Research Ethics and Author Usage Policies


Policy for Use of Artificial Intelligence

With the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI), the HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine has implemented the following policies on AI-based content:

ChatGPT and other AI-based language tools cannot be listed as an author on submitted works.

  • Per ICMJE rules for authorship, AI cannot approve the final version of the work, nor can it be accountable for the accuracy and integrity of the work
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  • AI also cannot agree to the journal’s terms of use nor can it sign the author agreement.
  • The journal will either reject or require revision of a submission with an AI-based language tool listed as an author.

As with other software, such as statistical tools, the use of AI-based language tools should be disclosed in the Methods section or in an acknowledgment at the end of the manuscript if it was used to generate portions of the manuscript text, which specific portions should be listed, or ideas on which the manuscript was based.

The HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine reserves the right to use software or other applications to test for the use of AI-generated text. Furthermore, the editors reserve the right to reject a submission that is deemed to have a high likelihood of using AI-generated text should the authors not acknowledge the source.

Human and Animal Studies

Human or animal studies must have a formal review and approval or waiver by an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee, which must be described in the Methods section of the article. Additionally, the IRB letter or email should be attached to the submission as supplemental content. The editors reserve the right to reject any submission that is determined to lack appropriate oversight. That can include research and quality improvement projects that the editors deem required IRB oversight, even if the project was approved by the facility ethics committee or was considered exempt by a local IRB.

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Informed Consent and Patient Permission

Signed consent to publish patient descriptions, photographs, video, and other identifying information should be obtained from all persons who can be identified (not just the patients themselves) in the descriptions in the article, photographs, videos, or other media submitted with the manuscript, or in any of the supplemental materials provided with the submission. As of November 1, 2022, written consent is required for all case reports, including the use of any image depicting a patient, from histochemical studies to photos of the patient’s body.

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Data Access and Retention

You may provide your raw data as supplemental content or you may be asked to provide it by the editors or reviewers. You should be prepared to include the data as part of your publication.

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Data Sharing

The HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine encourages authors to share their data by archiving it in an appropriate public repository. Authors are welcome to provide a statement on the availability of their data with a link to the repository where it is stored, which will be published with accepted manuscripts. Data should only be shared if it is ethical and legal to do so and does not violate patient privacy or cause other security concerns.

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Conflicts of Interest

Submissions should include a conflict of interest disclosure of any financial and material support for the submission. This disclosure can be made in the cover letter provided with the submission. Any financial interests the authors may have related to entities that have an interest in the information contained in the submission, including employment, grants, consulting work, honoraria, royalties, expert testimony, or stock ownership should be disclosed. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest will not prevent the submission from being considered for publication. This journal follows the ICMJE recommendations for guidance concerning conflicts of interest.

Prior to publication in the HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine, all authors of an accepted manuscript are required to submit a conflict of interest form detailing any potential conflicts or competing interests.

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles may not have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine. If you have concerns about the submission terms for HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine, please contact the journal team.

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Plagiarism and Text Reuse

Manuscripts submitted to the HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine must be original, with content that is not under consideration for another journal. Articles will be checked for plagiarism upon submission using iThenticate software. The editors reserve the right to judge potentially plagiarized or reused content on a case-by-case basis; editors may reject a submission without the option to resubmit.

Authors should not reuse content that has appeared in other published articles or articles under consideration with another journal, including text that has been written by the authors themselves. While some publications accept some reuse of text from the authors' previous work, the HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine will not publish manuscripts that have content identical to that of other published materials, either the authors' own or from another source, without proper citation and, if necessary, written permission for reuse from any copyright and/or license holders.

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Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception to this in the non-academic world might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer). See Author Submission Guidelines for rules for determining who should be considered an author.

Authors of acceptable articles must sign a copyright agreement with HCA Healthcare Physician Services, Inc., doing business as Emerald Medical Education, the publisher of the journal. An email will be sent to the corresponding author with the agreement form.

If excerpts or figures from other copyrighted works are included, the authors must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the sources in the article.

Permission of Emerald Medical Education is required for distribution outside of the authors' institution(s) or personal websites and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations.

Questions regarding copyright or permissions can be directed to the editors using the 'Contact Us' option to the left or by emailing Emerald Medical Education.

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Rights of Authors and Personal-Use Exceptions

The following uses are granted to the authors by Emerald Medical Education and do not require further permission provided the authors do not alter the format or content of the articles, including the copyright notification:

  • Storage and back-up of the article on the authors' computers and digital media (eg, disk drives, back-up servers, flash drives, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the authors;
  • Posting of the article on the authors' personal websites, provided that the websites are non-commercial;
  • Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the authors' place of employment (for example, a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota's Department of Phrenology online publication series);
  • Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the authors at a university or college employing the authors; and
  • Posting of an author manuscript to PubMed Central for works funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Authors seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the journal team.

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Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproductions, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of the HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine, requires crediting of Emerald Medical Education as the copyright holder (eg, Emerald Medical Education © 2024).

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the Scholarly Commons website and/or software agree not to misuse the Scholarly Commons service or software in any way.

The failure of Emerald Medical Education to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties’ intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Emerald Medical Education and the author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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