Editorial policy

Peer review policy

Commercial policy

Editorial policy

AboutScience is committed to a fair and transparent publication process. For each of the journals we publish, we carefully select and appoint Editors in Chief. They are primarily responsible for ensuring a fair review process, at the end of which a final decision will be made. Editors in Chief is also responsible to select and appoint new  members of the board. Advertising or commercial revenues do not influence editorial decisions. Submission of a manuscript to a AboutScience journals implies that all authors have read and agreed to the Editorial Policies in place.

  • Business model
    AboutScience is a for profit open access multidisciplinary publisher based in Milan (Italy) which receives no public or educational funding, focused on clinical medicine and healthcare in its broadest term, including digital innovation, health technology assessment, narrative medicine, patient engagement, public involvement and other topics of growing impact. The publication costs are covered by article processing charges (APC) paid by the author, their institution or other funding bodies after acceptance. We apply no submission fees and no additional costs for manuscript length, colour items or supplementary files, including videos. The Publisher and the editors are in agreement that commercial revenues may in no way influence Editorial decisions.

    Publishing schedule
    AboutScience publishing contents on a continuous publication model, where articles are published online after acceptance and on completion of the production process, which includes proof approval expressed by the authors. Articles are published online with no embargo period and are submitted to each applicable database on an ongoing basis.

    Conflict of interest policies
    Authors, Reviewers and Editors are required to disclose any conflict of interest (that is financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could influence their work) and sources of financial and material support received.

  • Research integrity is a broad term which identifies different types of unethical behaviour during the research and publication process. In Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment authors are required to warrant, during the submission process, that their study and the submitted article meets all integrity criteria which are outlined below.

    A breach in research integrity may result in the article being rejected.

    Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Inappropriate image manipulation is a recognized form of data fabrication or falsification.

    Theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and/or the substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s work constitutes plagiarism. This journal systematically employs iThenticate, a plagiarism detection and prevention software designed to ensure the originality of written work before publication. Manuscripts proved to include plagiarized content will be rejected. Authors must avoid duplicate publication, which is reproducing verbatim content from their other publications.

    Authorship should be based on the following four criteria and all listed authors must meet all criteria:

    • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
    • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
    • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
    • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

    We encourage our authors to register to ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID, which provides a unique identifier for researchers, helping to correctly disambiguate and attribute each contribution to them. Click here to find out more on ORCID ID or to register.

    Data availability. Authors must ensure that original research data remain available after publication through appropriate archiving.

  • Research ethics is a broad term which identifies the ethical approach to developing a research study.

    When human subjects are involved in a study it is suggested that journals require authors to provide a statement identifying the ethics committee that approved the study (I.R.B. approval), and that the study conforms to recognized standards (e.g. Declaration of Helsinki; European Medicines Agency Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice). These standards encourage authors to conduct studies in a way that ensures adequate steps have been taken to minimize risks to participants and to protect their confidentiality.

    Whenever a study or case report includes data or images which could identify a patient, explicit written consent for publication (which is different from consent to take part in research) must be obtained and included in the submitted article. In case of minors, the consent must be signed by a parent or guardian.

    When organ transplantation is described in the article author should state that they adhered to the Declaration of Istanbul, which specifically addresses delicate subjects relative to organ supply.

    When animals are involved in research, authors should ensure that these were conducted according to animal research reporting standards:

    Research reporting guidelines are intended to guide authors to provide enough information for editors, peer reviewers and readers to understand how the research was performed and to judge whether the findings are likely to be reliable.

    The EQUATOR Network provides detailed study-specific guidelines. The key guidelines are:

    • CONSORT| Randomised controlled trials (RCTs):
    • PRISMA| meta-analysis of clinical trials
    • MOOSE| meta-analysis of observational studies, observational studies in epidemiology
    • STROBE | Observational studies in epidemiology
    • STARD| Diagnostic accuracy studies
    • SQUIRE| Quality improvement studies
    • CHEERS| For cost effectiveness analysis
  • The term publication ethics identifies the ethical approach applied to the entire submission, peer review, publication and post publication process required to handle a journal ethically and transparently, including publishing corrections and retractions if required.

    Editors should:

    • Ensure that ethical policies are applied as needed, in a consistent manner
    • Ensure that the review process is handled confidentially
    • Assess the activity of their reviewers providing useful feedback on their reviewing activity
    • Ensure the transparency of the peer review process
    • Ensure that reasons for immediate rejection are explicit
    • The decision not to send a paper for peer review should only be based on the academic content of the paper
    • Declare editorial conflict of interest

    Reviewers should:

    • be honest, polite, professional and constructive in their comments to the authors.
    • identify and comment on major strengths and weaknesses of study design and methodology
    • comment on ethical concerns raised by the study, or any possible evidence of low standards of scientific conduct.
    • provide the author with useful suggestions for improvement of the manuscript
    • provide the editor with the proper context and perspective to make a decision
    • assess research and publication ethics issues Declare their conflict of interest

    Authors should:

    • Report accurate data and a precise account of the research performed.
    • Provide access to the data used for their submitted article
    • Submit only original work and refrain from duplicate submission/publication
    • Ensure that all authors who participated in the study are appropriately listed and ensure that all listed authors meet authorship criteria
    • Disclose any form of conflict of interest or financial support in their manuscript
    • Participate in the review process responding promptly to reviewers’ comments
    • Notify the Journal immediately should any error or inaccuracy be reported in their manuscript and collaborate to correct or retract the paper

    The Publisher should:

    • Safeguard authors against unethical behaviour
    • Respond timely to queries and concerns from authors, reviewers and editors
    • In case of reported misconduct, take action to seek clarity on the situation and to amend the article
    • Should authors report errors in their published work, publish errata as soon as possible
  • Appeals
    Concerns or appeals on published contents should be addressed directly to the Editors in Chief of each journal, supplying sufficient documentation for a preliminary investigation.

    Corrections and Retractions 
    Errata may be required in case an article has been published with major errors: it must cite the original article and report relevant amendments.

    A retraction may be required for major faults in the manuscript: this can be authored either by the authors of the original article or by the Editor and should clearly report the reasons for article retraction, as well as including a complete citation to the original, retracted article. Retractions must be published in a numbered page of the journal to ensure appropriate indexing.

    Post-publication discussion
    Letters to the Editor and letters in reply are intended to present opinions or comments on articles published in the Journal. Refer to the content type of each journal for detailed specifications.

Peer review policy

All submission received by AboutScience journals are initially screened for suitability by Editorial assistants, who perform an initial technical check based on the manuscript being a) suitable for the journal and its sections, b) with a sound author background and c) technically complete in all its parts. If it is not deemed appropriate it will be rejected immediately. The Editorial Office will perform a thorough check using iThenticate by CrossCheck to avoid the risk of plagiarized or redundant content.

All suitable submissions are then assigned to the Editor in Chief who will be in charge of either assigning a peer review Editor or selecting and inviting reviewers directly, as well as evaluating final comments and finalizing an editorial decision. The Editor in Chief will finalize the decision and will inform the authors. The final decision is based on the adequacy of comments supplied by the selected reviewers, the replies supplied by the authors in revisions and the overall quality of the manuscript.

AboutScience publications (with the exception of Global & Regional Health Technology Assessment who adopts a double-blind process) adopt a single-blind peer review process, which means that the author does not know the identity of the reviewer, but the reviewer knows the identity of the author: reviewers are asked to supply confidential comments and recommendations which will only be visible to the Editor and comments for the authorswhich are shared in an anonymous way. We do not allow authors to suggest reviewers or name unwelcome reviewers.

Commercial policy

AboutScience covers its operating costs mainly through Article Processing Charges (APC) for accepted articles.
Other sources of revenue may include reprints and rights, supplements, advertising and agreement with scientific societies. All sources of financial support are approved by the Editor in Chief and any content which is not editorial is handled separately. Sponsors do not have any influence on editorial policies or decisions, which are under the responsibility of editors and peer-reviewers.