Journal Policies and Operations Procedures

  • Peer review
  • Editorial decisions
  • Appeals
  • Editorial process
  • Proofs and reprints
  • Unlabeled use
  • Content validation
  • Authorship
  • Patient consent
  • Statistical analysis
  • Publication ethics
  • Data sharing and reproducibility
  • Ethical Publishing Practices
  • Plagiarism
  • Misconduct

Peer Review  

Becoming a reviewer

Editors are selected either by self-nomination, in which case BHTY reviews curriculum vitaes and conducts interviews with the candidate and/or colleagues and experts in the field; or by nominations that are made from the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board recommendations. The same review and interview process is conducted.  BHTYseeks the experts of the highest caliber and passion for the field, and prefers candidates that possess knowledge of academic journal workflow and familiarity with the peer review process. Maintaining a collegial, team oriented environment is important to learn, share, grow, and build lasting professional relationships.

Peer review policy

All submissions are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief. Submissions containing plagiarized content will be returned to the author with comment(s). Once a submission has been accepted for peer review, this includes features/opinion/perspectives, expert reviewers are asked to assess the technical and scientific merits of the work.

As part of the review process, BHTY strives to ensure that the peer review is fair, unbiased and timely. All manuscripts and associated material submitted to BHTY remain confidential while under review. More information on related COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines and standards followed by BHTY are here.

BHTY Peer Review is double blind. All manuscripts submitted for publication undergo peer review including those written by editorial board members. All articles reporting original research is peer reviewed.

BHTY‘s editorial team strives to ensure that peer review is fair, unbiased, and timely. BHTY endeavors to review submission within 5-7 days. Material submitted to BHTY remains confidential while under review. 

Submissions are rejected most often due to poor formatting and lack of substantiating claims. Two to three peer reviewers are assigned to each paper. If we do not possess board expertise to conduct a review, we will ask the author for suggestions for expert reviewers, and invite them to act as expert peer reviewer for the submission. This will likely delay the review process, but is important to maintain the integrity of the journal and peer review process for authors and submissions. We will inform authors to expect a delays with the review process.

Peer reviewer’s check list

Reviewers are be selected based on expertise in the sector. BHTY reviewers will recuse themselves if they have a potential competing interest, including the following:

  • Prior or current collaborations with the author(s) if known
  • Reviewer is a direct competitor
  • Reviewer may have a known history of antipathy with the author(s)
  • Reviewer may profit financially from the work

When submitting a review, the Reviewer will indicate whether or not competing interests exist.

Writing the review

The purpose of the review is to provide the Editor-in-Chief and managing editor with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration, and should also supply authors with clear and concise feedback on how to improve their papers so that they will be acceptable for publication in BHTY.

All comments made are transmitted to the author.

Reviewers are asked to consider the following when reviewing a submission:

  • What are the main claims of the paper and how important are they?
  • Are these claims novel? If not, please specify papers that weaken the claims to the originality of this one.
  • Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?
  • Do the results support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?
  • If a protocol is provided, for example for a randomized controlled trial, are there any important deviations from it? If so, have the authors explained adequately why the deviations occurred?
  • Would other experiments or additional information improve the paper? How much better would the paper be if this extra work was done, and how difficult would it be to do?
  • Is this paper outstanding in its discipline? If yes, what makes it so? If not, why?
  • Who would find this paper of interest? Why?
  • If the paper is considered unsuitable for publication in its present form, does it show potential to encourage an author to resubmit a revised version?

Reviewers are asked to be candid, not offensive, clear and concise. Authors should not confuse this with criticism.

Will authors know who is reviewing their manuscript?

Reviewers’ identities are anonymous.

Can authors exclude Editorial Board Reviewers or Independent Reviewers?

Upon submission of a manuscript, authors can request to exclude a specific reviewer from the peer review of their manuscript. The editorial team respects these requests when it does not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the article. Once all reviews are received and considered, a decision letter to the author is drafted.

Editorial decisions

If, after peer review, a manuscript is considered potentially appropriate, revisions are generally requested. Minor revisions are generally requested as a final step before acceptance.

Manuscripts that are rejected typically do not fit criteria for submissions such as originality, importance to the field, appropriate content, sound methodology, or submission format. Plagiarism and citation manipulation may also be factors. Submissions that are too general in nature where information is already available in the public domain will likely be rejected. Submissions that are commercially oriented will be declined outright.

Revisions

The Managing Editor and Reviewers will assess revised manuscripts. Manuscripts that undergo major revision are re-reviewed. There is no guarantee of acceptance after major revision.

Appeals

If you wish to appeal a decision, you can contact the Managing Editor and explain your reason(s), in detail.  When a paper has been revised in response to the review, or when authors appeal against a decision, we ask reviewers to provide follow-up commentary.

All appeals are discussed with the Editor-in-Chief and reviewers assigned to the manuscript.  In the case of disagreement, BHTY may seek external advice on the appeal, but it is most likely the decision will be left to the Editor-in-Chief. We will not consider second appeals.

Editorial Process

Decision process

The professional editors and Editor-in-Chief, together, make a decision based on the reviewers' comments. 

Conflicting reviews

If reviewers appear to fundamentally disagree, the editor may choose to share all the reviews with each reviewer for additional comment to make a decision. The editor will evaluate the recommendations and comments of reviewers with comments from the authors to resolve the conflict.

Proofs and reprints

Corresponding authors of accepted submissions are sent PDF proofs. Corrections should be relayed to the Managing Editor as soon as possible.

Order forms for reprints are emailed to the corresponding author if one is requested after article publication.

Reviewing Feature article and Opinion submissions

BHTY will consider the following for Feature article submissions:

  • Is the article relevant and of interest to an international audience?
  • Does it address a global and topical subject? Will it be relevant across demographic populations?
  • Do you think this article will have an impact on clinicians, researchers, health policymakers, or the broader public? Will it be widely read, disseminated, and cited? Could it help to improve public and/or global health? Will media at large find it interesting and curious?
  • Does the article demonstrate accuracy? Are the authors' claims evidence-based?
  • Have the authors missed anything important?
  • Does this article contain enough new information to warrant publication? Does it take the discussion and debate on this topic to a new direction? Question current legacies?
  • Is it written in a scholarly format? If not, will this impact the articles dissemination at large and the journal’s ability to obtain index status?

Presentation

  • Is the article well written, clear, and easy for a non-specialist
  • If tables and figures have been included, do they help the reader, or hinder the article’s topic and focus? Could they be improved? Do you have suggestions for additional items (summary boxes, graphics etc.)?

Appeals

For feature/opinion articles, where editorial judgment about readability and engagement is most important, an appeal is less likely to overturn our decision. You are welcome to submit a detailed rebuttal letter. Only one appeal will be considered per article. 

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

Articles published by BHTY may contain information and discussions of published and/or investigational uses of devices and agents that are not indicated by the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA).  Partners in Digital Health does not recommend the use of any devices or agents outside of the labeled indications.

Policy on content validation

  1. All the recommendations involving clinical medicine must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in a patient care recommendation must conform to accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis

Authorship and related information

Submitted manuscripts should be exclusively submitted to BHTY, with the understanding they have not been published elsewhere, in any form, and will not be submitted elsewhere, unless declined by BHTY. If a manuscripts was submitted to another journal and declined, the author should disclose why and what attempts have been made to revise the manuscript for resubmission. Authors are responsible for all statements made in the article and references cited.

BHTY follows the Authorship criteria based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The link can be accessed here.

The ICMJE lists four conditions for authorship. Authors must meet all four conditions in order to be listed as author. BHTY follows these recommendations. Manuscripts should only be submitted for consideration once all contributing authors understand and have approved their role(s) as author or contributor. The list of authors will include those who can legitimately claim authorship based on ICMJE guidelines. The following is taken from the ICMJE website on this link. For further details, please familiarize yourself with the recommendations. Authorship includes adherence to ALL of the following:

  1. Have made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
  3. Approved the version to be published
  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

Authors must meet the conditions of all of criteria above. Each author will have participated sufficiently in the work and take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research groups alone does not constitute authorship, although contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship can be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information here.

Patient consent

As recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org/). Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, 01/02/2018.  Available from: http://www.ICMJE.org., authors will ensure the guidelines below are followed. BHTY has quoted the text below from ICMJE Protection of Research Participants for authors to know and follow:

"Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, 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 a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is usually inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article."

Statistical analyses

Ensure that the methodology has been accurately described for statistical analysis. In comparative studies, power calculations are usually required. In research manuscripts, requiring complex statistics, the advice of an expert statistician should be sought at the design/implementation stage of the study. It is appropriate to include statisticians as co-authors. Should you have further questions, please contact the managing editor.

Publication Ethics

Data sharing and reproducibility

BHTY strongly urges authors to share data to build public trust. This is a function of both research and innovation communities’ willingness to share, build, replicate, and expand the current knowledge base. Making raw data publicly available will accelerate the pace of understanding, and ultimately adoption and use, of blockchain technology. BHTY encourages all authors around the globe to openly share data for purposes of reproducibility. BHTY also asks authors and readers to share articles to encourage broadening the sector’s knowledge base.

BHTY suggests authors include a data sharing statement when making a submission explaining:

  • What additional unpublished data from the study is available
  • Who can access the data and how can it be obtained

At present there is no major repository for clinical data, but Dryad has declared its willingness to accept medical datasets.

IP

The copyright owner retains all rights to IP, patents, and trademarks for their work(s). All rights to the owner of IP, patents and trademarks are retained by the owner. Sharing articles for professional and personal use is encouraged.

Corresponding author contact details

Please provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address, and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all authors. These details should be uploaded in a separate document independent of the manuscript to facilitate anonymous peer review.

Post publication discussion and corrections

BHTY encourages collegiate discourse and transparency to assist the expansion of the body of knowledge and understanding within and beyond the sector. This can only be achieved with the highest ethical principles for education and science.

Ethical Publishing Practices

Submitted manuscripts should be exclusively submitted to BHTY, with the understanding they have not been published elsewhere, in any form, and will not be submitted elsewhere, unless declined by BHTY. Authors are responsible for all statements made in the article and references cited.

Plagiarism detection

BHTY is a member CrossRef and Similarity Check, iThenticate. This is a plagiarism tool to verify originality of content. BHTY will screen manuscripts upon submission. If the editor identifies plagiarized content. the submission will be returned with comment for resubmission with original content.

BHTY strives to abide by the guidelines and standards prescribed by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), its Code of Conduct, and its Best Practice Guidelines (please click the link to learn additional details).

Authors, editors, and reviewers are expected to be aware of, and comply with, best practice in publication ethics.

  • Authors are expected to be aware of, and comply with, best practice in publication ethics specifically but not limited to, dual submission, plagiarism, manipulation of figures, competing interests, and compliance with policies on research ethics.
  • Reviewers and editors are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence, and to declare competing interests.

BHTY will investigate allegations of misconduct and will contact author institutions, funders or regulatory bodies as needed.

BHTY will follow COPE flowcharts and seek guidance as per COPE recommendations on resolving issues that may arise. Evidence of misconduct will require corrective action in the form of a scientific record including issuing a correction or retraction.

Address concerns regarding misconduct to the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, or Managing Editor at info@partnersindigitalhealth.com. We will address the issue with all appropriate person(s) as soon as possible and send responses to confirm receipt of the alleged misconduct.

Additional resources on publication ethics are available from COPEICMJE, and WAME.