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Editorial Policies

Microsoft Word - Editorial policies


  • Overview

    RUHS Journal of Health Sciences is a peer reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published quarterly. The journal aims at sharing the research and knowledge of medical science and allied branches to meet today's global healthcare challenges. The main objective is to publish original, valid, peer reviewed articles covering a diverse range of disciplines viz. medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, paramedical, other allied health sciences. Ethical aspects of practice of medicine or medical research in India and medical education related articles are explored under various categories. The Journal allows access to latest research through original articles.

    Submission of a manuscript to a RUHS journal of health sciences journal implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.

  • Ethics and consent

    Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

    The RUHS Journal of Health Sciences and its Publisher, follows the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. In addition, the Journal also follows the ICMJE’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. A selection of key points is included below, but the authors, reviewers, and editors should always refer to the guidelines on ethics of scientific publishing contained therein. The prevention of scientific misconduct and promotion of intellectual honesty is one of the important responsibilities of the editorial board.

    Duties of Editors

  • Fair Review

    Editors’ decision to accept or reject a submitted manuscript for publication is exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.

  • Editorial Independence

    Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.

  • Confidentiality and Disclosure

    Editors and editorial board members will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage.

  • Conflicts of Interest

    Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscripts; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript. Guest editors should follow these same procedures.

  • Timeliness

    Editors should do all they can to ensure timely processing of manuscripts with the resources available to them. If editors intend to publish a manuscript, they should attempt to do so in a timely manner and any planned delays should be negotiated with the authors. If a journal has no intention of proceeding with a manuscript, editors should endeavor to reject the manuscript as soon as possible to allow authors to submit to a different journal.

  • Publication decisions

    The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.

  • Involvement and cooperation in investigations

    Editors (in conjunction with the publisher and/or society) will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.

    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. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour.

  • Promptness

    Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Any invited 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.

  • Confidentiality

    Any manuscripts received for review are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property and must be treated as such. Reviewers therefore should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential and must neither discuss publicly nor appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.

    This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

  • Standards of objectivity

    Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.

  • Acknowledgement 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 and 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 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 must disclose the same to the editors and should recuse themselves from reviewing the manuscript. 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

  • Publication guidelines

    Authors must follow the submission guidelines of the journal. (Refer submission guideline policies www.ruhsjhs.in)

  • Reporting standards

    Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial 'opinion' or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

  • Data access and retention

    Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

  • Originality and plagiarism

    Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from "passing off" another's paper as the author's own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism, in all its forms, constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

  • Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication

    Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and unacceptable.

    The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

  • Authorship of the manuscript

    Only persons who meet these authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public responsibility for the work (i) made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of data for the study; and (ii) drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important

    intellectual content; and (iii) have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication; and (iv) agree 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 corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.

  • Non-author contributors

    Contributors who have made substantial contributions (like acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading) but who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledgedin the "Acknowledgements" section after obtaining their written permission to be acknowledged.

  • Disclosure and conflicts of interest

    Authors must while submitting the manuscript fill a Form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest developed by ICMJE at the time of manuscript disclosing all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include financial gains such as honoraria, educational grants or other funding, participation in speakers’ bureaus, membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest, and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, as well as non-financial ones such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.

  • Acknowledgement of sources

    Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

  • Hazards and human or animal subjects

    If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them; the manuscript should contain a statement to this effect. Authors should also include a statement in the manuscript

    that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed.

  • Peer review

    Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions necessary", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

  • Fundamental errors in published works

    When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper.

  • Predatory or Pseudo-Journal

    Researchers must be aware of the existence of such entities and avoid submitting research to them for publication. Authors have a responsibility to evaluate the integrity, history, practices and reputation of the journals to which they submit manuscripts. Guidance from various organizations is available to help identify the characteristics of reputable peer-reviewed journals seeking the assistance of scientific mentors, senior colleagues and others with many years of scholarly publishing experience may also be helpful.

    Duties of the Publisher

  • Handling of unethical publishing behavior

    In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with 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 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.

  • Research involving animals

    All studies conducted on animals should be approved by the anima ethics committee or the institutional review board of the institution where the study was performed. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed as per ICMR guidelines for use of animals in scientific research/ laboratory animals in medical colleges which have to be in conformity with CPCSEA guidelines for animal experimentation.

  • Research involving plants

    Experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), including the collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. Field studies should be conducted in accordance with local legislation, and the manuscript should include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Voucher specimens must be deposited in a public herbarium or other public collection providing access to deposited material. Information on the voucher specimen and who identified it must be included in the manuscript.

  • Biosafety and Biosecurity

    It is expected that research submitted to RUHS journal is carried out in compliance with relevant institutional biosafety and biosecurity protocols and any national or international recommendations relevant to the research field. For example, for life sciences research, the WHO information DURC for life sciences research. Researchers are expected to be aware of dual-use concerns related to their work and take steps to minimise misuse of their work. Where submitted research is deemed to present a potential dual-use risk, the Editor may ask authors to provide details of how such a risk has been mitigated and how it complies with their institutional and funder’s requirements, as well as any national regulations. We reserve the right to take expert advice in cases where we believe that concerns may arise and may require a manuscript to undergo peer review specifically to assess the dual use risk. Thus, authors may be asked to revise their manuscript before normal journal peer-review. We recognize the widespread view that openness in science helps to alert society to potential threats and to defend against them, and we anticipate that only very rarely (if at all) will the risks be perceived as outweighing the benefits of publishing a paper that has otherwise been deemed appropriate for publication. Once a decision has been reached, authors will be informed if biosecurity advice has informed that decision.

  • Trial registration

    RUHS supports initiatives to improve reporting of clinical trials. This includes prospective registration of clinical trials in suitable publicly available databases. In line with ICMJE guidelines, RUHS requires registration of all clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted to its journals. The ICMJE uses the World Health

    Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial, which is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". This definition includes phase I to IV trials. The ICMJE defines health-related interventions as "any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome" and health-related outcomes as "any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants". Authors who are unsure whether their trial needs registering should consult the ICMJE FAQs for further information. Suitable publicly available registries are those listed on the ICMJE website as well as any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, including the ISRCTN registry, which is administered and published by RUHS. The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract. For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, RUHS encourages retrospective registration to ensure the complete publication of all results. Further information on retrospective registration is available from the AllTrials campaign, the Public Accounts Committee and the Department of Health. Many journals published by RUHS will consider manuscripts describing retrospectively registered studies. The TRN, date of registration and the w

  • Authorship Citations

  • The ICMJE recommends that authorship 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

    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.

  • Individual contribution should be specified at the end of text. Submission for consideration for publication should be made with signature of all the authors. All authors must sign by hand. Electronic signature will not be accepted. The order of authorship should be decided by all the authors. The journal strongly discourages alterations in the sequence or deletion/addition of authors at any time after submission of the manuscript

  • Accepted papers will be acknowledged within three months and if the papers are rejected by th Editorial Board, the decision will be communicated to the corresponding author via email. Rejected manuscripts will be discarded from our database within 48 hours after decision. Accepted papers will be processed towards Peer Review Process.

  • Each manuscript will be provided with a manuscript ID and all correspondence is done through e-mail.

  • No addition/deletion/ or any change in the sequence of the authorship will be permissible at a later stage, without valid reasons and permission of the Editor- in - chief.

  • If the authorship is contested at any stage, the article will be either returned or will not be processed for publication till the issue is solved.

  • Preprint sharing and citation

    Authors of accepted articles are supplied pdf page proofs through e-mail. Corrections on the proof should be restricted to printer's errors only and no substantial additions/deletions should be made. No change in the names of the authors (by way of additions and deletions) is permissible at the proof stage. If there are valid reasons for such a change, after acceptance of a paper, the permission of the Editor must be sought. The proofs should be returned, after corrections and answering all queries, within 2 days.

  • Duplicate publication

    The Journal strongly disapproves of 'Dual submission', i.e. the submission of the same article simultaneously to different journals for consideration for publication. The authors must give an undertaking stating that the manuscript has not been submitted to another journal for consideration for publication nor has a substantial part of it been published. If dual submission or duplicate publication is found to have occurred, the manuscript will be rejected and the authors barred from future submissions. The Journal may also send this information to the head of the institution where the authors work with a request for an inquiry in the matter. The Journal may also publish such correspondence in its pages to inform its readers of scientific misconduct and such papers may be retracted.

  • Text recycling

    Authors should be aware that replication of text from their own previous publications is text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism), and in some cases is considered unacceptable. Where overlap of text with authors’ own previous publications is necessary or unavoidable, duplication must always be reported transparently and be properly attributed and compliant with copyright requirements. If a manuscript contains text that has been published elsewhere, authors should notify the Editor of this on submission.

  • Misconduct

All research involving humans (including human data and human material) and animals must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework (see our Ethics policy for further information). If there is suspicion that research has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, the Editor may reject a manuscript and may inform third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s). In cases of proven

research misconduct involving published articles, or where the scientific integrity of the article is significantly undermined, articles may be retracted

Data falsification is manipulating research data with the intention of giving a false impression. This includes manipulating images, removing outliers or “inconvenient” results, changing, adding or omitting data points, etc. Data fabrication means the making up of research findings.