Plagiarism Policy

The Contributor's representations contained in the Agreement are designed to protect against plagiarism. This policy is based on the 'Guidelines on Good Publication Practice' published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE defines plagiarism as follows: "Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others' published and unpublished ideas, including research grant applications, to submission under 'new' authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language. It applies to print and electronic versions."

Plagiarism screening will be conducted by OJS Editorial Board using Turnitin with maximum limit of similarity 25 %. For CrossCheck plagiarism screening service.

It is the duty of journal editors to investigate suspected cases of misconduct. They need to decide whether it is necessary to retract a published contribution and in some cases, whether it is necessary to alert the employers of the accused author(s). Some evidence is required, but if the employers have a process for investigating accusations, it is not necessary for the editor to assemble a complete case as this may entail wider consultation which would bring the author into disrepute before the facts of the matter have been decided. Editors may decide not to involve employers in cases of less serious misconduct, such as dual publication, deception over authorship or failure to declare a conflict of interest. In all cases, authors must be given the opportunity to respond to accusations of misconduct before any action is taken.

The COPE guidelines have no legal force and it is generally prudent to avoid "naming and shaming" authors and simply to confirm a retraction, when necessary, in neutral and concise terms. The following sanctions are set out in the COPE guidelines, but journal editors should consider the application of any sanction very seriously due to the potential impact on an author's reputation or career:

  • A letter of explanation (and education) to the authors, where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles
  • A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct
  • A formal letter to the relevant head of institution or funding body
  • Publication of a notice of dual publication or plagiarism
  • An editorial giving full details of the misconduct
  • Refusal to accept future submissions from the individual, unit or institution responsible for the misconduct, for a stated period
  • Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, informing other editors and the indexing authorities
  • Reporting the case to the General Medical Council, or other such authority or organization which can investigate and act with due process