SMP is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behavior at all stages of the publication process. We follow closely the industry associations, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), that set standards and provide guidelines for best practices in order to meet these requirements.
Ethics approval documentation
Research involving human participants, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A clear statement, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in the method part of all manuscripts reporting such research. If authors declared that his study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, and this exemption should also be stated in the proper part of the manuscript. Editors may contact authors for further information and documentation to support this, it should be made available to the Editor on request. And editors have the right to reject manuscripts if they consider the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. The editors may also contact the ethics committee for further information, if necessary.
Retrospective ethics approval
If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
Consent to participate
For all research involving human participants, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the declaration part of the manuscript.
Research involving animals
Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee (e.g., Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee). Evidence for approval must be supplied by the authors on demand. Animal experimental procedures should be as humane as possible and the details of anesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated. The ethical standards of experiments must be in accordance with the guidelines (Basel Declaration, etc). Any manuscript describing a study that used animal subjects must include a statement in the Materials and Methods section (or text describing the experimental procedures) that affirms all appropriate measures were taken to minimize pain or discomfort, and details of the animals’ care should be provided.
Conflict of interests
Conflict of interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by, or may be perceived to be influenced by, their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. A conflict-of-interest statement is required for all article and study types. In the interests of transparency and helping reviewers to assess any potential bias in a study’s design, interpretation of it results or presentation of its scientific/medical content, all of our Journals require all authors of each paper to declare any conflicting interests (including but not limited to commercial, personal, political, intellectual, or religious interests) in the title page that are related to the work submitted for consideration of publication. In addition, reviewers are required to indicate any potential conflicting interests they might have related to any particular paper they are asked to review.
In addition, editorial board members including editors may also involved in the conflict of interests. They should be excluded from the peer review process as well as from handling manuscripts in cases where there is a competing interest. A declaration should also be added for this.
SMP request authors to fulfil the criteria below: Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it. All authors should approve the submission, agree their contributions stated in the manuscript, and admit others contributions as proper authors.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section.
Clinical trial registration
SMP favors registration of clinical trials and is a signatory to the Statement on publishing clinical trials in biomedical journals. The journal would publish clinical trials that have been registered with a clinical trial registry that allows free online access to public. Registration in the following trial registers is acceptable: http://www.ctri.nic.in/; http://www.anzctr.org.au/; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/; http://isrctn.org/; http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/index.asp; and http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr. This is applicable to clinical trials that have begun enrollment of subjects in or after June 2008. Clinical trials that have commenced enrollment of subjects prior to June 2008 would be considered for publication in our journals only if they have been registered retrospectively with clinical trial registry that allows unhindered online access to public without charging any fees.