Research Publication Ethics

1. General

1-1. Objective

The Research Ethics Guidelines are intended for righteous development of research by defining the codes of ethics. Any violation of these guiding principles by authors(researchers), editors, judges and others involved in the publication process may lead to sanctions through judges' decisions.

1-2. Principles of ethical publishing

All authors are expected to accept the basic definitions in section 1-3.

Procedures for applying principles of ethical publishing are outlined in section 2

1-3. Definition of terms

Research misconduct refers to acts such as plagiarism, forgery, publication, and unreasonable author listing in the process of all research procedures defined in the following statements : 

(1) "Plagiarism" refers to using or copying someone else's idea or work without proper approval or quotation.

(2) "Forgery" refers to distorting research contents by manipulating or modifying data or research results.

(3) "Dual publication: refers to publishing the manuscript of oneself in other journals with the same contents without proper approval or citation.

(4) "Unreasonable author listing" refers to excluding a person who has made a technical contribution to the research from the author list or granting author qualification to a person who has not made technical contribution.

1-4. Conflicts of interest (for authors)

A conflict of interest may potentially interfere with (or perceived as interfering with) peer review, decision-making or publication of articles submitted. Personal, financial, and professional affiliations or relationships can be perceived as conflicts of interest.

(1) All authors are required to disclose any actual and potential conflicts of interest at submission or upon accepting an editorial or review assignment.

(2) Failure to declare competing interests may result in the rejection of a manuscript. If an undisclosed competing interest reveals after publication, one or more of the disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with internal policies and Ethics Committee.

1-5. (Post-Publication) Correction

Editorial Office acknowledge the responsibility to correct scientifically relevant errors in previously published articles. Corrections can be submitted for following reasons : 

(1) a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading

(2) an error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions 

(3) an error in statistical data not altering conclusions

(4) mislabeled figures

(5) the wrong slide of microscopy was provided

(6) the author / contributor list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included.

1-6. Retraction

All potential retractions will be judged on their own merits and will be the subject of an internal investigation or an institutional investigation. Editorial office considers the following reasons as giving cause for concern and potential retraction:

(1) Clear evidence that findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (such as data fabrication) or honest error (such as miscalculation or experimental error)

(2) Findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution, permission or justification

(3) Major plagiarism

(4) The reporting of unethical research, the publication of an article that did not have the required ethics committee approval

(5) Legal issues pertaining to the content of the article, such as libelous content

(6) Major authorship issues, such as proven or strongly suspected cases of ghostwriting or false authorship

(7) Politically motivated articles where objectivity is a serious concern

(8) Articles that have made extraordinary claims without concomitant scientific or statistical evidence (such as pseudoscience).

2. Procedures for applying principles of ethical publishing

2-1. Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee reviews IDEC research ethics statement and takes action accordingly.

2-2. Composition of Committee

(1) The number of Committee members is ten or less including the head of IDEC.

(2) The chair of the Ethics Committee shall be the chair of the Editorial Committee, and the chair will appoint the members of the Committee. The term in office shall be two years.

(3) The chair will appoint the secretary of the committee.

(4) If a member submits a manuscript, a new member will be appointed while it is being reviewed.

2-3. Roles of Committee

(1) The Committee will establish all research ethics related to IDEC.

(2) The Committee will prevent and investigate research misconduct.

(3) The Committee will verify and take action reviewing research ethics.

(4) The Committee will protect the informant.

(5) The Committee will address issues of research ethics that are raised by the chair.

2-4. Request for Review

(1) Issues related to research misconduct can be reported to IDEC directly by phone, written paper, or e-mail.

(2) Even if reported anonymously, the issue should be handled in accordance with blindness, if there is specific details and evidence of research misconduct.

2-5. Procedure

(1) When a case of research misconduct occurs, the Committee should convene a meeting and review the case. 

(2) The one whose manuscript is in doubt should comply with the Committee's investigation.

(3) The Committee can require attendance or submission of information to the submitter of the manuscript under study, the reviewer who has raised the question, and if necessary others.

(4) The Committee should protect the informant, and also allow the submitter to defend oneself fully so as to protect one's rights.

(5) The Committee should make a final decision and report the result to the informant and the submitter.

(6) The judgement of research misconduct may be made by a majority of the members of the Committee and a vote of 2/3 or more of the attendance Committee members.

2-6. Disciplinary Measures

The Committee will report the result to the head of IDEC, and take one or more of the disciplinary measures as follows : 

(1) Prohibition of submission

(2) Rejection of the manuscript

(3) Deletion or invalidation of the paper already published

(4) Admonition or notification publicly in IDEC or other Societies.

(5) Deprivation or suspension of one's membership of IDEC

2-7. Reconsideration

(1) The informant and the suspect can request a reconsideration to the Committee within ten days from the date of notification of the result.

(2) If any reconsideration is not requested, it is assumed that the result is accepted after ten days from the notification.

(3) The Committee should decide whether to reconsider the matter immediately upon a request, and proceed with Article 9 and 10 if a majority of the members of the Committee approve it.

2-8. Rights Protection

(1) The identity of the informant should not be disclosed to the outside.

(2) The reputation of the suspect should not be violated until the research misconduct is confirmed.

(3) The Committee should strive to restore the honor of the one whose suspicion has proven innocent.

2-9. Record Keeping 

Records should be kept for five years from the end date of the investigation.

2-10. Attachment

(1) Articles not specified in the Research Publication Ethics statement can be added in accordance with the decision of the Committee or the rules of IDEC.

(2) The Research Publication Ethics statement takes effect as of April 30, 2018, revised January 1, 2023.