MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

PUBLICATION ETHICS

AP J Psychol Med is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (2013): http://publicationethics.org/. All parties involved in publication process need to adhere to following standards of expected ethical behaviour. These parties include: the author, the editor, the reviewers, the editorial board members, and the publisher.

Decisions

The editor of the AP J Psychol Med is responsible for deciding which of the submitted manuscripts need to be published. The editor may be guided by the journal policy, editorial board, and the reviewers. He needs to be aware of issues like libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Freedom from bias

An editor should evaluate manuscript s for their intellectual content without any sort of possible or potential bias.

Confidentiality

The editor should not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, editorial board members, and the publisher. No one involved in publication process should use material submitted in author’s unpublished manuscript without the express written consent of the author.

Conflict of interest and disclosure (financial or otherwise)

Definition: ‘COI exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behaviour or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests (WAME).’ An author (or his institution or employer) may have financial or personal relationships that could bias the manuscript. It is better to disclose completely, and contact the editor if there are some doubts. The disclosures should be made in the ‘covering letter, author declaration form’ and the same is published at the end of the manuscript. If there is no conflict of interest, the same should be declared; a statement ‘conflict of interest: Nil declared’ will be published in the manuscript. In case of non-disclosure, there may be delay in evaluation and review of the manuscript.
Time criterion for declaration is ‘within the past 3 years and for the foreseeable future’.

What constitutes COI: equity interests; corporate relationships (e.g., employment); patent rights; consultancies (such as speaker’s bureau and advisory board); family relationships and funding provided for research grants; personal relationships that are not financial; and political and religious beliefs.

What needs to be declared? With reference to the submitted manuscript, i) financial ties: fees, patents, stocks, gifts, or services, etc, ii) academic commitments, including educational grants, funding, iii) political or religious beliefs, pertinent to the manuscript in question, iv) institutional affiliations and employment, v) others: consultancies; honoraria; speakers bureau; stock ownership or options; expert testimony; royalties; donation of medical equipment The COI policy is applicable to all manuscript submissions, including editorials, commentaries, letters to the editor, etc.

What if COI is not declared: If the non-disclosure is detected before publication, editor communicates with the author asking for declaration. If the same is detected later, the same is published as an erratum. Also, the author is asked to give reasons for earlier non-disclosure. Note: Please remember: presence of ‘conflicts of interest’ may not in itself be a ground for rejection, but the same needs to be declared.
Source of support / funding
All sources of support (financial or otherwise) should be explicitly declared.

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed. They should provide i) an objective discussion of its significance, ii) sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or fabricated data constitutes unethical behaviour, and invokes severe penalties, as determined appropriate by the editorial board and/or the society.

Plagiarism

The authors should ensure that the manuscript represents their own original work. If the authors have used the work and/or words of others, it should be paraphrased / quoted, and should be properly cited. They should also cite publications that have significantly influenced the current work.

Acknowledgement of sources

Work of others should be properly acknowledged.

Authorship criteria

The authors are strongly advised to follow International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (see Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication (April 2010): Available from http://www.ICMJE.org. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant intellectual contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the study. All others should be acknowledged in the acknowledgements section. The corresponding author should ensure that all authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper, and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Concurrent publication

Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently is unacceptable.

Errors in published works

If an author discovers a significant error in his own published work, he should promptly notify the editor, so as to retract or correct the paper. An erratum may be published

Ethical considerations

AP J Psychol Med tries to ensure scientific integrity, and pursues allegations of misconduct, such as data fabrication or falsification, unethical treatment of research subjects, breach of patient confidentiality, disputes related to authorship, undisclosed conflicts of interest, plagiarism, duplicate/redundant publication, etc. The Journal confirms to the publications ethics set forth by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). This might include publishing an erratum, issuing warning letters to the authors, retracting the paper, contacting the authors’ institution or funding agency, or other appropriate actions as deemed necessary by the editorial board and/or the society.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Peer review is a crucial element of scholarly publication. Peer review is one of the major cornerstones of the scientific process. It improves the quality of the research, and reduces bias. Peer review process helps authors, the journal, and also the reviewers themselves. It also helps reviewers improve their own skills by per forming critical analysis of the medical literature, identifying gaps in knowledge, and obtaining new information to contribute to their research and/or practice.

The AP J Psychol Med operates a strictly anonymous inter-institutional external double-blind peer review process This is one of the first anonymous, double-blind, peer reviewed, open access journals from India, i.e. the authors and the reviewers are not aware of each other’s identity.

The manuscript submission and editorial review process includes the following steps:

1. An author submits a manuscript to the editor by email.
2. The editor does an initial review of the manuscript. He makes an initial decision based on manuscript quality and editorial priorities. All articles which do not meet the journal standards are sent back to the author for revision/rejection.
3. Other manuscripts are sent to reviewers by email. The editor assigns two external reviewers to each manuscript. The reviewers are neither from the same institutes, nor close associates of the authors. The reviewer is asked to indicate willingness to review and availability to perform the review within a stipulated time frame (approximately 2-3 weeks). The invitation mentions a date when the reviewer is requested to send back his comments. They are reminded of the importance of timely and fast reviews. If they have any problems meeting the deadline, they need to inform the editor immediately.
4. The reviewers review the manuscript, and send the comments to the editor.
5. The comments are forwarded to the authors, who may sometimes need to respond, or revise the manuscript.
6. This process may continue until final decision is arrived at.
7. Sometimes the editor may seek advice of two editorial board members, who are allowed to go through the manuscript, reviewers’ comments, authors’ responses (to reviewers’ comments). During the whole process; authors, reviewers and editorial board members are blind to each other. This may happen when there is a tie-breaker between two reviewers, and also for controversial topics.
8. The editor makes a final decision based on editorial priorities, manuscript quality, reviewers’ recommendations, and advice of editorial board members. However, editor’s decision is final in this regard!
9. The decision is communicated to the authors. If manuscript is rejected; the reasons for rejection, along with reviewers’ and editorial board members’ comments are communicated to the authors.

Points to be considered by reviewers

Reviewers should consider whether the manuscript is suitable for the journal. The aims, scopes, and editorial policy are mentioned in the journal. The reviewers need to recommend whether a manuscript should be accepted, revised or rejected. They should also alert the editors of any issues relating to author misconduct such as plagiarism and unethical behaviour. They should provide objective, detailed, constructive, unbiased, non-judgemental comments to help the editors arrive at a decision, and the author(s) improve their manuscript. They should also look for serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether additional data is needed to support the conclusions drawn. They should also try to provide references to substantiate their comments.

Other details

The reviewers are also requested to look into the following:
1. Is the study ethical?
2. Is the anonymity of the subjects protected?
3. Is there any missing information that needs to be added before publication?
A reviewer is expected to do the following:
1. Give an objective critical evaluation of the manuscript.
2. Make an overall recommendation by deciding on a rank between 1-9, where 1 is well-written and 9 needs a lot of work to make it acceptable. They are also requested to give reasons for that recommendation.
Publishing recommendation: 1. Accept 2. Accept after minor revision 3. Accept after major revision 4. Reject
3. If the reviewer believes that the manuscript needs changes, they are requested to give suggestions on how to improve the paper.
4. They should pose specific questions about the manuscript’s quality
5. They also need to indicate if the manuscript requires its English grammar, punctuation, or spelling to be corrected.
6. They should give remarks to the editor, and to the author.
7. All reviewers need to declare their “conflicts of interests”.

Promptness

Any referee who feels unqualified to review the manuscript submitted, or knows that time constraints will prevent him from doing timely review, should immediately notify the editor. The editor may then decide regarding future course of action.

Confidentiality

This is an anonymous double-blind peer-reviewed journal, and anonymity is very important to maintain the standards, and reduce bias. The reviewers are requested to maintain the confidentiality of the peer review process. This has an important bearing on the reputation of the journal, as well as the authors.

Reviewers should never copy, share, or discuss a manuscript under review or the data with anyone. We strongly believe reviewers need to be acknowledged for their selfless contribution. We do this is by ‘sending peer review acknowledgment mail,’ ‘publishing their names in the journal (after the peer review process is over)’, and by ‘giving complimentary copies of the journal’. For each issue, there may be different peer reviewers; therefore anonymity can be still maintained. After the journal is published, though the reviewers are aware of the authors’ identity, they are expected not to disclose their identity to anybody including the authors. This is a matter of personal integrity.

During the whole process, reviewers are requested to be firm, but at the same time courteous. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate, unacceptable, and strongly discouraged; the editor reserves the right to override such a reviewer’s comments. The peer review process helps all stakeholders involved in the publication process; the authors, reviewers, editor, editorial board members, journal, readers, and the whole scientific community. We learn from each other. All this ultimately leads to better patient care!
Note: As per AP J Psychol Med guidelines, if the editor happens to be an author or a co-author of an article, to reduce publication bias the manuscript would be handled by another editorial board member who would be designated as the ‘handling editor’. The handling editor would take complete responsibility of the manuscript in question, including the peer review process. The editor would in no way be involved with the publication process.

INSTRUCTION FOR AUTHORS
Submission of manuscripts

All manuscripts must be submitted to the editor by email: editor@apjpm.org and cced to editor.apjpm@gmail.com. Authors do not have to pay for submission, processing
or publication of articles.
NOTE: The manuscript once submitted cannot be withdrawn under any circumstance, unless considered unsuitable for publication by the editor.

General policies

The requirements stated below are in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, of which The AP J Psychol Med is a member. See “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” at icmje.org.

Editorial process

The manuscripts will be reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that they are being submitted to one journal at a time and have not been published, simultaneously submitted, or already accepted for publication elsewhere. The Editor reviews all submitted manuscript s initially. Manuscript s with insufficient originality, serious scientific flaws, or absence of importance of message is rejected. The journal will not return the unaccepted manuscripts. Other manuscripts are sent for anonymous and double-blind peer review, i.e. these will be sent to reviewers without revealing the identity of the authors. Also the authors are not aware of the reviewers. Within a specified period, the authors will be informed about the reviewers’ comments and acceptance/rejection of manuscript. Articles accepted would be copy edited for grammar, punctuation, print style, and format.

Types of manuscripts

Editorials, Guest editorials, View points: The author should have adequate experience in the field of mental health. Scholarly reviews of topics within the scope of the journal are considered. The authors should give expert opinions from their personal experience.
Commentaries: These are scholarly and critical comments in response to articles already published. The author should have sufficient and credible experience on the subject. They should give their opinions.

Review articles: These are systemic and critical assessments of the literature. Review articles should include an unstructured abstract describing the purpose of the review, collection and analysis of data, with the main conclusions.

Original research papers: These should only include original findings from high-quality planned research studies such as experimental designs, outcome studies, case-control series and surveys with high response rates, randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, studies of screening and diagnostic tests, and cost-effectiveness analyses. These should include a structured abstract.
Case reports: These should contain reports of new/interesting/rare cases of clinical significance or with implications for management. These should include a structured abstract.

The stalwarts: This is open only for the postgraduate student s of psychiatry, psychology and related behavioural sciences. No co-authors are allowed. This includes an overview of life of giants in the field of mental health, including the work they have done. A brief unstructured abstract should be included.
Letters to the editor: These should be short, decisive observation with the notation ‘for publication’. These may be in response to an article published in the journal. The journal also encourages letters which may be independent observations/critical comments on important issues in relation to mental health.

Note: ‘the stalwarts’ and ‘letters to the editor’ are considered manuscripts, and undergo peer review like any other manuscript.
Preparation of the manuscript
Use doc/docx file. Do not zip the file. Do not incorporate images in the file. If file size is large, graphs can be submitted as images separately without incorporating them in the article file to reduce the size of the file. The language should be British English. Submitted manuscripts that are not as per the ‘instructions to authors’ would be returned to the authors for technical correction, before they undergo editorial/peer-review.

Title page: This page (page 1) should include:
1. Type of manuscript (original article, case report, review article, letter to editor, etc);
2. Full title;
3. Running title of 50 characters or less that must not contain the authors’ names;
4. Name, highest degree, and affiliation of each author with institutional affiliation;
5. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed;
6. The name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address of the corresponding author;
7. The total number of pages, photographs and word count s for abstract, text (excluding the references), and the tables;

Note: Authors are fully responsible for seeking permission from the concerned organization before first submission of the manuscript to the journal. AP J Psychol Med, the editor, the editorial board, and IPS-AP can no way be held responsible for controversies arising out of the same.

Abstract page (page 2)

This page should carry the full title of the manuscript and an abstract. For original articles the abstract should be structured and constructed under the following headings: context / background (the rationale for the study), aims, methods (how the study was done), results (the main findings), and conclusions.
Below the abstract, provide 3 to 6 key words.

Text of the article

The text of original articles should be divided into sections with the headings: introduction (with aims and objectives), methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.
Sometimes, the results and discussion can be combined under the same heading.

Ethics: No study should be conducted without taking written informed consent from subjects. In the case of minors, assent should be taken from the subjects, and written informed consent should be obtained from the legal guardian. The same should be documented in the ‘methods’ section. Also, a statement ‘appropriate ethical approval procedures were followed in consenting the subjects and also in conducting the research’ must be incorporated. Authors must ensure that patient confidentiality is no way breached. Do not use real names, or disclose information that might identify a particular person. Special care should be taken when using illustrative material. If any ethics committee approval is taken, the same should be mentioned here.

Other details

Use double spacing throughout all portions of the manuscript-including the title page, abstract, text, acknowledgments, references, individual tables, and legends.
Use font size 12, Times New Roman font, and colour black, line spacing should be 2.
Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page, in the upper right hand corner.

Symbols and abbreviations: Internationally accepted units, symbols, and abbreviations, including those of the State international Unites (SI) must be used. First time the acronyms in parenthesis following the term in full.

Names of drugs: use the official (generic) name throughout; trade (proprietary) names may be placed in parenthesis the first time the drug is mentioned if necessary.

Statistics: Specify the statistical methods used for analysis. Whenever possible, quantify findings, and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Specify the computer software used. For all P values mention the exact value, not just ‘less than 0.05 or 0.001′.

Acknowledgement

Acknowledgments are listed on a separate page after text. Specify contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a
departmental chair and acknowledgments of technical, financial and material support. People who have aided the author’s work in any other important way may also be thanked in this section.

Source of funding

Any granting and sponsoring agency must be clearly mentioned here.

Conflicts of interest

.
Any potential conflicts of interest should be declared here.

References

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references, and for seeking permissions form appropriate source. Multiple citations in support of a single statement should be avoided, unless it is absolutely necessary. Reference should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text (not in alphabetic order). Identify references in text, table and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript in square bracket after the punctuation marks. Eg. aaaaaaaaaaaaaa. [1] References cited only in tables, figures and legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. Use complete name of the journal for other journals.

Articles in journals

Standard journal article: Vinekar A, Dogra MR, Sangtam T, Narang A .Gupta A. Retinopathy of prematurity in Asian Indian babies weighing greater than 1250 grams
at birth: ten year data from a tertiary care centre in a developing country. Indian J Ophthalmic 2007; 55: 331-6.

Articles in books

Personal author(S): Ringsted MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses.2nd Ed. Albany (NY): Delmar publishers: 1996.
Editor(S) compiler(S) as author: Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone: 1996.
Chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. I n: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editor. Hyper tension: Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd Ed. New York: Raven press: 1995: 465-78.

Electronic sources

Journal articles on the Internet: Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [Internet).2002 Jun (cited 2002 Aug 12); 102(6): (about 3 p.). Available from: http://www.nur singworld.org/AJN/2002/June/
Wawatch.htm
Homepage on the Internet: Cancer-Pain.org New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc: c200-01(updated 2002 May 16: cited 2002 Jul 9). Available from http://www.cancer-pain.org/.
Part of a homepage/web site: American Medical Association (homepage on the Internet). Chicago: The Association: c1995-2002(update 2001 Aug 23: cited 2002
Aug 12). AMA Office of Group Practice Liaison9about 2 screens).Available from: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1736.html

Legends to figures and tables

Captions should briefly explain the figures/tables without the use of abbreviations and should be understandable without reference to the text. Use double spacing, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations.

Images

Acceptable graphic files include TIFF or JPEG formats. Graphs can be submitted in the original program files. Minimum resolution is 300 dpi or 1800×1600 pixels in TIFF format. Each image should be less then 2048kb (2MB) in size. Size of the image can be reduced by decreasing the actual high and width of the images (keep up to 1240×800 pixels or 5-6 inches.
Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. When graphs, scatter-grams or histograms are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should also be supplied.
Indentifying information, including patients in images, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be present in images, unless the information is essential for scientific purpose. If any identifiable images are used, the patient (or guardian) should give written informed consent for publication.
If a figure has been published elsewhere, acknowledge the original source.

Tables

Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Be sure that each table is cited in the text. For footnotes, use the following symbols, in the flowing sequence:*, †, ‡, Š.II. **.††.‡‡
Abbreviations should be explained. If means are used, the standard deviation (or error) and “n” should be included. Report actual Values of p > 0.01 to 2 decimal places and p

Covering letter

All submissions must be accompanied by a covering letter to the editor. Please write the full manuscript title. Mention whether the manuscript is being submitted as an original article, review article, case report, letter to the editor. Include a statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work. The author must declare that the manuscript, to the best of their knowledge, does not infringe upon any copyright or property right of any third party. The author must list out any attachments being sent along with the covering letter.

Revised manuscripts

For major revisions, the authors must provide a letter addressing each of the reviewer’s comments separately and in point form by first recording the reviewer’s comment and following it with the author’s response. The author must track all changes made in the revised manuscript.

Proofs

The editor reserves the right to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, to clarify obscurities and remove redundancies, to improve infelicities of style, to enhance or make appropriate the paper’s organization, and to ensure that the paper (text and graphics) conforms overall to the requirements of the journal. Non-major changes will be made without consulting the author.

Format of papers: Article types

Summary of article types and requirements

Type of article Abstract word limit Text word limit (including  tables and figures, but references Number ofreferences Number oftables Number offigures
Editorials

300

5000

50

10

5

Commentary

-

2000

15

3

2

Guest Editorials

300

5000

50

10

5

View point

300

5000

50

10

5

Review article

300

5000

50

10

5

Original article

300

5000

25

10

5

Case report

200

2500

20

5

3

The stalwarts

100

2000

15

3

2

Letters to the editor

-

1000

10

2

2


*including tables and figures, but excluding references

Note:

based on editor’s discretion the prescribed limits for words, tables, figures, and references may be increased

 

Andhra Pradesh Journal of Psychological Medicine (AP J Psychol Med) ISSN 2249-5851