Publication Ethics

Corrections, Retractions and Publishing Malpractices

STEMedicine holds a high standard of scientific originality, ethics and quality, professional integrity and responsibility, as well as a compassion for patients suffering from diseases. STEMedicine ensures that all of its published articles follow:

STEMedicine aims to ensure the integrity of the academic record of all published or potential publications. Whenever it is recognized that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement, or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence. If, after an appropriate investigation, an item proves to be fraudulent, it should be retracted. The retraction should be clearly identifiable to readers and indexing systems.


Errors in published papers may be identified in the form of a corrigendum or erratum when the Editor-in-Chief considers it appropriate to inform the journal readership about a previous error and makes a correction to the error in the published article. The corrigendum or erratum will appear as a new article in the journal, and will cite the original published article.


Retractions are considered and published when there are severe errors in an article that invalidate the conclusions. Retractions are also made in cases where there is evidence of publication malpractice, such as plagiarism, duplicate publication, or unethical research.

According to industry best practice and in accordance with COPE guidelines, STEMedicine implements the following procedure if a retraction is confirmed:

  1. A retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.
  2. In the electronic version, a link is made to the original article.
  3. The online article is preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. It is to this screen that the link resolves; the reader can then proceed to the article itself.
  4. The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the HTML and PDF indicating on each page that it has been “retracted.”

Editorial expressions of concern

Where substantial doubt arises as to the honesty or integrity of a submitted or published article, journal editors may consider issuing an expression of concern. However, expressions of concern should only be issued if an investigation into the problems relating to the article has proven inconclusive, and if there remain strong indicators that the concerns are valid.  Under some rare cases, an editorial expression of concern may also be issued when an investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.


Ethics Statement for human and animal studies

STEMedicine requires that, depending on the particulars of the research performed, the following statements should be clearly and explicitly stated in submitted manuscripts:

  • Human or animal rights are followed in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008, especially in studies involving vulnerable populations;
  • Ethical approval by an institutional review board for studies involving the use of animals and/or human subjects;
  • Informed consent participation/publication;
  • For clinical trials, registration to the clinical trial registry at the national level, and informed consent are mandatory.


Ethics Statement for studies involving the participation of vulnerable populations

The concept of vulnerability is a cornerstone of the theoretical basis and practical application of ethics in human subject research. Risks to humans participating in research must be minimized; that is, subjects must be offered protection from risks. Vulnerable subjects require additional protections.

STEMedicine requires that, for all studies involving the participation of vulnerable populations submitted to our journal, an explicit Ethical Statement should also be stated that, consent has been obtained from the parents/guardians/next of kin of all participants of vulnerable populations.


Crossref Similarity Check against Plagiarism

STEMedicine conducts Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) to examine all submitted manuscripts against plagiarism. Viewed our Plagiarism Policy page for more details. 


Peer Review Process

STEMedicine adopts a 'blind' peer review process, where the reviewers’ identity remains confidential to the authors during the review, and all manuscripts submitted must undergo a rigorous peer review process. Viewed our Peer Review Process page for more details.