Publication ethics


Based on COPE Ethical Guidelines
Available at


IBRACON Administrator


  • is the IBRACON Ethics Committee. It is composed by three members: two Associate Editors or Editor- in-chief of this Journal, and one member from the IBRACON Board of Directors. The committee is appointed by the IBRACON President that also indicate the Committee Chair.

General duties and responsibilities of Editors 

Editors should be responsible for everything published in their journals. They should:

  • strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;constantly improve the journal;
  • ensure the quality of the material they publish;
  • champion freedom of expression;
  • maintain the integrity of the academic record;
  • preclude business needs from compromising intellectual standards;
  • always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

Relations with readers 

Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.

Relations with authors 

Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognising that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.
Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal.
A description of peer review processes should be published, and Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes.
Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against Editorial decisions.
Editors should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
New Editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous Editor unless serious problems are identified.

Relations with reviewers 

Editors should publish guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
Editors should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected — unless they have an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.

The peer-review process 

The publication peer-review process is described in the Instruction to Authors.


Complaints against an Editor should be made directly by letter to the Editor-in-Chief that may follow it to the Editor.
Editors should respond promptly to complaints.
Any dissatisfied complainants should be followed again to the Editor-in-Chief that should mediate the conflict.
Unresolved complainant can be referred to the IBRACON Ethics Committee (EC).

Encouraging debate 

Cogent criticisms of published work should be published unless Editors have convincing reasons why they cannot be. Authors of criticised material should be given the opportunity to respond.

IBRACON Code of Conduct 

Studies that challenge previous work published in the journal should be given an especially sympathetic hearing.
Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.

Encouraging academic integrity 

Editors should ensure that research material they publish conforms to internationally accept ethical guidelines.
Editors should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board). However, Editors should recognise that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.

Protecting individual data 

Editors should protect the confidentiality of individual information (e.g. that obtained through the doctor– patient relationship). It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent from patients described in case reports and for photographs of patients. It may be possible to publish without explicit consent if the report is important to public health (or is in some other way important); consent would be unusually burdensome to obtain; and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication (all three conditions must be met).

Pursuing misconduct 

Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.
Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
Editors should first seek a response from those accused. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body) to investigate.
Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation is conducted; if this does not happen, Editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.

Ensuring the integrity of the academic record

Whenever it is recognised that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
If, after an appropriate investigation, an item proves to be fraudulent, it should be retracted. The retraction should be clearly identifiable to readers and indexing systems.

Conflict of interest

Editors should have systems for managing their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their staff, authors, reviewers and Editorial board members.

Process for dealing with complaints against Editors referred to IBRACON EC

A complaint may be referred to EC by an author, reader, reviewer, Editor or publisher.

Complaints against an Editor should be made directly to the Editor-in-Chief that may follow it to the Editor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, it should be passed to EC. In referring a complaint to EC, all relevant correspondence should be enclosed.

EC will accept referrals made within six months of the journal completing its own complaints procedure. EC may consider cases outside this time period in exceptional circumstances.

EC will not consider complaints about the substance (rather than the process) of Editorial decisions, or criticisms about Editorial content.

When a complaint is referred to EC:

1 The referrer submits a complaint to the IBRACON Administrator.

2 The IBRACON Administrator confirms that the complaint is:

  • within the remit of this Code
  • unresolved after passing properly through the journal’s complaints procedure

3 The referrer is asked to provide evidence, with all relevant supporting documents including correspondence relating to the hearing of the complaint by the journal, in confidence to the Chair of EC.

4 The EC analyses the case, and either:

  • dismisses it, and the referrer and Editor are so advised and given reasons
  • reaches the view that a breach of the code has taken place. In this case the EC informs the referrer, the Editor and the owner of its final recommendations. These recommendations may include:
    - that the Editor apologise to the original complainant;
    - that the Editor publish a statement from EC in the journal;
    - that the journal improve its processes;
    - that the Editor resigns from EC membership for a period of time; or
    - any other action which the EC feels is appropriate given the circumstances of the case. 

Appeals procedure

Appeals against a EC recommendation may be made to the IBRACON President, contact details for whom will be provided on request.