A global forum for editors and publishers of peer-reviewed journals, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) offers the "code of conduct" and "best practise guidelines that define publication
ethics and gives editors guidance on how to deal with instances of research and publication misconduct. In this editorial, we introduce the ideas that make up the category of publication ethics which includes concepts like statutory and ethical approval, informed consent, simultaneous submission, data manipulation and research fraud, plagiarism, self-citation, duplicate publication,
consent to reproduce published material, authorship ethics, and conflicts of interest.
Data confidentiality, informed consent, and ethics approval
It is required to obtain consent from an ethics committee registered with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) before beginning a sponsored drug trial, as per the rules outlined in
"Schedule-Y" (Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 2005, the Government of India). Clinical studies must also be registered with the Clinical Trials Registry of India as of 2009. The Schedule-Y contains
instructions for creating the ethics committee and outlining its code of conduct. Before starting studies in India, researchers must receive ethics approval according to rules from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). These regulations must be followed by authors and researchers, who must be aware of them. Journal editorial boards may request written documentation of the consent form that was used, and this documentation must be kept on file for at least five years after the study is completed.
Simultaneous submission refers to the process of submitting a work simultaneously to many scientific journals. Most journals require authors to certify that their work is original and that it is not already being considered for publication by another scientific journal at the time of manuscript submission. Making such a claim and then ignoring the procedure results in submission to a different journal where the authors believe their chances of success are higher. This can result in two journals publishing the same work. The responsibility for this kind of wrongdoing lies solely with the author, who must submit to one journal first and wait for a response before submitting to another. Authors may still submit the same manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal after submitting or presenting it at a scientific conference.
Duplicate publication is when a new manuscript is submitted with the identical theories, information, points of discussion, and/or conclusions as a paper that has already been published. This is comparable to plagiarism, except that the identical data, pictures, and study hypothesis are repeated in another publication instead of copying sentences exactly. Duplicate publications are divided into major and minor offences by the COPE. A severe offence is defined as a second publication using the same dataset with identical results and/or proof that the authors tried to conceal redundancy, for as by altering the title or author order or omitting references to earlier works. A duplicate publication with a legal aspect of repetition or reanalysis (such as a subgroup, longer follow-up, or repeated methodologies) is referred to as a minor offence, commonly known as "salami slicing." The most typical duplicate publications by authors are those that appear in local journals or foreign journals. The authors must stop engaging in such unethical activity and acknowledge that it is wrong. Along with rejecting and revoking papers that have been submitted or published, the COPE also offers explicit rules on how to handle duplicate publications. Even when the study premise is the same, doing a separate confirmatory investigation without using previously published data and with a bigger sample size does not constitute duplicate publication.
Self-citation is the practice of citing ones self-previous articles in future papers that are not related to the study being reported. For seasoned scholars, a paper's citation count can occasionally be more important than its actual publication. Senior authors are encouraged to self-cite because total citation counts are also used to calculate metrics like the G- and H-index, which may be taken into account for academic promotions. The majority of the scientific community views this as immoral, and colleagues despise it. Self-citations, however, are occasionally unavoidable because authors may have published a significant amount of literature in their specialized field and the succeeding publication is a continuation of earlier ones. To credit one's own work, authors should refrain from introducing ideas that are not relevant to the current piece. The responsibility to prevent such scientific misconduct still rests with the authors.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest, also known as conflicting interests, are classified as monetary, personal, social, or other interests that either directly or indirectly affect how the author behaves with regard to a specific manuscript. Although having competing interests in a product or device under examination is not seen as unethical, failing to disclose such concealed interests puts the findings of the study in grave danger. Readers can decide if conflicts of interest had an impact on the paper conclusions after they have been acknowledged. According to a recent study, Indian medical journals or scientists have a poor knowledge of conflicts of interest and other crucial ethical issues. When the author is compensated with honoraria, funding for conducting the research, paid speeches to promote the product, etc., there is an indirect conflict of interest. The determination of what constitutes a conflict of interest is up to the author, but they are recommended to err on the side of caution and declare all financial disclosures regardless of whether they are relevant to the present work or not.