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Publication Ethics and Virtue

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Publication Ethics and Virtue

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Publication Ethics and Virtue 

Last updated: 2022-04-30

STM fully adheres to the Code of Conduct of Publication Ethics (COPE) and its Best Practice Guidelines. The Editorial Team of STM enforces a rigorous peer-review process with strict ethical policies and standards to ensure the addition of high-quality scientific studies to the field of scholarly publication.

In cases where STM becomes aware of ethical issues, it is committed to investigating and taking necessary actions to maintain the integrity of the literature and ensure the safety of research participants. The STM publisher recognizes the importance of ethical standards in the scientific community and is dedicated to upholding these standards in all aspects of its publishing process.

Ethics Statement

At STM, we believe that ethical principles are integral to the production and dissemination of quality research. We are committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in all stages of the publication process, from manuscript submission to post-publication corrections.

Our core ethical principles are honesty, integrity, transparency, objectivity, fairness, and respect for intellectual property rights. We strongly adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and other relevant professional organizations.

We expect our authors, reviewers, and editors to follow these ethical principles and guidelines, ensuring that they conduct their research and publish their work in a responsible and ethical manner.

  • Requirement for authors to declare potential conflicts of interest and prompt resolution of ethical concerns
  • Prioritization of diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility in research production and dissemination
  • Commitment to providing a safe and respectful environment for all individuals involved in the publication process
  • Prohibition of harassment, discrimination, and bullying
  • Dedication to maintaining the highest ethical standards in publications and continuous improvement of policies and procedures
  • Welcoming of feedback and suggestions from readers, authors, reviewers, and editors to promote responsible conduct of research.
Ethical Responsibilities
  • For Authors
  • Responsible Conduct of Research: Authors must conduct their research in a responsible and ethical manner. This includes obtaining appropriate permissions, adhering to ethical guidelines, and ensuring that research involving human or animal subjects is conducted with the utmost care and concern for their well-being.
  • Accuracy and Integrity: Authors must report their research results accurately and honestly. They should not manipulate data or results to support their conclusions, and they should acknowledge any limitations or potential sources of error.
  • Originality: Authors must ensure that their work is original and has not been previously published. They should also avoid any form of plagiarism or self-plagiarism.
  • Authorship: Authors must meet the criteria for authorship as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and other relevant professional organizations. All authors must be listed in the publication and their contributions appropriately described.
  • Conflict of Interest: Authors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest that could influence their research or its interpretation. This includes financial or personal relationships that could be seen as influencing the research.
  • Acknowledgment: Authors should acknowledge all sources of financial support and any individuals or organizations that have contributed to the research.
  • Ethical Concerns: Authors must address any ethical concerns or issues that arise during the research process. This includes seeking appropriate guidance and reporting any violations of ethical guidelines or regulations.
  • Peer Review: Authors must participate in the peer review process and respond appropriately to any feedback or comments provided by reviewers.
For Authors
  • The Authors should not publish the same content in more than one journal, submitting such content for multiple publications is unethical publication behavior and is unacceptable.
  • Authors should ensure they have written and submitted original works and the content should be free from plagiarism.
  • Those who have contributed to the design, execution, and interpretation of the study should be listed as coauthors, others who have participated should be acknowledged.
  • Authors should acknowledge the work of others that has been used or that has provided support/inspiration in their research and this must be appropriately cited/quoted.
  • Authors should provide an accurate account of their work done and source the material of experiments and research results accurately.
  • Authors/contributors must be honest in making claims for the results and conclusions of their research. The manuscript is free from copyright infringement.
  • Manuscripts depicting studies in which animal trials have been conducted must document that an ethical review board approved the study before it was done.
  • Sources of funding should be duly acknowledged, and disclose any conflict of interest to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscripts.
  • Any inaccuracy or a significant error in his/her published work should be notified to the Journal Editor and the author should cooperate with the Editor to correct the manuscript.

Author Contributions

  • Only authors who made a major contribution to the study's conception, design, implementation, or interpretation should be listed as authors.
  • An Authorship/copyright Form must be completed and submitted by each of the authors.
  • The corresponding author ensures that the author list includes all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved individuals.
  • Once the manuscript is submitted, the order cannot be changed without the written consent of all the contributors.

  Rejection of Manuscript

  • Once the manuscript is rejected authors can take advice from the commissioning editor on how to make desired corrections in the manuscript.
  • After the desired corrections have been made then only the author can resubmit the manuscript again.

Author Contributions
For complete transparency, all submitted manuscripts should include an author contributorship statement that specifies the work of each author. For research articles with several authors, a short paragraph specifying their contributions must be provided.

Deceased Authors
If a manuscript is submitted with a deceased author included in the authorship, or if an author passes away during peer review, the corresponding author, or co-authors, should inform the editorial team or write us at [email protected]. If the deceased author was a corresponding author, the authorship group should nominate a co-author for this role. The corresponding author should confirm the contribution of the deceased author and any potential conflicts of interest. A note/comment will be added under the author list once published.
Changes to Authorship
Authors need to consider authorship carefully before manuscript submission. They can request any change to the author list during the editorial process, before manuscript acceptance. Authorship changes, including any addition, removal, or rearrangement of author names will require the approval of all authors including any to be removed. To request any change in authorship, the journal must receive a completed authorship change form that includes the signatures of all authors and provides a reason for the change. Any changes to authorship requested after manuscript acceptance will result in a delay in publication. If the manuscript has already been published, requests for a change in authorship will be evaluated and require the publication of a Correction.

Human and Animal Rights

All clinical investigations should be conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki principles. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee are required.

For research involving animals, the authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were under the standards outlined in the eighth edition of “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (
grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals_prepub.pdf) published by the National Academy of Sciences, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.).

Research Involving Animals

Research work on animals should be carried out under the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines. For In Vivo Experiments, please visit https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines

Authors should clearly state the name of the approval committee, highlighting that legal and ethical approvals were obtained before the initiation of the research work carried out on animals and that the experiments were performed under the relevant guidelines and regulations stated below.

  • US authors should cite compliance with the US National Research Council's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals".
  • The US Public Health Service's "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" and "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals".
  • UK authors should conform to UK legislation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations (SI 2012/3039).
  • European authors outside the UK should conform to Directive 2010/63/EU.
  • Research in animals must adhere to the ethical guidelines of The Basel Declaration and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
  • The manuscript must include a declaration of compliance with relevant guidelines (e.g. the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Research Involving Plants

All experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), should comply with international guidelines. The manuscript should include a declaration of compliance of field studies with relevant guidelines and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Conflict of Interests

All experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), should comply with international guidelines. The manuscript should include a declaration of compliance of field studies with relevant guidelines and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

For Editors
  • To ensure that the evaluation of manuscripts is solely based on the intellectual content without regard to race, gender, origin, or belief of the authors and to ensure unbiased review.
  • Strive to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the manuscript.
  • Adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness, and clarity of research reporting including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists.
  • To have a process in place to assure the quality of the manuscript they publish and monitor the performance of peer reviewers to ensure good quality.
  • Ensure people involved in the Editorial process receive adequate training and are up-to-date with the latest guidelines about peer review and Journal management.
  • To actively seek the views of authors, publish guidance, and have a mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.
For Peer-Reviewers
  • To respect the confidentiality and integrity of peer review and not reveal any details during or after the peer-review process.
  • To assist the Editors and Editorial Board in making Editorial decisions and be objective and constructive in their reviews and provide feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript.
  • Notify the Editor immediately about any ethical aspects of the work and alert the editors regarding any concurrent submission to other Journals.
  • Declare if they do not have the subject expertise, and only agree to review if they are fairly confident to return a review within the proposed time frame.
  • Contact the Editor if anything relevant comes to light after they have submitted their review that might affect their original feedback and recommendations.
Updating Published Papers
  • STM adheres to the responsibility to correct scientifically relevant errors or ethical issues that have been brought to attention. To offer transparency regarding any changes for our authors and readers, we have the following criteria in place for updates to any of our published papers.
  • Minor errors: Minor errors that do not affect readability or meaning (e.g., spelling, grammatical, spacing errors) do not qualify for an update.
  • Metadata errors: Requests to correct errors in a paper’s metadata (e.g., title, author name, abstract) can be completed, if suggested by the Editorial Office to be a reasonable request. Once approved, the paper will be updated and re-published on our website. Following this, all relevant indexing databases will be notified to ensure that the database versions have also been revised.

    Corrections: Following data can be considered for error correction:
  • Errors that could affect the scientific interpretation. For example error in a misleading section of an otherwise reliable publication
    error in data or interpretation (that does not affect conclusions),
  • Scientifically relevant formatting changes. For example, missing or unclear figures/tables,
  • Addition or removal of an author from the authorship list (including addition or removal of entire affiliations)
  • Addition or removal of an entire reference
  • Addition or removal of a significant amount of text within the back matter. For example: funding, author contributions, and acknowledgments.
    Once the update request has been approved, the paper will be updated and re-published on our website, along with the publication of a Correction. This notice is a separate publication that links to the updated paper but is published in the most current Issue of the journal. The Correction serves the purpose to notify all readers that a significant change has occurred to the paper and that the revised version is now available on the website. Following these updates, all relevant indexing databases will be notified to ensure that the database versions have also been revised.
  • Retractions: Sometimes a paper needs to be retracted from the body of research literature. This could be due to inadvertent errors made during the research process, gross ethical breaches, fabrication of data, large amounts of plagiarism, or other reasons. Such articles threaten the integrity of scientific records and need to be retracted.
  • Author name change policy: If any author wishes to change their name STM will update and republish the article and re-deliver the updated metadata to the appropriate indexing databases. STM team is aware that name changes can be sensitive and/or private, for a variety of reasons that may include alignment with gender identity, marriage, divorce, or religious conversion. Therefore, to protect the author's identity, a Correction will not be published and co-authors will not be notified.
Publisher Ethics
  • Ensure that the research material published conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines.
  • Duplication of any published work is unacceptable.
  • If a paper is identified as fraudulent, it should be retracted, and the retraction should be identifiable to readers and indexing systems.
  • Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual standards.
Unethical Behavior/Misconduct
  • Any Misconduct should be provided with sufficient information and evidence.
  • We believe that employers (research organizations/institutions) have the prime responsibility for ensuring their researcher's conduct. Publication houses do not have the resources or legal legitimacy to investigate scientific misconduct.
  • However, the Publication Management Team of the Journal may seek advice/information from a concerned referee or editorial board member, in case it is brought to its notice, with evidence that trust has been significantly compromised by authors' or referees' actions.
Comments and Complaints

If an author, reviewer, reader, or other individual has a complaint about the journal or its editors, they should first contact the publisher. The complaint will be handled by the appropriate publishing or editorial person whenever possible. If a resolution isn't sufficient, it will be forwarded to a higher-ranking official for resolution.