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SCIENTIFIC-PRACTICAL PEER-REVIEWED MONTHLY JOURNAL.
INSTITUTION OF MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

PRINCIPLES OF ZDRAVOOKHRANENIE (HEALTHCARE) JOURNAL EDITORIAL ETHICS

PRINCIPLES OF ZDRAVOOKHRANENIE (HEALTHCARE) JOURNAL EDITORIAL ETHICS

Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal concept

Develop an efficient professionally oriented information resource as a site for integrating results of scientific researches, researchers’ and practitioners’ knowledge and experience in medicine. To make the specialists’ expert opinions requested for making decisions in the system of public health care.

Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal major objective

To improve the medic-social and economic functioning of the system of public health care and the quality of the population medical prophylactic care thanks to appliance of the optimal organizational and methodologic techniques and new technologies allowing improve the quality of life of the Republic of Belarus citizens.

The journal favors improving the researchers and doctors qualification and their acquaintance with the nowadays achievements of Belarus medical science and practice. Since the date the journal has been established and up to nowadays, it keeps to its ideological orientation – to become the center of the advanced scientific way of thinking in the sphere of Belarus citizens health care.

Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal tasks

  1. To publish original, important, well documented, and reviewed clinical, and laboratory articles on a wide spectrum of medical problems.
  2. To identify the worldwide trends and directions in the medical scientific thinking and public health practice development. To reflect the Belarus medical scientific and practical achievements, competency, and integration into the international scientific community.
  3. To provide doctors, public health care organizers, researchers with information for getting non-stop postgraduate education in the sphere of the fundamental and practical medicine.
  4. To improve the doctors’ knowledge in the disciplines beyond one’s particular specialty deeper.
  5. To stimulate discussing various medical problematic aspects.
  6. To predict important trends in medicine and public health care.
  7. To inform readers about non-clinical aspects of medicine and public health care including sociological, philosophic, economic, and cultural aspects.
  8. To promote the institute of independent review as an important instrument for assessing the medical research quality.
  9. To support high ethical standards of medical periodical press.
  10. To provide the journal correspondence to the international requirements and the worldwide recognition of the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal.
  11. To attract foreign authors and to increase the rate of mutual publications.
  12. To improve the journal site and technological capacities.

Topics recommended for publishing in Zdravookhranenie

(Healthcare) journal

Theme orientation for publication

1.

Organization of public health, hygiene, epidemiology

2.

Preventive medicine

3.

Clinical medicine

4.

Novel medical technologies for treating and rehabilitating

5.

Original researches

6.

Organization of primary medical care

7.

Lectures and scientific reviews

8.

Medic-social assistance

9.

Medical staff training and qualification improval

10.

Management and economics in public health

11.

Ethic and philosophic problems of medicine

12.

Medical law

13.

Medicine sociology

14.

History of medicine

 

Target auditorium (user) of Zdravookhranenie

(Healthcare) journal

 

Leaders responsible for policy in the public health system, practitioners, researchers working at republican scientific and practical centers, public health organizations, other specialists (lawyers, sociologists, analysts) associated with public health, professional associations, pharmacologic/medical companies producing medicinal agents, goods for medical appliance, medical devices, libraries of higher education institutions.

Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) editorial personnel keeps to the ethic norms adopted by the global scientific community. The editorial staff relies on «Recommendations on carrying, describing, reviewing, and publishing researches results in medical journals» of the International Committee Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE) and the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (Committee on Publication Ethics, COPE).

Research structure and ethics

The editorial personnel attention to the following: the study should be substantiated and planned thoroughly, the study structure should correspond to its objectives as it makes possible solving the problems relevantly. Statistical aspects including the statistical power should be considered at the study planning stage. The study should comply with the high standards of quality control and data analysis.

Authorship

Authorship criteria

The author is a physic subject created by his/her work. Authorship is the fact of creating by a concrete person or by a group of subjects of an original piece of work in form of text, image, or other kind of information.

When preparing a medical article, authorship provides for a marked intellectual impact in the objective determining, the study planning and designing, data collecting, the text writing, assessing the results obtained critically leading to certain conclusions. Every authors should take part in the work sufficient for being responsible for the relevant part of the article content.

In order to exclude any questions that can prevent from publishing the article, the participants should determine the list of the authors and the order of the authors listing just at the beginning of the study. The authors’ roles can differ. Every author’s impact should be reflected in the article. The authors are responsible for creating each component of the publication.

Every author declared should approve the manuscript final variant and its forwarding to the journal to be published.

No participant having provided the work financing may be included in the authors group. The research group general leadership cannot be recognized as a sufficient factor for being considered an author.

Conflict of interests

In accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics, conflict of interests or competing interests while an article preparing and publishing is adopted to be a certain fact known to the publishing process participants and capable of making a reader feel, after the article publishing, that he/she is being deceived or misinformed (either an author, the review or the editor feels necessary to find excuses). Conflict of interests in journalism is described in the booklet «Conflict of interests. Guide for journalists».

Conflict of interests appears when any author, reviewer or a member of the editorial board has financial, scientific or personal interrelations that can effect their actions.

Conflict of interests can be personal, commercial, political, academic or financial. Any information concerning any conflict of interests (or its absence) should be presented by the authors in written form at the time the article is handed to be published. Any conflict of interests taking place should be reflected in the article. In case an author feels doubtful whether any circumstance may be considered a conflict of interests, he/she should declare it so that the editors would be able assess its value.

When an article publishing is financed fully or partially as well as in case another kind of publishing provision is present, the sources should be described in the section Acknowledgements. In addition, the role of the financing organizations or sponsors in the study planning and carrying out, data collection, analysis and interpretation, the article preparation, reviewing and approval should be reflected.

In case besides the authors, another person has been involved in the data analyzing, interpreting or verifying, it should be mentioned.

In order to avoid the publication ethics violation and to exclude the conflict of interests of all the parties participating in the process of the article publishing in accordance with the ethical norms adopted in the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal, every party is charged with the following duties.

Any author is obliged to:

- list every known and potential source of conflicts of interests in the letter accompanying the article;

- specify his/her occupation and the source of the study financing;

- reflect clearly absence of any conflict of interests in the letter accompanying the article.

Any reviewer is obliged to:

- in case any conflict of interests (dual obligations, competing interests) revealed, inform the editor-in-chief about them and reject the article expertizing.

The editor is obliged to:

- in case the initially selected reviewer has any conflict of interests with the article author, refer it to another reviewer;

- check with every participant of the article publishing process whether any competing interests can appear;

- make decision on publishing the information presented in the author’s letter and concerning the conflict of scientific and/or financial interests in case it is not confidential and can effect assessing the published work by readers or the scientific community;

- provide publishing amendments in case the information about the conflict of interests has been obtained after publishing.

 

Authors responsibilities

Study reliability and standards

When the manuscript has been based on an original research, the authors should be ready to present (on demand) reliable results of the work carried out and an objective discussion of the study value. The manuscript should contain the key data, accurate description of the study details, and references in order to provide the results repeatability. Neither false data nor evidently incorrect assertions in a manuscript are considered to be not ethical and cannot be accepted.

Data availability

Beside the manuscript, the editors can propose authors to present the initial data. The author should provide access to such data in case it does not violate confidentiality of the experiment participants or the company owning the data.

Originality, plagiarism, disclosure of sources

Authors should submit original manuscripts only. When other author’s publications are mentioned, the source should be cited and listed in the reference accurately. The publications having a significant impact on the study preparation or determined its format should be mentioned as well.

Multiple, republished or competing publications

Materials describing the substance of the same study can be published in one journal only. A manuscript submitted to more than one journal is not considered ethical and cannot be accepted. No material protected by the author’s right or published earlier can be published. In addition, no material under consideration of the editorial staff can be submitted to be published as an author’s article in another journal. When submitting a manuscript the author should inform the editor about the cases the manuscript has been submitted earlier as the manuscript can be considered to be a doubling or a dual publication. The author should inform the editor if the manuscript contains data published earlier or submitted to be published in another journal. In such cases, the previous publication should be referenced in the new manuscript.

Conflict of interests

To present a manuscript to the journal every author should subscribe the declaration he/she has no financial or other significant conflicts of interests that can be considered as having effected the study results or the results interpretation. All sources having financed the work described should be specified.

Reviewing

Every manuscript entered the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal should be reviewed. Scientific manuscripts publication is based on reviewing. Nowadays, any manuscript should be reviewed blindly, reviewers know who the author is whereas the authors does not know the reviewer. The reviewing objective should improve the quality of publications and to identify the most relevant materials of a high quality.

The editorial staff makes the final decision on publishing the manuscript.

Experts proposed to assess the article value submit their reviews in written form. A reviewer should comply with the standard requirements – to have special education and to be recognized by the medical community, to have his/her own experience of research, publications on the study topic, experience of assessing manuscripts critically. A review report should be professional, sincere, constructive and presented within the terms determined by the editorial staff (two weeks) the text being polite.

The following major requirements to a reviewer’s report for the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal are in act: a reviewer should identify and comment the main strong and weak aspects of the study structure and methodology as well as those of the manuscript, of the accompanying note, of the interpretation of the study results and the data and to assess the quality of the author’s data interpretation accurately and constructively.

In his/her report the reviewer:

1.should note whether the manuscript complies with the journal subject;

2.should estimate the scientific level of the work:

  • note the original results the article contains;
  • determine whether the article contains any incorrect assertions;
  • indicate at the practicality and the actuality of the article;
  • determine whether it contains references to other publications allowing determine the article place among the other publications.
  1. should evaluate the quality of the work design:
    • specify whether the manuscript name and abstract reflect the work essence correctly;
    • note whether the work objective has been drawn in the introduction;
    • note whether the major conclusions of the work have been drawn in the manuscript final section;
    • note whether the text needs to be corrected.
  2. should chose one of the following conclusions:
    • the manuscript may be published in the journal;
    • the manuscript may be published in the journal after the text shall be refined by the author;
    • the manuscript should be revised radically and reviewed once again before publishing.

The reviewer should comment on any ethical problem arising during the research or any possible proofs of the scientific work bad quality or the study negligence. The reviewer should advise the author how to improve the manuscript. The reviewer’s comments should be constructive and professional. The review report should contain a conclusion allowing the editor make decision whether the manuscript can be published or it should be revised and refined.

A negative report is submitted on a separate page so that it could be sent to the authors.

Basing on the reviewer’s report the editorial staff makes one of the following decisions:

  • to publish the manuscript in the journal;
  • to sent the manuscript to the authors to be refined;
  • to refuse the authors from the manuscript publishing.

In case the manuscript has been refused to be published it can be accepted again after its radical refining.

Every reviewer making reports for the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal are aware of the editorial requirements. The editor may refer any comment to the other reviewers of the manuscript confidentially (not specifying the reviewer’s name when the journal practices concealed reviewing) in order to assist reviewers to get trained on other comments. Those comments are confidential and cannot be used by the other reviewers.

Editors assess the quality of every reviewer’s report and may edit the report before sending it to the authors or not to send it when they find the report not constructive or tendentious. The reviewer’s reports quality as well as the reviewers other working characteristics are assessed from time to time. Such assessment allows realize whether the journal functions optimally and the reviewer works efficiently. The data concerning a reviewer work is confidential. Such criteria of the work quality as the term of the reviewer’s report submission are used for planning amendments that would improve the journal quality.

A manuscript submitted is a confidential communication and the reviewers should keep it confident. The reviewer neither can keep the manuscript for himself/herself or copy it. The reviewer has no right to show the manuscript to his/her colleges without the editor’s permission. The reviewers and the editors cannot use the study data, arguments or interpretations in their personal or professional purposes (except for the reviewer’s report) before the article is published. It is possible only in case when the author has granted permission in order an editorial article or a commentary could be written.

When the reviewer doubts the research is fide bona, he/she should inform the editor confidentially and until the editor allows to open this information officially it should remain closed.

The Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) editorial staff analyzes annually the data concerning the number of manuscripts accepted, the time elapsed from a manuscript submission to its publishing, the rate of manuscripts exposed to external reviewing as well as other technical characteristics of the editorial staff work and publishes the results.

 Reviewer’s materials and original manuscript can be useful sometimes for training other reviewers the art of reviewing or in the process of permanent medical training. However, neither reviewer’s report nor manuscript may be used in these purposes without the reviewer’s or the author’s written permission, respectively.

Editorial decision

Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) editorial staff is fully liable for every material published and for compliance with the ethical principles before the journal readers, authors, study objects, reviewers. The editorial staff pays special attention to the data reliability, literary piracy, conflict of interests, observance of Helsinki Declaration in respect of medical studies ethical principles.

A manuscript is accepted to be published basing on its value, originality, clarity of presentation, and the study theme correspondence to the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal profile.

Authors have right to appeal against editors’ decisions on manuscripts acceptance or rejection.

Order of author’s appeal submission:

1. When an author does not agree with the editor’s decision on the manuscript acceptance or rejection, he/she should address the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal in written form specifying the reasons of his/her appeal.

2. A commission for the conflict settlement consisting of editorial board members is formed to consider the author’s appeal.

3. The editorial staff decision can be changed in the cases when:

- the author presents additional facts not considered at the manuscript primary reviewing;

- the author presents additional materials not considered at the manuscript primary reviewing;

- the author presents information concerning conflict of interests not presented at the manuscript primary reviewing;     

- the authors expresses concern about the prejudiced review report.

4. When it is necessary, the editorial staff may refer to another reviewer before making the final decision.

5. When arguments are satisfactory, the commission for conflicts settlement makes proposals to change or retain in force the initial decision about the manuscript publishing.

6. The editorial board makes decision about the manuscript acceptance or rejection basing on the commission for conflicts settlement conclusion.

7. The editorial board decision after the initial decision review is final and cannot be disputed.

When after a manuscript has been published, mistakes or significant drawbacks are found the editor should publish a retraction or amendments specifying whether the mistake has occurred through the author’s or through the editorial fault. The correction should be reflected in the table of contents in order to provide its association with the article presented in the available databases.

The editorial board periodically assesses the reviews quality and other working characteristics of the reviewers’ and members of the editorial board in order to provide the best journal functioning and the assessment is taken into account while appointing the editorial board members. The individual work characteristics should be confidential. These criteria of the work quality should be used for planning changes that can improve the journal.

Editorial board

The editorial board is the journal organ working on the permanent basis. The editorial board is formed according the editorial charter. The editor-in-chief is the chairman. The editorial board participates in the journal work as a collective manager.

The editorial staff consists of the editor-in-chief, the deputy editor, executive secretary, leading scientists, and various medical specialists in the sphere of public health care from the Republic of Belarus, Russia, Austria, Germany, USA. The number of the editorial board members is determined by the multiplicity of the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) topics aimed at providing a representative composition able to guarantee the editorial staff efficient work.

 Members of the editorial board have certain rights and obligations. They participate in the editorial board working and making decisions, preparing materials on certain topics and manuscripts to be published in the journal.

The editorial board organizational work is designed in accordance with the journal charter specifying the meetings regularity (monthly), procedure, range of issues to be discussed. At least two thirds of the editorial board members should take part in a board meeting.

Provision of the journal topics, care for each issue contents, compliance with the journal profile, provision of manuscripts high quality and actuality are the editorial board major purposes. The editorial board members discuss the manuscripts accepted to be published assessing each manuscript value and the issue presented in it. The editorial board members discuss materials chosen for each next issue. The editorial board members present their opinions on each manuscript and an individual decision is made. The editorial board members assess generally and principally each material to be published and make their conclusions on whether it is expedient to publish the same as well as make proposals on improving the manuscript. When any editorial board member fails to take part in a meeting he/she should make his/her opinion about the material known to the editorial board and present a short written conclusion containing concrete conclusions and proposals.

Every editorial board member can voice his/her opinion and make proposals.

Every editorial board member should present his/her manuscript in the journal at least once a year. Such practice favors materials actualization as the editorial board members have full and objective information about the novel scientific and practical medical successes, on the one side, and about the readers’ needs, on the other.

Every editorial board member act as reviewers, take part in designing the journal conception, substantiating perspective directions of the journal program and problematic issues.

The editorial board cannot substitute the editorial staff and the editors enjoy the necessary independence.

In order the community participated actively in the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) actions, the editorial council is formed as a public consultative organ. The major tasks of the editorial council are: providing the manuscripts scientific and methodological characteristics high quality control, rendering scientific, methodological, and informational support to authors.

The editorial council is formed by the editorial board decision, the editorial council members participation in its work is voluntary after they have signed their consents to work in the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal editorial council.

The editorial council managed by the editor-in-chief includes public health organizers, qualified specialists, scientists dictating the science development direction, managers of scientific and curing institutions made an evident contribution to various science spheres and well-known In the Republic of Belarus and abroad by their scientific publications and practical activities. The editorial council meets for discussing perspective plans and when the journal profile needs reviewing. The editorial council members participate in the council work unsalaried.

Any editorial council member can be substituted on the decision of the members themselves as well as on the decision of the Zdravookhranenie (Healthcare) journal editorial board.