European Science Editing 47: e71728, doi: 10.3897/ese.2021.e71728
Compliance with best practice guidelines on publication ethics: Where does Pharmactuel stand? A case study
expand article infoChristine Hamel, Julie Méthot§, Louise Mallet|
‡ Centre intégré universitaire de Santé et de Services sociaux de l'Estrie-Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins Hospital, Cowansville, Canada§ Faculty of Pharmacy, University Laval, Quebec, Canada| Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Open Access
Abstract

Background: The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) are two internationally recognised organisations in the field of publication ethics. Guidelines from these two organisations were updated in 2018.

Objectives: To assess the extent to which the journal Pharmactuel is compliant with the guidelines on publication ethics updated by ICMJE and COPE in 2018 and, where the journal is found  wanting, to take the necessary steps to make it compliant.

Methods:  A list of updated criteria – 56 by ICMJE and 22 by COPE – was compiled. In January 2020, compliance with each of these criteria was evaluated by the editor-in-chief and validated by all six associate editors. The evaluation was followed by an action plan to improve compliance, and the evaluation was repeated in November 2020.

Results: Of the 56 ICMJE criteria, Pharmactuel was fully compliant with 31 and partly compliant with 10 criteria (a compliance rate of 73%, taking the two together). The corresponding figures for the 22 COPE criteria were 17, 3, and 91%. By modifying its editorial policies, training its associate editors, and creating appropriate guidelines for its editorial board and editors, Pharmactuel achieved almost 100% compliance by the end of 2020.

Conclusions: Pharmactuel has been fully compliant with ICMJE and COPE recommendations since January 2021. Minor modifications to Pharmactuel’s publication process have enabled the editorial team to ensure that the journal continues to be almost totally compliant with COPE and ICMJE guidelines and to uphold its high ethical standards.

Keywords
Compliance, COPE, ICMJE, editorial policies, instructions to authors, Pharmactuel, publication ethics