Editorial Policy

MedEdPublish – Editorial Policy
Version 02: December 2018
Last update: June 2019 (Update to Editorial Board Composition; links to supporting policies inserted).


1.      Scope of this Policy
2.      Qualifications and Affiliations
3.      Conflicts of interests
4.      Confidentiality
5.      International Composition of Editorial Board
6.      Choice of Panel Reviewers
7.      Timeliness of manuscript processing
8.      Deletion of rejected manuscripts
9.      Unavailability
10.    Editorial Freedom
11.    Themed Issues
12.    Grounds for Article Retraction
13.    Procedures for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct 14.    Procedures for handling author complaints and appeals
15.    Description of the editing process
Please note that this Policy is intended to conform to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers available at: https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_Guidelines_For_Peer_Reviewers_2.pdf
and the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, Updated December 2017, available at: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf
In addition, Policies and Guides on Authorship and Reviewing contain details about Editors’ roles and responsibilities, and so need to be consulted. 

1. Scope of this Policy

Unless specifically stated to the contrary, this Policy document applies to all MedEdPublish Editors, Associate Editors and Guest Editors.

2. Qualifications and Affiliations

Editors must ensure that their qualifications and affiliations are described accurately on all MedEdPublish material and that their biographical information is kept up-to-date.
At this stage, ORCID numbers are not required, but, if Editors have ORCID numbers, they are strongly urged to include these in their details.

3. Conflicts of interests

Editors must ensure any potential conflicts of interests are described accurately on all MedEdPublish material. In the interests of transparency Editors acting as Panel reviewers should declare that they also have an editorial role with the journal when posting a review.

4. Confidentiality

Editors must ensure that they maintain strict confidentiality of materials and communications with authors, and that the only public commentary should be made on final published versions of documents.

5. International Composition of Editorial Board

The Editorial Board shall be made up of people from the international community.
As of June 2019, the following 11 countries were represented on the Board (The number in brackets indicates the number of representatives): Australia (2, including the EiC); China (1); Mexico (1); Oman (1); Portugal (1); Russian Federation (1); Saudi Arabia (1); Singapore (2); South Africa (1); United Kingdom (6); United States (3).

6. Choice of Panel Reviewers

When selecting Panel Reviewers (including those recommended by the authors), Editors must take all reasonable steps to ensure that they select reviewers who are suitably qualified to perform the review, and have no known conflicts of interests. For reviewers suggested by the author, especially if those reviewers are not already on the Panel, Editors must take extra care to ensure that the email address given by the author matches the reviewer (by checking on the institution’s website) and is not a “spoof” of that email address. (e.g. [email protected]  instead of [email protected]).

Editors will take precautions to ensure that individual Panel reviewers are not overburdened with invitations to review articles.

7. Timeliness of manuscript processing

When processing a manuscript, Editors must take all reasonable steps to ensure timely processing of manuscripts, including selection of, and corresponding with, reviewers.

8. Deletion of rejected manuscripts

In case of a rejected manuscript, Editors must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the manuscript has been deleted from the MedEdPublish system.

9. Unavailability

If, for any reason, an Editor is unavailable during their term of responsibility, they should inform the MedEdPublish Editorial Team immediately, so that suitable steps can be taken.

10. Editorial Freedom

Although MedEdPublish Editors share a common purpose with AMEE, Editors have complete editorial freedom, and should be guided only by best editorial practices. Editors do, however, have access to AMEE management in case they wish to consult on issues that may involve liability, and logistical issues.

11. Themed Issues

From time to time we publish themed issues which reflect a substantial topics of interest to medical educators. AMEE members may contact the Editorial Board with suggestions for Themes and Theme Editors, but the choice of Themes and Theme Editors is at the discretion of the Editor, Associate Editors and the Editorial office. Themes may not be sponsored to have any commercial influence. 

12. Grounds for Article Retraction

Grounds for an article’s retraction include (but are not limited to) submitting an author’s name without their knowledge, evidence of plagiarism, evidence of unethical procedures (including supplying false ethical approval information, not or falsely declaring conflicts of interests, deceptive manipulation of data, images, videos and audio files, manipulation of the editorial or review process, or selling authorship). 

MedEdPublish follows the COPE Guidelines for article retraction and corrections as given at: https://publicationethics.org/files/retraction%20guidelines_0.pdf
See also:
Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, Updated December 2017, available at: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf
Further information is available in our policy on alterations to published articles.  See also procedures outlined in the next two sections of this document.

13. Procedures for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct

From the ICMJE Guidelines, “Scientific misconduct includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification, including deceptive manipulation of images; and plagiarism.” Further, MedEdPublish bases its procedures on the COPE guidelines at https://publicationethics.org/misconduct. The following COPE flowcharts (reproduced with permission) summarise the procedures to be followed by the editorial office:

13.1 Concerns raised on social media or other external discussions



13.2 Concerns raised directly with the Journal



13.3 Concerns raised by suspicion of an ethical problem with a manuscript



13.4 Concerns raised by suspicion unethical image manipulation in a published article



13.5 Suspected manipulation of the publication process: before publication


13.6 Suspected manipulation of the publication process: after publication


14. Procedures for handling author complaints and appeals

In order to avoid a lengthy and resource-intensive appeal process in the case of a retraction or similar action, the Editors must ensure that they
  1. Follow the COPE Guidelines as closely as possible.
  2. Document explicitly (with reference to these Guidelines, the Terms and Agreement, and any other pertinent documentation) exactly the nature of the offence and the reasoning behind all decisions.
  3. Ensure that the author is sent all relevant documentation.
Any appeal on a decision must state explicitly the issue of contention. The Editor has the right to then consult with any third party over the issue, and make a final decision. That final decision shall be binding, and the matter shall be deemed closed.

15. Description of the editing process

All articles published in MedEdPublish must meet the journal's basic minimum standards: 
  • Articles should be in readable and intelligible English;
  • Articles should be within the scope of the journal. That is, the article concerns health professions’ education, and is in a format acceptable to the journal (research paper, case study, etc.);
  • All articles should include an appropriate ethics statement and declaration regarding informed consent as stated in our protection of research participants policy.
  • All articles should also include a funding statement.
  • Revised articles must conform with the revised article policy.
  • Articles must not contain copyrighted material without proper licensing from the copyright holder.
In addition, the similarity checker (iThenticate) will assist Editors in ensuring that there is no plagiarism.