ETHICS FOR EDITORS
Editors are gatekeepers and preserver of quality and integrity of scholarly content. Their professional evaluation and decision on manuscript aids in improving science and benefits the society.
ALL ETHICS FOR EDITORS
Education & Publishing, R&D, Ethics, Open Access, Patient Advocacy & Environment Support
EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE & TRANSPARENCY
All Qualiten Journals have independent Editorial Board, which are composed of subject matter experts from the specific fields of the journals. Once a submitted manuscript has passed the internal quality check (plagiarism check, scientific merit check, ethical compliance and other checks) from Qualiten Journal staff, it is assigned to the suitable Editorial Board member (referred as “handling editor”, who is an expert in the field of article). Thereafter, all the evaluation on quality and decision on acceptance or rejection of article are made solely by handling editor based on the feedback provided by other external peer-reviewers (who are also experts in the same field).
Qualiten Journals use double-blinded peer review process, in which identity of authors, handling editors and other reviewers are not disclosed during the peer review process. This process promotes independent and unbiased evaluation of articles by handling editor and reviewers.
QUALIFICATION TO HANDLE MANUSCRIPT
Qualiten Press’ staff checks the content of manuscript and sends manuscript handling requests only to the editors who seem to have previous publishing experience in the relevant field. Handling editor critically evaluate the manuscript and peer-reviewers’ comments to provide author suggestion and make final decision on acceptance or rejection of article. Their task is pivotal in filtering and improving the good science for the benefit of public. Hence, based on manuscript content and their work experience, they should make a judgement whether they are qualified to handle the manuscript.
CONFIDENTIALITY & NO PERSONAL USE
During peer review process, handling editor has access to confidential and copyright material(s) of authors. Handling editors must not copy, use or share the data in any way other than for peer review of the journal.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Before accepting to handle any manuscript, handling editor should ensure that they do not have any conflict of interest (financial or otherwise) related to the manuscript. Some examples of conflict of interest are:
- Author’s work is competing with handling editor’s work.
- Authors of manuscript are related to handling editor. Although, peer review process is double-blinded, and Qualiten Press tries not to invite co-authors or editors belonging to same institution as of authors; there may be some instances when handling editor can recognize authors based on the content of manuscript.
Evaluating a manuscript that has conflict of interest can lead to bias in the evaluation, which is harmful to the integrity of scholarly communication. If handling editor perceives any competing or conflicting interest, then it must be communicated to the Journal immediately.
In the field of science and medicine, new knowledge is created by authors based on the study design, rigorous experimentation, data analysis, facts validation and statistics. As a custodian of scholarly communications, handling editor’s responsibility is to objectively evaluate the novelty, soundness of research method, correctness of conclusions, ethical considerations, and impact of manuscript under review. Also, the peer-reviewers’ comments and author’s response are evaluated objectively with no personal bias. The eventual goal of scholarly publication is to share new information that can be useful and reproduced by others to solve unmet needs in science, medicine and healthcare.
SPECIFICITY OF COMMENTS
Qualiten Press uses double-blinded peer review process, where handling editors’ evaluation and comments are communicated to authors by Qualiten Press journal staff. Thus, it is crucial that constructive comments provided by handling editors are very specific and to the point, such that authors can understand it clearly and respond in provided time frame. Qualiten Press assists handling editors by providing a well-designed Peer-Review Form, which includes article review questionnaire that is based on sections of article. Also, peer-review manuscript is prepared by Qualiten Journal staff with line numbers and page numbers for easy reference to any part of manuscript.
RESPECTFUL (LANGUAGE & TONE)
Everyone involved in peer review process (authors, editors, reviewers, and journal staff) are expected to treat the other individual (even if process is double-blinded) with respect and dignity. Handling editor is expected to provide honest comments and constructive feedback on the scholarly content of the article without using derogatory or insulting language or tone. Please understand that authors who have created the content, may have limitations or drawbacks, such as English not being the primary language and limitation of research funds. Peer review is an opportunity to provide honest and constructive feedback on science as well as to understand the limitations of authors from their response to the editor’s comments.
UNBIASED PUBLICATION DECISION
In the first stage of peer review, handling editor provides comments for authors along with interim decision (major changes, minor changes, acceptance, rejection) based on an initial evaluation of articles and independent peer-reviewers’ comments. The final publication decision (acceptance or rejection) is made by handling editor after overall evaluation of author’s response, revised manuscript and reviewers’ comments. Handling editor’s evaluation and final publication decision should be unbiased and solely dependent on the quality of scholarly content.
An efficient peer review process requires coordinated efforts from handling editor, reviewers, authors and journal staff. The handling editor’s timeliness in evaluating manuscript, peer-reviewers’ comments, authors’ response, and revised manuscript is crucial in maintaining the progress of the peer review process. Thus, timely response from handling editor not only supports the review process but also facilitates timely publication of accepted articles. In case of rejected articles, a timely decision saves time and resources for authors that can be utilized by them to revise and improve study for future publication and public benefit.
REPORTING & HANDLING MISCONDUCT, BIOSECURITY & CULTURAL DISRESPECT
While handling a manuscript if handling editors come across any research, ethics or publication misconduct from author, reviewers or publisher’s staff, then it should be promptly communicated to Qualiten Press. Additionally, if content of the manuscript is expected to be damaging to biosecurity, environment, specific cultures or heritage then it should be reported promptly to Qualiten Press.
We intend not to publish any manuscript that poses threat to public health, people’s cultures, and environment. As a subject matter expert, handling editors can safeguard and filter out any such content from being published.
FAIRNESS IN HANDLING THEMATIC COLLECTIONS
Thematic collections are also called special collections, which are sets of scholarly articles published keeping very specific scientific subareas in mind. Unlike regular articles which can be reviewed by different editors, all articles submitted for thematic collections are generally handled only by 1 to 3 handling editors. Handling editors for thematic collections are usually members of journals’ Editorial Board and called “Guest Editors”.
Guest editors are involved in proposing the theme, sending occasional invites to authors for submission, handling the peer review process and providing a decision on acceptance or rejection of articles. Given the highly specific nature of the theme and invitation of submissions from handling editors, it is likely that handling editors recognize the authors of articles. Thus, it is very important that handling editor maintains fairness in handling thematic collections and does not judge the articles with any bias. Qualiten Press follows the double-blinded peer review and invites external peer-reviewers for each manuscript to support handling editors in providing fair judgement.
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