Publication Ethics

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics

ISSN: 1556-5297 (Print)

ISSN: 1556-5300 (Online)


Publication Ethics and Professional Standards

Humans

MCB adheres to the standards established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), including its Code of Conduct and its Best Practice Guidelines. According to these standards, research performed on humans must follow international rules set out in the Declaration of Helsinki (wma.net/what-we-do/medical-ethics/declaration-of-helsinki/). Thus, manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, identifiable human data, human primary cells, or human tissue must include a statement of ethics approval and consent. In practice, approval from an ethics committee should be obtained before the research is undertaken. The statement should indicate the name of the ethics committee, the date on which it approved the study, and, where appropriate, the committee’s reference number. Any exemption from ethics approval should also be detailed in the manuscript (with, again, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). In the case of animal experiments as well, the authors must provide a statement of ethics approval and consent, as discussed further below.

For manuscripts reporting research involving clinical trials, the trial registration number and date of registration should be included as the last line of the abstract. The ICMJE’s clinical trial registration policy is detailed on its website and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. When this research relies on human subjects or tissue, manuscripts must be accompanied by statements of written informed consent from all of the participants. It is also TSP’s policy that patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated irrespective of any informed consent statement; in any case, an editor may ask for written informed consent forms from participating patients who can be identified (including by the patients themselves). Further information and documentation that support this policy should be made available on request to the editors, who retain the discretion regarding whether to proceed to peer review in such cases.


Animals

All articles published by TSP that report experiments performed using animals must be conducted in accordance with rigorous ethical standards concerning animal welfare. Thus the Materials or Methods section must identify the institutional and/or licensing ethics committee that approved the experiments and also provides a full description of the procedures and efforts to minimize the harm to animal subjects. More specifically, experiments involving animals need to be consistent with the relevant international, national, and/or institutional guidelines (e.g., local and national regulations in accordance with the U.K. Animals Act and associated guidelines, Animals Act 1986, Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures; official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc8889/hc01/0107/0107.pdf). Animal studies may also be checked for compliance with the ARRIVE guidelines (www.nc3rs.org.uk/ARRIVE). 

As with manuscripts reporting studies involving humans, those reporting on animal research for which an exemption from ethics approval was granted should provide details in this regard (with, as usual, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for it). The editors retain the right to reject manuscripts owing to concerns about the treatment of animal subjects. 


Cell Lines

All articles reporting on research involving cell lines that are published in TSP journals must state the origin of the lines in the Methods section. For established cell lines, the provenance should be stated and references provided either to a published paper or to a commercial source. If previously unpublished de novo cell lines were used, including any acquired from another laboratory, the authors of the article must supply details regarding the necessary approval from an institutional review board or ethics committee as well as confirmation of written informed consent in the case of human cell lines.


Randomized controlled trials

Reports of completed randomized controlled trials should follow CONSORT reporting standards. More information can be found in the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org.


Publication Ethics

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics (MCB) is dedicated to ensuring the quality of each paper that it publishes. In the interest of maintaining the highest standards in academic publishing, we insist that all authors, editors, reviewers, and editorial staff abide by the Core Practices and Guidelines established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Many questions regarding the ethical dimensions of conduct relating to the publication of scientific research can be answered by consulting the COPE website (core-practices); researchers may also contact this journal at mcb@techscience.com regarding any ethical concerns. The potential conflicts of interest for all authors must be disclosed in their papers at the time of submission. It is required that authors are presenting their research findings accurately and discussing the significance of their work objectively.

The data and methods used in the research must be presented in sufficient details in the paper so that other researchers could be able to replicate the work. Authors should make the raw data available in a public repository prior to the submission of their manuscripts; at the very least, the data should be accessible to the journal’s referees and editors upon request. In addition, authors are expected to take appropriate measures so that their raw data are retained in full for a reasonable period of time after publication. 

MCB does not consider for publication manuscripts that have been submitted to more than one journal at the same time or that do not present novel results. Thus, for example, an English translation of a paper that has already been published in another language would not be considered. Furthermore, manuscripts should not be published in MCB if major original information has already been published elsewhere. Accordingly, previously published figures or images may be included, even by the authors themselves, only after necessary permission has been obtained from the original copyright holders for publication under the CC-BY license. Additional information on this topic is available on the Rights and Permissions page.

Should authors find errors or inaccuracies in the published versions of their papers, they must promptly make editors of the journal aware of the fact so that the appropriate action can be taken to rectify the situation. 


Misconduct 

MCB expects all authors, editors and reviewers to be aware of the best practice in publication ethics. Any form of misconduct is strictly prohibited. Authors should avoid ghost, guest, gift and other authorship issues. Authors should retain their original data and source files after submitting their articles, as the editor might request this material in the publication evaluation process, which otherwise will be suspended until any issue is resolved.
Reviewers and editors are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence, and to declare any competing interests. We will vigorously investigate allegations of research or publication misconduct.

Any suspicion that authors, reviewers or editors have engaged in misconduct will result in action either before or after publication. When ethical questions are raised regarding a paper that has already been published—even years after publication—a preliminary investigation will be carried out, following COPE guidelines, in the course of which the party or parties involved will be called upon to present their case. The editor reserves the right to question a manuscript’s originality and integrity and to raise these concerns with the authors’ sponsoring institutions and other relevant bodies.


Plagiarism

Plagiarism is strictly not acceptable in any submissions to MCB. Authors must not directly use words, images, or ideas, of others or other sources, without attribution. All sources must be cited at the point they are used, and reuse of wordings must be limited, be attributed to, or quoted, in the text. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure the originality of their work. Upon submission, all manuscripts are meticulously evaluated for similarity against previously submitted and published articles. Figures and images are examined for the presence of duplicative or anomalous data. MCB uses Crossref Similarity Check (iThenticate) to check for the originality of a submission. Manuscripts that are detected to have plagiarism will be rejected (if unpublished) or retracted (if published), as appropriate.


Submission of Duplicate and Redundant Manuscripts

MCB considers for publication only original manuscripts, not published elsewhere in any form or language. It is assumed that, when a manuscript is submitted, no other manuscript that is substantially similar to it has been or will be submitted to any other journal before MCB has the opportunity to decide whether to publish it. In other words, it is considered unethical to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time.

If authors use their work, which was previously published or under review, in their new manuscripts, they should cite the work appropriately. The new manuscripts should indicate the differences from the previously published work.

Any forms of reuse of the authors’ own words in any parts of the submitted manuscript should be appropriately attributed. Reuse of the authors’ own figures, or substantial amounts of wording, may require copyright permission from the copyright holder, which the authors are responsible for obtaining.

Extension articles from published conference proceedings must be declared and have clear citation and discussion.

Publications that are duplicative or redundant (i.e., that present, in different wording, data that have already been published by the same authors) are not accepted. A single study should not be split up into several submissions with same/similar methods and questions, and submitted to various journals, or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).


Fabrication and Falsification

The authors of submitted manuscripts or published articles in which the results are found to have been fabricated, falsified, or subjected to image manipulation, will be sanctioned, and their published articles will be retracted immediately.


Investigations and Sanctions

Suspected breaches of the publication ethics policies, either before and after publication, as well as concerns about unethical research behavior, should be reported to TSP’s ethics group and undergo a thorough investigation. During the investigation process, the authors may be requested to provide the underlying data and images, and answer all editors’ queries.

Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.

  • If the article has already been published online, an erratum/correction may be published and linked with the article, or in severe cases, a retraction of the article may occur.

  • If Tech Science Press becomes aware of breaches of the publication ethics policies, the following sanctions may be applied across the Tech Science Press journals:

  • Rejection of the manuscript and any other manuscripts submitted by the author(s).

  • Not allowing submission for 1–3 years.

  • Prohibition from acting as an editor or reviewer.

Suspected breaches of the publication ethics policies, either before and after publication, as well as concerns about unethical research behavior, should be reported to TSP’s ethics group and undergo a thorough investigation. During the investigation process, the authors may be requested to provide the underlying data and images, answer editors’ queries, and etc.


Meeting Abstracts

Meeting abstracts are not strictly peer-reviewed and are not under the regulation of MCB’s Editorial Board. Issues or concerns regarding meeting abstracts must be directed to the meeting organizers.