JSLS Ethical Policies and Procedures
The Editors of the JSLS, Journal of the Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons, following the guidelines of the American Medical Association Manual of Style and/or the ICMJE Recommendations, 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 Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons (SLS) the right to edit, revise, abridge, condense, and translate the work.
Authorship is based on the following criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- 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.
All persons listed as authors must meet the criteria for authorship outlined in the American Medical Association Manual of Style 2and/or the ICMJe Recommendations. 1
Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or as a group as “participating investigators” (“served as scientific advisors”, “critically reviewed the study proposal”, “collected data”, “provided and cared for study patients”, “participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript”).
JSLS requires the corresponding author to obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.
Completion of the JSLS Authorship Contribution Form is required in order to have your manuscript reviewed.
Changes to Authorship
Corresponding authors must carefully consider the text of their manuscript and the list/order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion, or rearrangement of information or author names must be made before the manuscript has been fully accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor-in-Chief. To request such a change post publication, the Editor-in-Chief must receive the following written (e-mail, letter) information from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in the author list, (b) written confirmation (email or letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal, or rearrangement. This includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in very exceptional circumstances will the Editor-in-Chief consider the addition and/or deletion of information. The rearrangement, addition, or deletion of author names will also require Editor-in-Chief’s approval after the manuscript has been accepted and/or published online. If the manuscript has already been accepted and/or published online, any requests approved by the Editor-in-Chief will result in a corrigendum.
A corrigendum is a change in an article that the author wishes to make at any time after acceptance and/or publication5.
An erratum refers to a correction of error(s) introduced in an article by the publisher. Authors who determine an error has been introduced should contact the Editorial Office5.
Additional steps are required for authorship corrigenda as per COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)3 procedures on change in authorship. The COPE procedures require a letter as supplementary file explaining 1) why the author was omitted in the first place and 2) containing the signatures of all co-authors declaring they agree with the addition and the new order of authors.
The same applies when an author(s) needs to be removed.
Note that all authors, including the one to be added, must fulfill the ICMJE Recommendations authorship criteria.
Unless the inadvertent omission or addition of the material in an article and/or author information was the responsibility of the editorial office, there is a charge of US $150 for publishing an authorship correction (corrigendum) and updating the relevant databases such as Pubmed. All authors are urged to carefully proofread the galleys for error including omissions of authors before publication.
SLS Policy on Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Sources of Financial Support
A conflict of interest is anything or any relationship that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with the full and objective presentation, commissioning, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to JSLS1,2,3,4,5. Authors must state any financial interest they have in any commercial device, equipment, instrument, or drug that is a subject of the article. Relevant financial support and any conflicts of interest must be disclosed by all authors and reviewers. If disclosures are to be made, the author(s) will be asked to fill out a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form1. You must submit the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form for all authors along with other submission materials within Editorial Manager. Authors must also disclose if the manuscript discussion includes the use of products for which they are not labeled (i.e., off-label use).
“Public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how transparently conflicts of interest are handled during the planning, implementation, writing, peer review, editing, and publication of scientific work”4.
A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.
Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself4. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. Authors should avoid entering into agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and non-profit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyze and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose.” 2017 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. JSLS follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editor (ICMJE) in subscribing to the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals4 as well as the World Association of Medical Editors guidelines on Conflict of Interest9. JSLS also follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowcharts and guidance documents3,5,6.
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, conference fees, travel and lodging, food and entertainment, and etc.) 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 Form1. You must submit the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form for all authors along with other submission materials within Editorial Manager. 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.
Preprints are defined as an author’s version of a research manuscript deposited on a public server (as described in Preprints for the life sciences. Science 352, 899–901; 2016) prior to formal peer review and publication in a scientific journal.
Posting of un-refereed manuscripts to a community pre-print server by the author will not be considered prior publication, provided that the following conditions are met: 1) During submission, authors must acknowledge pre-print server deposition and provide any associated accession numbers or DOIs and a URL link to the preprint; 2) Versions of a manuscript that have been altered as a result of the peer review process may not be deposited on a preprint server; 3) The pre-print version cannot itself have been indexed in MEDLINE or PubMed; 4) Once the manuscript is peer-reviewed and published in JSLS or CRSLS, it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the preprint record is updated with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article in JSLS or CRSLS.
Authors must disclose details of preprint posting including the DOI, a URL link to the posting, and the licensing terms upon submission of the manuscript to JSLS or CRSLS.
Preprints may be cited in the reference list of articles for JSLS and CRSLS as shown below:
Babichev, S. A., Ries, J. & Lvovsky, A. I. Quantum scissors: teleportation of single-mode optical states by means of a nonlocal single photon. Preprint at http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0208066 (2002).
Researchers approached by other entities (such as reporters) should make it clear that the preprint has not yet undergone peer review, that the findings are provisional, and that the conclusions may change.
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.4
SLS Policy on Informed Consent and Protection of Research Participants
When reporting research involving human data, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed have been assessed by the responsible review committee (institutional and national), or if no formal ethics committee is available, were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. Approval by a responsible review committee does not preclude editors from forming their own judgment whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication.
Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are de-identified, authors should provide assurance, and editors should so note, that such changes do not distort scientific meaning.
The requirement for informed consent should be included in the journal’s instructions for authors. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.
SLS Policy on Animal Rights
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.
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1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). ICMJE Recommendations. Available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommdations/.
2. Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin, A, et al. AMA Manual of Style. A Guide for Authors and Editors. 10th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.
3. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct
4. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals Updated May 2022. https://www.icmje.org/recommendations/
5. Committee on publications ethics: the COPE report 1999. Guidelines on good publication practice. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oem.57.8.506
6. COPE Flowcharts: https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Flowcharts
7. The American Physiological Society. Ethical policies and procedures. Available at: http://www.the-aps.org/publications/journals/apsethic.html. Accessed February 2008.
8. Elsevier Policy and best practice: errata & corrigenda. https://www.elsevier.com/editors/perk/policy-and-best-practice-errata-And-corrigenda
9. World Association of Medical Editors Conflict of Interest. Available at: https://wame.org/wame-editorial-on-conflict-of-interest
Updated 011/22/22 www.SLS.org | www.Laparoscopy.org The Laparoscopic Surgery Information Source