IMA follows the standards, guidelines and best practices set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; publicationethics.org), the International Committee of Journal Medical Editors (ICJME; icmje.org) and the World Medical Association (WMA; wma.net).
Peer Review Process
IMA journals are peer-reviewed. All submissions are subject to peer review. Upon submission, manuscripts are assessed by an editor for suitability for the journal. For those that are deemed suitable, a minimum of two expert reviewers in the area of study will be selected by the Editor to assess the scientific basis and significance of the manuscript. Following peer review, the Editor and/or Associate Editors will determine if the paper should be accepted, require revision, or is unacceptable for publication.
Confidentiality in Peer Review
Editors and reviewers must maintain strict confidentiality of manuscripts during the peer-review process. Sharing a manuscript in whole or in part, outside the scope of what is necessary for assessment, is impermissible prior to an accepted manuscript's official publication date.
Sharing of Materials during Peer Review
Authors must honor any reasonable request for materials, methods, or data necessary to reproduce or validate the research findings during peer review unless it violates the privacy or confidentiality of human research subjects.
Papers Authored by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Associate Editors
The Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors will recuse themselves from participating in the review process of any manuscript in which there is a potential or actual competing interest.
Authorship Qualifications and Responsibilities
Authorship, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), is based on the following criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Contributors who meet fewer than all four of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgments section with a description of their contribution to the work.
For further information, visit the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ website
One author should be designated as the corresponding author who will be responsible for communication between the authors and the journal editorial office(s) and publisher. This individual will be responsible for ensuring all authors submit submission forms, coordinating and responding to page proofs, as well as any managing any other necessary contact during the peer review and/or production processes.
Changes in Authorship
Changes in authorship after submission or acceptance of a paper are strongly discouraged, but the editorial leadership recognizes that in certain circumstances, it may be required. The journal's policy for such cases is as follows:
- A request to alter authorship must be made in writing from the corresponding author to the Editor-in-Chief, with a detailed explanation for the request, and the names and affiliations of the authors requiring addition and/or deletion.
- Authorship may be altered after submission or acceptance of a paper ONLY with the expressed written approval of all authors named on the manuscript, as well as the individual(s) being added and/or deleted.
- Upon receipt of the request and all written approvals of all involved parties, the Editor-in-Chief will consider the request, render a decision, and notify the corresponding author.
- There is a one-year post-publication statute of limitation on requests for alterations in authorship.
- Post-publication changes or alterations to conference abstracts are prohibited.
Authors should identify as their institution(s) the facility where the work was performed and executed. Changes in an author’s affiliation after the work was completed but prior to the submission or publication of the manuscript should be noted by including an asterisk as a superscript to the name in the author listing, as well as a corresponding footnote on the title page indicating “Current Address” listing the new affiliation. Corrections to affiliations or contact information due to relocation after publication is not permitted.
Research Ethics Policy
Research involving human participants, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the WMA Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption. Approval by a responsible review committee does not preclude editors from forming their own judgment whether the conduct of the research was appropriate. Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
IMA follows the trials registration policy of the ICMJE (www.icmje.org) and considers only trials that have been appropriately registered before submission, regardless of when the trial closed to enrolment. Acceptable registries must meet the following ICMJE requirements:
- Be publicly available, searchable, and open to all prospective registrants.
- Have a validation mechanism for registration data.
- Be managed by a not-for-profit organization.
Examples of registries that meet these criteria include:
- The clinical research website of the Israeli Ministry of Health (Hebrew).
- ClinicalTrials.gov the registry sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine.
- The International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Registry.
- The European Clinical Trials Database.
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) must adhere to the CONSORT statement, (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) and submissions must be accompanied by a completed CONSORT checklist (uploaded as a related manuscript file). Further information can be found at www.consort-statement.org.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication. Patient consents should be written and archived by the author. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the article.
When publishing identifiable images from human research participants, authors must include a statement attesting that they have obtained informed consent for publication of the images. If the participant is deceased, consent must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. All reasonable measures must be taken to protect patient anonymity. Black bars over the eyes are not an acceptable means of anonymization. In certain cases, the journal may insist upon obtaining evidence of informed consent from authors. Images without appropriate consent will be removed from publication.
Ethical Treatment of Animals
All peer-reviewed submissions containing animal experiments must comply with local and national regulatory principles and contain a statement in the Materials and Methods section stating whether their national and institutional guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
For further information, visit the World Medical Association’s website
Conflict of Interest
Upon acceptance of any manuscript, all authors require to complete and submit submission form.
The form contains the following Statements: Exclusivity; Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest (Copied from ICMJE Conflict of Interest form); Copyright Transmittal; Authorship Contribution Statement and disclosure on any other relevant concerns.
Manuscripts should be submitted with the understanding that they have neither been published, nor are under consideration for publication elsewhere, in the same form or substantially similar form, except in the form of a conference abstract. If work was presented at a conference, supply the name, date, and location of the meeting as a footnote on the title page of the submission.
Self-Citation and Self-Plagiarism
IMA is committed to maintaining the integrity of the peer review process by upholding the highest standards for all published articles and preventing plagiarism. Plagiarized manuscripts will be rejected immediately. While a manuscript submission may contain some redundancy in language and content (i.e., Materials and Methods) compared to work previously published by authors, self-plagiarism can infringe upon copyright. To avoid plagiarism, be sure to properly cite and reference all published works. (Deposition of a preprint on a preprint server is not considered as prior publication and will not impact consideration of any submitted manuscript.)
Author Disclosure Statements:
- Competing Interests. A competing interest exists when an individual (or the individual's institution) has financial or personal relationships that may inappropriately influence his actions. These competing interests may be potential or actual, financial or other.
- Personal Financial Interests. Stocks or shares in a company that may gain or lose financially from publication of the article; consulting fees or other remuneration from an organization that may gain or lose financially from publication of the article; patents or patent applications that are owned by or licensed to companies/institutions that may gain or lose value from publication of the article.
- Funding. Research support by organizations that may gain or lose financially from publication of the article. This support includes salary, equipment, supplies, honoraria, reimbursement or prepayment for attending symposia, and other expenses.
- Employment. Recent (within the past 5 years), current, or anticipated employment by an organization that may gain or lose financially from publication of the article.
- Other Competing Interests. Any personal relationship which may inappropriately affect the integrity of the research reported (by an author) or the objectivity of the review of the manuscript (by a reviewer or Editor), for example, competition between investigators, previous disagreements between investigators, or bias in professional judgment.
Copyright, Licensing, Reuse and Permissions
The corresponding author is responsible for communicating with co-authors to ensure they have completed the submission form.
Published manuscripts become the sole property of the Journal. By submitting a manuscript to the Journal, the author(s) agree(s) to each of the above conditions. In addition, the author(s) explicitly assign(s) any copyrighted ownership he/she (they) may have in such manuscript to the Journal.
All accepted manuscripts will go through copyediting, typesetting, figure sizing and placement, author proofing, corrections, revisions (from corrected proofs), online-ahead-of-print release, and lastly, issue assignment depending on the length and complexity of any accepted submission.
When reproducing copyrighted material such as figures, tables, or excerpted text, the author(s) of the submitted paper must obtain permission from the original publisher and submit it concurrently with the manuscript. The publication from which the figure or table is taken must be listed in the reference list. Finally, a footnote to a reprinted table or the legend of a reprinted figure should read, for example - "Reprinted by permission from Moran et al." and list the appropriate reference. All permissions must be supplied at the time of submission. Authors are responsible for any fees that may be incurred by securing permission to reproduce or adapt material from other published sources.
Reuse of Material Posted on Social Media
As material posted on social media platforms is usually not peer-reviewed content, it is not permitted as an official citation and/or reference.
IMA follows the guidelines and rules regarding scientific misconduct put forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Scientific misconduct and violation of publishing ethics vary and can be intentionally or unintentionally perpetrated. Some examples of misconduct and violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Scientific Misconduct: Fabrication, falsification, concealment, deceptive reporting, or misrepresentation of any data constitutes misconduct and/or fraud.
- Authorship Disputes: Deliberate misrepresentation of a scientist's contribution to the published work, or purposefully omitting the contributions of a scientist.
- Misappropriation of the ideas of others: Improper use of scholarly exchange and activity may constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
- Violation of generally accepted research practices: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results constitutes misconduct and/or fraud.
- Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: Including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, willful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, human subjects, care of animals, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biologic, or chemical materials constitutes misconduct.
- Conflict of Interest: Nondisclosure of any conflicts, direct or indirect, to the Journal which prevents one from being unbiased constitutes misconduct.
- Deliberate misrepresentation: of qualifications, experience, or research accomplishments to advance the research program, to obtain external funding, or for other professional advancement constitutes misconduct and/or fraud.
- Plagiarism: Purposely claiming another's work or idea as your own constitutes misconduct and/or fraud.
- Simultaneous Submission: Submitting a paper to more than one publication at the same time constitutes misconduct.
IMA is committed to helping protect the integrity of the public scientific record by sharing reasonable concerns with authorities who are in the position to conduct an appropriate investigation into an allegation. As such, all allegations of misconduct will be referred to the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal who in turn will review the circumstances, possibly in consultation with associate editors and/or members of the editorial board. Initial fact-finding will usually include a request to all the involved parties to state their case and explain the circumstances in writing. In questions of research misconduct centering on methods or technical issues, the Editor-In-Chief may confidentially consult experts who are blinded to the identity of the individuals, or if the allegation is against an editor, an outside expert. The Editor-In-Chief will arrive at a conclusion as to whether there is enough reasonable evidence that the possibility of misconduct occurred.
When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for the manuscript in question will cease while the process described herein is researched. The investigation will be taken to completion even if the authors withdraw their paper. In the case of allegations against reviewers or editors, they will be replaced in the review process while the matter is investigated.
Editors or reviewers who are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct will be removed from further association with the Journal and reported to their institution.
If an inquiry concludes there is a reasonable possibility of misconduct, the Editor-in-Chief will retract the paper from the Journal and the scientific record. If the paper is still under peer review, the Editor-in-Chief will withdraw the paper from consideration to the Journal.
All allegations will be kept confidential.
Data Sharing Policy
Submission of a manuscript to IMA journals implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. Authors who do not wish to share their data must state that data will not be shared and give the reason.
IMA strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers, and where there is a community established norm for data sharing, IMA mandates data deposition.
IMA strongly advocates the sharing and archiving of the data and any other artifacts that define and support the results stated in a manuscript in a suitable public repository (in accordance with valid privacy, legal, and ethical guidelines). A data availability statement should be included in the manuscript (in the Methods section or as a separate section at the end of the manuscript), describing the location of the data, with details on how it can be accessed as well as any licensing information. If the data is not publicly available or accessible, that information should also be provided. Datasets should be cited in the reference list by Author (Year). Title. Publisher. Identifier/DOI.
Publication of Clinical Datasets
For datasets containing clinical data, authors have an ethical and legal responsibility to respect participants’ rights to privacy and to protect their identity. Ideally, authors should gain informed consent for publication of the dataset from participants at the point of recruitment to the trial. If this is not possible, authors must demonstrate that publication of such data does not compromise anonymity or confidentiality or breach local data protection laws, for the dataset to be considered for publication. Authors must consider whether the dataset contains any direct or indirect identifiers and consult their local ethics committee or another appropriate body before submission if there is any possibility that participants will not be fully anonymous. Authors must state in their manuscript on submission whether informed consent was obtained for publication of patient data. If informed consent was not obtained, authors must state the reason for this, and which body was consulted in the preparation of the dataset.
Corrections, Retractions, and Editorial Expressions of Concern
Corrections or retractions of published articles will be made by publishing a Correction or a Retraction note bidirectionally linked to the original article. Any alterations to the original article will be described in the note. The original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent Correction or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory, IMA may remove that material from the website and archive sites. Authors, readers or organizations who become aware of errors or ethics issues in a published article are encouraged to contact IMA . All reports will be considered by the Editors; additional expert advice may be sought when deciding on the most appropriate course of action.
Changes to published articles that affect the interpretation and conclusion of the article, but do not fully invalidate the article, will, at the Editor(s)’ discretion, be corrected via publication of a Correction that is indexed and bidirectionally linked to the original article.
On rare occasions, when the interpretation or conclusion of an article is substantially undermined, it may be necessary for published articles to be retracted. IMA follow the COPE guidelines in such cases. Retraction notices are indexed and bidirectionally linked to the original article. The original article is watermarked as retracted and the title is amended with the prefix “Retracted article:”
Editorial Expressions of Concern
When an Editor becomes aware of serious concerns regarding interpretation or conclusion of a published article, they may choose to publish a statement alerting the readership. Scenarios in which Editorial Expressions of Concern may be published include prolonged investigations of very complex cases and when the concerns may have a significant and immediate impact on public health or public policy. An Editorial Expression of Concern may be superseded by a subsequent Correction or Retraction but will remain part of the permanent published record.
Removal of published content
In exceptional circumstances, IMA reserves the right to remove an article from online platforms. Such action may be taken when-
- IMA has been advised that content is defamatory, infringes a third party’s intellectual property right, right to privacy, other legal rights, or is otherwise unlawful.
- A court or government order has been issued, or is likely to be issued, requiring removal of such content.
- Content, if acted upon, would pose an immediate and serious risk to health.
Removal may be temporary or permanent. Bibliographic metadata (e.g. title and authors) will be retained and will be accompanied by a statement explaining why the content has been removed.
IMA Advertising policy states that there will be no commercial advertising.