Info for editors

The role of editors

The editor of a journal is the person responsible for its entire content. Owners and editors of medical journals have a common endeavor—publication of a reliable, readable journal produced with due respect for the stated aims of the journal and for costs. Owners and editors, however, have different functions. Owners have the right to appoint and dismiss editors and to make important business decisions in which editors should be involved to the fullest extent possible. Editors must have full authority for determining the editorial content of the journal. The concept of editorial freedom should be resolutely defended by editors even to the extent of their placing their positions at stake. To secure this freedom in practice, the editor should have direct access to the highest level of ownership, not to a delegated manager.

In International Archives of Medicine we encourage editors to go further. We encourage editors to take the strides of their journal to drive it through the way of success. Thus, editors are responsible of the contents, but also of promoting the journal, recruiting manuscripts and spreading the diffusion.

 

Responsibilities of the Editorial Board Members

The Editorial Board should assist in a variety of aspects of running the journal. Their responsibilities may include (but are not limited to):

  • Providing scientific credibility for the journal
  • Submitting articles
  • Administering peer review or serving as a peer reviewer
  • Advocating the journal at meetings and conferences
  • Advise you on policy matters
  • Commissioning non-research articles
  • Following International Archives of Medicine's code of conduct

Structure of the Editorial Board

The journal's Editorial Board should consist of 25 to 50 members. Depending on their level of responsibility, you may wish to allocate the following roles: Deputy Editor, Executive Editor, Associate Editor, Managing Editor, Section Editor, Research Editor, Statistical Advisor or Advisory Board Member (note that this list is in hierarchical order).

Monitoring and maintaining the Editorial Board

An Editorial Board should not be static; it is good practice to review the contributions and performance of each Board member every couple of years, and then take the opportunity to:

  • Restructure the Board giving more active members increased responsibility.
  • Give less productive members the chance to retire, creating vacancies for new members (this is common practice and should not cause offense).
  • Thank all continuing members for their ongoing contributions; you may also wish to ask them to suggest new colleagues who might be suitable for the Board.

Recruiting new Editorial Board members

When identifying new members to join the Board, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Recruit a 'steering group' who will actively assist in the day-to-day work (peer review administration), such as a Deputy Editor or a Managing Editor.
  • Invite a mix of ‘big names’ who will bring credibility to the journal, and established but junior colleagues who are likely to be able to take on a greater workload.
  • Divide the field into its major subdivisions and ensure each there is representation of each area on the Board.
  • Involve people from the leading research centres in the field.
  • Involve people of various nationalities and/or languages, and both genders. 

When recruiting new Editorial Board members you should clarify the type and amount of work you expect them to contribute. It is also important to quantify each aspect - for instance, you might ask them to suggest two non-research articles to commission each year, and to referee an average of one research article each month.

It is also important to keep the Editorial Board involved in the journal and up to date with the latest developments, not least to foster enthusiasm for the journal. We recommend sending regular updates on journal performance to your Board. This can range from details of the submission/publication rates, to information on particularly highly accessed articles or a specific article you would like to highlight.

 

Editorial workflow

The following is the editorial workflow that every manuscript submitted to the journal undergoes during the course of the peer-review process. 

The entire editorial workflow is performed using the online at Journals' OJS site. If you wish to learn how to use OJS as an editor, please visit the PKP School, OJS for editors. Once a manuscript is submitted for publication, the manuscript is checked by the editor in chief to ensure that it is suitable to go through the normal peer review process. Once this is done, the manuscript is sent to a number of Editorial Board Members based on the subject of the manuscript, the availability of the Editors, and the lack of any potential conflicts of interest with the submitting authors. The manuscript may also be sent to a number of external peer reviewers to participate in the peer review process. The journal's editors will have around two weeks to provide either a recommendation for the publication of the manuscript, along with a written commentary detailing any changes that the authors can make to improve their manuscript before final publication, or a written critique of why the manuscript should not be published.

If the majority of the editorial evaluations that are received by the end of this first round of review recommend the manuscript be rejected, the manuscript will be rejected. If all the editorial evaluations that are received recommend that the manuscript be accepted for publication, the manuscript will be accepted. Otherwise, all the received editorial evaluations will be anonymously communicated to all of the Editors who participated in the first round of the review process. Each Editor will be given an additional week to review the feedback of the other Editors and to either confirm or revise their earlier editorial recommendations. If the majority of the editorial evaluations that are received by the end of this second round of review recommend the manuscript be accepted for publication, the manuscript will be accepted. Otherwise, the manuscript will be rejected.

The editorial model is designed to provide fast peer review for each manuscript while at the same time ensuring that only manuscripts that are both rigorous and provide a useful contribution to their field of research are accepted for publication. Since the Editors have direct review responsibilities in this editorial workflow, the identities of the Editors participating in the peer review of a particular manuscript are not revealed during the course of the peer review process. If the manuscript is rejected, the identities of the Editors will remain confidential.

 

Finding referees / reviewers

Editors should always ensure that at least two full reports are received before making a decision, and the manuscripts undergo re-review where appropriate.  Difficulties in finding referees can be a cause of delay during the peer review process. In this document we aim to provide you with some advice on finding reviewers for the journal.

Author suggestions

Upon submission, all authors have the option to suggest up to five suitable referees for their manuscript. We can amend the journal’s settings so that this step is mandatory and you can specify the minimum number of reviewers that should be suggestion. It is worth bearing in mind that there can be a potential for bias with author suggestions.

Indexing suggestions

You may wish to use select key terms to perform your own search in PubMed or other indexing services such as Scopus and Google Scholar to find authors of related articles who may be suitable reviewers for a particular manuscript. Specially designed search engines like the Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) and Peer2ref, Publons and Peerageofscience.org

Using the Editorial Board

The Editorial Board can serve as both a valuable source of reviewers for the journal, and also suggest new reviewers. You may wish to divide the journal’s scope into sub-sections and appoint Editorial Board member with expertise in the specific areas, to each section. Once a manuscript is submitted relevant to that section, the relevant Editorial Board member can then provide referee suggestions.

The article's reference list

Authors mentioned in the reference list for the manuscript under review, may be a useful source of reviewers.

Medicalia.org

Medicalia.org runs a group of reviewers. Just register and contact them. Also in Spanish.

International Archives of Medicine's reviewers database

International Archives of Medicine runs a database of reviewers (outside of OJS) who kindly gave us their data through a form to be contacted as reviewers of International Archives of Medicine. If you are an editor of International Archives of Medicine and want to gain access to the database, please contact us (iam@imedicalsociety.org).

This document details the marketing strategies that can help promote a journal. Whilst these will certainly help to raise awareness, personal advocacy from both yourself and the Editorial Board is usually the best advertisement for the journal.

 

We run our journals using the system OJS. You can find the OJS documentation here.

Code of conduct

  1. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should declare any financial, personal or other relationships that might constitute a conflict of interest with the Editorship of the journal.
  2. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should ensure that all articles accepted for publication have been assessed by an editor.
  3. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should not make decisions regarding manuscripts about which they may have a conflict of interest. In such instances, a senior member of the Editorial Board should be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer-review and making decisions regarding acceptance or rejection.
  4. Although the Editor(s)-in-Chief may publish in their own journal, they should ensure the majority of publications come from other authors. A senior member of the Editorial Board should be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer-review and making decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of any manuscript submitted and/or co-authored by the Editor(s)-in-Chief.
  5. The Editor(s)-in-Chief should ensure Editorial Board members are not involved with the peer-review or decision-making process of any manuscript where they have a conflict of interest.
  6. Editor(s)-in-Chief should provide a professional service to authors. Correspondence should be handled in a timely and respectful manner, and efficient and thorough peer-review carried out. Systems should be in place to ensure editorial staff absences do not result in a reduced service to authors.
  7. Editor(s)-in-Chief should make full use of the journal's system and, where necessary, maintain offline tracking systems, in order to preserve a full record of the of peer review of each manuscript.
  8. Editor(s)-in-Chief who operate a closed peer-review system for the journal should maintain the anonymity of peer reviewers.
  9. Ethics: the Editor(s)-in-Chief and the whole editorial board should comply with the following standards: 

Important statements

A. Statement of Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

Any investigations involving humans and animals should be approved by the Institutional Review Board and Animal Care Committee, respectively, of the institution where the study took place. CEEM will not consider any studies involving humans or animals without the appropriate approval. Informed consent should be obtained, unless waived by the Institutional Review Board, from patients who participated in clinical investigations. Human subjects should not be identifiable, such that patients' names, initials, hospital numbers, dates of birth, or other protected healthcare information should not be disclosed. If experiments involve animals, the research should be based on national or institutional guidelines for animal care and use. Original articles submitted to CEEM that address any investigation involving humans and animals should include a description about whether the study was conducted under an approval by the Institutional Review Board (with or without patient informed consent) and animal care committee, respectively, of the institution where the study was conducted. CEEM can request an approval by the Institutional Review Board or Animal Care Committee for the other types of articles when necessary.

B. Authorship and Author’s Responsibility

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely manner, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information or questions about the paper arise after publication.

Authors are responsible for the whole content of each article. Co-authorship should be based on the following 4 criteria: (1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; (2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; (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. Any persons who do not meet the above 4 criteria, may be listed as contributors in the Acknowledgments section.

There is no limitation on the number of authors except for case reports. We recommend limiting the number of authors to no more than 8 for a case report. Only one author should correspond with the editorial office. CEEM does not allow adding authors or changing the first or the corresponding authors once its decision of ‘Accept as it is’ is made. If any author wishes to be removed from the byline, he or she should submit a letter signed by the author, as well as all other authors, indicating his or her wish to be deleted from the list of authors. Any change in the name order in the byline requires a letter signed by all authors indicting agreement with the same.

C. Originality and Duplicate Publication

Manuscripts under review or published by other journals will not be accepted for publication in CEEM, and articles published in this journal are not allowed to be reproduced in whole or in part in any type of publication without permission of the Editorial Board. Figures and tables can be used freely if original source is verified according to Creative Commons License. It is mandatory for all authors to resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open access.

D. Secondary Publication

It is possible to republish manuscripts if the manuscripts satisfy the condition of secondary publication of ICMJE as followings: certain types of articles, such as guidelines produced by governmental agencies and professional organizations, may need to reach the widest possible audience. In such instances, editors sometimes deliberately publish material that is also being published in other journals, with the agreement of the authors and the editors of those journals. Secondary publication for various other reasons, in the same or another language, especially in other countries, is justifiable and can be beneficial provided that the following conditions are met. The authors have received approval from the editors of both journals (the editor concerned with secondary publication must have a photocopy, reprint, or manuscript of the primary version). The priority of the primary publication is respected by a publication interval of at least 1 week (unless specifically negotiated otherwise by both editors).

The paper for secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; an abbreviated version could be sufficient. The secondary version faithfully reflects the data and interpretations of the primary version. The footnote on the title page of the secondary version informs readers, peers, and documenting agencies that the paper has been published in whole or in part and states the primary reference. A suitable footnote might read: “This article is based on a study first reported in the [title of journal, with full reference].”

E. Process to Manage Research and Publication Misconduct

When the Journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct 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, complaints against editors, and etc., the resolving process will be followed by flowchart provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). The discussion and decision on the suspected cases are done by Editorial Board.

F. Editorial Responsibilities

The editorial board will continuously work towards monitoring/safeguarding publication ethics: guidelines for retracting articles; maintenance of the integrity of the academic record; preclusion of business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standard; publishing corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed; avoiding plagiarism, and fraudulent data. Editors responsibilities shall include: responsibility and authority to rejecte/accept article; avoid conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept; acceptance of a paper when reasonably certain; promoting publication of correction or retraction when errors are found; preservation of the anonymity of reviewers.

G. Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could bias the author’s decisions regarding the manuscript. Authors are expected to provide detailed information about all relevant financial interests and relationships or financial conflicts, particularly those present at the time the research was conducted and through publication, as well as other financial interests (such as patent applications in preparation), that represent potential future financial gain. All disclosures of any potential conflicts of interest, including specific financial interests and relationships and affiliations (other than those affiliations listed in the title page of the manuscript) relevant to the subject of their manuscript will be disclosed by the corresponding author on behalf of each coauthor, if any, as part of the submission process. Likewise, authors without conflicts of interest will be requested to state so as part of the submission process. If authors are uncertain about what constitutes a relevant financial interest or relationship, they should contact the editorial office. Failure to include this information in the manuscript will prohibit commencement of the review process of the manuscript. For all accepted manuscripts, each author’s disclosures of conflicts of interest and relevant financial interests and affiliations and declarations of no such interests will be published. The policy requesting disclosure of conflicts of interest applies for all manuscript submissions. If an author’s disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is determined to be inaccurate or incomplete after publication, a correction will be published to rectify the original published disclosure statement. Authors are also required to report detailed information regarding all financial and material support for the research and work, including but not limited to grant support, funding sources, and provision of equipment and supplies as part of the submission process. For all accepted manuscripts, each author’s source of funding will be published.

The authors should disclose all potential conflicts of interest including any research funding, other financial support, and material support for the work, if any exists, in the unblinded full title page. If there is a disclosure, the editors, reviewers, and reader can interpret the manuscripts with this understanding.