Misconduct Handling Policy

FMCH is aware of the potential impact an allegation of ethical misconduct can have upon a researcher’s career. All allegations of ethical misconduct are taken seriously, and a full investigation will take place.

  • The Editor-in-Chief should always be the first point of contact, and will seek clarification from all affected parties, in accordance with COPE
  • Where the allegation is made against the Editor-in-Chief, this should be sent to the Publisher for further investigation.
  • If FMCH is approached by a third party with an allegation of plagiarism, the Editor-in-Chief will always seek a response from the original author(s) or copyright holder(s) before a recommendation is made.
  • The Editor-in-Chief will adhere to COPE flowcharts, and will not be influenced by other parties. Any decisions made will be formed in an unbiased and objective manner. At all times, the Editor-in-Chief will remain neutral in tone, acting with integrity, and educating where possible.
  • The Publisher is not obliged to discuss individual cases of alleged plagiarism with third parties.
  • The Publisher reserves the right not to proceed with a case if the complainant presents a false name or affiliation, or acts in an inappropriate or threatening manner towards the journals editors and staff.

Please refer to the guidelines below and COPE flowcharts for the processes that the journal follows in cases of alleged plagiarism in submitted or published articles.


FMCH welcomes submissions which are original, not under consideration by any other publication at the same time, and which contribute to the existing body of knowledge. All authors should be aware of the importance of presenting content that is based on their own research and expressed in their own words. Plagiarism is bad practice and unethical.

The following types of ethical misconduct should be avoided:

Verbatim copying

Verbatim copying of significant passages, or streams of text of another person’s work without acknowledgement, references or the use of quotation marks.


Improper paraphrasing of another person’s work is where sentences within a paragraph or a section of text has been rearranged without appropriate attribution. Significant improper paraphrasing without appropriate attribution is treated as seriously as verbatim copying.

Re-using parts of a work without attribution

Reuse of elements of another person’s work, for example a figure, table or paragraphs, without acknowledgement, references or the use of quotation marks. It is incumbent on the author to obtain the necessary permission to reuse elements of another person’s work from the copyright holder.

Self plagiarism

FMCH requires that all authors sign a copyright form that clearly states that their submitted work has not been published before. If elements of a work have been previously published in another publication, the author is required to acknowledge the earlier work and indicate how the subsequent work differs and builds upon the research and conclusions contained in the previous work. Verbatim copying of an author’s own work and paraphrasing is not acceptable, and we recommend that research should only be reused to support new conclusions. Authors should cite all previous stages of publication and presentation of their ideas, that have culminated in the final work, including conference papers, workshop presentations and listserv communications. This will ensure that a complete record of all communication relating to the work is documented.

Republication of original work

Exceptions to the publication of original work includes conference papers, archival papers that are republished in an anniversary or commemorative issue, papers that are of particular merit and that have received only limited circulation (for example through a company newsletter). These papers are republished at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. The original work should be fully and correctly attributed and permission from the appropriate copyright holder obtained.