4 ways to get higher quality peer review comments

Does the quality of the peer review comments your journal receives vary more than it should?

Well-thought-out reviewer comments aside, many editorial teams find that they too often receive comments that are:

  • Meandering and difficult to interpret
  • Sparse or lacking the level of detail needed to be constructive
  • Hyper-critical in incidental areas while missing the bigger picture

Such unfocused or insufficient reviewer comments can create snags in peer review and cause frustration for all parties involved. Many editorial teams struggle with wanting to ensure that they’re providing authors with robust feedback but feeling like reviewer comment quality is outside of their control. While you can’t guarantee that your journal will receive top-notch reviewer comments all of the time, there are some steps your editorial team can take to improve reviewer comment quality.

Use a peer review feedback form

One of the best steps editorial teams can take to improve the quality of reviewer comments their journal receives is to require all reviewers to complete a standardized feedback form. When reviewers are left to fashion comments from a set of instructions, no matter how thorough and well-formatted they may be, the likelihood of some reviewers misinterpreting or skimming over expectations is high. However, using a required, standard feedback form journals can ensure that all reviewers address the same key manuscript areas while deterring reviewers from giving tangential feedback. Reviewer feedback forms work best when they are automated using peer review software, so reviewers literally can’t submit comments without answering all of the necessary questions.

Find the right balance of feedback form questions and make them specific

The results of your journal’s reviewer feedback form will only be as good as its design. Once your journal has a feedback form set up, track the quality of responses submitted and make adjustments to the questions as needed to improve feedback outcomes.

The best feedback forms have a balanced number of questions that are easy to interpret. Aim to provide enough questions to adequately guide reviewers but not so many that you begin to overwhelm them. Remember, reviewer fatigue is real! Make questions specific so reviewers understand the goal of each question—this includes writing questions clearly and formatting questions to reflect the level of feedback needed. For example, journals can use open-ended questions for substantive feedback and Likert Scale questions for high-level assessments and recommendations.

Some common feedback form flaws to avoid are:

  • Requiring nonessential questions: As noted, it’s important to have a balanced number of feedback form questions. Avoid filling up your form with questions you don’t need.
  • Combining questions: Make sure that each question in your feedback form is only about one thing. When questions touch on multiple areas it’s more likely for reviewers to submit unclear or partial responses.
  • Not asking for a publication recommendation: While the decision to accept a manuscript, reject it, or ask for revisions is ultimately up to your editors, asking reviewers for a direct recommendation can help ensure you’re interpreting their comments correctly.

It’s a good idea to also include an open-ended response field for comments to the editor at the end of your feedback form. This will ensure that reviewers are able to comment on all aspects of the manuscript that they think are necessary, even if your form doesn’t address them all. Over time, this field can help you to keep improving your feedback form questions by revealing any important assessment areas you’ve missed.

Limit revise and resubmit rounds

In addition to taking steps to improve initial reviewer comments, journals should set clear parameters for revise and resubmit rounds to ensure subsequent comments remain helpful and on track. As explained by former managing editor of Aztlán Journal of Chicano Studies, Wendy Laura Belcher, reviewer feedback can become less focused over multiple rounds of revisions and review. Belcher said that a common problem that editors should look out for is reviewers picking apart new areas of a submission in each round of review. This can turn into a frustrating cycle for authors and reviewers who just want to fulfill their respective expectations. Journals can avoid these situations by setting clear parameters for which aspects of the manuscript reviewers should be commenting on as well as a limit to the number of rounds of revision a manuscript can go through.

Help reviewers improve

Finally, your journal can help reviewers grow and improve the reviewer comments you receive by giving reviewers insight into the quality of their feedback. Journals can either provide reviewers with direct feedback on their comments, noting what was most useful and whether any comments were unnecessary or confusing, or they can send reviewers copies of author decision letters to provide insight into how their comments were interpreted and relayed to the author. Additionally, journals working with more early-career reviewers may want to provide some training materials such as a guide to writing constructive reviewer comments.

Source: Scholastica

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3 Steps to Ensure Your Journal Receives Punctual Peer Reviews

Journal editors spend much of their time working to build out a network of possible peer reviewers for new submissions. It can be difficult to find scholars within a journal’s subject area, especially for niche publications, who are able and willing to provide regular peer reviews. As a result, most editors are constantly on the hunt for new reviewers. After searching for and securing reviewers for a manuscript, the last situation that an editor wants to be in is having one or more of those reviewers go silent.

Unresponsive reviewers can cause significant delays in a journal’s time to publication, creating stress for editors trying to get out their next issue on time and frustrating authors who are hoping to get a decision as soon as possible. What can editors do to avoid sending review assignments and hearing crickets? It can be difficult to predict whether a reviewer might become unresponsive. However, there are ways for editors to try to avoid such situations. Below we outline 3 steps you can take.

1. Check your journal’s past reviewer data before sending a review request

As you build out a reviewer database for your journal, one of the best things you can do to ensure timely reviews is to keep track of all your journal’s past reviewer activity. This can most easily be achieved via peer review software. Many systems, like Scholastica, will automatically track your journal’s reviewer activity with no added work on your part. However, if you’re not yet using a peer review system you can start tracking some reviewer stats in a spreadsheet.

Among the primary reviewer stats your journal should track are:

  • Average days for completing a review assignment
  • Pending review requests from your journal
  • Currently late reviews
  • Number of completed reviews

From the above stats you can start to glean insights into which reviewers you should reach out to and which you may want to wait on or even remove from your list. If you find that a reviewer already has a late or pending review, you’ll quickly know not to reach out to them until those assignments are addressed. Conversely, if you find that a reviewer has completed one or more reviews in a timely manner and has not declined a review invitation recently, that reviewer is likely a good candidate to contact.

Keeping a record of reviewer activity is especially important for journals with many editors, a large reviewer pool, or both. If you have multiple editors pulling from the same reviewer list without any log of reviewer activity, you’re likely to encounter more attrition in review requests because there will be a higher likelihood of editors reaching out to the same go-to reviewers too frequently and potentially turning them off from working with your journal. Even for journals with one managing editor selecting reviewers, it’s unlikely that, that editor will be able to recall each reviewer’s history with the journal off hand. Having a place for the managing editor to find reviewer data will help them avoid spending hours searching through email chains to figure out when a reviewer was last contacted and how they responded.

In order to ensure consistent data, editors should aim to incorporate peer reviewer tracking into their workflows as seamlessly as possible. The more manual steps you have to take to track reviewer activity, the more likely your editors will be to forget steps, leading to incomplete or inaccurate data. With the right peer review software, you can track reviewer activity without adding any extra steps for your team. For example, editors using Scholastica enable automatic reviewer activity tracking as soon as they invite reviewers to their journal via our system.

2. Have a set peer review timeline

Once editors have identified reviewers to reach out to, one of the most tasking parts of the peer review process can be waiting for them to acknowledge and respond to the review request. Review requests can sometimes get buried in scholars’ inboxes leading to days or even weeks of delay before they send a reply.

In order to avoid extensive wait times for reviewers to reply to invitations, one of the best things editorial teams can do is develop an established timeline for review requests. The timeline should account for one or more review reminders sent at designated times and then a final cutoff point for the reviewer to either respond to the invitation or be assumed unavailable.

Dianne Dixon, Managing Editor of International Journal of Radiation Biology piloted this approach to review requests and has seen great success. Her journal’s timeline includes sending an initial review request, sending a reminder four days later, sending a final reminder four days after that, and then finally removing the reviewer from the list after letting them know that she realizes they are likely unable to accept. In this closing email, Dixon asks reviewers to please let her know if they find they are able to review the manuscript. She said using this series of emails with a cutoff point for review responses has decreased delays in her journal’s peer review process.

3. Use automated reviewer reminders

After reviewers have accepted an assignment and agreed to a review deadline, it’s important for editors to periodically check in with them to ensure the review doesn’t fall off their radar. One of the best ways to do this is to send reminder emails at regular intervals.

Editors can try to block out time in their schedules to send review reminder emails, but with so many tasks to keep track of this can often become a bit of a chore. This is another area where peer review software can step in. Many software systems will enable editors to set up automatic weekly or bi-weekly reviewer assignment reminders, which editors can schedule to start sending as the assignment deadline approaches. It’s also a good idea to set up automatic late review reminder emails, that way journals can know late reviewers will be contacted as soon as they miss an assignment – possibly before the assigned editor even realizes.

Despite automation sometimes connoting a sense of detachment, it’s important for editors to consider how automated emails can actually help make journal communication more personal. Automated review reminders help journals stay in constant contact with reviewers and free up editors’ time for sending more thorough responses to specific reviewer questions among other benefits.

Overall emphasize the importance of reviewer communication

There is always the chance that a reviewer will accept an assignment with every intention of completing it on time but then become preoccupied with other obligations and fall behind on their deadline. Such cases are unpredictable for both the journal and reviewers.

Often when reviewers suddenly become unresponsive, the situation can be solved by encouraging reviewers to communicate if their circumstances have changed. Reviewers may be hesitant to go back on their promise, so it’s important for editors to remind them that in cases where they simply can’t complete an assignment on time the best course of action is to make that known.

The Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) “Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers“ stresses the importance of reviewers acknowledging if they are no longer able to complete an assignment. It states that reviewers should “always inform the journal promptly if your circumstances change and you cannot fulfill your original agreement or if you require an extension.” Journals can point reviewers to these guidelines or simply remind them in review requests that the journal encourages reviewer updates, even if it means reviewers having to decline an invitation they previously accepted.

Source: Scholastica

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How to write rejection letter for journal article (Example 1)

Dear colleague (name),

We received your manuscript with ID 06118: (title of the article),
and I regret to inform you that, based on plagiarism iThenticate program yours article showed 58% similarity with other papers. Due to a possible plagiarism we will not be possible to further consider your manuscript for publication in Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities. 

This policy, though not always convenient to potential contributors, will help ensure that Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities maintains a position of leadership in the field.
Again, thank you for your interest in the journal, and I regret that the outcome could not have been more favorable in this case.
Sincerely, 
JRTDD Editor-in-chief

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12 Steps for Preparing Your Academic Writing for Submission to a Journal

Publishing your academic writing in a journal is crucial to advancing your career. Standards are high, and you usually only get one shot, so don’t waste it. Here’s how to make your paper the best it can be before submitting.

1. Read the journal

Just because a particular publication covers your field doesn’t necessarily mean that your article will be a good fit. Learn the aims of the particular publication, and then take it a step further by looking at the articles they choose to publish. If your article doesn’t seem like a good match, find a different publication to submit to or rewrite your article to make it more appropriate.

2. Find the article submission guidelines

You’ll find that different publications have different requirements, and if you don’t follow them, you risk having your academic writing thrown out before it’s even considered. It would be a shame not to be published just because you exceeded their word limit or submitted your document as the wrong file type. (This service can help reduce the size of a paper that is too long.)

3. Proofread, proofread, and then proofread again

It’s not enough just to run spellcheck or read through your work once. Getting a set of professional eyes on your work is ideal, since they’ll catch mistakes that you may not realize you made. If you’re interested in working with a professional proofreader, check outproofreading options here.

4. Review your bibliography

When proofreading, it can be easy to overlook this part of your paper, but it’s important to make sure it’s free of errors. Also, you want to ensure that all sources you cite in the text are included in the bibliography, and vice versa.

5. Verify you’ve included all the conventions of academic writing

Be sure to include a title, abstract, and keywords, and your paper should contain a clear statement of purpose in the introduction, lay out your hypotheses or the questions you are exploring, detail your methodology, provide a systematic analysis, and then discuss the results in the conclusion while acknowledging any limitations of the study.

6. Rework your title

It’s possible that the title you currently have is the best option, but more often than not, there’s a better one out there. You want the title to be accurate and descriptive. Look out for “filler” words and repetition. Take the time to brainstorm new ideas, and then get outside opinions to help you make a final selection.

7. Consult with colleagues in your field

The opinions of friends and family members are valuable, but this paper will be judged by someone who has in-depth knowledge of your area of study. Get an objective opinion before you submit your academic writing to a journal. Professors and other mentors are great resources for notes on how to improve your article. (Here is a list of consultants who can help as well.)

8. Get permission

Are you using any copyrighted material? Any piece of content you took from an outside source should be cited, and you need to obtain permission before submitting to a journal. Printing something as though you own it can come back to haunt your academic career in a big way. A plagiarism check is always a good idea.

9. Develop an effective cover letter

After spending all that time perfecting your academic writing, it can be tempting to throw together a cover letter quickly. This is a big mistake. You need this letter to be as compelling as possible because the editor may not get further than reading it. But that doesn’t mean it should be longwinded. Instead, keep it short and focused, just highlighting the key points. The goal is to entice them to read more. If you struggle writing cover letters,work with a consultant.

10. Look for supplemental material

Can you add more value to your academic writing? Are there tables, graphics, or other visual representations of the data that can help support your arguments? Some journals even accept multimedia, such as video or audio files, which they may include on their websites. It’s always a good idea to get suggestions regarding artwork, tables, graphs, and other illustrations that could add value to your writing.

11. Call the editor

Even better than reading the journal to find out what they are looking for is having an actual conversation with the decision makers on the other end. Your enthusiasm and knowledge about the topic can help encourage the editor to take a look at a paper that he or she may otherwise not have considered. It’s also an opportunity to find more ways you can adjust your academic writing to be a better fit for the journal. If speaking with the editor isn’t a possibility, at least consider speaking with experts in your field before submitting.

12. Present your paper at conferences

If you’re not sure where to submit, this can be a great path to finding a publication interested in your work. Instead of you seeking them out, they may come to you. Journal editors often attend conferences with the intent to find papers to publish.

If you’ve followed these twelve steps, you’ve done your best to prepare your academic writing for publication. Be aware that it can often take three to four months to hear back from journals, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t contacted right away.

To see our full range of academic services, click here. We offer everything from translationto dissertation coaching to machine learning consulting.

Source: www.proofreadingservices.com

 

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Publication Ethics

JRTDD is committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics and to supporting ethical research practices. JRTDD is still not a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://publicationethics.org/) but we adheres to the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. We encourage journal editors to follow the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors and to refer reviewers to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers as appropriate. Allegations of misconduct will be investigated in accordance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines as far as is practicable. If notified of a potential breach of publication ethics, we encourage journal editors and staff to inform their JRTDD contact as soon as possible. JRTDD staff are trained on how to proceed with investigations into allegations of ethical misconduct and will seek legal counsel when necessary.

We take publication ethics very seriously. Many of the journals we publish have individual ethical policies, and we encourage authors to check the relevant journal website for details prior to submission.  JRTDD supports its journal editorial teams and authors providing best practice guidelines in the following key areas:

Authorship

Article submission

Conflict of interest

Fair editing and peer review

Promoting ethical research

 

Authorship

JRTDD expects all published articles to contain clear and accurate attribution of authorship. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that all authors that contributed to the work are fairly acknowledged and that the published author list accurately reflects individual contributions. Where authorship disputes arise, JRTDD encourages journal editorial teams to follow the COPE guidelines detailed here. Where authors employ the services of third party agencies prior to submission, for instance in language editing or manuscript formatting/preparation, they must ensure that all services comply with the following guidelines.

  1. Attribution and acknowledgement

JRTDD supports the ICMJE definitions of authorship as published here. Some journals publish their own definitions of authorship – check the journal submission guidelines or editorial policy for details. Definitions of what constitutes authorship vary by journal, research area, or article type but typically authorship is confined to those who have made a significant contribution to the design and execution of the work described. Many journals now take the extra step of emailing named authors at the point of submission (usually via the journal submission system) to confirm participation. Some journals may require a short description of each authors’ contribution to be included with the submitted files or as part of the acknowledgements section of an article.

  1. Changes in authorship

Requests for changes to authorship must be directed to the journal editor or administrator – check individual journal websites for contact details. Requests should be dealt with fairly and in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines (detailed below) and/or the published policy of the individual journal. Changes in authorship will only be permitted where valid reasons are provided and all authors are in agreement with the change. Post-publication changes to authorship will typically be made via a published correction.

  • Request for addition of extra author before publication:

http://publicationethics.org/files/u7140/Authorship%20A_0.pdf

  • Request removal of author before publication:

http://publicationethics.org/files/u7140/Authorship%20B.pdf

  • Request for addition of extra author post publication:

http://publicationethics.org/files/u7140/Authorship%20C.pdf

  • Request for removal of author post-publication:

http://publicationethics.org/files/u7140/Authorship%20C.pdf

  1. ‘Ghost,’ ‘guest,’ or ‘gift’ authorship

JRTDD considers all forms of ghost, guest, and gift authorship to be unethical and works closely with editors and publishing partners to take a firm stance against such practices. Any allegation of ghost, guest, or gift authorship will be investigated in accordance with the COPE guidelines listed here. Where such practices are identified the authors in question will be removed from an article through a post-publication correction or erratum. In addition the journal may choose to notify the institutional or local ethics committee for the authors in question.

‘Ghost’ authorship refers to the practice of using a non-named author to write or prepare an article for publication. Ghost authors are typically (but not exclusively) paid sponsors, employees, junior researchers, or external academic affiliates.

‘Guest’ or ‘gift’ authorship refers to the practice of naming an individual that made little or no contribution to a study as an author on an article. Gift authors are typically (but not exclusively) senior researchers, affiliated researchers, friends, or colleagues of the principle author. There are also organisations that offer gift authorship for a fee.

 

Article submission

JRTDD takes every effort to ensure that editors, peer reviewers, and journal administrators treat all submissions respectfully, in confidence, and in accordance with COPE ethical guidelines. JRTDD expects that all individuals submitting manuscripts to JRTDD-published journal abide by established publishing standards and ethics. In proven cases of misconduct, the action taken will vary by journal and by context, but could result in one or more of the following:

  • Retraction of published work.
  • Publication of a correction or statement of concern.
  • Refusal of future submission.
  • Notification of misconduct sent to an author’s local institution, superior, and/or ethics committee.
  1. Redundant publication (dual submission or publication)

JRTDD-published journal evaluate submissions on the understanding that they have not been previously published in or simultaneously submitted to another journal. We encourage all JRTDD-reviewers to investigate allegations of redundant publication thoroughly and in accordance with COPE guidelines detailed here. We also encourage editors and journal administrators to keep a clear record of all communications between authors, editors, and peer reviewers regarding the submissions they handle. These records are carefully stored and may be used to facilitate investigations into possible cases of misconduct. Where necessary we will contact and/or co-operate with other publishers and journals to identify cases of redundant publication.

  1. Plagiarism

JRTDD journals evaluate submissions on the understanding that they are the original work of the author(s). We expect that references made in a manuscript or article to another person’s work or idea will be credited appropriately. Equally we expect authors to gain all appropriate permissions prior to publication. Guidelines on when permissions are required and how to seek permissions are available here.

Re-use of text, data, figures, or images without appropriate acknowledgment or permission is considered plagiarism, as is the paraphrasing of text, concepts, and ideas. All allegations of plagiarism are investigated thoroughly and in accordance with COPE guidelines detailed here. Many journals now systematically run submitted papers through plagiarism-detection software to identify possible cases. Journals will typically stipulate how they employ such software – whether systematically or selectively – in their submission guidelines.

  1. Defamation

Whilst striving to promote freedom of expression wherever possible, JRTDD aims to avoid publishing anything that harms the reputation of an individual, business, or organization unless it can be proven to be true. We take all possible measures to ensure that published work is free of any text that is, or may be considered to be libelous, slanderous, or defamatory.

 

Conflict of interest

JRTDD is committed to transparency in areas of potential conflict of interest. We encourage our editors and partner societies to publish and regularly review policies on Conflict of Interest as they relate to authors, editors and peer reviewers.

  1. Authors

Conflict of interest exists when an author’s private interests might be seen as influencing the objectivity of research or experiment, to the point that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behaviour or judgement was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests. It is the responsibility of a manuscript’s corresponding author to confirm if co-authors hold any conflict of interest.  The corresponding author may be required to co-ordinate completion of written forms from each co-author and submit these to the editor or journal administrator prior to acceptance.  The following should also be declared, either through the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript or at the point of submission:

  • All sources of research funding, including direct and indirect financial support, supply of equipment, or materials (including specialist statistical or writing assistance).
  • The role of the research funder(s) or sponsor(s), if any, in the research design execution, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.
  • Any relevant financial and non-financial interests and relationships that might be considered likely to affect the interpretation of their findings or that editors, reviewers, or readers might reasonably wish to know. These might include, but are not limited to, patent or stock ownership, membership on a company’s board of directors, membership of an editorial board or committee for a company, consultancy for a company, or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company.

When considering whether to declare a conflicting interest or connection we encourage authors to consider how they would answer the following question: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared? it?

b. Editors

JRTDD expects its journal editors to declare competing interests at the point of agreeing their position and update them annually. JRTDD’s standard editor agreement obliges the editor to declare any potential conflict of interest that might arise during the term of editorship prior to entry into any agreement or position.

Editors are required to recuse themselves from individual manuscripts if they themselves have a potential conflict of interest and to avoid creating potential conflicts of interest through assignment of handling editors or peer reviewers.

  1. Referees

We encourage editors and journal administrators to consider potential conflicts of interest when assigning reviewers. Some journals include wording in their invitation to review stating that acceptance of the invitation implies no financial or competing interest.  Where a reviewer declares potential conflict of interest the editor should select alternative reviewers. Failure to declare conflict of interest may result in removal of the reviewer from the journal database.

Fair editing and peer review

JRTDD encourages all participants in the publishing process to adhere to established principles of ethical publishing. This extends from authors to journal editors, reviewers, journal administrators, and publishing staff.

  1. Editorial independence

Editors have full editorial independence. Although JRTDD and any publishing partners may discuss strategy, process, and policy with editors, we will never knowingly exert pressure on editors to accept manuscripts for commercial or political reasons. We do, however, expect and encourage editors to have clearly defined processes and policies for the handling of contributions by the editor or members of the editorial board to ensure that, where appropriate, these submissions receive an equivalent level of peer review to any other submission.

  1. Peer review and reviewer conduct

JRTDD supports and refers its editors to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. JRTDD support double-blind system of peer review but encourages editors to publish their review procedure as part of their submission guidelines, for instance:

Manuscripts are reviewed by two independent experts in the relevant area. The reviewers make a scientific assessment and a recommendation to the editors. Reviewers remain unknown to authors. The Handling editor considers the manuscript and the reviewers’ comments before making a final decision either to accept, accept with revision or to reject a manuscript.

  1. Confidentiality

Unless otherwise specified, JRTDD expects editors and reviewers to handle all submissions in confidence. If a reviewer wishes to delegate the review or seek the opinion of a colleague on a specific aspect of the paper, they are expected to clear this with the editor in the first instance.

Any suggestion that an editor or reviewer is appropriating ideas from a manuscript they handled for a journal will be thoroughly investigated in accordance with the following COPE guidelines: http://publicationethics.org/files/u7140/Appropriated.pdf

 

  1. Peer review fraud

Some journals provide the option for submitting authors to suggest preferred reviewers. It is the responsibility of the lead author to ensure that only genuine reviewers and reviewer contact details are put forward. Any suspected or alleged instances of authors submitting fabricated reviewer details will be thoroughly investigated. If such allegations are proven, the article in question will be immediately rejected or, if already published, retracted. The journal would typically notify the authors’ institutional or local ethics council and may also impose a ban on further submissions from the author grJRTDD.

 

Promoting ethical research

JRTDD’s mission is to promote the highest standards of research through its publishing activities. Ensuring that the research we publish is conducted in a fair and ethical manner is integral to this. We publish across multiple research areas, many of which have their own standards and methods of governing research practice.

Wherever appropriate, we expect published research based on human subjects to provide the name of the local ethics committee that approved the study (or confirmation that such approval is not needed) and/or to state how the study conforms to recognized standards (e.g. declaration of Helsinki or US Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects). JRTDD encourages handling editors to return any manuscripts describing studies not meeting acceptable criteria.

The following list details JRTDD’s approach to the most common areas of research integrity.

  1. Patient confidentiality

Journals publishing studies using human subjects should ensure that a patient’s right to privacy has not been infringed without prior consent. We encourage authors to follow the ICMJE guidelines for reporting on human subjects. For publication of material that contains detailed patient information about a living individual, it is compulsory for a signed patient consent to be obtained. Any identifier that might reveal a patient’s identity must be removed (i.e., x-rays, MRIs, charts, photographs, etc.). Written informed consent is required from any potentially identifiable patient or legal representative, and should be presented in either the Methods section or the Acknowledgements.

  1. Animal experimentation

Where animals are used in research we expect them to have been treated in a humane manner and in line with the ARRIVE guidelines. The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science has published guidelines specifically for editors and Reviewers on how to handle submissions involving animal research. JRTDD supports these guidelines and, wherever possible, encourages editors and society partners to adopt them. Authors may be required to provide evidence that they obtained ethical and /or legal approval prior to conducting the research.

  1. Registering clinical trials

All clinical trials should be registered prospectively in publically accessible databases (e.g. www.clinicaltrials.gov and www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu) and manuscripts should include registration numbers and the name of the register. Some journals may require clinical trials to be reported according to CONSORT guidelines.

  1. Falsification and fabrication

Submitted papers found to include false or fabricated data prior to publication will be returned to the author immediately with a request for an explanation. If no explanation is received or if the explanation provided is considered unsatisfactory, the journal will notify the authors’ institution, local ethical committee, or superior. The journal may also refuse to accept further submissions from the author for a defined period.

Examples of data falsification or fabrication include: image manipulation; cropping of gels/images to change context; omission of selected data; or making-up data sets. Some journals employ image manipulation software to detect evidence of falsification in submitted manuscripts. JRTDD recognizes that falsification is not always deliberate and will encourage its editors to consider each case on its terms.

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Peer Review Process in JRTDD

The manuscripts submitted to “Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities” will be reviewed for possible publication on the understanding that they have been submitted only to “Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities” and have not been published, simultaneously submitted, or accepted for publication elsewhere.

Once a manuscript is submitted to “Journal for ReAttach Therapy and Developmental Diversities”, it is sent to an external reviewers who will give the necessary recommendations according to which the article is published unaltered or is sent back to the author for corrections as advised by the reviewer, or rejected. The author is informed regarding the same. Once the article is fit for publication it is published both in print and online journal.

The peer-review process is double blinded, i.e., the reviewers do not know who the authors of the manuscript are and the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer-reviewers are.

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Definition of Open Access

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

  • OA removes price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions). The PLoSshorthand definition —”free availability and unrestricted use”— succinctly captures both elements.
  • There is some flexibility about which permission barriers to remove. For example, some OA providers permit commercial re-use and some do not. Some permit derivative works and some do not. But all of the major public definitions of OA agree that merely removing price barriers, or limiting permissible uses to “fair use” (“fair dealing” in the UK), is not enough.
  • Here’s how the Budapest Open Access Initiative put it: “There are many degrees and kinds of wider and easier access to this literature. By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”
  • Here’s how the Bethesda and Berlin statements put it: For a work to be OA, the copyright holder must consent in advance to let users “copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship….”
  • The Budapest (February 2002), Bethesda (June 2003), and Berlin (October 2003) definitions of “open access” are the most central and influential for the OA movement. Sometimes I refer to them collectively, or to their common ground, as the BBB definition.
  • When we need to refer unambiguously to sub-species of OA, we can borrowterminology from the kindred movement for free and open-source software.Gratis OA removes price barriers alone, and libre OA removes price barriers and at least some permission barriers as well. Gratis OA is free of charge, but not free of copyright of licensing restrictions. Users must either limit themselves to fair use or seek permission to exceed it. Libre OA is free of charge and expressly permits uses beyond fair use. To adapt Richard Stallman’s famousformulation (originally applied to software), gratis OA is free as in ‘free beer’, while libre OA is also free as in ‘free speech’.
  • In addition to removing access barriers, OA should be immediate, rather than delayed, and should apply to full texts, not just abstracts or summaries.

  OA is compatible with copyright, peer review, revenue (even profit), print, preservation, prestige, quality, career-advancement, indexing, and other features and supportive services associated with conventional scholarly literature.

  • The primary difference is that the bills are not paid by readers and hence do not function as access barriers.

  The legal basis of OA is the consent of the copyright holder (for newer literature) or the expiration of copyright (for older literature).

  • Because OA uses copyright-holder consent or the expiration of copyright, it does not require the reform, abolition, or infringement of copyright law.
  • One easy, effective, and increasingly common way for copyright holders to manifest their consent to OA is to use one of the Creative Commons licenses. Many other open-content licenses will also work. Copyright holders could also compose their own licenses or permission statements and attach them to their works (though there are good reasons not to do so without legal advice).
  • When copyright holders consent to OA, what are they consenting to? Usually they consent in advance to the unrestricted reading, downloading, copying, sharing, storing, printing, searching, linking, and crawling of the full-text of the work. Most authors choose to retain the right to block the distribution of mangled or misattributed copies. Some choose to block commercial re-use of the work. Essentially, these conditions block plagiarism, misrepresentation, and sometimes commercial re-use, and authorize all the uses required by legitimate scholarship, including those required by the technologies that facilitate online scholarly research.
  • For works not in the public domain, OA depends on copyright-holder consent. Two related conclusions follow: (1) OA is not Napster for science. It’s about lawful sharing, not sharing in disregard of law. (2) OA to copyrighted works is voluntary, even if it is sometimes a condition of a voluntary contract, such as an employment or funding contract. There is no vigilante OA, no infringing, expropriating, or piratical OA.
  • Of course OA can be implemented badly so that it infringes copyright. But so can ordinary publishing. With a little care it can be implemented well so that doesn’t infringe copyright. Just like ordinary publishing.

  OA is compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance.

  • Peer review does not depend on the price or medium of a journal. Nor does the value, rigor, or integrity of peer review.
  • One reason we know that peer review at OA journals can be as rigorous and honest as peer review in conventional journals is that it can use the same procedures, the same standards, and even the same people (editors and referees) as conventional journals.
  • Conventional publishers sometimes object that one common funding model for OA journals (charging fees to authors of accepted articles or their sponsors) compromises peer review. I’ve answered this objection at length elsewhere.
  • OA journals can use traditional forms of peer review or they can use innovative new forms that take advantage of the new medium and the interactive network joining scholars to one another. However, removing access barriers and reforming peer review are independent projects. OA is compatible with every kind of peer review and doesn’t presuppose any particular model.
  • The reverse is not true, however. Some emerging models of peer review presuppose OA, for example models of “open review” in which submitted manuscripts are made OA (before or after some in-house review) and then reviewed by the research community. Open review requires OA but OA does not require open review.
  • In most disciplines and most fields the editors and referees who perform peer review donate their labor, just like the authors. Where they are paid, OA to the resulting articles is still possible; it merely requires a larger subsidy than otherwise.
  • Despite the fact that those exercising editorial judgment usually donate their labor, performing peer review still has costs –distributing files to referees, monitoring who has what, tracking progress, nagging dawdlers, collecting comments and sharing them with the right people, facilitating communication, distinguishing versions, collecting data, and so on. Increasingly these non-editorial tasks are being automated by software, including free and open-source software.

  There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles, OA journals(“gold OA”) and OA repositories (“green OA”).

 

  Open access is not synonymous with universal access.

  • Even after OA has been achieved, at least four kinds of access barrier might remain in place:
    1. Filtering and censorship barriers. Many schools, employers, and governments want to limit what you can see.
    2. Language barriers. Most online literature is in English, or just one language, and machine translation is very weak.
    3. Handicap access barriers. Most web sites are not yet as accessible to handicapped users as they should be.
    4. Connectivity barriers. The digital divide keeps billions of people, including millions of serious scholars, offline.
  • Even if we want to remove these four additional barriers (and most of us do), there’s no reason to hold off using the term “open access” until we’ve succeeded. Removing price and permission barriers is a significant plateau worth recognizing with a special name.

  OA is a kind of access, not a kind of business model, license, or content.

  • OA is not a kind of business model.
    • There are many business models compatible with OA, i.e many ways to pay the bills so that readers can reach the content without charge. Models that work well in some fields and nations may not work as well in others. No one claims that one size fits all.
    • There are many differences among the disciplines that affect the funding of OA. We should not expect OA to make progress in all disciplines at the same rate, any more than we should expect it to make progress in all countries at the same rate. Most of the progress and debate is taking place in the STM fields (science, technology, and medicine), but OA is just as feasible and useful in the humanities.
    • New OA business models are evolving, and older ones are being tested and revised, all the time. There’s a lot of room for creativity in finding ways to pay the costs of a peer-reviewed OA journal or a general-purpose OA repository, and we’re far from having exhausted our cleverness and imagination.
  • OA is not a kind of license. There are many licenses compatible with OA, i.e. many ways to remove permission barriers for users and let them know what they may and may not do with the content. See the sections on permission barriers and licenses above.
  • OA is not a kind of content. Every kind of digital content can be OA, from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media. The OA movement focuses on peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints. While most of these are just text, a growing number integrate text with images, data, and executable code. OA can also apply to non-scholarly content, like music, movies, and novels, even if these are not the focus of most OA activists.

  OA serves the interests of many groups.

  • Authors:  OA gives them a worldwide audience larger than that of any subscription-based journal, no matter how prestigious or popular, and demonstrably increases the visibility and impact of their work.
  • Readers:  OA gives them barrier-free access to the literature they need for their research, unconstrained by the budgets of the libraries where they may have access privileges. OA increases reader reach and retrieval power. OA also gives barrier-free access to the software they use in their research. Free online literature is free online data for software that facilitates full-text searching, indexing, mining, summarizing, translating, querying, linking, recommending, alerting, “mash-ups” and other forms of processing and analysis.
  • Teachers and students:  OA puts rich and poor on an equal footing for these key resources and eliminates the need for payments or permissions to reproduce and distribute content.
  • Libraries:  OA solves the pricing crisis for scholarly journals. It also solves what I’ve called the permission crisis. OA also serves library interests in other, indirect ways. Librarians want to help users find the information they need, regardless of the budget-enforced limits on the library’s own collection. Academic librarians want to help faculty increase their audience and impact, and help the university raise its research profile.
  • Universities:  OA increases the visibility of their faculty and research, reduces their expenses for journals, and advances their mission to share knowledge.
  • Journals and publishers:  OA makes their articles more visible, discoverable, retrievable, and useful. If a journal is OA, then it can use this superior visibility to attract submissions and advertising, not to mention readers and citations. If a subscription-based journal provides OA to some of its content (e.g. selected articles in each issue, all back issues after a certain period, etc.), then it can use its increased visibility to attract all the same benefits plus subscriptions. If a journal permits OA through postprint archiving, then it has an edge in attracting authors over journals that do not permit postprint archiving. Of course subscription-based journals and their publishers have countervailing interests as well and often resist or oppose OA. But it oversimplifies the situation to think that all their interests pull against OA.
  • Funding agencies:  OA increases the return on their investment in research, making the results of the funded research more widely available, more discoverable, more retrievable, and more useful. When funding agencies disburse public funds, OA helps in a second way as well, by providing fundamental fairness to taxpayers or public access to the results of publicly-funded research.
  • Governments:  As funders of research, governments benefit from OA in all the ways that funding agencies do (see previous entry). OA also promotes democracy by sharing non-classified government information as widely as possible.
  • Citizens:  OA gives them access to peer-reviewed research, most of which is unavailable in public libraries, and gives them access to the research for which they have already paid through their taxes. But even those with no interest in reading this literature for themselves will benefit indirectly because researchers will benefit directly. OA accelerates not only research but the translation of research into new medicines, useful technologies, solved problems, and informed decisions that benefit everyone.
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