Publication Ethics

JOHA is a supporter of the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of conduct for editors. Our guidelines should be read in conjunction with this broader guidance. The ICJME requirements can be found at and the COPE's guidelines at

The role of the Editor-in-Chief encompasses setting the tone and editorial direction of the content, as well as establishing internal policies for all publications. They serve as a quality control manager, ensuring that each issue consistently adheres to established standards. Additionally, the Editor-in-Chief assumes responsibilities such as budgeting, strategic planning, and public relations (PR) duties. In cases where ethical concerns are raised regarding a submitted manuscript or a published paper, the Editor-in-Chief, in collaboration with the publisher and/or society, takes appropriate measures to address the issue. Any reported instances of unethical publishing behavior will be thoroughly investigated, even if they come to light years after the publication.
The Editor-in-Chief plays a crucial role as a frontline supervisor, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the journal. They are responsible for guiding the journal's development, establishing policies, setting standards, and defining the editorial scope. Furthermore, the Editor-in-Chief manages the entire review, editing, and publishing process. During the editorial process, the Editor assigns Editorial Board Member(s) to handle submission reviews and edits. They closely monitor the progress of each submission and provide assistance when necessary. Once the review is complete, the  Editor typically takes charge of the editing process, which includes copyediting, layout editing, and proofreading. The Editor-in-Chief also undertakes tasks such as creating journal issues, scheduling submissions for publication, organizing the Table of Contents, and overseeing the publication process. Additionally, they have the authority to restore archived submissions to the active "In Review" or "In Editing" lists.

Another portion of the Editor’s job involves hiring, training and supervising assistant editors, editorial board members, and reviewers (Please note that the editorial board members are appointed out based on the contract, availability, and performance. If their contract is expired or they are not available, e.g., to review articles based on the contract, their name will be removed without a further notice. Many members are asked to be an editorial board just to publish articles easily. This is to ensure that we are very serious in this matter).

The Editor-in-Chief holds the authority to make decisions regarding the publication of submitted papers in the journal. In evaluating manuscripts, the Editor strictly adheres to a non-discriminatory approach, disregarding factors such as the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. The decision to publish is based on key criteria, including the paper's significance, novelty, originality, clarity, as well as the validity of the study and its relevance to the scope of the journal. Moreover, the Editor takes into account the prevailing legal requirements concerning issues like libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism.
The roles of International editorial advisory board members are providing an advisory body for the Editor-in-Chief in issues related to strategic direction for JOHA, contributing editorials articles, suggesting theme(s) for special issue(s) of the journal, consolidating the journal’s international reputation, encouraging the submission of high-quality manuscripts for JOHA by personally contacting authors and assisting with outreach, and identifying reviewers to become part of JOHA's reviewer database. The international editorial advisory board has no review and editorial decision role.
The Editorial Board Members are primarily responsible for assessing manuscripts, selecting suitable reviewers who meet the journal’s requirements and recommending (initial) decisions on the basis of the peer reviewers’ reports and their own assessment while adhering to the journal’s editorial policies. The Editorial Board Members also have a role in contributing editorial articles.

Editor-in-Chief, International Editorial Advisory Board Members, and Editorial Board Members must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Editor-in-Chief,  International Editorial Advisory Board, and Editorial Board Members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.

Editor-in-Chief, International Editorial Advisory Board members, and Editorial Board Members act as ambassadors for the journal and assist the in-house editorial team in an advisory capacity as and when required.

All manuscripts received for review must be handled as confidential documents, and their content should not be disclosed to or discussed with unauthorized individuals unless explicitly authorized by the editor. Confidentiality is of utmost importance to ensure the integrity of the review process and protect the rights of the authors.

Contribution to editorial decisions
The peer-review process plays a vital role in aiding editors in their editorial decision-making and can also benefit the authors by helping them improve their paper.

If a chosen referee feels inadequate to review the research presented in a manuscript or anticipates being unable to complete the review promptly, it is important for them to promptly inform the editors and decline the invitation. This allows the editors to seek alternative reviewers who are better suited to assess the manuscript.

Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted in an objective manner, presenting observations clearly and providing supporting arguments. This approach allows authors to utilize the feedback for enhancing their manuscript. It is crucial to refrain from personal criticism of the authors, as it is deemed inappropriate within the review process.

Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers have the responsibility to identify any pertinent published work that has not been cited by the authors. Whenever a statement, observation, derivation, or argument in the manuscript under review has been previously reported in other publications, the reviewer should include the relevant citation. Additionally, if the reviewer becomes aware of substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript being reviewed and any other manuscript (whether published or unpublished) that they have personal knowledge of, it is essential to promptly notify the editors.

Disclosure and conflict of interest
Reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of privileged information or ideas acquired through the peer-review process and refrain from utilizing them for personal gain. It is crucial that reviewers avoid evaluating manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest arising from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the papers. Transparency and impartiality in the review process are paramount to uphold the integrity of scholarly evaluation.

Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgment of sources
Authors are expected to submit solely original works and duly acknowledge and reference the works and words of others. Proper citations or quotations should be provided when incorporating external sources. Additionally, publications that have played a significant role in shaping the reported work should be appropriately cited. By acknowledging and citing relevant sources, authors uphold academic integrity and demonstrate their commitment to building upon existing knowledge.

Reporting standards
Authors of original research reports have a responsibility to provide an accurate and objective account of the work conducted and its significance. The representation of underlying data should be precise and truthful in the paper. Sufficient details and references should be included to enable others to replicate the study. Engaging in fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements is considered unethical behavior and is not acceptable in scholarly publishing. Maintaining honesty, integrity, and transparency in research reporting is essential for upholding ethical standards.

Data access and retention
Authors may be requested to submit the raw data of their study along with the manuscript for editorial review, and they should be willing to make the data openly accessible if feasible. Regardless, authors should ensure that the data remains accessible to other qualified professionals for a minimum of 10 years after publication. It is preferable to store the data in an institutional or subject-based data repository or another appropriate data center. However, it is essential to protect the confidentiality of the participants and respect legal rights associated with proprietary data, which may limit its release.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
In principle, research papers that present essentially the same research should not be published in multiple journals or primary publications. Therefore, authors should refrain from submitting manuscripts for consideration that have already been published elsewhere. Concurrent submission of a manuscript to multiple journals is considered unethical publishing behavior and is not acceptable. However, there are instances where the publication of certain types of articles, such as clinical guidelines or translations, in multiple journals can be justifiable under specific conditions. In such cases, it is crucial that the authors and editors of the journals involved reach an agreement regarding the secondary publication. The secondary publication must faithfully represent the same data and interpretation as the primary document, and appropriate citation of the primary reference must be included.

Authorship of the manuscript
Only individuals who meet the specified authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the manuscript, as they must be capable of taking public responsibility for its content. These criteria include: (i) Making significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; (ii) Drafting the manuscript or critically revising it for important intellectual content; (iii) Reviewing and approving the final version of the paper and consenting to its submission for publication. Individuals who have contributed substantially to the work reported in the manuscript but do not fulfill all the authorship criteria should not be listed as authors. However, their contributions should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgments" section after obtaining their written permission to be named. The corresponding author holds the responsibility of ensuring that the author list includes all appropriate coauthors as defined above and excludes any inappropriate coauthors. The corresponding author must also verify that all coauthors have reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. In addition, JOHA assesses authorship based on the author's declaration as stated in the Title Page. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the authors to provide the final order of the complete author names. Requests to modify the authorship, such as adding or removing authors or changing the order, after the submission of the manuscript will be subject to editorial approval. Editorial Board will investigate this kind of cases and act following COPE flowcharts.

Requests for changes in authorship should be submitted to the Editorial Office through an official letter, clearly stating the reasons for the requested change. The letter must be signed by all authors involved and should explicitly indicate their consent to the proposed alteration in authorship.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Each author is required to provide a statement disclosing any financial or substantive conflicts of interest that could potentially influence the findings or interpretation of their manuscript. Additionally, all sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Transparency regarding conflicts of interest and funding sources helps maintain the integrity and credibility of the manuscript.

Fundamental errors in published works
In the event that an author identifies a significant error or inaccuracy in their published work, it is their responsibility to promptly inform the journal editor or publisher. The author should cooperate with the editor in order to issue a retraction, correction, or erratum, ensuring that the necessary steps are taken to rectify the mistake. Open communication and collaboration between the author and the journal are vital to maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the published work.

Hazards and human or animal subjects
In cases where the research involves chemicals, procedures, or equipment with inherent unusual hazards, it is essential for authors to clearly identify and describe these aspects in the manuscript. If the study involves the use of animals or human participants, authors must ensure that all procedures were conducted in accordance with applicable laws and institutional guidelines, and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) have provided approval. The manuscript should include a statement affirming compliance with these guidelines. Authors should also explicitly state in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained from human participants who were involved in the experimentation. Respecting the privacy rights of human participants is of utmost importance and should always be upheld.

Peer review
Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions required" or "resubmit", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Decalaration of the use of AI in scientific writing
If authors decide to use generative AI and AI-assisted technologies during the writing process, they should only do so to enhance the work's readability and language. The use of these technologies should be supervised and controlled by humans, and authors must carefully review and edit the output because it can be incomplete, incorrect, or biased. Ultimately, the authors are responsible and accountable for the content of their work. To disclose the use of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, authors must add a statement to the end of their manuscript in a new section titled "Declaration of Generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process" before the References list. Check the policy here

Handling of unethical publishing behavior
In cases involving alleged or substantiated scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication, or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, is committed to taking appropriate actions to address the situation and rectify the affected article. These measures may include the timely publication of an erratum, clarification, or, in severe cases, the retraction of the implicated work. The publisher, in conjunction with the editors, will make reasonable efforts to identify and prevent the publication of papers associated with research misconduct, and will not, under any circumstances, encourage or knowingly permit such misconduct to occur. Furthermore, it is important to minimize endogeneity within JOHA. The journal aims to ensure that the proportion of published papers, within the latest two issues, where at least one of the authors is an editor, editorial board member, reviewer, or affiliated with the journal's institution, does not exceed 20%. This criterion is based on the research content of the latest two issues (According to DOAJ criteria).

Access to journal content
The publisher is dedicated to ensuring the long-term availability and preservation of scholarly research. To achieve this, partnerships with reputable organizations are established, and the publisher maintains its own digital archive. These efforts are undertaken to ensure the ongoing accessibility of valuable scholarly resources.

The Journal Manager assumes responsibility for overseeing all aspects of production, ensuring that articles are typeset, corrected, and published in a timely manner. Throughout the production process, the Journal Manager provides valuable support and assistance. Additionally, the Journal Manager is responsible for enrolling Editors, Editorial Board Members, Copyeditors, Layout Editors, Proofreaders, Authors, and Reviewers. They possess access to various management features of the journal, enabling them to create new sections, establish review forms, edit default emails, manage reading tools, and view statistics and reports.