Ethical Policy: Publishing
The journal is committed to the standards outlined by ICMJE regarding all aspects of publishing and all actors involved in the publication process, authors, journal editors and the publisher (http://www.icmje.org/). This concerns issues of publishing ethics, the publication itself, authorship, the author’s responsibilities, the peer review process, as well as the editor’s responsibilities. Major aspects are also the protection of research participants, the patient’s right to privacy, the respect of animals’ rights, the requirement for informed consent, the necessity to have a registration of a clinical trial, as well as reporting guidelines depending on the studies design. In addition, at any stage, any conflict of interest has to be declared, allowing that no biased decisions will be taken by the Editors or the reviewers, and that the reader has full insight into the financial or other conflicts of interest related to the accepted article.
We make sure that Authors, Editors, and Reviewers are informed on the best practice in publication ethics. They are expected to and comply with the following practice.
Visualized Cancer Medicine adheres to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing as defined by COPE, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). In response, several journal policies are in place and described below.
1. Journal policy on authorship and contributorship
Visualized Cancer Medicine authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
- 1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- 2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content ; AND
- 3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- 4. 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.
Therefore everyone listed as an author should meet our criteria for authorship. Everyone who meets our criteria for authorship must be listed as an author. However, where authors deliberately don’t comply this is considered to be a form of misconduct.
Of particular concern are:
- ‘Ghost authorship’ – where an author(s) has substantially contributed to the work but has not been given credit. This also impacts transparency as any competing interests pertaining to a ‘ghost author’ will not be declared.
- ‘Gift authorship’ – where a listed author(s) has not contributed substantially, or at all to the published work.
- ‘Authorship for sale’ – where authors have ‘sold’ an author spot on a paper, or where a researcher has ‘bought’ an authorship spot on a paper.
Concerning the Group Authorship, the ICMJE recommends the following guidelines:
When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation in the manuscript title page and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments.
We would like to draw the attention of new researchers to this COPE document that may prove useful in case of conflicts around authorship.
Those contributors who do not meet all of the 4 authorship criteria shall simply be acknowledged.
1.3 Corresponding author
It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors are aware of and approve the submission of a manuscript to Visualized Cancer Medicine, as well as the established peer review procedures and the costs involved with publication of an article in the journal.
We encourage readers to discuss the scientific contents of Visualized Cancer Medicine articles directly with corresponding authors, by emailing the corresponding author.
1.4 Changes in Authorship
Authors are expected to carefully consider authorship before manuscript submission. For changes in Authorship before publication including any addition, removal, or rearrangement of author names will require: explaining the reason of the change, receive the approval of all authors including any to be added or removed (the authorship change form that includes the signed agreements of all authors, and provides a reason for the change must be provided). Any changes to authorship requested after the manuscript has already been published, requests for a change in authorship will be evaluated and require the publication of a Correction. For more information please consult the COPE guidelines:
- Addition of an extra author - before publication
- Removal of an author - before publication
- Removal of an author - after publication
2. Research Integrity: reuse of previous work
2.1 Conditions for submission of an article - plagiarism/self-plagiarism, manipulation of the publication process, data fabrication and image manipulation
Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For ethics in publishing consult COPE http://publicationethics.org/.
Authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.
Systematic manipulation of the publication process is defined by COPE as an individual or group of individuals using dishonest or fraudulent practices to
- prevent independent assessment or inappropriately influence peer review outcomes,
- sell or misrepresent authorship, and/or
- publish fabricated or plagiarized research.
Visualized Cancer Medicine will reject or retract articles suspected of any manipulation of the publication process, and may inform the relevant institution(s) (e.g. an author’s or reviewer’s employer) of our concerns.
Visualized Cancer Medicine does not accept plagiarism in submissions. Plagiarized content will not be considered for publication. If plagiarism is identified, we will follow COPE guidelines.
Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
- Directly copying text from other sources without attribution,
- Copying ideas, images, or data from other sources without attribution,
- Reusing text from your own previous publications (self-plagiarism) without attribution or agreement of the editor (see the COPE guidelines on text recycling and the text recycling guidance released by the Text Recycling Research Project),
- Using an idea from another source with slightly modified language without attribution.
Visualized Cancer Medicine uses Crossref Similarity Check to screen submitted content for originality. This tool allows the Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors to quickly identify even partial use of already published content, which cannot be re-published in this journal.
If plagiarism is detected during the peer-review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we may retract the paper. We also could inform authors' institutions about plagiarism.
We expect that editors and reviewers will be vigilant in their evaluation of Visualized Cancer Medicine submissions and will notify the journal about any plagiarism identified.
In case of doubt, and in order to avoid any forms of plagiarism or text recycling, authors are invited to visit relevant webpages of universities across the world dealing with this topic, as well as the websites of their own institutions if relevant.
Here are a few examples of useful pages:
Duplicate (or redundant) publications occur when more than one paper present the same intellectual material (e.g. assumptions, data, discussion, conclusion…) without full cross reference. While it is possible to republish a paper in another language, full and prominent disclosure of the paper’s original source at the time of submission should always be provided. Please note that it is possible to publish an article whose abstract has been previously published during the proceedings of a meeting as long as full disclosure of the situation (reference) is made at the time of submission. More information on the topic of redundant publications can be found here in COPE’s Guidelines on good publication practice
2.2 Conferences, Proceedings
Manuscripts based on conference papers could be allowed but must be expanded upon if they are to be considered as original work. Authors are required to add a substantial amount of original content in the form of new raw material (experiments, data) or new treatment of old data sets which lead to original discussion and/or conclusions, providing value that significantly exceeds the original conference version. In Visualized Cancer Medicine, at least 30% of the content must be original. Authors submitting such work are required to:
- seek permission for reuse of the published conference paper if the author does not hold the copyright (proof of permission should be provided with the manuscript upon submission);
- cite the paper published/presented in the conference.
Authors publishing in Visualized Cancer Medicine may share their Author’s Original Manuscript (AOM) before submission the journal, on repositories or to a non-commercial preprint server (such as arXiv, PeerJ Preprints, HAL, and others), provided that the server imposes no restrictions upon the author's full copyright and re-use rights.
Citation of the original source in repositories or preprint servers must be included within the manuscript on submission or during the review process.
If the article is published, authors are then strongly encouraged to link from the preprint server to the Visualized Cancer Medicine publication to enable readers to find, access, and cite the final peer-reviewed version. Please note that Visualized Cancer Medicine will not consider for publication content that has been previously published, or is already under review, within a scientific journal or book.
3. Citation Policies
Authors of research articles should cite relevant, timely, and verified literature (peer-reviewed, where appropriate) to support any claims made in the article.
Authors of non-research articles (e.g. a Review or Mini-review) you should ensure the references they cite are relevant and provide a fair and balanced overview of the current state of research or scholarly work on the topic. References should not be unfairly biased towards a particular research group, organization or journal.
Authors must avoid excessive and inappropriate self-citation or prearrangements among author groups to inappropriately cite each other’s work, as this can be considered a form of misconduct called citation manipulation. For more details please read the COPE guidance on citation manipulation.
Authors should not cite advertisements or advertorial material.
4. Territorial descriptions, maps, and affiliations
EDP Sciences remains neutral with regards to published territorial descriptions, maps, and author affiliations. All territorial claims are solely those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organisations, the publisher, the editors, or reviewers.
5. Peer review process
The Peer Review Process is a widely established validation method used in academia whereby a work is critically assessed by expert referees demonstrating both the right level of knowledge in the field of the work, while being fully independent from it. Visualized Cancer Medicine follows the “single-blind” Peer Review Process where referees know the identity of the authors, but the authors do not know who the reviewers are.
All Visualized Cancer Medicine submissions undergo a fair, independent, objective and constructive Peer Review Process: only scientifically sound articles, deemed of high enough interest and originality, will receive favorable reports from our reviewers, hence be accepted for publication.
The manuscripts and videos will have all identifying information removed from them by the editorial office prior to the beginning of the review process. Then, all manuscripts submitted to the journal are submitted to two reviewers independent from the editorial committee of the journal. If an Editor-in-Chief, any other Editor or Editorial board member is (co)-author of a submitted article, the process is organized so that this person will not be involved with neither evaluation nor decision taking. The reviewers are informed of the necessity to keep the manuscript confidential before acceptance and publication, and their identity will not be disclosed to the authors. Based on the recommendations of the reviewers, the editorial board decides whether the manuscript is:
- Accepted without modifications
- Accepted, after modifications/revision (depending on a second peer reviewing)
Reviewers remain anonymous throughout the entire publication process. They should not contact authors (if any questions, they must contact the Editorial Office). Visualized Cancer Medicine utilizes a single-blind review process; reviewers can access author identities to further inform their review and prevent any conflicts of interest. However, the editor will compile all peer review comments with any editorial comments and send these to the authors on the reviewers’ behalf.
The Editors-in chief have full authority for acceptation/rejection of the submitted manuscripts. Persons with a conflict of interest towards a submitted manuscript shall declare it and be withdrawn from the peer reviewing of this particular article.
6. Complaints and appeals
Visualized Cancer Medicine authors have the right to appeal against a rejection decision made on their manuscript. In order for their formal appeal to be considered, authors should submit a solid, scientific rebuttal, or new facts/data in response to the comments made by the reviewers. All relevant information regarding the article (incl. the exchanges of correspondences, reports and names of the reviewers/editors, who have taken part in the peer review process) will be provided to a member of the Editorial Board, who may seek, if appropriate, the opinion of an additional independent expert. As with the rest of the peer review process, the confidentiality of an appeal consideration will be kept at all times. Until a final decision is made towards their appeal, authors will not be allowed to submit their manuscript to another journal for fear of breaching the ethical rule of duplicate publication to several journals.
Please note that Visualized Cancer Medicine will not consider appeals:
- That do not comply with the content requirement described above,
- Which contain offensive language,
- Which simply consist in an author’s rant against the reviewers,
- Which are submitted to the journal after 3 months following rejection decision.
7. Data sharing and reproducibility
Visualized Cancer Medicine follows EDP Sciences Data sharing and Citation Policy.
Providing that it is legal and ethical for authors to do so, the EDP Sciences Policy is to encourage authors to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) principles. Findable means that metadata and data alike should be easy to find for both humans and computers; then the users should know how the (meta)data can be accessed, which might be through a specified protocol; in order to meet the interoperable requirement it should be possible to use and combine the data with other datasets in a format that is sufficiently widely distributed; the ultimate goal of the FAIR initiative being that of making data re-usable, users should know what is their provenance and under which conditions the data can be reused.
A relevant statement may be inserted by authors in their article to state if their manuscript has associated data and where the data has been deposited.
Research data submitted to Visualized Cancer Medicine should not be fabricated or manipulated in any way so as to artificially increase the impact of the work presented. Research data should be clearly and accurately described in order to make them reproducible. Authors are encouraged to follow specific-field reporting guidelines (e.g. ARRIVE, CHEERS, CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, etc…).
Data sharing and scientific integrity
We hold scientific integrity as the top priority in any consideration of publication. Therefore, our authors are strongly suggested to upload their raw data onto Research Data Deposit (RDD) for further verification in case our readers have any doubt on the scientific integrity of the studied project. Please use this link for uploading your raw data onto RDD: http://www.researchdata.org.cn.
8. Conflict of interests, competing interests
Visualized Cancer Medicine fully adheres to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All authors, editors and reviewers must declare any potential conflict of interests (or competing interests) that may interfere with the publication of an article – spanning from its preparation and interpretation, to its evaluation.
Authors should disclose all activities (financial, non-financial, legal, commercial,…), ties, academic commitments (political, religious,…), beliefs, and relationships (professional or otherwise) that might bias or be seen as affecting the work they have submitted for publication.
Likewise, reviewers should inform the journal if they have a particular activity, or relationship with the authors or the study itself, which may prevent them to evaluate in full integrity the work they have been sent for peer review. In such cases, they will be removed from the reviewing process so as to allow the journal to appoint alternative, impartial reviewers.
Editors-in-Chief and members of the Editorial Board are expected to declare any conflict of interests (or competing interests), which may alter their ability to fairly and objectively handle -or directly review- an article for Visualized Cancer Medicine, in which case they will be recused from the editorial decision on the submitted article. If they submit some work to the journal, the same requirement for transparency in disclosing their activities and relationships as these expected from all other Visualized Cancer Medicine authors will apply.
Visualized Cancer Medicine will follow the following COPE’s guidelines if a reviewer suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript and if a reviewer suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article.
9. Ethical oversight
All laws and regulations should be strictly followed. Authors are requested to indicate ethical declarations issued by their institution and concerning their research.
Reviewers should not breach the confidentiality of the peer review process and not disclose any information or results/data from the article they are evaluating for the journal to a third party or use it to their own advantage.
9.1 Statement of Informed Consent
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.
Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note, authors should identify Individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. (Please also read the corresponding section 3.5.8 Informed Consent in our Instructions for authors)
9.2 Statement of Human and Animal Rights
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.
The Journal and the Publishers disclaim all liability arising from damages to persons or property arising from use of the information contained in the video articles.
10. Intellectual property
All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, are described in the journal’s website.
Information regarding the costs associated with publishing in the journal are available in our Author’s information and more specifically within the EDP Sciences “APCs price list”.
Authors wanting to find out more about their rights to post an Visualized Cancer Medicine article - whether in its original (preprint), accepted or published (Version of Record, VoR) version - on a preprint server, a repository or a specific webpage are invited to read the relevant information available on the dedicated Sherpa Romeo webpage.
11. Options for post-publication discussions and corrections
While every effort is made at all stages of the peer review and production processes in Visualized Cancer Medicine so as to publish articles, which are correct, complete and authoritative, cases might still occur where Errata should be published or articles retracted depending on the circumstances and significance of the reported error.
Relevant information concerning Post-publication corrections is described in our Instructions for authors.
12. Special Issues
For the publication of Special Issues curated by Guest Editors, Visualized Cancer Medicine adheres to the DOAJ criteria for Special Issues.
Ethical Policy: Business practices
1. Revenue sources
The Visualized Cancer Medicine is a gold open access publication. Open Access journals have no income from institutional or membership subscriptions. The journal revenue will be based exclusively on the payment of Article Processing Charges (APCs) by authors, whose articles have been accepted for publication in the journal (there are no submission charges).
For the journal Visualized Cancer Medicine, Zhongke Digital Publishing and Media Co., Ltd. (ZDP&M) will support the full publication costs of the articles. The authors have nothing to pay the first years before the journal gets indexed.
Currently Visualized Cancer Medicine does not publish any advertisement to generate additional revenue.
No revenue has been received from our partners (Society of Tumor Microenvironment, China Anti-Cancer Association and Guanzhou Concord Cancer Center) for advertising their conferences on the journal website.
If a change takes place in the future, the Visualized Cancer Medicine Advertising Policy will be recorded here. It will be a journal-specific, adapted version of the more general EDP Sciences Advertising Policy.
3. Direct marketing
Professional (CIM trained/registered) marketing colleagues advise the journal team on how to provide the best visibility for the Visualized Cancer Medicine authors and their high-quality scientific outputs. These same colleagues ensure that special attention is paid, both in terms of frequency and accuracy, to any solicitation correspondence that the journal may send to scientists.
Rules and regulations in place such as GDPR law and the Advertising Standard Authority’s Guidance on the Marketing of Publications are strictly adhered to.