Other Policies

Informed Consent Policy

Researchers must obtain written consent from participants before they begin any research. A human being may not be used as a study subject unless the investigator obtains the subject’s or the subject’s legally authorised representative’s legally effective informed permission. The World Journal of Medical Education and Research’s policy on consent and confidentiality is in line with the guidance provided by the General Medical Council.

Authors must be aware that:
  • coercion cannot be used to persuade an individual to engage in the research. To obtain agreement, the subject cannot be offered excessive presents, gifts of considerable value, or unjustified or improper rewards.
  • the procedure should include protections to guarantee that participation is voluntary and that supervisors, peers, or others do not exert undue influence. The consent form should make it clear that a person’s participation is completely optional.
  • the information presented to the subject, which may include material delivered orally or written information in a consent form, must be in a language that the potential subject or legally authorised representative can comprehend.
  • if a child is involved in the research, permission from the parent(s) or legal guardian is required.

The aim of informed consent is to provide the participant with all the information he/she needs to make an informed decision about whether to participate in the research. It outlines the risks and benefits of agreeing to participate. All authors are expected to have obtained informed consent for any research involving human participants.

Competing Interests

A competing interest is an aspect that can influence one’s research outcome. It could be financial, commercial, legal, or relational.

All contributors must declare any competing interests that are relevant to, or may be considered to be important to, the research. All elements, including financial and non-financial interests that could directly or indirectly impact the outcome of the research or prejudice the analysis and interpretation of the data, will be viewed as competing interests.

The World Journal of Medical Education and Research endorses complete transparency and expects any competing interests to be declared by the authors. The authors must declare any financial or personal relationships that could be seen as potential competing interests.

When an author submits a manuscript to the World Journal of Medical Education and Research, he/she must provide every detail regarding any competing interests. It is then at the Editorial Board’s discretion to decide whether or not such disclosures should be made public. For editors, peer reviewers, and readers to entirely scrutinise the conclusions of scientific research, transparency is required.

Financial Competing Interests may include:
  • workplace participation.
  • volunteer work.
  • ownership of or shares in products endorsed in or promoted by the research.
  • financial gains from product development as a result of the research.
  • honoraria, royalties, consulting fees, lecture fees, and any personal income received by the author(s).
  • grants received from a third party and paid to the author(s).
Non-Financial Competing Interests may include:
  • sitting on the boards of industrial organisations or private businesses that may benefit from the research.
  • personal or professional gains from the research.
  • personal, political, religious, ideological, academic, or intellectual interests in the published work.
  • involvement in legal action related to the research.
  • acting as an expert witness in court in a subject related to the published work.

If there are no financial or non-financial competing interests to report, a statement should be provided by the authors upon submission of the manuscript to confirm this.

A declaration on behalf of all authors must be provided by the corresponding author to outline any competing interests. Reviewers will be given a brief statement that declares the existence of any financial or non-financial interests during the peer-review process to prevent the authors’ identities being revealed. The full disclosure of any competing interests will be submitted to the reviewers at the time of acceptance of the manuscript.

We appreciate that confidentiality agreements may apply to some authors. In such circumstances, we request the author to declare the following: “The authors declare that they are constrained by confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from disclosing their competing interests in this work.”

Research Ethics

The application of fundamental ethical concepts to a variety of subjects that are involved in scientific study is known as research ethics. They are a collection of ethical principles that govern the conduct and dissemination of scientific research. These codes of conduct guide researchers as they collect data to support their research.

The World Journal of Medical Education and Research expects all human research studies (individuals, samples, or data) to have been conducted in conformity with the Helsinki Declaration’s principles.

Objectives of Research Ethics

There are three broad objectives in research ethics:
  • to safeguard and protect human participants, their dignity, rights, and well-being.
  • to ensure that research is conducted in a way that benefits the welfare of individuals, groups, and/or civilization as a whole.
  • to ensure ethical reliability whilst taking into account potential risk factors.

Ethical Principles and Codes
There are numerous adaptations of research ethics codes, rules, and policies by various institutions and organisations. The following is a broad overview of the ethical principles addressed by various codes which the World Journal of Medical Education and Research adopt.
Transparency when reporting data, results, methods and procedures, and publication status must be maintained. The fabrication, falsification, and misrepresentation of data must be avoided. Trust amongst work colleagues, grantors, and the general public must be established.
Every effort to avoid bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review, personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research where objectivity is expected or required must be sought. Bias and self-deception must be avoided and reduced. Any personal or financial interests that may have an impact on the research must be declared.
The promises and agreements of the authors must be kept. The authors should act in a sincere manner.
Careless mistakes and negligence must be avoided. Authors should examine their own work, as well as the work of their peers, with care and critical thinking. Detailed records of all research activities, including data collection, research design, and correspondence with agencies or journals, should be kept.
Data, results, ideas, tools, and resources should all be shared. Authors should be open-minded to new ideas and criticism.
Authors must disclose methods, materials, assumptions, analyses, and other information required to evaluate their research.
Authors must accept responsibility for their role in the research and be prepared to provide specifics about their work, as requested and required.
Intellectual Property
Patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property must be respected. Unpublished data, methods, or results should not be used without permission. Appropriate credit or acknowledgement for all contributions to research must be given, and plagiarism must be avoided.
Confidential communications, such as papers or grants submitted for publication, personnel records, trade or military secrets, and patient records, should be safeguarded.
Responsible Publication
Authors should publish for the advancement of research and scholarship and not for the advancement of their own career.
Respect for Colleagues
Regardless of their role in research, colleagues should be treated fairly and with respect.
Social Responsibility
Through research, public education, and advocacy, authors should strive to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms.
Any form of discrimination should be avoided. Bias against colleagues or students based on gender, race, ethnicity, or other factors unrelated to scientific competence and integrity is unwarranted.
Each institution or organisation is governed by relevant laws and policies that must be followed and respected.
Animal Care
Animals used in research must be treated with respect and care. Animal experiments that are unnecessary or poorly designed should be avoided.
Human Subjects Protection
Human dignity, privacy, and autonomy must all be respected. Researchers must take additional precautions with vulnerable participants, and endeavour to divide the benefits and burdens of research fairly.

There are numerous more acts that do not qualify as misconduct but are nevertheless considered unethical by academics. These are referred to as “other deviations” from accepted research standards and include:

  • simultaneous or concurrent publishing without informing the editors.
  • submitting the same work to multiple publications without informing the editors.
  • failure to notify a collaborator of one’s desire to file a patent in order to ensure that one is the sole inventor.
  • inclusion of a colleague as an author on a paper in exchange for a favour, even though the colleague made no significant contribution to the paper.
  • discussing confidential data from an article one is reviewing with colleagues.
  • using an ineffective statistical approach to increase the significance of one’s research.
  • conducting a literature review that fails to appreciate the efforts of others in the field or pertinent past work.
  • bending the truth on a grant application in order to persuade reviewers that one’s research will make a substantial contribution to the field.
  • giving the same research project to two students to determine who can finish it the quickest.
  • failure to maintain adequate research records.
  • failure to keep research data for a reasonable amount of time.
  • making disparaging remarks and personal assaults in your assessment of the author’s submission.
  • deviating significantly from the research protocol approved by one’s institution’s Animal Care and Use Committee or Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research without informing the committee or board.
  • failure to report a negative event in a human research project.
  • wasting animals in research.
  • deliberately destroying someone else’s work.
  • creating unlawful copies of data or documents.
  • overestimation of a new drug’s clinical relevance in order to gain commercial benefits.

The World Journal of Medical Education and Research considers these acts unethical and a violation of various professional ethical rules and policies.