Peer Review Process & Publication Ethics


Section A, Peer Review Process:

1. Submission of Manuscript: The corresponding author submits the paper to the journal through the online system or occasionally through email. Note: we provide complimentary free service to authors named as “Presubmission Enquiries”. In this case, the corresponding author may email an abstract and a cover letter to the editorial office. We will attempt to respond within one week regarding the suitability of proposed manuscript. The goal of “Presubmission Enquiries” is to make the statement that reasonably satisfies the measures detailed in the scope of the journal. This service can be presented usually to review articles prior to official submission.
2. Editorial Office Screening: The editorial office checks the paper’s composition and arrangement as well as check the Similarity Rate by software.
3. Editor-in-Chief: The Editor-in-Chief checks that the manuscript is appropriate based on the journal scope as well as novelty and originality of the submission. If not, the paper may be rejected. Note: Articles submitted by the staff and Editor-in-Chief will also be subjected to peer review. These types of papers should be handled by another person of the editorial board (without conflict of interest) and in all processes, the editor should not be involved, in this special circumstance. Furthermore, in this case, the editor should be blinded to the reviewers' identity as well.
4. Inviting Peer-Reviewers: The editor sends invitations to the experts believes would be appropriate reviewers. All submissions undergo a double-blind peer-review process performed by at least two reviewers. Potential reviewers should reveal their conflict of interest.
5. The Review is Conducted: The reviewers submit their comments to the editorial office based on a comprehensive checklist, with a recommendation to accept or reject it – or else with a request for minor or major revision. Their comments will be passed to the authors including any relevant reviewer comments. The responses to the comments along with the reviewers’ comments will then be evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief to reach the final decision.

Reminder:

All submissions undergo a peer-review process performed by at least two reviewers. These reviewers are experts in their fields. The final decision could be as accepted, minor or major revision or fast rejection.

1. originality, reliability, statistical validity, Language, and relevance are important factors for reviewers.
2. There is no warranty to accept the manuscript if authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit the manuscript.
3. Rejected manuscripts would not be re-reviewed unless extremely rare circumstances.
4. Acceptance considers legal provisions including plagiarism and copyright.

Section B, Authors' Responsibilities:

All authors should declare that their paper is their own original research. However, they must warranty the reality and authenticity of their data. Also, they must declare that their paper has not been published elsewhere before, or even submitted and under review in another journal.
The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal office during all steps. The corresponding author should respond to the editorial office and should cooperate with any requests from the journal after publication. Our Journal does not allow adding/deleting authors or changing the orders of authors following the final acceptance. All authors must follow the rules for authorship mentioned above and declare their financial interest. Acknowledgment should be clearly declared in all submissions. All conflicts of interest must be mentioned exactly. Besides, all the resources that helped to perform their research work should be added clearly. Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):

• Research grants from funding agencies (The research funder and the grant number are required),
• Financial support for educational programs,
• Employment or consultation,
• Position on advisory board or board of directors or other types of management relationships,
• Financial relationships, for example, receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may gain or lose financially by the publication of the article in any way, either now or the future,
• Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights),
• Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have a financial interest in the work


Informed written consent should be obtained from all participants or their legal parties, if applicable. All animal researches should follow the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines. Authors should adhere to the Declaration of Helsinki in medical research involving human subjects. Authors should guarantee the integrity of reported data and answer all comments raised by peer-reviewers during the production process. If the author fails to provide a satisfactory answer to the comments of peer-reviewers, the paper might be rejected. Ethical issues should be completely observed by the authors. All named authors must meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval for the version to be published. Finally, the corresponding author signs the copyright agreement on behalf of co-authors.

The ICMJE recommendations for authorship include:

"1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work, AND 2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content, AND 3. Final approval of the version to be published, AND 4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.”

The authors must consider all ethical regulations of ICMJE. However, these ethical regulations should be considered:

1. Declaration of Interest: any funding must be mentioned.
2. Registering clinical trials: there are international and national trusted registries to register clinical trials.
3. Respecting confidentiality: patients’ information should be kept secret and anonymous.

Also, protecting patient or animal rights under investigation is of great importance. The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. The authors should obtain approval from an ethics committee. Besides, an informed consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool should be obtained from all participants or their legal parties.

The authors should mention a clinical trial registration number. Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT guideline. A permission should be obtained when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open access.

Section C, Peer review/Responsibility of the Reviewers:

All submissions undergo a peer-review process. All data in the manuscript regarding subjects must be kept secret by the reviewers. Author(s) may present list names of potential reviewers when submitting a publication, however, the selection remains the editor decision. No personal criticism of the author should be involved in the review of the manuscript. Knowing the author should not affect the process of reviewing and decision making. Relevant previously published articles must be identified by the reviewer if not cited in the references. Also, any similarity regarding data or method with other previously published manuscripts must be reported to the Editor-in-Chief. However, if there is any conflict of interest between the reviewer and the authors, the manuscript must be reviewed by another person.


Section D, Editorial Responsibilities: It is the editor right to reject or accept a submitted manuscript. Editors must pay attention to readers and the journal scopes and also the authors’ needs when editing the manuscript. Also, a corrigendum must be written if there are any errors in the manuscript. Funding support of the manuscript should be obviously clarified. Decision making for publications is based on the manuscript novelty, originality and scope of the journal. It is rare to change the decision of a manuscript after final decision except for a very serious reason. Concordance with ethics guidelines must be checked by the editors. If there is doubt regarding any misconduct in a published or unpublished paper, the editors must ensure to fix the issue appropriately. Nonetheless, a manuscript should not be rejected due to doubt, unless there is a reasonable proof. Any conflicts of interest should be avoided between authors, personnel, editors and reviewers.

Section E, Ethics & Malpractice Statement:

We follow the rules and regulations released by the “International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)” including all aspects regarding the conduct of research, how to report research, style, edit, and finally publishing the manuscript. Our Journal has been listed as below in the ICMJE website:
http://www.icmje.org/journals-following-the-icmje-recommendations/

Furthermore, we follow recommendations in the publication ethics of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). Please refer to the following link: "Journals Whose Editors Belong to WAME"

Hence, it is strongly recommended to read these recommendations prior to submission. If there is any plagiarism or misconduct in data or publication, the editors have the right to inform the author or affiliated institute and act according to the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines.

Conflict of interest happens when there is a personal or financial association between any part in the publication process such as authors, reviewers, or editors of journals which could lead to any disturbance in performing their roles. Therefore, based on the principles of publication ethics, any conflict of interest should be reported in a special format for consideration by the editors.

ICMJE rules must be obeyed by all the editorial members, reviewers, and authors. The editorial board would seek publication misconducts such as redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflict of interest, ethical problem with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, and etc.

When the journal faces publication misconduct, the resolving process will be followed by the guidelines issued by the "Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)".