Role and responsibilities of the publisher
John Libbey Eurotext (JLE) journals are either owned directly by JLE or JLE is the publisher by delegation.
All journals published by JLE are members of the SPEPS (Syndicat de la Presse et de l'Edition des Professions de Santé - France).
JLE journals follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, http://www.icmje.org/). These recommendations are the benchmark for best practices and ethical standards for the conduct and presentation of research and other information published in medical journals. The goal is to help authors, editors, and others involved in peer review and biomedical publication to produce and disseminate accurate, clear, reproducible, and unbiased articles.
The editors-in-chief are health professionals whose legitimacy is based on their research and teaching activities, their experience in scientific publishing (direction, critical review of articles), and their skills in coordinating an editorial board.
Editors are appointed by the learned societies and/or editorial boards and/or scientific committees. In the event that the latter are not able to make the appointment on their own, JLE makes proposals.
Upon taking office, editors sign a contract with the journal's owner that clearly states their rights and duties, their powers, the general conditions of their appointment and the mechanisms for resolving conflicts. This contract is strictly exclusive of an employment contract and any relationship of dependence and hierarchy with the journal's owner.
In application of this contract, the owner of the magazine ensures the proper functioning of the Editorial Committee and, if necessary, in case of difficulty, suggests the possible replacement of the editor-in-chief if this seems likely to resolve the difficulty encountered.
The performance of editors and editorial boards can be evaluated on the basis of mutually agreed-upon measures, including, but not necessarily limited to, readership, numbers of manuscripts submitted and turnaround times, and various other bibliometric indicators.
As a last resort, the journal owner may impose the replacement of the editor-in-chief only for substantive reasons such as scientific misconduct, disagreement with the editorial line adopted over the long term, poor performance as measured by agreed-upon indicators, or inappropriate behavior incompatible with a position of trust.
Such a decision should in no way infringe on the freedom of expression within the scientific community, nor on the possibility for editors to challenge the status quo in a way that might conflict with the interests of the journal's owners.
All JLE journals explicitly state their governance and relationship to JLE as publisher (as well as disclosing ownership or co-ownership companies, if any).
The role of the editor is to produce the best possible review for the newspaper's readers, and as part of this, JLE will do everything possible to provide editors with the necessary support.
As journal owners, JLE encourages editorial freedom and is committed to fully supporting editorial decisions and potentially controversial expressions of opinion by editorial boards as long as they are evidence-based.
JLE complies with the "WAME (World Association of Medical Editors) Statement on Editorial Freedom, Duties and Responsibilities," which defines editorial freedom as follows: the editors have full authority over all editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.
JLE does not interfere with the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles, either directly or by creating a climate that influences the decisions of editors.
The editors base their editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to their readership, regardless of the commercial implications for the journal. They are free to express critical but responsible views on all aspects of medicine, even if these views conflict with the commercial objectives of the publisher.
Editors must also be able to make final decisions regarding the approval of advertising or sponsored content, including the publication of supplements, the use of the journal's brand, and the overall policy on the commercial use of its content.
The editors of JLE journals are supported by an independent editorial board that assists the editor(s) on editorial policy and content, to establish and maintain editorial policy. Our editors are committed to seeking out and involving a wide range of authors, reviewers, editorial board members and readers.
All of our journals have an independent and diverse editorial board whose role is to assist the editor in establishing and enforcing editorial policy. If a legal problem arises, the editor-in-chief should inform legal counsel and the journal's owner and/or publisher as soon as possible.
To ensure this editorial freedom in practice, editors have direct access to the highest level of ownership of the title, not to a managing director or administrative officer.
Editors and editorial boards have an obligation to uphold the principle of editorial freedom and to bring to the attention of the international medical, academic, and public community any major infringement of this right.
Definition of the role of authors and contributors
Why is authorship important?
Authorship of a biomedical work brings recognition and has important academic, social and financial implications. Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for published research. The goal is to ensure not only that any contributor who has made a substantial intellectual contribution to a manuscript is recognized as an author, but also that any contributor listed as an author understands that he or she must take responsibility and accountability for what is published.
Because the list of signatories does not indicate the respective roles of the various contributors, some journals request and publish information about the contributions of each person identified as having participated in the submitted study, at least if it is original research. Such policies remove much of the ambiguity surrounding contributions, but they leave open the question of the quantity and quality of the contribution that qualifies as an author.
JLE refers to the criteria established by ICMJE defining authorship that can be used by all journals, including those that distinguish authors from other contributors.
What is an author?
The attribution of authorship is based on the following four criteria:
substantial contribution to the design or methods of the research or to the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of the data; AND
preliminary writing of the article or its critical revision involving a significant contribution to the intellectual content; AND
final approval of the version to be published; AND
commitment to accountability for all aspects of the research by ensuring that issues related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately addressed and resolved.
In addition to being accountable for the components of the research he or she has conducted, an author must be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for other specific parts of the work. In addition, authors must have full confidence in the integrity of their co-authors' respective contributions.
JLE requires that all those designated as authors meet the four ICMJE criteria for authorship, and that all those who meet the four criteria be identified as contributing authors.
Anyone designated as an author must meet these four criteria, and anyone who meets all four criteria must be listed as an author. Those who do not meet these four criteria should be cited in the acknowledgements (see below). These authorship criteria are designed to reserve authorship for those who should be recognized for the work and can take responsibility for it. They should not be used as a means to exclude from authorship colleagues who meet these requirements by denying them the opportunity to meet criteria 2 or 3. In other words, the opportunity to participate in the analysis, writing, and final approval of the manuscript should be offered to anyone who meets the first criterion.
Contributors who have made material contributions to the article but whose contributions do not warrant authorship must be clearly identified in the statement of contribution sent with the manuscript.
JLE recognizes only natural persons (an individual human being, as opposed to a private or public organization) as authors.
Those conducting the research are responsible for identifying which collaborators meet these criteria. Ideally, they should do so during the planning phase of the work and make any necessary changes as the study progresses. JLE encourages collaboration and co-authorship of articles with colleagues at the sites where the research is done. It is the collective responsibility of the authors, not the journal to which the manuscript is submitted, to ensure that all signatories meet the four criteria listed; it is not the role of the editors to determine who does or does not qualify as an author or to arbitrate disputes in this regard. If agreement cannot be reached, it is the responsibility of the institutions where the work was done to review the matter, not the editor. The criteria used to determine the order in which authors of an article are listed may vary; they should be decided collectively by the group of authors, not by the editors.
If authors request the removal or addition of a signatory after submission or publication of the manuscript, the editor must obtain an explanation, as well as a statement of agreement to the requested change signed by all listed authors and the author involved.
When disagreements between authors arise, JLE follows the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
If a research study involves a large number of people, the group should ideally jointly determine who meets the criteria for authorship before the research begins and confirm the list of authors before submitting the manuscript for publication. All group members designated as authors must meet all four criteria for authorship, including approval of the final draft, and must be able to take public responsibility for the research and have full confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of the other group members. Authors are also required to complete the declaration forms individually.
Some groups with a large number of authors use a collective name, with or without individual names, to designate authorship. When submitting a manuscript written by a group, the corresponding author should specify the group name, if any, and clearly identify all members who deserve recognition and can assume responsibility for the work as authors.
If the journal is indexed in PubMed (MEDLINE and/or PubMed Central), the name of the group will be listed in the author's signature and the names of individual group members will be entered as collaborators on the PubMed record to ensure individual credit.
Contributors who do not meet the above four criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section. Examples of activities that alone (in the absence of other contributions) do not warrant authorship include acquisition of funding, general supervision of a research group, or general administrative assistance, as well as editorial assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Persons whose contributions do not warrant authorship may be acknowledged individually or collectively under one heading (e.g., "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators") and their contributions should be described (e.g., in terms of "scientific advice," "critical analysis of the study project," "data collection," "management and care of study patients," or "contribution to writing or technical editing of the manuscript").
JLE recommends that editors obtain written permission from these individuals to be acknowledged through the corresponding author, as readers may infer that these individuals approved of the study's data and conclusions.
Submitting authors must provide assurance that all authors included in an article meet the authorship criteria. JLE also requires assurance that no person meeting the criteria has been excluded as an author.
The submitting author is primarily responsible for submitting the article to the journal using the manuscript submission system or sending it by e-mail, and for communicating with the journal during the article submission, peer review, and revision process.
It ensures that all administrative requirements of the review are properly completed. This includes providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation and collection of forms and declarations of interest. These tasks may be delegated to one or more co-authors, but the submitting author remains responsible.
When authors submit an article via the submission system, they will be asked to provide a name, email address, and institutional affiliation for all contributing authors. In the final published article, author names, institutions, and addresses will be taken from these completed fields and not from the submitted Word document.
The affiliations listed should be those where the work was done at the time the research/article was written.
The submitting author must identify the corresponding author when providing author details (see below for more information on the corresponding author role). The submitting author and corresponding author can be the same person.
The Corresponding Author is the person who is primarily responsible for communication with the journal during the submission, peer review, and publication processes of the manuscript. The Corresponding Author is responsible for ensuring that all administrative requirements of the journal are met, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, documentation of clinical trial registration, relationship and activity statements. These forms must be properly completed and reported. However, these obligations may be delegated to one or more co-authors. Throughout the submission and peer review processes, the corresponding author should be able to respond in a timely manner to requests for clarification from the editorial board. In addition, the Corresponding Author should remain available after publication to handle any criticisms of the work and to cooperate with the journal if additional data or information is required in light of questions raised about the article after publication. Although the author in charge of correspondence is primarily responsible for communications with the journal, JLE recommends that authors send a copy of each correspondence to all signatories of the manuscript.
The corresponding author assumes primary responsibility for completing all necessary actions after acceptance of the manuscript and for communicating with the journal and with readers after publication. All email communications from JLE will be sent to the corresponding author, including:
– the proof for proofreading and correction;
– a rights assignment agreement;
– a declaration of interest;
– a document concerning the reproduction rights of the tables and figures.
Deceased persons meeting the four criteria as authors should be reported to the editorial secretary at the time of submission of the article or at the time of proofreading.
Modification of paternity
If an author's affiliation has changed during the course of the work, the author may either indicate the affiliation at the time the research (or the most important part of the research) was conducted, the current affiliation, or both. The change in affiliation can be explained in an acknowledgement section.
Any changes in authorship after initial submission and before publication must be approved by all authors. This applies to additions, deletions, changes in the order of authors' names, or changes in attribution of contributions. Any changes must be explained to the editor. The editor may contact any of the authors and/or contributors to verify that they have agreed to a change.
Statement of contribution
JLE encourages the submission of a statement of contribution for each article submitted indicating who contributed to the planning, conduct, and reporting of the work described in the article. A statement of contribution should include author contributors, non-author contributors, and group author contributors (collaborators). Contributors who contributed materially to the article but whose contributions do not warrant authorship should be clearly described in the statement of contribution; for example, "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," or "provided and managed the study patients."
Researchers must determine among themselves the precise nature of each other's contribution, and JLE encourages open discussion among all participants to reach consensus.
The contribution statement is also the appropriate place to include contributions from patients or members of the public who helped as research volunteers, giving their names and specific roles. JLE encourages authors to fully acknowledge the contributions of patients and the public to their research, where appropriate.
All persons named in the statement of contribution must give permission to be included, as readers may infer their approval of the data and conclusions of the article. It is the responsibility of the submitting author to ensure that permission is obtained and to be able to provide proof of permission if necessary.
Each contribution statement must clearly indicate who is responsible for the overall content as a guarantor. The guarantor accepts full responsibility for the finished work and/or conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.
A statement of thanks may be included at the end of the paper, detailing those who helped conduct the research but were not acknowledged as contributors, as well as for personal expressions of gratitude.
Authors should not submit the same manuscript simultaneously to more than one journal, either in the same language or in a different language. Considerations that led to the development of this policy include the potential for disagreement when two (or more) journals claim the right to publish a manuscript that has been submitted simultaneously to more than one, and the possibility that two (or more) journals may unknowingly and unnecessarily undertake the work of peer-reviewing and editing the same manuscript and publishing the same article.
Previous and redundant publication
A redundant publication is the publication of an article that largely corresponds to a previously published article without clear and visible reference to the previous publication.
Readers of medical journals deserve to be assured that the article they are reading is the original, unless a note from the author and editor makes it clear that it is a deliberate republication (which might be considered for a landmark or historical article, for example). This position is based on international copyright law, ethics, and efficient use of resources. Redundant publication of original research is particularly problematic, as it can result in unintended double counting of data or inappropriate weighting of results from a single study, thereby distorting the available evidence.
If the authors' submitted manuscript involves work that has either already been substantially presented in a published article, or is used in another manuscript submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere, or is closely related to the work in such a manuscript, the authors should make this clear in their submission letter and provide copies of the related material to allow the editor to distinguish between them.
This recommendation does not preclude a journal from considering a full report that follows the publication of a preliminary report, such as a letter to the editor, a preprint, an abstract, or a poster displayed at a scientific meeting. It also does not preclude journals from considering work presented at a scientific meeting but not published in its entirety or considered for publication in the proceedings of a conference or similar format. Press releases summarizing planned meetings are generally not considered violations of this rule; however, they may become so if they contain additional data in the form of tables and figures. Authors should also be aware that disseminating their findings outside of scientific presentations at meetings may reduce the priority given to them by journal editors.
Authors who choose to deposit their work on a preprint platform should choose one that clearly identifies preprints as non-peer-reviewed and includes statements of the authors' relationships and activities. It is the responsibility of the author to inform the journal if the work has already been deposited on a preprint platform. In addition, it is the responsibility of the author (and not the journal editors) to ensure that preprints mention successive versions to readers, as well as the final published version.
In the event of an unnoticed duplicate publication attempt, authors should at a minimum expect a prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript. If the editor has not been notified of the violations and the article has already been published, a retraction of the article will possibly be considered with or without explanation or approval from the author.
For additional guidance on how to deal with dual publication, please see the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowcharts.
Acceptable secondary publication
Secondary publication of articles published in other journals or online may be justifiable and useful, especially when the intention is to disseminate important information to the widest possible audience (as in the case of guidelines issued by public institutions and professional organizations published in the same or another language). Secondary publication for a variety of other reasons may also be justifiable, provided the following conditions are met:
– the authors have received the approval of the editors of both journals (the editor concerned by the secondary publication must have access to the first version);
– the priority of the first publication is respected by a publication interval negotiated with the authors by the two editors;
– the article being published as a secondary publication is intended for a different group of readers; an abridged version may be sufficient;
– the secondary version faithfully reflects the data of the authors and interpretations of the first version;
– the secondary version informs readers, peers, and clearinghouses that the article has already been published in whole or in part elsewhere-for example, in the form of a note that might read: "This article is based on a study previously published in [journal title and full reference]" - and gives the reference of the original article.
– The title of the secondary publication should indicate that it is a secondary publication (republication or full or abridged translation) of an original article. Note that the National Library of Medicine does not consider translations to be "republications" and does not cite or reference them when the original article was published in a MEDLINE-referenced journal.
When a journal publishes an article in several languages simultaneously, the various languages will be indicated in the reference.
Manuscripts based on the same database
If editors receive manuscripts submitted by different or different research teams that have analyzed the same data set (e.g., from a public database or systematic reviews or meta-analyses of the same information), the manuscripts should be considered separately, as they may differ in their analytical methods, conclusions, or both. If the interpretation of the data and the conclusions are similar, it is legitimate, but not mandatory, that the editors give preference to the manuscript received first. The editors will eventually consider publishing several such overlapping manuscripts, as different analytical approaches may be complementary and of equivalent validity. However, manuscripts that rely on the same database must represent complementary contributions that each add substantial value to the work as a whole to merit separate publication. In the interest of transparency, they should also appropriately cite previous publications from the same database.
Manuscripts in which secondary analyses of clinical trial data are presented must acknowledge any primary publication, clearly state that they contain secondary analyses/results, and use the same registration number as the original trial, and the unique identifier of the source data.
In the case of large trials, it is sometimes planned from the outset to prepare several separate publications that address different aspects of the research but involve the same participant population. In this case, and provided that all endpoints were defined in the original registration, authors have the option of using the unique registration number of the original trial. If the authors have registered several sub-studies separately, for example in the clinicaltrials.gov registry, the registration number specific to each sub-study must be used for the study in question. The main issue comes down to transparency: whatever model is used, it must be obvious to the reader.
JLE journals give their readers the opportunity to submit comments, questions, or criticisms of published articles. These exchanges are usually, but not necessarily, in the form of a correspondence section. Authors whose articles have been the subject of print or online correspondence are responsible for responding to any significant criticism of their work through these same mechanisms, and editors will ask them to do so. Authors of correspondence should be asked to declare any relationships of interest.
Published mail may be edited for length, grammatical correction, and style, but editors may choose to publish unedited mail, for example, through a web-based comment system. Comments of this type are not referenced in MEDLINE unless they are subsequently published on a printed or electronic numbered page. Regardless of the mechanism used for these purposes, the journal will communicate its correspondence management practices. In all cases, editors should strive to eliminate discourteous, inaccurate or defamatory statements.
Responsible debate, criticism, and disagreement are important features of science, and journal editors should encourage such controversy, ideally within their journals about what they have published. However, while editors have the prerogative to reject irrelevant, uninteresting, or unconvincing correspondence, they have a responsibility to encourage the expression of a variety of opinions and to foster debate.
In the interest of fairness and to keep the column within reasonable bounds, the journal may set time limits for responses to published articles and discussions on a given topic.