The Editors of the JSLS, Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, expect each author to have made an important scientific contribution to the study and to be thoroughly familiar with the original data. The Editors also expect each author to have read the complete manuscript and to take responsibility for the content and completeness of the manuscript and to understand that if the paper, or part of the paper, is found to be faulty or fraudulent, that they share responsibility with the coauthors. All authors must sign the form that warrants that they are the author(s) and sole owner(s) of the work; that the work is original and has not been published elsewhere in print or electronic format; that the work is not being considered for publication by another journal; that the work has been seen and approved by all authors; that the work has not been previously transferred, assigned, or otherwise encumbered; and that the author(s) have full power to grant such rights. In addition, the author(s) grant to the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) the right to edit, revise, abridge, condense, and translate the work.
Authorship is based on the following 4 criteria:
1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Author Conflict of Interest
Authors of research and other articles are required to disclose at the time of submission any potential conflict of interests (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interests, patent-licensing arrangements) and that they accept full responsibility for the conduct of the study, had full access to all the data, and controlled the decision to publish. Failure to do so may jeopardize eventual publication. If disclosures are to be made, the author(s) will be asked to fill out a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form. Important: You will need to download, complete and save the COI Form and submit to the JSLS Editorial office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided in this form, unless already disclosed in the submitted article, will be held in confidence while the paper is under review. If the article is accepted for publication, information on the potential conflict of interest–including a lack of control of the decision to publish–will be included in the Disclosures section, following the Acknowledgment section.
Editor and Reviewer Conflict of Interest
Editors and Reviewers should avoid making a decision on papers for which they may have a personal or financial conflict of interest. Reviewers who are collaborating with the author, or who are working on very similar research, should recuse themselves from reviewing a paper for which they have a conflict. The Editor-in-Chief should have an Associate Editor make a decision on a paper for which they have a conflict. If the Editor-in-Chief has submitted a manuscript to the journal, an Associate Editor will handle all aspects of peer review for that paper.
Plagiarism, Falsification, and Fabrication
JSLS accepts only papers that are original work, no part of which has been submitted for publication elsewhere except as a brief abstract(s). When submitting a paper, the corresponding author should include copies of related manuscripts submitted or in press elsewhere. Taking material from another’s work and submitting it as one’s own is considered plagiarism. Taking material (including tables, figures, and data; or extended text passages) from the author’s own prior publications is considered redundant publication or self-plagiarism, and is not permitted. Falsification is manipulating data or experimental procedures to produce a desired outcome or to avoid a complicating or inexplicable result. Fabricating a report of research or suppressing or altering data to agree with one’s conclusions is considered fraud. This includes altering figures in such a way as to obscure, move, remove, or introduce information or features. Author(s) are required to minimize and specify the extent of photo (image) manipulation when a manuscript is submitted for publication. The following manipulations are not allowed:
- splicing different images to represent a single image
- changing contrast and brightness of only part of an image
- any change that conceals information
- showing only a very small part of an image so that important information is not visible
Material published by the author before submission in the following categories is considered prior publication and is not acceptable for publication in JSLS: (1) articles published in any publication, even online-only, nonpeer reviewed publications; (2) articles, book chapters, and long abstracts containing original data in figures and tables, especially, in proceeding publications; and (3) widely circulated, copyrighted, or archival reports.
Doctoral dissertations are not considered prior publication. Data portions of submitted papers that have appeared on a Web site are permitted, with the proviso that the author informs the Editor-in-Chief at the time of the submission that such material exists so that the Editor-in-Chief can determine the suitability of such material for publication. Failure to do so will result in automatic rejection of the manuscript.
Authors concerned with possible prior publication that does not clearly fall into one of these categories should contact the publications office (Email: Publications@SLS.org; Tel: 305.665.9959) and forward the material for examination.
JSLS reviewers have a responsibility to report suspected duplicate publication, fraud, plagiarism, or concerns about animal or human experimentation to the Editor-in-Chief. A reviewer may recognize and report that they have refereed a similar or identical paper for another journal by the same author(s). Readers may report that they have seen the same article elsewhere, or authors may see their own published work being plagiarized. In all cases, the Editor-in-Chief will inform the Editorial Board by supplying copies of (1) the relevant material and (2) a draft letter to the corresponding author asking for an explanation in a nonjudgmental manner. If the author’s explanation is unacceptable and it seems that serious unethical conduct has taken place, the matter is referred to the Editorial Board. After deliberation, a decision is made whether the case is serious enough to warrant a ban on future submissions and/or the offending author’s institution should be informed. The decision has to be approved by the Editorial Board, and the author has the right to appeal a sanction, with the opportunity to present their position to the Editorial Board.
If the infraction is less severe, the Editor-in-Chief, upon advice of the Editorial Board, will send the author a letter of reprimand and remind the author of JSLS publication policies. If the manuscript has been published, the Editor-in-Chief may require the author to publish an apology in the journal to correct the record. If, through the author’s actions, JSLS has violated the copyright of another journal, a letter of apology will be written to the other journal.
In serious cases of fraud that result in retraction of the article, a retraction notice will be published in the journal and will be linked to the article in the online version. The online version will be marked “retracted” with the retraction date.1
Reference: The American Physiological Society. Ethical policies and procedures. Available at: http://www.the-aps.org/publications/journals/apsethic.html. Accessed February 2008.