- The Editorial Board verifies conformity with internationally recognised ethical standards for scientific publications and implements appropriate measures against bad practice in publication.
- The Editorial Board decides whether a manuscript should be rejected or accepted for publication. This decision is based on the importance, the originality, the clarity, and the relevance of the contents of each manuscript to the scope of the journal.
- The Editorial Board uses the three reviewers’ reports on a submitted article to take one of the following decisions: (a) acceptance in present state, (b) acceptance with minor revision, (c) acceptance with major revision, (d) rejection. The final decision to accept or reject a manuscript will depend on the extent to which the authors attend to the queries, comments and suggestions made by the reviewers. When a reviewer has requested major changes, the editorial board will seek their opinion on the revised version of the manuscript.
- The Editorial Board ensures strict confidentiality and anonymity of author (s) of manuscripts submitted to the journal throughout the revision process.
- The Editorial Board is committed to a maximum of 12 weeks processing period from the submission of an article to the conclusion of its peer review.
- The Editorial Board ensures the anonymity of the reviewers
- Editors and reviewers shall declare conflict of interest in relation to the articles and their authors assigned to them. Where there is potential conflict of interest, editors/reviewers must withdraw from the review process of such manuscript.
- The Editorial Board examines without prejudice all submitted articles, ensuring independence and fairness. Manuscripts are evaluated based on their intellectual content without discrimination based on race, nationality, gender, religion or political convictions of the authors.
- Deviations from the ethical standards must be formally addressed to the Editorial Board which undertakes to act as rapidly as possible in relation to any misconduct or plagiarism by ensuring correction, retraction, or apologies as appropriate, in order to protect the integrity of the parties and the institutions concerned.
- Irrespective of the stage of publication, the Editorial Board must investigate any allegation of error or misconduct, giving the right to reply to all parties involved. All documentations relating to allegations must be properly archived.
- Where necessary, the editorial board will publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies.
- Authors must confirm in writing (cover letter written by the corresponding author) that the submitted manuscript is not under evaluation for publication or already accepted for publication elsewhere.
- Authors must confirm that the content of the article is original. When a part of the content has been submitted or published elsewhere, the authors must cite the sources and provide the Editorial Board with a copy of these texts.
- Authors must acknowledge and cite the content reproduced from other sources.
- Authors have the responsibility to obtain permission to reproduce all contents originating from other sources and must submit alongside the manuscript the certified copies of these.
- Authors must confirm that that they have all actively participated in the process leading to the content and drafting of the article, clearly stating the role of each author.
- Authors must confirm that they have all read and approved the submitted version of the manuscript.
- Authors must keep the data associated with the submitted manuscript and grant access to these data upon request from the Editorial Board or the reviewers.
- Authors must, in the context of the evaluation process by their peers, accept to reply to the requests of the Editorial Board without delay. Unavoidable delays must be communicated to the editor as request for extension stating reasons for such request.
- Authors must reply to requests for information in cases of suspicion of errors or misconduct; they agree to correct, retract, or apologise if they are found guilty of unethical behaviour (such as plagiarism, or the use of fraudulent data).
- Authors must immediately inform the Editorial Board if an important error is found in their work irrespective of the state of evaluation or review and must cooperate with the Editorial Board to publish a correction/addendum or withdraw the article if this is considered necessary.
- Authors must make sure that all studies involving humans or animals conform with the law and regulations and national, local, or institutional requirements. Certified copy of ethical approval obtained for such study must be submitted along with the manuscript for all studies involving medical records, people, or human tissue.
- Authors must, for human subjects, obtain their express authorization and respect their privacy. Where recognizable pictures of patients are used in case reports or other clinical reports the face must be blotted out.
- Authors must declare all potential conflicts of interest wherever applicable.
- Reviewers contribute to the evaluation and decision-making process. Their responsibility is to assist the editorial board in making the decision to accept or reject an article while also assisting authors in improving the quality of their manuscript.
- When a reviewer does not feel qualified to evaluate a manuscript or is unable to undertake the review within the set time, the reviewer must inform the editorial board and/or withdraw from the evaluation process, respectively.
- Reviewers must evaluate manuscripts objectively to promote the high quality of published articles and be committed to not disclosing any information on the article outside of the editorial team. Neither should they retain a copy of the manuscript reviewed. Reviewers must clearly express their viewpoint and base it on appropriate arguments. All personal criticism of authors is inappropriate.
- Reviewers must not make use of any data, documentation or interpretation and arguments of the manuscripts reviewed in their publication.
- Reviewers must undertake to assist in improving the quality of reviewed manuscripts based on objective argument, including identifying relevant publications which had not been cited by authors and advising them accordingly, among other interventions.
- Reviewers must declare all conflicts of interest in relation to the articles and authors.
Handling of Misconduct
- Non-ethical behaviour may be brought to the attention of the editorial team at any time and by any person, whether during the process of evaluation or after publication of the concerned article.
- Sufficient proof must be supplied for an investigation to be opened.
- The Editorial Board may set up an enquiry at any time, ensuring strict confidentiality until a definite outcome is reached.
- All the parties concerned in a presumed professional misconduct must be duly informed of the progression of the investigation and the possible consequences.
- All the parties (authors and co-authors) involved must be granted the right to respond to any allegation.
- Upon establishing a misconduct, actions to be taken may include:
- informing the parties involved on poor comprehension of the guidelines or regulations for submission,
- formal letter detailing the misconduct and warning against future event,
- requesting a formal withdrawal of the article with apologies to concerned parties.
- informing the employer or authors’ institution of such misconduct and/or reporting the case to the authority legally empowered to deal with such misconduct which may be institutional, national, or international.
- These options can be activated singly or as a cascade depending on the gravity of misconduct and amenability of the offending parties to corrective measures
- A notice of retraction must clearly identify the article withdrawn (specifying the title and the authors) and indicate who retracted the article. The reason for retraction must be clearly stated in the notice of retraction.