LetPub is committed to helping authors maintain high standards of publication ethics and supporting ethical research practices. LetPub is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://publicationethics.org/) and adheres to the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers when working with a partner publisher.
General note regarding confidentiality:
LetPub expects all editors to handle all manuscript files in confidence. All manuscripts are treated as confidential documents. Every member of the LetPub team has signed a legally binding confidentiality agreement forbidding the disclosure of any information (including personal information and the contents of the manuscript) to any third party. A copy of this Confidentiality Agreement form is included in the proposal appendix III.
For papers that report identifiable patient information, our LetPub editors first check if the identifiable information is necessary for the article. If the identifiable information is not relevant to the scientific content of the paper (e.g., patients’ names or birth dates), we advise the authors to remove such information. In the event that the identifiable information is essential for the paper (e.g., a photograph of a patient’s face), we check for statements regarding patient consent for using the materials in publications. If such statements are not found, we inform the authors that patient consent is necessary before they can include the materials in their papers, and that once they obtain the consent, a clear statement should be added in the manuscript.
For studies involving animal experimentation, our editors check for the appropriate statements regarding 1) approval of the protocol by the ethics committee at the author’s institution and 2) adherence to the national or international guidelines adopted by the author’s country or funding agency (e.g., NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals).
In the event that these statements are missing, both the primary editor and the associate editor providing oversight include commentary informing the authors of these requirements and the associated statements. This is typically included both within the manuscript where the item of concern is located and within a separate commentary file that summarizes deficiencies in the manuscript.
Additionally, LetPub encourages authors to specify the institution of the ethics committee, rather than using the vague term “local,” so that the information can be verified by any interested party reading the manuscript.
Registering clinical trials
All editors are aware of the need to register clinical trials. The editor first identifies if the study constitutes a clinical trial and then confirms that the registration has been reported. If not, the associate editor requests confirmation from the authors and includes the appropriate statement in the manuscript.
Falsification and fabrication
LetPub editors are capable of identifying instances of suspected falsification or fabrication of data (e.g., unrealistically precise measurements, reported values with no associated method of measurement, and mismatch between values reported in the text and the associated figures).
Where suspected, the rationale for this suspicion is communicated to the authors to solicit an explanation. Commentary is provided by the associate editor and communicated directly to the author via the satellite office client manager. This ensures the authors understand that, if true, the consequences of such fabrication/falsification upon submission could range from rejection of the manuscript to formal review of the author’s conduct by the administration at their current institution.