Following is an outline of our commitment to publication ethics and transparency in accordance with the principles of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE). JKCVHL is a member of COPE. 

Peer review process: All submitted manuscripts undergo rigorous peer review. The peer review process is detailed here

Governing Body/Editorial team/contact information: The editorial board members of JKCVHL are experts in the field of kidney cancer and/or VHL. Their full names and affiliations are given here

Publishing fee: The journal does not charge any submission/publication fees from authors.

Copyright/Licensing Policy: The authors retain the copyright of their published articles. All our publications are open access, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, and below each published article on our website. From late 2015, the statement about license also appears on the pdf and html of the published articles. 

Process for identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct 

Plagiarism check:  All submitted articles undergo plagiarism check first. We work with CrossRef to use iThenticate to detect plagiarism. iThenticate gives a 'similarity index', which is the word-by-word copying of materials from previously published literature. We use similarity index to make a decision. Even if the original source was cited, articles with more than 10% similarity index will be returned to the authors without peer review for re-writing. For articles with similarity index between 1-10%, we follow the guidelines of COPE on text recycling to make a decision. 

Responsibility of Authors: As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance as included towards the end of this page. 

Responsibility of reviewers: Reviewers are expected to keep the manuscripts confidential, provide an unbiased scientific opinion of the manuscript on time and declare any conflict of interest. 

Copyright violation: Where relevant, it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission from copyright holders, and to ensure that the use of images, data and illustrations in the manuscript do not violate copyright laws. If a copyright violation in any of the published article is brought to our attention, we will notify the authors. It is the responsibility of the author to settle issues with the copyright holder. As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off this statement. 

Corrections: If an error in any of the published article is brought to our attention, we will publish an Erratum or Corrigendum. The published manuscript will remain unaltered. 

Retraction: Proof of scientific misconduct will lead to retraction of a published article. Other issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case based on the retraction guidelines of COPE. The retracted article and the reason(s) for retraction will be clearly stated. 

The handling of research misconduct is the role of the scientific advisory board. 

Ownership and management: The journal is published under the banner of Codon Publications, a privately-owned company. The company is registered in Australia under ABN 66856928087. The administrative aspects of the journal are done in Australia. The infrastructure, technical support and post-acceptance processing of articles are delegated to various companies. Permanent preservation of published articles is done via  PubMed. Services for doi and plagiarism check are provided by Crossref.

Web site: To the best of our knowledge, the site does not contain any misleading information.

Name of journal: PubMed indexing and ISSN were used as the criteria for determining the name of the journal.  At the time of publication of the first issue on 22 April 2014, to the best of our knowledge, there were no other journals with the similar name that met both criteria. 

Conflict of interest: It is mandatory that Editors and authors disclose conflict of interest. More information is given here.

Access: Our publications are freely available online. There is no need for any kind of registration to access them. 

Advertising: We do not accept advertisements. 

Publishing schedule: Each calendar year will have one volume. In 2014, when JKCVHL was first published, each month had a separate issue. From 2015, JKCVHL will have four issues per volume – January-March (Issue 1), April-June (Issue 2), July-September (Issue 3) and October-December (Issue 4). JKCVHL publishes articles as soon as the final copy-edited version is approved by the authors rather than waiting for a collection of articles for a specific issue. Also each article is published in its respective category (review, original or case report). As a result, the page numbers in the 'Table of Contents' displayed for each issue will reflect this rather than numerical order. 

Archiving: We use  PubMed for the permanent preservation of our published contents.  

Direct marketing: Potential authors are invited via email based on their prior publication track record in the field of kidney cancer and/or VHL.  

Contact details: Our contact details are displayed under “Contact”. 

Instructions for Authors: Detailed guidelines for authors are included under “Submission”. 

Complaints: Any complaint about the operations of JKCVHL should be sent to [email protected] To maintain transparency, all correspondence will be in writing, via the above email address. In the initial contact, please identify yourself, state the complaint and sign off with your full name and contact details, including a valid phone number with the country and area code. The initial email should not contain any attachments, html codes, or clickable links. All correspondence should be in English with the subject line ‘Complaint’. Initial emails that do not meet any of these criteria will not receive a response and will be deleted. Emails that meet these criteria will receive a response from the editorial office within 72 hours to discuss the issue for a speedy resolution.

Editor in Chief and Editorial team: qualifications and responsibilities

Composition: The editorial team consists of editors-in-chief and an editorial board. The editorial team is selected based on qualifications, experience in the field and willingness to complete assigned tasks, not on gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity or any other personal attributes.

Term: The term of the editorial team is three years, which may be extended to a second term.

Qualifications: Anyone with appropriate qualifications (MBBS, MD, PhD or other relevant qualifications), experience in the field of Kidney Cancer and  VHL, and willing to complete any assigned tasks on time are welcome to join the editorial board.

Reviewing articles: As all editorial board members have active and demanding careers in academia and/or patient care, it is a policy of the journal not to overwhelm editorial board members with unnecessary workload. Therefore, the maximum number of articles required to be reviewed by an editorial board member per calendar year is three. The review needs to be completed within two weeks.

Special issues: Any member of the editorial team can initiate special issues and invite articles.

Promoting the journal: The editorial members are encouraged to promote the journal among their peers and at scientific conferences. For example, they can inform the library of their institution that this is an open access journal and that the contents are freely available. Also, they can provide a link to the journal on their websites.

Next steps: If you have appropriate qualifications and willing to meet the responsibilities, please contact [email protected] to discuss the next steps. Do not include any attachments, for example C, at this stage. One of our editorial assistants will contact you to discuss the next steps.

 

Reviewer responsibilities

Reviewers are required to keep the manuscript confidential, provide an unbiased scientific opinion of the manuscript and declare any conflict of interest. Also, reviewers are expected to submit their comments within the indicated time frame. 

Criteria for assessing original articles: 

  • Does the manuscript require language editing?
  • Does the abstract convey the major theme of the paper?
  • Does the introduction describe the rationale for the study in the context of the available literature?
  • Where relevant, have appropriate ethics approval and informed consent been obtained?
  • Are the methods adequately described?
  • Is the number of samples, number of repeats, equipment and chemicals used clearly mentioned?
  • Is the catalogue number of antibodies mentioned?
  • Are statistical methods clearly stated?
  • Is the discussion well-balanced in light of the available literature and the research findings?
  • Is conflict of interest stated?

Criteria for assessing review articles: 

  • Does the manuscript require language editing?
  • Does the abstract convey the major theme of the article?
  • Does the article comprehensively and critically evaluate an existing problem in the context of the available literature?
  • If relevant does the article suggest a possible solution to the problem?
  • Is conflict of interest stated? 

 

Author responsibilities

Authorship: According to the ICMJE recommendations, all who meet the following four criteria should be identified as authors:

  1. Substantial contributions to the 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; AND
  4. 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.

Adherence to guidelines: The authors should strictly adhere to the manuscript preparation guidelines as described and be aware of the peer review process described here.

Permission and copyright: Where relevant, it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission from copyright holders, and to ensure that the use of images, data and illustrations in the manuscripts do not violate copyright laws. If a copyright violation in any of the published article is brought to our attention, we will notify the author for correspondence. It is the responsibility of the author(s) to settle issues with the copyright holder.

Research and data integrity: The authors are responsible for ensuring the research was conducted in an ethical manner, data were collected and analyzed by employing appropriate scientific methods, and interpreted accurately. If required, the authors should produce raw data to the reviewers.

Acknowledgements: Where relevant, the authors should acknowledge their colleagues and sources of funding that made their research possible.

Conflict of interest: It is mandatory that authors should declare any conflicts of interest that are pertinent to their manuscript. More information on conflict of interest is given here.

 

Ethics approval and informed consent

All experiments involving humans and animals should obtain appropriate ethics approval, and declare it in the manuscript.

Human ethics: JKCVHL considers WMA Declaration of Helsinki - Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects as the authoritative source, however, national and institutional variations are possible. All experiments involving human subjects or human-related materials should obtain relevant ethics approval in accordance with national and institutional guidelines. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

Informed consent: Where relevant, informed consent should be obtained from human subjects using the form approved by the institutional ethics committee prior to commencing any work. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

Animal ethics: All experiments involving animals should obtain relevant ethics approval in accordance with national and institutional guidelines prior to commencing any animal work. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

 

Conflict of interest

The ICMJE guidelines state that a conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Anything that could be perceived as a conflict of interest should be declared. Some examples are: financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony), personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. 

Authors: As an integral part of the online submission process, the author who submits the article is required to declare the conflict of interest of all authors. It is the responsibility of the submitting author to obtain relevant information before starting the submission process. In addition, all manuscripts should include a mandatory conflict of interest statement as mentioned under author guidelines.  If there are no conflicts of interest then the author should enter “The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to research, authorship and/or publication of this article". If a previously undisclosed competing interest for an author of a published paper is brought to the attention of the publisher, and is subsequently confirmed with the authors, the undeclared interest will be published as an erratum in a future issue. 

Reviewers: Before accepting the invitation to review a paper, potential reviewers are required to disclose any conflict of interest.

Submission by an editor or editorial board member: No special consideration will be given to an article submitted by an author who is also an editorial board member. The process of selection of reviewers, and the review process will be similar to that of an author who is not an editorial board member.