Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Medical Ethics Journal is published Quarterly by Medical Ethics and Law Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Persian with English abstracts. 

The Journal publishes Original Papers, Review Articles, Systematic Review Articles, Case Reports, Short Communications and Letters to the Editor. Contents include peer-reviewed research papers covering different aspects of Medical Ethics. This journal has successfully published 36 issues (approximately more than 250 articles in total) since 2007 about medical ethics, bioethics, research ethics, nursing ethics, midwifery ethics, spiritual health and related topics.

It is an open access journal, with free access for each visitor (http://journals.sbmu.ac.ir/en-me); meanwhile we have set up a robust online platform and use an online submission system to ensure the international visibility and the rigid peer review process.

The journal staff is committed to a quick turnaround time both in regards to peer-review and time to publication.


Section Policies


Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Letter to Editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Original/Research Article

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Review Article

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Brief Report

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case Repot

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

General information

We ask authors and peer-reviewers to submit their articles and reports via our secure online system. There is an online help guide to assist in using this system, and a helpdesk email account for any technical problems.

Editorial decisions

Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them, we must weigh the claims of each paper against the many others also under consideration.

Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which a decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.

Double blind peer review

Medical Ethics Journal offers a double-blind peer review option. Neither the peer reviewers nor the authors are revealed to each other. Authors may suggest preferred and non-preferred reviewers during manuscript submission. However, the ultimate selection of the reviewers will be determined by the editor(s).

We ask reviewers not to identify themselves to authors while the manuscript is under consideration without the editor's knowledge. If this is not practicable, we ask authors to inform the editor as soon as possible after a reviewer has revealed his or her identity to the author.

Peer review process

The peer-review process is the main mechanism for ensuring the quality of published articles. To this end, the submitted articles are rigorously peer-reviewed to ensure the high quality submissions are accepted and published. The decision to accept a manuscript is not based solely on the scientific validity and originality of the study content; other factors are considered, including the level of innovation, extent and importance of new information in the paper as compared with that in other papers being considered, the Journal's need to represent a wide range of topics, and the overall suitability for Journal. Peer review process is follow as below mention steps:

  1. At first, editor(s) acts as a first filter by evaluating each manuscript for novelty, interest for our readers and chances to compete in peer review. Yet the process avoids futile cycles of review for manuscripts that are better suited for a more specialized journal, saving time for authors and reviewers. Modifications/corrections may be requested from the authors at this stage before starting the peer review.
  2. In the second step, editors select typically two reviewers, experts in the topic. Often, we also include one expert for statistics or a particular technique. peer reviewers will make suggestions to the editor(s).
  3. The authors can monitor the progress of the manuscript throughout the review process in his/her profile.
  4. Submitted manuscripts will be rendered one of the following decisions: Accept Submissin: The submission will be accepted without revisions. Revisions Requierd: The submission will be accepted after minor changes have been made. Resubmit for Review: The submission needs to be re-worked, but with significant changes, may be accepted. It will require a second round of review, however. Decline Submission: The submission will not be published with the journal.
  5. If the author(s) believe that the journal has rejected their article in error, perhaps because the reviewers have misunderstood its scientific content, an appeal may be submitted by e-mail to the editorial office (journal's email). However, appeals are ineffective in most cases and are discouraged.

Editing referees' reports

As a matter of policy, we do not suppress reviewers' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On rare occasions, we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments that reveal confidential information about other matters. We ask reviewers to avoid statements that may cause needless offence; conversely, we strongly encourage reviewers to state plainly their opinion of a paper.


Medical Ethics Journal is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the scientific community as a whole. We therefore ask reviewers to respond promptly within the number of days agreed. If reviewers anticipate a longer delay than previously expected, we ask them to let us know so that we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternatives.


Publication Frequency

Medical Ethics Journal, which benefits from an international editorial board, is published Quarterly by Medical Ethics and Law Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.



Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Ethical Consideration

Ethics and security

Medical Ethics Journal editor may seek advice about submitted papers on any aspect of a paper that raises concerns, for example, ethical issues or issues of data or materials access. It is important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, etc. All research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.

Authorship and Author’s Responsibility

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest statements, are properly completed. The corresponding author should respond to editorial queries throughout the submission and peer review process in a timely manner, and should cooperate with any requests from the journal after publication.

This journal does not allow adding authors or changing the first or the corresponding authors after the final acceptance of the article. If any author wishes to be removed from the byline, he or she should submit a letter signed by the author, as well as all other authors, indicating his or her wish to be deleted from the list of authors. Any change in the name order in the byline requires a letter signed by all authors indicting agreement with the same.

Conflict of Interest

Authors are required to disclose all relationships or interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘Conflict of Interest’ section at the end of the manuscript listing all financial and non-financial conflict of interests. Where authors have no conflict of interests, the statement should read “The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.” A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations.

 Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the article. Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Research grants from funding agencies (The research funder and the grant number are required)
  • Financial support for educational programs
  • Employment or consultation
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships
  • Financial relationships, for example Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future.
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work

In addition, non-financial interests that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests.

Editors may ask for further information relating to competing interests. Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.

Human and animal rights

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, should include a statement that the studies performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by an appropriate ethics committee. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.

Also, the welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists).

This journal encourages authors submitting manuscripts reporting from a clinical trial to register the trials registries & bear a clinical trial registration number and name of the trial. Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT statement (Moher D, Schulz KF, Altman DG: The CONSORT Statement: Revised Recommendations for Improving the Quality of Reports of Parallel-Group Randomized Trials).

Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, Editors may contact the ethics committee for further information.


Informed consent

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants. For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants. A statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian if the participant is incapable) gave written informed consent for publication. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Editor.

Originality and Duplicate Publication

Manuscripts under review or published by other journals will not be accepted for publication in this journal, and articles published in this journal are not allowed to be reproduced in whole or in part in any type of publication without permission of the Editorial Board in English, Persian or any other language. Figures and tables can be used freely if original source is verified according to Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. It is mandatory for all authors to resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open access.

Process to Manage Research and Publication Misconduct

The editorial board will incessantly work towards observing publication misconduct such as redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflict of interest, ethical problem with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, complaints against editors, and etc. When the journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct, the resolving process will be followed by guidelines provided by the "Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)". The complete guidelines appear on COPE website: http://www.publicationethics.org.uk.



We accept all terms and conditions of COPE about plagiarism and in case, any attempt of plagiarism is brought to our attention accompanied with convincing evidence, we act based on flowcharts and workflows determined in COPE.


New Guidelines For Authors

To improve success rate of publishing articles, authors can have a look at these checklists which will be considered as a checklist by Reviewers in the review process.

GENERALChecklist for all types of studies

Download Word File


Checklist of items that should be included in reports of cross-sectional studies 

Download Word File

Checklist of items that should be included in reports of case-control studies

Download Word File

Checklist of items that should be included in reports of cohort studies

Download Word File

Checklist of items that should be included in reports of observational studies

Download Word File
CONSORTChecklist of information to include when reporting a randomised trial
Download Word File

Transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Download Word File


Checklist for reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy

Download Word File

Non-randomised evaluations of behavioural and public health interventions

Download Word File

Checklist for Tumour marker prognostic studies

Download Word File

Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research: a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups

Download Word File


Copy Right Form


Open Access Statement

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Advertising Policy

This journal accepts related advertisements to be introduced in journal website and/or prints.

In order to find out more you can contact us via the e-mail address presented in homepage or the support button.


Authorship According to ICMJE

The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  3. Final approval of the version published.
  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 he or she has 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 coauthors. 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 be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the gathering of data, technical help, writing assistance, and general supervision of the research group does not warrant authorship. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Please guarantee that anyone stated in the Acknowledgements section has granted its clearance for permission to be listed.

Authorship Statement

An authorship statement is required for every manuscript submitted and should state who has contributed what to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article.


Recognize individuals who provided assistance to the project. Report all sources of grant and other support for the project or study, including funds received from contributors, institutions and commercial sources. Consultancies and funds paid directly to investigators must also be listed.

Authorship Changes

Any change in authorship (i.e., order, addition, and deletion of authors) after initial submission must be approved by all authors. Authors should determine the order of authorship among themselves. In addition, any alterations must be clarified to the Editor/Editor-in-chief.

A sample of Agreement form of change in Authorship can be found HERE.

Competing Interests

A competing interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain - employment, Consultancy, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert- testimony or personal relationship). There is nothing unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and clearly stated. All authors must declare all competing interests in their covering letter and in “Competing Interests” section at the end of the manuscript file (before the references). Authors with no competing interests to declare should obviously state that.

The policy of publisher is that none of the editors should have any financial relationship with any Biomedical company.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

All the required information can be found on the web site and most of your questions will be answered in the links provided in the “quick access” side bar on the left side of the page. However, frequently asked questions are listed and answered in this section. If you cannot find the answer to your question on the web site and in the FAQ page, please feel free to contact us.

How can I become a member?

You may go to the “register” tab and fill the form, then click  at the end of the page to complete your registration. A welcome email will be sent to you immediately.

I have forgotten my password, what should I do?

Please go to the login page and click on “forgot your password?” link. A page will open, you should enter the email with which you have registered on the site and press , an email will be sent to you. Follow the instructions in the email to reset your password.

How do I submit my manuscript?

You need to be a member to be able to submit a manuscript. After making sure that you have prepared your manuscript according to guidelines of the journal, please log on to the web site using your username and password. In your user home page click on “new submission” on the right side of the screen.

I have logged in but there is no “new submission” link in my user home, what should I do?

Click on the “edit my profile” link provided in your user home. Scroll down to the part that shows your roles in the journal. Check the box next to your author role. Now click save at the end of the page. You will be redirected to your user home and will find the new submission link there.

I have been asked to revise my manuscript, how much time do I have?

Authors are asked to submit their revised manuscripts within 2 weeks of receiving the request.

Where should I submit my revised manuscript?

You should log in with your username and password, in your author role you will find a table containing information of your active submission(s). For uploading your revised version (author version) click on the status of your manuscript on the last column of the table. You may browse and upload your revised manuscript in the space provided for this purpose at the bottom of the page that opens.

I have uploaded my revised manuscript but the status of my submission has not changed, what should I do?

The status of your submission will not change after submitting the revised version. However, if you have uploaded the revised manuscript properly (please make sure you click upload after browsing the file), it will be sent to the reviewers. If there is a need for further revision, you will be notified by email.

What is the aim and scope of this journal?

The journal publishes articles on medical ethics, bioethics, research ethics, nursing ethics, midwifery ethics, spiritual health, health policy and ethics, and other related topics.

How frequently is this journal published?

This journal is published quarterly.

How can I become a reviewer for this journal?

Please tick the box next to your reviewer role upon registration. If you are already registered, log in and go to your user home. Click on the “edit my profile” link provided in your user home. Scroll down to the part that shows your roles in the journal. Check the box next to your reviewer role. Now click save at the end of the page.

I have been asked to peer-review an article, what should I do?

The link to the article is provided in your invitation email, all you have to do is click on the link, accept the invitation to review and follow the steps provided on the page and here. If you cannot find the email, you may log in and go to your user home and click on the article title to accept the invitation and carry on with the review process.

Does the journal accept advertisements?

Online advertising will be accepted. For further information please contact us


Article Processing Charges (APC)

Authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge. Also Hayat have not article submission charges..


Copyright and Permissions

Medical Ethics Journal allow the author(s) to hold the copyright without restrictions. Also the journal allow the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions.