Publication ethics and malpractice statement

Journal of Health Science Research (JHSR) follows the COPE Best Practice guidelines and this statement is based on the guidelines and standards developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

(Related reading: Journal policies)



1.1. Decision on the Publication of Articles: The Editor-in-chief (EIC) of the Journal of Health Science Research is responsible to make the decision regarding the publication of submitted articles. The EIC may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and subjected to such legal requirements. The Editor is authorized to carry out the decision in consultation with reviewers and editorial board members.

1.2. Fair play: The manuscripts should be evaluated solely on their intellectual merit without regard to the author's race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.

1.3. Confidentiality: The Editor and editorial staff must not disclose any information about a manuscript that is submitted to the journal to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. The editor must ensure the integrity of double-blind peer-review and should not disclose the identity of the reviewers to the authors of that manuscript, and vice versa.

1.4. Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used by the editor or reviewer or anyone else who has a view of the manuscript while handling it in his or her own research without the express written consent of the author.



2.1. Contribution of Peer Review: Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and editorial communications help the author to improve his paper.

2.2. Promptness: If a selected reviewer feels unqualified to review an article he/she should notify the Editor-in-Chief and should not take part in the review process. Reviews will be expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive, their judgment should be objective.

2.3. Confidentiality: Manuscripts assigned to a reviewer must be treated as confidential documents. The manuscript(s) must not be shown to or discussed with, others except as authorized by the Editor in Chief.

2.4. Standards of Objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively. There shall be no personal criticism of the author. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

2.5. Acknowledgment of Sources: Reviewers should mark the uncited work that is published previously. Authors are expected to provide the proper citation for each statement that is quoted from a previously published work. A reviewer should inform the EIC of any substantial similarity between the manuscript assigned him for review and the other previously published paper of which they have personal knowledge or they have found the similarity during the review process.

2.6. Confidentiality: Information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

2.7. Conflict of Interest: Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.



3.1. Reporting standards: Authors of the original research article must present accurate data of work performed during their research. Authors are also expected to discuss the objective of their work and the significance of their results. An article should contain sufficient information and references to ensure the reproducibility of the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements are considered unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

3.2. Data Access and Retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw/supplementary data for a paper that is under editorial review. The authors should be prepared to provide the public access to these data (if practicable) and to retain such data for a reasonable time after the publication.

3.3. Originality and Plagiarism: Authors should ensure the originality of their contents while preparing a manuscript draft. In case the authors have used the work and/or words of others this must be appropriately cited or quoted. All the articles submitted to JHSR shall be screened for plagiarism using iThenticate (online plagiarism detection software). In case, plagiarism is detected during the review/editorial process, such manuscript(s) will be rejected immediately. If the plagiarism is proven after publication, such manuscript(s) will be retracted from the journal and an appropriate announcement will be placed in this regard.

We can also consider appropriate action against authors depending upon the seriousness of the case which includes;

  1. Debarring the authors from publication in the future.
  2. Such incidents shall be brought to the notice of the author's funding agencies, author's institutes (where they work), and to the original authors whose work has been plagiarized.

COPE flow charts will also be considered while dealing with plagiarism complaints.


3.4. Redundant or duplicate submission/publication

Duplicate or redundant submission is the same manuscript (or the same data) that is submitted to different journals at the same time. International copyright laws, ethical conduct, and cost-effective use of resources require that readers can be assured that what they are reading is original (Read ICMJE recommendations). An author should not publish manuscripts that describe the same concept or present similar data, in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to multiple journals constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. 

Our online editorial system provides an option to search the article title and keywords and provide all the related publications. Our handling editors carefully monitor all the related articles to avoid duplicate submission/publication. All such articles will be rejected immediately. 

In case the editor was not aware of the violation and the article has been published, a notice of the duplicate submission and the ethical violation will be published.


3.5. Acknowledgment of Sources: Authors should provide the proper acknowledgment for the work of others. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.

3.6. Authorship of the Paper and corresponding author: Only the contributors who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study should be titled as the author. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author is the author responsible for communicating with the journal for publication. The corresponding author should ensure that no inappropriate contributors are listed as co-authors in the paper. All the co-authors should check the final draft of the manuscript before submitting it to the journal.

3.7. Acknowledgment of Funding Sources: All the funding sources must be properly acknowledged.

3.8. Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: All the authors should disclose the possible financial or any other substantive conflict of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript.

3.9. Fundamental errors in published work: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, he should promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.



The publisher is supposed to protect the intellectual property and copyright of the contents submitted by the authors. We respect privacy and personal data, especially for authors and peer reviewers. We work in close co-operation with the editors and peer reviewers to maintain editorial independence and to guarantee transparency and integrity in the peer-review process.

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication, or plagiarism the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question.


5.1. Monitoring: The EIC must ensure to establish the mechanism for monitoring and safeguarding of publishing ethics. All the complaints received from the reviewers or the authors or anybody else should be taken into proper consideration and appropriate action should be taken promptly for such complaints.

5.2. Retraction & Corrections: The published articles will be retracted if there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable. The retraction can be a result of scientific misconduct or honest error. To maintain the integrity of the scientific record, the retracted article will not be removed from the journal's website, however, a notice of retraction will be posted and is made freely available to all readers. Retraction can be published by the authors or the editor or the publisher. In rare cases involving legal infringement, the Publisher may remove an article. Bibliographic information about the article will be retained to ensure the integrity of the scientific record. We follow the COPE guidelines in such a case. Sometimes it may be necessary to publish corrections/erratum in an article published in the Journal to maintain the integrity of the academic record. Appropriate notice regarding the correction will be placed and made freely available to the readers. We are always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.

5.3. Article withdrawal: We expect our authors to comply with best practices in publication ethics as well as in the quality of their articles.  To avoid withdrawal of articles we sincerely request the corresponding author to undertake the issues related to authorship, publication ethics, and accurateness of data and results at the time of submission of the manuscript.

The authors can withdraw their article(s) at any stage of peer-review and publication process (before the publication of the article that will not yet have the complete volume/issue/page information). The authors should be aware that the withdrawal action takes the manuscript out of the peer review & publication process and places it back into the author's dashboard, in the withdrawn Manuscripts list. The manuscript number of withdrawn articles cannot be used by the system and cannot be resubmitted.

If an article found to violate the ethical publishing guidelines of the journal such as duplicate submission, fraudulent data, plagiarism, false claim of authorship, etc. the article will be withdrawn by the journal.  In case the article is under the ‘Online first’ stage the journal will remove the article from the website and an appropriate note for article withdrawal will be posted.

No response from the authors to journal communication after review and provisional acceptance is also considered as withdrawal of the article.

5.4. Submissions from editors, employees, or members of the editorial board 

All the submissions received from editors, reviewers, or members of the editorial board can be identified by our online manuscript handling system, this system highlights the authors who are in editorial or in the reviewer panel. All such authors will be identified and not be included in the manuscript handling process at any step from submission to the publication of the article.

Furthermore, all the reviewers and handling editors are required to disclose the conflict of interest for the articles they are handling/reviewing before they submit their feedback/comments to the electronic manuscript handling system.

5.5. Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards: We believe that the funding agencies and sponsors should not be able to influence the author's findings or decision-making. The editor should maintain the integrity of the academic record, preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed. 

A conflict of interest defined as any relationship authors, reviewers or editors have, which interferes with the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of a manuscript. Conflicts of interest can be financial or non-financial, professional or personal, and can arise in relation to an organization or an individual.



6.1. Authors

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc.). JHSR is committed to following ICMJE recommendation on “Author Responsibilities—Conflicts of Interest” in authors’ conflict of interest issues. The ICMJE has developed a Disclosure Form to facilitate and standardize authors’ disclosures, please click this link to download the ICMJE COI form.

Authors are required to upload the duly filled and signed form under the additional files section, during manuscript submission. They can also send it by email to Please follow the link to read the detailed ICMJE recommendations for disclosure of financial and non-financial relationships and activities, and conflicts of interest.

6.2. Reviewers

Reviewers must disclose to journal editors any relationships or an activity that could bias their opinions of the manuscript and should recuse them from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests. Please use the review form provided at your reviewer login area to disclose the conflicts of interest.

6.3. Editors and Journal Staff

JHSR editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Other members of the editorial staff, if they participate in editorial decisions, must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. When editors submit their own work to this journal, a colleague in the editorial office should manage the manuscript and the editor/author should recuse himself or herself from discussion and decisions about it.

Note: These policies are based upon the ICMJE recommendations.

6.4. Additional Information

You may find the following useful resources to refer to for more information on Conflict of Interest policies, existing codes of practices, and more general good practice in relation to journal publication ethics:



Suspected breaches of our publication ethics policies, either before and after publication, as well as concerns about research ethics, should be reported to the journal. Claimants will be kept anonymous if requested. 

As soon as we get information about the misconduct, our editors will start a thorough investigation. The authors may be asked to provide the underlying data, images, and other supplementary materials. The journal will consult editors, and contact institutions or employers to ask for an investigation.

If an article is found to violate the ethical publishing guidelines of the journal such as duplicate submission, fraudulent data, plagiarism, citation manipulation, false claim of authorship, etc. the article will be rejected by the journal. In case the article is accepted and under the ‘Online first’ stage the journal will remove the article from the website and an appropriate note for article withdrawal will be posted. No response from the authors to journal communication after review and provisional acceptance is also considered as withdrawal of the article. If it is a published article the same will be retracted immediately following the COPE Retraction Guidelines.

The journal follows COPE flow charts ( for handling the misconduct.

In addition to that we may take the following actions based on the severity of misconduct;

  • Not allowing submission for 1–3 years.
  • A prohibition from acting as an editor or reviewer.
  • Reporting the misconduct to the author's institutions, employers and, their funding agencies.

However, the minor or unintentional errors by the authors may be corrected by a corrigendum and errors by the publisher by an erratum.