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 Ethical Policy

The Journal adheres to the research ethics guidelines of The Korean Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (download).

A submitted manuscript must not be associated with any type of research misconduct, including fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism with intent to deceive by the authors. The cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief must declare that a submitted manuscript has not been published nor is under simultaneous consideration for publication elsewhere in whole or in part in any language except in the form of an abstract. The cover letter must also state if the manuscript contains any portion that may be regarded as redundant or duplicate information, defined as a paper, data, tables, or figures that overlap substantially with already published information. Research involving human subjects must comply with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (1964). Articles describing research involving animals must state in the Methods section that the work was approved by the applicable institutional ethics committee or review board. The manuscript must also state that informed consent was obtained from the subjects, when appropriate. The Editor-in-Chief has the right to reject a manuscript if research misconduct is suspected. 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.

The journal adheres to the ethical guidelines for research and publication described by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines) and the ICMJE Guidelines (http://www.icmje.org).

When the journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct–such as redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, an undisclosed conflict of interest, ethical problems with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer’s appropriation of an author’s idea or data, and complaints against editors–the resolution process will follow the flowchart provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flow-charts). Discussion and decisions on the suspected cases are carried out by the Editorial Board.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this regulation is to establish and promote adherence to research ethics in articles submitted to the Journal of Annals of Clinical Neurophysiology (ACN), the authors, and research conducted by the members of the Korean Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (KSCN) as well as the other members of researchers.

2. Researchers’ ethics
  • 1) Researchers must be honest about their research. Researchers’ ethics are demanded in every stage of the research process, including idea formation, study funding, publication of outcomes, and fair compensation for the study participants. More specifically, researchers must not engage in the following research misconduct:
    • ① “Fabrication” of nonexistent data or study findings.
    • ② “Falsification” of study content or findings by artificially manipulating study materials, equipment, or process, or arbitrarily modifying or deleting data.
    • ③ “Plagiarism,” where others’ ideas, study contents, or results are taken without due approval or citation (However, when citing published academic data, the data must be accurately attributed to its correct source unless the data falls under common sense. Further, data obtained from personal contact can only be cited after obtaining consent from the information provider).
    • ④ “Unfair authorship acknowledgement,” where individuals who have made scientific or technical contributions to the study contents or results are not attributed authorship without reasonable grounds, or individuals who have not made scientific or technical contributions are attributed authorship as a token of appreciation or respect (The order of authors for publication of study articles or other types of publications must be determined impartially depending on the extent of contributions to the study irrespective of the relative position or status of the individual; individuals with low contributions to the study or article preparation should be appreciated in footnotes or in the preface rather than including them as an author).
    • ⑤ “Duplicate submission or publication,” is where a manuscript published or submitted for publication elsewhere is submitted to or published in ACN, or where a manuscript published or submitted for publication to ACN is reprinted in another journal (authors may wish to use a portion of previously published study results in their current study, This it must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief of both journals, and the Editor-in-Chief for the second publication must be fully aware of the contents of the first publication. The readership must also be notified of the second publication when citing contents from the first publication).
    • ⑥ Intentional hindrance of investigations about suspicions of one’s own or others’ fraudulent activities.
    • ⑦ Other actions that severely deviate from the range of actions commonly accepted by the scientific community.
  • 2) Studies that involve human subjects must generally adhere to the 1964 declaration of Helsinki by the World Medical Association (WMA). Details are as follows.
    • ① Clinical trials must be reviewed and approved by the institutional review board (IRB) of the corresponding institution, and this should be stated in the text when preparing the written article.
    • ② Studies that involve human genome or embryo must adhere to the “Bioethics and Safety Act.” Further, the study must be reviewed and approved by the IRB of the institution, and this should be stated in the text when preparing the written article.
    • ③ Study subjects must be given adequate explanation about the purpose and method of the study and potential mental and physical harm they may encounter during the course of the study, and this should be stated in the text when preparing the written article. Furthermore, a consent form must be obtained from patients or caregivers when there is a possibility of revealing the patient’s identity, such as a facial image, and this should be stated in the text when preparing the written article.
    • ④ Consent forms are not waived for most experimental studies that involve interventions, and a written consent form must be obtained. Consent forms must be written in compliance to ethical principles and standards based on relevant laws, regulations, and the declaration of Helsinki, and the principal investigator must obtain a written approval from the IRB for the consent form, information sheet for study participants, and other documents prior to beginning the study. For clinical trials, the consent form suggested by Korean Good Clinical Practice (KGCP), which has been enforced by the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, must be prepared. Other experimental studies involving human subjects must obtain approval stipulated by the Bioethics and Safety Act. According to this act, written consent forms containing the following information must be obtained from study subjects prior to beginning the study: (1) Study purpose (2) Participation period, procedure, and method (3) Anticipated risks and benefits for the subjects (4) Matters pertaining to the protection of personal information (5) Compensation for any loss from study participation (6) Matters pertaining to the disclosure of personal information (7) Matters pertaining to the withdrawal of consent.
  • 3) The editorial board may request submission of documents confirming the approval of the IRB or waiver of review if necessary.
  • 4) Studies involving animal subjects generally adhere to the Guiding Principles in the Care and Use of Animals by American Physiology Society.
  • 5) The authors should disclose all potential conflicts of interest including any research funding, other financial support, and material support for the work, if any exists, in the unblinded full title page. If there is a disclosure, the editors, reviewers, and reader can approach the manuscripts after understanding the situation.
  • 6) Researchers must adhere to the general principles of citing academic works.
3. Editor’s ethics
  • 1) The editor is responsible for the decision about whether to accept a submitted article and must respect the independence of the author.
  • 2) The editor must have the submitted article to be reviewed by a reviewer with expertise in the corresponding field and ability to provide unbiased judgment. When choosing the reviewer, the editor must avoid reviewers who have any form of personal relationship to the author, whether friendly or hostile, to ensure objective review. However, when the reviews of the same article significantly vary between reviewers, the editor may seek consultation from a third expert in the field.
  • 3) The editor must promptly notify the IRB and appropriately respond should events such as concerns pertaining to reviewers’ review of a manuscript arise.
4. Reviewers’ ethics
  • 1) Reviewers must faithfully review the submitted manuscripts and notify the review results to the editor within the period specified by the review regulation
  • 2) Reviewers must impartially assess according to objective standards irrespective of one’s own academic beliefs, and personal relationship, whether good or bad, with the author. Reviewers must not reject a manuscript without sufficient grounds or because it conflicts with one’s own perspective or interpretation, and also must not review a manuscript without reading it thoroughly.
  • 3) Reviewers must abide by the confidentiality agreement pertaining to the contents of the reviewing article. Unless asking for advice for the review, it is not desirable for reviewers to show the manuscript to others or discuss with others. Furthermore, reviewers must not cite the content of the manuscript until the journal containing the manuscript is published.
5. Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • 1) An institutional review board (IRB; hereafter “the Board”) shall be formed within Annals of Clinical Neurophysiology(ACN) to review matters pertaining to research ethics.
  • 2) The vice-president of the society will be the Board’s chairman, and the society’s board of directors will determine the composition and term of office for the Board.
  • 3) The Board will be operated according to a separate regulation determined by the Board.
6. Roles of the Board

The Board’s roles with regard to research ethics are as follows.

  • 1) The Board reviews matters pertaining to research ethics with regard to the publication of the journal, relevant articles (e.g., original articles, case studies, brief communications, reviews), and society members’ research works.
  • 2) Should a violation of research ethics be reported, the Board performs a wide investigation of the matter through interviews with the accuser, accused, witnesses, and reference witnesses, and with evidence. Once the accused research ethics violation is determined to be true, the Board may suggest appropriate disciplinary actions to the president.
  • 3) Violations of research ethics, such as “fabrication,” “falsification,” “plagiarism,” “unfair authorship attribution,” and “duplicate publication,” shall be examined by the editorial board, reviewed by the Board, then submitted to the board of directors.
  • 4) Violations of research ethics pertaining to the members of the society shall be examined and reviewed by the Board and submitted to the board of directors.
7. Processing of research ethics violations

The Board’s roles with regard to research ethics are as follows.

  • 1) Should violations of research ethics be reported, the chairman of the Board promptly summons the Board to investigate and review the matter and report the results to the board of directors.
  • 2) Anyone, including members and non-members, may report violations of research ethics. The Board and the society must adhere to the confidentiality agreement for matters pertaining to the reporter’s personal information, including affiliation and identity, and are obliged to protect the reporter from any disadvantages.
  • 3) The Board’s investigations and reviews of research ethics violations must be kept confidential and must not be against the interests of the society.
  • 4) The Board must give an opportunity for the individual accused of violating research ethics to protect oneself and make a counterargument in writing or in person.
  • 5) Records containing the results of the investigation of research ethics violation and the actions taken shall be stored by the society.
  • 6) Once violation of research ethics pertaining to a submitted manuscript is ruled, the board of directors shall announce the matter and reject publication of the article that has violated research ethics. If a published article is ruled to have violated research ethics, the board of directors shall delete the article from the list of articles of the journal and notify the members and relevant academic institutions of the pertinent matter. Depending on the extent of violation, the main authors (first author, corresponding author) of the article may be prohibited from submitting additional articles to the journal for a certain period or permanently.
  • 7) Once violation of research ethics pertaining to a member’s research activities or submitted manuscript is ruled, the board of directors shall announce the pertinent matter and take one of the following actions against the violator depending on the extent of the violation: ① warning, ② membership suspension, or ③ revocation of membership.

Matters not specified in this regulation shall abide by the official order of the Ministry of Education and Science technology (Volume 236), the “Guideline for ensuring research ethics,” “Guideline for publication of medical articles” by the Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE, www.kamje.or.kr), and custom.
Supplementary Provision
1) This regulation is effective as of June 10, 2008.

Editorial Office
Department of Neurology, Seoul National University (SNU) College of Medicine
SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center
20 Boramaero-5-Gil, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul 07061, Republic of Korea
TEL : +82-10-3396-7312    FAX : +82-2-831-2826   E-mail: acn.journal@gmail.com
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