Instructions for Authors

WebmedCentral plus is the new scientific publishing venture from the Webmed Limited, UK. We are in the process of building our comprehensive editorial team covering a wide range of biomedical specialties scientists. Those wishing to publish without any prior peer review can still publish on WebmedCentral as usual. But now, those who need to publish on a pre-publication peer review platform will now be able to use WebmedCentral plus.  

The peer review process on WebmedCentral plus focuses on scientific merit of articles. All scientifically and technically robust articles from any part of the world in any biomedical discipline are published. If a manuscript is more suitable for publication on a different specialty on plus than the one to which authors have submitted to, authors will be appropriately advised by our Specialty Editors.

WebmedCentral plus also publishes article published elsewhere if authors have the copyrights to it. Articles are published under the progressive Creative Commons license CC-BY

Though we have kept plus free for the initial promotional period (until December' 2014), eventually articles accepted for publication on plus will incur an article processing charge. Charges will be approximately GBP200 per article for direct plus submissions. If any of the authors come from a developing country, charges will be reduced to GBP100. We hope to be able to continue to provide WebmedCentral articles that are found suitable for publication on plus a special free status. Moreover, there will be subsidised rates for our editors and reviewers. Authors, who can’t afford our article processing charges, can apply for financial help. WebmedCentral plus editorial team decisions on manuscripts are completely independent of the article processing charges levied.

WebmedCentral plus aims to deposit all articles in PubMedCentral in due course. However, PubMedCentral does not guarantee inclusion of a journal until it actually starts publishing articles and has then gone through its screening process. We are setting up structures and technical capabilities to meet all their requirements and are reasonably confident that our articles will be found suitable for inclusion in PubMedCentral in the near future. We also hope to be included in PubMed and various other scientific databases.

WebmedCentral plus follows the codes of conduct for authors/editors/reviewers/publishers as laid out by the ICMJE (International Committee for Medical Journal Editors) guidelines.

Manuscript Submission: 

Manuscripts can only be submitted online. It is a step wise intuitive process that will take you through various screens where we take details of all authors, corresponding authors, article details, and ask you to upload the covering letter, main manuscript file, consent forms etc. Please take a look at our check list. It will give you an idea of things you need before submitting an article to WebmedCentral plus for consideration. Following submission, manuscripts are seen by our support team and forwarded to specialty editors. Specialty editors then decide on the suitability of manuscripts for publication with help from editorial board members.

Professional Medical Writers:

The involvement of any professional medical writer in the publication process must be clearly declared. The payments to such writers should be elaborated in our appropriate section regarding funding and sources of funding identified.  Medical writers have professional responsibilities to ensure that the papers they write are scientifically valid and are written in accordance with generally accepted ethical standards. Medical writers must naturally have access to all relevant data while writing papers. It is however finally the responsibility of the authors to check the manuscript for complete accuracy and make absolutely sure that it says exactly what they intended to say. We encourage authors to consult the European Medical WritersAssociation Guidelines on the role of medical writers.

Publication Ethics:

plus broadly endorses COPE Guidelines for peer reviewed journals and we are constantly developing systems to improve our processes.

Patient Confidentiality: 

If there is any chance that a patient may be identified from a case report, illustration, or paper, authors must submit a written consent form duly signed by the patient or a legal guardian (where it is not possible to obtain the patient’s signature because of physical disability, minor patient, critical illness or death). Please scan and upload this form while submitting your article. WebmedCentral plus will insist on the use of a consent form even if a picture has been taken using black bands across the eyes. 

We do not take responsibility if the authors fail to obtain relevant consents and an article gets published without appropriate consent. It is solely the responsibility of the authors to make sure that consents are obtained from patients or their legal guardian as and when necessary.   

Though under routine circumstances, failure to obtain consent will mean that personal information about a patient cannot be published on plus, it may be acceptable to do so while dealing with issues of exceptional public health importance. Such manuscripts can only be published at the sole discretion of the plus editorial team. Authors, while submitting their manuscripts must make it absolutely clear that they have not been able to obtain the consent, explain the reasons behind this, and also explain why they believe that it is in the public interest that the manuscript should still be published on plus. We are constantly reviewing our policies on these issues.

Guidelines to conduct your study:

1. For reporting randomized controlled trials authors are advised to consult CONSORT guidelines. Please submit the CONSORT checklist as an additional file and the flowchart as an illustration with the manuscript.

2. The Research protocol can also be submitted on our website separately. However please make sure that you choose the article category properly and that Research Protocols are clearly identified.  

3. If you are submitting a systematic review please follow the PRISMA (formerly QUORUM) guidelines. 

4. Please follow STARD guidelines for studies on diagnostic accuracy.

Plagiarism: 

Plagiarism is the use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source. This applies whether the ideas or words are taken from abstracts, research grant applications, ethics committee applications, or unpublished or published manuscripts in any publication format (print or electronic). Plagiarism is a serious scientific misconduct and WebmedCentral is committed to fight it.  If allegations of plagiarism against an author are proved, we will not only retract the manuscript from our portal but may also bar such authors from publishing again on our portal. Moreover we will maintain a record of such authors and may share it with others in publishing industryand author institutions.. 

Scientific misconduct:  

plus expects the highest level of scientific integrity from its authors. It is the responsibility of the submitting and corresponding author to ensure that all authors have seen the final version of the manuscript and approve of it. The manuscript must not have been published before or be under consideration for publication by any other journal. We take issues related to plagiarism, falsification of data, ghost or honorary authorship very seriously. If you have any concerns regarding any article published on plus, please contact us immediately. In such cases, we will initially write to the authors for clarification and may ask them to provide us with additional data. If we are not satisfied with the authors’ response, we may write to authors’ institutions, colleagues, funding bodies and others as appropriate to further investigate. If the allegations are subsequently confirmed, we reserve the right to remove the article from plus. The decision of plus editorial and management team shall be final and binding on authors in such cases. We may also report such authors on our website and share the information with others in the industry.

Authorship Status: 

There is now a broad consensus within the scientific community as to what constitutes an acceptable claim for authorship. We discourage both honorary and ghost authorship. Authors will be required to detail the contribution of each author in the study involved and preparation of the manuscript. 

Responding to reviewers:   

We intend to develop a culture of healthy post publication interactions on all published literature on WebmedCentral plus. Scientists and Peers will be able to publish reviews and comments freely post publication on WebmedCentral plus. Authors are encouraged to respond to all reviews or comments posted on their articles.

Withdrawing articles:  

Articles once published cannot be withdrawn by the authors. WebmedCentral plus however reserves the right to retractpapers that are fraudulent, have been plagiarised, are clear examples of scientific misconduct or do not comply with our guidelines. 

Corrections:  

Authors will be sent a final version of the article for approval before it is published.   

Copyediting:  

Due to monetary constraints, we are currently unable to offer copyediting for accepted manuscripts. It is hence the responsibility of the authors to present information in clear, readable, and intelligent English. Our editors may recommend that authors seek help in writing manuscripts if the quality of the language in a manuscript is poor before it can be accepted for publication. 

Ethical considerations:  

plus insists that authors seek approval from relevant ethical committees before conducting human investigations and animal experiments. Such work must have been conducted in keeping with the prevailing local, national and international guidelines for  animal and human experiments. The relevant ethical issues must be clearly mentioned in the manuscript with details of approving body.

Privacy and Confidentiality:  

We expect our authors and reviewers to respect these issues in line with ICMJE guidelines. Broadly, patients and study subject in human experiments have a right to privacy and reviewers have a duty of confidentiality towards authors. 

Source of Funding and Competing Interests:  

WebmedCentral plus expects all its authors/editors/reviewers to declare their competing interest(s) openly to enable readers to better understand any hidden bias in their statements. Furthermore we expect authors to disclose all source of funding openly during article submission.  

There is a common understanding now within the scientific community as to what constitutes a competing interest. Broadly, an author/reviewer/editor is said to have a competing interest if there is any other (financial or non financial) gain to be had in performance of their routine duties as authors/reviewers/editors apart from what would be expected from the routine pursuit of such academic activities. A competing interest exists when your professional judgement may be influenced by any other interest in the publication of an article/review/comment on WebmedCentral plus. This other interest may constitute financial gains, share holding in a company that manufactures the drug or device under study, grants, professional rivalry or personal beliefs. Essentially it arises when authors/editors/reviewers have an interest that may influence, with or without their knowledge, their interpretation and presentation of scientific material. We believe that our authors/editors/reviewers/commentators should make these interests clear before publishing/posting any content on our web portals. 

Data Sharing:  

WebmedCentral plus encourages authors to share their raw data as much as possible with others in the scientific community. With the use of information technology, it is now possible for authors to share data and information in a way that was not possible in the past. 

Confidentiality:  

We expect our speciality editors, editorial board members, and reviewers to treat all manuscripts, information, and data in strict confidence. 

Editorial Processes and Publishing Criteria:   

WebmedCentral plus publishes manuscripts in a range of article categories and a broad range of subject areas from all over the world. Please click here for a list of article categories in which we accept submissions on plus and click here for a comprehensive list of plus subject categories.  If any subject category is not included on plus, that is probably because we do not yet have adequate numbers for the editorial team in that specialty. We typically request scientists to put together a team of at least two suitable specialty editors and four editorial board members before we are able to add any specialty to plus.  

All manuscripts submitted to plus are initially evaluated by a specialty editor. Specialty editors can decide to submit the manuscript for further peer review or turn it down. Peer review is typically provided by our editorial board members but specialty editors can also contact external reviewers and reviewers from our reviewer database on their sole discretion.  

Each manuscript is judged on its own scientific merit. Our editors ensure that each manuscript found suitable for publication on plus is scientifically robust and will add to the existing body of scientific record. This is in keeping with our central philosophy of making the peer review process as inclusive as possible. Editorial decisions are totally independent of the plus management team. Our editors may turn a manuscript down or recommend copyediting if manuscript is not written in clear, comprehensible, correct English. We expect scientists to meet the highest standards of quality and ethics in conducting their research, writing their manuscript, disclosing sources of funding and competing interests, and deciding authorship. 

Specialty Editors will aim to reach a final decision on most manuscripts within 6 weeks of submission. The decision can be i) accepted for publication, ii) accepted with minor revisions, iii) accepted with major revisions, or iv) rejected. The decision of the specialty editors will be final in this regard. 

Manuscript Submission: 

The article can only be submitted online. We are unable to process manuscripts submitted to us through post. This is necessary to keep our operational costs low. The submitting author is responsible for ensuring that all authors have seen the final draft of the manuscript and approved it.

Manuscript Preparation: 

Covering Letter: 

Please attach a cover letter with your manuscript explaining why your manuscript deserves to be published on plus and how it will add to the existing body of scientific knowledge. Your manuscript will be assigned to a specialty editor in the specialty you submit it for. Please feel free to recommend a specialty editor in any other specialty on plus if you feel (s)he may have a better grasp on the subject matter in question. We will always try to match a manuscript with the most appropriate specialty editor.

Main Manuscript File:

Please ensure all the relevant article sections including illustrations (tables, figures, pictures etc.) are submitted in one main manuscript file. Authors can additionally submit illustrations (tables, figures, pictures etc.) in separate files too. Please ensure you select appropriate labels (such as main manuscript, illustrations, covering letter etc.) while uploading files during article submission. Please number the pages consecutively and organise the manuscript in the order indicated below.

  1. Title Page: The title page or the first page of the manuscript should include the title of the article, names, educational qualifications, and affiliations of all authors, email id and telephone number of the author for correspondence and key words.
  2. Abstract: Each article must be accompanied by an abstract. For original research articles and trials, the abstract should be structured under the headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Abstract should not be more than 250 words. Case reports and review articles may have a non-structured abstract, which will usually be shorter. Abstract should not include any abbreviations and cite any references.
  3. Text of the Manuscript: Please type manuscripts (including references) double-spaced. Each section of the manuscript in the main manuscript file should start on a fresh page.
  4. References:Please list references double-spaced and list them in consecutive, numerical order as they appear in the text (not alphabetically). Identify reference citations in the text by numbers in square brackets (e.g., [1]). Please note that once a reference is cited, all subsequent citations should be to the original number. We follow ICMJE guidelines. Please see sample examples here.
  5. Abbreviations
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Legends to Illustrations
  8. Illustrations
  9. Competing Interests
  10. Source(s) of Funding
  11. Author Contribution

File Formats:                                           

Our web portal can accept all commonly used file formats. Kindly upload your illustrations in JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, DOC formats.

Source(s) of Funding: 

We require our authors to clearly state all the sources of funding for their study and the role, if any, the funding body or person has had in the conduct of study or preparation of the manuscript. 

Style: 

We advise authors to write in a clear, direct, and active style. Articles should be done in plain and simple English as much as possible. Please avoid using long and complicated sentences. We do not impose restrictions regarding use of British or American English as long as authors consistently follow one style throughout their manuscript.

Scientific measurements should be given in SI units, except for blood pressure, which may be expressed in mm Hg. If it is not possible to use SI units, please include SI values within parenthesis. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their work, including all statistical calculations and drug doses. Drugs should normally be referred to by their generic names to avoid confusion. When quoting specific materials, equipment and proprietary drug names the name and address of the manufacturer must be given in parentheses. It is also common practice to spell out numbers less than 10.

plus does not impose unnecessary restrictions on authors. Our authors are free to present the information in a way they think it would be easiest for the reader to comprehend.

Statistics: 

We advise our authors to seek appropriate professional statistical advice at an early stage in the conduct of a research and make sure that all the data analysis is done using sound statistical practices. It is not possible for biomedical researchers to have a thorough grasp of what is clearly a very difficult stream of science and we advise all our authors to run their final manuscript past a qualified statistician to weed out discrepancies and inaccuracies. It is good scientific practice to detail the statistical methods and techniques used in the manuscript for the benefit of individual reader. Please provide the original data in additional files where necessary. This would further enable readers to judge your manuscript accordingly. And it would help reviewers in future to analyse the data presented in your study.

Equations:

Please upload equations as illustrations. You may choose to copy all equations in a word file (.doc or .docx) and allocate numbers in the order of appearance. They would need to be referenced in the manuscript. Please note that the equations would appear at the end of the manuscript.

Abbreviations: 

Abbreviation use must be minimised and they should be defined upon first use in the manuscript as is the common practice amongst most scientific journals. A list of abbreviations should be provided at the end of the manuscript. 

Illustrations:

All Illustrations (figures, tables, pictures, images etc.) should be submitted in commonly used file formats. [Kindly upload your illustrations in JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, DOC formats] They must all be accompanied by a separate legend in the main manuscript file. Authors should try and submit all illustrations in one file if possible. It will be acceptable to submit illustrations of different types in different files. 

Role of WebmedCentral plus support team:  

Most of our publication process is automated and author driven. Authors will be able to submit their manuscripts (online only) using our sophisticated technical platform. Manuscripts are then seen by our speciality editors, editorial board members, and reviewers. Upon final acceptance for publication, our support team will upload the manuscript on to our publishing portal and generate a pdf for author(s)’ approval. Manuscript is published after authors approve it. All authors are emailed at various stages of development but only submitting authors will be able to make changes or carry out actions from his/her user account. We do not offer routine copyediting but are able to advise authors of appropriate service provides if they ask. Our editors may insist that manuscript be copy edited before it can undergo peer review. 

Post publication Peer Review: 

plus has features enabled for the scientific community to rate articles, comment on them, and review them after publication. Authors will in turn be able to respond using Author Response feature on each article page. 

Article Categories: 

Please click here for a list of article categories in which we accept articles.

Subject Categories: 

Please click here for a list of subject categories in which we accept articles. If your specialty is not included in this list, it is probably because we are still looking for the right editors for this area. Please consider joining our editorial team. We only cover those specialties on plus that have at least two specialty editors and four editorial board members.