VJSTE follows the regulations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions. VJSTE also endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
Submission of a manuscript to VJSTE implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.
Authors in VJSTE must fulfill the criteria described below that are informed by the ISMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) definition of authorship. Specifically, contributions should be one or more of the following:
- Formulation of theory and prediction
- Contributions to experimental conception and design
- Acquisition, analysis and/or interpretation of data
- Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
All individuals who meet these criteria must be listed as authors. In addition, all authors must agree to be so listed and are expected to critically read and approve the submitted version and the version to be published.
Ghost authorship (in which individuals who have made author-level contributions to the paper are not included in the author list) is not permitted for papers published in VJSTE. Nor is guest or honorary authorship. Other individuals who have participated in generation of the research paper but who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgement section with a brief indication of the nature of their contribution.
Any changes in authorship must be approved in writing by all of the original authors. VJSTE will send an email to all authors to confirm receipt of each paper. Submission of a paper that has not been approved by all authors may result in immediate rejection without appeal. For manuscripts that are accepted, all authors are required to affirm and explain their contribution to the manuscript in some cases, agree to the conditions of publication including the availability of data and materials, and declare any conflicts of interest. The senior author from each group is required to have examined the raw data their group has produced. We encourage all authors to state their contribution to the study in the acknowledgements section; this information will be published in the paper.
VJSTE requires authors to declare all competing interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘competing interests’ section at the end of the manuscript listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial). Where authors have no competing interests, the statement should read “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.” Editors may ask for further information relating to competing interests. Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the article.
- Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future.
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future.
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Non-financial competing interests: Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests. If, after reading these guidelines, you are unsure whether you have a competing interest, please contact the Editor.
Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as competing interests on submission. They should also adhere to the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies, which are designed to ensure that publications are produced in a responsible and ethical manner. The guidelines also apply to any companies or individuals that work on industry-sponsored publications, such as freelance writers, contract research organizations and communications companies. VJSTE will not publish advertorial content.
Copies of papers submitted to other journals or that are in press as of the date that the revised manuscript is returned by any of the authors that relate to the paper submitted to VJSTE must be included with the submission or revision. Access to this material will let the editors put the results in the submission in the proper context and make the best decision regarding the submitted manuscript. Failure to disclose related papers may lead to rejection at any time.
Unpublished Data and Personal Communications
Citations to unpublished data and personal communications cannot be used to support significant claims in the paper. Papers will be held for publication until all “in press” citations are published.
Ethics and consent
- Ethics Approval: Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
- Retrospective Ethics Approval: If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
- New Clinical Tools and Procedures: Authors reporting the use of a new procedure or tool in a clinical setting, for example as a technical advance or case report, must give a clear justification in the manuscript for why the new procedure or tool was deemed more appropriate than usual clinical practice to meet the patient’s clinical need. Such justification is not required if the new procedure is already approved for clinical use at the authors’ institution. Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.
- Consent to Participate: For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.
- Consent for publication: For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. If the participant has died, then consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant.
- This documentation must be made available to the editor if requested, and will be treated confidentially. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the editor.