available, or insufficient (in our editorial opinion) to address the issues.

We reserve the right to retract an article even if the problems were caused by honest mistakes or misconduct. IJMS does not adjudicate on intent or individual-level responsibility for issues raised, and we do not issue partial retractions, as per COPE guidelines.

IJMS publishes a notice of retraction when an article is retracted, explaining the reason(s) for the retraction. The notice appears at the top of the IJMS webpage for the affected article and is linked to the article's publication record. The authors or the editors of a journal can retract an article. In both cases, the IJMS editors have the final say over the contents of the retraction notice, but in author-led retractions, the editors work with the authors to prepare the notice.

Before completing a retraction, we try to notify all authors of the retraction decision and the notice text. Other affected third parties, such as the authors' institution(s) or another journal/publisher with an article or submission in the case, may also be notified of a retraction by IJMS.

An article that has been retracted is no longer considered part of the published record. Retracted IJMS articles, on the other hand, remain online and available, with the retraction status clearly indicated, as per COPE guidance. We update the downloadable PDF, HTML, and XML available at the article's IJMS webpage at the time of retraction so that the retracted status is clearly noted on subsequent downloads.

Authors Complaints

Every author of a contribution must be credited as such. Also, a person should not be named an author when is not an author. The IJMS preference is for authors to resolve complaints and disputes amongst themselves, although that is not always possible. Further information including COPE flowcharts on addition or removal of authors, guest, ghost, or gift authorship, and advice on how to spot authorship problems can be found here.

Author's Conflict of Interest

A competing interest, also known as a ‘conflict of interest’, can occur when you (or your employer or sponsor) have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence your research. IJMS asks its authors to disclose any potential conflict of interest. Please review our policies about conflict of interest.

Editorial Conflict of Interest

The IJMS asks its reviewers and editors to disclose any potential conflict of interest when reviewing submitted manuscripts. In case of any conflict, including personal, financial, and non-financial, editors and reviewers are required to disclose those to prevent bias in the editorial process.

In case of submissions from a member of the editorial team, from the same institution of the editor or reviewer, personal relationships with authors, or a previous review in another journal, the manuscript is assigned to a different editor or reviewer.

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The information published in the International Journal of Medical Students are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Journal nor its Executive Board. Neither the IJMS and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.  

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