Galicia Clínica Ethics Framework

Responsibilities or behaviour of the Editorial Board

The description of the processes of peer review both defines it and introduces the Editorial Team of Galicia Clínica, with the purpose that authors will be aware of the evaluation criteria. The Editorial Board will always be prepared to justify any decision during the evaluation process.

Responsibilities or behaviour of the Editor

The editor must be responsible for everything published in Galicia Clínica. They must strive to meet the needs of readers and authors; by constantly improving the journal; by ensuring the quality of the material published; by promoting academic and scientific standards. On the other hand, the editor must be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies if necessary. The decision of the editor to accept or reject a work for publication must be based only on the importance of the article, the originality, clarity and relevance that the work represents for the journal. The publisher undertakes to guarantee the confidentiality of the evaluation process; they may not reveal the identity of authors to reviewers. They also will not reveal the identity of reviewers at any time. The editor is responsible for deciding what articles can be accepted for the journal and the Editorial Board will make the final decision on the articles to be published. The editor takes responsibility for duly informing the author of the phase of the editorial process in which the text sent is located, as well as results of evaluation. An editor must evaluate manuscripts and intellectual content without discrimination by race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, nationality, or political philosophy of the authors. The editor and any editorial team will not disclose any information about a manuscript sent to any person who is not the corresponding author, potential reviewers or other editorial advisers All unpublished material in a submitted manuscript will not be used in the personal research of an editor without express consent in writing from the author. Ideas obtained through the peer review or privileged information shall be confidential and shall not be used for personal gain. Editors must make fair and impartial decisions and ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process.

Responsibilities of authors

Authors must ensure that their manuscripts are a product of their original work and that the data has been obtained in an ethical manner. In addition, they must ensure that their work has not been previously published and that it is not being considered for another publication. It shall be considered as a previously published work when any of the following situations occurs:

  • When the full text has been published.
  • When extensive fragments from previously published materials form part of the text sent to the journal.
  • When the work submitted to the journal is contained in published memoirs in full.
  • These criteria refer to previous publications in printed or electronic form, and in any language. For the publication of works, authors must strictly follow the standards for the publication of articles as defined by the Editorial Board. Authors should send the journal an original of the article without personal information (name, contact information, assignment, etc.) and excluding their name from bibliographic references where it appears. Authors of reports on original research must submit a precise description of the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the article. A document must contain sufficient detail and references in order to allow others to use the work. Fraudulent or deliberately inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable. Authors must ensure that they have written original works in their entirety, and if the authors have used the work or words of others, this must be properly cited. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. Consequently, any manuscript in which plagiarism occurs will be removed and not considered for publication. An author should not, in general, publish manuscripts that describe essentially the same research in more than one primary publication or journal. The presentation of the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical behaviour and publication is unacceptable. Sources must be recognised properly. The authors should cite publications which have been influential in the nature of the work presented. Information obtained in a private manner, such as in conversations, correspondence or discussions with third parties, should not be used without explicit written permission from the source. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, implementation or interpretation of the study. All those who have made significant contributions should appear as co-authors. The main author or authors must ensure that all co-authors are included in the article, and that all have seen and approved the final version of the document and agreed on its submission for publication. All authors must disclose in their manuscript any financial conflict or any other conflict of interest which may influence the results or interpretation of the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project must be disclosed When an author discovers an error or significant inaccuracy in their published work, it is their obligation to immediately notify the Editor of the journal or and cooperate with the retraction or correction of the paper

    Responsibilities of reviewers

    Reviewers undertake to notify of any unethical conduct by authors and point out any information that may be grounds for rejecting the publication of articles. In addition, they must commit to maintaining the confidentiality of information related to the articles they evaluate. For review of the work, the reviewers must use guidelines for this task. These guidelines must be provided by the Editor and should be considered for the evaluation. All selected reviewers must notify the Editor in the shortest time possible if they are qualified to review a research manuscript or if they are not able to do the review. Any manuscript received for review should be treated as a confidential document. It must not be shown to or discussed with other experts, except with permission of the Editor. Reviewers should behave objectively. Any personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly and with valid arguments. Ideas obtained through the peer review or privileged information must be kept confidential and will not be used for personal gain. Reviewers must not evaluate manuscripts where they have a conflict of interest.

    You can find more information about unacceptable behaviour in scientific publishing from the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

    Ethical aspects:

    The authors must have carried out their research according to the principles from the Declaration of Helsinki, the standards for Good Clinical Practice, and the legislation in force.

    Informed consent:
    In all clinical trials, the authors must report on whether they have the appropriate authorisation from the ethics committee, as well as written informed consent (or an exemption for the need to have this issued by the ethics committee). If clinical cases are published, the authors must have the patient’s authorisation to publish the case, and it must be ensured that no information that could allow the patient to be identified is included. Photographs must not allow the patient to be identified (if the patient’s face is included, the area around the eyes must be covered with an opaque black strip), and written authorisation from the patient for publication of such photos must also be included.

    Conflicts of interest:
    The authors must declare all possible conflicts of interest in the form of personal or financial relationships that could bear some relation to the results from the article. If no conflicts of interest exist, the authors must state this in a section of the manuscript using the phrase “There are no conflicts of interest existing”. The funding sources for the article must be included in the acknowledgments section.

    The article submitted must not have been previously published (except as a presentation at a scientific conference or as part of a doctoral thesis), and must not be subject to review by another journal at the time it is submitted.

    All authors included on the article must comply with the authorship requirements described by the ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html).

    For all research work that involves patients, informed consent must be obtained from the patients in writing for their participation in the research.

    Experimentation on human subjects:
    Scientific research and experimentation involving humans is a right and a duty of the scientific and biomedical communities. Scientific experimentation represents an important means of progress for our knowledge of human nature. This knowledge must be taken advantage of in order to increase the well-being, health, and quality of life of all humans.

    In the case of research involving experimentation on humans, the following items must be explicitly included in an independent document, which must be attached to the article:

    • During research involving humans, the interests of science and society must never take precedence over the well-being of the subjects. The right of the subjects to protect their own integrity must always be respected. All precautions must be taken to preserve the physical and psychological integrity of the persons participating as experimental subjects.
    • Experimentation involving humans that could present risks or burdens for the subjects must only be performed when no alternative procedures of comparable efficacy exist.
    • Biomedical research on humans must comply with the commonly accepted ethical and scientific standards. It must be based on evaluation of the risks, carried out on the basis of previous experiments properly performed in the laboratory and on animals, and on the basis of reasonable knowledge of the possible consequences of the experiment. Experimentation must not be performed using a person if a method of comparable efficacy exists as an alternative to experimenting with humans.
    • Proportionality between the benefits and risks of the research. The risks or burdens produced by the experimentation on humans must not be disproportionate and must not involve a lapse of moral conscience or violation of the subject’s dignity. In the case of biomedical research, the importance of the objectives must be proportional to the risk that the subjects face by participating.
    • All biomedical research projects involving humans must be preceded by careful calculation of the predictable risks and their comparison to the benefits that the research could produce for the subject and for other individuals.
    • Concern for the interests of the persons who are research subjects must always take precedence over the interests of science and society. Research or experimentation must always be suspended if the risks are found to be greater than the calculated benefits.
    • Participation in any research or experiment must require the free and informed consent of the experimentation subject after this person has received adequate information about the nature and purpose of the experiment, the objectives, the methods, the calculated benefits, and the possible risks or burdens that could be involved. The subjects must be allowed to freely withdraw their consent at any time, without suffering any negative consequences because of this. If minors or persons with disabilities with diminished personal competency or autonomy are participating in the research, the consent must always be granted in writing by this person’s legal representative or by the person with the duty of care.
    • If the researchers are offering subjects incentives or compensation for their participation in the research or experiment, whether economic or of any other type, in no case may the amount offered be so high that it could not be reasonably rejected by the subject.
    • The researchers have the duty to guarantee the right to privacy of the subjects. For work involving a team, each researcher is responsible for maintaining secrecy for the totality of the project. All participants in a research project with human subjects must maintain the strictest confidentiality, so that the personal and family privacy of the participating subjects is not violated.
    • During all scientific research or experiments, the experimental subjects or participants must be treated with the highest degree of respect for their dignity, beliefs, privacy, and decency, especially including protection for the most vulnerable persons.
    • In all scientific experimentation or research, the identity of the researcher or researchers responsible for the project must be clearly defined, as well as the identities of all other research team members who may be acting as collaborators.
    • Liability derived from the research must always fall upon the researcher, never upon the research subject, even though the subject has given his or her informed consent. Approval of experimental protocols by an ethics committee does not release the researchers from their own direct liability.

    Animal experimentation:
    If any part of the research work has been performed on animals, the work must also comply with the requirements issued by the corresponding clinical research committee, and authorisation must also be received from this committee.
    Galicia Clínica will only evaluate work that includes animal experimentation when the following objectives are being pursued:

    1. Prevention of illnesses or other health alterations or anomalies or their effects, as well as diagnosis and treatment of these in humans, in vertebrate or invertebrate animals, or in plants; development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical and food products and other substances or products, as well as performance of testing to verify their quality, efficacy, and safety.
    2. Evaluation, detection, standardisation, or modification of the physiological conditions of humans, vertebrate or invertebrate animals, or plants.
    3. Protection of the natural environment for the benefit of human health or well-being, or that of vertebrate or invertebrate animals or plants.
    4. Scientific research.
    5. Education and training.
    6. Medical-legal research.




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