The Journal for Person-Oriented Research (JPOR) is published by the Lundh Research Foundation in collaboration with the Scandinavian Society for Person-Oriented Research (SPOR). We are committed to meet and uphold standards of ethical behavior at all stages of the publication process. In this regard we follow the standards and guidelines for best practices as set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). This includes the following key expectations of editors, reviewers, and authors:
The editors’ responsibilities
The editors’ responsibilities are to act in a balanced, objective and fair way, without any discrimination based on the authors’ gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, or ethnic or geographical origin. Submissions for special issues are to be handled in the same way as other submissions, so that articles are considered and accepted solely on their academic merit. The editors shall also adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, and give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints.
The reviewers’ responsibilities
The reviewers’ responsibilities are to assist in improving the quality of the published articles by reviewing manuscripts objectively. They shall maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author, and not distribute the manuscript to others. If they detect any substantial similarity to other published or submitted material, or if they become aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) they shall alert the editor to these. If necessary they shall withdraw their services for that manuscript.
The authors’ responsibilities
The authors’ responsibilities are to confirm that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere. If part of the content overlaps with other published or submitted content they have to acknowledge and cite these sources; in addition they should provide the editor with a copy of any submitted manuscript that might contain overlapping or closely related content. The authors shall also confirm that all the work in the submitted manuscript is original; if content is reproduced from other sources this should be acknowledged and cited, and permission obtained to reproduce it.
The authors also need to ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements, and confirm that ethical approval has been sought and obtained when appropriate. Permission should be obtained to use data from human subjects, and their privacy should be respected. Potential conflicts of interest must be declared. If they find any significant error in their publication they should promptly notify the journal editor of this, and cooperate with the editor to publish an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper if this is deemed necessary. They shall also maintain accurate records of data related to their submitted manuscript, and to supply or provide access to these data on reasonable request. When appropriate (if allowed by employer, funding body and others who might have an interest) they should deposit data in a suitable repository or storage location, for sharing and further use by others.
Procedures for dealing with errors and unethical behavior
The policy of the JPOR is that all published articles shall undergo a thorough reviewing process, so that they can be relied upon as accurate, complete, and citable. This does not, however, preclude the possibility that errors may occur, or that unethical behavior remain undetected during the reviewing and publication process.
Anyone who finds errors in an article, or any evidence of misconduct or unethical behavior, may bring this to the attention of the editor and publisher. In this connection it is important to provide sufficient information and evidence so that an investigation can be initiated.
The editor takes the initial decision to investigate the allegations. All allegations should be taken seriously and given the same treatment, until a decision or conclusion is reached. During the investigation evidence should be gathered, while avoiding to spread any allegations beyond those who need to know.
Minor misconduct might be dealt with without any need to consult others. The authors shall be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations. If there seems to be merely a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards from authors (or reviewers) it may be sufficient to inform or educate them about this. Sometimes a more strongly worded letter may be required, covering the misconduct and as a warning to future behavior. Serious misconduct might require that the employers of the accused be notified. The editor should make a decision whether or not to involve the employers after examining the available evidence, or after further consultation with a limited number of experts.
Errors that are identified may require publication of a correction in the form of a corrigendum or erratum on a numbered page that will contain the original article's citation. Cases where such corrections are insufficient to address an error will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the editor. Some possibilities here are the publication of a formal notice (or an editorial) detailing the misconduct, or a formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
In case that retraction of an article may be needed, a retraction note will be published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list; the online article will be preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. In extreme cases (e.g., if an article infringes others’ legal rights) it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database; in this case the metadata (Title and Authors) is retained, while the text is replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons. In case of formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, Abstracting and Indexing services are informed about this.
Possible consequences are also the imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period, and reporting the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.