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Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process

All submissions are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to two or more subject experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology. If suitable experts external to the journal cannot be found then members of the Editorial Board may be asked to complete a review task.

The journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around six to eight 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, who is supported by an expert 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, 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.

The journal is happy to accept 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. 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.

Section Policies

Research

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Practice

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Education

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Preprint Policy

The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:

  • 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 anonymise 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.

ORCID

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 effect 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 whilst co-authors 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.

Reproducibilty

Open Data

The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement within the submitted paper, which will be made public upon publication. If data is not being made available with the journal publication, a statement from the author should be provided 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 (e.g. sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file). This help will ensure its reuse potential.

Structured Methods

As 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, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.

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