Editorial and peer review process
All submitted manuscripts received by the Editorial Office will be checked by the Managing Editor to determine whether they are properly prepared ( please note that manuscripts submitted for publication to Universa Medcina are checked for plagiarism using iThenticate ) and whether they follow the ethical policies of the journal, including those for human and animal experimentation.
After these checks, the Managing Editor will consult the Editor-in-Chief in the case of regular submissions or an Editorial Board Member in case of a conflict of interest by using Manuscript Readiness Level (MRL) to determine whether the manuscript fits the scope of the journal and whether it is scientifically sound. We will reject a manuscript without review if it contains insufficient content; it is incorrectly formatted, poorly presented, and unclear. No judgment on the potential impact of the work will be made at this stage. Reject decisions at this stage will be verified by the Editor-in-Chief.
Editors should generally not communicate directly with the authors; that is especially important if a member of the editorial board is among the authors. Thus they will not be given special treatment. Incomplete submissions may now be unsubmitted by our editorial assistant if the required documents are not supplied within seven days to the journal. Manuscripts that pass the initial assessment will be handled by Section Editor to oversee the review process for contribution, originality, relevance, and presentation.
Once a manuscript passes the initial checks, it will be assigned to at least two independent experts for peer review. The Section Editor will remove the name of all authors and contributors. A single-blind review is applied, where authors' identities are known to reviewers. A double-blind review is applied, where reviewers do not know the authors' names, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript.
In the case of regular submissions, the Section Editors will invite potential reviewers, including recommendations by an academic editor. Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them to improve the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate. Any invited reviewer who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors (i.e. affiliated with the same institution), companies, or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted. These experts may also include Editorial Board members and Guest Editors of the journal. Potential reviewers suggested by the authors may also be considered. Reviewers should not have published with any of the co-authors during the past five years and should not currently work or collaborate with any of the institutions of the co-authors of the submitted manuscript. Please see Duties of Reviewers in Publication Ethics. Peer review comments are confidential and will only be disclosed with the express agreement of the reviewer.
Editors can publish original articles in their own journals, but they must ensure they have a recusal process in place, i.e. they should not be involved in the peer review and editorial decision-making process for their own articles.
All manuscripts are subject to peer review, and authors can expect a decision, or an explanation for the delay, within eight weeks of receipt. The corresponding author should submit the revised manuscript within six weeks if a revision is invited. The final decision is taken by the Editor-in-Chief based on the information gained through the peer-review process.
All the articles, reviews, and communications published in Universa Medicina go through the peer-review process and receive at least two reviews. The Section Editor will communicate the decision to the authors, which will be one of the following:
Accepted after Minor Revisions - The paper is, in principle, accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. Authors are given seven days for minor revisions.
Reconsider after Major Revisions - The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point-by-point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. Usually, only one round of major revisions is allowed. Authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within a suitable time frame, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments. All reviewer comments should be responded to in a point-by-point fashion. Where the authors disagree with a reviewer, they must provide a clear response.
Rejected and Encourage Resubmission - If additional experiments are needed to support the conclusions, the manuscript will be rejected, and the authors will be encouraged to re-submit the paper once further experiments have been conducted.
Rejected - The article has serious flaws and/or makes no original significant contribution. No offer of resubmission to the journal is provided.
Authors may appeal a rejection by sending an e-mail to the journal's Editorial Office. The appeal must provide a detailed justification, including point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Editor's comments. The Section Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and related information (including the referees' identities) to the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, or Editorial Board member. The academic Editor being consulted will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. A reject decision at this stage is final and cannot be reversed.
In the case of a special issue, the Managing Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and related information (including the identities of the referees) to the Editor-in-Chief, who will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. A reject decision at this stage will be final and cannot be reversed.
Production and Publication
Once accepted, the manuscript will undergo professional copy-editing, English editing, proofreading and final corrections.