Open Access Policy
All research articles published in WCRJ are fully open access: immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium (not for commercial use), provided the original work is properly cited. Articles can be freely downloaded from our website and no subscription and/or login is required.
A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in CLOCKSS repository.
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.
Editorial Process (Peer Review)
All contributions are initially handled by the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), who together with Associate Editors (AE) make the initial evaluation of the manuscript by verifying whether it falls within the aims of the journal; the decision may then be peer-reviewing or rejecting. To facilitate either authors or peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem most likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review. Those papers judged by the editors as weak or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review (although these decisions may be based on informal advice from specialists in the field). After this step, the EiC or an AE assigns the manuscript to 2-4 reviewers, among the editorial board members or external reviewers expert in the field. To be selected, reviewers must not have published papers in the last 5 years with none of the authors of the manuscript, must belong to different institutions from authors and must not have any conflict of interest with the content of the manuscript. Following the recommendations from the reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief (or the handling Editor on behalf of the Editor-in-Chief) makes another evaluation of the manuscript based on the reviewers’ comments and retains final authority to either allow for manuscript revision or to reject the manuscript. In the final editorial decision, we try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party. We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We take reviewers’ criticisms seriously; in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether she/he is applying an unduly critical standard. Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer’s characteristics. Reviewers should bear in mind that these messages contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.
WCRJ applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license to articles. If you submit your paper for publication to our journal, you agree to have the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license applied to your work as follows:
- BY) Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NC) NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- SA) ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions) You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Notices: you do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
Conflicts of Interest (COI)
At the time of submission, WCRJ policy requires that authors reveal any COI, including financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or any other situations that could raise questions of bias in either the reported work or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated. Disclosed potential COIs should include any relevant commercial or other sources of funding for either author(s), or the sponsoring institution, the associated department(s) or organization(s). When considering whether you should declare a COI please consider the following question: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors did not declare and that would emerge after publication and you had not declared it?
As an integral part of the online submission process, Corresponding authors are required to confirm whether they or their co-authors have any conflicts of interest to declare, and to provide details of these. If the Corresponding author is unable to confirm this information on behalf of all co-authors, the authors in question will then be required to submit a completed COI form to the Editorial Office. It is the Corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors adhere to this policy. Information on potential COI must be reported in the manuscript (see Instructions for authors).
If the manuscript is published, COI information will be communicated in a statement within the published work.
COI in Industry-Sponsored Research
Authors whose manuscripts are submitted for publication must declare all relevant sources of funding in support of the preparation of a manuscript. WCRJ requires full disclosure of financial support as to whether it is from the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical or any other industry, government agencies, or any other source. This information should be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript (see Instructions for authors).
Authors are required to specify sources of funding for the study and to indicate whether or not the text was reviewed by the sponsor prior to submission, i.e., whether the study was written with full investigator access to all relevant data and whether the sponsor exerted editorial influence over the written text. This information should be included in the cover letter. In addition to the disclosure of direct financial support to the authors or their laboratory and prior sponsor-review of the paper, submitting authors are asked to disclose all relevant consultancies within the 12 months prior to submission, since the views expressed in the contribution could be influenced by the opinions they have expressed privately as consultants. This information should be included in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript.
In the event that a previously undisclosed potential competing interest for an author of a published paper comes to the attention of the editors and is subsequently confirmed with the authors, the undeclared interest will be published as an erratum in a future volume of the journal.
COI Policy: Reviewers and Editors
Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it to be appropriate. As in the case of authors, silence on the part of reviewers concerning potential conflicts may mean either that such conflicts exist that they have failed to disclose, or that conflicts do not exist. Reviewers must therefore also be asked to state explicitly whether conflicts do or do not exist. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work, before its publication, to further their own interests. COI for a given manuscript exists when a participant in the peer review and publication process – author, reviewer, and editor – has ties to activities that could inappropriately influence his or her judgment, regardless of whether the judgment is affected. Financial relationships with industry (for example, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, expert testimony), either directly or through immediate family, are usually considered the most important conflicts of interest. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion. External peer reviewers should disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript and they should disqualify themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if they believe it appropriate. The editors must be made aware of reviewers’ COI to interpret the reviews and judge for themselves whether the reviewer should be disqualified.” (From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Annals of Internal Medicine 118, (8) 646-647). judge for themselves whether the reviewer should be disqualified.” (From the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Annals of Internal Medicine 118, (8) 646-647).
Authors who wish to publish in WCRJ must follow the guidelines on Good Publication Practice as reported in COPE and Council of Science Editors. These guidelines aim to ensure that articles are published in a responsible and ethical manner.
Submission by an editor. A paper submitted by an editor will be handled by one of the other editors who does not have a conflict with the review and who is not at the same institution as the submitting editor. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper.
Submission by author at same institution as one of the editors. A paper submitted by an author for which there is a potential conflict with who is at the same institution as one of the editors will be handled by one of the other editors. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. Submission by a family member of the editor or by author whose relationship with the editor might create the perception of bias. A paper submitted by a family member of one of the editors, or by an author whose relationship with one of the editors might create the perception of bias (e.g. in terms of close friendship or conflict/rivalry), will be handled by another editor. The other editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. If in doubt, the editors will consult with the Journal editor.
Potential COI for reviewers. The invitation letter to reviewers will include the following paragraph: ‘If you know or think you know the identity of the author, and if you feel there is any potential COI in your refereeing this paper because of your relationship with the author (e.g. in terms of close friendship or conflict/rivalry) or for any other reason, please declare it. By accepting this invitation, it is assumed there is no potential COI. Standard policy will be not to use a referee if a COI has been declared, but the editors may use their discretion after consulting with one another.
Plagiarism or other types of unethical publication practice
WCRJ disapproves any kind of malpractice and unethical publication practice. With regard to plagiarism or other types of unethical publication practice, Authors who wish to publish in our journal must follow the guidelines on Good Publication Practice as reported in COPE and Council of Science Editors. These guidelines aim to ensure that articles are published in a responsible and ethical manner.
On a practical level, the first thing we do is conduct an early investigation using our anti‐plagiarism software. By submitting manuscripts to the journal, authors accept that their work will be checked for plagiarism from previously published articles. WCRJ uses certified plagiarism checker software (iThenticate® and Grammarly®) to verify the authenticity of articles and detect duplications from each article content online against billions of web pages. Also, articles that are related to the suspected case of plagiarism or other unethical practice are checked accuracy by either the reviewer feedback and observations or the Editors own observations. Our anti‐plagiarism software, however, will not identify “salami slicing”. So it is imperative that each case is looked at individually and, therefore, we do not advocate the use of one statement of actions to penalize the offender. Each case is considered separately and, as editors, we will need to decide if it is a deliberate action on the part of the author or it is due to lack of understanding of the requirements of ethical writing. This can happen for new authors or some authors where translation to English is often difficult. An example of this is where there are no words/phrases in that language that translate into English, and a developing practice that we noted is the ‘borrowing’ of words, phrases or often sentences that are considered appropriate for what authors mean to say.