Corrections, Retractions and Editorial Expressions of Concern
The Publishing House guarantees that all articles published by it are compliant with the principles of publishing scientific papers in medical journals. We use the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Reliability is the main value that we pursue in our work. If an error is found, at any stage of the works, we respond to it immediately.
Corrections and Retraction of Texts
The editorial team may correct the electronic version of the text, although it must provide the date of introducing modifications and their detailed scope. In the event of corrections that do not affect the scientific results (the scientific integrity of the article remains intact), the online and PDF versions are corrected, and an annotation about the corrections will appear in the document. In the printed edition of the journal, the information about corrections is published on a numbered page as an editorial comment to the published article (a correction or erratum), along with a reference to the original paper. The publisher will archive all previous versions of the article that will be available for Readers on request.
If a serious error is detected in the article after publishing or if large parts of the article are considered to be invalid, then the paper should be retracted with a justification (e.g. fraud, error, plagiarism, violation of copyrights, so-called double publications, failure to disclose a conflict of interest that might influence the reviews of the paper and the decisions of editors/reviewers). Retraction may also be considered, if it is found that the published article contains confidential information that has been obtained by the author from third parties and used unlawfully in the article.
Pursuant to the best practices of COPE, Medical Communications Sp. z o.o. uses the following procedures if it is considered necessary to retract an article:
- In the subsequent edition of the journal, a retraction note is published, signed by the authors and/or the editor.
- The electronic version of the note contains a link to the original article.
- The online edition of the article contains information about the retraction.
- The original article remains unchanged, except for a watermark on each page of the PDF file, stating that the paper was retracted (RETRACTED ARTICLE; This article was retracted in …).
Publishing Expressions of Concern
If there are significant doubts concerning the honesty or integrity of the manuscript or published article, the editors of the journal may consider publishing so-called expressions of concern, i.e. an editorial note stating that the results of the research should be treated with caution. Such expressions of concern are published only if the investigation concerning the problems related to the article did not bring any results and if grounds for concern exist (the evidence that the research conducted by the authors was incorrect is not conclusive, but the nature of doubts justifies notifying the Readers; there is justified concern that the findings are unreliable or that there may have been certain misconduct, but the cooperation on part of the institutions of the authors in investigating the reported causes of concern is unsatisfactory). Such expressions of concern may also be published if the investigation is in progress but the findings will not be available for a longer period. The editorial note will be linked to the article to which it refers.
Procedures for Dealing with Unethical Behaviour
Misconduct and unethical behaviour with respect to the submitted manuscript may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Misconduct and unethical behaviour may include, but need not be limited to, examples as outlined above. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide all the sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. Upon the presentation of ethical allegations concerning a submitted or published manuscript, the editors shall initiate the relevant procedures (based, among others, on the flowcharts of COPE). All allegations shall be taken seriously and investigated with the utmost diligence, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.
An initial decision should be taken by the editor, who should consult with or seek advice from the publisher, if appropriate. Evidence should be gathered and treated as confidential, while avoiding spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know. The Editor-in-Chief shall be informed about the course of the procedure on an ongoing basis.
Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations. Having considered the explanations, the editor may make the decision independently, without the need for further consultations. Serious misconduct might require that the employers of the accused be notified. The editor, in consultation with the publisher as appropriate, should make the decision whether or not to present the allegations to the employers or the person responsible for supervising research at the author’s institution, or to conduct further consultations with a limited number of experts.
Having considered the case, the editors may apply any or all of the following sanctions:
- informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards
- publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct
- a formal letter to the supervisor of the author or reviewer
- formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the institution of the author or reviewer
- imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an author or reviewer for a defined period
The sanctions shall be imposed at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.