Codice etico/Ethical Code

Codice etico
Basandosi Noctua sulle linee guida dell’International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), del Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), e dell’IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), si rinvia alla versione inglese.

Ethical code
Noctua adheres to the ethical guidelines for journal publications put forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
The present guidelines are adapted from the
• ICMJE website: (accessed 5 August 2023);
• COPE website: (accessed 5 August 2023);
• IEEE website: (accessed 5 August 2023).

I. Authorship
1. Who is an author?
Authorship is based on the following four criteria:
1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
2) drafting the work or reviewing it critically for important intellectual content; and
3) final approval of the version to be published; and
4) 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.
In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.
All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should nonetheless be acknowledged in the submitted articles (see below). These authorship criteria are intended to reserve the status of authorship for those who deserve credit and can take responsibility for the work. The criteria are not intended for use as a means to disqualify colleagues from authorship who otherwise meet authorship criteria by denying them the opportunity to meet criterion #s 2 or 3. Therefore, all individuals who meet the first criterion should have the opportunity to participate in the review, drafting, and final approval of the manuscript.
The individuals who conduct the work are responsible for identifying who meets these criteria and ideally should do so when planning the work, making modifications as appropriate as the work progresses. We encourage collaboration and co-authorship with colleagues in the locations where the research is conducted. It is the collective responsibility of the authors, not the journal to which the work is submitted, to determine that all people named as authors meet all four criteria; it is not the role of journal editors to determine who qualifies or does not qualify for authorship or to arbitrate authorship conflicts. If agreement cannot be reached about who qualifies for authorship, the institution(s) where the work was performed, not the journal editor, should be asked to investigate. The criteria used to determine the order in which authors are listed on the byline may vary, and are to be decided collectively by the author group and not by editors. If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission or publication, journal editors should seek an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.
2. The corresponding author
The corresponding author is the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer-review, and publication process. The corresponding author typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and disclosures of relationships and activities are properly completed and reported, although these duties may be delegated to one or more co-authors. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer-review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.
When a large multi-author group has conducted the work, the group ideally should decide who will be an author before the work is started and confirm who is an author before submitting the manuscript for publication. All members of the group named as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, including approval of the final manuscript, and they should be able to take public responsibility for the work and should have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of other group authors. They will also be expected as individuals to complete disclosure forms.
Some large multi-author groups designate authorship by a group name, with or without the names of individuals. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should specify the group name if one exists, and clearly identify the group members who can take credit and responsibility for the work as authors.
3. Non-author contributors
Contributors who meet fewer than all four of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. ‘Investigators’ or ‘Participating Investigators’), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., ‘served as scientific advisors’, ‘critically reviewed the study proposal’, ‘collected data’, ‘participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript’).
Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, Noctua may require that the corresponding author obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.
4. Artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology
At submission, Noctua may require authors to disclose whether they used artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in the production of submitted work. Authors who use such technology should describe, in both the cover letter and the submitted work, how they used it. Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work, and these responsibilities are required for authorship. Therefore, humans are responsible for any submitted material that included the use of AI-assisted technologies. Authors should carefully review and edit the result because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased. Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author. Authors should be able to assert that there is no plagiarism in their paper, including in text and images produced by the AI. Humans must ensure there is appropriate attribution of all quoted material, including full citations.

II. Disclosure of financial and non-financial relationships and activities, and conflicts of interest
1. Authors
When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work.
2. Peer reviewers
Reviewers are asked at the time they are asked to critique a manuscript if they have relationships or activities that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they are reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
3. Editors and journal staff
Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with a current description of their relationships or activities (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which an interest that poses a potential conflict exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Guest editors should follow these same procedures.
4. Reporting relationships and activities
If necessary, articles will be published with statements or supporting documents, declaring:
• authors’ relationships and activities; and
• sources of support for the work, including sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources if any in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; any restrictions regarding the submission of the report for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement or restrictions regarding publication; and
• whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is on-going.
Editors may request that authors of a study sponsored by a funder with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as “I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.”

III. Corrections, republications and version control
Honest errors are a part of science and publishing and require publication of a correction when they are detected. If a correction is needed, Noctua follows these standards:
• the journal will publish a correction notice as soon as possible detailing changes from and citing the original publication; the correction should be on an electronic page that is included in an electronic table of contents to ensure proper indexing.
• Depending on the extent of the corrections, the journal will also post a new article version with details of the changes from the original version and the date(s) on which the changes were made.
Noctua will archive all prior versions of the article.
• Previous electronic versions will prominently note that there are more recent versions of the article.

IV. Scientific misconduct, expressions of concern, and retraction
Scientific misconduct in research and non-research publications includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images; purposeful failure to disclose relationships and activities; and plagiarism. When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in submitted or published papers, the editors will initiate appropriate procedures detailed by such committees as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE:, accessed 5 August 2023), consider informing the institutions and funders, and may choose to publish an expression of concern pending the outcomes of those procedures. If the procedures involve an investigation at the authors’ institution, the editors will seek to discover the outcome of that investigation, notify readers of the outcome if appropriate, and if the investigation proves scientific misconduct, publish a retraction of the article. There may be circumstances in which no misconduct is proven, but an exchange of letters to the editor could be published to highlight matters of debate to readers.
Expressions of concern and retractions by the authors and/or the editors will be prominently labelled, appear on an electronic page that is included in an electronic table of contents to ensure proper indexing, and include in their heading the title of the original article. The retraction and original article will be linked in both directions and the retracted article will be clearly labelled as retracted in all its forms (abstract, full text, PDF). Ideally, the authors of the retraction should be the same as those of the article, but if they are unwilling or unable the editors may under certain circumstances accept retractions by other responsible persons, or the editor may be the sole author of the retraction or expression of concern. The text of the retraction will explain why the article is being retracted and include a complete citation reference to that article. Retracted articles will remain in the public domain and be clearly labelled as retracted.
The validity of previous work by the author of a fraudulent paper cannot be assumed. Editors may ask the author’s institution to assure them of the validity of other work published in their journals, or they may retract it. If this is not done, editors may choose to publish an announcement expressing concern that the validity of previously published work is uncertain.
The integrity of research may also be compromised by inappropriate methodology that could lead to retraction.

V. Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s prior ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct, with potentially severe ethical and legal consequences. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, (a) uncredited copying of someone else’s work, (b) using someone else’s material without clear delineation or citation, and (c) uncited reuse of an author’s previously published work that also involves other authors.
Noctua routinely checks all incoming manuscripts for plagiarism with Turnitin.

VI. Overlapping publications
1. Duplicate submission
Authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously to more than one journal. The rationale for this standard is the potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish a manuscript that has been submitted simultaneously to more than one journal, and the possibility that two or more journals will unknowingly and unnecessarily undertake the work of peer review, edit the same manuscript, and publish the same article.
2. Duplicate and prior publication
Duplicate publication is publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published, without clear, visible reference to the previous publication. Prior publication may include release of information in the public domain.
Readers deserve to be able to trust that what they are reading is original unless there is a clear statement that the author and editor are intentionally republishing an article (which might be considered for historic or landmark papers, for example). The bases of this position are international copyright laws, ethical conduct, and cost-effective use of resources. Duplicate publication of original research is particularly problematic because it can result in inadvertent double-counting of data or inappropriate weighting of the results of a single study, which distorts the available evidence.
When authors submit a manuscript reporting work that has already been reported in large part in a published article or is contained in or closely related to another paper that has been submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere, the letter of submission should clearly say so and the authors should provide copies of the related material to help the editors decide how to handle the submission. Authors who attempt duplicate publication without such notification should expect prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript. If the editor was not aware of the violations and the article has already been published, then the article might warrant retraction with or without the author’s explanation or approval.
Authors who choose to post their work on a preprint server should choose one that clearly identifies preprints as not peer-reviewed work and includes disclosures of authors’ relationships and activities. It is the author’s responsibility to inform the journal if the work has been previously posted on a preprint server. In addition, it is the author’s (and not journal editors’) responsibility to ensure that preprints are amended to point readers to subsequent versions, including the final published article.
Sharing with public media, government agencies, or manufacturers the scientific information described in a paper that has been accepted but not yet published violates the policies of many journals, but not of Noctua.
3. Preprints
To maximize potential benefits and minimize potential harms, authors who wish to make preprints of non–peer-reviewed work publicly available should choose preprint archives that have the following characteristics:
• clearly identify preprints as work that is not peer reviewed;
• require authors to document disclosures of interest;
• require authors to indicate funding source(s);
• gave a clear process for preprint archive users to notify archive administrators about concerns related to posted preprints—a public commenting feature is desirable for this purpose;
• maintain metadata for preprints that are withdrawn from posting and post withdrawal notices indicating the timing and reason for withdrawal of a preprint; and
Have a mechanism for authors to indicate when the preprint article has been subsequently published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Authors should inform the journal if the work submitted to it has been posted on a preprint server and provide a link to the preprint, whether the posting occurs prior to submission or during the peer-review process. It is also helpful to indicate in the text of the manuscript, perhaps in the introduction, that a preprint is available and how reviewers can access that preprint. In addition, it is the authors’ (and not the journal editors’) responsibility to ensure that preprints are amended to point readers to subsequent versions of the work, including the published article.
When preprints are cited in submitted manuscripts or published articles, the citation should clearly indicate that the reference is a preprint. When a preprint article has been subsequently published in a peer-reviewed journal, authors should cite the subsequent published article rather than the preprint article whenever appropriate.
4. Acceptable secondary publication
Secondary publication of material published in other journals or online may be justifiable and beneficial, especially when intended to disseminate important information to the widest possible audience (e.g., guidelines produced by government agencies and professional organizations in the same or a different language). Secondary publication for various other reasons may also be justifiable provided the following conditions are met:
• the authors have received approval from the editors of both journals (the editor concerned with secondary publication must have access to the primary version).
The priority of the primary publication is respected by a publication interval negotiated by both editors with the authors.
• The paper for secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; an abbreviated version could be sufficient.
• The secondary version faithfully reflects the authors, data, and interpretations of the primary version.
• The secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper has been published in whole or in part elsewhere.
• The title of the secondary publication should indicate that it is a secondary publication (complete or abridged republication or translation) of a primary publication.