Editorial Policies

September 10, 2021 / BY

All our journal stakeholders and authors are required to observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Compuscript subscribes fully to the COPE code of conduct and best practice for journal editors ensuring that our editors are accountable for everything published in our journals. Our readers will always be informed as to how the research is funded and our relationships with the authors, reviewers and editorial board members will be guided by COPE recommendations.


Conflict of Interest
Funding Acknowledgements
Text Recycling
Clinical Trials Registration
Registration of Systematic Reviews
Standards of Reporting
Human and Animal Testing
Patient Consent
Research and Publication Misconduct
Editors and Journal Staff Conduct
Appeals and Complaints
Copyright and Permissions
Article Retraction


It is important that appropriate credit is awarded to the authors of a manuscript. In accordance with ICMJE guidelines, to qualify as an author, a researcher should make substantive intellectual contributions to each of the following aspects of a publication:

  • Concept and design of the study, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Critically drafting or revising of the manuscript for important intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be published. Each author should participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not justify authorship.
  • Be accountable for all aspects of the work by ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Each author listed on the manuscript should be limited to only those who have made a significant contribution to the concept, design, execution, or interpretation of the research or study. Every person who has made a significant contribution to the paper should be listed as co-author. If there are others who have participated in a significant way to the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as a contributor. The corresponding author should review and confirm that co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved and agreed to submit the final version of the paper.

All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be understood to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the research project should also be properly acknowledged.

Authors of papers reporting on original research must provide an accurate description of the research/work performed and an objective discussion of its importance to the field. All evidence and supporting data should be represented accurately in the paper. Each manuscript should also include references that allow others the ability to reconstruct the argument. It is unacceptable to intentionally include inaccurate statements or fabricated data in the manuscript, which is considered unethical behaviour.

Authors must guarantee that their submitted work contains no content that may be considered as libelous or as infringing in any way on the copyright of another party. If the authors have used the work and/or words of others, it has been appropriately cited or quoted.

Authors are asked to provide the raw evidence and data in connection with a paper for editorial review and should be prepared to provide access to such evidence and should be prepared to retain such evidence and data for a reasonable time after publication.

Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. The journal editor will make every effort to process and evaluate submissions in a timely fashion. Should an author decide to submit the manuscript to another journal, they must request the journal editor to withdraw their manuscript from consideration.

Authors must properly acknowledge the work of others and should cite all publications that have been influential in determining their scholarly understanding of the subject of their paper.

Conflict of Interest

Authors must declare any competing interests. Conflict of interests/competing interests can be defined as factors which could influence the judgment of an author, reviewer or editors, and may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial in nature. Put simply, they are interests which, if revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.

Authors of letters and editorials must also declare competing interests. Reviewers are also required to declare competing interests and in most cases reviewers with competing interests will not be asked to proceed with the refereeing process.

Statements of competing interests are included in the online versions of research articles.

For additional guidance and information on the topic of conflict of interests and competing interests please refer to the ICMJE recommendations on author responsibility document.

Compuscript requires all manuscripts to have a funding acknowledgement statement included in the manuscript. The statement should be placed under a heading entitled “Funding” directly after the Acknowledgements and Declaration of Conflicting Interests, if applicable.

We require details of the funding agency to be supplied in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space, example:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx, yyy, zzz].

Where the research was supported by multiple sources, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Example:

This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the National Science Fund [grant number zzzz]; and the International Research Body [grant number xxxx].

Where the research is not funded by a specific project grant, but from other resources available to a university, college or other research institution, such as the block grant, the following statement should be used:

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on conflict of interest policies.

Text Recycling

“Text recycling” or “self-plagiarism” as it is sometimes called occurs when an author reuses passages of text from his/her own previously published work in a new submission. As all Compuscript journals are members of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative, all instances of text recycling can be detected. When such instances are detected the COPE Guidelines on text recycling will be followed.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on self-plagiarism policies.


All manuscripts submitted to Compuscript journals should be original and not under consideration by another publication. Apart from causing potential problems from an ethical and international copyright law perspective, the duplicate publication of original research is problematic in a medical context as it can result in inadvertent double-counting of data or inappropriate weighting of the results of a single study, which can distort the available evidence. In instances where substantial parts of the text in the submission may overlap, we ask our authors to be open and let us know of any concerns when they submit their manuscripts. Each issue will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with ICMJE recommendations on overlapping publications.

In the event that we become aware of violations of publication ethics after the article has already been published, then the article may warrant retraction with or without the author’s explanation or approval. In any such event our journals will adhere to the COPE flowcharts when dealing with suspected violations.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on original work policies.


All Compuscript journals are members of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and use plagiarism detection software. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on plagiarism policies.

Clinical Trials Registration

All Compuscript journals adhere to the ICMJE’s Clinical Trials Registration Statement. All clinical trials published in the journal must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the onset of participant enrolment. Manuscripts should include the exact URL and unique identification number for the trial registration at the time of submission. This information will be published in the article and we ask that the URL and identification number on the title page of the manuscript is included.

For any clinical trials commencing prior to 2008, retrospective registration will be accepted. A list of recommended registries can be found on the ICMJE website. Results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which the primary registration resides will not be considered prior publication if they are presented in the form of a brief abstract (<500 words or less) or a table.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on clinical trial registration policies.

Registration of Systematic Reviews

The prospective registration of systematic reviews is welcomed and we encourage all authors to register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO).  The registration number should be included in the last line of the manuscript abstract.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on registration of systemic reviews policies

Standards of Reporting

We require all authors to follow the correct standards of reporting regarding biomedical research. Please refer to EQUATOR for guidelines for health research and MIBBI  for guidelines and tools for bioscience reporting. Authors are strongly encouraged to use these guidelines as a checklist when writing their manuscripts.

Other available checklists include CONSORT for randomised controlled trials, PRISMA for systematic reviews, STROBE for observational studies, MOOSE  for meta analyses of observational studies, STARD for diagnostic accuracy studies, RATS for qualitative studies, and CHEERS for economic evaluations.

Authors of systematic reviews must provide a link in the Methods section that shows all details of the search strategy. Refer to Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook for examples of the presentation of search strategies.

Authors must use standardised gene nomenclature. The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee  details human gene symbols and names. Information on other species can be found at www.genenames.org/about/faq#otherspecies; the Human Genome Variation Society provides guidelines on mutation nomenclature.

Authors are expected to comply with current field-specific standards regarding the preparation and recording of data (www.biosharing.org/standards/), while also maintaining strict patient confidentiality. In addition, when using unpublished data, authors must make contact with the owners of the data before publishing.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on standards of reporting policies.

Human and Animal Testing

All human or animal studies should be approved or exempted by the appropriate institutional human and/or animal subject review committee, or if no formal ethics committee is available, they should ensure they are in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013. This approval or exemption should be stated in the Methods section of the article.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on human and animal testing studies policies.

Patient Consent

All authors must declare that, where relevant, patient consent has been obtained (or the consent of their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and that all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain patient confidentiality, including illustrations, which should be anonymised as far as possible.

Research and Publication Misconduct

Any allegations of potential research or publication misconduct will be investigated in adherence with the COPE guidelines on how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on research and publication misconduct policies.

Editors and Journal Staff Conduct

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts will excuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. All other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions are obliged to provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts (as they might relate to editorial judgements) and excuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff will not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors will publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff. Guest editors will follow these same procedures.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on editorial conduct policies.

Appeals and Complaints


Compuscript adheres to COPE guidelines regarding appeals to editorial decisions and complaints. All authors have the right to appeal the rejection of their manuscript and authors can appeal directly by contacting the relevant journals. Please check individual journal’s ‘Manuscript Preparation’ pages for more information.   


All complaints can be made directly to the relevant journal editorial office who will be happy to outline the complaint procedure in full.

Please see individual journal websites for further information on complaints procedures.

Copyright and Permissions


Please refer to individual journal copyright policies. If more information is required on copyright and copyright options when publishing with Compuscript please contact us.


Authors should be careful to check the copyright status of an article before reproducing or reusing any of the content.


Compuscript guarantees that all published material will be available in perpetuity. All Compuscript journals are subscribed members to the Portico digital preservation service provided by ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.

Portico acts as an independent back up repository for publishers’ online content. Membership of Portico demonstrates Compuscript’s commitment to ensuring that valuable material previously published will always be available independent of Compuscript’s existence.

Article Retraction

Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data etc may be grounds for retraction of a published article. Occasionally a retraction will be used to correct errors in submission or publication. Standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by several library and scholarly bodies, and this best practice is adopted for article retraction by Compuscript:

  • A retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.
  • In the electronic version, a link is made to the original article.
  • The online article is preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. It is to this screen that the link resolves; the reader can then proceed to the article itself.
  • The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the .pdf indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”
  • The HTML version of the document is removed.

 Article Removal: Legal limitations

In an extremely limited number of cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory, or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained, the text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.

 Article Replacement

In cases where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk, the authors of the original article may wish to retract the flawed original and replace it with a corrected version. In these circumstances the procedures for retraction will be followed with the difference that the database retraction notice will publish a link to the corrected re-published article and a history of the document.

Erratum & Corrigendum

In the instance where errors are introduced to the article by the publisher an erratum will be published to the original article. All publisher-introduced changes are highlighted to the author at the proof stage and any errors are ideally identified by the author and corrected by the publisher before final publication.

Should the author wish to publish to a change to their article that at any time after acceptance a corrigendum will be published. Authors should contact the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, who will determine the impact of the change and decide on the appropriate course of action. 

Author’s Fees

Please see individual journal websites for current information on publication fees.