Ethics statement of the AMJ is based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and ICMJE recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. It is necessary to agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer and the publisher.
All articles submitted to Anuradhapura Medical Journal, except editorials and invited reviews, are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to one or more independent experts who assess the article for clarity, validity and sound methodology.
Anuradhapura Medical Journal operates a double blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around four weeks. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer reports the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. Overal editorial responsibility rests with the journal's Editors, who are supported by an expert Editorial Board.
AMJ does not charge any article submission or processing fee.
The editors are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements such as libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editors may confer with members of the editorial board or reviewers in making this decision.
Editorial decisions will not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, gender or sexual orientation, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish will not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies (such as Anuradhapura Clinical Society or Faculty of Medicine & Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka) outside of the journal itself.
Editors and any other editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
Editors and any other editorial staff must consider their conflicts of interest when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interests.
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author.
Editors will not be involved in decisions about papers where their own interests may impair their ability to make an unbiased editorial decision, if they have commercial interests, or if they have a personal relationship with the authors.
When editor is an author or is acknowledged as a contributor, other editors without consulting or informing the author cum editor will undertake all decisions regarding that manuscript. In these cases, a short statement explaining the process used to make the editorial decision will be included.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
We follow the guidance produced by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to deal with scientific misconduct on a case-by-case basis.
The following are some forms of scientific 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 behaviour, we will follow COPE guidelines in handling this allegation.
Readers that suspect misconduct in a published article are encouraged to report this to the AMJ.
Retractions are considered in cases of evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, other scientific misconducts and unethical research.
Authors have the right to appeal rejection of their manuscript. Appeals should be based on the scientific content of the manuscript and its suitability for publication rather than concerns about the process. Authors who wish to appeal against a rejection or make a complaint should write to the Editors giving reasons for the appeal. The Editorial Board’s decision regarding the appeal or complaint is final.
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.
Selected referee who feels unqualified to review the manuscript or knows that review will be delayed should notify the editor and leave the review process.
Manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider 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.
Sources of funding for research or publication should always be disclosed. Where a clinical trial registration number is available, this should be included.
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Authors are asked to provide the raw data in connection with a manuscript for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers and The International Association of Scientific, Technical, & Medical Publishers Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Authors should ensure that they have written entirely original work, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism is not acceptable to AMJ. Plagiarism includes,
All manuscripts submitted to AMJ are screened for plagiarism using the Crossref Similarity Check. After the editorial assessment, if the editors decide that the manuscript has a scientific merit it is send for external peer review. We look for the context in which the percentage and matching are found and decide on further actions. We will also be guided by COPE discussion document on plagiarism
The possible responses to plagiarism is again from the COPE document and is given below
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Any previous publications related to the manuscript need to be submitted and full disclosure needed for editors to make full informed decisions.
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
A manuscript that is found to include citations whose primary purpose is to increase the number of citations to a given author’s work, or to articles published in a particular journal, is unacceptable.
According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship should be limited to those who have made
Where there are others who have participated in certain aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. It is his or her responsibility that all appropriate and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript.
It is the responsibility of supervisors and senior authors to make sure that students’ research work includes student authors. Involving them in all aspects of research including manuscript preparation achieves this.
We will be guided by the COPE flowcharts (http://publicationethics.org/flowcharts) in cases of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship
All original articles should have ethical approval from a recognised ethics review committee (ERC). Reference number of the certificate given by the ERC or the date of ethical clearance must be provided preferably in the methods section. Authors should be able to produce the original ethical clearance certificate when necessary.
It is the responsibility of the authors to obtain informed written consent from the relevant authorities for participating in the study and/or for the publication of any material (E.g. – Images, Reports, and Records etc.). Evidence of which should be available at any time, for submission on request by the chief editor.
If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript. This would apply to humans and animals.
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
Experimental research on animals must comply with existing guidelines, and should have been approved by ERC. A statement detailing compliance with guidelines and ethical clearance must be in the manuscript. Authors are advised to conform to them for reporting animal studies (http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines).
Experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild) including collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. The manuscript should include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences.Co-Editors,
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