1. RECOMMENDATIONS AND OBJECTIVES
Dental Press Publishing developed these guidelines and recommendations following the standards of the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) and based on the best practices and ethical standards in the conduct and reporting of research and other materials published in its journals, thus, helping and directing authors, editors and other professionals involved in peer reviewing and publishing scientific editorial content, as well as creating and distributing accurate, clear and reproducible data, with a commitment to publishing unbiased articles. Recommendations can also provide useful information about the journal’s editing and publishing process for the media, patients, family members, and general readers.
1.1. Who should use these recommendations?
These recommendations are primarily intended for use by authors who wish to submit their articles for publication in the Clinical Orthodontics journal. In order to ensure best publishing practices, Dental Press Publishing follows the guidelines of the ICMJE, which in turn encourages its use. Authors, therefore, should consult the guidelines for each specific type of article, at the following link: equator-network.org.
The ICMJE encourages the wide dissemination of these recommendations and the reproduction of the entire document for educational purposes, not for profit and without regard to copyright; but all uses to be made of these recommendations should direct readers to the link www.icmje.org, where readers will be able to check for the latest version of the guidelines. Dental Press, therefore, promotes and replicates this link, as updates are periodically made to improve the performance of scientific publications linked to the ICMJE.
2. THE AUTHOR AND THE CONTRIBUTORS
Dental Press understands that the categorization of the parts that composed a study or research is of paramount importance and, therefore, describes what the naming of each person who is credited in the article implies. Authorship warrants credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications. Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for the article that has been published. The following definitions are intended to ensure that contributors who have made substantive intellectual contributions to an article are credited as authors, but also that contributors credited as authors understand their role in taking responsibility and accountability for what is published.
As the authorship does not detail which contributions qualified an individual to be nominated as an author, Dental Press requests information about the contributions of each author, as a way to prove the participation of each author who contributed to the article. Editors are encouraged to develop and implement contribution policies, which ensure the optimization of processes, removing some of the ambiguity around authorship, but leave unresolved the question of the quantity and quality of the contribution that qualifies an individual as an author. The ICMJE has developed authorship criteria, described below, which are adopted by Dental Press Publishing.
2.2. The author
Dental Press follows the ICMJE parameters, which recommend that the authorship of the article be based on four main criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the study; or acquiring, analyzing, or interpreting data for an article.
- Elaborate the article or critically review it.
- Final approval of the version to be published.
- Agreeing to be responsible for all aspects of the article, ensuring that issues relating to the accuracy or completeness of any part of the article are properly investigated and resolved.
Thus, in addition to being responsible for the parts of the study performed, the author must be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for each of the specific parts of the study. In order to have a naming standard, all those designated as authors must meet the four aforementioned authorship criteria, and all those who meet these four criteria must be identified as authors.
These criteria are intended to preserve authorship status for those who truly deserve the credit and can take responsibility for the article — with all the bonuses and burdens of that status. It is not the purpose of these guidelines to disqualify professionals or create friction in research and study groups. On the contrary, they serve as a basis for promoting a healthy publication space, prioritizing the merits of each of those involved in the final version of the article.
Individuals conducting the study are responsible for identifying who meets the criteria, and should do so when planning to carry out the study, modifying as appropriate as the study progresses. Again, following the guidelines of the ICMJE, Dental Press encourages collaboration and co-authorship with colleagues where research is conducted. It is the collective responsibility of the authors — and not the journal to which the paper is submitted — to determine all the people named as authors and whether each one meets the established criteria.
Thus, it is not the role of Clinical Orthodontics editors to determine who qualifies as the author of the study or not, or to arbitrate authorship conflicts. If agreement on authorship qualifications cannot be reached, the institution(s) where the work was carried out, not the journal editor, should be contacted to investigate the case. The criteria used to determine the order in which authors are listed on the title page of the article may vary and should be decided collectively by the group of authors rather than by the journal’s editorial board.
If the authors request the removal or addition of an author after submission or publication of the initial article, the editors of Clinical Orthodontics will seek an explanation and a statement of agreement to the requested change, signed by all listed authors and the author to be removed or added.
The corresponding, or main, author is the one who assumes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the article submission, peer review, and publication process. The corresponding author typically ensures that all journal administrative requirements — such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and disclosure of relationships and activities — are properly met and reported, although these functions may be delegated to one or more co-authors.
The main author must be available, throughout the peer review and submission process, to answer editorial questions in a timely manner, and must be available, after publication, to respond to criticisms to the article and cooperate with any journal requests regarding to additional data or information, should questions arise about the article after publication. Although the corresponding author is primarily responsible for correspondence with the journal, Dental Press, following the recommendations of the ICMJE, asks its editors to send copies of all correspondence to all listed authors.
When a large group of several authors conducts the study, it is suggested that the group decide who will be the main author before the study begins, and confirm who that author is before submitting the article for publication. All group members named as authors must meet all four authorship criteria, including approval of the final article; they must be able to take public responsibility for the article and must have complete confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the work of other authors in the group. They shall also, as individuals, complete forms to disclose relationships and activities.
2.3. Contribution to the study
Contributors who do not meet the four criteria mentioned in topic 2.2 must not be listed as authors, but must be acknowledged. Examples of activities that, by themselves, do not qualify a contributor for authorship are, for example: obtaining funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; assistance in writing, technical editing, language editing and proofreading. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be recognized individually or together, as a group (under a title such as “clinical researchers” or “participating researchers”, for example), and their contributions should be specified: “contributed as a scientific consultant”, “critically reviewed the study proposal” and “analyzed the collected data” are examples of attributions that can be done.
As such acknowledgment may imply endorsement by these recognized individuals of the data and conclusions of a study, editors are advised to require the corresponding author to obtain written permission from all recognized individuals and contributors to the study.
3. DISCLOSURE OF ACTIVITIES AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend, in part, on how transparent an author’s relationships and activities are, directly or indirectly related to the work. This should be considered when planning, implementing, writing, peer reviewing, editing, and publishing any scientific article in Clinical Orthodontics.
A conflict of interest or study bias exists when professional judgment about a primary interest may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). According to the ICMJE, individuals may disagree whether an author’s relationships or activities represent conflicts. While the presence of a relationship or activity does not always indicate a problematic influence on the content of an article, perceptions of conflict can erode trust in science just as much as actual conflicts of interest.
Ultimately, readers must be able to make their own judgments about whether an author’s relationships and activities are pertinent to the content of an article. These judgments require transparent disclosure through a conflict of interest statement. Full disclosure of each author’s commitments and conflicts demonstrates a commitment to transparency, and helps maintain confidence in the scientific process.
Financial relationships (such as jobs, consultancies, stock ownership, fees, patents, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable. These are, precisely, those most frequent and considered as potential conflicts of interest and, therefore, the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, authors and science itself.
Other interests can also represent conflicts, such as personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. Authors should avoid entering into agreements with study sponsors, for-profit or non-profit, that interfere with investigators’ access to all study data.
Policies that dictate where authors can publish their work violate this principle of academic freedom. Authors may be asked to provide the journal, in confidence, with these agreements. Purposely omitting these relationships or activities, when submitting documentation pertaining to conflicts of interest to the journal, is considered a form of misconduct.
All participants in the peer review and publication process — not just the authors, but also Clinical Orthodontics reviewers, editors, and editorial board members — must disclose their relationships and activities in order to develop and fulfill their roles in the process of reviewing and publishing articles.
When authors submit an article, of any type or format, they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that may influence or appear to distort their participation. Dental Press uses a Conflicts of Interest Statement, developed by the ICMJE, to facilitate and standardize authors’ conflict of interest disclosures. Emphasizing this Dental Press criteria, based on the ICMJE guidelines, Clinical Orthodontics asks authors to use the following document: Conflict of interest
3.1.2. Peer review
Reviewers at Dental Press are asked — when they are invited to review and comment an article — if they have relationships or activities that could compromise their review. Reviewers should disclose to the editors any relationships or activities that might distort their opinions about a study, and should refuse to review specific articles if there is a potential for distortion or conflict of interest. Reviewers are also instructed not to use their knowledge of the article they are reviewing prior to publication, in order to promote their own benefits.
3.1.3. Journal editors and editorial board
Dental Press advises editors — who make the final decisions about articles — to refrain from editorial decisions in which they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to the article being reviewed. Other members of the editorial board who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with an up-to-date description of their relationships and activities, so that they do not take part in decisions where there is an interest that poses a potential conflict.
The editorial board must not use the information obtained during the evaluation of the articles for private gain. Editors should regularly publish their own conflict of interest statements and those of their editorial board. Guest editors must follow the same procedures. Clinical Orthodontics takes extra precautions and has a stated policy for evaluating articles submitted by individuals involved in the editorial decisions.
3.1.4. Relationships and activities
Articles in Clinical Orthodontics must be published with declarations of conflicts of interest, such as the aforementioned ICMJE Disclosure Form, stating:
- Authors’ relationships and activities.
- Sources of financial support for the study, including name of sponsor, along with explanations of the role of these sources in data collection, analysis, and interpretation; any restrictions or influences regarding the submission of the final article for publication; or a statement that the funding source had no involvement or restrictions on publication.
- Whether the authors had access to study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether the access is continuous.
In support of this statement, Dental Press editors may request that authors of a study sponsored by a funder, with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome, sign a statement such as: “I had full access to all data in this study, and I take full responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.”
4. RESPONSIBILITY IN SUBMISSION AND PEER REVIEW
Authors must follow all principles of authorship and declaration of conflicts of interest that have been detailed throughout this document of conduct and publication guidelines.
4.1.1. Predatory journals or pseudo-journals
There is a growing number of entities that are advertising themselves as “academic journals of Dentistry”, but do not operate following the quality standards endorsed by the international scientific community.
These journals (predatory or pseudo-journals) accept and publish almost all submissions, and charge processing or publication fees for the article, usually informing authors of this after the article is accepted for publication. They often claim to peer review but do not, and may purposely use names similar to those of well-established journals. Clinical Orthodontics follows all ICMJE guidelines and, therefore, refrains from this type of conduct.
Thus, the Clinical Orthodontics editorial board recommends that authors who will submit their articles to the journal avoid citing articles (or, effectively, do not) that have been published in predatory journals or pseudo-journals, as there is no certainty if, in fact, every liturgy of the scientific method was followed —thus ensuring good scientific standards and therefore reliable data for a serious study, whose focus is on procedures that safeguard the health of patients.
Articles submitted to Clinical Orthodontics are privileged communications, which are the private and confidential property of the authors. Thus, researchers may be harmed by premature disclosure of any details of the study.
Journal editors, therefore, do not share information about the articles — including whether they were received or are under review, their content and status in the review process, reviewers’ analysis, and the final editorial decision — to anyone who is not strictly related to the editing process, the authors, and reviewers. All requests from third parties to use the original data or review legal advice (animal or human research ethics committees) will be refused, and the editors will do their utmost not to provide confidential material, even in cases of legal demand.
Editors should also make it clear that reviewers will keep articles and the information contained in them confidential. Reviewers and editorial board members should not publicly discuss the articles content, and reviewers should not appropriate the authors’ ideas prior to publication of the article. Reviewers must not retain the article for their personal use and, after submitting reviews, they must destroy the paper copies of the originals, as well as delete the electronic copies.
Editors must not publish or share reviewers’ comments without the permission of the reviewer and author. The journal’s policy is to hide the identity of reviewers, whose comments are not signed; therefore, this identity must not be revealed to the author or anyone else without the express written permission of the reviewers.
Dental Press reserves the right to breach confidentiality in the event of an allegation of dishonesty or fraud. Editors, however, will notify authors or reviewers if they intend to do so. Otherwise, the confidentiality will always be respected.
Clinical Orthodontics editors will do everything possible to ensure timely processing of articles, given available resources. If editors intend to publish an article, they will try to do so in a timely manner, and any planned delays will be discussed with the authors. If the journal has no intention of proceeding with publication, editors will endeavor to reject the article as soon as possible, to allow authors to submit it to a different journal.
4.2.3. Peer review
Peer review is the critical assessment of articles submitted to the journal by specialists who are generally not part of the editorial board. Peer review is an important extension of the scientific process —including scientific research— as part of an independent, impartial, and critical assessment; this is an intrinsic step in all academic work.
The real value of peer review is widely debated, but the process facilitates a fair hearing for an article among members of the scientific community. More practically, this helps editors decide which articles are suitable for each journal. Peer review often helps authors and editors to improve the overall quality of scientific publications.
It is the responsibility of Clinical Orthodontics to ensure that double-blind review systems are in place to allow for the selection of appropriate reviewers. It is the editor’s responsibility to ensure that reviewers have access to all material that may be relevant to the review of the article, and to ensure that reviewer comments are properly evaluated and interpreted in the context of their stated relationships and activities.
The Clinical Orthodontics editor is ultimately responsible for the selection of all content, and editorial decisions can be made based on factors unrelated to the quality of an article. The editor may reject an article at any time prior to publication, including after acceptance, if doubts arise about the integrity of the study.
As a way of respecting collaborators, Clinical Orthodontics notifies reviewers of the final decision to accept or reject an article, acknowledging the reviewers’ contribution to the journal. Editors are encouraged to share each reviewer’s comments with the other reviewers of the same article, so that everyone can be aware of each of the notes in the review process.
As part of the peer review — following the guidelines of the ICMJE —, editors of this journal are encouraged to review research protocols and methods of statistical analysis.
Dental Press Publishing, like the ICMJE, believes that researchers have a duty to maintain, for at least 10 years, the primary data and analytical procedures that support the published results. The ICMJE encourages the preservation of this data in a data repository, to ensure its long-term availability.
Editorial decisions should be based on the relevance of an article to the journal and the originality, quality, and contribution of the study to evidence on important issues. These decisions are not influenced by commercial interests, personal relationships or political interests, or findings that contradict what is already in the accepted literature.
Editors should not consider for publication studies with inconclusive or non-statistically significant results. Even if unpublished, these studies may, in the future, help provide evidence that, combined with that from other articles —through meta-analysis— would help answer important questions.
4.2.5. Diversity and inclusion
To enhance academic culture, Dental Press editors seek to engage a wide and diverse range of authors, reviewers, editorial board members and readers.
4.3. The reviewers
Articles submitted to journals are privileged communications, which are the private and confidential property of the authors and, therefore, authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any details of the article. Therefore, Clinical Orthodontics reviewers are instructed to keep the articles and the information contained in them completely confidential.
Reviewers should not publicly discuss the evaluated articles or take ownership of the authors’ ideas before the publication of the original article. Reviewers should not keep the study for personal use, and only Clinical Orthodontics will retain copies of articles upon receipt of the reviews.
Dental Press Publishing reviewers who seek the help of an intern or colleague in performing a review will acknowledge the contributions of those individuals in written comments to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the article, as indicated in this document.
The reviewers of this journal declare their relationships and activities that could distort their evaluation of an article, and refuse to participate in the peer review process if there is conflict, as per the guidelines that this document generally stipulates.
5. PARTICIPANT PROTECTION
5.1. Human and animal research
All researchers must ensure that the conduction for research in humans is in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and in accordance with the 2013 review of the document. All authors must seek approval to conduct research from an independent local, regional, or national review committee — such as a Regional Board of Dentistry or an ethics committee.
If there is any doubt as to whether the research was conducted in accordance with the statement, the authors should explain the reason for their approach and demonstrate that the review committee has explicitly approved aspects that may be questionable in relation to the study. Approval by a responsible review committee does not preclude Clinical Orthodontics editors from making their own judgment as to whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.
When reporting animal experiments, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals have been followed. Additional guidelines, adopted by Dental Press Publishing, on ethics in animal research are available in the Guidelines for Authors, Consensus on Ethics and Animal Welfare, of the International Association of Veterinary Publishers, at the following link: veteditors.org/consensus-author-guidelines-on-animal-ethics-and-welfare-for-editors.
5.2. Patient privacy
All patients have a right to privacy, which must not be violated without informed and recorded consent. Identifying information, including names, initials or numbers of hospitals, clinics, or offices, should not be published in written descriptions or photographs, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or guardians) gives written consent for that publication.
Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the article prior to publication. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potentially identifiable material may be available on the Internet, as well as in print, after publication.
The patient’s written consent must be filed with the journal, the authors or both, as dictated by the regulations in force in Brazilian law. Dental Press explicitly states that the legislation adopted by Clinical Orthodontics follows the parameters and constitutional rules in force in Brazil.
Mandatory informed consent is included in the Clinical Orthodontics instructions for authors and, therefore, when informed consent has been obtained, it must necessarily be indicated in the published article.