Handling Publication Malpractice

Definition of Publication Malpractice or Research Misconduct
UNIMAS Publisher adopts the definition of research misconduct by the United States Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct-42 CFR Part 93 (June 2005) as the following

“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, process, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
  4. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion. ”

UNIMAS Publisher also adopts the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Journal Publisher in COPE in this policy. The roles and responsibilities in publishing are refer to Section 2.0. Departure in publishing practices by the Editors/Reviewers/Authors/Sponsors in this policy will be investigated by UNIMAS Publisher with Senior Ethics Advisor and panels.

Provision for Action
Any research misconduct, complaints, and other related matters should be addressed to the Journal Chief Editors and later reported to UNIMAS Publisher. Authors, reviewers, sponsors, or users can also report an allegation of publication malpractices directly to UNIMAS Publisher.

Journals under UNIMAS Publisher will adopt and follow the Ethical Oversight Flowcharts in COPE’s Core Practices when handling an allegation of any research misconduct/publication malpractice. The flowcharts include step-by-step guideline to handle ethical issues related to redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fabricated data in a submitted manuscript or published article, authorship problems, undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript or published article, ethical problem, reviewer misconduct, etc.

The requirements for findings of research misconduct include

  1. The allegation be proven by compelling evidence for a significant departure in the research work or publication practices
  2. The research misconduct is committed intentionally and/or recklessly

UNIMAS Publisher has primary responsiblity for investigating the allegations of publication malpractice/ethical issues/research misconduct. UNIMAS Publisher together with Senior Ethics Advisor and panels (members may include active researchers or scientific expert assessors who are free from bias) will conduct the investigation of an allegation.

For refutations of published articles related to fabricated data or other research misconduct or ethical problem, a copy will be sent to the corresponding authors for signed comments, they will be peer-reviewed, and where possible to the same reviewers. UNIMAS Publisher may bring the attention of research work misconduct to the authors’ institution asking for an investigation to ensure the integrity of the published data.

For clear plagiarism (unattributed used of large portion of text/data) in a submitted manuscript, a copy of evidence will be sent to the corresponding authors for signed comments. If author response is unsatisfactory or guilt admitted, submission will either be rejected or revised. For clear plagarism in a published article, this will result in either retraction or corrigendum (see Section 4.3).

The respondent has access to all materials related to the allegation, its assessment, investigation, and decision.

The findings and decision of publication malpractice or research misconduct may be appealed by the respondent. An appeal must be filed within 30 days after the decision is made and notified to the respondent.

Journals should make amendments or correction of errors for peer-reviewed articles which have been previously published. The amendments can be in the form of erratum (or notification of error made by the journal), corrigendum (or notification of error made by authors), retraction (or notification of departure of research work or invalid work in a previously published article) or addendum (notification of additional information about a published article). 

UNIMAS Publisher may impose different types of sanctions to individuals who are found to be involved in serious publication malpractice or research misconduct with compelling evidence. These sanctions range from retraction of articles, prohibition of submitting manuscripts to journals under UNIMAS Publisher, letters of notification to the author’s affiliated institutions, etc.

The reports of the investigation may be made available on UNIMAS Publisher website/journal webpage to inform the scientific community, sponsors, readers, and users. However, the names of individuals found to have committed publication malpractice/research misconduct will be masked or removed from the reports. 

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (2016). COPE’s Core Practices. Ethical Oversight Flowcharts. Available at: https://publicationethics.org/files/Full%20set%20of%20English%20flowcharts_9Nov2016.pdf

Council of Science Editors (2018). White Paper on Publication Ethics. Available at: https://www.councilscienceeditors.org/resource-library/editorial-policies/white-paper-on-publication-ethics/

European Science Foundation (2011). The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Available at: https://www.nsf.gov/od/oise/Code_Conduct_ResearchIntegrity.pdf

Mandal, J, Ponnambath, DK, & Parija, SC. (2016). Ethics of scientific publication. Tropical Parasitology, 6(2): 100-102.

Natural Research Journals’ Policies on publishing ethics. Available at: https://www.nature.com/authors/policies/publication.html

Publich Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct-42 CFR Part 93 (June 2005). Available at:https://ori.hhs.gov/public-health-service-phs-policies-research-misconduct-%E2%80%93-42-cfr-part-93-%E2%80%93-june-2005

PLoS Medicine. Ethical Publishing Practice. Available at: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/s/ethical-publishing-practice