Editorial Policies

Overview
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This policy describes guidelines in the publication process of our journals. Specifically, Prudent Journals adopts and strive to adhere to the following standards and requirements:
COPE – Committee on Publication Ethics
ICMJE – International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
STM – International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers
WAME – World Association of Medical Editors

Authorship

An author is an individual who has significantly contributed to the development of a manuscript. ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following four criteria:
  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.

Acknowledgement

Individuals who participated in the development of a manuscript but do not qualify as an author should be acknowledged. Organizations that provided support in terms of funding and/or other resources should also be acknowledged.

Changes in authorship

Whenever there is a need to make changes in the authorship of a manuscript or a published article, the changes will be implemented according to COPE specification. Only corresponding authors can make request for a change in authorship. Request should be made to the editor using the Changes in Authorship Form.
Further reading
ICMJE – Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors
COPE – flowcharts on Changes in Authorship

Submission of Manuscript

Authors should read the “Instruction for Authors” on the journal’s page before making a submission. Manuscript should be prepared according to the style and specifications of the journal’s policy. Authors listed on the manuscript should have met the requirements for Authorship specified above. Where possible, specify the contribution of each of the authors. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript prior to submission. Once a manuscript is submitted, it is therefore assumed that all authors have read and given their approval for the submission of the manuscript. Contact information of all authors should be stated on the manuscript. Surname/Other names, affiliation, emails, and phone/fax numbers. Declaration of Conflicts of Interest should be stated in the manuscript. Submission should be made online http://manuscript.prudentjournals.org/

Conflict of interest

“Conflict of interest (COI) exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests” WAME. Authors should disclose all financial/relevant interest that may have influenced the development of the manuscript. Reviewers should disclose any conflict of interest and if necessary, decline the review of any manuscript they perceive to have a conflict of interest. Editors should also decline from considering any manuscript that may have conflict of interest. Such manuscripts will be re-assigned to other editors.

Further reading
COPE – flowcharts on Conflict of Interest
ICMJE – Conflicts of Interest
STM – International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication
WAME – Conflict of Interest in Peer-Reviewed Medical Journals

Confidentiality

A submitted manuscript is a confidential material. Prudent Journals will not disclose submitted manuscript to anyone except individuals who partake in the processing and preparation of the manuscript for publication (if accepted). These individuals include editorial staff, corresponding authors, potential reviewers, actual reviewers, and editors.  However, in suspected cases of misconduct, a manuscript may be revealed to members of Prudent Journals’ ethics committee and institutions/organizations that may require it for the resolution of the misconduct. Prudent Journals shall follow the appropriate COPE flowcharts wherever necessary.
Further reading
ICMJE – Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process
STM – International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication

Peer review process

The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It helps an editor in making decision on an article and also enables the author to improve the manuscript. Prudent Journals operates a double blind review process. Author(s) identity is removed from the manuscript and shielded from the reviewers during the review process. The reviewer is left with only the manuscript without any information that might enable him/her uncover the identity of the author(s). Information removed includes the author(s) name, address/affiliation, country, phone/fax and email. Any information in the Acknowledgement and Declaration of Conflict of Interest that may lead to the uncovering of the identity of the author is also removed from the manuscript prior to sending it to reviewers. Manuscripts are assigned to members of the editorial board of the journal or other qualified reviewers. The review process is done using the Manuscript Management System. Reviewers make one of the following recommendations:

  •   Accept As Is
  •   Requires Minor Corrections
  •   Requires Moderate Revision
  •   Requires Major Revision
  •   Submit To Another Publication Such As
  •   Reject on grounds of (Please be specific)

A Review Certificate is issued to reviewers after the review of the manuscript. The review reports are sent to the authors. However, reviewers’ identity is removed from the review reports. The author(s) is left with only the review reports/recommendation without any information that might enable him/her uncover the identity of the reviewers. A minimum of two review reports are required per manuscript. On receipt of the author(s) revised manuscript, the original manuscript, the revised manuscript and the review reports are sent to the editor. The editor makes one of the following decisions:

  •   Accept
  •   The Manuscript Requires Improvement
  •   Reject

Only an editor has the authority to “Accept” or “Reject” a manuscript. If a manuscript is “Accepted”, an Acceptance Certificate is issued to the author(s) and the manuscripts are processed for publication. If a manuscript is rejected, the authors are informed of the decision and no further processing is done on the manuscript. If a manuscript requires improvement, it is sent to the author(s) with the editor’s recommendation for further revision. The editor makes a final decision on the revised to “Accept” or “Reject” the manuscript.

Misconduct
Misconduct constitutes violation of this editorial policy, journal policies, publication ethics, or any applicable guidelines/policies specified by COPE, WAME, ICMJE, and STM. Any other activities that threaten/compromise the integrity of the research/publication process are potential misconducts. Suspected cases of misconduct will be investigated according to COPE guidelines
Correction and retraction of articles
Corrections may be made to a published article with the authorization of the editor of the journal. Editors will decide the magnitude of the corrections. Minor corrections are made directly to the original article. However, in cases of major corrections, the original article will remain unchanged, while the corrected version will also be published. Both the original and corrected version will be linked to each other. A statement indicating the reason for the major change to the article will also be published. When necessary, retraction of articles will be done according to COPE retraction guidelines
Further reading
ICMJE – Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction
COPE Guidelines
COPE Flowcharts
COPE retraction guidelines
WAME – Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals
STM – International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication
Prudent Journals will review and update this editorial policy periodically.