Original Paper

Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 99-109

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Publication Ethics in Biomedical Journals from Countries in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Mindaugas BrogaAffiliated withDepartment of Ethical Didactics, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences
  • , Goran MijaljicaAffiliated withPsychiatric Hospital UgljanUniversity of Split School of Medicine
  • , Marcin WaligoraAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy and Bioethics, Medical College, Jagiellonian University Email author 
  • , Aime KeisAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, University of Tartu
  • , Ana MarusicAffiliated withDepartment of Research in Biomedicine and Health, University of Split School of Medicine


Publication ethics is an important aspect of both the research and publication enterprises. It is particularly important in the field of biomedical science because published data may directly affect human health. In this article, we examine publication ethics policies in biomedical journals published in Central and Eastern Europe. We were interested in possible differences between East European countries that are members of the European Union (Eastern EU) and South-East European countries (South-East Europe) that are not members of the European Union. The most common ethical issues addressed by all journals in the region were redundant publication, peer review process, and copyright or licensing details. Image manipulation, editors’ conflicts of interest and registration of clinical trials were the least common ethical policies. Three aspects were significantly more common in journals published outside the EU: statements on the endorsement of international editorial standards, contributorship policy, and image manipulation. On the other hand, copyright or licensing information were more prevalent in journals published in the Eastern EU. The existence of significant differences among biomedical journals’ ethical policies calls for further research and active measures to harmonize policies across journals.


Publication ethics Ethical criteria Central and Eastern Europe Research ethics