Research and Publication Ethics

The Journal adopts and adheres to the ethical guidelines, frameworks and standards established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

  • Original Content: The Journal only publishes original scholar work. Manuscripts submitted to the Journal must not be published or under consideration for publication. However, authors can submit their manuscript to the Journal upon receiving the rejection letter from another publisher. Theses and dissertations that are not archived online are considered original and unpublished. However, authors submitting a manuscript using the content and data of theses or dissertations must declare it in the Acknowledgement section.
  • Authorship: Authors must follow the authorship criteria listed in “Authorship” section and avoid gift or ghost authorship.
  • Redundant Publication: Authors must avoid submitting a manuscript for publication based on the same data set, study or experiment. Redundant publications are considered unethical.
  • Citations and Plagiarism: Authors must cite relevant and verified literature to support their scholarly work. For more information about citation, also see (“References” section)
  • Authors must avoid any kind of citation manipulations and misconduct when citing other scholarly work, and also avoid plagiarism and self-plagiarism.
  • Fabrication and Falsification: Authors must avoid data fabrication and falsification of any content. Authors obliged to ensure that data presented in their manuscript is accurate and representative of the manuscript. Authors may be asked to submit their raw data or supplemental data with the manuscript to ensure the transparency. Authors are responsible from submitting supplementary and ancillary material.
  • Ethical approval: Studies that require ethics committee approval should include Ethics Committee Approval in the Methods section and at the end of the article. It is imperative to ensure de-identification of any relevant identifying information within the ethics committee approval prior to submission. The title page must also include information on the university, date and number of the ethics committee approval. Ethics Committee Approval must be submitted.
  • Studies Involving Animal and Human Subjects: All manuscripts submitted to the journal and all studies involving animal or human subjects must comply with the guidelines and ethical principles established by the authorities.
  • Conflict of Interests: Authors must declare competing interest. There may be a conflict of interest when authors (or their employer, sponsor, or family/friends) have a financial, commercial, legal, or professional connection with other organizations or those working with them that could impact the research or the way the results are interpreted. Therefore, authors have to declare financial, commercial, legal or professional competing interests in their title page. If there is no conflict of interest, authors also must declare it in their manuscript.
  • Authors are required to notify the journal editor or publisher of any inaccuracy or error in a published, preprint, or under-review manuscript and to cooperate with the editor-in-chief correcting or withdrawing the manuscript.

Ethical Responsibilities of Editors and Reviewers

Editors and peer reviewers are obliged to

  • follow the COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
  • keep manuscripts and editorial reports confidential. Manuscripts, editorial reports and any information obtained cannot be shared or disclosed for any reasons.
  • keep their anonymity, refraining from disclosing their identity to authors or other editors and reviewers. (Reviewers cannot not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal.)
  • declare all the competing interest (personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious), seek advice from the editorial office or disagree to review in case of any competing interests.
  • keep an open and constructive communication with authors, and other editors and peer-reviewers. (Inappropriate language or disruptive behavior is not acceptable. Journal follows COPE guidelines when dealing with such cases.)
  • complete the tasks that are assigned on a timely manner, inform the journal in case of a need for an extension or a withdrawal from the task.
  • facilitate the review process, remain unbiased, ensure the review process proceed consistent and fair.
  • protect the integrity of the peer-review process.
  • inform the editorial office if come across any misconduct, unethical behavior, or irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics.


Northwestern Medical Journal will initiate a retraction process for articles found to have ethical violations such as multiple submissions, false authorship, plagiarism, or fabrication of data. As part of its ethical policy, Northwestern Medical Journal adheres to the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).