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MJMS Editorial and Publishing Policies

1. Relationship to other Macedonian Medical Journals

Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences (MJMS) publish outstanding research articles in health and biological sciences. Several other medical journals (Makedon Med Pregl, God Zb Med Fak Skopje, Maked J Med, Prilozi, Acta Chir Maced, Acta Morphol, and Physioacta) are published in the Republic of Macedonia.  Each journal has a team of professional and academic editors evaluating papers for publication. Occasionally, a manuscript is submitted that falls on the border between basic and clinical research or is classified as a professional paper. To ensure that such papers receive the fairest possible treatment, the professional editors of other medical journals may consult each other on relevant manuscripts. As a result, authors who have submitted their manuscript to MJMS may be encouraged instead to submit their paper to other medical journals (and vice versa). However, papers will never be transferred between the journals without an author's consent.

Authors may request or editors may suggest that papers or presubmission enquiries (with reviews, if relevant) rejected from MJMS be forwarded to an appropriate other Macedonian medical journal, for further consideration. Editorial staff at MJMS will help with transferring papers.

2. Publication Charges

To provide open access, MJMS use a business model in which our expenses—including those of peer review, journal production, and online hosting and archiving—are recovered in part by charging a subscription fee to the institutions or research sponsors. Editors and reviewers have no access to payment information, and hence inability to pay will not influence the decision to publish a paper. For further information, see our Subscriptions and Sponsors.

3. Copyright and License Policies

Upon submission of an article, authors are asked to indicate their agreement to abide by an open-access license. The license permits any user to download, print out, extract, archive, and distribute the article, so long as appropriate credit is given to the authors and source of the work. The license ensures that your article will be as widely available as possible and that your article can be included in any scientific archive.

Upon publication, MJMS also intend to deposit all articles in PubMed Central. This complies with the policies of funding agencies, such as the NIH in the USA, the Wellcome Trust and the Research Councils in the UK, and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Germany, which request or require deposition of the published articles that they fund into publicly available databases. Please read about the Open Access License before submitting your paper.

4. Human and Animal Research

All research involving humans and animals must have been approved by the authors’ institutional review board or equivalent committee, and that board must be named by the authors. In the case of human participants, informed consent must have been obtained, and all clinical investigation must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki. Authors should submit a statement from the ethics committee or institutional review board indicating approval of the research. We also encourage authors to submit a sample of a patient consent form, and may require submission on particular occasions.

For studies involving humans categorized by race/ethnicity, age, disease/disabilities, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, or other socially constructed groupings, authors should, as much as possible,

  • make explicit their methods of categorizing human populations;

  • define categories in as much detail as the study protocol allows;

  • justify their choices of definitions and categories, including for example whether any rules of human categorization were required by their funding agency;

  • explain whether (and if so, how) they controlled for confounding variables such as socioeconomic status, nutrition, environmental exposures, etc.

In addition, outmoded terms and potentially stigmatizing labels should be changed to more current, acceptable terminology. Examples: "Caucasian" should be changed to "white" or "of [Western] European descent" (as appropriate); "cancer victims" should be changed to "patients with cancer".

5. Author Status

MJMS follows the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors on authorship, and authors should make sure they are familiar with these guidelines. All authors will be contacted via e-mail at submission by the MJMS editorial office to indicate that they are aware of and approve the submission to MJMS of the manuscript, its content, authorship, and order of authorship. No decision can be made on an article until all authors have provided their assent to publication. The involvement of any professional medical writer in publication must be declared. We encourage authors to consult the European Medical Writers’ Association Guidelines on the role of medical writers.

6. Competing Interests

Authors are asked at submission to declare whether they have any financial, personal, or professional interests that could be construed to have influenced their paper. Reviewers are also asked to declare any interests that might interfere with their objective assessment of a manuscript. Any relevant competing interests of authors must be available to editors and reviewers during the review process and will be stated in published articles. Click here for more general information on the MJMS’s policy regarding competing interests.

7. Submission of Related Manuscripts

When submitting an article, all authors are asked to indicate that they have not submitted a similar manuscript for publication elsewhere. If related work has been submitted elsewhere, then a copy must be included with the article submitted to MJMS. Reviewers will be asked to comment on the overlap between related submissions.

8. Reviewer and Editor Exclusions

Upon submission of a manuscript, authors are asked if they wish to include or exclude any specific academic editors or reviewers from the peer review of their article. The editorial team will respect these requests so long as this does not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the article. See the relevant guidelines for reviewers and more general information on MJMS’ policy regarding competing interests.

9. Confidentiality

Editors and reviewers are requested to treat all submitted manuscripts in strict confidence.

10. Blogs, Wikis, Embargoes and the Media

Authors are of course at liberty to present and discuss their findings ahead of publication: at medical or scientific conferences, on preprint servers, in public databases, and in blogs, wikis and other informal communication channels. We recommend, however, that authors not contact the media or respond to such contact unless an article has been accepted for publication and an embargo date has been established. Respect for press embargoes will help to ensure that your work is reported accurately in the popular media, and that the full peer-reviewed paper is freely available to any interested reader when the news item is published. If a journalist has covered a piece of work ahead of publication, this will not affect consideration of the work for publication.

11. Scientific and Editorial Misconduct

Scientific misconduct is defined by the Office of Research Integrity as "fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research." In cases where there is a suspicion or allegation of scientific misconduct or fraudulent research in manuscripts submitted for review, MJMS reserves the right to pass along these manuscripts to the sponsoring or funding institution or other appropriate authority for investigation. Although MJMS recognizes its responsibility to ensure that the suspicion of misconduct has been addressed, we do not ourselves make such determinations. MJMS is also represented at the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and will abide by its principles and rulings.

12. Corrections and Additions

Corrections to articles will be considered for publication if the correction is judged by the editors to affect seriously the interpretation of the work and if all authors of the original publication have approved the correction. In cases of a dispute, authors should contact the editors. Authors should send corrections directly to the journal editorial staff.

13. Sharing of Materials, Methods, and Data

Publication is conditional upon the agreement of authors to make freely available any materials and information associated with their publication that are reasonably requested by others for the purpose of academic, noncommercial research.

Data Availability

Open access applies to both the scientific literature and the data used to establish that literature. Publication is contingent on making data integral to a manuscript freely available without restriction, provided that appropriate attribution is given and that suitable mechanisms exist for sharing the data used in a manuscript and that in the case of clinical information patient confidentiality is not compromised.

  1. Data for which public repositories have been established that are in general use should be deposited before publication, and the appropriate accession numbers or digital object identifiers published with the paper.

  2. If an appropriate repository does not exist, data should be provided as supporting information with the published paper. If this is not practical, data should be made freely available upon reasonable request.

  3. The conclusions of a study must not be dependent solely on the analysis of proprietary data. If proprietary data were used to reach a conclusion, and the authors are unwilling or unable to make these data public, then the paper must include an analysis of public data that validates the conclusions so that others can reproduce the analysis and build on the findings.

Note that any restrictions on the availability or on the use of datasets might be judged to diminish the significance of a paper and will therefore influence the decision about whether a paper should be published. These policies have been developed in accordance with the principles established in Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials (National Academies Press, 2003).

Software/Algorithm Sharing

If new software or a new algorithm is central to a paper, the authors must provide sufficient information to allow interested users to reproduce and build on the authors’ work. In cases where the software/algorithm is not central to the paper, we nevertheless encourage authors to make all relevant materials freely available. Software can be provided under license where necessary, but any restrictions on the availability or on the use of materials might be judged to diminish the significance of a paper and therefore might influence the decision about whether a paper should be published subject to those conditions. These policies have been developed in accordance with the principles established in Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials (National Academies Press, 2003).

14. Nomenclature

The use of standardized nomenclature in all fields of science and medicine is an essential step toward the integration and linking of scientific information reported in published literature. We will enforce the use of correct and established nomenclature wherever possible:

  • We strongly encourage the use of SI units. If you do not use these exclusively, please provide the SI value in parentheses after each value.

  • Species names should be italicized (e.g., Homo sapiens) and the full genus and species must be written out in full, both in the title of the manuscript and at the first mention of an organism in a paper; after that, the first letter of the genus name, followed by the full species name may be used.

  • Genes, mutations, genotypes, and alleles should be indicated in italics. Use the recommended name by consulting the appropriate genetic nomenclature database, e.g., HUGO for human genes. It is sometimes advisable to indicate the synonyms for the gene the first time it appears in the text. Gene prefixes such as those used for oncogenes or cellular localization should be shown in roman: v-fes, c-MYC, etc.

  • The Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name (rINN) of drugs should be provided.

15. Reporting Guidelines for Specific Study Designs

a. Clinical Trials

We follow the WHO definition of a clinical trial. See http://www.who.int/ictrp/en/.

"A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc"

MJMS supports the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) on trial registration. All trials initiated after 1 July 2005 must be registered prospectively in a publicly accessible registry (i.e., before patient recruitment has begun), or they will not be considered for publication. For trials initiated before 1 July 2005, all trials must be registered before submission to our journals. See the ICMJE faq on trial registration for further details. The WHO's list of approved registries is listed here.

Authors of trials must adhere to the CONSORT reporting guidelines appropriate to their trial design. Please check the CONSORT statement web site for information on the appropriate guidelines for specific trial types. Before the paper can enter peer review authors must: 1) name in the paper trial registry, trial registration number, and IRB and 2) provide a copy of the trial protocol and a completed CONSORT checklist as supporting files (these documents will also be published alongside the paper, if accepted). The CONSORT flow diagram must be included as Figure 1. Any deviation from the trial protocol must be explained in the paper. Authors must explicitly discuss informed consent in their paper, and MJMS reserves the right to ask for a copy of the patient consent form. Information on statistical methods or participants beyond what is indicated in the CONSORT statement should be reported in the Methods section.

MJMS supports the public disclosure of all clinical trial results, as mandated for example by the FDA Amendments Act, 2007. Prior disclosure of results on a public website such as clinicaltrials.gov will not affect the decision to peer review or acceptance of papers in MJMS.

b. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Randomized Controlled Trials

Reports of meta-analyses of randomized controlled studies should use the QUOROM statement as a guide (Moher D, Cook DJ, Eastwood S, Olkin I, Rennie D, Stroup DF [1999] Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials: The QUOROM statement. Lancet354: 1896–900), and should include a copy of the QUOROM checklist.

c. Diagnostic Studies

Reports of studies of diagnostic accuracy should conform to the STARD requirements.

d. Epidemiological Studies

For reports of epidemiological studies, you should consult the STROBE initiative.

e. Microarray Experiments

Reports of microarray experiments should conform to the MIAME guidelines, and the data from the experiments must be deposited in a publicly accessible database.

16. Publication of Studies Sponsored by Pharmaceutical Companies.

We support the development of guidelines for the reporting of studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

Published by: Institute of Immunobiology and Human Genetics,  Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.

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