Chapter 1. General Provisions
Article 1. Definition of Research Ethics
Research ethics refers to a responsible research attitude in which a researcher uses resources efficiently in conducting research and reports the obtained research results clearly and honestly.
Article 2. Purpose of Research Ethics Regulations
The purpose of these regulations is to deter members of the Health Functional Food Future Forum (hereinafter referred to as the “Forum”) as well as contributors to the Forum’s official journal 'Food Supplements and Biomaterials for Health (FSBH),' and any of the Forum's publications, from committing research misconduct and to ensure the adherence to research ethics principles."
Article 3. Subjects to whom the Regulations shall be applicable
The Regulations shall be applicable to individuals who have been duly registered as members of the "Forum," as well as to those individuals who contribute to publications disseminated by the “Forum”, including the FSBH.
Chapter 2. Obligations to Be Adhered to in the Conduct of Research
Article 4. Ethical Conduct of Researchers and Evaluators
Those individuals responsible for conducting research shall adhere to the principles of transparency and honesty in the conduct of experiments, and those entrusted with the evaluation and review of research findings shall objectively assess them without compromising their ethical integrity.
Article 5. Data Handling
- 5.1. Researchers are mandated to secure explicit consent from their peers prior to accessing and utilizing the data belonging to the peers.
- 5.2. Researchers are obligated to retain their data for a predetermined duration, facilitate data disclosure, and extend permission for the utilization of said data by third parties in adherence to stipulated regulations.
Article 6. Dissemination of Research Findings
Dissemination of obtained findings shall be conveyed in a truthful, precise, and impartial manner with the intention of aiding fellow researchers in their scholarly pursuits.
Article 7. Possession of Copyright
In principle, the copyright pertaining to articles published in FSBH or all publications of the “Forum” shall be ordinarily given to the authors of said articles. Nevertheless, the “Forum”, serving as the disseminator of the journal and academic conference presentations, retains the right to employ said outcomes for the cause of public interests, notably those aligned with educational endeavors.
Article 8. Documentation of Authors and Their Affiliations
- 8.1. When documenting authors in a paper, the order shall be determined by their respective contributions to the study, accompanied by a clear elucidation of the guiding principles for said order.
- 8.2. In principle, the author's affiliation should be indicated at the time of conducting the research. Nonetheless, in domains where divergent conventions are prevalent, adherence to those established practices is permissible.
Article 9. Duties of the Corresponding Author
The designated corresponding author shall act as the representative of fellow authors and bear the duty of ensuring the precision of the data, endorsing the ultimate manuscript draft by amalgamating the viewpoints of all authors, and addressing all inquiries after publication. It is imperative for the corresponding author to recognize that any errors or omissions in the manuscript may have repercussions not only on his own career but also on the careers of his fellow authors.
Article 10. Guidelines for Referencing
- 10.1. Within their writings, authors are permitted to reference a segment of another individual's work in its unaltered state while providing clear attribution to the source.
- 10.2. When an author references the work of another scientist, it is obligatory to provide the identity of the author(s), the name of the journal or title of the book, and precise details for proper identification. In the case of referencing an academic journal, comprehensive information comprising the title of the study, publication year, volume, issue number, and specific page numbers must be provided. In instances where a book is referenced, the name(s) of the author(s) or editor(s), title of the chapter, the publication year, page number, and the publisher's details must be accurately furnished.
Chapter 3. Research Misconduct
Article 11. Definition of Misconduct
Research misconduct refers to unethical or dishonest behavior in the conduct of research. Research misconduct can undermine the integrity and credibility of scientific and scholarly work and can have serious consequences for individuals and the broader scientific community. Research misconduct typically includes the following actions:
- 1. Fabrication: Creating false data, results, or information that did not exist and presenting them as genuine research findings.
- 2. Falsification: Manipulating or altering data, images, or other research materials to misrepresent or distort the actual results or findings.
- 3. Plagiarism: Presenting someone else's ideas, words, or work as one's own without proper attribution or citation, whether in written or oral form.
- 4. Duplicate publication: Submitting the same research work, or substantial portions of it, to multiple journals or conferences without proper disclosure.
- 5. Authorship disputes: Falsely claiming authorship or denying rightful authorship to individuals who have made significant contributions to the research.
Article 12. Types of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is classified into “idea plagiarism” using other person’s idea without his or her permission, “text plagiarism”, copying apart from other persons’ text without citing the source and “mosaic plagiarism”, combining a part of a text with a few words added, inserted, or replaced with synonyms, and others.
Article 13. Fairness in Referencing
- 13.1. Cited references shall only include the references directly related to the contents of his/her paper.
- 13.2. The author shall not deliberately include irrelevant references for the purpose of intentionally increasing citation numbers of certain articles, citation index of certain journals or probability of acceptance of his/her manuscript for publication.
- 13.3. The author is obligated to refrain from selectively including references that exclusively support the data or theories of his/her articles. The author bears an ethical duty to cite references that oppose his/her point of view.
Article 14. Undesirable Research Conducts
The following actions shall be avoided:
- 1. Including an individual who lacks contribution to the article as an author.
- 2. Dividing research findings solely to augment the quantity of publications.
- 3. Prematurely disclosing preliminary research outcomes without adequate review.
Article 15. Ethics in research on humans or animals
- 15.1. In the case of submission of a manuscript involving human research, the author is required to declare that the study has received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and has obtained informed consent from the participants. This declaration should include the IRB approval number, and a copy of the IRB approval must be submitted.
- 15.2. In the instance of a manuscript involving animal research, the author must disclose that the study has been approval by the Animal Experiment Ethics Review Committee, and this declaration should include the approval number.
Chapter 4. Ethical Standards in the Review of Manuscripts
Article 16. Duties and Responsibilities of Reviewers
- 16.1. Reviewers are obligated to diligently assess the manuscript and deliver their evaluation findings to the editorial board within the specified deadline as stipulated by the Regulations.
- 16.2. When reviewers determine that they are not suitable to assess the requested manuscript, they shall promptly notify the editorial board of their intent and return the manuscript to the board.
- 16.3. In assessing a manuscript, reviewers are required to impartially assess the paper's theoretical foundation, experimental methodology, data analysis, and related aspects in accordance with rigorous scientific criteria. Reviewers must substantiate their evaluations.
- 16.4. Reviewers shall ascertain whether the author has committed any inaccuracies in citing references or possesses a potential conflict of interest.
- 16.5. Reviewers shall uphold the principle of safeguarding the author's intellectual autonomy and are prohibited from disclosing or employing the content, reasoning, or explanations within the manuscript unless authorized by the author.
Article 17. Unethical Conducts of Reviewers
In the interest of ensuring a fair evaluation process and upholding the confidentiality of assessments, reviewers are strictly prohibited from engaging in the following unethical behaviors:
- 1. Soliciting third-party evaluations of the manuscript.
- 2. Disclosing the content of the manuscript under review to colleagues.
- 3. Retaining a copy of the manuscript after completing the evaluation.
- 4. Employing language of defamation or personal attacks while evaluating the manuscript.
- 5. Assessing the manuscript without thoroughly reading its contents.
Chapter 5. Enactment of the Research Ethics Regulations
Article 18. Applicability of the Regulations
- 18.1. Individuals joining the "Forum" as members are hereby mandated to acknowledge the impropriety of engaging in research misconduct and adhere to the stipulations outlined within the Ethics Regulations.
- 18.2. The Ethics Regulations shall be applicable to individuals who submit articles to FSBH, and to all publications disseminated by the "Forum," irrespective of their membership status within the "Forum”.
Article 19. Duty to Adhere to the Research Ethics Regulations
If a member within the "Forum" engages in research misconduct, it is incumbent upon fellow members to apprise said individual of the existence of the Ethics Regulations. Should the misconduct persist without correction, an immediate report to the Ethics Committee is obligatory.
Chapter 6. The Research Ethics Committee
Article 20. Purpose and Composition of the Committee
- 20.1. The purpose of the Ethics Committee is to enforce the Ethics Regulations.
- 20.2. The Ethics Committee is constituted with approximately 7 individuals, including a chairperson, vice-chairperson, committee members, and a secretary. The chairperson holds the position of Chairperson within the "Forum", the vice-chairperson assumes the role of Chairperson of the Steering Committee within the "Forum", and committee members are designated by the Chairperson of the "Forum" based on recommendations put forth by the Editor-in-Chief of FSBH. The appointment of the secretary, however, is drawn from the pool of Editorial Board members within FSBH.
Article 21. Authority of the Ethics Committee
- 21.1. The Ethics Committee shall have the power to accept reports concerning suspicions of research impropriety and to carry out inquiries into such reported incidents.
- 21.2. The Ethics Committee shall conduct a comprehensive inquiry into reported incidents, utilizing informants, subjects of inquiry, witnesses, references, and evidentiary materials. Should a breach be substantiated, disciplinary measures may be taken within the scope set by these regulations.
Article 22. Procedure of Investigation for Misconduct
- 22.1. The investigation of unethical conduct shall undergo a three-stage process comprising preliminary inquiry, investigation, and judgement, with the obligation to complete the process
within a period of six months. Nonetheless, in cases where it is deemed impracticable to complete the investigation within this timeframe, the chairperson holds the authority to extend the investigation period.
- 22.2. If the informant or the subject of inquiry expresses dissatisfaction with the judgement, they shall have the right to submit a written objection within 30 days from the date of receiving the judgment. The Ethics Committee shall review the objection and, if deemed necessary, initiate reinvestigation.
Article 23. Actions Following the Confirmation of Misconduct
Upon confirmation of misconduct, the subsequent punitive measures shall be implemented as follows:
- 1. Removal of research results generated by the individual of inquiry from the FSBH, conference records, and online platforms.
- 2. Prohibition of submitting manuscripts for a duration not exceeding five years.
- 3. Suspension or withdrawal of membership for a period not exceeding five years.
- 4. Dissemination of these actions to the affiliated institution of the individual involved, as well as to the academic journal.
Article 24. Protection of Informant and Subject of Inquiry
- 24.1. The Ethics Committee is obligated to safeguard informants and subject of inquiry during an investigative process, ensuring they are not subjected to any unfair disadvantages or undue pressure.
- 24.2. Both the informant and the subject of inquiry possess the right to request information regarding the investigation procedures and subsequent timeline. The Ethics Committee is obligated to diligently uphold this request."
- 24.3. The Ethics Committee must not disclose the identity of the informant and the subject of inquiry to the outside until the final decision of the Misconduct Committee is made.
Article 25. Modification of the Ethics Regulations
- 25.1: If modifications of the Regulations are deemed necessary, the Editorial Board shall prepare a draft for revision, followed by a deliberation process by the Standing Committee of the "Forum." Ultimately, the decision to enact the revision shall be made by the Standing Committee.
- 25.2. Members who pledged to comply with the existing Regulations are considered to pledge to comply with the revised Regulations, obviating the need for a distinct reaffirmation.
Article 1 (Effectiveness). The Regulations shall come into effect on February 1, 2024.