POCUS Journal Editorial Policies

Information

Peer Review Policy

Policy on Conflict of Interest

Policy on Human Rights

Policy on Informed Consent

Informed Consent and Publication of Data Sets

Animal Research and Animal Rights

Copyright Policy

Open Access Policy

Archiving Policy

Information

Ownership and Management

POCUS Journal is an independent publication of CINQUILL Medical Publishers Inc. in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Governing Body

POCUS Journal is operated by an independent editorial board of subject matter experts who exercise sole responsibility for decisions on acceptance and publication of works submitted for consideration. The editorial board is committed to the best practices in peer review and management of conflicts of interest. 

Editorial Contact Information

POCUS Journal can be reached through the Managing Editor at pocusjournal@gmail.com or at:

POCUS Journal at CINQUILL
Kingston General Hospital Site, Watkins 1C
76 Stuart St
Kingston, ON K7L 2V7
Canada

Peer Review Policy

POCUS Journal accepts and rejects submissions based on the strength of the work, peer review evaluations, editorial direction, and alignment with POCUS Journal’s mission. POCUS Journal is committed to the highest standards of peer review and endeavors to comply as fully as possible with the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Contributions that are not peer reviewed will be clearly identified either by Journal section (e.g., “Letters”) or otherwise in the publication. 

  • Authors are asked to suggest a minimum of two peer-reviewers upon submission.
  • Editors select peer reviewers based on their experience and areas of expertise. 
  • Peer reviewers must provide a statement describing potential conflicts of interest for editorial review prior to accessing a manuscript for review. Invitations to review may be withdrawn if inappropriate conflicts of interest exist. Reviewers should decline an offer to review if any of the following apply:
    • any author is a close associate of or is in any other way related to the reviewer
    • the reviewer or any of their household members has or has had in the last 5 years a financial interest in a company, product, or other commercial entity related to the manuscript
    • the reviewer has a competing publication or research project
  • Peer reviewers are expected to keep manuscripts in the highest confidence and are prohibited from taking any personal advantage of manuscripts prior to publication. 
  • Authors are blinded to identifying peer reviewer information including name and institution.
  • Peer reviewers are expected to respond to invitations and to complete reviews in a timely manner.
  • Peer reviewers are expected to maintain high standards of professionalism in review commentary and content. 

Policy on Conflict of Interest

POCUS Journal recognizes that people engage in professional relationships with other persons and business entities that may have an effect on author independence in research and editorial selection of articles for publication. POCUS Journal complies as fully as possible with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors policies on Conflict of Interest and aims to publish scholarly content as free as possible from outside interference and influence. These policies and concerns affect authors, reviewers, editors, and journal staff.

  • Each author of a Work will complete and submit the ICMJE Conflicts of Interest Form prior to publication. Author disclosures will appear alongside the published article. The Journal reserves the right to decline review or publication if an irreconcilable conflict exists.
  • Journal Editors and Staff will complete a conflict of interests form annually or whenever a new potential conflict of interest occurs. Editors and staff will be recused from participation surrounding works where an inappropriate relationship exists. Appropriate disclosures will be published with the editor profile on the Journal website.
  • Peer Reviewers will complete a conflict of interest disclosure prior to receipt of a manuscript for peer review. Editors will consider such disclosures when choosing reviewers.

Policy on Human Rights

POCUS Journal recognizes the primacy of patients’ rights in medical research and especially the right to privacy and fully informed, voluntary participation in research activities. The Journal endorses the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (the Declaration) without reservation. Authors should have read and be familiar with the Declaration and should take care to ensure the submission fully addresses the concerns of the Declaration. The Journal expects all research conduct to adhere to the highest ethical standards including, but not limited to:

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) review for research involving human and/or animal subjects. If the authors believe that their activities are exempt from IRB review they should obtain a judgement from their local IRB stating such.
  • Publication of prospective human subjects research protocols in a public database 
  • Appropriate protections for special populations as defined in the Declaration

See Also – “Animal Research and Animal Rights” in “Informed Consent”

Policy on Informed Consent

Case Reports and Case Files may only include de-identified health data and medical images but can still be identifying information due to the unique nature of the case and the known identity of the authors. The Journal expects all authors to adhere to best practices for Informed Consent that must include but are not limited to:

  • Institutional Review Board review for research involving human and/or animal subjects. If the authors believe that their activities are exempt from IRB review they should obtain a judgement from their local IRB stating such.
  • Written informed consent for participation in research and publication of data derived from research activities and for case studies or case files. Authors will maintain records of consent consistent with local governance for maintenance of research records and should be able to provide them if necessary.
  • Elimination of any personally identifiable information or images from submissions. If such information is necessary to the submission the authors must provide an argument demonstrating their necessity. Patients must provide written consent for any use of potentially identifying information. Potentially identifying information includes but is not limited to names, date of birth, location, pictures of patients, and other health information.
  • Authors are expected to adhere to their own institutional standard for obtaining consent for case reports.

Informed Consent and Publication of Data Sets

POCUS Journal is committed to increasing the availability and dissemination of research data for scientific study and review. The wide publication of original research data sets presents novel challenges to informed consent. For submitted data sets, the Journal expects authors to adhere to current best practices, including de-identification of data sets and removal of any identifiers that may link back to individual medical information.

  • Patients must provide written informed consent for publication of their individual data. This may be included in IRB approved consent documents for study participation.
  • Authors will maintain records of consent consistent with local governance for maintenance of research records and should be able to provide them if necessary.

Animal Research and Animal Rights

The Journal supports the guidelines for animal research published by the International Association of Veterinary Editors. Animal research submitted for publication must include the following at a minimum:

  • Institutional Review Board review for research involving animal subjects. If the authors believe that their activities are exempt from IRB review they should obtain a judgement from their local IRB stating such.
  • Description of study adherence to current best practices for animal research.
  • Compliance with any local institutional or legal requirements or restrictions on animal research.
  • Compliance with veterinary best practices and written informed client consent for client owned animals.

Copyright Policy

POCUS Journal believes that the public interest is best served when scholars have open access to high quality peer reviewed research. All content published in POCUS Journal is made available via a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license (CC BY 4.0). Authors retain all rights to their work and grant POCUS Journal necessary permissions for publication and archiving. Please see the Author Publication Agreement for specific details.

Open Access Policy

All articles published in POCUS Journal are open access. This means that all content is free to read, access, download, and distribute immediately after publication. There are no costs associated with publication in POCUS Journal, meaning we do not charge for the submission, processing, or publication of manuscripts. Authors retain all rights to their work and grant POCUS Journal necessary permissions for publication and archiving.

Archiving Policy

All published material is also archived via the Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network. Published material will continue to be available regardless of the operations of the Journal.