Editorial Policies

PUBLISHING GUIDELINES

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22261/763Y49

Authorship

Veruscript expects authors to use the ICMJE’s criteria for authorship. All authors should meet these requirements, and all contributors who meet these requirements should be listed as authors. The criteria are:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Declaration of interest

Authors must disclose any potential conflict of interest as part of the submission.

A conflict of interest, or competing interest, is anything that may, or may be perceived to, influence the authors’ work. Conflicts of interest typically stem from financial, personal or professional relationships, but may have other sources as well. Declarations of interest are published with each article.

Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interest that may influence their evaluation of the manuscript and, where appropriate, recuse themselves.

All authors must disclose any potential conflict of interest, and it is the submitting author’s responsibility to gather disclosure statements from all authors. Authors who have no competing interests should state so explicitly.

Experimental ethics

Authors must adhere to ethical standards in their field of research, as dictated by institutional, national or international regulations and guidelines. An appropriate ethics statement detailing the approval process must be included in the methods section when applicable. This is required in particular for research involving human subjects or animals.

Research on human subjects must conform to the Declaration of Helsinki. Evidence of approval of the study by an Institutional Review Board or ethics committee must be provided (e.g. name of organisation and reference number), or the authors should explain why approval was not necessary. The authors must also confirm that they have obtained consent from the study participants.

Research integrity and publishing ethics

Veruscript adheres to the COPE recommendations and upholds the highest standards in publication ethics and research integrity. We do not tolerate data or figure manipulation, plagiarism, redundant publication, inaccurate or incomplete declarations of interest or other irregularities. Listing authors who do not meet our authorship requirements as well as tampering with the peer review process also constitute unacceptable breaches of publication ethics. We will deal with allegations of misconduct in accordance with COPE’s guidelines, and issue corrections or retractions of articles as necessary. Investigations may be entrusted to the authors’ institution in complex cases.

For further details see Wager E. & Kleinert S. (2011), Responsible research publication: international standards for authors, in: Mayer T. & Steneck N. (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 309-16).

Duplicate publications

Manuscripts submitted to Veruscript must be original. Veruscript will not consider studies that have already been published in peer-reviewed literature or that are under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Data and material sharing

Veruscript requests that, where applicable, authors make the data, method or materials underlying their research available to readers free of charge in accordance with best practice in their discipline.

In general, the preferred way to share primary data, material or algorithms is through deposition in public repositories. These repositories can be discipline-specific (e.g. GenBank, Protein Data Bank) or general (e.g. Dryad, Figshare). Alternatively, authors can upload data as supporting information on our platform. In cases where data cannot be publicly shared (for commercial or privacy reasons for example), the authors must explain why in their manuscript and agree to send it directly to researchers who reasonably request it.

Relevant DOI, accession or reference numbers should be provided in the manuscript, preferably in the methods section.

Veruscript appreciates that authors may not wish to release their data publicly before publication of their manuscript. However, they must ensure that it is made available to reviewers upon request. Reviewers have a duty to treat the manuscript and data confidentially.

Disclosure of funding sources

Peer review

The review process helps filter out unsuitable submissions, but it should also help authors improve their manuscript. In that spirit, we ask that reviewers provide clear, detailed and constructive comments as well as practical guidance to the authors. Opinions and recommendations should be explained and objectively grounded. Insensitive or offensive wording must be avoided.

Reviewers should be unbiased and rigorous. If reviewers cannot evaluate a manuscript with impartiality for whatever reason, we ask that they decline the review. For further details please see the Committee on Publication Ethics’ ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.

Veruscript operates a double-blind review. Authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other during the review process.

Reviewers are selected by editors on the basis of their expertise. Editors will strive to invite reviewers who have no obvious conflict of interest or direct relationship with any of the authors of a manuscript (such as working in the same department, or having collaborated on a project or authored a publication together in the past three years).

Authors may suggest reviewers; in such cases editors are responsible for ensuring the suitability of suggested reviewers and are under no obligation to invite them.

Editorial decisions

Editorial decisions are made by the journal’s editor(s) based on peer reviewers’ reports. In some cases (especially for certain article types such as editorials or if an article is deemed unsuitable for peer review), the editor may make a decision without the help of a reviewer. Veruscript’s staff may also decide to reject manuscripts after its initial quality-control check (scope, language etc.) before it is assigned to an editor.

A peer review statement on the published articles (both in HTML and PDF) clearly identifies articles that have been peer reviewed.

Veruscript fosters editorial independence: it has no sway on the reviewers’ recommendations and editors’ decisions.

Third-party material

Authors who reproduce non-original material in their manuscript should ensure it is appropriately attributed to the original authors and sources. The rights holder may have specific instructions on how to credit the source.

If that material is under copyright, it can only be reproduced with the permission of the rights holder. Authors are responsible for obtaining such permissions and will be required to provide them to us before publication. When requesting permission to reuse content, such as figures, tables, text etc., the authors should make sure they clearly stipulate the intended use for that content (e.g. reproduce in an Open Access article).

Veruscript protects the rights of individuals taking part in a study to privacy and anonymity. Authors should make every effort to remove personal information of study participants or patients in their manuscript. When this is not possible or when images of patients or study participants (whether anonymised or not) are included, the authors must obtain written consent from the individuals or their legal guardian. However, consents are not required for non-identifiable images such as x-rays or pathology slides, provided they do not contain identifying marks or text.

Authors may also need releases for photographs of people in general. Contact our editorial office for further guidance.

Authors must confirm during submission that they have obtained all the appropriate consents. Releases must be provided to us before publication and can be uploaded to our platform.

Retractions and corrections

Articles published by Veruscript form part of the scholarly record, the integrity and completeness of which must be protected. As such, published articles cannot be simply amended or removed. If articles are found to contain errors or pose problems, we will issue a correction, expression of concern or retraction notice after investigation, in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics’ guidelines (see Wager et al., Retractions: Guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Version 1, September 2009). Specifically, these guidelines state that:

Only the journal’s editor can decide to retract an article or publish a correction. Retraction or correction notices will contain the reason for the notice, who's issuing it, and will clearly identify the publication affected.

Should the publisher introduce errors in the article, it will issue an erratum.

In very rare cases, chiefly relating to legal issues, articles may be removed from the record (i.e. no longer available, although their metadata will remain).

Small inconsequential errors (e.g. some typos) may be corrected in the published article without issuance of a correction notice.

Letters to the editor

Readers can submit letters to the editor to critique, comment or expand on any article published by Veruscript.

In the first instance, a letter to the editor should be sent to editorial@veruscript.com, clearly referencing the article it comments on. It will be reviewed by the journal’s editor. If deemed acceptable, the letter will be forwarded anonymously to the authors of the original article who will be given a chance to respond to the critique. Both the letter and the response will then be published back to back and linked to the original article.

Appeals

Authors who deem that an unfair and inappropriate decision has been made on their manuscript can appeal to the publisher by contacting the editorial office.

The publisher may, at its discretion, appoint a new editor or reviewers to adjudicate.