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Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process

All manuscripts submitted to the SLJS undergo a review, internally and/or externally.

Original research articles authored by a member of a journal’s editorial team are independently peer reviewed; an editor will have no input or influence on the peer review process or publication decision for their own article. Editorials and obituaries written by the journal’s editor do not undergo external peer review.

Peer review process: Manuscripts submitted to the journal are initially reviewed by the editor/editorial board. If these are found to be worthy of consideration for publication, these will be assigned for internal and external review, from a list of generalists and specialists related to the field of interest. Certain manuscripts, if found to be clearly not suitable for publication, will be rejected by the editor/editorial board at this first stage of review.

The journal has a double blind peer review process. Two reviewers are allocated for original articles and brief reports; one each for case reports and invited reviews. Statistical review is obtained as required. 

The SLJS strives to maintain a timeline of 6 weeks from submission to first response following editorial and peer review. The SLJS gives the option of the author/s specifying 2 reviewers/units to which an author may prefer the manuscript NOT to be sent for peer review.

Policies on Publication Ethics

The editor acknowledges with gratitude that the following guidelines are to a large extent based on the ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org/) and BMJ (http://journals.bmj.com/site/authors/editorial-policies.xhtml) guidelines and editorial policies.

Authorship

The recommendations of the ICMJE regarding authorship should be strictly adhered to. They are:

  • 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.

All authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. Any individuals listed as co-authors on a manuscript will receive email confirmation of the manuscript submission.

The authors should collectively ensure that all names included in the paper have contributed as per the ICMJE recommendations above. Also they should ensure that any individuals who have contributed as authors have not been omitted from the submitted paper. Contributions should be listed according to the author names.

Acknowledging contributors
Contributors to a paper should be acknowledged in the allocated section, e.g. technical assistance, language assistance, mentors etc. Individuals who have contributed materially to the paper should be listed as contributors, e.g. “served as scientific advisors”, “critically reviewed the study proposal”, “collected data” or “provided and cared for study patients”.

Please ensure that anyone acknowledged or who has been listed as a contributor has granted permission to be listed.

Group authorship
If the number of authors exceeds 10, we may request for confirmation of the ICMJE criteria of authorship and for a group name to be assigned. This group name will be displayed in the article, with the individual names of all authors and contributors being listed in the paper, generally at the end.

Statement of contribution
All authors and contributors are required to state the extent of the contribution to the paper. The work carried out by all individuals in the project development, data collection, paper writing, etc. should be mentioned.

The following information should be recorded for each author:

  • Full name
  • ORCID
  • Title
  • Affiliation
  • Email
  • Satisfy Authorship criteria* (Yes/No)

* Authors acknowledge significant contributions to the following 3 criteria as per ICMJE recommendations:

  1. Conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published.

Alteration to authorship
Any addition, deletion or change in the order of the names of authors/contributors should be submitted to us, and must be approved by all authors/contributors. The contact details of all authors/contributors must be provided to the journal for independent verification of these details.

Deceased authors
Deceased persons deemed appropriate as authors should be included with a death dagger (†) next to the author's name, and a footnote stating that the author is deceased and giving the date of their death e.g. †Deceased 10 October 2014.

Conflict of interest

To make the best decision on how to deal with a manuscript the journal editor should know about any competing interests that authors may have. We are not aiming to eradicate competing interests as they are almost inevitable. We will not reject papers simply because authors have a competing interest, but these will be declared on the published paper.

A competing interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal relationship). There is nothing inherently unethical about a competing interest but it should be acknowledged and openly stated.

Examples of competing interests include the following: board membership, consultancy, employment, expert testimony grants (including pending), contract research, lectures/other education events, speakers’ bureaux, patents (planned, pending or issued), receipt of equipment or supplies, royalties, stock/stock options/other forms of ownership, additional expenses not included in COIs already specified, other personal or professional relationships that may influence or appear to influence.

It is recommended that all authors download and complete a copy of the ICMJE disclosure form, which is available as a PDF at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf. They should keep a copy of the form and send a copy to their corresponding author.

If a “no competing interests” statement is submitted, the default statement on the published article will be “All authors disclose no conflict of interest”.

Funding

Authors should state at the end of the manuscript any funding obtained and the role played, if any, by the funding institution(s) in the study design, patient recruitment, data collection and reporting.

Ethical approval of research

The SLJS expects authors to adhere to accepted ethical and moral guidelines regarding scientific publication. Authors should follow the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/17c.pdf).

“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 2000. 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. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.”

All manuscripts should be submitted with a statement that the study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the relevant institutional or national ethics committee and the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. The reference number given by the ethics committee should be included. In certain situations the editorial board may request the contact details of the ethics committee for clarifications. If authors feel it is appropriate, we welcome further clarifications regarding ethical issues to be included in the covering letter or as a supplementary file during submission.

The editors and reviewers consider the following ethical issues during the editorial process:

  • Has informed consent been obtained from participants prior to commencement of the    study?
  • How much does this deviate from current normal (accepted, local) clinical practice?
  • What is the (additional) burden imposed on the patients (or others)?
  • What (additional) risks are posed to the patients (or others)?
  • What benefit might accrue to the patients (or others)?
  • What are the potential benefits to society (future patients)?

If the editorial board finds a manuscript to be unethical, the SLJS will inform the head of the department and/or institution for further necessary action. 

Patient consent and confidentiality

SLJS’s policy is based on the traditions of medical ethics.

  • Any article that contains personal medical information about an identifiable living individual requires the patient’s explicit consent before we can publish it. The specific consent form can be downloaded in English, Sinhala and Tamil.
  • If consent cannot be obtained because the patient cannot be traced, then publication will be possible under the following circumstances:
  1. If the information can be sufficiently anonymised. Anonymisation means that neither the patient nor anyone else could identify the patient with certainty. A consequence of any anonymisation is likely to be the loss of information or evidence. If this happens we will include the following note at the end of the paper: “Details have been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.” Such anonymisation might, at an extreme, involve making the authors of the article anonymous.
  2. Provision of an informed consent document which has been obtained at the time of initial patient contact, explicitly giving consent for the use of his/her clinical details and/or illustrations for the purpose of academic or scientific study/publication.
  • If the patient is dead, the authors should seek permission from a relative (as a matter of courtesy and medical ethics). If the relatives are not contactable we will balance the worthwhileness of the case, the likelihood of identification, and the likelihood of offence if identified in making a decision on whether we should publish without a relative’s consent.
  • Images – such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, pathology slides, or images of indistinctive parts of the body – or multimedia files (e.g. video, audio) may be used without consent so long as they are anonymised by the removal of any identifying marks and are not accompanied by text that could reveal the patient’s identity through clinical or personal detail.

Research reporting guidelines

Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network. This will ensure that you 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 key reporting guidelines are:

If you are not sure which guidelines are the most relevant for your type of study, please use the online tool developed by the EQUATOR Network and Penelope Research. 

Clinical trial registration

In accordance with the ICMJE Recommendations, all reports of clinical trials should be prospectively registered with the clinical trial registry of the country of origin of the manuscript.

Eligible trials have been defined by ICMJE since 1 July 2008 as “where human participants are prospectively assigned to one or more health-related interventions [including health services and behavioural interventions] to evaluate the effects on health outcomes”, and before that were defined more narrowly as trials “where human participants are prospectively assigned to investigate the cause and effect relationship between a medical intervention and health outcome”.

This means that:

  • Trials randomising human participants to investigate the cause and effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome that commenced before 1 July 2005 can be registered retrospectively, but this must be done before submission.
  • Trials randomising human participants to investigate the cause and effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome that commenced after 1 July 2005 must have been registered prospectively (i.e. before enrolment of any participant).
  • Trials randomising human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions [including health services and behavioural interventions] to evaluate the effects on health outcomes, and that commenced after 1 July 2008 must have been registered prospectively (i.e. before enrolment of any participants).

Permissions

It is the author’s responsibility to secure all permissions prior to publication.

Material from other sources
Any written or illustrative material that has been or will be published elsewhere must be duly acknowledged and accompanied by the written consent of the copyright holder (this may be the publisher rather than the author). This includes your own previously published material, if you are not the copyright holder.

Scientific misconduct

There are differing definitions of scientific misconduct. We deal with these problems at SLJS on a case by case basis while following guidance produced by bodies that include the:

The WAME gives a useful overview of misconduct, using a slightly amended version of the US Office of Research Integrity definition of scientific misconduct and including these behaviours:

  • Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to deceptive reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or wilful suppression and/or distortion of data.
  • Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one’s own original work.
  • Improprieties of authorship: improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
  • Misappropriation of the ideas of others: an important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. Scholars can acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information can constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
  • Violation of generally accepted research practices: serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
  • Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, wilful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.
  • Inappropriate behaviour in relation to misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding of information relevant to a claim or misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.

Also included are redundant publication and duplicate publication, lack of declaration of competing interests and of funding/sponsorship, and other failures of transparency to be forms of misconduct.

Dealing with allegations of misconduct
We take seriously all possible misconduct. If an editor has concerns that a submitted article describes something that might be considered to constitute misconduct in research, publication or professional behaviour, the SLJS editorial board may discuss the case in confidence with the institutional or national ethics committees.

If the case cannot be resolved by discussion with the author(s) and the editor still has concerns, the case may be reported to the appropriate authorities. If, during the course of reviewing an article, an editor is alerted to possible problems (for example, fraudulent data) in another publication, the editor may contact the journal in which the previous publication appeared to raise concern.

Readers that suspect misconduct in a published article are encouraged to report this to the editor of the SLJS.

Plagiarism detection

The SLJS is a member of CrossCheck by CrossRef and iThenticate.

Crossref Similarity Check logo

iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content.

SLJS runs manuscripts through iThenticate screening prior to publication. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Copyright and authors' rights

The SLJS allows authors (or their employers) to retain their copyright in their work. SLJS only requires an exclusive licence that allows us to publish the article in the journal and allows us to sub-licence such rights and exploit all subsidiary rights.

The corresponding author should on behalf of all authors send the following statement at the point of submission:

"The Corresponding Author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, an exclusive licence on a worldwide basis to the SLJS, and its Licensees to permit this article (if accepted) to be published in the SLJS and to exploit all subsidiary rights, as set out in our license."

The Sri Lanka Journal of Surgery is published under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. Authors of articles published in SLJS retain the copyright of their articles. They are free to reproduce and disseminate their work. The source (SLJS) should be cited when articles published in the SLJS are reproduced or stored in a repository.

Authors’ rights

The licence allows authors to use their own articles for their own purposes without seeking permission from SLJS and subject only to acknowledging first publication in the relevant journal and giving a full reference or web link, as appropriate.

Data sharing

Authors of original research articles are encouraged to include a data sharing statement when submitting their article. The statement should explain which additional unpublished data from the study is available, and how these can be obtained.

Corrections to published work

Authors should inform the SLJS of any errors in their submitted manuscripts or published articles. If these are considered relevant and significant, the editorial board will decide to publish an erratum in the next issue. The erratum will be linked to the online version of the journal.

Complaints procedure

Authors are able to complain regarding any issues related to publishing of articles, the process of publishing, the editorial board / staff and the editor in chief of the SLJS. Complaints may be made by email / letter and sent to the:

Editor in Chief, Sri Lanka Journal of Surgery, No 6 Independence Avenue, Colombo 07

Email: collsurgjournal@gmail.com

Complaints regarding the Editor in Chief of the journal should also be copied to the, President, The College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka.  

Reprints and author copies

SLJS provides first authors with copy of the printed journal. Further copies are available for purchase on request. Open access of the full text of the article is available at: http://sljs.sljol.info/.

Responses to published work

SLJS welcomes reader responses to published articles. These should be submitted as “Letters to the Editor” via the Sri Lanka Journals Online website.

Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be reviewed by the editor and shown to the authors of the original article, when appropriate.

Retractions

Journal editors consider retractions in cases of evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, and unethical research. We may consider an expression of concern notice if an article is under investigation. The retraction procedure depends on the publication stage of the article.

Publication in an issue or a continuous publication journal

A replacement version of the article will be posted containing just the metadata, with a retraction note replacing the original text. The PDF will be replaced with a version watermarked with “Retracted” but the original text will remain accessible. A retraction notice will also be published in the next available print issue.

In rare cases, we may have to remove the original content for legal reasons. In such cases we will leave the metadata (title and authors) and replace the text with a note saying the article has been removed for legal reasons. A retraction notice will also be published online and/or in print.

Retraction notices are indexed and linked to the original records in Medline and Web of Science.

Privacy

Publication embargo

All material accepted for publication in the SLJS is under embargo until it is published online. This means that until then it shouldn't be distributed to third parties or discussed with the media, with the exception of research distributed to journalists as part of an embargoed press release (either issued by SLJS or in consultation with SLJS).

If the material forms part of a submission to a government body or public enquiry before publication, authors should notify the journal at the point of acceptance and ensure that recipients are aware that an embargo is in force.

Authors whose research has been presented at a scientific meeting are still able to publish in the SLJS, but we ask that the media is not provided with any additional information prior to publication of the full article in the journal because it is important that journalists and readers have access to the full peer reviewed version of record. Prior presentation of the work at a conference should be acknowledged in the manuscript.

The SLJS will not accept submissions of manuscripts that duplicate material already published, or submitted, elsewhere. This may include manuscripts published as electronic preprints on publicly accessible servers.

Supplements

The SLJS publishes a supplement to the regular issues. This carries the proceedings of the Annual Academic Sessions of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka held in August each year.

On the recommendation of the editorial board or at the request of the CSSL the SLJS may commission a supplement on a particular theme, topic or relevant scientific meeting. Sponsorship may be sought for this.

In such cases, this will be done so as to not compromise the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation.

Advertising and sponsorship

The SLJS carries advertisements, which generates income for the purpose of publishing and editorial costs. However the journal maintains its independence from advertisers and editorial decisions are made independent of these. The SLJS adheres to the following guidelines:

  • We prohibit selling advertisements intended to be juxtaposed with editorial content on the same product.
  • Advertisements should be clearly identifiable as advertisements.
  • Editors have full and final authority for approving print and online advertisements and for enforcing advertising policy.
  • The SLJS will not carry advertisements for products proven to be seriously harmful to health.
  • Existing regulatory or industry standards for advertisements specific to Sri Lanka will be enforced.

Open Access

The SLJS is currently an open access journal. No fees are levied from authors for this service. 


Section Policies

Editorial

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Leading Article

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

For Debate

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Research Report

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Scientific Articles

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Image in Surgery

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Case Reports

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Review

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Mini Reviews

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Brief Reports

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Obituary

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Oration

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Book Review

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Letters to the Editor

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Selected Abstracts

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Answers

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Miscellaneous Items

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Case Study

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Perspective

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Symposium on GORD

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

How I Do It

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Technical Notes

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Continuing Professional Development

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Appreciation

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Continuing Medical Education

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

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