All submissions are initially assessed by the editor-in-chief or a guest editor, who decides whether the article is suitable for peer review. Unsolicited submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to one or more subject experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology. Invited reviews are reviewed by the subject-matter experts serving as guest editors and assigned to an external expert for additional peer review. If suitable experts external to the journal cannot be found, then members of the Editorial Board may be asked to complete a review task
All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.
The journal operates a single-blind peer review process, meaning that reviewers remain anonymous for the review process (however, authors are identified). The review period is expected to take around four weeks, although this can vary depending on reviewer availability. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer reports, the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s editor-in-chief, who is supported by an expert, multi-institutional editorial board.
Members of the editorial team/board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks for that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. A competing interest must also be declared within the submission and any resulting publication.
Editorials, art, poetry, and in memoriam submissions may be published at the discretion of the editorial team but are not peer reviewed.
Reviewers are asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines:
- Content: Does the article fit within the scope of the journal? Is the submission original, relevant and rigorous? Is the author’s depth of understanding of the issues researched adequate? Are the sources and references adequate? Has the existing knowledge base been explored and built upon, and does it represent the most up-to-date trial data?
- Structure and argument: Does the abstract summarize the arguments in a succinct and accurate way? Is the manuscript logically structured and do the arguments flow coherently? Does the introduction signpost the arguments in the logical way and does the conclusion adequately summarize them?
- Figures/tables: Does the author’s use of tables, charts, figures, and/or videos illustrate the arguments and support the evidence base? Is the quality of the formatting and presentation adequate and current?
- Formatting: Does the submitted file adhere to the general author guidelines listed for the journal? Are the citations and references formatted to AMA style?
- Language: Is the text well written and jargon free? Please comment on the quality of English and need for grammatical improvement.
The journal accepts submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. The journal accepts papers that have been published within formal conference proceedings, provided that the paper provides substantially more data, analysis, and/or discussion than the original conference paper. If the paper was presented but not formally published, then more overlap is permitted. The accepted manuscript may also be uploaded to an open platform, under a CC BY licence. Authors must retain copyright to such postings.
Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal if it is editorially accepted and published.
The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the following:
- The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it and is permitted to submit to the journal.
- The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
- The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymize the submitted files (see review policy).
- Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.
The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not affect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.
The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data while coauthors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.
The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Data should be cited and referenced within the manuscript and should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement, which must describe how the data underlying the findings of the article can be accessed and reused. If data is not being made available with the journal publication (eg, legal constraints) then a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited. All data should be curated in a format that allows easy understanding and analysis (eg, sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file). This will help ensure its reuse potential.
Because the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to wholly assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as protocols.io. By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases while also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.
If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis, or algorithms, then we also recommend that authors upload the code into Code Ocean, where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate, and discover code published in academic journals.
All listed authors must qualify as such, as defined in our author guidelines, which have been developed from the ICMJE definitions. All authors must have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper.
Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics
To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers, and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict, or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed here.
In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript, ensuring that ethical approval and consent statements are detailed within the manuscript (see Author Guidelines).
MDCVJ case reports, used for the purpose of teaching/training, are carefully edited to ensure no identifiable patient information is shared and to ensure no privacy is violated. The patients described in case reports sign waivers, allowing their information to be used for teaching purposes when de-identified.
MDCVJ follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines “Journals’ Best Practices for ensuring consent for publishing medical case reports: guidance from” to insure we provide ethical oversight. They are available at DOI: https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.6
Corrections and Retractions
In accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (where applicable), the Press handles different kinds of error. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact your editorial manager if an article needs correcting.
Postpublication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article, then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. Visit our Correction Policy page for more information.
Misconduct and Complaints
Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal or whether the submission in question is pre- or postpublication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation. Where misconduct is proven or strongly suspected, the journal has an obligation to report the issue to the author's institution, which may conduct its own investigation. This applies to both research misconduct (eg, completing research without ethical approval and consent, fabricating or falsifying data, etc) and publication misconduct (eg, manipulating the peer review process, plagiarism, etc). Should an investigation conclude that misconduct or misinformation has occurred, then the author and their institution will be notified. Should the publication record need to be corrected, the journal's correction policy will be followed.
If an author wishes to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general, they should first approach the editor-in-chief to explain their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. If the response is not forthcoming or adequate, the author should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and determine whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.
The journal does not tolerate abusive behavior or correspondence towards its staff, academic editors, authors, or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal resorting to abusive behavior or correspondence will have their contribution immediately withdrawn, and future engagement with the journal will be at the discretion of the editor and/or publisher.