Editorial Policy

Overview

This policy describes guidelines in the publication process of our journals. Specifically, Prime Scholars Library 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:

Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND

Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND

Final approval of the version to be published; AND

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 https://portal.primescholarslibrary.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. Prime Scholars Library 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 Prime Scholars Library’ ethics committee and institutions/organizations that may require it for the resolution of the misconduct. Prime Scholars Library 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

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

Editorial Workflow

Below is the editorial workflow that every submitted manuscript to the journal will put up with during the course of the peer-review activity:

Immediately as manuscript is submitted for publication, the manuscript will be scrutinize by the editorial office to make certain that it is suitable to undergo normal peer review process. After this, the manuscript will be forwarded to a fitting Editor based on the subject area of the manuscript. Every manuscript shall be handled by an Editor who does not have any prospective conflict of interest with author(s).

If the Editor detects that the manuscript may not be of sufficient quality to go through the normal peer review process, or that the subject of the manuscript may not be appropriate for the journal’s scope, the manuscript shall be rejected with no further processing.

If the Editor finds that the submitted manuscript falls within the scope of the journal, the manuscript will be assigned to a number of external reviewers, provided there is no existence of conflict of interests between reviewers and the author(s). The reviewers will then submit their reports on the manuscripts along with their recommendation/decision of one of the following actions to the Editor:

Publish Unaltered, Consider after Minor corrections, Consider after Major corrections, Reject when Manuscript is flawed or not sufficiently novel.

When all reviewers have submitted their reports, the Editor can make one of the following editorial recommendations:

Publish Unaltered, Consider after Minor corrections, Consider after Major corrections, Reject.

If the Editor advocates “Publish Unaltered,” the manuscript will undergo a final check by the journal’s editorial office in order to ensure that the manuscript and its review process adhere to the journal’s guidelines and policies. Once this is done, the authors will be notified of the manuscript’s acceptance.

If the Editor advocates “Consider after Minor Changes,” the authors are notified to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the reviewers. The Editor reviews the revised manuscript after the minor changes have been made by the authors. Once the Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript can be accepted.

If the Editor advocates “Consider after Major Changes,” the advocation shall be communicated to the authors. The authors are expected to revise their manuscripts in line with the changes recommended by the reviewers and to submit their revised manuscript in a timely manner. Once the revised manuscript is submitted, the Editor can then make a recommendation which can be as listed below:

“Publish Unaltered,” “Consider after Minor Changes,” or “Reject.”

If the Editor advocates rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate. Also, if the majority of the reviewers recommend rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate.

The aforementioned process gives the Editors the ascendancy to reject any manuscript because of unbecomingness of its subject, lack of quality, or incorrectness of its results. The Editor cannot assign himself/herself as an external reviewer of the manuscript. This is to ensure a high-quality, fair, and unbiased peer-review process of every manuscript submitted to the journal, since any manuscript must be recommended by one or more (usually two or more) external reviewers along with the Editor in charge of the manuscript in order for it to be accepted for publication in the journal.

The peer-review process is single blinded; in this process, the reviewers know who the authors of the manuscript are, but the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer reviewers are. Every journal published by Prime Scholars Library has an acknowledgment for the researchers who have performed the peer-review process for one or more manuscripts in the past year. Without the scholarly contributions made by these researchers, the publication of the journal would not be possible.

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