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Publishing Ethics Policy

Acta Neurológica requires that all research involving human beings comply strictly with the Ethical Principles for Medical Research involving human beings established by the World Medical Association in the Declaration of Helsinki in its latest version of 2013. All work submitted in consideration for publication must be previously approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Institution or Institutions where the study is carried out, and in the required cases of having given informed consent to the persons under research. ANC reserves the right to request the authors the letters of ethical approval of the projects, or in some cases, the consent of subjects under research authorizing the publication related to their case.

Prospective Clinical Studies Registration

Acta Neurológica adheres to World Health Organization (WHO) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) policies on the registration of clinical studies. All research to be considered for publication in ANC that evaluates prospectively human interventions must demonstrate prior to patient recruitment, the registration of research protocol in any international clinical trials registry platform by WHO and ICMJE. The authors must indicate the project registration site.

Animal testing

For animals research the authors must be guided by the established principles in the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals of the Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), joint organization of WHO and UNESCO. For research carried out in Colombia, it must comply with the Ministry of Health Resolution No. 008430 of October 4, 1993, which establishes the Scientific, Technical and Administrative Standards for Health Research, whose Title V refers explicitly to Biomedical Research with Animals, and additionally law 84 of 1989, which adopts the National Statute for the Protection of Animals. Authors must specify which guidelines or regulations they have followed to ensure the protection of animals used in the experimentation process.

Acta Neurológica Ethical Considerations

Based on recommendations for the conduct, registration, editing and publication of scientific works in biomedical journals of the ICMJE http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/ , Acta Neurológica journal voluntarily complies its standards. The following recommendations are taken mainly from this document.

1. Roles and responsibilities of actors (authors, contributors, reviewers, editors, and Colombian Association of Neurology)

Roles of authors/contributors:

a. Role of authors and contributors: it must be established how much intellectual contribution there is in the work presented. A collaborator who intellectually influences in the submitted article must be considered an author. The criteria for authorship are as follows:
i. Substantial contribution in the work’s conception or design, or data interpretation, analysis, or collection;
ii. Writing of the work or critical review with a high intellectual level;
iii. Approval of the final version of the document to be published
iv. Explainability agreement in which one can answer for any aspect of what has been written, and it’s certain of what has been shown in the research.

To be an author, you must meet the 4 previous criteria noted. Those who do not accomplish with authorship criterion must go in acknowledgments.

b. Declaration of authenticity: The data and the article itself must be authentic. The correct use of reliable references is important to ensure the veracity of the information.

c. Conflicts of interests: For the journal transparency, the authors are asked to express the conflicts of interests that can affect the publication. There must be a sentence expressing and stating the conflict of interest (economic, personal, academic and intellectual).

d. Research ethics: to ensure the ethical practice of research, authors must comply with the mentioned above in “Publishing ethics policy”, “Prospective Clinical Studies Registration” and “Animal testing”.

e. Peer-review: authors must commit to completing the peer-review process; once the article has been accepted, in case of requiring modifications, authors will have 30 days to make modifications and submit the modified article. In case the stipulated time is not complied with, the article will be removed from the process.

f. Copyright transfer: authors must sign a letter where they transfer to the journal the distribution and reproduction rights of the submitted work, as well as the images, audio or videos part of the publication.

Roles of peer-reviewers

a. Objective judgement: The blind review must be objective, making sure to give a judgement based on the quality of the research and the article itself. Comments should be constructive, courteous and honest.

b. Confidentiality of articles: peer reviewers must ensure the confidentiality of manuscripts, must not share or expose the information received including all the material in the submitted paper, prior to publication.

c. Review time: the review must be done within the times stipulated by the journal.

d. Conflict of interest: to ensure the journal’s transparency, reviewers are asked to express to the editor if there is any relationship or activity that may bias their review, and must abstain from reviewing specific manuscripts if there is a possibility of bias.

Roles of the editor:

a. Complete authority and responsibility to accept or reject a manuscript sent to the journal.

b. Conflict of interest: the editor must nor have any conflict of interest with the accepted/rejected article that influences their final decision, and in case of having one, the editorial committee must ask another editor to make the final decision on the manuscript.

c. Ensure editorial quality: the editor must make sure that errors on the manuscripts are resolved to promote the excellent quality of the published articles.

d. Anonymity of reviewers/authors: in the editorial process of a manuscript, when peer reviewers are assigned, the editor must keep the anonymity of reviewers and authors.

e. Research ethics: make sure that all manuscripts strictly meets all the ethical guidelines for research. In case there is fraud or research misconduct, the journal will take the necessary measures for the completion of the editorial process or retraction of the article.

Roles of the journal Acta Neurológica Colombiana:

a. Publication calendar: it ensures that works submitted to the journal will be reviewed and published in the time available to the journal’s resources and in the shortest time possible, on average 16 weeks. If an article is not planned for publication, comments will be sent as soon as possible to the authors so they can submit the paper to another journal.

b. Peer review: The journal has decided that each article will be peer-reviewed by two peers, with an H index of at least 2. The type of review used by the journal is double-blind peer review. An expert reviewer in the subject is sought for each work. The editor is the one with the authority to receive the papers for publication assisted by the opinion of the reviewers, but not necessarily they will have the last word. In case there is no agreement between the reviewers, the opinion of a third reviewer (associate editor) will be taken into consideration.

c. Integrity: The selection of articles will be made according to quality, originality and contribution to the evidence based on the scientific questioning. There is no influence by a third party, due to economic involvement, publicity or personal relationships.

d. Protection of research participants: Informed consent is required for studies that require it and the journal emphasizes this document for case reports.

2. Issues related to the editorial and publication process

a. Corrections, retractions, republications and updates: in case of detected errors in the publication, annotations regarding them may be stated in an Editor’s Letter. It is also acceptable to make changes as quickly as possible and make it visible in the electronic version. If the error is greater, the publication may be retracted. Each case is evaluated individually, and the journal ANC follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for this type of situations. You can see them here.

b. Misconduct, concern expressions and retraction: misconduct includes fabrication, data falsification, misleading changes of images and plagiarism (ICMJE). To detect and investigate these misconducts, journal Acta Neurológica Colombiana follows the Committee on Publications Ethics (COPE) https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Guidelines guidelines  In these cases, an investigation is carried out, which in case of being positive for misconduct, the work will be retracted from publication. Retraction must be appropriately published in the journal, being visible that the article and its authors have been retracted.

c. Responsibility and roles of actors: if actors do not meet their responsibilities and ethical practices, the journal Acta Neurológica Colombiana will take the necessary measures to ensure the integrity and goof practice of the editorial process and the publication of articles, using the COPE recommendations, and making the decision as the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial committee consider appropriate.

d. Copyright: the journal Acta Neurológica Colombiana will ask authors for the distribution and reproduction rights of the submitted work, as well as the images, audio or videos part of the publication.

e. Overlapping publications:
i. Duplicate submission: it is wrong to send the same work to two journals simultaneously; this leads to problems of multiple publications of the same article even if it is in a different language, besides the expense in the editorial process of the same work.
ii. Duplicate publication: when the new publication substantially overlaps the previous one. This cause data to be count as double or changes the weight of the results in the same study. If there is any doubt about the submitted manuscript, the editor must be notified in the letter of submission of the recent work, so that the editor can decide if its publication is justified or not.
iii. Acceptable secondary publication: it is accepted the total or partial publication, and in other language different from Spanish of management guides made by governmental or academic organizations.
iv. Manuscripts based on the same database: It is valid the analysis of the same public database by two different groups, as well as the use of systematic reviews or meta-analysis previously published. If a new analysis to a previously published work is being made, the new work must add substantially new information and to maintain transparency, it must inform the reader that a previous publication of the work was made. Also, from clinical trials, sub-analysis or secondary analysis can be published.

f. Publication of supplements: the Editor-in-chief is responsible for the content of the supplements. The journal Acta Neurológica Colombiana accepts an external Editor for each supplement, but this Editor depends on the Editor-in-chief. Supplements are not reviewed by peers historically, however, the Editor-in-chief can request an expert to be a peer reviewer given the responsibility of the publication lies on him. Likewise, the Editor-in-chief has the authority to reject the content of the supplement that does not meet the journal’s publication instructions, or that its content is not appropriate for publication. The ground rules are established in the introductory part of the supplement.

The source of the idea and supplement financing must be explicit in the beginning of the document. The authors will sign prior to the editorial review of the supplementary material that they agree with what’s being published, meet the authorship criteria and also take responsibility for the published content.

g. Adherence to the guidelines depending on the type of manuscript:
i. Clinical trials: it is suggested to follow the CONSORT guidelines: www.consort-statement.org
ii. Observational studies: STROBE http://strobe-statement.org/
iii. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis: PRISMA http://prisma-statement.org/
iv. Diagnostic studies: STARD https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/
v. Systematic reviews registration: PROSPERO : https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/

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