Publisher Policies


Editorial Independence in Medical Journals

The text has been updated taking into account the later published Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

Editorial Independence and Diversity of Topics

The editorial boards responsible for the content of our journals consist of experts in their respective fields.

The Healthbook Company Ltd. guarantees the editorial independence of the journals. In order to maintain editorial independence, the principles formulated by the World Association of Medical Editors ("The Relationship Between Journal Editors-in-Chief and Owners") are observed.

Conflicts of Interest

Our journals have defined processes for handling conflicts of interest; these are also documented in the author guidelines.

Conflicts of interest of authors are published with the articles.

All authors are requested to sign the ICMJE Conflict of Interest form (http://www.icmje.org/disclosure-of-interest/).

Conflicts of interest between editors and reviewers are adequately considered in the editorial work.

Duplicate submissions

Author signatures certify that neither this manuscript nor a version with substantially similar content by one or more of the same authors, has been published, accepted or is currently being assessed by another journal for publication. Previously published data can be reproduced in exceptional cases, provided that full disclosure is made and a plausible reason for republication is given.

Peer Reviewing

The author guidelines of our scientific journals are based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

All submissions are judged by the editors. All scientific articles are also reviewed by external experts (single blind peer reviewing).

Prior to publication, all manuscripts, with the exception of Commentaries/Editorials, must undergo a single-blind peer-review conducted by independent experts and reviewers in the field.

Confidentiality of Submitted Manuscripts

Submitted manuscripts are confidential before final publication; they are only accessible to the authors, the editorial staff, and reviewers.

Other persons may only be informed about planned publications in the context of a topic preview but may not be given access to the articles or parts thereof or even influence their content.

Editorial Independence and Diversity of Topics

Clear separation of editorial and paid content

Paid content is clearly recognizable as paid content by its design. Text advertisements always appear with the reference "special report" or similar.

Errata and Corrections

The healthbook company is committed to maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the scientific record in all of its journals. Any substantial error in any article published in healthbook TIMES should be corrected as soon as possible.

The healthbook TIMES journals have a policy for types of errors that we do and do not correct. See our in-depth policy for corrections (here).


Publication Ethics in our Scientific Journals

The editorial independence of our journals and strict publication ethics guidelines are a central element of our publishing activities. The scientific journals published by The Healthbook Company Ltd. adhere to the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors («Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals»).

Authorship

Authorship should be based primarily on (1) substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; (2) drafting or revising the work critically for important intellectual content ; (3) the final approval of the version to be published should be in 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. All those designated as authors should meet all three criteria for authorship, and all who meet the criteria should be identified as authors.

Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group do not, by themselves, justify authorship, nor does the fact of being in sole charge of the clinic or organizational unit in which the article was prepared. Such contributions should be listed as acknowledgements.

Disclosure of Financial and Non-financial Activities and Conflicts of Interest

All financial, commercial, or other relationships that might be perceived by the academic community as representing a potential conflict of interest must be disclosed. If no such relationship exists, authors will be asked to confirm the following statement:

The authors declare that the study was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

For case reports, a declaration regarding informed patient consent should be included.

Plagiarism and Scientific Misconduct

Submissions that overlap with already published articles are carefully checked for plagiarism by the editorial team with Scribbr. Scientific misconduct includes, but is not necessarily limited to, data fabrication, data falsification, purposeful failure to disclose relationships and activities, and plagiarism. We take allegations of misconduct very seriously. Problems concerning scientific misconduct are dealt with following the guidelines provided by The National Institute of Health (NIH), The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Obligation to Register Clinical Trials

We require registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome.

Ethics Approval of Research

We expect every article reporting results of prospective research using human subjects or samples, or results of animal research, to include a statement that the study obtained ethical approval, including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s) and the number/ID of the approval(s). Where ethical approval is not required, the manuscript should include a clear statement of this and the reason why.

When reporting research involving human data, authors should indicate in the methods section whether the procedures followed were assessed and approved by a legally qualified ethics review committee (institutional or national) or, if no formal ethics committee is available, were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration 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 study. Approval by a responsible review committee does not preclude editors from forming their own judgement whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate in the methods section whether the institutional and national guides for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Protection of Patients’ Rights to Privacy

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes. The patient (or parent or guardian) must provide written formal consent for publication. Informed consent requires that a patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients that the material will be available via the Internet after publication. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.

Patient consent should be archived by the authors and not submitted to the journal. The authors should provide the journal with a written statement that they have received and archived written patient consent.

Peer Reviewing Process

The Healthbook Company Ltd. ensures that all editorial processes comply with the highest standards and that they are carried out with care and transparency.

Prior to publication, all manuscripts, with the exception of Commentaries/Editorials, must undergo a single-blind peer-review conducted by independent experts and reviewers in the field.

Scientific manuscripts are submitted for review to external experts (single blind peer reviewing). Editorial Boards may decline a paper on the basis of internal review. All reviewers' comments are reviewed by the editors. After submitting their own comments, reviewers are given access to the comments of other reviewers.

When an editor is an author or co-author of a manuscript, she or he is excluded from publication decisions and has no insight into the reviewing process of the article in the manuscript management system.

Intellectual Property

If figures or tables from other publications are included in an article, the authors must obtain permission from the rights holder in question to reprint them, covering both print and online publication.

Data Sharing

Manuscripts that report the results of clinical trials must contain a data sharing statement.

Final Proof

Corresponding authors receive a copy of the article edited and, if necessary, translated by the publisher for approval before final publication.

Post-Publication Discussions

We welcome debate post publication through letters to the editor (technical comments).

If a correction of a published article is needed it is dealt with following the ICMJE guidelines.

Complaints and Appeals

Complaints that go beyond editorial decisions can be sent by e-mail to ellen.heitlinger@healthbook.ch. They will be treated confidentially and forwarded to the management.

Repository policy

The submitted version of the manuscript is equal to the unrefereed author’s original, which authors can make available anywhere at any time. After acceptance by our journal, the new “accepted” manuscript includes modifications based on our referees’ suggestions, and can be deposited anywhere after publication of the printed version of healthbook TIMES journals.

Similar, the published version that includes copyediting, typesetting and proof corrections, can be deposited after publication without embargo at other institutional or non-commercial repositories but not on commercial platforms and social media prior agreement with the “THE HEALTHBOOK COMPANY LTD.”.
Table - Repository policy

Archiving Policy

To ensure permanent open access, we secure and protect the scholarly content of our journals via the CLOCKSS system which has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit.


Separation of Editorial Work and Marketing and Advertising policy

Journal publishing entails large-scale costs in terms of editing and production work. The higher the quality standards, the greater the ensuing expenses. Just as in daily and consumer press, specialized journals draw an indispensable portion of their financing from the sales of advertising space. Serious magazines; however, are not published for the sake of earning advertising revenue but sell advertising for the sake of being published. This underlying principle steers all activities at The Healthbook Company Ltd. Our editing and marketing teams are strictly divided up, fully preventing the content of our magazines from becoming mired in business-related interests.

The Healthbook Company Ltd. guarantees the editorial independence of the journals on the basis of editorial statutes.

An influence of economic interests on the content is excluded.

Journals published online by The Healthbook Company Ltd. are free from advertisements as they are funded by the supporting association healthbook TIMES. Journals published in print by The Healthbook Company Ltd. contain advertisements and promotional content in addition to our editorial content.

Advertising pages and PR articles are clearly marked and can be distinguished from editorial content by their design.

The Healthbook Company Ltd. ensures that the advertising opportunities offered comply with the provisions of the Swiss Federal Act on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, the Regulation on the Advertising of Medicinal Products, the Pharma Code and the guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. An internal guideline prepared by the executive board complements the legal framework and provides additional guidelines for the selection of advertisers in The Healthbook Company Ltd. products. In case of doubt, a commission consisting of the sales team and editorial staff decides on the acceptance or rejection of advertisements.


Basic Documents

Questions of publication ethics are regularly discussed in the publishing house and in the editorial boards. We base these discussions on the following basic documents, among others: