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Editorial Policy

Research & Publication Ethics

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1 (Purpose)

The purpose of the regulations and guidelines is to promote sound development of research by stipulating regulation system for the process that can improve strictness and ethicality of research in order to ensure that the research related to the Society of Korean Medicine for Obesity Research (hereafter referred to as "the society") does not infringe on human dignity and value or not impair common ethics of society. These regulations and guidelines are established pursuant to the Guidelines on Research Ethics by the Ministry of Education and Science Technology.

Article 2 (Integrity of Researcher)

1) Researcher shall be honest about his or her study. In this case, being honest means being frank about all of the matters on study process such as idea gathering, experiment design, experiment and results analysis, support for research expense, publication of study results, and fair compensation for study participants.

2) Researcher shall consider plagiarism, redundant publication, forgery, and falsification as serious criminal act and do his or her best to prevent such wrongdoing from happening.

① Plagiarism: act of stealing idea, process, results, or records of other people without proper right

② Redundant publication: acting of submitting or publishing the manuscript, which was published in or submitted to other journal, to or in the journal of the Society of Korean Medicine for Obesity Research (hereafter referred to as "the journal")

③ Forgery: act of producing data or study results that do not exist and recording or reporting them

④ Falsification: act of manipulating study data, equipment or process or changing or omitting data or study results, which runs against truth of study records

3) If there is a suspicious case of the wrongdoing mentioned in the paragraph 2 of this article, researcher shall report the case to the society in an appropriate method.

4) If researcher's interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with interest of other people or organizations, the researcher shall announce the conflict and take a proper measure. 

Article 3 (Bioethics)

1) If researcher conducts the study related to human body or organism, the researcher shall obtain prior approval by committee. If necessary, the committee may take a measure to require the researcher to obtain approval by external organization.

2) If study subjects are humans, the ground rule is that researcher shall provide patient or the patient's guardian with sufficient explanation on the purpose of study and mental and physical harm that may be caused in the process of participation in study based on the Declaration of Helsinki (www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm) and shall clarify that the researcher obtained the consent on the study.

3) Clinical research shall comply with ethics regulations by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the relevant hospital. If necessary, the editorial board may require researcher to submit the written consent and the certificate of IRB approval.

4) Researcher shall protect personal information of participants in clinical experiment and comply with all of the regulations related to such protection.

5) If study subjects are animals, researcher shall describe the treatment that was conducted to reduce the pain and inconvenience that the experimental animals experienced. The ground rule is to clarify that the experiment process was not against the regulations by the ethics committee of research institute or the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/labrats/index.html).  

Article 4 (Openness of Research)

1) Researcher shall take the attitude of being as open as possible for development of learning and technology as long as his or her research secret is protected.

2) If there is a request by other researcher after study results are published, researcher shall willingly provide data and results of study as long as the provision is allowed in accordance with the regulations on intellectual property right and study restrictions.

Article 5 (Contribution Allocation)

1) Authors who are listed on published study results such as research paper shall be aware of study details to take the full responsibility for them. Any person who has not contributed to study shall not be granted the right of author.

2) Official research co-workers or persons who contributed directly or indirectly to writing publication materials shall be compensated properly in the method indicated on paper, etc. 

Article 6 (Guidelines of Other Organizations)

1) Researcher shall be aware of legal restrictions related to his or her study.

2) The society may require compliance with the research guidelines suggested by research order organization or related organization or institute in addition to these regulations.

Article 7 (Research Ethics Committee)

1) The research ethics committee (hereafter referred to as "the committee") shall be established in the society to deliberate on the matters related to research ethics.

2) The committee shall consist of no more than 10 members including vice chairman, general affairs director, planning director, academic affairs director, and editorial director.

3) The committee shall include experts in the relevant study field and outsiders who do not belong to the society in the ratio as follow.

① 50% or higher for experts in the relevant study field

② 20% or higher for outsiders who do not belong to the society

4) The committee chairman shall be appointed among committee members by the society president while the vice chairman and the assistant administrator shall be elected by mutual vote in the committee.

5) Members shall be appointed by the society president while the members shall serve for one-year term and be allowed to serve for consecutive terms.  

Article 8 (Operation of the Committee)

1) The committee shall be convened by the chairman if there is a request by the society president or if the chairman acknowledges that it is necessary to convene a meeting.

2) The committee shall be valid when a majority of the current members are in attendance. Decision shall be made when a majority of the members in attendance agree. A power of attorney shall be recognized as attendance in regard to validity of the committee. However, voting right shall not be given to the power of attorney.

3) Any member who is involved in the study that is reviewed by the committee shall not be allowed to get involved in review of such study.

4) If necessary for review, the chairman may require research director or research manager to submit materials or file a report.

5) Members shall comply with confidentiality of all of the matters related to review. 

Article 9 (Responsibilities of the Committee)

The committee shall deliberate on the matters as follow.

1) Matters related to research ethics that are raised for research paper, article, protocol, and report related to the society

2) Matters on research ethics and ethics education in regard to research and technology development

3) Matters on safety of study subject, protection of personal information, and compensation for damage

4) Matters on well-intentioned accusation that is made for research integrity related to the society

5) Investigation of research wrongdoing related to the society

6) Matters on research ethics to be referred by director or manager of research project related to the society

7) Other matters on research ethics to be referred by the chairman  

Chapter 2. Procedures and Standards for Verification of Research Ethics

Article 10 (Prescription Period for Authenticity Verification)

1) The ground rule is not to deal with the wrongdoing that was committed full five years or more ago as of the receipt date of tip-off even if the tip-off was received.

2) If examinee directly cited the study results from wrongdoing again, despite the fact that the wrongdoing was committed five years ago, to use them for report or presentation in less than five years, or if there is a risk to welfare or safety of the general public or a possibility of such risk, the committee shall deal with the case. 

Article 11 (Rules for Authenticity Verification)

1) It is the society and the committee that are responsible for verification of the fact that wrongdoing was committed. However, if examinee intentionally damaged the materials that were requested by the committee or refused to submit such materials, it is the examinee who takes responsibility for verification of integrity of the contents that are considered to be included in the requested materials.

2) The committee shall guarantee that informant and examinee have the equal right and opportunity to state opinion, make objection and defend themselves. The committee shall inform them of relevant procedures in advance.

3) The society president shall make an effort to ensure that the committee can maintain independence and fairness without undue pressure or interference.

Article 12 (Procedures for Authenticity Verification)

1) Procedures for verification of wrongdoing shall consist of preliminary investigation, main investigation and judgment in this order.

2) The society may conduct the investigation that includes the procedures that are deemed to be necessary in addition to the verification procedures mentioned in the paragraph 1.

Article 13 (Preliminary Investigation)

1) Preliminary investigation means the procedure to determine whether or not investigation needs to be conducted for suspicion of wrongdoing. The preliminary investigation shall commence within 30 days from the receipt date of report. The form of preliminary investigation organization shall be autonomically determined by the society.

2) If examinee fully acknowledges wrongdoing based on the results of preliminary investigation, judgment may be made immediately without main investigation. If it is deemed that evidential materials are likely to be gravely damaged, measures can be taken to preserve the evidential materials under the approval by the society president even before the committee is established.

3) If it is determined that main investigation will not be conducted based on the results of preliminary investigation, the specific reasons for such determination shall be notified to informant in written form within 10 days from the date of determination. However, this shall not be applied if the informant is anonymous.

4) If informant protests against the results of preliminary investigation, the informant may raise objection to the society within 30 days from the day when the informant receives notice. 

Article 14 (Main Investigation)

1) Main investigation means the procedure to confirm the fact that wrongdoing was committed. Committee shall be established in accordance with the regulations.

2) The committee shall provide informant and examinee with the opportunity to state opinion in accordance with the regulations. The committee shall also provide them with the opportunity for objection and defense before the results of main investigation are finalized. If the informant or examinee does not accept the opportunity, it shall be considered that there is no objection.

3) The objection or defense by informant and examinee as well as the results of handling the objection or defense shall be included in investigation report.

4) The society shall provide informant with list of investigators before the main investigation begins. If the informant raises a reasonable objection related to reluctance to investigator, the society shall accept the objection.

Article 15 (Judgment)

1) Judgment means the procedure to finalize the results of main investigation and notify the finalization to informant and examinee in written form.

2) All of the investigations from beginning of preliminary investigation to judgment shall be completed within six months. However, if it is considered that the investigations cannot come to an end within such period, the society may notify the reason and extend the investigation period.

3) If informant or examinee protests against the results of judgment, the informant or examinee may make a formal objection to the society within 30 days from the date of notification. If the society considers that the objection is reasonable and valid, it shall conduct reinvestigation directly.  

Article 16 (Authority of the Committee)

1) In the process of investigation, the committee may ask for attendance of informant, examinee, witness, and testifier in order for them to make a statement. If such request is made, the examinee shall accede to the request.

2) The committee may ask examinee to submit materials. Under the permission by the society president, the committee may take measures such as restriction of the persons involved in wrongdoing from entering laboratory and confiscation and storage of the relevant research paper and submitted materials with a view to preserving evidential materials.

3) The committee may recommend that the society president should take proper sanctions against the persons who were proved to be involved in wrongdoing. 

Article 17 (Measures against Dishonest Act in Research)

1) If any accusation is made of dishonest act in the research related to the society or the research paper published in the journal, the committee shall conduct appropriate investigation and handling of the accusation.

2) Investigation of dishonest act in research shall be conducted under confidentiality. The investigation shall not run against interest of the society or research order organization.

3) Anyone who is under suspicion of dishonest act in research shall have the right to make an objection to the results of investigation conducted by the committee. The committee shall guarantee such right in a proper manner.

4) The results of investigation on dishonest act in research shall be reported to the society. The records of investigation results shall be kept at the society for five years from the day when the case was closed.

5) If necessary, the committee may ask for attendance of the person who is under suspicion of dishonest act in research and provide the person with the opportunity to defend himself or herself and make a counter-argument.

6) If the investigation results are determined to prove dishonest act in research, this shall be announced before the follow-up measures as below may be taken based on the decision by the standing board of directors.

 ① Sending a letter of reprimand by the society 

 ② Demand on cancellation or modification of the relevant research results 

 ③ Replacement of the person involved in the relevant research project

 ④ Disqualification of membership for a reasonable period of time

 ⑤ Expulsion

 ⑥ Prohibition of paper submission in the future (for at least three years or more)

 ⑦ Posting of information on the relevant wrongdoing on homepage

 ⑧ Notification of information on the relevant wrongdoing to the National Research Foundation of Korea

 ⑨ Making an accusation to legal institution, etc.

7) If the investigation results are determined to prove that there was no dishonest act in research, the committee may take proper follow-up measures to restore honor of the accused or suspect. 

Article 18 (Disclosure of Records and Information on Investigation)

1) The committee shall keep all of the records of investigation in the form of audio, video and document for five years or more. The society shall also keep the investigation report for 10 years or more.

2) The investigation report and the list of investigators may be made public after the judgment comes to an end.

3) The lists of investigators, witnesses, testifiers, and persons who participated in consultation may not made public if disclosure of the lists is likely to be disadvantageous to anyone on the lists.  

Article 19 (Report of Investigation Results)

1) The committee shall report the results and details of preliminary investigation and main investigation to the society within 10 days after completion of preliminary investigation and judgment respectively. However, this is not applied to the case where the society was directly in charge of investigation pursuant to the regulations.

2) The reports of preliminary investigation and main investigation shall include the following information.

 ① Details of tip-off

 ② Wrongdoing that was the target of investigation

 ③ List of investigators in the committee (applied only to main investigation)

 ④ Need and reason for main investigation (applied only to preliminary investigation)

 ⑤ Role of examinee in the relevant research and fact of wrongdoing (applied only to main investigation)

 ⑥ Relevant evidence and witness (applied only to main investigation)

 ⑦ Details on objection or defense by informant and examinee and results of handling such objection or defense (applied only to main investigation)  

Article 20 (Follow-up Measures and Follow-up Management Plan for Report of Investigation Results)

1) The society may conduct reinvestigation directly if it is deemed that there are problems in rationality and validity of details and results of investigation that were reported pursuant to the regulations.

2) The society shall take follow-up measures based on the results of investigation and judgment and notify examinee of such measures.

3) In order to prevent recurrence of problems, the society shall make announcement of the regulations on research ethics that researcher and paper submitter are required to comply with, scope of wrongdoing, response methods to wrongdoing, and verification procedures of wrongdoing. The committee shall also provide education on such details to members of the society. 

Chapter 3. Role and Responsibilities of the Society

Article 21 (Education on Research Ethics)

The society shall provide education on the research ethics regulations that researcher and paper submitter are required to comply with, scope of wrongdoing, response methods to wrongdoing, and verification procedures of wrongdoing to paper submitter who belongs to the society.

Article 22 (Establishment of Self-verification System of the Society)

The society shall establish and operate its own regulations on verification of research integrity based on these regulations and including the following items.

1) Scope of research wrongdoing (article 2)

2) Organization, department or person that is in charge of receiving report on research wrongdoing and conducting investigation on research wrongdoing

3) Principles for formation of verification organization such as committee that conducts main investigation, procedures for investigation, and period of investigation

4) Type of and standards for sanctions against wrongdoing

5) Plan for protection of informant and examinee

Article 23 (Authority and Role of the Society)

1) The society shall establish an organization that receives report on wrongdoing in research and submitted paper. The society shall examine if verification and investigation of integrity by the society were conducted fairly and reasonably before taking follow-up measures based on the results of such examination.

2) The society may start reinvestigation to verify research integrity in the following cases (article 15).

 ① When need for reinvestigation is acknowledged as there is a reasonable reason for the objection that informant or examinee made to the results of preliminary investigation or judgment by the society

 ② When need for reinvestigation is acknowledged as grave defects are found in the results of judgment by the society

 ③ When it is deemed to be difficult for the society to conduct investigation in a fair and reasonable way

Article 24 (Protection of Informant's Right)

1) Informant means the person who informs the society of recognition of wrongdoing or relevant evidence of wrongdoing.

2) Informant may provide information in all kinds of possible manners such oral statement, written document, telephone, and e-mail. The ground rule is that the informant gives tip-off under his or her real name. However, even though tip-off is anonymous, the society shall consider the anonymous tip-off as the one under real name when the tip-off was provided in written document or e-mail to include the information on research project and relevant paper name and the details and evidence of specific wrongdoing.

3) The society is obliged to protect informant from disadvantage to the informant's position such as disciplinary action, discrimination in work conditions, and undue pressure or harm that are imposed for the reason that the informant reported on wrongdoing. The society shall also establish necessary policy for such protection.

4) The matters related to identity of informant shall not be subject to disclosure of information, If the informant's identity is disclosed against the will of informant for the reason that the informant reported on wrongdoing, the society that is involved in receiving and verifying tip-off along with the organization that the informant belongs to shall take responsibility for such disclose.

5) If informant asks to know procedures and schedule of investigation that is conducted after report of wrongdoing, the society shall accede to such request sincerely.

6) The informant, who filed a report even though the informant knew or was able to know that the tip-off was false, shall not be subject to protection. 

Article 25 (Protection of Examinee's Right)

1) Examinee means the person who was considered as the target of investigation on wrongdoing due to tip-off or recognition by the society or on the assumption of involvement in wrongdoing that was made in the process of investigation. Testifier or witness in the process of investigation shall not be considered as examinee.

2) The society shall be careful to ensure that honor or right of examinee is not infringed upon unduly in the process of verification.

3) Doubt about wrongdoing shall not be made public until results of judgment are finalized.

4) Examinee may ask to be informed of the results, procedures and schedule of investigation on wrongdoing. The society shall accede to such request sincerely.

Article 26 (Enforcement Date)

These regulations shall take effect starting from the day when the regulations are decided by the board of directors.