Code of Ethics

Introduction

The Dili Institute of Health Sciences (ICS) is committed to and defends open access policies for all publications. The creation of this Code of Ethics is intended to provide a set of rules and guidelines to meet the best quality standards for the ICS scientific journal – the Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences – and to better protect readers, authors, editors and reviewers.

 

Peer Review

The entire editorial process of the Institute of Health Sciences is based on the peer review process. Thus, after a preliminary analysis by the editor and the editorial board of the work (basic prerequisites, organisation and structure of the work, quality of the writing, bibliographical references, among other aspects), all work is sent for evaluation by at least two reviewers in the scientific field. These reviewers may be members of the journal’s scientific board, but other reviewers may be invited according to the scientific area of the work. The peer review process is based on the Double-Blind Peer Review system, in which the authors do not know who the reviewers are, nor do the reviewers know who the authors are. In this sense, editors play a very important role in liaising between authors and reviewers.

 

The Author

According to Law no. 14, 2022, of 21 December, on the Code of Copyright and Related Rights, “Intellectual creations in the literary, scientific and artistic fields are considered to be works, by any means externalised” (Art. 5). The author is “the intellectual creator of the work” (Law no. 14, 2022, Art. 17), and the author is presumed to be “the one whose name is indicated as such in the work”.

The author is responsible for the work they submit to the journal and for the necessary communication with the journal during all stages of the publication process and must be available to meet all the journal’s needs, including any corrections and alterations to the work once their manuscript has been reviewed.

 

Complaints about the Journal, Authors, Scientific Errors and Post-Publication Corrections

The work of the Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences will always be available to all stakeholders, the academic and scientific community, through the journal’s website and/or other digital and physical means.

In fact, the ICS believes that academic scrutiny is healthy and should be encouraged. For this reason, any complaint about an error detected in the graphics of the journal, in the editorial component or in the scientific aspect of the articles is recommended to contact the editor or editors of the journal in order to submit a written complaint.

It is up to the editor to investigate the situation according to the complaint. If the magazine has an error, an erratum should be issued. If the author considers that a correction is necessary, a corrigendum should be issued. If the error is irreparable, a retraction should be issued.

In the case of an author whose text has been criticised, he or she should be given the opportunity to respond if he or she expresses this intention. The editorial team should find suitable ways for the author whose material has been criticised to be able to respond and attach their response, if their text complies with the journal’s editorial standards, in digital form on the journal’s website, under the corresponding journal number. If a correction is required by the author, a corrigendum must be issued. If the error is irreparable, the author must issue a retraction.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be defined as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving due credit”1. Plagiarism can take many forms, such as blatant plagiarism, technical plagiarism, patchwork plagiarism and self-plagiarism2, among others.

In fact, plagiarism is a serious breach of ethics and academic integrity. Quoting or paraphrasing without proper acknowledgement of the work and author is expressly forbidden, as is the misuse of images, tables, codes, drawings and other copyrighted documents. The Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences Code of Ethics appeals to all readers to Law no. 14 of 2022, of 21 December, on the Code of Copyright and Related Rights, in which “the translation, arrangement, instrumentation, dramatisation, cinematisation and, in general, any transformation of the work, may only be made or authorised by the author of the original work” (art. 112).

The Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences Code of Ethics also condemns self-plagiarism (publication of repeated research presented as new or of a part or an excerpt of research presented as new but which has already been published, without citation), the citation of oneself, of one’s own works, as well as all forms of fabrication and falsification.

 

Fabrication and Forgery

Fabrication can be defined as “the use of invented, falsified, altered or forged information or data”. In other words, fabrication is the misrepresentation of scientific data. Falsification consists of “the manipulation of research materials, equipment or processes, or the alteration or omission of data or results in such a way that the research is not accurately represented”3.

If plagiarism, fabrication or falsification is suspected, the Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences editorial team has the right not to publish the work.

 

Conflicts of interest

Any situation that triggers a conflict of interest, the situation (scientific, personal, business, academic) must be communicated to the editorial team of the Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences. If there is any conflict of interest, the editorial team will not publish the work or works in question.

Data Sharing, Consent to Dissemination and Open Access.

 

Data Sharing and Consent to Publication

      • The journal will never publish an author’s work without their consent. Throughout the review and correction process, the author will have the final say before final publication.
      • When submitting their work, at any time during the review process, the author may request that they do not wish to proceed with the publication process.
      • The ICS encourages the sharing of all research data with the academic and general community.
      • The ICS calls for the work published by the ICS to be disseminated to other digital fora and platforms, provided that the name of the ICS and the Timor-Leste Journal of Medical Sciences are also disseminated.

 

Intellectual Property, Open Access and Open Science Policy

As a supporter of open access and open science, the ICS promotes all its publications in open access. By consenting to publication in the journal, the author is consenting to the publication of his or her work in open access, which can be consulted freely in all parts of the world.

The contents are published under a Creative Commons 4.0 International (By) open access licence, which means that all works may be distributed and altered from the original work, provided that the original author or work is cited.

 

Confidentiality

All authors’ data is protected and at no time may personal details of authors, reviewers or readers be disclosed. Authors’ data may not be distributed by any entity, organisation or person. No contact details, e-mail addresses or personal information may be disclosed to third parties.

 

Human Rights and Animal Rights

Researchers are called upon to present all ethical aspects of their research relating to humans and/or animals, and must provide evidence that the proposed research has been approved by a Research Ethics Committee. All decisions relating to ethical issues must be based on the intention not to harm others, including humans, animals and the environment. The editorial team reserves the right not to publish work if it considers that there has been an attack on the dignity of the human person, a violation of the physical or psychological integrity of people, sentient animals or a violation of the sustainability of the environment.

 

Bibliography Used for the Code of Ethics

BAŽDARIĆ, K., Bilić-Zulle, L., Brumini, G., and Petrovečki, M. (2012). “Prevalence of plagiarism in recent submissions to the Croatian Medical Journal”. In Science and engineering ethics, 2012, 18, 223-239.

DECRETO-LEI nº 14/2022. (2022). Código do Direito de Autor e Direitos Conexos. Jornal da República, I Série. Nº 51ª (2022-12-21), 19-50.

ICMJE’S PUBLISHING RECOMMENDATIONS http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/

SHINWARI, Zabta Khan, KHALIL, Ali Talha (2021). Research Ethic Standard For INCT-Timor-Leste. Quaid-I-Azam University.

US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES. (2023) – Definition of Research misconduct. Office of Research Integrity. US Department of Health & Human Services. Disponível em: https://ori.hhs.gov/.

ZIETMAN, L. (2013). “Falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism: the unholy trinity of scientific writing”. In International Journal of Radiation Oncology – Biology – Physics, 87, 225-227.

 


[1] US Department of Health & Human Services – Definition of research misconduct. Office of Research Integrity. US Department of Health & Human Services.

[2] K. Baždarić, L. Bilić-Zulle, G. Brumini and M. Petrovečki, Prevalence of plagiarism in recent submissions to the Croatian Medical Journal, Science and engineering ethics, 2012, 18, 223-239.

[3] A. L. Zietman, Falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism: the unholy trinity of scientific writing, International Journal of Radiation Oncology• Biology• Physics, 2013, 87, 225-227.