PJOG

Pune Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Inception:

Since Pune, the Oxford of East has more than 7 Postgraduate institutes, We at POGS decided to give them their own platform for publishing the research work. PJOG is first of a kind academic attempt of any local Society under FOGSI.

Vision:

To provide every student & clinician with an excellent knowledge-sharing platform to promote research & translate it into Practice. through Publications.

Journal committee:

Editorial board:

National Advisory Board:

Aim & Scope of the journal:

Pune Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology aims at covering the spectrum of research in the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology. We accept articles based on biomedical, clinical or public health research relevant and applicable to the practice of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The scope of the journal includes, but is not restricted to, the following areas

  • Reproductive Endocrinology
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Infections and women‚Äôs health
  • Maternal and Fetal Medicine
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Adolescent Health issues
  • Contraception and Family planning
  • Tumours in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Operative Obstetrics and Gynecology including minimally invasive surgeries

Menopausal medicine

Considering the wide extent of the speciality, we also accept articles in the interdisciplinary domains addressing the issues related to women’s health. These domains include but are not limited to medical and surgical conditions in pregnancy, obstetric anaesthesia, genetics, bone health, neonatology, endocrinology and metabolism, mental health and neurosciences, cosmetic gynaecology etc.


Editor’s Corner

Editorial Board

Editor’s Desk

Editor’s Choice

Publication ethics and quality

Pune Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is committed to upholding the integrity of scientific records. We urge authors to go through the following guidelines

Committee On Publication Ethics

International Committee on Medical Journal’s Editors

Enhancing the Quality And Transparency of Health Research (EQUATOR) network

Editors Responsibilities

Authors Responsibilities

Reviewers Responsibilities

Publisher Responsibilities

Editors Responsibilities

Publication Decisions: The editors are responsible for deciding on accepting, rejecting or modifying requests to the manuscript. In some instances, the editors may require multiple rounds of reviews and modifications. The editors communicated review results in a timely decision and were always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions, and maintain the integrity of the academic record. The editor reserves the right to edit, clarify or shorten the manuscript as deemed necessary.

Fair Review Process: The editor’s decision to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, clarity, and the study’s relevance to the journal. The editor must ensure that each manuscript submitted to the journal is reviewed for its intellectual content without regard to the author‚Äôs race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. The decisions will be based on the paper’s importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the journal’s scope.

Confidentiality: The editor and editorial staff always ensure that information regarding manuscripts submitted by the authors is kept confidential.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: The editor and members of the editorial board of the journal shall not use unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript for his/her own research without the author’s explicit written consent.

Relations with Authors: Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognising the journal and sections within journals with different aims and standards. The guideline should be regularly updated and should refer to or link. Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.


Authors Responsibilities

Publication guidelines: Authors must follow the submission guidelines of the journal.

All authors have to contribute significantly to the research and statements of all data in the articles are real and authentic. Authors must ensure that the work they are submitting as theirs is entirely original. Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere. Authors will appropriately cite or quote the work and words of others. Authors sign a declaration stating that the manuscript and the illustrations within are original, or that he/she has taken all necessary steps to avoid breach of copyright.

Authors must certify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing practice. All authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research. The author submitting the manuscript to the journal ensures that all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved person(s) are included in the author list.

Authors must notify the editors of any conflicts of interest that may be construed to influence the manuscript. Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes at any point in time if the author(s) discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in the submitted manuscript.

Visit Publisher Authors Responsibility for more details


Reviewers Responsibilities

Confidentiality: Reviewers must keep all manuscripts received confidential. Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such, they must not be shown to or discussed with others and articles should be treated confidentially.

Objectives and Standards: Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.

Conflicts of Interest: Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, and other relationships or connections with any of the authors, associated institutions, and companies with the paper(s).

Promptness: in the event that a reviewer feels it is not possible for his/her to complete the review of the manuscript within the stipulated time he/she should notify the editor in a timely manner and withdraw from the review process.

Acknowledgement of Sources: Reviewers must ensure that authors have cited all relevant published work referred to the paper in the endnotes and bibliography. Reviewers will bring to the editors’ attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript and any other published or unpublished content. 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 the review.

Review evaluation: Reviewers evaluate manuscripts based on content without regard to the authors’ race, age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, citizenship, political orientation or social class.

Visit Publisher Reviewers Responsibility for more details


Publisher Responsibilities

Publishers should provide practical support to the editor and executive editorial board, so they can follow the COPE Code of conduct for Journal and ensure the autonomy of editorial decisions and protect intellectual property copyright.

Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions and apologies when needed.

Maintain the integrity of the academic record and preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards.

Committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archives. For details about the Innovative archiving policy, Please click here: https://www.ipinnovative.com/guidelines/publication/digital-achieving/64

Ensure that good practice is maintained to the standards defined above.

Visit Publisher Ethical Responsibility for more details


COPE

PJOG follows the high standards of peer review policy as set out in the COPE Ethical Guidelines for publication ethics practice for Peer Reviewers.

All research manuscripts and other types are subjected to thorough peer review, usually by at least two external peer reviewers. After initial scrutiny by the journal editors for suitability in the journal, the editor will invite appropriate independent reviewers with sufficient and specific areas of expertise. The editor’s will invite appropriate independent reviewers with sufficient and specific areas of expertise. The editor decision is made based on these reviewer reports, which are made available to the authors upon decision. Where the editor of the journal is an author is a submission, adequate steps are taken to ensure blinding the editor from the submission during peer-review. Further information about the journal’s specific model of peer-review is found on the journal‚Äôs information pages.

Penalty

Duplicate Submission: If a duplicate submission was found or noticed from other sources, the editorial board should check the status. If the duplicate submission was confirmed as an internal thing, then the following actions must be imposed. The Review process will be terminated, the reason should be sent to reviewers, editorial board, authors, and corresponding authors and all authors’ names will be marked as blacklisted, and these authors cannot submit any manuscript to these journals for another three years.

Duplicate Publication: If a duplicate publication is found or noticed from other sources, the editorial board should check the status. If the duplicate publication is confirmed as intentional, then the following actions will be carried out. This should be reported to editors, authors, etc.

Plagiarism: ‚ÄúTo steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one‚Äôs own, use another‚Äôs production without crediting the source‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúpresent as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source‚ÄĚ. We consider ‚Äúself-plagiarism‚ÄĚ as a form of plagiarism. Self-plagiarism would be when an author borrows from his or her own previously published work without the proper citation within the newly submitted manuscript. We use iThenticate software for check plagiarism. If plagiarism is found or noticed from other sources, the editorial board should check the status. If the plagiarism is confirmed as an international thing, then the following actions will be carried out. This should be reported to the editorial board, authors and corresponding author and all authors’ names will be marked as a blacklist.

We follow the latest Core Practice Guidelines for Editors, Reviewers, Authors and Publishers as outlined by the COPE.


   Authors’ corner

  1. Types of articles:

PJOG accepts

Original Article ‚Äď word limit 2500 maximum (40 references not more than 5 years old, not more than 6 figures/tables)

Case Report – word limit 1200 maximum (4 references not more than 5 years old, not more than 2 figures)

Short Commentary – word limit 800 maximum 7 references not more than 5 years old.

Correspondence / Letter to the Editor – word limit 600 words maximum 5 references not more than 5 years old.

Systematic Reviews/Meta-analysis – Word limit 3500 (maximum 50 references not more than 7 years old, not more than 8 figures/tables. It should discuss, review and enlighten readers about all the available literature on the subject and should adhere to updated PRISMA guidelines.

Mini Review Article – word limit 2500, maximum 25 references not more than 7 years old, not more than 6 figures/tables.

Book Review – word limit 700, maximum 5 references not more than 5 years old, image of the book cover, ISBN and Publisher details required.

Important Notes

Word limits of all articles are exclusive of the text in the title page, abstract, references, tables and figures.

Mini-reviews and Book reviews will be accepted based on invitation only. Letter of invitation should be uploaded along with the submission manuscript of the invited articles.

All submissions will be subjected to the peer review process of the journal.

  1. Reporting guidelines

In order to maintain the quality of reporting in PJOG, we request the authors to adhere to the respective reporting guidelines as follows

Types of study

Randomized Control Trials                            CONSORT    

Observational studies                                       STROBE    

Systematic reviews and Meta-analysis           PRISMA    

Study protocols                                                  SPIRIT     PRISMA-P

Diagnostic/prognostic studies                           STARD     TRIPOD

Case reports                                                       CARE    

Clinical practice guidelines                               AGREE     RIGHT

Qualitative research                                          SRQR     COREQ

Quality improvement studies                            SQUIRE    

Economic evaluations                                       CHEERS

 

  1. Manuscript Preparation

General Instructions

Language: Journal accepts the articles written exclusively in English with British (-ise) spelling style. Authors are requested to use it consistently throughout manuscript.

File format: Manuscripts should be submitted in Word. Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher)

Font: Use a normal, plain font size 12; Times New Roman; with 1.5 spacing between the lines for text. Only special names such as Genus or species names, name of the instrument should be in italics.

Page design: All pages should be of A4 size with portrait alignment having page margins of standard 1 inch from all the sides. Each file should be number separately from its first page. All the pages should be numbered with automatic page numbering function. Do not add any Header of Footer on the page.

Formatting style: Text should be centrally aligned. Do not use field functions. Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar. Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.

Headings: Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings e.g 1, 1.1, 1.1.1

Scientific style: Please always use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units (SI units).

Generic names of drugs and pesticides are preferred; if trade names are used, the generic name should be given at first mention. Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.

The following files of the Manuscript must be submitted separately

  1. Title Page (word file)

The title page must include the following:

Title of the article should not be more than 50 words.

Contributing Authors’ first and last names [first name, surname]. Please ensure that all authors meet the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) requirements for authorship. Please provide ORCiD number for author/s, if available.

Departmental or Institutional affiliation(s) should be mentioned with Arabic number superscript after the name of each contributing author.

Contact details of Corresponding author such as e-mail address and telephone numbers.

Ethical Statement: Whenever applicable, authors should state explicitly in the form of statement that the study on which the article is based, has been conducted with current ethical & / or regulatory standards of the country. The current ethical standards for biomedical research involving human participants include, but not limited to, Ethics committee approval/s (wherever applicable) ICMR guidelines, ICH-GCP guidelines etc. All RCTs must mention the CTRI number.

Conflict of Interest statement: Conflicts of interest/s, financial or otherwise, present or absent among all the stakeholders such as investigators, authors, coauthors, sponsors, funding agencies, institutes etc., must be declared as a statement.

Acknowledgments (if any): Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section on the title page. The names of funding organizations should be written in full.

 

  1. Text (word file)

Abstract

For Original Articles please provide a structured abstract of 250 words. Organize it into background/purpose of the study, methods, results and conclusion. The structured abstract should state the purpose of the study or investigation, basic procedures (study subjects, observational and analytical methods), main findings (give specific data and their statistical significance, if possible), and the principal conclusions

For Review Papers please provide a running/unstructured abstract of 250 words. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

Keywords

Please provide 4-6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Manuscript:

For Original Articles, organize the main body/text into an introductory section that conveys the background/purpose of the study, followed by sections titled Material and Methods, Results and Discussion.

For Review Articles, organize the main body/text into an introductory section that conveys the background and purpose of the review, followed by a Discussion and Conclusion and Perspective.

Footnotes and endnotes: Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.

Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.

References:

PJOG uses Vancouver style for referencing that is references in text, tables, and legends should be numbered consecutively in the order they are cited in the text (and not alphabetically) using Arabic numbers in parentheses. Once a reference is cited, all subsequent citations should be to the original number. References may not appear in your Reference List unless they have been cited in the text or tables. Papers that have been accepted for publication or are in press may be listed as references, but the Journal does not reference unpublished data and personal communications. Use the form citations as adopted by the American Medical Association that AMA style as follows.

Journal Article

Ibdah JA, Bennet MJ, Rinaldo P, Zhao Y, Gibson B, Sims HF, Strauss AW. A fetal fatty-acid oxidation disorder as a cause of liver disease in pregnant women. N Engl J Med 1999;340:1723-1731, Jun 3, 1999

Book

Krishnamurthy G, Krishnamurthy S. Nuclear Hepatology: A Text Book of Hepatobiliary Disease, New York, Springer-Verlag, 2002; 6-12

Book Chapter

Jones MC, Smith RB. Treatment of gastric cancer. In Ford TL, editor, Cancer of the Digestive System, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 1999;140-154

Article by DOI

Mori K, Arai H, Abe T, Takayama H, Toyoda M, Ueno T, Sato K. Spleen stiffness correlates with the presence of ascites but not esophageal varices in chronic hepatitis C patients.

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:857862. doi: 10.1155/2013/857862. Epub 2013 Aug 1

  1. Illustrations: Tables and artwork (word file)

 

Tables

All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.

Tables should always be cited in the text in consecutive numerical order.

For each table, please supply a table caption (title) explaining the components of the table.

Identify any previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference at the end of the table caption.

Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body.

Artwork (Figures, Flowcharts Diagrams)

File type and quality: Figures should be high quality (1200 dpi for line art, 600 dpi for grayscale and 300 dpi for colour, at the correct size). Figures should be supplied in one of our preferred file formats: EPS, PS, JPEG, TIFF, or Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX) files are acceptable for figures that have been drawn in Word.

Figure Lettering: To add lettering, it is best to use Times New Roman or Arial with 8 – 10 font size. Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork. Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc. Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering: All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals. Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order. Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).

Figure Captions: Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.

Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type. No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption. Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs. Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure Placement and Size: Figures should be submitted separately from the text. When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width. For large-sized journals the figures should be 84 mm (for double-column text areas), or 174 mm (for single-column text areas) wide and not higher than 234 mm.

Color of the artwork: Color art is free of charge for online publication. If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent. If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.

Supplementary documents: (word file)

Declaration and Copyright transfer Form (template)

Authors’ and Contributors’ Form (template)

Plagiarism report

Permissions

If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that (publisher) will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that

All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech software or a text-to-Braille hardware)

Patterns are used instead of or in addition to colors for conveying information (colorblind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)

Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1

Supplementary Information (SI)

Springer accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, audio, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published online along with an article or a book chapter. This feature can add dimension to the author’s article, as certain information cannot be printed or is more convenient in electronic form.

Before submitting research datasets as Supplementary Information, authors should read the journal’s Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscript Submission

To avoid redundancy in publications, PJOG accepts manuscripts neither been published before nor under consideration for publication anywhere else. This fact must be approved by all that is authors, co-authors, as well as by the responsible authorities, if any, of the institute or an organization where the work has been carried out.

The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

Permissions

Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

Online Submission

Authors Articles will betted by

Please ensure you provide all relevant editable source files. Failing to submit these source files might cause unnecessary delays in the review and production process.

Please note:

First time authors have to ‚Äúregister‚ÄĚ themselves on the Editorial Manager. If you already are registered on Editorial Manager, please use your provided user name and password and log in as ‚ÄúAuthor‚ÄĚ to submit a NEW manuscript or to track your submitted manuscript (do not register again as you will then be unable to track your manuscript).

Copyright

Copyright on all accepted manuscripts will be held by The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). It is mandatory that the Copyright / Authorship / Disclosure Form is signed by all the authors, expressly transferring copyright to FOGSI in the event the manuscript is accepted for publication. This form must be submitted along with the manuscript on the Editorial Manager. The form can be downloaded from the hyperlink on the right side of the screen. Manuscripts without this form will not be considered for publication.

Submission

Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.

Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.

High resolution (streamable quality) videos can be submitted up to a maximum of 25GB; low resolution videos should not be larger than 5GB.

Audio, Video, and Animations

Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3

Maximum file size: 25 GB for high resolution files; 5 GB for low resolution files

Minimum video duration: 1 sec

Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp

Text and Presentations

Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.

A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets should be submitted as .csv or .xlsx files (MS Excel).

Specialized Formats

Specialized format such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

Collecting Multiple Files

It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.

Numbering

If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.

Refer to the supplementary files as ‚ÄúOnline Resource‚ÄĚ, e.g., “… as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)”, ‚Äú… additional data are given in Online Resource 4‚ÄĚ.

Name the files consecutively, e.g. ‚ÄúESM_3.mpg‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúESM_4.pdf‚ÄĚ.

Captions

For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

Processing of supplementary files

Supplementary Information (SI) will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that

The manuscript contains a descriptive caption for each supplementary material

Video files do not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)

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Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.

The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‚Äėself-plagiarism‚Äô).

A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‚Äėsalami-slicing/publishing‚Äô).

Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.

Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image-based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.

No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author‚Äôs own (‚Äėplagiarism‚Äô). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).

Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.

Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.

Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).

Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.

If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

– an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

– an expression of concern may be placed with the article

– or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked ‚Äúretracted‚ÄĚ and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

The author’s institution may be informed

A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.