5. Publication and communication practices

_MG_75645.1. Peer review of results
The results of scientific research must always be subject to peer scrutiny. Publication of results in journals or other media that apply a process of peer review is an essential part of the research project proposal.

5.2. Protection of results with possible commercial interest
If the results of research could lead to inventions or applications that may be subject to protection on the basis of their commercial interest, the individual responsible for the research project is obliged to communicate this information to the directorate of their Centre and manage the publication of the results in scientific journals accordingly.

5.3. Unpublished results
Failure to publish results or excessive delay in publishing them may constitute a serious offence relating to misuse of resources. Publication of results is an ethical imperative for clinical studies in which human subjects have participated.

5.4. Negative results
In clinical studies and certain epidemiological studies it is equally necessary to publish negative results or results that differ from those predicted in the research project.

5.5. Fragmented publication
Fragmented publication of a single piece of research is unacceptable. Fragmentation is only justified by extension of the research.

5.6. Duplicate publication
Duplicate or redundant publication is an unacceptable practice. Secondary publication is only acceptable under the terms established in the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (‘Vancouver Group’).[13]

5.7. Plagiarism and bibliographic references to third parties
Plagiarism, defined as the use or copying of ideas, text or data from other sources without acknowledgement, is research misconduct and unacceptable. Both in publications and in patent applications or utility models, it is necessary to cite all work directly related to a given piece of research and, in turn, to avoid unjustified or honorary citations. Reference to the work of others must include sufficient recognition of the value of that work.

5.8. Acknowledgements
The Acknowledgements section of a publication must follow strict principles. The individuals or institutions mentioned have the right to deny permission to be included. Some journals require that written authorisation be obtained from individuals acknowledged. The same principle is applicable to references to ‘personal communication’.

5.9. Institutional affiliation and acknowledgement of support
In conference presentations and all other types of presentation of results, the following must be declared: a) the institutions or centres to which the authors belong, or belonged, and in which the research was undertaken; b) whenever applicable, the independent ethics committees who supervised the research protocol and the specific permission obtained; c) details of all funding received.

5.10. Presentation in the mass media
The presentation of results in the mass media must always include an appropriate level of explanation for a non-specialist audience or a part of the presentation that has been adapted for the general public. In such presentations, the names of the authors must always be linked to their institutions and, wherever possible, financial support and help received should be mentioned.

5.11. Premature communication through the media
The communication of research results in the media prior to scrutiny by other scientists through peer review—in other words, prior to acceptance for publication or presentation in certain types of conference—is considered unacceptable.

5.12. Urgent reporting
The early or premature reporting or publication of results is only justified in exceptional cases on public health grounds. In such cases, the authors must ensure that the results will simultaneously be under rapid review for scientific publication. Likewise, they should inform the editors of the journals in which definitive publication of the results is intended, of the scope of the prior communication.

5.13. Use of publication record for purposes of research assessment
In assessments of individuals or groups involving analysis of scientific publications for the purposes of promotion or other forms of compensation, evaluation will always be based on the quality and potential importance of the scientific output, not simply on the number of publications.

[13] For more detail on acceptable secondary publication see current ICMJE Recommendations, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, http://www.icmje.org

 

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