Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statements

Oncoscience follows the guidelines based on the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Oncoscience complies with the Committee's Code of Conduct and adheres to its Best Practice Guidelines.

Editors, authors, and reviewers should all follow the best-practice guidelines for ethical behavior and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editor's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.


I. Peer review policy

Oncoscience is committed to high-quality peer review. All submissions undergo a rigorous and timely peer-review process.

After submission, a manuscript goes through an initial checking (internal quality control) by the Managing Editor from the Editorial Office to ensure that the authors followed the journal’s guidelines, editorial policies, ethical standards, and included everything that is needed for peer review.

Then, Editor-in-Chief (or members of the board designated by him) selects as reviewers external independent experts in the field, based on their published work. After receiving an average of 3 (at least 2 and for some papers 4) reviews, the Editor-in-Chief makes a decision as to whether the paper must be rejected outright or can be returned to the authors for revision. After revision and resubmission, the revised article and the authors’ detailed responses (rebuttal) are sent back to the reviewers for their additional comments. If the reviewers consider further revision necessary, then the article is returned to the authors for a second round of revision. No more than 3 rounds of revision are allowed. Editor-in-Chief then makes the final decision. There are four decision types: Reject, Major revision, Minor revision, Accept. Decisions are sent to the authors in a formal letter through the submission system, along with reviewer feedback and any other requirements from the journal office.

Oncoscience uses single blind peer review. This is a conventional method of peer review, in which the authors do not know who the reviewers are, though the reviewers know who the authors are. The reviewers are the external experts in the field chosen based on their published work.

The contents of all manuscripts are considered privileged. All Editors and reviewers are required to maintain strict confidentiality concerning all manuscripts. The status of a manuscript and its details are available only to the Oncoscience editorial staff, authors, Editors, and peer reviewers involved.

Papers that contain fabrication, image manipulation or plagiarism will not be accepted. Plagiarism is checked using the service provided by Crossref (Crossref Similarity Check). Advanced image forensics services are used to check the images and tables. At Oncoscience, we utilize tools developed in-house as well as commercially available products (mainly ImageTwin software) for image forensics. Three types of image forensics are typically performed:

  1. Search for irregularities within the paper.
  2. Search for image matches in other papers within our journals.
  3. Search for image matches within other journals.

If a problem arises post-publication, Oncoscience conducts investigations following COPE guidelines in cooperation with the authors and their affiliated institution.

Oncoscience utilizes a submission system created by eJournalPress (EJP) to facilitate the peer review process. The login portal for the submission system can be found on the journal homepage.


II. For Editors

- Editors evaluate manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their scientific merit (novelty, technical merit, quality of the data, conclusions based on data, importance for the scientific community, presentation), regardless of the authors’ citizenship, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religious belief, political philosophy, gender or sexual orientation. Decisions to publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agency outside of the journal itself. The Editors-in-Chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.

- Editors and the editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors (all authors need to be informed), reviewers, potential reviewers, or members of the Editorial Board, as appropriate.

- Editors will not use unpublished information for their own purposes. This information will be kept confidential. Editors will only evaluate manuscripts for which they have NO substantial conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers.


III. For Reviewers

- Peer review is essential and obligatory. Peer review assists Editors in making decisions and provides authors with comments that enable them to improve their manuscripts.

- Any invited reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research should immediately notify the Editors and decline the invitation to review.

- All manuscripts received for review are confidential documents; they must not be shown to or discussed with others, except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief. This also applies to reviewers who decline the invitation.

- Reviews should be objective. Comments to authors should help authors improve their manuscript. Personal criticism is inappropriate.

- Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement should have the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the Editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under review and other manuscripts.

- Reviewers who have conflicts of interest should disclose them to the Editors to declare their conflicts of interest. The Editors will determine whether the conflict is sufficient to exclude the reviewer from peer review.

- Information in the manuscript should not be used in a reviewer’s (including the reviewers who were excluded based on conflicts of interests) own research. This information must be kept confidential.


IV. For Authors

- Authors should accurately describe results and then objectively discuss their work. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial "opinion" or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior.

- Authors may be asked to provide raw data for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available, if practical. In any event, authors should ensure the accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 7-10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

- Authors should ensure that they have written and submitted only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism includes using another's paper as the author's own as well as copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution) and claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

- Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior.

- Only persons who meet the following authorship criteria should be listed as authors on the manuscript, as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content: (a) made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; (b) drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (c) have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication. All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support), but who do not meet the criteria for authorship, must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its publication.

- Authors should—at the earliest stage possible (generally at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript)—disclose any conflicts of interest that might influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript. Examples include financial ones such as honoraria, educational grants or other funding, employment, consultancies, stock ownership participation in speakers’ bureaus, membership, and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, as well as non-financial ones such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs about the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the work should be disclosed (including the grant number or other reference number, if any).

- Authors should properly acknowledge the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained written permission from the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

- If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures are performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them; the manuscript should contain a statement to this effect. Authors should also include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed.

- Authors are obliged to cooperate fully by responding promptly to Editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions necessary", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline.

- When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s Editors or Publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the Editors or Publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal Editors of the correctness of the paper.

Article Withdrawal: Only used for Articles in Advance, which represent early versions of articles and sometimes contain errors, or may have been accidentally submitted twice. Article Retraction: Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data, falsification and fabrication. Article Replacement: In cases where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. Article Removal: Legal limitations. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory or infringes on others’ legal rights, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. Correction: Authors should contact the Editor of the journal, who will determine the impact of the change and decide on the appropriate course of action.


V. For the Publisher:

The publisher is involved in handling of unethical publishing behavior. In cases of scientific misconduct, plagiarism, or fraudulent publication, the publisher (with the editors), will clarify the situation and take actions including publication of an erratum, correction or even the retraction. The publisher with the editors, will prevent the publication of fraudulent papers and will not allow misconduct to take place.

The publisher is committed to the availability of publications and ensures the content preservation/accessibility by partnering with the corresponding organizations. All Oncoscience content is archived in PubMed Central.

The publisher also maintains the journal’s own digital archive.