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 Research and publication ethics

Table of Contents

1. Statement of human and animal rights
2. Statement of informed consent and Institutional Review Board approval
3. Conflict of Interest statement
4. Registration of the clinical trial research
5. Authorship and author’s responsibility
6. Originality, plagiarism, and duplicate publication
7. Secondary publication
8. Process for managing the research and publication misconduct
9. Editorial responsibilities

For the policies on the research and publication ethics not stated in these instructions, ‘Good Publication Practice Guidelines for Medical Journals (http://kamje.or.kr/)’ or ‘Guidelines on good publication (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines)’ can be applied.

1. Statement of human and animal rights

Clinical research must comply with the Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, as outlined in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (revised 2013) (available from: https://www.wma.net/policy). Clinical studies that do not meet the Helsinki Declaration will not be considered for publication. For human subjects, identifiable information, such as patients’ names, initials, hospital numbers, dates of birth, and other protected healthcare information, should not be disclosed. For animal subjects, the research should be performed based on the National or Institutional Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the ethical treatment of all experimental animals should be maintained.

2. Statement of informed consent and Institutional Review Board approval

Copies of written informed consent should be kept for studies on human subjects. For the clinical studies with human subjects, there should be a certificate, an agreement, or the approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the author's affiliated institution. In addition, the method by which informed consent was obtained from the participants (i.e., verbal or written) also needs to be stated in the Methods section. If necessary, the editor or reviewers may request copies of these documents to resolve questions about IRB approval and study conduct. For research with animal subjects, studies should be approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

3. Conflict of Interest statement

If there are any conflicts of interest, authors should disclose them in the manuscript. When submitting the manuscript, the author must attach the letter of conflict-of-interest statement (https://www.e-acn.org/authors/conflicts.php). Conflict of interest exists when an author or the author’s institution, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence or bias his or her actions. Not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. On the other hand, the potential for conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, or of the science itself. Conflicts can occur for other reasons as well, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion (http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/). If there is a disclosure, editors, reviewers, and reader can approach the manuscript after understanding the situation and the background of the completed research.

4. Registration of the clinical trial research

Any research that deals with a clinical trial should be registered with the primary national clinical trial registry site such as the Korea Clinical Research Information Service (CRIS, http://cris.nih.go.kr), other primary national registry sites accredited by the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/) or ClinicalTrials.gov (http://clinicaltrials.gov/), a service of the United States National Institutes of Health.

5. Authorship and author’s responsibility

Authorship credit should be based on: 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; and 4) agreeing to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that the questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Authors should meet these 4 conditions. If the number of authors is equal to or greater than 2, there should be a list of each author's role in the submitted paper. Description of co-first authors or co-corresponding authors is also accepted if the corresponding author believes that such roles existed in contributing to the manuscript. Authors are responsible for the whole content of each article.

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication. Authors are responsible for the whole content of each article.

6. Originality, plagiarism, and duplicate publication

All submitted manuscripts should be original and should not be in consideration by other scientific journals for publication. Any part of the accepted manuscript should not be duplicated in any other scientific journal without permission of the Editorial Board, although the figures and tables can be used freely if the original source is verified according to the Creative Commons Attribution License. It is mandatory for all authors to resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from other journal that is not open access. If duplicate publication is attempted or occurs, the submitted manuscript will be rejected immediately.

7. Secondary publication

It is possible to republish manuscripts if the manuscripts satisfy the condition of secondary publication of the "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals" by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), available from http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/publishing-and-editorial-issues/overlapping-publications.html.

8. Manuscript Preparation

When the Journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct such as a redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflicts of interest, an ethical problem discovered with the submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, complaints against editors, and other issues, the resolving process will follow the flowchart provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). Discussion and decisions on the suspected cases are carried out by the Editorial Board. ACN will not hesitate to publish errata, corrigenda, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.

9. Editorial responsibilities

The Editorial Board will continuously work to monitor and safeguard publication ethics: guidelines for retracting articles; maintenance of the integrity of academic records; preclusion of business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards; publishing corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed; and excluding plagiarized and fraudulent data. The editors maintain the following responsibilities: responsibility and authority to reject and accept articles; no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject or accept; promoting the publication of corrections or retractions when errors are found; and preservation of the anonymity of reviewers.

Editorial Office
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