1. Originality
  2. Publication criteria and authorship
  3. Competing interests
  4. Ethical Policies
    1. Research involving humans
    2. Research involving animals
    3. Research involving plants
  5. Inappropriate image manipulation
  6. Registration of trials and systematic reviews
    1. Trial registration
    2. Systematic reviews registration
  7. Standards of reporting
  8. Data availability
  9. Licenses
  10. Permanency of content
    1. Correction
    2. Retraction
    3. Editorial Note
    4. Expression of Concern
    5. Archiving Policy
    6. Self Archiving Policy
  11. Allegations of misconduct
  12. Appeals and complaints
  13. Peer Review Process

Publication of any material in JICNA indicates that all its authors have agreed to its content and have ensured that JICNA policies have been fully adhered to. 

1. Originality

All articles submitted to JICNA must be original; the work, or large parts of it, must not have been published previously or be currently under consideration or review elsewhere. If there is any significant overlap with another paper, this must be cited in the article and mentioned on submission. JICNA uses industry standard tools to check for plagiarism in articles; if clear plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) is identified, the article will be rejected.

JICNA strongly discourages excessive or inappropriate self-citation.

Articles previously posted on a preprint server, such as ArXiv, bioRxiv, AgriXiv or PeerJ PrePrints can be submitted for publication in JICNA. Content already posted on ICNApedia, the Child Neurology Knowledge Environment published by The International Child Neurology Association (ICNA) can be written up as articles, and submitted to JICNA provided the guidelines for publishing in JICNA are followed.

Submitted articles with content that infringes copyright may be rejected if the infringing content cannot be omitted.

Authors who wish to reproduce a figure or table from a previous copyrighted publication are responsible for obtaining the permission of copyright holders and for clearly referencing the original source. Figures that were previously published under a creative commons license may be reused under the condition of the specific licence that applies to those figures.

2. Publication criteria and authorship

JICNA Editors do not make an editorial judgement on whether results and data presented in a given article are 'valid'. It is the authors’ responsibility and would be peer reviewed by expert reviewers.

JICNA Editors will however take into consideration the following while considering acceptance criteria for peer review for research outputs presenting original data and results:

  • Authors affiliations with recognized research or clinical institution (or organization)
  • Authors research-based qualification (such as a PhD or MD). An author’s activities as an active researcher or scholar should usually be obvious from his/her recent publication record.
  • At least one author on the article (who should have made a key contribution to the article) must meet these key criteria for it to be suitable for publication in JICNA.

Publication of Reviews and Opinion articles

JICNA encourages open, scholarly review and debate of research findings, trends and topics that are of direct relevance to researchers in the form of Reviews and Opinion articles. Submissions of this type must represent a useful addition to the scientific literature and must be presented in a format that is suitable for peer review. While researchers who meet the criteria outlined above are entitled to publish any article presenting new research and data, the decision of whether a submitted review or opinion article is suitable for publication and subsequent open peer review by experts, ultimately lies with the JICNA Editorial Board. Editorials and Invited Reviews are published by invitation only.

All authors should have made a clear contribution to the published article. As a guide, authors should refer to the criteria for authorship that have been developed by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Each author's contribution must be detailed in the article text under the heading Authors' Contributions.

Anyone who has contributed but does not meet the criteria for authorship (for example, purely technical or writing assistance) should be listed in the 'Acknowledgments' section. The involvement of any professional scientific or medical writer assistance must be declared. Authors should obtain permission to include the name and affiliation, from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgments section.

Changes in authorship: If the author list of an article changes following its publication, a new version of the article can be published with an explanation included in the ‘Amendments’ section at the top of the new version. Any changes in authorship must be confirmed by all authors. If the editorial team is unable to contact an author, the corresponding author is responsible for facilitating communication. In agreement with COPE guidelines, the editorial team cannot take responsibility for resolving any disputes over authorship; any disagreements amongst the authors must be settled by the authors’ institution(s).

3. Competing interests

Authors must include a ‘Competing interests’ statement. A competing interest will not preclude publication, but it provides full transparency for the reviewers and readers. If there are no competing interests to declare, the following standard statement is added: 'The authors have declared that they have no competing interests'.

A competing interest may be of non-financial or financial nature. Examples of competing interests include (but are not limited to):

  • individuals receiving funding, salary or other forms of payment from an organization, or holding stocks or shares from a company, that might benefit (or lose) financially from the publication of the findings;
  • individuals or their funding organization or employer holding (or applying for) related patents;
  • official affiliations and memberships with interest groups relating to the content of the publication;
  • political, religious, or ideological competing interests.

Authors from pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that sponsor clinical trials, should declare these as competing interests on submission. The relationship of each author to such an organization should be explained in the ‘Competing interests’ section. Publications in JICNA must not contain content advertising any commercial products.

The International Society for Medical Publication Professionals provides good practice guidelines, which are aimed at ensuring that “clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies are published in a responsible and ethical manner”.

Reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests in their reports, as are readers who contribute comments on the site.

If an undisclosed competing interest is brought to the attention of the editorial office after publication, JICNA will follow the COPE guidelines.

4. Ethical Policies

JICNA adheres to the COPE guidelines relating to ethical oversight.

4.1 Research involving humans

Ethics approval

All studies involving humans (individuals, human data or material) must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval must have been obtained for all protocols from the authors’ institutional or other relevant ethics committee (Institutional Review Board, IRB) to ensure that they meet national and international guidelines. Details of this approval must be provided when submitting an article, including the institution, review board name, and permit number(s).

Human studies categorized by race/ethnicity, age, disease/disabilities, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, or other socially constructed groupings, should include a justification of the choice of definitions and categories, including whether any rules of human categorization were required by the relevant funding agencies. Appropriate non-stigmatizing language should be used when describing different groups.

Ethics approval must be obtained before the research is conducted; retrospective approval can usually not be obtained and it may not be possible to publish the study.

Patient privacy and informed consent for publication

As stated in the Recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: “Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.”

Consent to participate: For all studies involving human participants, including personal genomics studies, case reports, clinical trials, questionnaires, observations etc, informed written consent to take part in the research must have been obtained, and this should be stated in the article in a section entitled ‘Consent’. You can use our consent form, or your own institution’s form as you prefer. If only oral consent was obtained (rather than written), the reasons need to be explained, confirmation of IRB approval that oral consent was adequate must be provided, and a statement of how it was documented included in the Consent section.

Consent for publication of identifiable data: For any articles that include information that could potentially identify an individual, please ensure that you have obtained written, informed consent from all patients or healthy participants (or their legal guardians for minors, or next of kin if the participant is deceased), confirming that the results and any accompanying images can be published. This includes large clinical datasets with direct or indirect identifiers (see this article for information), specific details about individuals, images and so on.

If your article contains any identifiable images of individuals, you must include a statement confirming that you have permission to publish these images. If your article contains any clinical images or identifiable data then you must include an explicit consent statement under a separate heading of the ‘Consent’ section (we suggest: “We confirm that we have obtained permission to use [images/data] from the participants/patients/individuals included in this presentation”). Please also state the conditions under which the permission was obtained.

Alternatively, if no consent for publication was required (e.g. the data has been anonymised), then this should be clearly stated and a note should be added confirming that such alterations have not distorted scientific meaning.

Signed consent forms should be made available to the JICNA editorial office if requested.

4.2 Research involving animals

Studies involving animals must have been conducted in line with the ‘Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments’ (ARRIVE) guidelines, developed by NC3Rs to improve standards of reporting, ensuring that the data from animal experiments can be fully scrutinized and utilized. The relevant information outlined in these guidelines should be included in the appropriate section of the article.

Experiments involving vertebrates or regulated invertebrates must be carried out within the ethical guidelines provided by the authors’ institution and national or international regulations. Where applicable, a statement of ethics permission granted or animal licenses should be included. If animals were used but ethical approval was not required, a clear statement should be included stating why this approval was unnecessary.

In all cases, a statement should be made to confirm that all efforts were made to ameliorate any suffering of animals and details of how this was achieved should be provided.

Authors should comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

4.3 Research involving plants

Studies on plants must be carried out within the guidelines provided by the authors’ institution and national or international regulations. Where applicable, a statement of permissions granted or licenses should be included. Authors should comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

5. Inappropriate image manipulation

Photographic images published in JICNA should accurately reflect the original image. As such, we require that all images, whether submitted as figures or uploaded as data, are not manipulated so that readers are not misled about what the images indicate. We understand that it is standard practice to use software to modify images to make them clearer and easier to interpret. However, any modifications that are made to images should be minor and must be made uniformly to the whole image.

Modifications that alter the scientific meaning of the image, whether conducted on specific regions or the whole image, are not permitted. Where parts of the same gel are spliced together, this should be indicated on the figures with a dividing line, making it clear where the image has been joined. Areas from different gels should not be spliced together. Where loading controls are present, these should always be included in the image; if spliced together, any modifications to the loading control and area of interest must be identical.

Authors are required to include details of all modifications made to images published as figures or uploaded as data in the Methods section of an article, including the name of the software (with version number) used to make these modifications.

Examples of improper image manipulation are well described in an article in the Journal of Cell Biology (Rossner & Yamada, 2004), published by the Rockefeller University Press.

We also require the original, uncropped, unannotated and unprocessed versions of all gel and micrograph images, which we consider underlying data, to be deposited to an approved online repository.

The Editorial Team will conduct checks of random selected figures and data using Adobe Photoshop and other appropriate software. In line with COPE guidelines, where images suspected of improper manipulation are detected, clarification with the authors will be sought. Where the reasons for these suspected manipulations are not explained satisfactorily, the article is likely to be rejected and the authors’ institution may be contacted.

6. Registration of trials and systematic reviews

6.1 Trial registration

JICNA uses the WHO definition of a clinical trial to decide what constitutes a clinical trial:

“A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions include (but are not restricted to) drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc”.

Trials should be registered prospectively and the trial registration number and registration date must be included in the article. The WHO provides a list of approved registries.

Although we expect trials to be registered before patient recruitment starts, several initiatives (such as the AllTrials campaign) have recognized that retrospective trial registration will encourage publication of both positive and negative results, and trials that were conducted before registration was possible. In line with these initiatives, JICNA will consider retrospectively registered trials, provided an explanation for the late registration is provided in the article. Again, the trial registration number and date of registration must be included in the Methods section of the article.

6.2 Systematic reviews registration

We encourage authors to register their systematic reviews in PROSPERO or another registry for systematic reviews. The registration number should be included in the article.

7. Standards of reporting

For articles in the life sciences there are standards of reporting guidelines devised to help authors to ensure that they have provided a comprehensive description of their research, making it easier for others to assess and reproduce the work; for more detail and a comprehensive overview, see the FAIRSharing initiative. Comprehensive lists of available reporting guidelines can be found on the EQUATOR network website for health research.

Specifically, articles in JICNA that report clinical trials must adhere to the CONSORT reporting guidelines. We ask authors to include a copy of the original trial protocol and a completed CONSORT checklist and flow diagram as supporting files, which will be published alongside the article. The trial registration number and registration date must be included in the Methods section. Any deviation from the original trial protocol must be explained in the article.

Articles that report systematic reviews must adhere to the PRISMA guidelines, and authors should also include a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram as supporting files. Study protocols of systematic reviews must adhere to the PRISMA-P guidelines. We ask authors to include a completed PRISMA-P checklist.

8. Data availability

All articles in JICNA that report original results should include the source data underlying the results, together with details of any software used to process the results. It is essential that others can see the source data in order to be able to replicate the study and analyse the data, as well as in some circumstances, reuse it. Failure to provide the source data for publication without good justification is likely to result in the article being rejected. For detailed information about the type of data authors need to include when publishing an article in JICNA, where the data can be stored, and how they should be presented, see our data guidelines.

We recognize that there may be cases where openly sharing data may not be feasible (because of ethical or security considerations, or data protection issues). If you think that this applies to your article, please let the editorial team know at the submission stage, as we have policies in place to allow the publication of papers associated with such data, whilst maintaining the appropriate level of security.

Exceptions may be made for:

Ethical and security considerations

If data access is restricted for ethical or security reasons, the manuscript must include:

  • a description of the restrictions on the data; and
  • all necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to apply for access to the data and the conditions under which access will be granted.

Data protection issues

Where human data cannot be effectively de-identified, data must not be shared in order to protect patient/participant privacy unless the individuals have given explicit written consent that their identifiable data can be made publicly available.

In instances where the data cannot be made available, the manuscript must include:

  • an explanation of the data protection concern;
  • any intermediary data that can be de-identified without compromising anonymity;
  • what, if anything, the relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) or equivalent said about data sharing; and,
  • where applicable, all necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to apply for access to the data and the conditions under which access will be granted.

Large data

It is not always feasible to share large data sets. In these cases, authors should include a description of the data, including the file types and sizes, when submitting their manuscript. The editorial team can then advise on hosting.

Where data is too large to be feasibly hosted by a recommended repository, the manuscript should include:

  • any intermediary data that can be easily shared; and
  • all necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to access the data alongside a description of this process.

Data under license by a third party

In cases where data has been obtained from a third party and restrictions apply to the availability of the data, the manuscript must include:

  • all necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to access the data by the same means as the authors;
  • any intermediary data that can be shared legally; and
  • publicly available data that is representative of the analysed dataset and can be used to apply the methodology described in the manuscript.

In cases where data from human studies has been obtained from government level organisations (e.g. the Ministry of Health), and strict restrictions regarding availability of the data apply, the authors must include a clear explanation about the restrictions, and all the necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to request access from the data owners. This option will be discussed with authors on a case-by-case basis and can only be considered if there are no discernible competing interests, especially if these are commercial in nature.

9. Licenses

JICNA articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and leaves the copyright of the article with the current copyright holder (usually the author or his/her institution). Additional waivers are used for some governmental employees, as appropriate.

Data associated with JICNA articles are made available, where possible, under the terms of a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 license). This facilitates and encourages re-use and helps prevent the problems of attribution stacking when combining multiple datasets each authored by multiple authors that use multiple different licenses.

10. Permanency of content

All articles published in JICNA receive a DOI and are permanently published.

All content, is permanently archived in Portico. All versions of all articles that have passed peer review will be archived in Google Scholar, CrossRef and elsewhere.

Authors can revise, change and update their articles by publishing new versions, which are added to the article’s history; however, the individual versions, once published, cannot be altered or withdrawn and are permanently available on the JICNA website. JICNA participates in the CrossMark scheme, a multi-publisher initiative that has developed a standard way for readers to locate the current version of an article. By applying the CrossMark policies, JICNA is committed to maintaining the content it publishes and to alerting readers to changes if and when they occur. https://doi.org/10.17724/CrossmarkPolicyJICNA

Clicking on the CrossMark logo (at the top of each JICNA article) will give you the current status of an article and direct you to the latest published version; it may also give you additional information such as new peer review reports.

In order to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record, the following policies will be applied when published content needs to be corrected; these policies take into account current best practice in the scholarly publishing and library communities:

10.1 Correction to an Article

In JICNA, where articles are peer reviewed before publication, Corrections (or Errata) are published to alert readers to errors in the article that became apparent following the publication of the final article. Authors can publish revised versions, and any errors that become apparent during peer review or later can be corrected through the publication of new versions. Corrections and changes relative to the previous version are always summarized in the ‘Amendments’ section at the start of a new version.

10.2 Retraction

Articles may be retracted for several reasons, including:

  • honest errors reported by the authors (for example, errors due to the mixing up of samples or use of a scientific tool or equipment that is found subsequently to be faulty)
  • research misconduct (data fabrication)
  • duplicate or overlapping publication
  • fraudulent use of data
  • clear plagiarism
  • unethical research

For any retracted article, the reason for retraction and who is instigating the retraction will be clearly stated in the Retraction notice. The retraction notice will be linked to the retracted article (which usually remains on the site) and the article will be clearly marked as retracted (including the PDF).

An article is usually only retracted at the authors’ request or by the publisher in response to an institutional investigation. A retracted article is not ‘unpublished’ or ‘withdrawn’ in order for it to be published elsewhere. The reasons for retraction are usually so serious that the whole study, or large parts of it, are not appropriate for inclusion in the scientific literature anywhere.

The content of a retracted article would only be removed where legal limitations have been placed upon the publisher, copyright holder or author(s), for example, if the article is clearly defamatory or infringes others’ legal rights, or if the article is the subject of a court order. In such cases, the bibliographic information for the article will be retained on the site along with information regarding the circumstances that led to the removal of the content.

Under rare circumstances, for example, if false or inaccurate data have been published that, if acted upon, pose a serious health risk, the original incorrect version(s) may be removed and a corrected version published. The reason for this partial removal would be clearly stated on the latest version.

10.3 Editorial Note

If there is a potential, not yet resolved, problem with an article, it may be appropriate to alert readers with an Editorial Note. Such an Editorial Note may be added, for example, if JICNA  receives information that research or publication misconduct might have taken place, or that there is a serious dispute between authors or between the authors and third parties. The Editorial Note will usually be posted while further investigations take place and until a more permanent solution has been found (e.g. the publication of a revised ‘corrected’ version, or a Retraction).

10.4 Expression of Concern

In rare cases, JICNA may decide to publish an Expression of Concern, which is linked to the problematic article, if there are serious concerns about an article but no conclusive evidence can be obtained that would unequivocally justify a Retraction. This may include:

  • if there is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct
  • there is evidence that there are problems with the article, but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case
  • an investigation into alleged misconduct has not been impartial or conclusive

10.5 Archiving Policy

JICNA articles are deposited in digital archives around the world to guarantee long­-term digital preservation. Currently the data is submitted to CLOCKSS & PORTICO.

10.6 Self Archiving Policy

JICNA permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institution websites while providing bibliographic details that credit its publication in JICNA.

This policy sets out the ways in which JICNA authors may self-archive versions of their work on their own webpages, on institutional webpages, and in other repositories. Authors may reuse the Abstract and Citation information (e.g. Title, Author name, Publication dates) of their article anywhere at any time including social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter, providing that where possible a link is included back to the article on JICNA. Preferably the link should be, or include, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which can be found in the article online.

Accepted manuscript

When uploading an accepted manuscript to a repository, authors should include the following acknowledgment as well as a link to the version of record. This will connect the published version to the Accepted Manuscript version in the repository and help ensure that the article is cited correctly.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in JICNA following peer review. The version of record [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: xxxxxxx [insert URL and DOI of the article on the JICNA website].

Version of Record

The Version of Record (VOR) is the final typeset and edited version of the journal article that has been made available by JICNA by formally and exclusively declaring the article “published”.

The Open Access model allows authors to deposit the VOR as it appears in JICNA following copyediting and proof correction in institutional repositories or posted to third party websites and made publicly available provided JICNA is clearly attributed as the original place of publication and correct citation details should be given.

Authors should also deposit the URL of their published article in any repository, in addition to the Version of Record. This will guarantee that the definitive version is readily available to those accessing your article from such repositories, and means that your article is more likely to be cited correctly.

11. Allegations of misconduct

JICNA adheres to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) principles and policies and provides an ethical publishing framework in accordance with COPE’s codes of conduct for editors and publishers.

If a case of suspected research or publication misconduct is brought to our attention, we will follow COPE guidelines. This may involve contacting the authors’ research institution, an ethics committee or other third parties.

Research misconduct includes data fabrication or falsification, or cases where research involving animals or humans has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. Publication misconduct includes duplicate publication of articles or clear plagiarism. Honest errors or differences of opinion are not considered ‘misconduct’.

If you suspect potential misconduct in an article published on JICNA, please contact the editorial office (editor@jicna.org).

12. Appeals and complaints

JICNA follows the COPE guidelines in relation to complaints and appeals. If you wish to make an appeal about an editorial decision or make a complaint you should contact the editorial office (editor@jicna.org). In the instance that your issue cannot be resolved by the editorial office, the secretary@icnapedia.org should be contacted.