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Ethical Policy

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports is committed to integrity in research. In order to ensure that the publication's contribution to the scientific record is reliable and meets the ethical standards expected by the global scientific community, we have developed the following code of ethics to support editors, authors and peer reviewers in understanding the standards of behaviour they should follow in carrying out their roles in the publishing process.

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports adheres strictly to the COPE Guidelines on good publishing practice. Bioscientifica is a member of Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) ; submissions are selected at random and screened for plagiarism prior to review.

Patient consent & confidentiality

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports' policy on patient confidentiality is based on the UK's Data Protection Act (1998) and the traditions of medical ethics.

Where possible, identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the internet as well as in print after publication. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. We no longer publish pictures with black bands across the eyes without a signed consent form, because bands fail to mask someone’s identity effectively.

The patient (or parent or guardian) must give written informed consent for publication by signing our consent form. Signed consent forms should then be retained in the patient’s clinical notes for future reference, and a copy should be made available for review by the Editor on request.

The manuscript reporting this patient’s details should state that ‘Written informed consent for publication of their clinical details and/or clinical images was obtained from the patient/parent/guardian/ relative of the patient.

If the patient is deceased the authors should seek permission from a relative and include a statement to this fact. If neither the patient or a relative can be traced, we can only publish if we are satisfied the information has been sufficiently anonymised, making it impossible to identify the patient with any certainty.

Permission is not required to publish the “recordings” listed below, provided that, the recordings are effectively anonymised by the removal of any identifying marks, and patient details (i.e. patient name, date of birth, name of hospital) from images before submission:

  • Images taken from pathology slides;
  • X rays;
  • Laparoscopic images;
  • Images of internal organs; and
  • Ultrasound images

When such an image is accompanied by text that could reveal the patient’s identity through clinical or personal detail, however, a signed consent form and declaration as listed above, will be required before publication.

Author code of ethics

Authors must:

  • Present an accurate account of work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.
  • Accurately represent underlying data in the paper.
  • Present sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work.
  • Cite all relevant references.
  • Identify any hazards inherent in conducting the work.
  • Declare any conflicts of interest and funding received.
  • Ensure they have written and produced entirely original work and ensure that where they have used the work and/or words of others, this has been properly attributed and accurately quoted.
  • Not submit the same or similar article or substantially similar material, concurrently to any other primary publication or journal, nor do so until the outcome of their submission is known.
  • Avoid self-plagiarism, i.e. not submit the same or substantially similar material (data or text) as contained in any article, including review articles, that the author(s) have published previously.
  • Avoid fragmenting research to maximise the number of articles for publication.
  • Avoid libellous or defamatory statements in their work.
  • Limit authorship to, and include all, those involved in the management of the patient(s) and write-up of the report, and state the contribution of each author.
  • Ensure all contributors have approved the final version of the manuscript and its submission.
  • Ensure their work complies with the Declaration of Helsinki.
  • Must ensure patient confidentiality unless the information is essential for scientific purposes.
  • Include a statement in the manuscript itself confirming that informed consent has been obtained from the patient (or patient's guardian) for publication of the submitted article and accompanying images. Authors are required to provide a signed consent form.
  • Report any significant error or inaccuracy in the work to the publisher as soon as it is discovered.

Research misconduct - definitions

"Research misconduct" means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

  1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
  4. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Plagiarism includes self-plagiarism (or auto-plagiarism or redundant publication), which is the publication (or submission) of the same content in (or to) different publications.

Policy on misconduct

Should any author be found to be in breach of this code of ethics or guilty of research misconduct, the publication reserves the right to reject, retract or withdraw the paper; decline further submissions from the offending author(s) for a period of up to five years; and inform all interested parties (including relevant editors and authors, the author's department head and/or institutional office) of scientific misconduct.

Editor code of ethics

The Editor of a peer-reviewed publication is solely and independently responsible for deciding which articles should be accepted. The Editor may be guided by the policies of the Editorial Board and, while seeking guidance via peer review, may still reject a manuscript without review if it is considered inappropriate.

Editors must:

  • Evaluate each manuscript for its intellectual content without regard to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, political philosophy, citizenship, domicile or institutional affiliation of the authors.
  • Not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than those involved in the publishing process as appropriate.
  • Disclose any potential conflict of interest.
  • Pass manuscripts in which they have potential conflicts of interest to another member of the Editorial Board to review and consider.
  • Not use privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review for personal advantage.
  • On receiving a challenge to the authenticity/integrity of an article, consult the publisher and contribute to the investigation and responsive measures which follow.

Reviewer code of ethics

The peer-review process lies at the heart of scientific publishing. Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports shares the view of many that all scholars wishing to publish in scholarly publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing of submitted work of others.

Reviewers must:

  • Evaluate each manuscript for its intellectual content without regard to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, political philosophy, citizenship, domicile or institutional affiliation of the authors.
  • Review manuscripts with reasonable speed and efficiency.
  • Treat the manuscript as a confidential document.
  • Conduct the review objectively and avoid any personal criticism of the author.
  • Submit detailed, constructive reports that will help authors improve their manuscripts.
  • Express views clearly with supporting arguments.
  • Inform the Editor of any substantial similarity between the manuscript and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.