Journal Policies and Operations Procedures
- Becoming a reviewer
- Peer review policy
- Plagiarism check/Rejections
- Editorial Review Time
- Why are Manuscripts Rejected?
- Editors or Journal Staff as Authors
- Reviewer’s check list
- Writing a review
- Reviewer Identities
Transparent Peer Review (TPR) Beginning January 2023
- Editorial decisions and appeals
- Reviewing feature articles, opinions and blog posts
- Communication with Reviewers
- Unlabeled use
- Content validation
- Patient consent
- Statistical analysis
- Data Availability Statement (DAS), data sharing, reproducibility and data repositories
- Self-archiving of papers
- Ethical publishing practices
Becoming a reviewer
Due to the nature of this developing field, THMT continually seeks and obtains advice and guidance from outside expert reviewers to enhance the open access journal and ensure appropriate and timely manuscript reviews to promote trusted, ethical scholarly communication and academic contribution to the evolving field. Reviewers are selected based on expertise in blockchain and DLT platforms, information systems, clinical computing, network technologies in the biomedical sciences and healthcare sectors. They are expected to abide by a code of ethics regarding honesty. THMT expects reviewers to report the conduct of unethical research or false scientific communications practices. Reviewers will provide prompt, confidential, objective comments and manuscript reviews that contribute to ongoing and final THMT editorial decisions and best practices. Reviewers will abide by the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers ascribed by COPE. Conflict of Interest (COI) is located here.
Editors are selected either by self-nomination, or by nominations that are made from the Editors-in-Chief, Editorial Board and publisher whereby reviews of letters, curriculum vitaes and interviews are conducted with the candidate and/or colleagues and experts in the field from around the world. THMT seeks multidisciplinary experts and practitioners of the highest caliber and passion in the field, and prefers candidates that possess knowledge of academic journal workflow and familiarity with the peer review process.
To become a THMT peer reviewer, please send a letter to the editor including attestation of no affiliation(s) with suspected predatory journals or publisher(s) with your CV attached to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reviewer role includes reviewing manuscripts, providing journal policy advice, identifying topics of interest or new research protocols and innovation, attracting new and established authors and researchers, building awareness for journal and contributing their own work and expertise.
The Managing Editor conducts plagiarism checks, ensures editorial and research writing standards, desk rejections due to format or language, assigns reviewers and timely ethical peer review, scholarly guidelines and practices are adhered as ascribed by ICMJE, COPE and WAME. Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors-in-Chief assess manuscript submission quality, technical, health innovation, education and market merits, while all editorial board members and reviewers may assess and provide rigorous double blind peer review and constructive feedback for authors. All members abide by publishing ethics guidelines ascribed by COPE to ensure the highest standards are adhered to.
Peer review policy
THMT is a member CrossRef and Similarity Check, iThenticate. The Similarity Check plagiarism software is used to verify originality of content at the manuscript submission stage. All submissions are first checked to determine if any and how much plagiarized content is contained in a manuscript submission by the Managing Editor. If plagiarism is detected, the submission is returned to the author with comment(s) including the reported percent of plagiarized content, or rejected outright by the Managing Editor based solely on the plagiarism check. Editor(s)-in-Chief will then review and approve papers that pass the plagiarism-check to determine whether the submission should be routed for peer review.
Editorial Review Time
Papers submitted are subject to rigorous peer review to ensure that the research published is 'good science.' Peer review, and author revisions, are often the lengthiest part of the manuscript review process.
Journals usually ask reviewers to complete their reviews within 3-4 weeks. However, few journals have a mechanism to enforce the deadline, which is why it can be hard to predict how long the peer review process will take. Highly technical papers and papers from niche subject areas can take longer to review.
Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via e-mail. Traditional, high-quality peer-review standards are applied to all manuscripts submitted to the journal.
All manuscripts and associated material submitted to THMT remain confidential while under review and reviewers are informed of this in their agreements, at onboarding, and throughout the review process.
THMT recognizes speed to publication is important to authors. Once a submission has been accepted for peer review, two (2) to three (3) expert reviewers are asked to assess the merits of the work and provide feedback. Reviewer feedback is communicated to the corresponding author by the Managing Editor.
Two peer reviewers must accept the paper for publication, or provide commentary for revisions requiring a resubmission. 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 guest reviewer for the submission. This may delay the review process. The managing editor will inform authors to expect delays if inviting a guest reviewer is required.
Why are Manuscripts Rejected?
The Managing Editor will reject a submission if a manuscript is poorly formatted, scholarly language communication is deficient, lacks substantiating claims, appears to have large portions plagiarized, or is not referenced in the Vancouver style. In most cases, the Managing Editor will recommend and communicate correction(s). Editors-in-Chief will reject a submission that rehashes general information already in the public domain. If peer reviewers reject a manuscript (based on criteria below), the Managing Editor will alert the corresponding author and send blinded reviewer comments explaining why the manuscript was rejected. Previously published materials and white papers are not acceptable unless COPE guidelines are strictly followed. Contact the Managing Editor with questions at email@example.com
Avoid delays with your paper if it requires extensive editing, which could delay the publication of your work. You use a paid language-editing service such as Editage, or find another. Authors from economically developing countries or nations should consider registration with AuthorAid, a global research community that provides networking, mentoring, resources and training for researchers.
Editors or Journal Staff as Authors
Editorial Board Members are required to declare any competing interests and are excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists. Where an Editorial Board Member is author they must declare this in the Financial and Non-Financial Relationships and Activities section on the submitted manuscript. If any other competing interests are identified regarding a specific manuscript, another editor will be assigned to assume responsibility of peer review. These submissions undergo the same review process as any other manuscript. The managing editor ensures no editors that are authors of manuscripts are invited to peer review their own manuscript. Beginning January 2023, a statement will be published identifying any THMT editorial team members as authors to confirm no involvement in the editorial review decision of a published manuscript. The statement will be located in the "Conflicts" section of the manuscript at the end of the article and preceding the references section. This includes journal ambassadors.
Reviewer’s check list
THMT reviewers are expected to recuse themselves if they have a potential financial and non-financial relationships or activities, 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
Reviewers will not accept a peer review invitation should a relationship or activity conflict exist and will decline the review invitation whereby the managing editor will invite an alternate reviewer.
Writing the review
The purpose of the review is to provide the Editors-in-Chief, Associate Editors-in-Chief and Managing Editor with expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript, and authors with clear and concise constructive feedback on how to improve papers. Reviewers will abide by the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers ascribed by COPE.
Comments made are transmitted to the corresponding author.
Peer reviewers have the following possible options for each article:
- Accept Submission (i.e. no need for any revision)
- Revisions Required (i.e. accepted if the author makes the requested revisions)
- Resubmit for Review (i.e. accepted or rejected after revisions have been made - paper will be sent out for another peer review round)
- Decline Submission (i.e. if the manuscript is substandard)
- See Comments (i.e. if the reviewer cannot choose from any of the above)
When asking for revisions, reviewers have two possible goals:
- ask authors to tighten their arguments based on existing data
- identify areas where more data are needed
Reviewers are asked to consider the following when submitting a review:
- 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 any 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 such work be to do, or to provide?
- Is this paper outstanding in its discipline? (For example, would you like to see this work presented in a seminar or university? Do you feel these results need to be incorporated in your next general lecture on the subject?) If yes, what makes it outstanding? If not, why not?
- Who would find this paper of interest? Why?
- If the paper is considered unsuitable for publication in its present form, does the study itself show sufficient enough potential that the authors should be encouraged to resubmit a revised version?
Reviewers will be honest, not offensive in their language, frank and concise. This is not to be confused with criticism.
Reviewers’ identities are anonymous. THMT Peer Review is anonymous and double blind. All manuscripts submitted for publication undergo peer review including those submitted by editorial board members, regular columns, features and op-eds, and themed issues. Editorials, publisher letters, annual Prediction articles and BLOGS do not undergo peer review.
Authors can request to exclude a specific reviewer from reviewing their manuscript as long as THMT peer review process remains intact and a thorough assessment of the manuscript is given. A decision letter is sent to the author when all reviews are received and considered by the Managing Editor after each review round.
Transparent Peer Review (TPR) Beginning January 2023
TPR will be an elective alternative to the current double blind anonymous journal peer review offered
THMT is pleased to add Transparent Peer Review as an option for authors to consider and participate. Beginning January 2023, authors of manuscript submissions can opt in to have a complete accounting and history of their manuscript peer review reports — including their own responses to commentary reports — published at the same time as their manuscript. Readers will be able to see the transparent exchange(s) between authors and reviewers.
Why are we doing it?
Open peer review injects an authenticity that enhances trust in research and scholarly reviews. Furthermore, it adds value to early-career researcher education. Many of our journal authors are early and mid career researchers in the two exciting fields we service. Our editors are highly collegial in approach and guidance - with authors that thoroughly appreciate feedback and commentary. Transparent Peer Review will provide and educate a far broader audience across learning environments and re-inject trust for research in academia, and across public media. It is imperative the medical community, consumers, and public media believe findings to share trusted leanings, both positive and negative.
- Authors receive useful feedback to improve the quality of their work and demonstrate their manuscript has undergone rigorous peer review; providing more accountability for authors, reviewers, and editors during the peer review process
- May share important additional arguments for increased transparency, thought, and discussion
- May decrease unfair reviewer reports, unwanted tone, and language, review fraud, bias, manipulation of results, or unfair advantages
- Published reports can be used to educate early career researchers and new editors to gain a complete understanding of editor decision-making processes; while editors can obtain heightened recognition for work and efforts
- Transparent Peer Review benefits research and increases overall market trust in results
How it will work
- Authors and reviewers can choose to opt in or out of the process at submission
- Authors are under no obligation to take part and can opt out anytime
- Authors must follow guidelines published on the journal Submission Portal add ADD their preference for Transparent Peer Review in their COVER letter.
- The manuscript will be reviewed double blind and anonymous should reviewers NOT want to participate.
- If an author, reviewer, or editor, chooses to opt out, the review process for that paper will not be published and remain anonymous and double blind
- Reviewers can choose whether their reviews are signed or remain anonymous
- If a reviewer is invited to review a manuscript and wishes to participate, the reviewer simply needs to accept the invitation. An accepted open review invitation from the managing editor will serve as consent to participate in the transparent peer review.
- If the reviewer is not comfortable with their review being published, they should decline to review the manuscript.
- Publication - open review reports will be published in full and labeled as “Supporting Information” with the same DOI number as the article, alongside the journal article. This gives readers full access to the peer review process from submission to publication and includes a comprehensive peer review history, posted with the article formats.
- THMT will continue to use double blind anonymous peer review during the review process as the default if open review is declined
- Review materials are not made available until the article is published
- Open Transparent Peer Review will be published online only if the author of the manuscript has opted in and the manuscript is accepted by editors.
- If the author chooses to participate in a transparent peer review, the anonymous reviews and the author’s response to the reviewers’ comments will be published as supporting information, freely available alongside the article at the time of publication.
- In cases where a manuscript has been transferred from a journal that does not participate in Transparent Peer Review to a journal that does, any reviews submitted to the original journal will not be published.
The Managing Editor and reviewers assess revised manuscripts to ensure all reviewers' comments were addressed for re-submission review and/or explanations are provided where a suggested revision was not corrected or addressed. Revisions are generally requested if a manuscript is considered appropriate. Minor revisions are usually requested as a final step before acceptance in the production phase. If manuscripts are rejected by reviewers, the Managing Editor will relay anonymous reviewer comments to the submitting author.
Should reviewers reject a submission or resubmission, the Managing Editor may alert the Editors-in-Chief (EICs) and Associate Editors-in-Chief to determine whether the EICs believe the submission warrants publication and benefits the sector. The EICs and Managing Editor will, together, make a decision based on the reviewers' comments, and may contact the reviewers to discuss the overall manuscript contribution in the field in more depth. EIC decisions are final.
To appeal a decision, authors can contact the Managing Editor and explain the reason(s) for the appeal. When a paper has been revised in response to the review, or when authors appeal against a decision, we ask reviewers to provide commentary.
All appeals are discussed with the Editors-in-Chief and reviewers assigned to the submission. In the case of disagreement, THMT may seek external advice on the appeal, but it is most likely the final decision will be left to the Editors-in-Chief.
Only one appeal will be considered. The Editors-in Chief decision will be final.
Reviewing Feature article and Opinion submissions
THMT reviewers are asked to review these submissions considering the following:
- 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?
- Is the article well written, clear, and easy for a non-specialist?
- Does the reviewer think the article will impact clinicians, researchers, health policymakers, or the public? Will it be widely read, disseminated, or cited? Could it improve public and/or global health? Will media outlets find it news worthy?
- Is the article accurate? Are claims evidence-based?
- Has the author missed anything important?
- Does the article contain new information warranting publication? Does it take a discussion or debate into a new direction? Does it challenge current legacies?
- Is it written in a scholarly format? Is it referenced in the Vancouver style?
- If tables and figures are included, do they help the reader, or hinder topic and focus? How can they be improved?
For feature/opinion articles, THMT editorial judgment for readability and engagement is decidedly important. An appeal is less likely to overturn a THMT editorial decision for feature/opinion articles. Authors are welcome to submit a detailed rebuttal letter. Only one appeal will be considered. The Editors-in Chief’s decision will be final.
Communication with Reviewers
New editorial team members are sent details regarding basic journal workflow and operations, expectations, requirements and links to COPE and ICMJE to further emphasize familiarity with journal operations, workflow, the importance of ethics, peer review role and expectation and best practices. In addition, the editorial team is alerted when major updates are made to the journal, journal policies or innovations. Editorial team members are elevated and thanked by means of speaking invitations, newsletters, participation in the annual ConV2X journal hosted symposium. A quarterly leadership meeting occurs to follow and enhance journal international progress and growth. Reviewers can obtain rewards through Publons and ReviewerCredits. Annual and periodic outreach and 1:1 interviews are conducted by the publisher for journal and market feedback, trends and guidance. Editorial team members are encouraged to present new journal ideas and concepts to heighten audience engagement, journal education objectives, innovation and market prowess.
Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
Articles published by THMT 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, publisher of THMT, does not recommend the use of any device or agent outside lawful and labeled indications.
Policy on content validation
- 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 animals and patients
- All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in a patient care recommendation must conform to accepted standards of experimental design, protocols, data collection and analysis
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. THMT 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."
Ensure the methodology has been accurately described for statistical analysis. Include details and access to original data to verify results. Provide confidence levels, and define terms and symbols. Include software used. 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.
Data Availability Statement (DAS), data sharing, reproducibility and data repositories (begining January 2024)
THMT encourages all authors around the globe to openly share data for purposes of reproducibility. THMT also asks authors and readers to share articles to encourage broadening the sector’s knowledge base.
Data Availability Statement
- What is a Data Availability Statement (DAS)?
A Data Availability Statement (also called Data Access Statement) tells the reader if the data behind a research project can be accessed, where and how. Authors should include hyperlinks to public databases to make it easier for the readers to find them.
- What to Include and where?
The DAS should appear in the manuscript immediately after the Disclosures statement. When datasets are included as integral supplementary material in the paper, they must be declared (e.g., as "Dataset 1") and cited in the DAS, and should appear in the references.
- What is an example of a data availability statement?
The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name] at [URL], reference number [reference number]. The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article [and/or] its supplementary materials.
Generally, there are four common, and sometimes overlapping, situations that authors should use as guidance (see below). Authors should feel free to include any additional details that may be relevant.
- When datasets are included as integral supplementary material in the paper, they must be declared (e.g., as "Dataset 1" following our current supplementary materials policy) and cited in the DAS, and should appear in the references.
Data availability. Data underlying the results presented in this paper are available in Dataset 1, Ref. .
- When datasets are cited but not submitted as integral supplementary material, they must be cited in the DAS and should appear in the references.
Data availability. Data underlying the results presented in this paper are available in Ref. .
- If the data generated or analyzed as part of the research are not publicly available, that should be stated. Authors are encouraged to explain why (e.g. the data may be restricted for privacy reasons), and how the data might be obtained or accessed in the future.
Data availability. Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.
- If no data were generated or analyzed in the presented research, that should be stated.
Data availability. No data were generated or analyzed in the presented research.
Link Your Datasets to Your Article once your article is published, and update your repository work with the DOI for your article.
THMT encourages uploading code at Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform. We encourage you to include your code with your manuscript submission for peer review, as well as publish this code to share with all upon article acceptance.
In addition, Dryad has declared its willingness to accept medical datasets. Figshare, Mendeley Data and Open Science Framework may be considered. To explore other certified data repositories, see FAIRsharing or re3data.org.
Be sure to select a repository that issues a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and has a preservation plan for perpetuity. Researchers are encouraged to consider FAIR Data Principles when depositing data.
Self-archiving of papers
When a manuscript is accepted authors are permitted to self-archive the accepted work (post-peer reviewed version, but preceding copy-editing and typesetting) on their own personal website and/or in funder or institutional repositories, for public release.
Authors may deposit the published version immediately on publication, without embargo. A link to THMT’s website is required to ensure integrity, authenticity and provenance of the scientific record, with the online published version identified as the incontrovertible version of record and include the DOI number.
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 strongly encouraged.
Post publication discussion and corrections
THMT 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 THMT, with the understanding they have not been published elsewhere, in any form, and will not be submitted elsewhere, unless declined by THMT. Authors are responsible for all statements made in the article and references cited.
Misconduct - for details see https://telehealthandmedicinetoday.com/index.php/journal/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, financial and non-financial relationships and activities, and comply with policies on research ethics.
- Reviewers and editors are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence, and to declare financial and non-financial relationships and activities.
THMT will investigate allegations of misconduct and will contact author institutions, funders or regulatory bodies, as needed.
THMT will follow COPE flowcharts and seek guidance as per COPE recommendations on resolving issues that may arise. Evidence of misconduct may require corrective action by issuing a correction or retraction.
Address concerns regarding misconduct to a journal Editor-in-Chief, Publisher, or Managing Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will address the issue with all appropriate person(s) as soon as possible, and send responses to confirm receipt of alleged misconduct.