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Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process

All eGEMs submissions undergo double-blind peer review and are evaluated by one senior editor (a member of the <a href="/about/editorialTeam">editorial board</a>) and two independent peer reviewers. Submissions are evaluated according to the following three criteria:

  • Usefulness: The submission is useful to and advances the science of CER, PCOR, and QI and clearly articulates a reasonable approach/method to collecting, analyzing, disseminating, and/or using electronic clinical data, or how to overcome a challenge or barrier.
  • Credibility: The submission is credible in that a sufficient amount of data, reasoning, and references are provided and used to validate the approach/methods used, and the conclusions that are generated.
  • Innovation: The submission proposed includes innovative strategies or offers a new approach to addressing a key issue, challenge, or barrier. 
Authors may be invited to recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not guarantee to use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.

Final decision-making authority resides with eGEMs senior editors, section editors, and/or the executive editor.

The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. Authors must retain copyright to such postings. Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal, if it is editorially accepted.

Data Policy

The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement within the submitted paper, which will be made public upon publication. If data is not being made available within the journal publication, a statement from the author should be provided to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited. When depositing data for a submission, the below should be considered:

  • The repository the data is deposited in must be suitable for this subject and have a sustainability model.
  • The data must be deposited under an open license that permits unrestricted access (e.g. CC0, CC-BY). More restrictive licenses should only be used if a valid reason (e.g. legal) is present.
  • The deposited data must include a version that is in an open, non-proprietary format.
  • The deposited data must have been labelled in such a way that a 3rd party can make sense of it (e.g. sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file). 
  • Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, the studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The identity of the research subject should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian). 
  • A ‘Data Accessibility Statement’ should be added to the submission, prior to the reference list, providing the details of the data accessibility, including the DOI linking to it. If the data is restricted in any way, the reasoning should be given. 

A list of data repositories is available at http://oad.simmons.edu/oadwiki/Data_repositories.

Preprint Policy

The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:

  • The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit it to the journal.
  • The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
  • The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files (see review policy).
  • Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.

ORCID

The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.

The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.

Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics 

To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed here.

In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript (see Author Guidelines). All authors must confirm that they fit the definition of an author (see Authorship Guidelines), during submission.

Corrections and Retractions

The Press handles different kinds of error in accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), where applicable. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the editorial manager if you believe an article needs correcting.

Post-publication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. This ensures that the error can be appropriately corrected, whilst the integrity of the publication record is not broken. Please contact the publisher for the full Correction/Retraction policy.

Misconduct and Complaints

Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. All reasonable steps will be taken to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee  on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation.

Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or inadequate, they should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.

Section Policies

Case study

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Commentary / Editorial

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Comparative case study

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Empirical research

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Model / Framework

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Protocol

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Review

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Special Issues

eGEMs is proud to work with a variety of funders to help move cutting edge research out to the field. One way we do that is through sponsored special issues. Read our Special Issue Prospectus to see the key features of a special issue, examples of past issues and information about how to get started on a special issue with eGEMs staff.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work. Please complete the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and submit the form to editorial staff once your submission has been accepted for publication.

Peer Reviewers

Reviewers will be asked to disclose any conflicts of interest that could complicate their review at the time they are asked to review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.

Editorial Staff

eGEMs Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts will recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Other editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions will provide editors with a current description of their financial interests or other conflicts (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff. Guest editors will be asked to follow these same procedures.

Confidentiality

Manuscripts submitted eGEMs are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details. Editors will not share information about manuscripts, including whether they have been received and are under review, their content and status in the review process, criticism by reviewers, and their ultimate fate, to anyone other than the authors and reviewers. Requests from third parties to use manuscripts and reviews for legal proceedings will be politely refused, and editors will do their best not to provide such confidential material should it be subpoenaed.

Editors will also make clear that reviewers should keep manuscripts, associated material, and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers and editorial staff members must not publicly discuss the authors’ work, and reviewers must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy paper copies of manuscripts and delete electronic copies after submitting their reviews.

Authorship

Authorship should be based on the following four criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
  • Final approval of the version to be published; and
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.

Statement on Human Animal Research

When reporting experiments on people, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national), or if no formal ethics committee is available, with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2008. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.

Submissions Including Information from Quality Improvement (QI) Projects

To promote the publication of promising lessons learned from quality improvement (QI) projects, eGEMs welcomes submissions that include methods and findings from projects determined by their local institutions to be quality improvement (QI) projects. QI activities are analyses that are often considered essential to the “ongoing management of the system of delivering clinical care(1).” At present, most QI projects do not require or receive institutional review board (IRB) approval (2).

For eGEMs submissions the authors must attest that the QI activities informing a submitted manuscript met the local standards of each participating institution, and were conducted in an ethical manner with appropriate protection of privacy (3).

The editorial staff reserves the right to reject manuscripts if the Editor-in-Chief or Senior Editor does not believe the project was carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. Further information and documentation to support the attestation should be made available to the editorial staff on request.

(1) Bailey M, Bottrell M, Lynn J, et al. The Ethics of Using QI Methods to Improve Health Care Quality and Safety. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(9):666-673. DOI:10.7326/0003-4819-146-9-200705010-00155.

(2) IRB approval includes waivers and exemptions

(3) eGEMs’ policy is consistent with guidance from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has established that entities may publish the results of studies that fall outside the definition of “research” under the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (known as the “Common Rules”) without first obtaining consent of the individuals involved in the project.

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