Single-blind peer review.
This journal follows a single-blind reviewing procedure.
This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. The journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.
The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
The manuscript has not been published previously (partly 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 hint of text-recycling (“self-plagiarism”).
A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time.
No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions.
No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.
Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.
Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.
Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
Adding and/or deleting authors and/or changing the order of authors at revision stage may be justifiably warranted. A letter must accompany the revised manuscript to explain the reason for the change(s) and the contribution role(s) of the added and/or deleted author(s). Further documentation may be required to support your request.
Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential proprietary data is excluded.
If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
If the article 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, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the paper is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article;
The author’s institution may be informed.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest;
Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals;
Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. single or double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the instructions following this section carefully.
The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.
The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above- mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfil the above-mentioned guidelines.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work. Although an author may not feel there is any conflict, disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work.
Awareness of a real or perceived conflicts of interest is a perspective to which the readers are entitled. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:
Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number);
Honoraria for speaking at symposia;
Financial support for attending symposia;
Financial support for educational programs;
Employment or consultation;
Support from a project sponsor;
Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management
Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest;
Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights);
Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work.
In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed.
These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.
The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, it is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors.
The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).
See below examples of disclosures:
Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).
Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.
If no conflict exists, the authors should state:
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals:
1) Statement of human rights:
When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that the independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
The following statements should be included in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”
For retrospective studies, please add the following sentence:
“For this type of study formal consent is not required.”
2) Statement on the welfare of animals:
The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists).
For studies with animals, the following statement should be included in the text before the References section:
Ethical approval: “All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”
If applicable (where such a committee exists): “All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.”
If articles do not contain studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors, please select one of the following statements:
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.”
“This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”
Author’s Agreement Form
The journal is committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity in the content published.
This journal has a Conflict of Interest policy in place and complies with international, national and institutional standards on research involving Human Participants and Animals and Informed Consent.
The journal complies with the rules Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to its principles on how to deal with acts of misconduct thereby committing to investigate allegations of misconduct in order to ensure the integrity of research.
Content published in this journal is peer reviewed.