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Editorial Policies

 

Editorial Policies

All our journal stakeholders and authors are required to observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Compuscript subscribes fully to the COPE code of conduct and best practice for journal editors ensuring that our editors are accountable for everything published in our journals. Our readers will always be informed as to how the research is funded and our relationships with the authors, reviewers and editorial board members will be guided by COPE recommendations

TO ACCESS OUR SPECIFIC POLICIES, PLEASE CLICK ON THE RELEVANT TOPIC LINK BELOW

Authorship
Conflict of Interest
Funding Acknowledgements
Text Recycling
Duplication
Clinical Trials Registration
Registration of Systematic Reviews
Standards of Reporting
Human and Animal Testing
Plagiarism
Patient Consent
Research and Publication Misconduct
Editors and Journal Staff Conduct
Appeals and Complaints
Copyright and Permissions
Archiving
Article Retraction

Authorship

It is important that appropriate credit is awarded to the authors of a manuscript. In accordance with ICMJE guidelines, to qualify as an author, a researcher should make substantive intellectual contributions to each of the following aspects of a publication:

  • Concept and design of the study, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Critically drafting or revising of the manuscript for important intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be published. Each author should participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not justify authorship.
  • Be accountable for all aspects of the work by ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Conflict of Interest

All authors are required to complete a standard conflicts of interest/competing interests form. This form will be sent to all authors of accepted papers at the end of the peer review process. This should be returned together with the revised manuscript. Authors must declare any competing interests by completing this standard form. Conflict of interests/competing interests can be defined as factors which could influence the judgment of an author, reviewer or editors, and may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial in nature. Put simply, they are interests which, if revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.

Authors of letters and editorials must also declare competing interests. Reviewers are also required to declare competing interests and in most cases reviewers with competing interests will not be asked to proceed with the refereeing process.

Statements of competing interests are included in the online versions of research articles.

For additional guidance and information on the topic of conflict of interests and competing interests please refer to the ICMJE recommendations on author responsibility and COPE’s Responsible research publication: international standards for authors” document.

A sample of our Authorship Form is available for download here.

Funding Acknowledgements

From 2015 Compuscript requires all manuscripts to have a funding acknowledgement statement included in the manuscript. The statement should be placed under a heading entitled “Funding” directly after the Acknowledgements and Declaration of Conflicting Interests, if applicable.

We require details of the funding agency to be supplied in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space, example:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx, yyy, zzz].

Where the research was supported by multiple sources, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Example:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the National Science Fund [grant number zzzz]; and the International Research Body [grant number xxxx].

 

Where the research is not funded by a specific project grant, but from other resources available to a university, college or other research institution, such as the block grant, the following statement should be used:

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Text Recycling

“Text recycling” or “self-plagiarism” as it is sometimes called occurs when an author reuses passages of text from his/her own previously published work in a new submission. As all Compuscript journals are members of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative, all instances of text recycling can be detected. When such instances are detected the COPE Guidelines on text recycling will be followed.

Duplication

All manuscripts submitted to Compuscript journals should be original and not under consideration by another publication. Apart from causing potential problems from an ethical and international copyright law perspective, the duplicate publication of original research is problematic in a medical context as it can result in inadvertent double-counting of data or inappropriate weighting of the results of a single study, which can distort the available evidence. In instances where substantial parts of the text in the submission may overlap, we ask our authors to be open and let us know of any concerns when they submit their manuscripts. Each issue will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with ICMJE recommendations on overlapping publications.

In the event that we become aware of violations of publication ethics after the article has already been published, then the article may warrant retraction with or without the author’s explanation or approval. In any such event our journals will adhere to the COPE flowcharts when dealing with suspected violations.

Plagiarism

All Compuscript journals are members of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and use plagiarism detection software. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

Clinical Trials Registration

All Compuscript journals adhere to the ICMJE’s Clinical Trials Registration Statement. All clinical trials published in the journal must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the onset of participant enrolment. Manuscripts should include the exact URL and unique identification number for the trial registration at the time of submission. This information will be published in the article and we ask that the URL and identification number on the title page of the manuscript is included.

For any clinical trials commencing prior to 2008, retrospective registration will be accepted. A list of recommended registries can be found on the ICMJE website. Results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which the primary registration resides will not be considered prior publication if they are presented in the form of a brief abstract (<500 words or less) or a table.

Registration of Systematic Reviews

The prospective registration of systematic reviews is welcomed and we encourage all authors to register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO).  The registration number should be included in the last line of the manuscript abstract.

Standards of Reporting

We require all authors to follow the correct standards of reporting regarding biomedical research. Please refer to EQUATOR for guidelines for health research and MIBBI  for guidelines and tools for bioscience reporting. Authors are strongly encouraged to use these guidelines as a checklist when writing their manuscripts.

Other available checklists include CONSORT for randomised controlled trials, PRISMA for systematic reviews, STROBE for observational studies, MOOSE  for meta analyses of observational studies, STARD for diagnostic accuracy studies, RATS for qualitative studies, and CHEERS for economic evaluations.

Authors of systematic reviews must provide a link in the Methods section that shows all details of the search strategy. Refer to Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook for examples of the presentation of search strategies.

Authors must use standardised gene nomenclature. The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee  details human gene symbols and names. Information on other species can be found at www.genenames.org/about/faq#otherspecies; the Human Genome Variation Society provides guidelines on mutation nomenclature.

Authors are expected to comply with current field-specific standards regarding the preparation and recording of data (www.biosharing.org/standards/), while also maintaining strict patient confidentiality. In addition, when using unpublished data, authors must make contact with the owners of the data before publishing.

Human and Animal Testing

All human or animal studies should be approved or exempted by the appropriate institutional human and/or animal subject review committee, or if no formal ethics committee is available, they should ensure they are in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013. This approval or exemption should be stated in the Methods section of the article.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.

Patient Consent

All authors must declare that, where relevant, patient consent has been obtained (or the consent of their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and that all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain patient confidentiality, including illustrations, which should be anonymised as far as possible.

Research and Publication Misconduct

Any allegations of potential research or publication misconduct will be investigated in adherence with the COPE guidelines on how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct.

 Editors and Journal Staff Conduct

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts will excuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. All other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions are obliged to provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts (as they might relate to editorial judgements) and excuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff will not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors will publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff. Guest editors will follow these same procedures.

Appeals and Complaints

Appeals

Compuscript adheres to COPE guidelines regarding appeals to editorial decisions and complaints. All authors have the right to appeal the rejection of their manuscript and authors can appeal directly by contacting the relevant journals. Please check individual journal’s ‘Manuscript Preparation’ pages for more information.   

Complaints

All complaints can be made directly to the relevant journal editorial office who will be happy to outline the complaint procedure in full.

Copyright and Permissions

Copyright

When publishing with Compuscript authors have two copyright options.

  • Authors can assign copyright to the journal. In this case the journal will publish articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 4.0. By assigning copyright to a journal Compuscript are in a position to act as stewards of the scholarly publishing record of each manuscript as defined by the National Information Standards Organization, in partnership with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. Compuscript will ensure that authors are attributed correctly as the author(s) of the work and that the work is protected from plagiarism and unauthorised commercial exploitation. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. However, users may not use the material for commercial purposes
  • Authors can also opt to retain their copyright and publish with Compuscript under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The CC BY license permits commercial and non-commercial re-use of an open access article.

If more information is required on copyright and copyright options when publishing with Compuscript please contact us.

Permissions

Authors should be careful to check the copyright status of an article before reproducing or reusing any of the content.

Where the copyright is held by the journal, e.g. Copyright © 2016 Family Medicine and Community Health, it is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 4.0. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. Users may not use the material for commercial purposes.

Where the copyright is held by the authors (e.g., 2016 John Green, Giovanna Verdi, Jean Vert/CC-BY-4.0) it is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This license also permits commercial and non-commercial re-use of an open access article.

Archiving

Compuscript guarantees that all published material will be available in perpetuity. All Compuscript journals are subscribed members to the Portico digital preservation service provided by ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.

Portico acts as an independent back up repository for publishers’ online content. Membership of Portico demonstrates Compuscript’s commitment to ensuring that valuable material previously published will always be available independent of Compuscript’s existence.

What Portico does:

Portico provides access to its library participants when specific conditions or “trigger events” occur, which may cause journal titles to no longer be available from the publisher or any other source such as:

  • When a publisher ceases operations and titles are no longer available from any other source
  • When a publisher ceases to publish and offer a title, and it is not offered by another publisher or entity
  • When back issues are removed from a publisher’s offering and are not available elsewhere
  • Upon catastrophic failure by a publisher’s delivery platform for a sustained period of time

When e-journal titles have “triggered”, they are available to all participants in the Portico E-Journal Preservation Service, regardless of whether the participating institution has previously licensed the content.

Article Retraction

Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like. Occasionally a retraction will be used to correct errors in submission or publication. Standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by a number of library and scholarly bodies, and this best practice is adopted for article retraction by Compuscript:

  • A retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.
  • In the electronic version, a link is made to the original article.
  • The online article is preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. It is to this screen that the link resolves; the reader can then proceed to the article itself.
  • The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the .pdf indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”
  • The HTML version of the document is removed.

 Article Removal: Legal limitations

In an extremely limited number of cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory, or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained, the text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.

 Article Replacement

In cases where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk, the authors of the original article may wish to retract the flawed original and replace it with a corrected version. In these circumstances the procedures for retraction will be followed with the difference that the database retraction notice will publish a link to the corrected re-published article and a history of the document.

Erratum & Corrigendum

In the instance where errors are introduced to the article by the publisher an erratum will be published to the original article. All publisher-introduced changes are highlighted to the author at the proof stage and any errors are ideally identified by the author and corrected by the publisher before final publication.

Should the author wish to publish to a change to their article that at any time after acceptance a corrigendum will be published. Authors should contact the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, who will determine the impact of the change and decide on the appropriate course of action. 

Letters to the Editor/Opinions

We accept short and decisive observations related to articles previously published, or views expressed in our journals.  

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