Publication Ethics


Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors' own work without proper citation, and misappropriation of the work are all unacceptable practices. Any cases of ethical misconduct are treated very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.


All authors listed on the manuscript should have contributed significantly to the experimental design, its implementation, or analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors should have been involved in the writing of the manuscript at draft and any revision stages, and have read and approved the final version. Anyone who made major contributions to the writing of the manuscript should be listed as an author (e.g. "ghost writing" is prohibited by the Journal). Any other individuals who made less substantive contributions to the experiment or the writing of the manuscript should be listed in the acknowledgement section. Any change in authorship (including author order) after the initial manuscript submission must be approved in writing by all authors.

Authorship and "Umbrella" groups

Many large collaborative studies are organized under a group name which represents all the participants. All articles must have at least one named individual as author. Authors who wish to acknowledge the umbrella group from which the data originate should first list the author(s) of the article and follow this with 'on behalf of the GROUP NAME'. If necessary the names of the participants may be listed in the Acknowledgements section.


By submitting your manuscript to the journal it is understood that this it is an original manuscript and is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the author's own work, in whole or in part without proper citation is not tolerated by the journal. Manuscripts submitted to the journal is checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software.

Conflicts of interest

At the point of submission, each author should reveal any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. When considering whether you should declare a conflicting interest or connection please consider the conflict of interest test: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

If the manuscript is published, relevant Conflict of Interest information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.