The JIPC’s Publication Ethics are based on the Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
Authors, reviewers, and editors are expected to follow best-practice guidelines on ethical behavior. A selection of key points summarized from COPE and ICMJE and other reputable scholarly journals is included below.
Duties of Editors
The Editor is solely responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published based on their academic merit and relevance to the journal’s scope. The Editor has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. The Editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making decisions. The Editor actively seeks the views of authors, readers, reviewers, and editorial board members about ways to improve the journal process.
Editors will treat all manuscripts submitted to the JIPC in confidence. Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Manuscript Handling and Eligibility
Editors will make use of the online submission system provided by Digital Commons and will maintain offline records of manuscripts and peer review reports on each manuscript. All correspondence will be handled in a timely and professional manner. Each Editor or Editorial Board member, in handling a manuscript, takes responsibility for ensuring the quality of manuscripts which are accepted and protecting the integrity of the scientific record.
Before publication, articles undergo checks by the in-house editorial team to ensure they meet basic criteria. Pre-publication checks include:
- Article types – articles are checked whether they meet the criteria and format of JIPC article types
- Readability – the standard of language and readability must be sufficient for readers to follow the article
- Plagiarism – articles are checked for plagiarism
- Policies – articles publishing research involving humans or animals must adhere to our ethical policies
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interests
The editor must recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest such as personal relationships, financial conflicts, or professional bias that may affect their editorial decisions.
The editor must not be involved in decisions about papers which they have written or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. A different editor will be assigned to select referees to make decisions on manuscripts when conflicts of interest exist for editors.
The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication to undergo peer-reviewers (a minimum of two peer reviewers) who are experts in the field. The editors are responsible for making sure that peer reviewers use appropriate guidelines and checklists for editing and reviewing. It is recognized that in some exceptional circumstances, particularly in emerging fields, it may not be possible to obtain two independent peer reviewers. In addition, manuscripts that do not report primary research such as Editorials, Commentaries, Case Studies, may be accepted without two peer review reports. In these cases, the Editor may publish the manuscript based on one peer review report. The editors monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure assessments are high standard.
Appeals and Complaints
Authors who disagree with an editorial decision may submit a legitimate appeal to the Editors’ email. The Editor will review and investigate all submitted appeals. However, the JIPC does not expect frequent appeals and rarely reverses the original decision. Therefore, the author will need to provide strong evidence or new data/information in response to the reviewers’ comments. The Journal must receive a valid appeal within 1 week of the original decision, otherwise it will not be considered.
The appeal letter should clearly explain the basis for the appeal by including:
- A detailed summary of why you disagree with the rejection and specific responses to the reviewers’ comments
- New information or data that you would like the journal to consider
- Evidence you believe a reviewer has made regarding technical errors in their assessment
- Evidence you believe a reviewer may have a conflict of interest
After receiving the appeal, the Editor may involve the Associate Editor and other board members to determine the decision to reject, revise, or seek additional peer review of the manuscript.
The JIPC will consider one appeal per article and all decisions on appeals are final. The timely review and decision-making process for new manuscript submissions will take precedence over appeals.
Corrections of Manuscripts
The Editor must investigate all concerns of possible research misconduct, mistakes by authors, or ethical breaches in reference to a submitted or published manuscript. The Editor will publish, as soon as possible, any corrections, clarifications, retractions after a thorough investigation has been completed. The Editor and Editorial Board will ensure that JIPC publishing ethics policies are being followed.
Duties of Reviewers
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists editors in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their manuscripts. The JIPC shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to the scientific process have an obligation to do a fair share of peer-reviewing.
Peer Review Process
All manuscripts submitted to the JIPC undergo peer review that involves at least two independent, expert peer reviewers. The JIPC uses the double-blind method for peer review. In this model, both the peer reviewer and author identities are concealed. Peer reviewers evaluate assigned articles and recommend whether they believe an article should be accepted, revised, or rejected by the journal. The JIPC will ask reviewers to complete their reviews within 3-4 weeks. Peer reviewers should read and follow the COPE ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. (See Peer Review Home for more information)
Peer Review Expectations
The JIPC requires a formal application for appointment to the peer review panel. Potential reviewers should provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a fair representation of their expertise. In addition, prospective peer reviewers are required to complete a peer review training through Web of Science Academy.
During the initial steps of a manuscript review, peer reviewers are expected to read the paper, review supplementary peer review resources, and ancillary material carefully (ie, reviewer checklist, instructions, policies). Peer reviewers are expected to follow the journals’ instructions for writing, scoring, and posting the review. The manuscript assessment should be a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the document.
To help ensure the peer review is beneficial to authors, peer reviewers should:
- Read the article fully – read the full text of the article.
- Be thorough – discuss the article in full.
- Be specific – provide comments in detail.
- Be objective and constructive – provide comments in a respectful manner, feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript.
- Avoid personal criticism and derogatory comments – provide comments on the academic content of the article rather than the authors.
- Provide a recommendation to accept, revise, or reject – recommendation should be congruent with the comments provided in the review.
Any invited peer-reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances).
Standards of Objectivity
Peer review reports should be conducted objectively, and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
Acknowledgment of Sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation, or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Any invited peer reviewer who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
Duties of Authors
All manuscripts should be written in good English. This is the responsibility of the authors, not the editors. Papers below the standard for the Journal will be returned for rewriting and can be rejected for this reason alone.
Authors should treat all communication with the Journal as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Journal such as Editor and Associate Editor.
Multiple, Duplicate, or Concurrent Submission
An author should not publish the same manuscripts in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical behavior and is unacceptable.
Originality and Plagiarism
Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only original works and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Manuscripts must cite appropriate and relevant literature to support any claims made in the article. Authors should ensure that references cited provide a balanced overview of the current state of research on the topic.
Authorship and Listing Authors of the Manuscript
Listing authors names on an article is an important mechanism to give credit to those who have significantly contributed to the manuscript. The JIPC follows the relative contribution definition for order listing of authors and the authorship criteria as defined by the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the COPE guidelines for authorship which is described below.
All authors listed on an article must meet all the following criteria:
- Made substantial contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study.
- Made substantial contributions to the revisions of the manuscript.
- Agreed on the journal to which the article will be submitted.
- Reviewed the final paper, agree to take responsibility for the contents of the article, and consent to publication.
- Follows the relative contribution method for listing authors
Authors are expected to carefully consider the list and order of authors before submitting the manuscript and provide the definitive order of authors at the time of the original submission. The JIPC adheres to the order of authors following the author relative contribution method. The author who made the most substantial contribution to the work described in an article and did most of the underlying research should be listed as the first author. The other authors are ranked in descending order of contribution. The last author in a group is the “senior author", the person who provides significant oversight of the entire research project.
The JIPC does not investigate or adjudicate authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance of the publication. Authors should resolve the dispute themselves.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgment section. Examples of who might be acknowledged include those who provided only technical help, writing assistance, or general support.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest on the title page of the manuscript and cover letter. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as “none declared."
Peer Review Participation
Authors are obliged to participated in the JIPC peer-review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ request for raw data, clarifications, proof of ethics approval. Authors should respond to reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a time manner, revising, and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline give.
Research Ethics and Consent
The Institutional Review Board approval should accompany all manuscripts that involve human participants or research material derived from human participants. Manuscripts involving human subjects must also include information on how informed consent was obtained. This information should be clearly stated in the Methods section of the manuscript. The JIPC endorses the recommendations of the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which emphasizes that patients and study participants have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent.
Authors Appeals and Complaints
Authors are entitled to appeal against a rejection decision made by the journal. Appeals should be submitted by email to the Editor within 1 week of the original decision, otherwise it will not be considered. The Editor will review and investigate all submitted appeals. (See Appeals and Complaints under Duties of Editors for additional information)
A valid appeal contains a concise, rationale argument explaining why you are disagreeing with the decisions and provide any new data or information for the editor to consider. Appeals that are received late, do not address reviewers’ criticisms, are dismissive of the reviewer comments, or contain offensive language will not be considered.
Valid appeals will be sent to a member of the Editorial Board who was not connected to the original decision. If successful, an appeal may result in the decision being rescinded and a continuation of the peer-review process.
Duties of Publisher
The publisher and the editors shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.
Access to Journal Content
The Digital Commons publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.
The JIPC owns the copyright for all content published in the journal. An author agreement form, requiring copyright transfer from authors and signed by each author, must be signed prior to publication.
Open Access Statement
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user. 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 author.