Publication Ethics

For more information on Publication Ethics and Research Integrity issues please see articles published as a part of the Biochemia Medica's Research Integrity Corner.

 

Editorial board of Biochemia Medica strongly promotes research integrity and aims to prevent any type of scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, redundant publication, and authorship problems. All submitted manuscripts are revised by Research Integrity Editor and checked using Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) screening system screening system for potential plagiarism (more information available here).

In resolving any potential scientific misconduct, article retractions or expressions of concern, Biochemia Medica follows flowcharts provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and additionally consults COPE for any unclear cases (COPE flowcharts available here). More detailed editorial policies regarding specific research integrity issues such as plagiarism, text recycling, duplicate publications, authorship issues, article retractions etc. are published in Biochemia Medica’s special section called Research integrity corner. All authors are invited to contribute by preparing manuscripts for this section regarding any issue important for promotion of research ethics and integrity.

ETHICAL APPROVAL AND INFORMED CONSENT

When reporting trials on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards set by the responsible human experimentation committee (institutional and national) and latest version of the Declaration of Helsinki given by World Medical Association. Ethical approval (institutional or national) should be obtained for every study that includes collection of additional patient sample of any biological material (more than those required for the medical evaluation).

All subjects should sign an informed consent form and this information should be provided in the manuscript. Signed informed consent forms should be archived by the authors. The authors have to provide a statement that they have received and archived all patient informed consent forms, as required during the manuscript submission process. It should be noted that informed consent to participate in the research does not imply consent to publish personal individual data (names, pictures, hospital identification). Therefore, for publication that includes any individual data, patient must give his written consent. This is especially applied when it is not possible to obtain anonymity of the data without distorting scientific evidence.

Regardless of the preserved anonymity, patients presented in case report articles should always sign informed consent. Case reports without patients’ consent are not eligible for publication in Biochemia MedicaSpecific types of case reports, extra-analytical mysteries, are not obliged to obtain informed consent as long as there are no patient’s personal data revealed. If there is need to publish patient’s rare diagnosis or specific demographic or personal data by which patient’s identity can be implied, than the authors must obtain patient’s signed informed consent.

In the spirit of promoting best practice guidelines given by COPE (available at: http://publicationethics.org/files/Code%20of%20Conduct_2.pdf), Biochemia Medica will not consider for publication manuscripts in which best ethical practice is not ensured, i.e. Informed consent is missing and/or Ethical approval is omitted. To simplify the decision-making process on whether a type of study requires Informed consent and/or Ethical approval, authors are encouraged to consult the table below reprinted from Borovecki A, Mlinaric A, Horvat M, Supak Smolcic V. Informed consent and ethical approval in laboratory medicine. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2018;28(3):030201.

Type of study Study design Informed consent Ethical approval
Research The material from patients/healthy donors is collected for research purpose. Required Required
Method/instrument validation The use of residual material Not required Required
The material from patients/healthy donors is collected for research purpose Required Required
Research showing standard clinical/laboratory practice or the advancement of the standard practice If it does not include a new method or instrument Not required (it is implied that the informed consent was previously given for the scope of the treatment) Not required (it is considered that this is not research but clinical/laboratory practice)
Incidence/epidemiological research The use of residual material or retrospective data collection. Not required Required
Laboratory Information System (database) data extraction Retrospective data collection. Not required Required
Laboratory management Studies that do not include human subjects but collect data for measuring quality indicators (i.e. turnaround time, test utilization, non-conformities, etc.). Not required Not required
Survey The participants are notified in the survey about the nature of the research and the future use of the data (publishing, etc.). Not required (it is implied) Not required
Survey asking more intimate questions. Required Not required
Case report   Required Not required
Preanalytical case report Patient specific information are not presented (patient is not identifiable). Not required Not required

 

AUTHORSHIP

Biochemia Medica adheres to guidelines for authorship set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Each author should meet all four criteria as follows:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. final approval of the version to be published
  4. agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

According to ICMJE: “In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work the author has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. All those designated as authors, should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.

All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work but do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section (technical help, writing assistance, language translation service, general support, financial and material support). All persons named in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript must give their permission to be named. Statement for such permission is included in the manuscript submission process.

Biochemia Medica promotes novelties in the area of scientific integrity. Therefore, Journal adopted the system by which each author is identified with his unique identification number, ORCID. ORCID ensures transparency in authorship and personal identification. It is easy to obtain and available for free at http://orcid.org/. It is recommended for each author to provide his/her ORCID number.

For more information on Biochemia Medica’s policy on authorship, readers and authors are encouraged to read the article Šupak-Smolčić V, Šimundić AM. Biochemia Medica’s editorial policy on authorship. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2015;25(3):320-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.11613/BM.2015.032

COPYRIGHT AND PUBLICATION LICENSE

After a manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors must guarantee that all copyrights to the manuscript are transferred to Biochemia Medica. The publisher (Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine) has the right to reproduce and distribute the article in printed and electronic form without asking permission from authors. All manuscripts published on line are subject to Creative Commons Attribution License which permits users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles in any medium or format. Also, users can remix, transform and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and any changes properly indicated. Complete legal background of license is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Biochemia Medica encourages all authors and reviewers to report any potential conflicts of interest to ensure complete transparency regarding the preparation and reviewing the manuscript (research funding, grants, sponsorship, competing interests etc.). According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE): “Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution) has financial (employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria and paid expert testimony) or personal relationship, academic competition or intellectual passion that inappropriately influences his actions.”

Since 2011, this statement has been published as a part of each article. For more information, please read: Simundic AM. Biochemia Medica introduces the revised policy on Statement of Conflict of Interest. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2011;21(2):104-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.11613/BM.2011.017