Open Access Policy
All research articles published in Beyond Rheumatology are fully open access and immediately freely accessible. Articles are posted online as soon as they have completed the production process in a fully citable form associated with a universal digital object identifier (DOI). Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license (see the Licensing section below) which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format (but not for commercial use), provided that the original work is properly cited. Articles can be freely downloaded from our website without need for journal subscription and/or login.
A complete version of the article and related supplementary material (including a copy of the permission, as stated above) is deposited in CLOCKSS repository in a suitable standard electronic format immediately after the publication in Beyond Rheumatology.
Copyright on any article in Beyond Rheumatology is regulated by the Creative Commons license, which permits to copy, redistribute remix, transform, and build upon the material in any non-commercial medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.
Authors grant Verduci Editore a license to publish the article and identify Verduci Editore as the original publisher. Authors also grant any third party the right to use, distribute and reproduce the article in any non-commercial medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Beyond Rheumatology applies a Creative Commons Attribution license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License; CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) to all articles published in the journal. If authors submit their paper for consideration of publication in our journal, they agree to have the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license applied to their 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.
Conflict of Interests
Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from negligible to great potential for influencing judgment. Not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. On the other hand, the potential for conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.
All participants in the peer-review and publication process must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Disclosure of such relationships is also important in connection with editorials and review articles, because it can be more difficult to detect bias in these types of publications than in reports of original research. Editors may use information disclosed in conflict-of-interest and financial-interest statements as a basis for editorial decisions.
When authors submit a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Authors should do so in the manuscript on a conflict-of-interest notification page, providing additional detail, if necessary, in a cover letter that accompanies the manuscript. Increasingly, individual studies receive funding from commercial firms, private foundations, and government. The conditions of this funding have the potential to bias and otherwise discredit the research.
Scientists have an ethical obligation to submit creditable research results for publication. Moreover, as the persons directly responsible for their work, researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts. Authors should describe the role of the study sponsor, if any, in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state. Biases potentially introduced when sponsors are directly involved in research are analogous to methodological biases.
Editors may request that authors of a study funded by an agency with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as “I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.” Editors should be encouraged to review copies of the protocol and/or contracts associated with project-specific studies before accepting such studies for publication. Editors may choose not to consider an article if a sponsor has asserted control over the authors’ right to publish.
Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. As in the case of authors, silence on the part of reviewers concerning potential conflicts may mean either that conflicts exist and the reviewer has failed to disclose them or 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.
Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Other members of the editorial staff, if they participate in editorial decisions, must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists.
Editorial Process and Peer Review
Our journal follow the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. All contributions are initially handled by the Editor-in-Chief (or by a handling Editor on behalf of the Editor-in-Chief), who conducts the first assessment of the manuscript by verifying whether it falls within the aims and scope of the journal. The subsequent decision may be peer-reviewing or rejecting the manuscript. Only the manuscripts that meet our editorial criteria pass this first step and undergo external and internal peer review. Papers judged by the handling Editor as weak or otherwise inappropriate are rejected without undergoing further external peer review (although this decision may be based on informal advice from experts in the field). After this step, the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor assigns the manuscript to 2-4 internal and external peer reviewers. In order to be eligible for the peer review of the manuscript, reviewers must confirm that they did not co-author articles with one or more of the authors of the manuscript during the last 5 years, that they are affiliated with institutions different from those of the authors and that they do not have any conflict of interest in relation to the content of the manuscript. After receiving the comments and recommendations from peer 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, Editors evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments raised by each reviewer and of the authors’ replies. Editors may also take into account additional information which is not available to either party. Editors may also reassign the revised manuscript to additional reviewers (who were not involved in the first review) for further evaluation, particularly when reviewers disagree with each other, or when they may have misunderstood or misinterpreted crucial points of the manuscripts. Reviewers should bear in mind that manuscripts submitted to our journal contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.
Verduci Editore strongly supports the mission of the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors; all individuals collaborating with Verduci Editore are strongly invited to comply with this mission.
All research articles published by Verduci Editore journals are subject to a rigorous ethical standards. Our journals endorses the Code of Conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), as well as the COPE International Standards for Editors and Authors Guidelines. The Editorial Board of each journal is responsible for the form the peer review process will take; therefore, all authors in the biomedical field must adhere to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. PAGEPress endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions, too.
Verduci Editore journals strictly follows the ICMJE Protection of Research Participants policy detailed at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/protection-of-research-participants.html. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. When informed consent has been obtained, editors may request authors to provide a copy before making the editorial decision. Manuscripts must be reviewed with due respect for authors’ confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust editors with the results of their scientific work and creative effort, on which their reputation and career may depend. Authors’ rights may be violated by disclosure of the confidential details during review of their manuscript. Reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which must be respected by the editor. Confidentiality may have to be breached if dishonesty or fraud is alleged but otherwise must be honored. Editors must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the reviewing process, criticism by reviewers, or ultimate fate) to anyone other than the authors and reviewers. This includes requests to use the materials for legal proceedings.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision) and from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare. When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.
Beyond Rheumatology 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.
The Editorial Board of our journals will immediately screen all articles submitted for publication in that journal. All submissions we receive are checked by using plagiarism detection online available tools such as iThenticate®. Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the European Network of Research Integrity Offices and to the US Office of Research Integrity. The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) released a European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity, which is fully supported by our journals. All authors submitting papers to our journals are required to adopt these policies.
Below some online resource to help you in understanding plagiarism:
- Roig, M. Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing. St Johns University.
- Long TC, Errami M, George AC, et al. Responding to Possible Plagiarism. Science 2009; 323:1293-1294.
- Lewis J, Ossowski S, Hicks J, Errami M, and Garner HR. Text similarity: an alternative way to search MEDLINE. Bioinformatics 2006; 22:2298-2304.