Cover image for Vol. 73 Issue 3

Edited By: Dr A. A. Klein, Cambridge, UK

Impact Factor: 4.741

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 4/31 (Anesthesiology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2044

Editorial Policies

Anaesthesia's Editorial Policies.

Scope, aims and relationship with authors
The Editorial Board of Anaesthesia wishes the Journal to be first, a source of interesting, relevant and stimulating material for those practising in anaesthesia, intensive care, pain therapy and associated specialties, and second, a vehicle for debate and discussion related to these areas. The scope of material published in the Journal and on its website will therefore reflect these aims, and the Editorial Team will have them in mind when considering whether to accept or reject submitted work.

We also aim to be courteous, honest and fair when dealing with authors and their manuscripts. To this end we will always endeavour to process manuscripts and respond to enquiries within a reasonable time, and work with authors to improve their articles. When we make mistakes we will try to rectify them when we can, and apologise when appropriate. In return, we expect authors to be honest and fair with us, and not submit material that is plagiarised (copied from elsewhere) or fraudulent/fabricated, or that has been submitted to other journals at the same time as to us. We may ask authors to send us original data (with identifying details removed), evidence of Research Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board approval, or copies of the patient information sheet or consent forms, and expect authors to comply with such a request. Finally, we ask that authors follow our Guidance for Authors , that shows them how to prepare manuscripts for submission, and that they carefully consider the implications of what they are signing when they complete the Declaration Form. In all these matters, we would very much prefer to discuss/advise on any issues before or at the time of submission, rather than during the processing stages or after publication.

Review process, appeals and complaints
The review process for Anaesthesia is described in the Guidance for Authors . Our aim is to provide a fast and efficient service, and the most common reason for delay is the slow response of authors. Virtually all of our business is conducted by email; occasionally, emails do fail to be delivered and we ask that any authors or readers not receiving a response to their communication within a few weeks should contact the Editorial Office to check. Appeals against editorial decisions should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief in the first instance. Appeals will be considered by at least two of the Editors. Authors should note that this process may take extra time if additional internal and/or external reviews are required. We do not consider second appeals.

Complaints against the Journal’s processes or personnel should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief in the first instance. The Editor-in-Chief will attempt to address the complaint, referring to the Editorial Board, Publisher and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as appropriate. Complaints can also be made directly to COPE if the complainant feels that the Editor-in-Chief has not acted in accordance with COPE’s recommended procedures or codes.

Publication ethics
The Editorial Board wishes to uphold the highest standards of ethical publication. Particular aspects of publication ethics (e.g. authorship, dual submission, plagiarism, competing interests and research ethics) are specifically addressed in the Guidance for Authors . Authors and external reviewers are required to complete a Declaration Form in which they address these and other issues, and the Editorial Team’s declared potential competing interests are available on the Journal’s website. Editors and reviewers are not allocated material to review if there are known potential competing interests (e.g. they work in the same institution as the author[s]), and they are asked to remove themselves from the reviewing process for an allocated manuscript if they feel there might be such interests. All manuscripts and reviews are treated in confidence except where disclosure of them and related documents/correspondence to third parties (including regulatory bodies and the editors of other journals) is considered necessary for the purposes of investigating potential misconduct and/or ethical/legal issues, and where it is necessary to share such documents with others in order to review/process them.

Possible publication misconduct
Issues relating to disputed authorship and possible redundant publication/dual submission, plagiarism, fabricated data, research ethics and competing interests will be handled according to COPE’s flowcharts and where appropriate, taking advice from the Editorial Board and Publisher and possibly COPE itself. In most cases, the initial step will be to contact the author(s) concerned to request an explanation; occasionally it may be necessary to contact the author’s institution for further information/investigation. Authors are expected to participate fully in any such investigation. For manuscripts accepted but not yet published, the publication process may be suspended pending further information or resolution. If any readers have any concerns about such matters they should contact the Editor-in-Chief in the first instance.

Honest errors
The Editorial Board and Publisher recognise that errors may occur at all stages of the research and publication process, and have no wish to embarrass authors or institutions unduly. If readers or authors notice any errors in a published piece of work please contact the Editorial Office. Correcting the scientific record Readers are alerted to errors or oversights on the part of the authors, and on the part of the Editors or Publisher, via notices labelled Corrigenda and Errata respectively, published in the next available issue of the Journal and online. These will include corrections of factual mistakes in the presented data and those regarding authors’ names or affiliations, as well as those correcting omissions such as undeclared competing interests, unreferenced sources, missed authors or acknowledgements, etc. If work is suspected of being, or proven to be, unreliable/unethical/fraudulent, or associated with another serious concern such as a major undeclared competing interest, then Expressions of Concern or Notices of Retractions will be published, according to COPE’s guidelines. The use of one type of notice over another will be decided by the Editor-in-Chief, after consultation with the Editorial Board/Publisher/COPE as appropriate.

All of these notices will be linked online to the original article, both on the Journal’s website and in literature databases, and they will contain some explanatory text as to the reason for the notice as well as the full reference of the article concerned. Where appropriate, the Editor-in-Chief will work with the Editors-in-Chief of other journals to coordinate efforts. Occasionally, external bodies such as the US Office for Research Integrity may request that journals publish corrections or retractions resulting from scientific misconduct cases. Each such case will be considered by the Editor-in-Chief on its own merits, taking advice from the Editorial Board/Publisher/COPE as appropriate.

Coercive Citation
When their work is accepted or provisionally accepted for publication, authors may find that Editors sometimes request them to consider including (and referring to) additional references in order to provide a more complete discussion. These may include references from Anaesthesia. The Editorial Board of Anaesthesia strongly supports the notion that requiring authors to include references from Anaesthesia as a condition for achieving acceptance, purely to increase the number of citations to articles from Anaesthesia without any scientific justification (the so-called practice of ‘coercive citation’), is wrong. However, the Editorial Board accepts that there are occasions when it is legitimate to suggest the inclusion of recent items from Anaesthesia if they refer readers to relevant further discussion of the issues raised in previous issues of the Journal. The decision to include such references must be left to the authors and should not be a precondition to acceptance of the manuscript. Authors who feel that they are being unduly pressured to include such references are encouraged to contact the Chair of the Editorial Board in the first instance.