Editorial Policy and Publication Ethics

The international open-access peer-reviewed medical journal «Avicenna Bulletin» («Payomi Sino») covers the most common pressing issues in clinical medicine and healthcare in Tajikistan and beyond. Special attention is paid to ethics, evidence-based publishing, and the relevance of publications for general medical practitioners. In addition, the editors prioritize publishing articles that meet international standards and recommendations of global editorial associations.

The journal serves as a scientific platform to foster knowledge transfer and exchange in health services research. To ensure the quality, scientific rigor, and ethics of publications, the editors follow the main recommendations of the following global editorial associations:

The journal also supports the following publishing guidelines to improve the visibility of research publications and prevent violations of publication ethics:

 Duties of Editor in Chief      

The Editor in Chief decides whether a submitted manuscript will be published; based on strict adherence to ethical principles, evidence-based credibility of research reports, and scientific value.  

The chief editor supervises operations and policies during the publication process and compliance with the recommendations of international associations of editors and guidelines regarding the quality of the publications and publication ethics.

The chief editor selects editorial board members from among the most distinguished local, regional, and international scholars who demonstrate a significant professional interest in a scholar's area of expertise and have had experience editing and peer-reviewing for an academic journal.

The final decision of manuscript acceptance is solely made by the chief editor, who has the discretion to reject the manuscripts or return them to the authors for revision.

Alternatively, the chief editor accepts them after carefully considering the reviewer's comments and recommendations of other editors based on the credibility of the scientific findings and the statistical data provided. Periodically, the chief editor can present his editorial and full-length articles for publication. In this case, internal and external reviews must be conducted by other editors, members of the editorial board, or external experts who do not have a conflict of int

 Responsibilities of the Editorial Board      

Editorial board members (EBMs) are selected from among widely known and recognized scientists who have contributed significantly to the development of medical science. In addition, the editors are obliged to adhere to the following:

  • Confidentiality. The author(s) retain(s) the rights to any intellectual property developed by the author(s) and included in the submitted manuscript.
  • Therefore, manuscripts must be kept should be kept confidential. Thus, it is forbidden to disclose or share to any third party in any manner any parts of the manuscript before its publication.
  • Furthermore, if the manuscript is accepted for publication, all materials related to this article (reviewers' comments, revisions, correspondence) must remain confidential, even after publication.
  • Confidentiality may have to be breached if plagiarism, fraud, and dishonesty on the part of the authors is alleged.
  • Timeliness. The editor shall ensure the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. If the paper is rejected for publication, it is also necessary to respond promptly to the authors so that they can submit the article to another journal.
  • Unbiasedness. The editors accept manuscripts regardless of whether the research results are positive or negative. However, negative results from a study, coupled with other studies in a meta-analysis, can help address important research questions.

Editors are responsible for the following:

  • Regular review of submitted papers within their area of expertise.
  • Participation in online and face-to-face meetings of the journal's editorial board to review editorial strategies and discuss emerging issues.
  • Making constructive proposals regarding improving the journal's performance.
  • Presenting editorial articles with comments on the considered issues.
  • Presenting research papers and reviews that are of interest to the target audience.
  • Acting as ambassadors for the journal at relevant local and international meetings and events, sourcing the best authors and work (e.g., from meeting abstracts) for publication.
  • Taking part in continuing professional development, attending scientific editing meetings.
  • Following Core Practices recommendations by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
  • Promotion of the journal content in an ethical manner on popular social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 Duties of Reviewers

The reviewers are experts in their field and are selected by the chief editor for objective and comprehensive evaluation of the submitted papers.
Reviewers do not have the right to publicly discuss the peer-reviewed work and disclose the authors' ideas before the article's publication.
If the reviewer agrees to review the article, he must provide feedback within the time specified by the journal.
Comments must be respectful, fair, constructive, and evidence-based.
Reviewers must declare their conflict of interest; if such a conflict arises, the affected reviewer should decline to review a paper.
While reviewing, they must consult relevant standards advocated by EQUATOR Network and adhere to the statements of the global editorial associations, including the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).

To promote transparency in peer review and attract and motivate reviewers, reviewers' names and affiliations will be added, in acknowledgment of their contribution, to the final published paper. Reviewers can also specify their individual contributions using ORCID ID and receive credit for peer review by placing the journal's official acknowledgments on the Web of Science review service (formerly Publons). In addition, reviewers are responsible for the following:

  • Providing honest, courteous, constructive, and evidence-based assessments of submitted materials.
  • Disclosing of financial and non-financial conflicts of interest as they can call into question the impartiality of a review; at the same time, reviewers must withdraw themselves from the review process as a reviewer if they suspect that bias might be present.
  • Informing the editor-in-chief about any suspicions of plagiarism and self-plagiarism (also known as duplicate publication) in the considered materials.
  • Preventing any unethical practices, such as copying someone else's work and reusing peer-reviewed papers.
  • Providing a comprehensive assessment of the submitted papers and proposing amendments that may improve their quality and ethical standards.
  • Providing correct references missed by the authors of the paper, avoiding the references that may be regarded as unethical.
  • Making recommendations on whether to accept, revise, or reject peer-reviewed papers, with the clear understanding that the final decision rests with the editor-in-chief.

 Authors Responsibilities

Authorship provides prestige, credit, and scientific recognition but also entails considerable academic, social, and financial consequences.

Authorship criteria:   

  1. Substantial contribution to the concepts, execution, or interpretation of the research study.
  2. Drafting of the manuscript or its critical revision with the contribution of valuable intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version of the manuscript to be published.
  4. Taking responsibility for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Authors submitting a scientific manuscript are responsible for all publication participants' compliance with the above four authorship criteria.
In this regard, along with the manuscript, it is necessary to provide the editors with a statement of the authors' contribution in a multi-author paper.
A corresponding author is a contact person selected from among the authors, primarily communicating with the journal and editorial office during the submission process, peer review, and publication. In addition, the corresponding author must ensure the fulfillment of the journal's technical requirements, including providing information about authors, documents from the ethical committee, and conflicts of interest declarations.
Other non-authorship contributions include fundraising, administrative support and research team management, typing, proofreading, and technical and language editing. The manuscript's authors can indicate the above types of contributions to the scientific work in the "Acknowledgements" section. Presenting their articles, the authors must strive to enrich the journal archive with ethically grounded, argumentative, and verified or potentially verifiable knowledge. They can also submit letters, reviews, expert reports, and original research articles that are highly important for developing healthcare in Central Asia and beyond.

However, submitting manuscripts containing unethically copied ideas, texts, and graphics is unacceptable. Therefore, the authors are responsible for the following:

  • Providing manuscripts with verified and correctly cited scientific facts and ideas.
  • Adherence to relevant research reporting standards advocated by EQUATOR Network
  • Full disclosure of authors' contributions and any external editing support, including from commercial editing agencies.
  • Providing the appropriate references to previously published scientific works that replicate materials of own research.
  • Ensuring manuscripts submitted to the journal were not concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere.
  • Providing complete information about the approval of their original study by the local ethical committee.
  • Providing astatement of compliance with the established ethical standards of experimental and clinical research, including mandatorywritten informed consent obtained from all research participants.
  • Providing complete information about financing and sponsorship.
  • Disclosure of relevant financial or non-financial conflicts of interest.
  • Active promotion of their published materials on social media, creating digital repositories on scientific sites, and using public repositories.

 Conflict of Interests

All participants of the editorial process, including authors, reviewers, and editorial board members, are obliged to disclose both potentially perceived and actual conflicts of interest.
  • Authors must disclose all financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence their work.
  • Reviewers must inform the editors about any conflict of interest that may affect their opinion about the article. It is recommended that reviewers refrain from doing the review if they have a conflict of interest as a source of bias.
  • The editorial board must decline invitations to handle manuscripts and inform the editor-in-chief and colleagues about the conflict of interests.

The conflict of interest disclosure statement must contain the following:

  • Conflict of interests among authors
  • Role of study sponsor and funders, if any, in study design; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. Or a statement that the source of support was not involved in these activities.
  • Author's access to research data, levels of access, and research data access policy in this article.
The authors must provide the manuscript with a conflict of interest disclosure single form developed by the International Committee of Editors of Medical Journals (ICMJE).

 Ethical Guidelines for Authors           

Authors are obliged to indicate whether the research protocol was reviewed and approved by a Research Ethics Committee (REC).In case of its absence – whether the study was conducted in agreement with the WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, adopted by the 18th WMA General Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964 and as amended by the 64th WMA General Assembly, Fortaleza, Brazil, October 2013.Patients have a right to expect personal information to be held in confidence and not disclosed without consent. Written informed consent must be obtained in the case of an agreement to use confidential patient data.

 Unethical Research Practices

Unethical research practices include fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. If unethical scientific practices suspected, the submitted manuscript is rejected. If the article has already been published, it is removed and replaced with a statement on the journal website stating that it has been withdrawn according to the Journal Policy on Published Article Withdrawal with a link to the current policy document.

 Repeating Publications

  • Multiple submissions of the manuscript. Authors should not simultaneously submit the same manuscript in the same or different languages to more than one journal.
  • Multiple publications are a form of redundant publication and refer to the publication of an article's content, which substantially overlaps the previously published article without a visible link to the previous publication. The manuscript will be rejected if multiple publications are detected at any stage before official publication. If the article has already been published, it is removed and replaced with a statement on the journal website stating that it has been withdrawn according to the Journal Policy on Published Article Withdrawal with a link to the current policy document.