Publication Ethics

Authorship and Contributorship
Ethical Oversight
Intellectual Property
Dealing with Allegations
Conflicts of Interest Declaration  
Data Sharing and Reproducibility
Peer-review Processes
Post-publication Discussions and Corrections
Journal Management
Handling Complaints and Appeals


The Journal staff, members of the editorial board and peer reviewers must complete a mandatory course on Publication Ethics. We encourage readers and authors to participate in the free eLearning module of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Introduction to Publication Ethics.

Authorship and Contributorship

The Journal of Spine Practice follows the ICMJE Recommendations for the Criteria of Authors. Please visit the Instructions for Authors for more details.

The following criteria must be fulfilled to be considered as an author:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be published
  • 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

The Journal of Spine Practice has implemented the following policies to ensure transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity:

  • The Journal requires all authors to sign an authorship declaration, rather than just the corresponding author
  • The Journal elicits and lists individuals’ contribution
  • The Journal acknowledges receipt of a submission by emailing all authors, rather than just the corresponding author.
  • The Journal requires each author to submit an ORCIDduring the submission process.
  • The Journal encourages acknowledging individuals who do not fulfill authorship criteria, including those providing writing assistance.
  • The Journal disallows ghost, guest, and gift authorship.

The Journal recommends reading the COPE guide for researchers on how to prevent and resolve authorship disputes among them.

The Journal implements the strategies suggested by COPE to recognize potential authorship problems. More specifically, the Journal follows the corresponding flowcharts suggested by COPE for different scenarios of authors disputes:

Ethical Oversight

The Journal of Spine Practice requires authors to ensure rigorous ethical conduct in all experimental and research processes, and in the preparation of the submitted manuscript in the following situations:

  • Consent to publication: All studies involving human subjects must have proof of consent to publications. This includes case reports.
  • Publication on vulnerable populations: In the case of studies involving infants and children, cancer patients, prisoners, or any other vulnerable populations, the study should seek additional ethical approval.
  • Ethical conduct of research using animals: In cases of animal experiments, the authors must provide a description of any surgical procedure used as well as evidence that all possible steps were taken to avoid animal suffering at each stage of the experiment.
  • Ethical conduct of research using human subjects: For any experiments on humans, all work must be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (1964). All studies involving human subjects should include evidence of the approval of an Institutional Review Board/Research Ethics Committee (IRB/REC). Please check the full WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects at
  • Handling confidential data and of business/marketing practices

Intellectual Property

The Journal considers the following as Intellectual Property infringements:

  • Plagiarism
  • Redundant and Overlapping Publication

The Journal of Spine Practice utilizes many steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. The Journal utilizes Crossref Similarity Check, powered by iThenticate, for all submitted manuscripts prior to sending them to reviewers.

The Journal of Spine Practice follows the following COPE flowcharts to investigate the following concerns regarding intellectual property:

Dealing with Allegations

The Journal of Spine Practice adopts the following definitions of allegations of scientific misconduct by the World Association of Medical Editors. These were taken with minor modification from the ORI publication Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct.

  • Data fabrication/falsification: deceptive reporting or fabrication of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or misrepresentation of data.
  • Plagiarism: adopting/using the language, ideas, or thoughts of another without crediting their true source, and misrepresenting them as one’s own original work.
  • Incorrect authorship: submission of multi-authored publications without the agreement of all the other authors, improper assignment of credit such as excluding other authors, misrepresenting the same material as original in more than one publication, or including of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published. 
  • Misappropriation of the ideas of others: In the scientific world, scholars can easily acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts, the improper use of such information can create fraud. The wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
  • Non-compliance with common research practices: failure to comply with the accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, manipulation of experiments to obtain partial results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
  • Violation of 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, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biologic, or chemical materials.
  • Inappropriate behavior in relation to misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.

The Journal of Spine Practice takes seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. The Journal follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines and flowcharts to handle allegations from whistleblowers, whether raised directly to the Journal or through social media

If anyone has concerns over the scientific soundness of published articles in the Journal, or allegations of publication misconduct, such as plagiarism, data fabrication, data falsification, citation manipulation, figure manipulation, or any other forms of misconduct; please contact the Journal Editorial Office immediately, or fill this form. Alternatively, the Journal’s Ombudsperson can be contacted.

Conflicts of Interest Declaration

The Journal of Spine Practice has clear definitions of conflicts of interest and processes for handling conflicts of interest of authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers, whether identified before or after publication.

  • Authors are required to submit a conflict of interest form prior to the publication. The Journal adopts the ICMJE’s Conflict of Interest form.
  • All published manuscripts contain a conflict of interest statement for each author, even if no conflicts exist.
  • All published manuscripts contain a statement regarding funding, whether or not a study was funded, and any role(s) of the funder(s) (e.g., involvement in the design, analysis, writing of, and control over publication).
  • Reviewers are required to declare any conflicts of interest prior to agreeing to review a manuscript.
  • Members of the editorial board are required to declare any conflicts of interest prior to joining the editorial board.
  • All members of the Saudi Spine Society Board of Directors are required to sign a commitment of editorial independence for the Journal Editorial Board.
  • The Publisher has signed a contract with the Journal to declare any conflicts of interest.
  • Advertisement and sponsorship handled by the Society and the Publisher are governed by the Journal Advertisement policy and the Journal Sponsorship policy.

The Journal of Spine Practice uses the following definitions of conflicts of interest:

  • Financial conflicts of interest: such as (but not limited to) payments received for exchange of services or advocacy, consultancy or employment, royalties, stocks, and shares.
  • Academic conflicts of interest: such as (but not limited to) instances where the individual are in direct competition; where individuals have a history of antipathy, where the financial profit may be gained from the publication of certain results, rendering certain decisions or influencing outcomes.

The Journal of Spine Practice follows the COPE flowcharts for the following scenarios of suspected nondisclosure of conflicts of interest:

Data Sharing and Reproducibility

The Journal of Spine Practice has policies on data availability and encourages the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials. Please view the Instructions for Authors on the suggested guidelines for reporting different types of study.

The Journal follows the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines and encourages authors to familiarize themselves with the guidelines and checklists in the website.

The Journal has implemented Penelope to ensure that all submitted manuscripts follow the recommended reporting guidelines.

The Journal of Spine Practice follows the COPE flowcharts for the following scenarios of suspected violation of data integrity:

Peer-review Process

The Journal of Spine Practice is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and uses a rigorous double-blind peer-review model by at least two independent external reviewers, conducted in adherence to the ethical guidance of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

See our Author Guidelines for a full overview of our editorial processes.

Post-publication Discussions and Corrections

The Journal of Spine Practice encourages debate post the publication of submitted manuscripts. This can be done through one of the following three options: (1) through letters to the editor, (2) by registering and adding comments on the Journal site, or (3) through PubPeer.

The Journal of Spine Practice has implemented mechanisms for correcting, revising, or retracting articles after publication.

Journal Management

The Journal of Spine Practice observes and follows the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. The Journal has transparent policies for the journal governance, editorial board, authors, reviewers, and readers.

  • The Journal governance, business model, and revenue streams are explained in detail here. The governance follows the Guidelines for managing the relationships between society-owned journals, their society, and publishers.
  • The Editorial Board Terms of Reference and Editorial Independence statement can be found here. The Journal mandates that all members of the editorial board and publishing staff have completed publication ethics training.
  • The Journal has transparent Authors Instructions which can be found here.
  • The Journal has transparent Peer Review Policy which can be found here.
  • The Journal’s Editorial Office follows the General Approach to Publication Ethics for the Editorial Office set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The Journal uses the Open Journal System for online manuscript submission and reviews.
  • The Journal encourages readers to voice their concerns either publicly through comments on the website or through letters to the editor. In addition, the Journal encourages the readers to get in touch with the Editor-in-Chief in case they suspect an ethical problem or any manipulation of the publication process. The Journal follows the COPE flowchart for the following:

Handling Complaints and Appeals

The Journal of Spine Practice has a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher. Complaints should be directed first to the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief (  If the response is not satisfactory or where contacting the Editor in Chief would not be appropriate, complaints can be directed to the Ombudsperson of the Journal (