Editorial policies

1. Editorial policies

1.1 Editorial team roles and responsibilities

  1. Editor-in-Chief: The Editor-in-Chief has overall responsibility for the journal’s editorial direction, policies, standards, and publication decisions. The EiC oversees the review process, selects Associate Editors and board members, evaluates submissions for scope and ethics, assigns manuscripts to editors/reviewers, and makes final acceptance/rejection determinations. EIC also mediates any conflicts between authors, reviewers, or readers.
  2. Associate Editors: Associate Editors handle submissions in their field of specialty. They select expert peer reviewers for manuscripts and make recommendations on acceptance or rejection after reviewing feedback. Associate Editors also provide guidance to authors on improving their work to meet journal standards.
  3. Editorial Board Members: Editorial Board members advise on journal policies and scope while contributing their expertise to maintain high standards. They may suggest and invite quality submissions, as well as review and provide feedback on submitted manuscripts in their specialty.
  4. Statistical Editor: The statistical editor verifies appropriate use and correct interpretation of statistical tests and analysis methodology in manuscripts. They ensure authors have fully described the statistical approaches utilized in their results and methods.
  5. Copyeditor: The copyeditor checks accepted manuscripts for proper grammar, spelling, syntax, coherence, and adherence to journal style and formatting guidelines. They query authors for clarifications or revisions as needed.

1.2 Editorial and editorial board recruitment and removal

         The BJ-BABS seeks to recruit Editors and Editorial Board members who demonstrate excellence in their field of research, have a strong record of scholarly publication, and uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. Potential candidates for Editor and Editorial Board positions may be nominated by the Editor-in-Chief, current board members, or or may be proposed by the publisher. All potential candidates will be assessed based on their academic qualifications, research profile, previous editorial experience, and commitment to the aims and scope of BJ-BABS. Diversity in terms of geography, gender, and academic background will also be considered during recruitment to ensure a broad representation of expertise. All newly appointed Editors and Editorial Board members will be given a clear role description and will be expected to undertake an orientation process to familiarize themselves with the journal's editorial policies and procedures.
        Editors and Editorial Board members will be appointed for a fixed term, typically three years, renewable by mutual consent. The performance of each member will be assessed periodically based on factors such as the timely handling of manuscripts, the quality of editorial decisions, and contributions to the development of the journal.
        An Editor or Editorial Board member may be removed before the end of their term in cases of serious misconduct, negligence, persistent failure to meet performance expectations, or any actions that harm the reputation of the journal. Decisions about removal will be made by the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the publisher and, where appropriate, other members of the Editorial Board. And, lastly, any Editor or Editorial Board member who wishes to resign before the end of their term should notify the Editor-in-Chief in writing, stating the reasons for their decision.

1.3 Editorial decisions

        The Editor-in-Chief conducts an initial screening of submissions for scope, language and reporting requirements, and ethics. Qualifying manuscripts are assigned to an Associate Editor who manages double-blinded peer review process by at least two independent experts. Reviewers evaluate rigor, validity, and significance within 2-3 weeks. The Associate Editor weighs reviewer feedback, editorial input, methods, and impact to recommend acceptance, rejection, or revision. For accepted papers, the Editor-in-Chief performs a final quality check prior to formal notification. Revisions are only reconsidered if major issues are addressed. In cases of disagreement, an additional editor arbitrates. The Editor-in-Chief has ultimate authority on final acceptance or rejection.

1.4 Rejection criteria

The submissions to BJ-BABS will be rejected if:

  1. the topic lies outside the journal scope or area of interest
  2. conclusions are not strongly supported by data and analysis
  3. research methods and analysis exhibit critical flaws
  4. insufficient data provided for reproducibility
  5. major ethical issues with experiments or data collection
  6. significant issues with plagiarism or duplicate publication
  7. flaws in study design, execution, or interpretation
  8. unclear or deficient writing that compromises comprehension
  9. interest limited to a small niche or regional audience
  10. insufficient advance or innovation beyond past literature

1.5 Appeals policy

         Authors may appeal a rejection decision by contacting the Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]) and providing a detailed justification explaining why they believe the manuscript was improperly rejected. Appeals should be submitted within 14 days of receiving the rejection notice.
      The Editor-in-Chief will investigate the rejection by reviewing the peer reviewer comments, consulting with the Associate Editor who handled the manuscript, and performing an independent evaluation. If the rejection is found to be erroneous, the Editor-in-Chief may overturn the decision and accept the manuscript. However, in most cases the original decision will stand as the peer review process is designed to be a rigorous, fair, and unbiased assessment of the work. Authors may be offered the opportunity to resubmit a substantially revised manuscript as a new submission if the flaws identified by reviewers can be adequately addressed.

1.6 Complaints policy

         Authors or readers seeking to submit a complaint or dispute a journal decision should contact the Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]) with a detailed description and evidence (as possible) of the issue and associated correspondence. The Editor-in-Chief will review complaints and engage other editorial staff as needed to resolve matters in a fair, unbiased manner. A formal response detailing the outcome of the investigation will be provided to the complainant. If the complaint pertains to the conduct of the Editor-in-Chief, authors may contact the publisher ([email protected]) who will review the matter independently.

1.7 How to deal allegations of research misconduct

         The BJ-BABS adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct and expects the same from its authors, reviewers, and editors. In this context, the BJ-BABS is committed to ensuring the integrity of the research we publish. We take research misconduct seriously and have a responsibility to ensure that allegations of research misconduct are appropriately addressed. This policy outlines the process we follow when allegations of research misconduct related to a manuscript submitted to, or a paper published in, BJ-BABS are received.

Research misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Falsification: Manipulating research data with the intention of giving a false impression. This includes manipulating images, removing outliers or "inconvenient" results, changing, adding or omitting data points, etc.
  • Fabrication: Making up results and recording or reporting them.
  • Plagiarism: Using another’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
  • Anyone who believes that research misconduct has occurred should report their concerns to the Editor-in-Chief of BJ-BABS ([email protected]). The report should include sufficient information for an initial assessment of the allegation.

Upon receipt of an allegation of research misconduct, the Editor-in-Chief will make an initial assessment of the evidence provided. If the allegation seems to have substance, the following steps will be taken:

  • The authors of the paper will be contacted and given the opportunity to address the allegation.
  • If the authors' response is not satisfactory, or if they do not respond, the matter will be escalated to the relevant institution or body (such as the author's institution, funding body, or regulatory body) for further investigation.
  • BJ-BABS will cooperate fully with any official investigation and provide all necessary material for that investigation.

Based on the findings of the investigation, actions taken may include, but are not limited to:

  • If the allegation is not upheld: No further action will be taken, or an erratum/correction may be published if a minor error is identified.
  • If the allegation is upheld: The paper may be retracted, or a statement of concern may be published while further investigation is carried out.
  • The authors may be banned from submitting to BJ-BABS for a period of time (from 5 to 10 years) or may be banned permanently.
  • BJ-BABS is committed to transparency in its response to allegations of research misconduct. All allegations will be treated seriously and dealt with in a fair, unbiased manner. The privacy of the person making the allegation and the authors will be protected as much as possible.