Policy on Research Misconduct

Every author is expected to conduct research in accordance with the highest acceptable ethical standards practiced all over the world. Biomedica sanctions zero tolerance for research misconduct pre-publication and/or post-publication in any aspect of research, and demands prompt investigation, resolution and penalization for all such allegations under UHS Policy on Research Ethics in particular and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines in general. It is the prime responsibility of Editor to determine whether or not an enquiry is warranted and to submit its final report when all necessary investigations, reviews, hearings, and appeals are dealt with. In all such cases, Biomedica encourages and expects that all members of the scientific community liaise in reporting and/or responding to suspected Research Misconduct activity within its purview while adhering to the final decision taken under this Policy.

DEFINITIONS:

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. It does not include honest error or honest differences of opinion. Research Misconduct is said to have occurred if:

Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them in deviation from originality.

Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the credit of authorship or impact of research is not accurately represented in the research record.


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Allegation means a disclosure of possible Research Misconduct through any means of communication. The disclosure may be by written, electronic, or oral statement or any other modes of communication made in confidentiality or publically.

Breach of Confidentiality means any deviation from non-disclosure / confidentiality agreement between the Journal and the person (Author/Reviewer/Editorial member, Publisher, IT manager etc) in relation to the research record submitted.

Research Record means the record of data or results that embody the facts resulting from a research, including, but not limited to, research proposals, laboratory records, both physical and electronic, progress reports, abstracts, theses, oral presentations, internal reports, journal articles, and any documents and materials provided in the course of submission of manuscript or during an enquiry.  

Impact of the Research Misconduct involves (but not limited to):

 

SOPS FOR HANDLING RESEARCH MISCONDUCT

Any application relating to disclosure of Research Misconduct1 shall be submitted to Complaint Cell of Biomedica. Mode of complaint submission must be written or a statement through electronic media.
If desired, name of the complainant may remain confidential, in good faith, to the extent possible and allowed by law.
Editor after receipt of application and deliberation with the complainant determines whether or not this allegation falls absolutely under Research Misconduct1 and warrants further enquiry.
Editor shall be responsible for pursuit of such allegation while probing the matter for identification of the delinquent subject(s) through research record(s) or any other evidence provided.
Each allegation shall be handled according to Journal policy adapted from COPE Guidelines
During Enquiry, maintenance of custody and appropriate compilation of the research record (for further presentation) shall be managed by a designated member of Editorial Board.

After thorough deliberation, Editorial team shall decide that:

Final Investigatory Report with its recommendations, shall be submitted by Editor to the Disciplinary Committee of UHS and a copy for information may be submitted to Ethical Review Committee of UHS. The final Investigatory Report shall include the following information:

The decision of Disciplinary Committee shall be forwarded to the Director QEC of UHS for onwards submission to HEC that may take any further action in this regards (See Biomedica Policy on Plagiarism)

Right to Appeal: The affected person(s) will have the right to appeal to the Chairman HEC / Vice Chancellor / Rector / Head of the Organization for a review of the findings or may submit a mercy petition within 30 days from the date of final notification. Such appeals / petitions will be disposed-off within 60 days of receipt by the Disciplinary Committee of UHS as per the laid down regulations regarding such appeals. 


 JOURNAL POLICY ON HANDLING MISCONDUCT (COPE Guidelines)

If plagiarism in a submitted manuscript is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/plagiarism%20A.pdf

https://publicationethics.org/files/plagiarism%20B.pdf

If fabricated data is suspected in a submitted manuscript:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Fabricated%20data%20A.pdf

If fabricated data is suspected in a published manuscript:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Fabricated%20data%20B.pdf

If image manipulation in a published article is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/COPE_FLOW_Image_Manip_SCREEN_AW2.pdf

If redundant publication in a published manuscript is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/redundant%20publication%20B.pdf

If an ethical problem in a manuscript is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical%20problem.pdf

If peer review manipulation is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/COPE%20PR_Manipulation_Process.pdf

Recognising potential authorship problems:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Recognise_Potential_Authorship_Problems.pdf

If ghost, guest or gift authorship is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Ghost.pdf

If corresponding author requests removal of author before publication:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Authorship%20B.pdf

If corresponding author requests removal of author after publication:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Authorship%20D.pdf

If corresponding author requests addition of extra author(s) after publication:

https://publicationethics.org/files/Authorship%20C.pdf

If undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript is suspected:

https://publicationethics.org/files/COI%20submitted.pdf

If undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article is suspected: 

https://publicationethics.org/files/COI%20published.pdf

Responding to concerns raised after publication: 

https://publicationethics.org/files/RespondingToWhistleblowers_ConcernsRaisedDirectly.pdf

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. World Association of Medical Editors. Publication ethics policies for medical journals. (Online) (Cited 2019 December). Available from URL: http://wwwwameorg/resources/publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals

2. Parrish D, Noonan B. Image manipulation as research misconduct. Sci Eng Ethics 2009; 15: 161-7.

Other reading material:

Little Book of Plagiarism. A publication of Leeds, Metropolitan University. 6th edition, September 2017.
HEC Plagiarism Policy: file:///D:/UHS%20Committee/Biomedica/Plagiarism%20Policy.pdf