Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
The publication ethics and publication malpractice statement and related policies or Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal (hereinafter, RMMJ) are based on the retired Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011), their new Core Practices, and the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Allegations of Misconduct
While all papers are checked for plagiarism by RMMJ, as a matter of routine, it is not possible for us to police all possible publications to ensure no duplication to publication in any shape or form or language. Hence, we hold a trust-based relationship with our authors.
Nevertheless, we consider it our responsibility to pursue the integrity of our publications, as far as possible. If a complaint, comment, or formal charge of ethical misconduct is brought to our attention, we provide the authors with an opportunity to respond and concomitantly seek advice from an article’s reviewers and/or the journal’s Editorial Board.
If there is evidence that an author or reviewer has broken trust in a significant manner relating to publication ethics, RMMJ attempts to resolve the situation as follows:
- When necessary, by contacting the editors of other involved journals;
- Where appropriate, by publishing corrections to the journal and submitting those corrections (including retractions) to our indexing services (e.g., PubMed, DOAJ, etc.);
- In the case of a severe breach of ethical conduct, RMMJ reserves the right to refuse to consider an author’s future work for a given period;
- Should the breach of conduct so merit, and upon the agreement of an editorial committee, related communications on the issue will be conveyed to the authors’ employers and/or funding agencies.
RMMJ reserves the right not to work with anyone who is abusive to our staff, authors, referees, or editors.
Authorship and Contributorship
RMMJ defines an author or co-author of a manuscript as someone who fulfills all four of the following criteria:
The author or co-author has:
- Made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafted or revised the work in a critical manner for important intellectual content; AND
- Given approval for the final version of the manuscript for publication; AND
- Agreed 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.
If a potential co-author does NOT meet ALL of the above criteria, the corresponding author should list this persona as a contributor, specifying their contribution, and list them in the acknowledgements.
In the event that a complaint is sent to RMMJ regarding the authorship of a manuscript, the complaint will be investigated as defined above (Allegations of Misconduct).
Complaints and Appeals
The acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is based on a variety of criteria, including the reviewers’ comments; relevance of the submission to the stated audience and aims of RMMJ (international, general medicine/research, Jewish flavor); clinical relevance; quality of research and presentation of the content; and the Editor-in-Chief’s judgement of priority/importance.
The Editorial Board of RMMJ welcomes genuine appeals to the editors’ decisions. However, such complaints must be accompanied by strong evidence or new data/information in response to the editors’ and reviewers’ comments.
The Editor-in-Chief rarely reverses a decision with regard to the disposition of a manuscript. Therefore, before appealing a decision, authors are strongly encouraged to consider submission to another journal. Some of the reasons for the rejection of a paper (such as priority and target audience) cannot be addressed through an appeal. However, if it is believed that there is a case to be made for a genuine appeal please follow the instructions below.
How to appeal the disposition of a manuscript
To appeal the decision related to a submission, please submit an appeal letter to the RMMJ editorial office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give a clear explanation of the basis for an appeal. Be sure to include:
- Details regarding why you disagree with the decision. Please provide specific responses to any of the editor’s and/or reviewers' comments that contributed to the reject decision.
- Provide any new information or data that the journal should be aware of and take into consideration.
- Give evidence for any technical error that may have been made by a reviewer in his/her assessment of your manuscript.
- Provide evidence if a conflict of interest related to either a reviewer or the Editor-in-Chief is involved.
Once received, the appeal is handled by the Editor-in-Chief and members of the editorial board. If relevant, the reviewers of the paper under appeal will also be involved. The Editorial Board members, together with the Editor-in-Chief may confirm their decision to reject the manuscript, invite a revised manuscript, or seek additional peer-review of the original manuscript.
One appeal per article will be considered, and all decisions on appeals are final. NOTE: Timely review and decision-making process for new submissions takes precedence over appeals.
Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests
RMMJ requires that all authors, peer reviewers, and editors disclose all potential conflicts of interests. When submitting a manuscript, authors must also complete an Author Statement via our manuscript submission system, regarding potential conflicts of interest. The author is expected to provide all relevant details, either on the form or in the manuscript itself.
The Editor-in-Chief, members of the editorial board, and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
The Editor-in-Chief has full editorial freedom as per the ICMJE recommendations. Nevertheless, in the event of a conflict of interest of any kind, editorial decisions are referred to the Associate Editors and/or Editorial Board. Papers authored or co-authored by the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, and Editorial Board undergo the same review process as that for all other authors.
The author(s) of a manuscript submitted to RMMJ must complete a declaration of conflict of interest for any commercial associations or financial interests held by the author or immediate members of the author's family, which might be construed as posing a conflict of interest, including but not limited to consultancies, employment, expert testimony, honoraria, retainers, stock holdings or options, and membership on boards of for-profit organizations with a financial interest in the article. All conflicts of interest are published in each article (footer of first page for PDFs; before the references of HTML conversions).
The authors should consider the following questions when completing their competing interest declaration:
Financial competing interests
In the past three years have they received any funding from an organization that may have a financial interest in the manuscript?
Do they hold any stock holdings or options in an organization that may have financial interest in the publication of this manuscript?
Does the content of the manuscript relate to any patents they hold or are they currently applying for?
Have they received any funding or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript?
Do they have any other financial competing interests?
Non-financial competing interests
Are there any non-financial competing interests to declare in relation to the manuscript? Examples of non-financial competing interests include family associations, political, religious, academic or any other.
If the authors are unsure as to whether they, or one their co-authors, has a competing interest, they should discuss this with the editor.
Data and Reproducibility
RMMJ subscribes to the general intent of the principles adopted by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) on the control of data in publications arising from sponsored research. The author submitting a manuscript for any study funded by an organization with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome shall have access to all the data in that study, and to have complete responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of the data, and the decision to publish.
Issues of ethics may arise regarding a manuscript, with regard to standards of reporting, use of hazardous materials and/or their use in animal or human subjects, and the presentation of patient data.
In all such cases, if the following information seems to be missing from a manuscript submission, the Editor-in-Chief will seek clarification on the following issues, where applicable:
- Original Research: The author has confirmed that the their report is an accurate account of the work performed, and that the paper provides and objective discussion of its significance.
- Use of hazardous materials and human or animal subjects: The author will be asked to provide a statement of compliance if the work involved chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects.
- Patient data: The author must acquire ethics committee approval and informed consent from patients and volunteers, and this is documented in the manuscript.
Manuscripts are accepted for review with the stipulation that they are submitted solely to RMMJ. The Journal will not consider for review manuscripts that have been published elsewhere, even if in another language, in another Open Access publication, or manuscripts that are being considered by another publication, or are in press. Since 2017, all submissions are checked for plagiarism via Crossref Similarity Check, powered by iThenticate—the industry standard for originality verification.
The editorial policy of Rambam Maimonides Med J is guided by the high standards of scientific quality and integrity, professional responsibility and human compassion that constitute the Rambam’s scholarly and ethical legacy. Furthermore, the scientific standards and impact of Open Access journals are no different from traditional subscription-based journals; the Journal undergoes the same peer review process and quality control as would any other scholarly journal.
Published four times a year with contributions from physicians and scientists worldwide, publication of Rambam Maimonides Med J is coordinated at Rambam Health Care Campus.
Post-Publication Discussions and Corrections
Should an author discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the Editor-in-Chief and work with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper.
If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, it is also the authors’ responsibility to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper. For guidelines on retracting or correcting articles, please Contact Us.