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JGME Ethics Policies


Disclosure of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools Use
Manuscript Terms of Consideration
Manuscript Decision Appeals
Conflict of Interest
Open Access
Ethical Review for Research Involving Human Participants

1. Authorship


Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) follows the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for determining authorship.

Per ICMJE, to qualify for authorship, authors must meet all 4 of the following:
1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, AND
2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important content, AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published, AND
4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work by ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All authors must affirm, in writing, their substantial contribution to each of these 4 criteria. JGME will inform an author’s institution if falsification of author’s participation is discovered.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group does not by itself justify authorship. Similarly, senior faculty or administrators who provide oversight, support, or advice should not be listed as authors.
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed; honorary or ghost authors cannot be listed as authors.

Authors should reach consensus on who is an author before submitting the manuscript to JGME—and preferably early in the project.
All authors must approve, in writing, any changes made to the initially listed authors after the manuscript is submitted and explain the rationale for the changes to JGME. This includes additions, changes in order, or removal of authors.

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools may not be authors: they cannot be accountable for the work. Only humans may be authors. Authors are wholly responsible for any part of the work or manuscript that is produced through AI tools; authors must verify the accuracy and integrity of work produced by AI.

Groups as Authors
If a multi-center group has conducted and written the work, the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript and meet all 4 criteria above will be listed as authors.
When submitting a group-authored manuscript, the corresponding author should identify these individual authors and the group name.
Other group members will be listed in the acknowledgements.
The paper will be indexed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) by group name and the authors assuming full responsibility for the manuscript. NLM lists the other contributors if they are listed in the acknowledgments.

Authors With Equal Contributions
Only first authors may be co-listed as first authors. When this occurs, the corresponding author must state this in the manuscript submission letter with justification for this designation.
If published, JGME will include a statement that the co-first authors agree that they both fulfilled the criteria for first authors: leadership in all aspects of the design, conduct, and writing of the project.

Corresponding Author
Only one author may be the corresponding author.

Contributors who do not meet the 4 authorship criteria will be listed in the Acknowledgments. For example, individuals who provided assistance with data collection or editing may be listed in the acknowledgements.


2. Disclosure of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools Use


AI tool use must be disclosed for JGME manuscripts. Complete transparency is the goal. Authors are responsible for verifying the accuracy and integrity of all AI output. New AI tools are continually developing; thus, specific tools are not listed here. However, well-accepted tools such as spelling and grammar checks, and the like, do not require listing or discussion in manuscripts. When in doubt, email [email protected].

The use of AI tools will be disclosed in (1) the manuscript cover letter and (2) in the manuscript, such as Methods section, as appropriate, with a description of which tools and how the tools were used, in language understandable by most readers. In non-research reports, disclosure of AI use will be described where most helpful to readers.

AI tools cannot be listed as authors.

3. Manuscript Terms of Consideration


The cover letter for all JGME manuscripts must state that the work is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If authors wish to submit their manuscript elsewhere, it must be withdrawn from consideration by JGME prior to submission elsewhere. Failure to do so may lead to JGME informing the authors’ institutions. This includes but is not limited to other journals, books or book chapters, magazines, and newsletters.

Manuscripts must not be duplicate submissions. This includes partial duplication of a prior publication. Publications are defined as online or traditional journals, but do not include abstracts or posters at meetings. Prior publication also does not include Master’s or PhD theses content. Disclosure of prior presentations at meetings, blog posts, or thesis publication occurs as part of the online manuscript submission process. This disclosure does not harm chances of manuscript acceptance.

MedEdPORTAL, an online repository of educational products and curricula sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges, is considered prior publication, unless the new manuscript has substantially new information, which should be discussed in the manuscript cover letter.

Manuscripts that have been posted in preprint repositories may be submitted, with disclosure, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If a prior publication has a similar title, or other materials that might cause editors to consider this submission may be a duplicate submission, but the submitted manuscript represents new material, authors are encouraged to describe the differences in their manuscript cover letter.

If the manuscript was submitted previously to JGME and then rejected or withdrawn by authors, the cover letter should describe how the new manuscript differs and why the authors are submitting the article again. Full disclosure will not harm chances of acceptance.

Authors should not publicly post or otherwise disseminate their study or manuscript, while it is under JGME consideration, until after publication (eg, press embargo) or online early posting. This does not include abstracts or posters at meetings.

Salami Slicing
“Salami slicing” is a term used for submitting many articles, each with some data, from a single project. It is sometimes difficult to determine what is too much for one paper. If submitting or planning to submit “parts” of a project to different journals, this must be disclosed to JGME at the time of manuscript submission, with the authors’ explanation. If submitting all parts to JGME, we will consider whether some manuscripts might work better if combined. Similarly, if a large project is submitted as a single paper to JGME, we may ask the authors to divide the paper into 2 or more manuscripts. Authors are free to disagree.

It is essential to disclose, at the time of submission to JGME, if parts of the project have been submitted to or published by another journal or venue.

When in doubt, email [email protected].


4. Manuscript Decision Appeals


Appeals of all editorial decisions, for all article categories, are considered by the editor-in-chief, with consultation from other members of the editorial team as appropriate. An appeal must be requested in writing, to the JGME office, with the authors’ rationale.


5. Corrections/Errata


Important errors identified in published articles are corrected via a formal erratum in the journal. Errors requiring a correction must affect a reader’s interpretation of the manuscript value, quality, or findings. The erratum will be published in the next available issue of the journal, and a link to the published correction will be added to the online version of the original article. Minor changes, such as word spellings, will not merit a formal erratum statement.


6. Retractions


Manuscripts found to have falsified information, analysis, interpretation, or other issues of integrity or ethics, will be reviewed by the editor-in-chief and selected editors. These articles will be retracted.


7. Conflict of Interest


Conflict of interest (COI) may include financial interests but more often, in medical education, occurs due to biases relating to one’s area of research and relationships with persons, institutions, or regions. Transparency in potential COI is the goal.

Authors are required to declare all potential COI—financial, personal, or other—that may affect the research, analysis, content, or interpretation presented in the manuscript, as part of the online submission process, for all JGME article categories.
Potential for COI exists when the author’s professional judgment regarding the work or writing may be influenced by other interests. This information is held in confidence by JGME. If the manuscript is accepted, a detailed COI statement is published with the article. Authors should err on the side of disclosing potential COI; disclosure does not harm chances of acceptance. As graduate medical education is a small world, it is expected that potential COI will arise often. The editor-in-chief will make final decisions regarding the management of COI.

Reviewers, Editors
Reviewers and editors are required to declare all potential COI for each article reviewed. For example, if the reviewer or editor has a relationship with one of the authors or feels that they may have a bias, in either direction, toward the author, institution, or the topic under study, the reviewer or editor must state this potential COI to the editor-in-chief, who will consider how to manage the COI. For example, an editor located at the same institution who does not personally know the author would not necessarily constitute a COI. However, an editor or reviewer who has current grants or recently co-authored papers with the author of a submitted manuscript would be considered to have a high degree of potential COI.

If an editor is an author for a submitted manuscript, the manuscript will be handled by other editors.
If the editor-in-chief is an author for a submitted manuscript, a deputy editor will handle the manuscript, entirely.

Reviewers and editors must maintain confidentiality of these discussions. Reviewers and editors must also maintain confidentiality of manuscripts, from the time the manuscript is submitted until it is published.

Editorial Board
The editorial board is appointed by the editor-in-chief to provide guidance and advice to the editor-in-chief regarding JGME content, activities, and policies. Editorial board member responsibilities include:
1. Delivering unbiased, independent, and ethical recommendations to the editor-in-chief and other editorial board members,
2. Maintaining confidentiality regarding editorial decisions, and
3. Annually signing disclosure forms stating that the editor will abide by the JGME COI policy, which includes disclosure of known potential COI.


8. Open Access


All JGME published articles are open access, online, at the time of publication. This includes articles since the start of JGME in 2009. There are no fees for authors, reviewers, or readers of published articles. JGME articles are listed on PubMed.

Open access does not allow re-use for any commercial purposes.

Open access fulfills the requirements of some funding agencies (National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Research Councils of UK, others) for public access to funded research


9. Copyright


JGME retains the copyright for all published articles. This decision has been made to expedite access to articles, by interested sources. Authors allow JGME copyright by signing the copyright assignment form prior publication. JGME allows non-profit, educational entities to reproduce JGME content with proper citation. Contact JGME for questions ([email protected]).

Written permission must be received by JGME to reproduce, display, or transmit journal content for commercial intent.

Authors are responsible for identifying materials in their manuscripts that are copyrighted by other publishers or authors. Authors must obtain written permission to use these materials in the submitted manuscript and provide a copy of that permission to the journal.


10. Ethical Review for Research Involving Human Participants


JGME follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for studies that (1) are research and (2) involve humans. Authors must state, in the cover letter and at the end of the Methods sections, that ethical review was obtained if (1) and (2) are present.

These statements will include the approval body (eg, US) or country policy (various countries) that approved the study, as well as the decision number, if there is one.

For example:
“This study was approved by the Institutional Review board of the University of XX, decision ##.”
“This study was deemed except by the Institution Review Board of the YY Medical School.”
“This study fulfils the criteria for an exempt quality improvement project as determined by the ZZ Medical Center.”
“This study was determined to meet ethical standards as by the Independent Ethics Committee of AA country.”

Authors who do not have access to a formal ethical approval process must provide information in the Methods section about the treatment of human subjects. The following should be addressed:
• how risks to human participants were minimized,
• why the risks were reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits,
• whether adequate procedures were in place to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of participants and their data,
• what plan was used to monitor subjects’ data and safety,
• how informed consent was sought and documented, and
• what safeguards were used to protect vulnerable populations.

Contact JGME for any questions ([email protected]).
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