Information and Policy >  > 

Ethics in Publication
Ethics in Publication
Xia & He journals have a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct such as plagiarism, fabrication and falsification. Cases of misconduct will be investigated and dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with the Editors-in-Chief being responsible for the final decision in all cases.

Types of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined by the Xia & He Publishing as use of information, including textual descriptions, figures/tables and data, from a previously published document without proper citation or reference to the original source.

Textual Plagiarism
Textual plagiarism is the verbatim copy of a textual description of information that has been published, regardless of citation or reference. This includes text published in an article written by the authors themselves (known as self-plagiarism). To avoid this type of plagiarism, authors are strongly recommended to not use the copy-and-paste method for constructing the text of their manuscript or directly quoting text from other sources.

Duplicate/Redundant Publication 
Duplicate/Redundant publication plagiarism involves the submission or publication of a study and/or its results and findings more than once. This type of plagiarism includes publishing a study and/or its results and findings in another language or with the information only slightly modified from another publication written by others or by the authors themselves (known as self-plagiarism). Duplicate/Redundant publication can result from simultaneous submission of an article; therefore, the journal requires that all authors of manuscripts submitted for consideration of publication provide written assurance that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration nor published elsewhere.

Fabrication
Fabrication is defined as faking raw data, figures, or any supporting files.

Falsification
Falsification, including image manipulation, is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processing/changing/omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

Policy on Misconduct
All instances of misconduct are considered intentional.
All authors who contributed to a manuscript with misconduct are considered responsible for the offensive action. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of the authors (contributing as well as corresponding) to ensure prior to submission that no instances of misconduct, textual or data-related, are present in their manuscript.
If an author has strong suspicion or evidence of misconduct after the review process has been initiated, and before the publication process has begun or been completed, we strongly recommend that the author contact the editorial office immediately to withdraw the manuscript.
If the journal discovers misconduct during the review process, through a concern raised by a reviewer, editor, or the editorial staff, the editorial office will suspend the peer-review process and start an initial investigation, which usually will consist of obtaining a second opinion from another reviewer/editor. If the second opinion finds no supporting evidence for scientific misconduct, a statement and supporting evidence will be recorded, and the peer-review process will continue. If the second opinion finds supporting evidence for misconduct, a special Committee on Ethical Publication consisting of all editors-in-chief and 3 associate editors will review the data and request that the corresponding author be contacted in writing and asked to address the concerns within a short, but reasonable time. If the corresponding author responds on behalf of all the authors with explanations satisfactory to the Committee, the evidence will be summarized, the decision recorded, and the authors notified that the peer-review process will continue without prejudice. If the corresponding author does not respond or responds in a manner judged by the Committee to be unsatisfactory, the corresponding author’s institution, and in some situations, the appropriate regulatory body will be contacted, presented with the concerns and asked to conduct an independent investigation. If the authors are found not guilty of scientific misconduct, the peer-review process will continue without prejudice. If the author(s) are found guilty of scientific misconduct, the manuscript will be rejected immediately, and the author(s) may be banned from all journals published by Xia & He Publishing, Inc. for a determined period of time.
If scientific misconduct is detected after a manuscript has been published, for example, by a reader, the editorial office will refer the case to the Committee on Ethical Publication to investigate and contact the author(s) to request an explanation regarding the concerns. If the author(s) respond(s) with a satisfactory explanation, there will be no change to the published manuscript. A correction will be published in the case that an honest error has been detected that does not invalidate the conclusions. If the author(s)’ explanation is unsatisfactory, or the author(s) does(do) not respond, the editorial office will contact the corresponding author’s institution, and in some situations an appropriate regulatory body, to review the concerns. If the independent review confirms the Committee’s conclusion, a retraction or correction (if minor error and the majority of the results and conclusions of the manuscript remain valid) will be required to be published if there is sufficient evidence of misconduct, or if the authors admit misconduct. An expression of concern will be considered for publication if neither the authors nor the institutions provide a response or conclusive reply. The authors involved in confirmed scientific misconduct may be banned from all journals published by Xia & He Publishing, Inc. for a determined period of time.

Corrections
Xia & He Publishing is very aware of our responsibility to correct errors in previously published articles. If there is sufficient evidence to prove an error in any published article, corrections must be made as soon as possible, in accordance with the requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Errors include but are not limited to a research claim, the label of a figure or a table that does not alter conclusions, authorship, and so forth.
a) Corrections should be made immediately in the electronic version or printed page of the journal. The places that need to be corrected should be clearly indicated, with the correction date. The corrections should be included in the Table of Contents of either an electronic version or a print version of the journal.
b) The corrected version, and the version with errors, should be available for future access upon request from the authors.
c) The prior electronic version should contain a note that clearly indicates the existence of an updated version.
d) If the error is major enough to jeopardize the fundamental results or conclusions of the research, retraction instead of correction will be demanded.
The title of the submission should have the following format: "Corrigendum: Title of original article". It is advised to use the corrigendum Word templates.

Retractions and Expressions of Concern
Xia & He Publishing acts in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in cases of potential retraction. We also abide by two other key principles, as recommended by COPE:
a) Retractions are not about punishing authors.
b) Retraction statements should be public and linked to the original, retracted article. 
Although all retractions are dealt with in a case-by-case matter, Xia & He Publishing considers the following examples as sufficient cause for concern and potential retraction:
c) Sufficient evidence that findings are faulty or unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g., data fabrication) or academic error (e.g., miscalculation or experimental error);
d) Findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper permission or justification (i.e., dual publication);
e) Legal or political issues pertaining to the content of the article are identified;
f)  Major authorship issues have led to difficulty in determining the legitimate owners of the published work, i.e., proven or strongly suspected cases of ghostwriting or sold (‘gift’) authorship;

When scientific misconduct is alleged, or any concerns are raised about the conduct or integrity of published studies, appropriate procedures will be initiated as detailed by such committees as COPE. An expression of concern may be published pending the outcomes of these procedures. If any major flaw or academic misconduct is confirmed, the publisher reserves the right to retract the paper immediately. Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to, data falsification, fabrication, duplication, or plagiarism.
An expression of concern and retraction will be posted, in an electronic or printed version of the Table of Contents, to ensure proper indexing. The title of the original article will be included in the heading. The retracted paper also will be clearly labeled and linked with the retraction letter from both directions.
Readers who would like to draw the editors' attention to published work that might require retraction should contact the authors of the article and write to the journal, making sure to include copies of all correspondence with authors.
If an article requires retraction, the corresponding author(s) will be required to pay a fee of USD1000 to cover the costs of retracting the publication.