Overview and Scope
Registration of systematic reviews
Standards of reporting
Publication of clinical datasets
Data and material release
Describing new taxa
Corrections and retractions
JCHS is a peer reviewed journal that accepts manuscripts for publication in all areas of clinical and health sciences. This journal is published twice per year (June and December). The journal endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions. JCHS 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 JCHS implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.
To give appropriate credit to each author, the individual contributions of authors should be specified in the manuscript.
An 'author' is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study according to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines.
In line with COPE guidelines, JCHS requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submitted manuscripts or published articles. This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm that they agree with the proposed changes. It is not the Editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via publication of an Erratum.
The involvement of scientific (medical) writers or anyone else who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content should be acknowledged, along with their source of funding, as described in the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) guidelines. The role of medical writers should be acknowledged explicitly in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘authors’ contributions’ section as appropriate.
JCHS 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 author(s) declare(s) that they have no competing interests”. 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.
Please see Commercial organizations for more information relating to competing interests on manuscripts from commercial organizations.
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.
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.
All research articles, and most other article types, published in JCHS undergo thorough peer review. This involves review by at least two independent peer reviewers. The reviewing process normally takes 8-10 weeks.
All submissions to JCHS are assessed by its Editorial Board, who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review with appropriate independent experts. The Editorial Board will make a decision based on the reviewers’ reports and authors are sent these reports along with the editorial decision on their manuscript. JCHS operates a closed peer review process. Reviewers will be treated anonymously and the pre-publication history of each article will not be made available.
Authors should suggest potential reviewers, or the individuals they wish to exclude from the review process; however, it remains at the discretion of the Editorial Board whether to invite these reviewers. Authors should not suggest recent collaborators or colleagues who work in the same institution as themselves. Intentionally falsifying information, for example, suggesting reviewers with a false name or email address, will result in the manuscript being rejected and may lead to further investigation in line with our misconduct policy.
Editors will treat all manuscripts submitted to all JCHS in confidence. Reviewers are also required to treat manuscripts confidentially. JCHS will not share manuscripts with third parties except in cases of suspected misconduct. See our Misconduct policy for further information.
All research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. 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.
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. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, Editors may contact the ethics committee for further information.
For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.
For all manuscripts that include clinical datasets, or 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 Editors on request, 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.
Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The Basel Declaration outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
The name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate must be included in the manuscript. 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 and the reasons for the exemption). The Editor will take account of animal welfare issues and reserves the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research.
Authors are strongly encouraged to conform to the Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines, developed by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), for reporting animal studies.
In line with ICMJE guidelines, JCHS requires registration of all clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted to its journals. The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
JCHS supports the prospective registration of systematic reviews. Authors should register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO). Authors who have registered their systematic review should include the registration number in the last line of the manuscript abstract.
JCHS advocates complete and transparent reporting of clinical and health sciences research. Please refer to the Minimum Standards Reporting Checklist when reporting your research. Authors should adhere to these guidelines when drafting their manuscript, and peer reviewers will be asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating such studies. Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:
Observational studies (STROBE)
Case reports (CARE)
Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
Submission of a manuscript to JCHS implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.
Any manuscript submitted to JCHS must be original and the manuscript, or substantial parts of it, must not be under consideration by any other journal. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication we require that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission and, where possible, upload these as additional files with the manuscript. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to Editors’ and reviewers' assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editors. JCHS reserves the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis.
In general, the manuscript should not already have been formally published in any journal or in any other citable form. If justified and made clear upon submission, there are exceptions to this rule.
Posting a manuscript on a pre-print server such as ArXiv,BioRxiv,Peer J Preprints or similar platforms (both commercial and non-commercial) is not considered to be duplicate publication. JCHS will also consider peer reviewing manuscripts that have been posted on an author's personal or institutional website. Material that has formed part of an academic thesis and been placed in the public domain, as per the awarding institution's guidelines, will also be considered by JCHS.
JCHS also encourages self-archiving by authors of manuscripts accepted for publication.
Authors should comply with the ICMJE guidelines and seek approval from the original publisher to check that they do not breach the copyright terms of the original publication and that they agree to publication of the translation under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.
Authors of non-research articles (usually commissioned reviews and commentaries) can include figures and tables that have been previously published in other journals provided they confirm on submission that permission has been obtained from the original publisher (if applicable) and cite the original article. Documentary evidence to support this permission must be made available to the Editor on request.
In order to avoid the potential for self-plagiarism, inadvertently or otherwise, authors agreeing to write commissioned articles should notify the Editor of any recent publications or invitations to write on a similar topic.
Authors should be aware that replication of text from their own previous publications is text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism), and in some cases is considered unacceptable. Where overlap of text with authors’ own previous publications is necessary or unavoidable, duplication must always be reported transparently and be properly attributed and compliant with copyright requirements. Where there is the potential for text recycling, authors should notify the Editor of this on submission.
Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
JCHS takes seriously all allegations of potential misconduct. In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for Editors to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s). JCHS may also seek advice and discuss anonymized cases.
All research involving humans (including human data and human material) and animals must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework (see our Ethics policy for further information). If there is suspicion that research has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, Editors may reject a manuscript and may inform third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).
In cases of proven research misconduct involving published articles, articles may be retracted. See our Retraction policy for further information.
All digital images in manuscripts considered for publication will be scrutinized for any indication of manipulation that is inconsistent with JCHS guidelines. Manipulation that violates these guidelines may result in delays in manuscript processing or rejection, or retraction of a published article.
Any questions raised during or after the peer review process will be referred to the Editors, who will request the original data from the author(s) for comparison with the prepared figures. If the original data cannot be produced, the manuscript may be rejected or, in the case of a published article, retracted. Any case in which the manipulation affects the interpretation of the data will result in rejection or retraction. Cases of suspected misconduct will be reported to the author(s)’ institution(s).
If plagiarism is identified, COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.
In line with JCHS Permanency policy, corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing an Erratum or a Retraction article, without altering the original article in any way other than to add a prominent link to the Erratum/Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent Erratum or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have to remove that material from our site and archive sites.
It may be possible for minor corrections to published articles to be made by the original author(s) posting a comment on the published article. This would only be appropriate where the changes do not affect the results or conclusions of the article. See our Comments policy for further information on posting comments.
Changes to published articles that affect the interpretation and conclusion of the article, but do not fully invalidate the article, will, at the Editor(s)’ discretion, be corrected via publication of an Erratum that is linked to the original article. Changes in authorship of published articles are corrected via an Erratum. See Changes in authorship for further information.
On rare occasions, when the scientific information in an article is substantially undermined, it may be necessary for published articles to be retracted. JCHS will follow COPE guidelines in such cases. Retraction articles are linked to the original article.
Readers can comment on all articles published in JCHS.
JCHS reserves the right to decline to post a comment deemed inappropriate and the right to remove a comment at any time.
Comments will not be accepted if they appear to be indecent, offensive, or contain negative content of a personal, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious character. We will not post comments that appear to be libellous or otherwise legally problematic.
We cannot include figures, tables, or equations within a comment, although hyperlinks may be included. If your response is substantial then you may wish to consider submitting an article; in this case you should discuss this with the Editor.
JCHS asks that anyone posting a comment complete a competing interests’ declaration. A competing interest exists when your interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by your personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Those who post comments 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 comments.