Editorial Policies

  1. 1. Publication and authorship/responsibilities of the authors
  2. 2. Peer review/responsibility for the reviewers
  3. 3. Editorial responsibilities

1. Publication and authorship

Duplicate manuscript submission

All manuscripts submitted to our journals must be original. Upon submission of a manuscript, it is assumed that no similar manuscript has been or will be submitted to any other journal for publication. It is considered unethical to submit an identical manuscript to more than one journal at the same time. Multiple submissions of the same paper can damage the reputation of journals if published in more than one journal. Duplicate publications or redundant publications (re-packaging in different words of data already published by the same authors) will be rejected

Plagiarism and other fraud

It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that they pay particular attention to the originality of their work. Upon submission, all manuscripts are rigorously evaluated to identify any previously published material. Spandidos Publications utilizes a combination of iThenticate, and searching on titles in PubMed and Google, to screen submitted manuscripts against published studies and other relevant sources. Concerning the submitted figures, images are routinely examined for the presence of duplicated, or otherwise apparently anomalous, data. Authors should therefore retain their unprocessed data and metadata files, as the Editor may request them to aid in the evaluation of the manuscript. Authors should note that, if the unprocessed data are unavailable, this may lead to a delay in manuscript evaluation until the issue is resolved.

If the journal Editor has reason to suspect that a manuscript is plagiarized or fraudulent, they reserve the right to raise their concerns to the authors' sponsoring institution and any other relevant bodies. In cases where plagiarism is suspected, a preliminary investigation will be conducted following the guidance offered in the flowcharts of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (https://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts) and the guidelines of ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org). Every suspected act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into. If plagiarism is detected, the manuscript containing the plagiarism will be obviously marked on each page of the PDF. Manuscripts in which plagiarism has been detected will not be considered for publication. In cases where the paper has already been published, depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.

Misconduct

If misconduct by authors or reviewers is suspected, either pre- or post-publication action will be taken. In cases where misconduct, or otherwise unethical behaviour, on the part of the authors is suspected after a paper is published (even several years after the paper has been published), a preliminary investigation will be conducted, again following the guidance offered in the flowcharts of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (https://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts) and the guidelines of ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org/). An explanation will be sought from the party or parties considered to be involved. If the response is unsatisfactory, then an appropriate authority (ordinarily, the Head of the Department where the research was conducted) will be asked to investigate fully. Spandidos Publications will make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution in any such eventuality and correct the record or archive as necessary. In cases where misconduct is proven beyond all reasonable doubt, the paper may be formally retracted.

Author disclosure & conflict of interest

Any potential conflicts of interest of authors or reviewers must be stated explicitly in the manuscript. Authors are therefore required to include a statement at the end of a manuscript listing all potential financial interests or, if appropriate, clearly stating that none exist.

Conflicts of interest may exist when an author or reviewer has financial or personal interests in a manuscript that may, in principle, influence their scientific judgment. Financial interests include, but are not limited to, stock-holding, consultancy, paid expert testimony and honoraria; they also include any limitations on freedom to publish that are imposed on an author by an employer or funding agency. Authors must also disclose whether they have received writing assistance and identify the sources of funding for such assistance.

External peer reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. Should any such conflict of interest be declared, the journal editor will judge whether the reviewer’s comments should be recognized or will interpret the reviewer’s comments in the context of any such declaration.

Ethical conduct of research

In articles that include the publication of original data reporting on human or animal experimental investigations, authors should indicate whether approval was required and obtained from the appropriate institutional review board. For investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed. For investigations involving human subjects, authors should describe how informed consent was obtained from the participants involved in the methods section of the manuscript. In the case of children, authors are asked to include information about whether the child's assent was obtained in addition to that of the legal guardian. In attempting to maintain patient anonymity, identifying details should be omitted where they are not essential. However, patient data should never be amended or falsified. The authors must mention in the methods section of the manuscript that they had performed the study in accordance with above-mentioned rules and, in the case of humans, emphasize that they had received informed consent from the participants.

Author's responsibilities

Corrections and retractions

Authors are obliged to notify the relevant journal Editor if they find that a published manuscript contains an error, plagiarism or fraudulent data. The journal will publish a correction, retraction or notice of concern at the earliest possible date: authors are encouraged to contact the journal Editor to discuss the most appropriate course of action.

Authorship (informed consent)

Authorship should be limited to those who have 1) made substantial contributions to the conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or reviewing/revising it critically for important intellectual content and 3) final approval of the version to the published. Each author should meet all three of these criteria. Acquisition of funding, or general supervision of a research group, are not valid criteria for authorship. All those who have made significant contributions should be offered the opportunity to be listed as authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study should be acknowledged, but not identified as authors. If meeting these requirements causes problems for a particular manuscript, authors are encouraged to contact the relevant journal Editor for advice on alternative ways other contributors can be listed.

Changes in authorship

If any changes to the list of authors of a manuscript are necessary after the initial submission but before publication, the corresponding author must contact the journal staff and provide a clear reason for the change. If the change to the authorship list is appropriate and in keeping with the guidelines given above, the corresponding author will be asked to provide written confirmation that all other authors listed on the manuscript at that time consent. We will individually inform anyone who is added or removed from the author list.

Acknowledgement of funding

Authors should list all sources of funding for the research described in a manuscript in the 'Acknowledgements' section.

2. Peer review/responsibility of reviewers

Peer review

All manuscripts submitted to Spandidos Publications are peer reviewed prior to publication. The suitability of each manuscript is assessed by the journal’s editorial board and refereed critically by two or more reviewers. The editor reserves the right to reject or to return the manuscript to the author(s) for additional changes.

For original articles or case reports, reviewers will generally be asked to comment on the following aspects of the submitted manuscripts:

  • significance of the research to the field
  • quality of data presented
  • quality of controls/statistical analyses used
  • whether conclusions are justified/supported by data presented
  • how clearly the study is reported
  • the novelty of the research

Responsibility of reviewers

Reviewers are asked to judge the quality of the research reported objectively and respect the intellectual independence of the authors. In no case is personal criticism appropriate. Reviewers should clearly explain and support their judgments as much as possible and in such a way that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments.

Reviewers should point out relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal.

A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought; in that event, the identities of those consulted should be disclosed to the editor.

Reviewers should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author.

Final acceptance of all submitted manuscripts is a decision made by the Editor(s) in consultation with the Editorial Board and reviewers. If a manuscript does not meet the standards of the journal or is otherwise lacking in scientific rigor or contains major deficiencies, the reviewers will attempt to provide constructive criticism to assist the authors in ultimately improving their work for publication, here or elsewhere. Manuscripts not invited for resubmission will not be reconsidered

If a manuscript receives favorable reviews but is not accepted outright following the initial review, it may be invited for reconsideration with the expectation that the authors will fully address the reviewer’s criticisms. Resubmitted manuscripts with major revisions will be sent back for peer review.

Where an author believes that an editor has made an error in declining a paper, they may submit an appeal. The appeal letter should clearly state the reasons why the author(s) considers the decision to be incorrect and provide detailed, specific responses to any comments relating to the rejection of the review. Further advice from members of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Panel external experts will be sought regarding eligibility for re-review.

3. Editorial responsibilities

Editorial responsibilities

The editor of a journal has complete responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for publication or to reject it. The editor may confer with associate editors or reviewers for an evaluation to use in making this decision.

An editor should give prompt and unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors, and respecting the intellectual independence of the authors. Situations that may lead to real or perceived conflicts of interest should be avoided.

The editor and the editorial staff should not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than reviewers and potential reviewers. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor's own research except with the consent of the author.

An editor presented with convincing evidence that the substance or conclusions of a published paper are erroneous should promote the publication of a correction or retraction.

Transfers

It is possible to transfer a rejected manuscript to another journal for consideration. For further information and the aims and scope of each journal, please visit: www.spandidos-publications.com. Carefully review the acceptance criteria for the journal you believe would be appropriate for your manuscript. If you feel that your manuscript would be appropriate for publication in another of our journals, then please request a transfer by email. Please note that transferring manuscript files does not guarantee that the manuscript will be considered by the receiving journal. It is only meant to offer the technical facility to allow transfer of manuscript files and correspondence without the inconvenience of having to resubmit from journal to journal.

Open access (optional)

"Open access" articles published online can be freely accessed at the journal's website by all users and are immediately publicly available in PubMed Central and Europe PMC by the publisher. Articles may be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License or a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Spandidos Publications’ publishing policies enable authors to comply fully with the public access requirements of the major worldwide funding agencies (visit www.sherpa.ac.uk for more information). Authors must take the necessary actions to obtain this compliance, including self-archiving, utilization of Spandidos Publications manuscript deposition service and selection of open access publication under the correct license

Spandidos Publications automatically makes articles freely available 12 months after their publication online. The charge for immediate open access following publication is EUR €450 | GBP £360 | USD $675

Compliance with funding agencies: All manuscripts that are agency-funded (e.g. NIH, HHMI, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome Trust, etc.) and paid for under the Open Access Option will be deposited automatically and become publicly available in PubMed Central and Europe PMC by the publisher. Alternatively, agency-funded articles without open access purchase will be deposited and made publicly available in PubMed Central and Europe PMC 6-12 months following publication, depending on the public access policy of the agency.

Author self-archiving: Authors are encouraged to submit the final publisher’s version PDF of their manuscript to their institution’s repository 6 months following publication, as well as to their funding body’s archive. A link to the published version on the Spandidos Publications website must be included with full citation details and acknowledgement of the journal as the original source. Authors that have purchased open access can add the final publisher's PDF to their institutional repository and funding body's archive immediately.