All authors have to sign both pages of the journal's "ethical statement", in the same order listed in the article, and send the signed form either by Fax or Email to the journal office. The article will not be reviewed by the editorial board unless the ethical statement has been signed by all authors and sent to the journal office beforehand.
In the Journal of Health and Development (JHD) Ethical Issues is an obligatory section in all types of articles. If there is no ethical issue to be considered, please declare it as “not applicable” or “None to be declared”. Every experimental or clinical study may raise controversial ethical issues (e.g., Institutional Ethical Approval for working with animal or human subjects). Thus, JHD expects all authors, reviewers and editors to consider COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), ICMJE and Equator Network’s reporting guidelines in medical ethics plus scientific writing. If any, authors should state related declaration(s), unless otherwise the following sentence should be given “None to be declared”. Ethical considerations must be addressed in the main body. 1) Please state that informed consent was obtained from all human adult participants and from the parents or legal guardians of minors. Include the name of the appropriate institutional review board that approved the project. 2) Indicate in the text that the maintenance and care of experimental animals complies with National Institutes of Health guidelines for the humane use of laboratory animals, or those of your Institute or agency.
Please take a look at the following guidelines provided by COPE for editors and reviewers that may be helpful for authors, too:
Allegations of publication misconduct, both before and after publication will be carefully inspected and we reserve the right to contact authors' institutions, funders, or regulatory bodies if necessary. If conclusive evidence of misconduct is noticed, proper steps will be taken to correct the scientific record, which may include supplying a correction or retraction.
Authors are assumed that they are aware of publication ethics, specifically with regard to authorship, dual submission, plagiarism, figure manipulation, competing interests and compliance with standards of research ethics. In cases of suspected misconduct, COPE standards and practices will be followed and advice from the COPE forum will be ascertained.
Retrospective ethics approval
If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the submission for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the discretion of the journal editor.
Patient consent and confidentiality
Any item submitted to the Journal of Health and Development that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires patient’s explicit consent before it can be published. Consequently; all studied patients are required to sign an informed consent form after reading the studies’ information sheet.
If consent cannot be obtained because the patient cannot be traced in a study, then publication will be possible only if the information can be sufficiently anonymized. Anonymization means that neither the person nor anyone else could identify the individual with certainty.
If the patient is dead, the authors should seek permission from a relative (as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics). If the relatives are not contactable, the journal will balance the worthwhileness of the case, the likelihood of identification, and the likelihood of offence in decision to publish a submitted paper.
Images—such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of undistinctive parts of the body—may be used without consent as long as they are anonymized by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patients’ identity.
Based on the ICMJE recommendations a clinical trial is defined as “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect, relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome.”
As a condition of consideration for publication, trial articles published by The Journal of Health and Development require registration of all trials in a public registry of trials approved by the ICMJE (any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/index.html).
The trial registration number and the date of registration should be included in the last line of the submitted abstract.
JHD Editorial Policies for Authors:
Authorship Criteria, Contribution and Authorship Statement
Any author should have participated significantly and sufficiently in the work to take responsibility for the whole content. According to the guidelines of ICJME authorship credit should be based only on (a) significant contributions to conception and design; or acquisition of data; or interpretation and analysis of data, and (b) drafting the manuscript or revising it critically, and (c) final approval of the version to get published. Conditions a, b and c must all be met.
All contributing authors must complete and submit an Authorship Statement Form, Conflicts of Interest, and Financial Disclosure once submitting a manuscript to the JHD. In addition, the corresponding author is required to identify all authors’ contribution to the work described in the manuscript.
All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (e.g., data collection, analysis, writing or editing assistance), but who do not fulfill the authorship criteria should be mentioned along with their specific contributions in the Acknowledgments Section of the manuscript. All contributing authors must verify that the manuscript represents authentic and valid work and that neither this manuscript nor anyone with significantly similar content under their authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere.
Role of the Corresponding Author
The corresponding author on behalf of all contributing authors will serve as the primary correspondent with the JHD editorial office during the submission and peer-reviewing process. The corresponding author will check the proof edition, if the manuscript is accepted for publication. The corresponding author is responsible for confirming that the Acknowledgements Section of the article is complete.
Conflict of Interest and Financial Disclosures
According to ICMJE guidelines, a conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer or editor has personal or financial relationships that influence (bias) inappropriately his/her action (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to those with great potential to influence judgment, and not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.
All contributing authors will be required to complete and submit JHD Authorship Statement, Conflicts of Interest; Financial Disclosure and Copyright Transfer. In this form, authors will disclose all potential conflicts of interest, including relevant financial activities, interests, relationships and affiliations (other than those affiliations mentioned in the title page of the manuscript).
Funding/ Support and Role of Sponsor
All contributing authors will be required to complete and disclose all funding or financial support received in the Authorship Form. All funding, material or financial support for the work should be clearly and completely described in the Acknowledgements Section of the manuscript. Role of funding organisation or sponsor in each of the following stages of the research should be clearly defined: “design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data; preparation, editing or approval of the work; and confirmation to publish the manuscript”.
Duplicate/ Previous Publication or Submission
Manuscripts are assumed not to be published previously in print or electronic version and are not under consideration by another publication. Copies of related or possibly duplicated materials (including those containing significantly similar content or using same data) that have been published previously or are under consideration for another publication must be provided at the time of online submission.
For more information on ethical issues, please read the following COPE’s guidelines that might be helpful for authors as well as editors:
Suspected redundant publication in a submitted manuscript (Link)
Suspected redundant publication in a published article (Link)
Suspected fabricated data in a submitted manuscript (Link)
Suspected fabricated data in a published article (Link)
Editorial Review and Publication
JHD authors will be sent notifications of the manuscript’s receipt and editorial decisions by email. During the peer-reviewing process, authors can check the status of their manuscript via the Online Manuscript Submission System.
All submissions to the JHD go through a double-blind peer-review process to ensure content quality. At the first stage, a technical editor checks the format and style of the manuscript to assure its compatibility with the JHD guide for authors. If authors have not considered the guides, the manuscript will be sent back to authors for compatibility. The manuscript will be then assigned to section editors, based on the subject area and editor-in-chief’s decision, for a pre-review screening within 5 days. Section editors check the manuscript for content quality (with a focus on methodology, originality, and contribution to knowledge and practice). The decision at this stage is fast reject, revise and re-submit, or assign to external reviewers for detailed evaluation process. Selection of external reviewers is based on their scientific background and experience, previous works, authors’ suggestion, and expertise. Every attempt is made at the JHD to obtain at least 4 strong reviews on each manuscript (1 epidemiologist, 1 statistician and 2 subject experts). The Editor-in-Chief receives the reviewers’ comments and sends them along with the decision letter to the corresponding author.
JHD adheres to a double-blind peer-review process that is rapid, fair, and ensures the high quality of published articles. JHD reviewers are required to declare their conflict of interests and maintain the confidentiality of the manuscripts they review.
As JHD is a rapid response journal, the review process takes between 3 to 6 months. The decision letter determines the status of the manuscript in five ways:
1.Acceptance: The manuscript could be published electronically. This process takes at last two weeks. Before electronic publication, the corresponding author should verify a proof copy of the paper. Papers will be in a queue to be published in one of JHD upcoming issues.
2.Minor Revision: Authors will receive comments on their manuscript and will be asked to submit a revised copy (showing all changes they have made to the manuscript using Track and Change or highlighted colour) beside a response to reviewer file in which they need to respond to each and every comment of the reviewers one by one (for each reviewer separately). Revisions should be submitted in 5 weeks after the decision letter.
3.Major Revision: It means a chance to reorganize the manuscript to meet the required scientific criteria for another review process. Here authors are asked to submit a revised copy (showing all changes they have made to the manuscript using Track and Change or highlighted colour) beside a response to reviewer file in which they need to respond to each and every comment of the reviewer one by one (for each reviewer separately). Revisions should be submitted in 5 weeks after the decision letter was sent. Otherwise, authors need to go through a resubmission process.
4.Rejection: In most cases, methodological and scientific concerns are the main origins of rejection. Causes of rejection if listed by the reviewer will be sent to the authors to provide more chance for them for publication in other journals.
Accepted manuscripts will be edited according to the JHD Guide for Authors and returned to the corresponding author for final approval. All contributing authors are responsible for all statements made in their manuscript during editing and production that are authorized by the corresponding author.
Requests for publishing corrections should be sent to the editorial office. Corrections will be reviewed by editors and approved.