Editorial policies

Focus and scope

Belize Journal of Medicine is an arbitrated scientific publication founded in 2011. It is aimed at all health professionals, regardless of their geographical location or social status.

BJM publishes its contents in open access immediately and without any restriction. It is interested in all topics related to medical and health sciences, including history and education.

No fee is applied for editorial processing.

Mission

Disseminate results of scientific research that tributes to the development of medical and health sciences for the benefit of peoples, especially in Central America and the Caribbean.

Vision

To be a reference publication for medical and health sciences.

Frequency: Biannual

Indexed in: Latindex (Directory), Periodica and Biblat

GENERAL POLICIES

- About the types of articles

BJM basically publishes original research articles, reviews, case reports, as well as other types of scientific articles in English and Spanish. Occasionally, special articles can be published under the terms defined by the editorial committee.

- About publication languages

BJM predominantly publishes articles in English from English speaker researchers. Articles in Spanish can be also published, and an English translation on articles written in other languages can be ordered when it is of interest for publication. In this case, BJM is responsible for translation.

All documents will be submitted to a coincidence or plagiarism detection system.

The documents that enter the peer review process will wait for a definitive verdict within a period not exceeding 90 calendar days. Only three criteria are issued: Accepted, Accepted with conditions and Not accepted.

In the case of manuscripts Accepted with conditions, the authors will have a period of up to 15 days to make the changes. After the established period, the document will be filed and the authors will send a new version as a new shipment. The editorial committee reserves the right to explain over in relation to the Not accepted manuscripts.

The accepted manuscripts will go to the correction and layout stages. The final versions after publication will be accepted by their authors, which will have a maximum period of 72 hours to issue their criteria. After this term, the document will be considered ready for publication.

Consultations or concerns are directly treated with the correspondence author.

The editorial process of a manuscript from its submitting to its publication will not exceed 365 calendar days.

- About authorship

According to the International Committee of Biomedical Journals (ICMJE) an author is someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. In this sense, BJM recognizes as authors all those who are responsible for the scientific content expressed in the manuscript. For this purpose, a letter containing the names and signatures of all authors should be sent along with the draft of the manuscript.

Each author will be identified by its ORCID iD as the unique record of the researcher on the Internet.

For all research articles, the authorship will be explicit through the use of CRediT taxonomy (taxonomy of academic collaboration networks), which establishes 14 authorship roles:

  • Conceptualization - Ideas; formulation or evolution of the general objectives and goals of the investigation.
  • Data curation - Management activities to write down (produce metadata), purify data and maintain research data (including the software code, when necessary to interpret the data) for its initial use and subsequent reuse.
  • Formal analysis - Application of statistical, mathematical, computational or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.
  • Acquisition of funds - Acquisition of financial support for the project that leads to this publication.
  • Research –Conducting research and research process, specifically carrying out experiments, or data collection/evidence.
  • Methodology - Development or design of the methodology; Creation of models.
  • Project management - Management and coordination responsibility for the planning and execution of the research activity.
  • Resources - Supply of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computer resources or other analysis tools.
  • Software - programming, software development; design of computer programs; implementation of the computer code and support algorithms; proof of existing code components.
  • Supervision - Supervision and leadership responsibility in the planning and execution of research activities, including the external tutoring of the central team.
  • Validation - Verification, either as part of the activity or separately, of the replicability/general reproduction of the results/experiments and other research products.
  • Visualization - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically the visualization/presentation of data.
  • Writing - Original draft - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically the writing of the initial draft (including substantive translation).
  • Writing - Review and edition - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the work published by the members of the original research group, specifically critical review, comment or review - including the previous or subsequent stages to the publication.

The author does not lose his condition in any circumstance.

No authorship changes are allowed after the document is published. Any change during the editorial process and before the publication will be properly justified and approved by all the remaining authors by explicit letter.

- About access to content

BJM is an open access journal. All published content are available without any restriction.

- About copyright

BJM protects Copyright at all times. However, it gives up part of the rights by displaying a Creative Commons License 4.0 (cc-by-nc), which allows the use of the work to share (copy and redistribute the material in any support or format) and adapt (transform and built from the material) as long as exclusive mention of the publication in the journal as the primary source is made. Under no circumstances the work can be commercialized.

- About the evaluation system

BJM essentially uses a double-blind peer review system. The manuscripts received, once successfully completed a first methodological evaluation, are sent to the referees. The editorial committee can use as many referees as determined to achieve an assessment that allows to reach a final decision.

The evaluation process will not last more than 90 calendar days from the date of submitting. At the end of this period, the author will receive a notification with the decision on his article.

Exceptionally the process may take longer than the established period, which will be notified to the author in due course.

Open review methods may be used indistinctly following the universal principles of open science.

- About conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest are identified as the level of participation or involvement that an author (private interests) has with the interests that support the investigation and that can influence their judgment or assessment.

BJM will ask the authors and reviewers for the declaration of conflicts of interest with the publication, without this representing an element for the non -acceptance of the manuscript.

- About ethical violations

BJM solves ethical problems or conflicts using the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) available at https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Flowcharts

- On the publication of numbers or fascicles

BJM publishes with a semiannual frequency (2 numbers per year in a single volume) with a minimum of 8 articles for each number. 65 % of the articles published in each number correspond to research articles.

Each number is published within its validity period: number 1 (January-June) and number 2 (July-December).

- On the publication of special numbers or supplements

The publication of special numbers or supplements responds to the need to communicate specifically on a topic related to the journal's coverage area. The complete texts of the manuscripts are published and their extension is variable, according to the decision of the editorial committee.

The BJM editorial committee can appoint an ad hoc editorial team for the management of special numbers or supplements.

Maximum 2 special numbers or supplements per year may be published.

- About error solutions after publication

BJM does not correct errors after the publication of articles except when they compromise the correct interpretation of the results of the research or the message in the text. In this case, retracting resource is used. In minor cases, the traditional “erratum” will be used, which will be published in the following number.

- On the citations and references of the documents

BJM uses the Vancouver style for the referencing of the documents used in the bibliographic citations.

The citations are placed in order of appearance, in superscript and behind the punctuation sign.

BMJ promotes the preferential use of bibliographic references obtained from primary sources of scientific research (journal articles, books and thesis), as well as other official sources of proven validity (WHO, PAHO, etc). The use of information sources with not validated content by experts in manuscripts will be considered in selected cases.

- On the publication of clinical trials

According to the International Committee for Medical Journals (ICMJE), a clinical trial is a research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without simultaneous control groups, with the aim of studying the cause-effect relationship of a health related intervention.

For the publication of clinical trials, its registration in a public site is essential. It is recommended to review the list offered by WHO (https://www.who.int/clinical-trials-registry-platform/network/primary-registries). The documents will be published with the identification number obtained from the aforementioned process.

- On the operation of the editorial committee

The BJM editorial committee has the responsibility of evaluating, deciding and publishing the scientific articles sent by researchers as long as they meet the established requirements of technical and scientific quality, as well as ethical and legal aspects.

It is composed of an Editor in chief as responsible for the fulfillment of the mission.

The Executive editor watches over the efficient flow of the editorial and productive process, and guarantees the satisfaction of the contributors.

The members of the editorial committee may vary in number depending on the explicit needs of representativeness.

All editorial work is done using the automated editorial management system, which guarantees the necessary transparency and traceability of the editorial flow.

The composition of the editorial committee includes at least 35 % of prominent specialists from other foreign institutions.

BJM uses all possible communication channels to maintain systematic interaction with all members of the editorial team.

Any necessary change in the operation of the publication will be discussed within the editorial committee.

- About open science

BJM is in favor of the transparency of research processes and the dissemination of scientific results under the principles of open science.

- On the opening of research data

BJM promotes the opening of research data, as long as the level of confidentiality allows it. As part of compliance with the principles of open science, the author may present his research data on any of the servers available internationally for such purposes, which guarantees compliance with the FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability or Reusability).

Occasionally, during the review process, the primary research data from the reviewers may also be requested, which would allow the transparency and credibility of the investigation to be verified.

- On the sustainability of the publication

BJM is sponsored by Biomeds Ltd. who guarantees the renewal of the editorial committee every four years. The members of the editorial committee are selected by a public call for a period of four years, which may be extended in a single opportunity. It is prerogative of the editorial committee to select a member who, for its professional conditions, make it worthy of being part of the team without participating in the call.

The editorial committee may revoke the permanence of any of its members when it does not fulfill its functions properly or commit any ethical violation. In that case, the editorial committee itself can decide whether it is replaced or it can wait for the new composition.

- About file preservation

The preservation of digital files is a priority need for BJM. The journal uses a CLOCKS system for the preservation of its digital files as a security measure.

- About advertisements and promotions in the journal

Commercial ads and promotions will be directly linked to the themes of the journal, and are approved by the sponsoring agency, who has the necessary mechanisms to carry out the negotiations.