Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Archive of Clinical Cases is an open access, peer-reviewed online quarterly journal which aims to become a large collection of original case reports, covering all fields of Clinical Medicine. We consider that healthcare professionals, medical students and researchers need to enrich their knowledge and improve their practice also by accessing information about rare cases, unusual presentations, unusual association of diseases or cases that my uncover new pathogenic mechanisms. We also accept for publication original research articles, reviews and letters to the editor. 

Archive of Clinical Cases understands that sharing medical knowledge is its core-duty. Therefore, we encourage submission of such reports, especially if sustained by relevant images and correlated with reviews of similar cases in literature. Before publication, all submitted articles will be fast, but rigorously, peer-reviewed, in order to select the most useful clinical cases to professionals.

 

 

Section Policies

Editorial

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case Reports

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Original studies

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

General information Only the clinical cases respecting the instructions for publication and having an optimal language level will be peer-reviewed. Each article will be evaluated by minimal 2 reviewers that typically volunteer their time and expertise. The reviewers have an important role in rating the articles, but, since each of them see only a fraction of the whole received article, the final decision in publishing an article belongs to the editorial board.

 

Selecting peer-reviewers Considering the importance of working with a strong team of reviewers, we have decided to select them based on the following criteria: the scientific expertise (number of articles published in the last 3 years), practical experience, interest in medical publishing, , specific recommendation, reputation. If necessary we will increase the pool of reviewers, in order to not overload them.

 

Reviewers’ Ethical Responsibilities. Confidentiality. The documents submitted to peer review should not be shared or discussed with anyone outside the peer review process unless necessary and approved by the editor. The peer review process is blind; the reviewers will not have access to authors’ identity. The authors will be asked to remove any potential identification information from the manuscript (e.g.: study location, professional credentials etc.). Failure to do this may be subject to manuscript rejection before peer review.  Reviewers should not retain copies of submitted manuscripts and should not use the content for any purpose unrelated to peer review process. The review process will remain strictly confidential. The reviewers will not disclose the reviewed document title or the journal name to third parties (e.g. Publons etc.) unless approved by the editorial board.

 

Reviewing process[1]:  The reviewer comments should reflect a critical analysis of the document, acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the material under review, , and indicating the improvements needed, if applicable. Anything less leaves the author with no insight into the deficiencies of the submitted work. A reviewer should explain and support his or her judgment clearly enough that editors and authors can understand the basis of the comments. The reviewer should immediately alert the editor in case scientific misconduct is suspected (e.g.: plagiarism, falsification/fabrication of data etc.). A reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the author. The review should be drafted with courtesy and professional responsibility.

 

Scientific expertise: the reviewers who figure out that their expertise does not fit with the allocated manuscript, have a duty to refrain from peer reviewing and let the Editor in chief/ section editor know about this.. The reviewers are not supposed to be experts in every aspect of an article’s content, but they should accept an assignment only if they have adequate expertise to provide an reliable assessment.

 

Impartiality and integrity: the reviewers’ comments and conclusions should be based on an objective assessment of the documents, trying to minimize any professional bias. All comments should be based on the neutrality, correctness, originality, and quality of writing as well as on the relevance to the journal’s scope and mission. A reviewer should not use the material available through the privileged communication of peer review, in order to obtain any personal, material or whatsoever advantage of information obtained through the review process. Potential reviewers who are concerned of having a conflict of interest, while doing the peer review should decline the request to review and/or discuss their concerns with the editor.

Timeliness and responsiveness. The reviewers are responsible for submitting their reports in a timely manner, according to the instructions received. Every effort should be made to complete the review within 4 weeks. If it is not possible to meet the deadline for the review, then the reviewer should promptly decline to perform the review or should inquire whether some extension could apply.

Disclosure of conflict of interest. If the reviewers feels like other competing interests might interfere with an objective review, they should either decline their role or disclose the conflict of interest to the editor and discuss how best to address it.

Review Process. 

When a new submission is received, the Editor-in-Chief screens the manuscript and decides whether or not to send it for full peer review (2 days). Afterwards he assigns the article to a Section Editor or Guest Editor (2 days), as shown in http://www.clinicalcases.eu/index.php/acc/about/aboutThisPublishingSystem

A submitted article is assigned to at least two peer reviewers according to their field of expertise. The selection is made by the Section Editor, Guest Editor or Editor-in-Chief (5 days). The reviewer confirms the willing to do the review (7 days) and reviews the manuscript (max. 4 weeks – depending on the reviewers’ priorities). The Section/Guest Editor assesses the reviewer reports and makes a decision on the submission (2 days). Section/Guest Editor communicates the comments/suggestions to the author (2 days). A revised manuscript returns to the Section/Guest Editor who resends it to the original reviewers for furthers evaluations, sometimes to an external reviewer, if necessary (2 weeks). The article is published when all the assigned reviewers and the Section/Guest Editor and the Editor-in-Chief consider it "Acceptable for publication". The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision to accept/reject an article (1 day).



[1] The reviewers are strongly advised to check the COPE guidelines for peer review – available at: https://publicationethics.org/files/Peer%20review%20guidelines.pdf

 

 

Publication Frequency

Journal items are published collectively, as part of an issue with its own Table of Contents. 

Archive of Clinical Cases publishes 4 issues per year: March, June, September and December.

 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

 

Publication ethics and publication malpractice statement

Archive of Clinical Cases encourages authors to strive for, and adhere themselves to, the International standards for authors of scholarly research publications developed by The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  

Archive of Clinical Cases also encourages authors to follow the ICMJE's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA).

Reporting Guidelines for Case Reports according to EQUATOR Network (See  CARE Checklist 2013)


 

Conflict of interest

Authors are required to complete a declaration of competing interests. All competing interests that are declared will be listed at the end of published articles. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'.

Conflicts of interest represent - according to PLOS - any interference with the objectiveness of the information provided in the article, or possibility to be reasonably perceived as such, potentially biasing the editorial decision-making process. Conflict of interests may arise when secondary interests (such as financial benefits or personal issues) could have repercussions on professional judgment of primary interest (for example patient’s consent). As it is difficult for individual readers to objectively evaluate whether a competing interest could have influenced the presentation of, reviewing, or editors’ decision regarding publishing a given manuscript, we require the authors to fill in and submit the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Since competing interests arise almost inevitably, stating them allows readers to assess more precisely such bias, ensuring transparency regarding any affiliation, relevant financial interest, funding, and donation of medical equipment or other related aspects. A manuscript will not be rejected from publishing simply due to the existence of a competing interest, but failure in disclosing an up-to-date information related to the conflicts of interest may delay the evaluation process of the manuscript. The policy regarding disclosure of such information is unconcealed and applied for all submitted manuscripts: the filled-in information referring to the conflicts of interest will be published in Conflict of interests section of the article. If there is any concern or uncertainty about the relevance of a financial relationship or interest, the correspondent author should contact the editorial office.

Editors and journal staff as authors

Editors and Editorial Board members of Archive of Clinical Cases would want to submit their articles to ACC and this represents a potential conflict of interest, especially in cases of submissions from decision-making editors. In reviewing submissions from its editors and Editorial Board members, ACC follows the guidelines for good editorial practice set by international editorial organizations, such as the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and COPE.

The review of such manuscripts will not be handled by the submitting editor(s); the review process will be supervised and the decisions made by a senior editor who will act independently of the other editors. In some cases, the review process will be handled by an outside independent expert to minimize possible bias in reviewing submissions from editors.

A short statement (Conflict of interest, Disclaimer) will be communicated at the end of these published articles listing the editors or board members as authors in order to explain the process used to make the editorial decision which ensured a fair peer review.

 

 

Human and animal rights

All research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. Authors should make statements of compliance if their work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects. If 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.  All investigations on human subjects must include a statement that the subject gave informed consent. Patient anonymity should be preserved. Photographs need to be cropped sufficiently to prevent human subjects being recognized or an eye bar should be used.

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.

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 Editors on request.

If a study has not been submitted to an ethics committee prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review.

If there is suspicion that work has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, Editors will follow the Misconduct policy and may reject the manuscript, and/or contact the author(s)’ institution or ethics committee. On rare occasions, if the Editor has serious concerns about the ethics of a study, the manuscript may be rejected on ethical grounds, even if approval from an ethics committee has been obtained.

 

 

Informed consent

Manuscripts will not be peer-reviewed if a statement of patient consent is not present. This section is compulsory. It should provide a statement to confirm that the patient has given their informed consent for the case report to be published. The editorial office may request copies of the consent documentation at any time. We recommend the following wording is used for the consent section: "Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal." Case reports without appropriate consent will be rejected prior to peer review.

 

 

Corrections, retractions

When an author discovers an important error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the Editor-in-Chief of ACC and cooperate with the editor to correct or retract the paper.

Minor corrections that do not invalidate the article, will be published as "Erratum" as early as they are noticed.

In case of retraction, Archive of Clinical Cases follows the COPE Guidelines for Retracting Articles.

If serious questions have been raised about the validity of findings in a specific paper published in ACC, an Editorial Expression of Concern will be published to alert our readers to that fact.

 

Charge Policy

Archive of Clinical Cases has no fees for processing and publication of the articles.

 

Advertising policy

At this moment, Archive of Clinical Cases accepts no advertisements.

 

Anti-plagiarism policy

Archive of Clinical Cases uses PlagScan and Copyleaks to identify paraphrased and similar content in order to detect and prevent plagiarism. 

The image shows our cooperation with the online plagiarism detection service PlagScan