2.1 Peer review policy
At least two independent reviews are obtained for each suitable submission. We use a double-blind reviewing process in which names are hidden from both reviewers and the authors. Our reviewers are encouraged to provide substantive, constructive reviews that provide suggestions for improving the work. The editors do not perform linguistic revisions and submitted articles that do not comply with the submission guidelines, or are not written in good English, will be returned to the authors before initiating the review process. Articles that are clearly outside of the scope of the journal or otherwise considered unsuitable by the editors will be immediately rejected and authors will be notified as soon as the decision is made.
As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:
- The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
- The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
- Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted
Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.
The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.
The editor assigned to a manuscript conducts an initial review. Some manuscripts will be rejected at this stage, others may be rejected with the suggestion that the submission be transferred to another journal. Submissions that pass the initial review are sent to external reviewers (mainly through the aurhors published their articles in pubmed to ensure both accuracy and relevance).
Time to first decision is from 8 to 16 days. After that your manuscripts are sent for revision. The maximum period for revision is 45 days.
In most cases you may be asked to resubmit your paper in which case it will be reviewed again to ensure that you have answered their questions and concerns. You should be aware that addressing reviewer's comments does not necessarily ensure publication, and the decision to publish will depend on the overall rating of your submission. When submitting a revised manuscript, please note that you will be asked to submit both a clean manuscript (with the revisions incorporated) and a revised manuscript (with the revisions highlighted).
This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process.
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.
2.4.1 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
International Journal of Surgery and Medicine requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
2.6 Declaration of conflicting interests
It is the policy of International Journal of Surgery and Medicineto require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.
IJSM believes that to make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript the journal editor should know about any competing interests that authors may have. We are not aiming to eradicate competing interests as they are almost inevitable. We will not reject papers simply because authors have a competing interest, but these will be declared on the published paper.
A competing interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal relationship). There is nothing inherently unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and openly stated.
Examples of competing interests include the following: board membership, consultancy, employment, expert testimony grants (including pending), contract research, lectures/other education events, speakers’ bureaux, patents (planned, pending or issued), receipt of equipment or supplies, royalties, stock/stock options/other forms of ownership, additional expenses not included in COIs already specified, other personal or professional relationships that may influence or appear to influence.
Authors should download and complete a copy of the ICMJE disclosure form, which is available as a PDF atwww.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf. They should keep a copy of the form and send a copy to their corresponding author. The corresponding author must insert within the submitted manuscript a summary statement derived from the information provided in the forms. This will be included in the published article. (After publication, the forms must be made available by the corresponding authors on request.)
Competing interests should be included in a statement headed “Competing Interests” at the end of the manuscript file (before the references).
2.7 Research ethics and patient consent
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.
Please also refer to the CMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The journal has adopted the Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Veterinary Journals published by the International Association of Veterinary Editors.
2.8 Clinical trials
International Journal of Surgery and Medicine expects that clinical trials are registered in one of the recognized clinical trial registries at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract. In general, all publications should follow publications guidelines available at the Equator website (https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/).
2.9 Reporting guidelines
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives
Bulgarian Association of Young Surgeons (BAYS) acknowledges the importance of research data availability as an integral part of the research and verification process for academic journal articles.
International Journal of Surgery and Medicinerequests all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles if the articles are accepted to be published in the online version of the journal, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility. Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor may consider limited embargoes on proprietary data. The editor can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations. For further information, please contact the editorial office.
2.11. Fundamental errors in published works:
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
2.12. Hazards and human or animal subjects:
Statements of compliance are required if the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects.
2.13. NIH Employees
Manuscripts authored or co-authored by one or more NIH employees must be submitted with a completed and signed NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet according to NIH’s Employee Procedures.
2.14. Author complaints
If authors, peer reviewers or readers suspect any misconduct such as violation of the editorial policy, publication ethics or any or any applicable guidelines/policies specified by COPE, they are encouraged to submit a formal letter of complaint by email addressed to the editors.