Peer Review Process

Each submission is checked for suitability when received by the editorial office, and may be rejected without review if it is outside the scope of the journal, is of insufficient quality, or is missing important sections.

The journal invites experts Editorial Board members to review each article that is considered suitable for consideration. The Section Editor makes a decision after receiving at least 2 external reviewer reports with recommendations.

The journal uses double-blind peer review (neither the authors nor the reviewers know the identity of each other) to avoid bias. On receipt of at least two reviews, the Section Editor will make a decision to (1) accept, (2) ask for revisions, (3) ask for major revision, or (4) decline a submission. The reasons for the decision will be communicated to the authors. When the decision of minor/major revision is made, and the authors do not revise their articles satisfactorily after receiving reviewer reports, then the Section Editor reserves the right to reject the article. When revised articles are received they will either be sent out for further review or the Section Editor will make a decision depending on the level of revision requested.

The Section Editors make all efforts to minimize the time from submission to first decision. The Journal aims to make a first decision (after review) within 30 days but cannot guarantee this.

If an author considers that a decision to Decline publication was incorrectly made, that decision could be appealed. To appeal a decision the author must email the Editor in a letter, explaining clearly the justification of the appeal. The appeal will be considered by a member of the Editorial Board (nominated jointly by the Editor and Section Editor) who was not involved in the original decision. Only one appeal per decision will be considered.

Conflict of Interest

The Journal adheres standards set forth by COPE in establishing and complying with conflict of interest guidelines.

All authors must declare and describe all and any conflicts of interest, professional or financial, when submitting a paper. A disclosure statement should included in a Cover Letter to the Editor of the Journal or can be downloaded from the ICJME and signed by each author and included in the submission.

Steps for Handling An Alleged Conflict of Interest 

  • The authors of the paper will be contacted to request an explanation for the material in question.
  • Based on the reply from the author(s), a determination by the Journal’s Editorial Board will be made:
    • If the paper is still in peer review, it will be sent back for author revision with the request to address the issue(s) or to rewrite the paper.
    • If the paper is already published, and the Editorial Board will publish a retraction of the paper.

Patient Anonymity

It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that a patient’s anonymity be carefully protected unless written consent is obtained and submitted with the manuscript.

Institutional Review Board and Study Registration

It is the author’s responsibility to verify that any experimental investigation with human subjects reported in the manuscript was performed with informed consent and following all the guidelines for experimental investigation with human subjects required by the institution(s) with which all the authors are affiliated. the authors’ Institutional Review Board or its equivalent must have approved of studies involving live human or animal subjects. All clinical investigations must have been conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Clinical trials must have been prospectively registered in a registry that meets ICMJE criteria (available at http://www.icmje.org). The registry at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov meets such requirements.

Scientific Misconduct

The Journal adheres standards set forth by COPE in establishing and complying with scientific misconduct guidelines.

Plagiarism & Ethical Misconduct

Steps for Handling Unethical Authorship

If allegations are well founded, the person(s) designated by Journal’s Editor will follow through on COPE Guidelines:

  • The authors of the paper will be contacted to request an explanation for the material in question.
  • The institution of the author will be contacted to investigate the issue (especially if a medical device or drug company is involved).

Based on the reply from the author(s), a determination by the Journal’s Editorial Board will be made:

  • If the paper is still in peer review, it will be sent back for author revision with the request to address the issue(s) or to rewrite the paper.
  • If the paper is already published, and the Editorial Board finds that the similarities are too extensive for revision, a rejection or a retraction may be appropriate.

Post-Publication Discussions and Corrections

If an error is discovered after publication, it will be corrected by an erratum, retraction or in-line (dated) correction. Reported errors will be investigated by the Editor or designated Editorial Board member and discussed with the authors. The appropriate correction will be made after this consultation. Articles will be retracted if there is evidence of unethical research, unreliable data, misconduct or plagiarism, or if there are sufficient mistakes to invalidate the article.