Standards in publication ethics of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Role and responsibility of authors

  • The published article of the authors in Vajira Medical Journal must be an article that has never been published anywhere else before and is not under the process of reviewing by any journals, both domestically and internationally.
  • For research article involves the use of human or animal subjects, the authors must strictly follow all applicable laws and regulations on ethical principles. Research protocols must be approved by the Research Ethics Committee before each data collection and operation.
  • The authors must not copy research of others, including present or past works. References must be cited every time information from others is used in the content of your articles.
  • Each author must individually disclose all sources of funding received for the research.
  • All co-authors whose names appear in the article are responsible for the content of the research work.
  • The authors who would like to submit randomized controlled trial are encouraged to submit trial protocols to the database (
    and to the database current controlled trials ( However, researchers who would like to register in Thailand's database can submit trial protocols at  

Roles and responsibilities of reviewers

  • Reviewers must not exploit the research articles under their review.
  • The reviewers are experts and fully understand the content of the research articles under review. The evaluation of research articles must be considered following the general principles and reasons without personal bias.
  • When plagiarism from other research works is discovered in the articles under review. Peer reviewers must notify the editor immediately and do not disclose the article information to anyone who is not involved.
  • The timing and duration of the articles under review must be within the specified timeline.

Roles and responsibilities of editors

Editors are responsible and answerable for anything that is published in the journal such as;

  • navigate the publishing processes according to the objectives of the readers and authors
  • regularly update the journal
  • certify the quality of published researches
  • support freedom to hold opinions 
  • maintain the quality of research articles
  • protect intellectual property standards from business needs
  • help to correct the errors in research articles for more clarity and include article withdrawal, article removal, and apology statement for legal reasons.

Roles of editors to readers

Readers should be informed about the research funders and the roles of the research funders that are an essential part of conducting research.

Roles of editors to authors

  • Editors implement all the possibilities to encourage the quality of published articles, which warrants the quality of published research. They perceive each part of the journal to have different objectives and standards.
  • The decision of the editor to accept or reject research articles for publication depends on the importance, new knowledge, and clarity of the research paper as well as correlation of the article to the scope of the journal.
  • There is clarification and instigation of information about the peer review process. Thus, editors should also be prepared to clarify any deviations from the specified audit processes.
  • This journal has a channel for authors to appeal when they disagree with the editor's decision.
  • Editors should publish all recommendations to authors on every expected issue that the authors should know about. The recommendations should be updated to be up-to-date and include references or links to the policy of the journal.
  • Editors cannot change their decision to accept articles that have been rejected for publication. Unless there is a serious problem occurring during the submission of the article for consideration.
  • The new editor cannot reverse a decision to publish an article once it has been rejected by the previous editor, unless there is proof that serious problems have occurred.

 Roles of editors to reviewers

  • Editors publish recommendations to reviewers on every expected issue. The recommendations should always be updated to be up-to-date and include references or links to the policy of the journal.
  • Editors have a system for protecting the privacy of reviewers, unless the journal is an open assessment, in which case authors and reviewers have been notified in advance.

Article evaluation procedures

  • Editors have the systems to ensure that submitted articles are concealed during the evaluation processes.

The complaint processes

  • Editors follow the procedures as outlined in the flowchart that was set by the Publication Ethics Committee.
  • Editors respond immediately to complaints and ensure that authors can make other complaints until they are satisfied. This process should be indicated in the journal, and included the process in which unresolved cases are sent to the Publication Ethics Committee.

Discussion supports

The critiques in published articles are disclosed. Unless the editors have other proper reasons for not disclosing the review.

  • The authors can write an article that has been criticized by others, then clarify and respond. In addition, research studies that have conflicting results with published research papers should also be given this opportunity.
  • Research studies that report negative findings should also be included in the article. This section should not be omitted.

Academic validity supports

  • Editors should check every detail in a published research article in a journal that is accurate. The published research article must comply with internationally recognized ethical principles.
  • Editors should find evidence to ensure that all published research articles have been approved by research ethics committees. However, editors should keep in mind that approval does not always guarantee that research is ethical.

Protection of personal information

  • Editors must protect the confidentiality of personal information, such as the patient-doctor relationship. Therefore, editors should request a patient consent form if the patient's name or photo appears in a report or article. However, editors can publish articles without consent forms if they are for the health of people in general (or important in some respects) or if they have difficulty obtaining consent documents. In addition, the person who has no objection to the publication must follow the three conditions above.

Tracing publication misconduct

  • Editors are responsible for monitoring any suspected misconducts including both published and unpublished research articles.
  • Editors should not immediately reject research articles that may contain misconducts. However, editors are responsible for examining the facts of the suspected research and publication misconduct.
  • Editors should investigate answers from the accused person. However if the answers are still not satisfied, editors could ask their supervisor or the relevant team (sometimes it is the agency policy) to investigate the facts.
  • Editors should follow the requirements of the Committee on Publication Ethic’s flowchart when it is necessary.
  • Editors should strive to gain confidence in the implementation of actulity checking that adheres to the principle of cause and effect. However, without these procedures, editors should strive to find a solution to the problems; although it is difficult, it is an important duty.

Authentication of academic articles

  • When there is a perception matter with academic articles that have already been published, including misunderstanding sentences or a misrepresentation report, editors must immediately correct the articles with clarity.
  • When there is fraudulent behavior after the investigation has been carried out, the editor must withdraw the article with clarity that can be proven. However, editors must notify readers and other database systems of the article's withdrawal.

Relationship with journal owners and publishers

  • Relationships between editors, publishers, and journal owners are frequently complicated. However, it should be based on editorial independence. Although this is the economic and political reality of the journal, editors should make decisions about accepting articles for publication based on quality and suitability for readers rather than financial or political returns.

Commercial consideration

  • Editors should publish policies for advertising that emphasize content relevant to the journal and publish any supplements or additions to the journal.
  • Editors do not publish false advertising and must be willing to publish various critiques. However, publication in the journal should use the same criteria for consideration in the different sections of the journal.
  • Re-publishing an article must maintain the same criteria except that amendments are added.

Conflict of interest (COI)

  • Editors should have a system for managing their own conflicts of interest including journal staffs, authors, article reviewers and editorial board members.

Complaint handling procedure for editors that complaints were sent to the Committee of Publication Ethics

  • Complaints may be submitted to the Committee on Publication Ethics by authors, readers, reviewers, editors, or journal publishers. However, complaints can only be submitted when editors or journals are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
  • Complaints against the editors of the journal must be made in writing directly to the editors first. If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved, it can be filed with the editorial board or the inspector of any agency (if any).
  • Only complaints that have passed through the journal complaint procedure can be forwarded to the Committee on Publication Ethics. However, all relevant documents must be attached.
  • The Committee on Publication Ethics will accept complaints within six months after they have been completely considered by the journal. However, the Committee on Publication Ethics may consider cases outside of this period as a special case.
  • The Committee on Publication Ethics will not consider complaints about the content of editorial judgments. (but will consider the process) or critiques of editorial content.
  • The Committee on Publication Ethics will not consider complaints that appeared prior to the publication in these standard ethics documents.

Processes of complaint to the Committee on Publication Ethics 

  1. The complainants submit a complaint to the committee.
  2. The Committee on Publication Ethics examines the complaints as follows:

           2.1 It is a complaint against members of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

           2.2 It is a complaint within the purview of the Committee on Publication Ethics' work. 

           2.3 It is a complaint that is not resolved after submitting to the journal for consideration according to the process.

           2.4 It is a complaint that occurred after the effective date of this regulation (January 1, 2005).

  1. The complainant must submit all relevant documents and evidence, including documentary evidence related to complaints against the journal. The journal was then informed the complaints to shore up trust and reassure the chairman of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
  2. The Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics informs the editors of the journal that complaints have been forwarded to the Publication Ethics Committee.
  3. There are various issues that may occur:

           5.1 Editors do not respond to complaints; thus, the chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics will notify the complainants and the journal owners in this case.            

           5.2 The editor responds to the complaints with the following points:

                 5.2.1 The chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics and one representative nominated by members of the Committee on Publication Ethics implement a judgment about satisfaction with complaint handling at a journal, and the Committee on Publication Ethics informs the complainants and editors.     

                 5.2.2 The chair of the Publication Ethics Committee and one representative, nominated by members of the Publication Ethics Committee, implement a judgment on the needfulness of further investigation. The Committee on Publication Ethics informs the complainants and editors to report operations to subcommittees of the Council of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

  1. The subcommittee of the Committee on Publication Ethics for considering complaints should consist of at least one chairman and three members of the Publication Ethics Committee. Furthermore, two of the members cannot be editors, and the members of the subcommittee cannot be members of the journal's publisher (or agency), as the editor who has been complained about is.
  2. If the chairman holds the position in the journal's publisher (or agency) as the editor who has complained, the chairman will appoint a qualified vice president to oversee the documents instead.
  3. When complaints are submitted to the subcommittee, the subcommittee may take the following actions: 

           8.1 Complaints are withdrawn, and the complainants and editors are informed. 

           8.2 Make an agreement that it is a violation of the prescribed regulations.

  1. When the subcommittee agrees that it is a violation of the prescribed regulations. The subcommittee must submit a report to the Committee on Publication Ethics, explaining the nature of the violation and giving advice on how to proceed.
  2. The Committee on Publication Ethics will evaluate the report, which may modify the recommendations. After that, complainants, editors, and publishers (journals) will be informed of the recommendations. The final recommendations could be as follows: 

           10.1 Ask the editor to apologize to the complainant according to the complaint received.

           10.2 Editors post the complaint that they received from the Committee on Publishing Ethics in their journals.

           10.3 The journals improve complaint processes.

           10.4 Editors resign from the members of the Committee on Publishing Ethics for a set period of time, or

           10.5 Editors follow the appropriate processes as outlined in the Committee on Publishing Ethics' recommendations.

Appeal processes

  • Complainants can appeal against the Committee on Publishing Ethics’ recommendations by requesting details of the contact person from the Committee on Publishing Ethics.

Source: Publication Ethics