DCMQ publishes high quality articles about original clinical investigation, revisions, case reports and medicines among others, all related to medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. We are committed with our readers and with the scientific community to maintain the highest scientific and editorial level. We publish the journal every three months.
DCMQ receives many more articles than it can publish. Therefore it is important that we critically evaluate the manuscripts to make sure they comply with the following criteria:
- The medical, surgical and cosmetic importance to the dermatologic field
- The evidence of the scientific conclusions.
- Compliance with ICMJE Recommendations
All manuscripts presented are reviewed by the editor(s) to adjust them to the reviewing process. Only those manuscripts that are considered to have the most probabilities of complying with DCMQ´s editorial criteria are sent for formal review.
Those manuscripts that are sent for formal review will be sent to two reviewers, whose identity will not be revealed to the authors, and in case of controversy the manuscript will be sent to a third one. The DCMQ reviewers will not receive any payment.
Based on their advice, the editor decides:
- To accept the manuscript, with or without minor changes
- To accept the manuscript with major changes
- To ask the authors to review the manuscript addressing the specific suggestions before making a final decision
- Or to reject the manuscript, usually because of lack of novelty, big technical problems or problems with interpretation
The reviewers can make specific recommendations in their confidential comments to the editor, but they must take into account that the editors may have to make a decision based on contradictory advice. On the other hand, these editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or evaluating numeric ranges, but are based on an evaluation of the strong points raised in their arguments by each of the reviewers and by the authors. Sometimes it will be necessary to ask the reviewers for more information, especially on the occasions when they do not agree or when the authors think they have been misunderstood.
Selecting our collaborators or reviewers is fundamental in the revision process, and is based on many factors which include experience, reputation, specific recommendations and our previous experience with the person. We avoid using collaborators who are not able to take the necessary time the revision process takes, or take too long in the revision process, have very rigid judgment or are too lenient. The first step is a personal invitation to each one of them and he/she cannot have access to the complete document until he/she has accepted. During the process of sending us their work on line, the authors may suggest or ask that a particular reviewer be excluded, thus avoiding any conflicts of interest that may affect the approval of their work.
To avoid any unnecessary delays in reviewing the manuscripts, we ask our reviewers:
- To check the deadline carefully to make sure there have been no misunderstandings
- To read the letter from the editor, taking careful note of the specific points about which the editor has requested your opinion
- To review the work and consider if there could be any conflict of interest (either real or perceived) by him (regarding the authors, their institutions, their financial sources) and if he is able to judge the article impartially
- To consider if the subject seems to fit in with the scope of the journal and if it is probable that it will be of sufficient general interest for publication
Reviewers must take the reviewing process in a strictly confidential manner and respect the following instructions:
- Manuscripts that are examined are considered privileged material
- Manuscripts reviewed by DCMQ should not be discussed with anybody except the editors
If there is a need to consult colleagues, they must be identified within the confidential comments made to the editor. We ask our collaborators to remind their colleagues that the comments about the manuscript are confidential.
Reviewers, as a general rule, should not reveal their identities to the authors or to other colleagues. At DCMQ we disapprove of any intent by the authors to discover the identity of the reviewers.
Formulating the report
The main purpose of the reviewer’s report is to provide the editors with the information they need to make a decision, but it should also enlighten the authors about the way to strengthen their manuscript. Reviewers are asked to submit their confidential observations to the director as well as those that can be transmitted directly to the authors.
Remarks to the authors
Reviewers are asked to maintain a positive and impartial though critical attitude while appraising the manuscripts. Criticism should be dispassionate; offensive language is not acceptable. A negative report should point out the weaknesses of the manuscript, as much as possible, so the authors can understand the reason for the decision to ask for a revision or for the reason the manuscript is rejected.
The ideal report should include:
- An opening paragraph that sums up the reviewer’s leading findings and general views as well as highlighting the principal flaws of the manuscript.
- Numbered comments which will simplify both the evaluation by the editor and the authors’ rebuttal of the report.
- The report should answer the following questions:
- Which are the main findings and how important are they?
- Do they contribute something new?
- Are the findings suitably discussed in the context of the existing literature?
- Who will be interested in the paper and why?
In case the manuscripts warrant greater consideration it is useful for the reviewers to provide advice about the following points:
- How can the wording be more precise? (without getting into specific details about spelling and grammar)
- How to shorten the manuscript
- How can the presentation of the methodological details be improved, which would enable the information to be reproduced?
Comments made to the authors should not include any recommendations about the publication, as the final decision about the acceptance, revision or rejection falls to the editor.
Confidential comments to the editor
Additional confidential comments to the editor may include:
- A recommendation made to the editor as to accept, revise or reject the paper
- In case the manuscript is unacceptable in its current form, an opinion as to whether the article is of enough interest to warrant a more thorough revision or a new presentation
Editing the reviewers’ reports
Comments made to the authors are generally sent without editing them. But on rare occasions, it is possible to edit a report in which the reviewer has made a mistake or used offensive language, or made comments that reveal confidential information. We ask the reviewers to avoid mentioning anything that can cause any unnecessary offense, but we encourage them to send the authors constructive criticism.
At DCMQ we are committed to making rapid editorial decisions and publishing within a reasonable time. Therefore, we ask the reviewers to answer promptly and to inform us if they foresee a significant delay. This enables us to keep the authors informed and if necessary find alternate reviewers. In general, we ask the reviewers to send their reports within a fortnight.
In order to guarantee fairness in the review process, we try to avoid the collaborators that have had recent or ongoing reviews with the authors, those who have made comments about the draft of the manuscript, are in direct competition, have a history of a controversy or have a financial interest in the results. As it is not possible for the editors to know all about this in detail, we ask the reviewers to call our attention to any detail that could alter their report, including commercial interests and to reject the offer in case they do not feel capable of offering a fair and impartial judgment.
In spite of our best efforts to identify violations to the publication policy, or to detect unethical conduct, like plagiarism or an author with conflicts of interest, the reviewers that are more familiar with the particular topic are more likely to recognize these types of problems and should alert the editors about the possible problems in that respect.
Editorial decisions as well as the comments to the authors will be sent to each reviewer. If the reviewers have suggested important changes and the authors are asked to revise the manuscript, it is probable that the reviewer will be asked to review the manuscript for a second time.
All the patients referred to must be identified by a number, not by their names. Likewise the photos, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or his/her parents or tutors) has given his/her informed written consent to publish. All the clinical investigation (prospective and retrospective studies) must have been approved by the ethics and investigation committees from the author’s institution and conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki. Similarly a written informed consent must have been obtained of all the patients. This must be pointed out in the manuscript in the section about Procedures. All the studies involving animals must have the approval of the animal care committee. The editors reserve the right to reject any manuscript that does not comply with these criteria.
We suppose at DCMQ that all the articles that are submitted are a product of honest observations. The first author and the corresponding author assume full responsibility on the integrity of the work as a whole, from the start up to the published article. If there should arise any substantial doubts about the scientific integrity of any presentation or publication, it is the Editors responsibility to go over these topics with the author or authors. Issues about the scientific integrity include but are not limited to reproducing the presentation and publication, falsifying or fabricating data and plagiarism. The editors reserve their right to start the retraction of a published manuscript in case they consider it suitable. If the problems of scientific integrity cannot be solved with the authors to the Editor´s satisfaction, they will be forwarded to the institution where the work was done and/or to the financial agency for further investigation.
Conditions for Authorship
Each author should have participated in a significant way in the intellectual content of the work. The authorship should be based on: 1) the notion and design, or the acquisition of data or the analysis and interpretation of the data; 2) drafting or revision of the manuscript; 3) the final approval of the version to be published. The contributions of those who do not comply with the above requirements for authorship can appear in the special thanks section of the manuscript.
Responsibilities of the Corresponding Author
After submitting the article, the corresponding author must send a letter pointing out that the article has not been published, that it is not in the process of review by another journal and that he surrenders the rights to DCMQ journal, as well as a Declaration of Conflict of Interests signed by all the authors. Once the article has been accepted, the corresponding author will be asked to go over the final text, the diagrams, tables at the bottom of diagrams and the bibliography. If there should be some change or modification (not in essence) it will be requested within the next 48 hours.
The journal allows medical writers to participate in the preparation of the manuscripts. The medical writer´s participation and the identity of the agency that paid for this help should be mentioned in the special thanks section.
Changes in Authorship
Any change of authorship must be reported to the Editor in a letter signed by all the authors.
Conflicts of Interest
Each author must declare as to having a conflict of interest, if they have some financial interest, patents or other relations or agreements with some product or sponsor of the investigation that could constitute any conflict of interest. More information can be found about conflicts of interest in the document created by the International Committee of Editors of Medical Journals. The sources of support should appear in a paragraph named “Conflicts of Interest” in between those named Materials and Methods. If the authors have nothing to declare, this must be mentioned with the phrase “The authors declare that they do not have any conflicts of interest”.
The manuscripts that are sent to DCMQ will be evaluated by two reviewers. The identity of the reviewers is confidential and the manuscripts are considered privileged information. The works can be rejected without external review at the Editor’s discretion. The authors may suggest the invitation or the exclusion of up to four reviewers when they submit their work.
The Reviews and Answers
The editorial policy of DCMQ points out that after the first review the authors should answer the questions and suggestions made by the reviewers within a two month period from the time they receive the letter with the decision. The manuscripts that are not received within that time limit will be considered as new arrivals. Any increase in the time limits must be requested in writing and can be extended at the discretion of the editor. The articles that are rejected may be presented again for consideration if they include new and significant information. In such cases, the article will be given a new number and date of entry and it will be treated as a new manuscript. The authors who have serious doubts about possible scientific mistakes in the reviewing process may send an appeal to the editor. Only written appeals will be considered.
All the articles that are accepted for publication by DCMQ are embargoed until the date of publication on line. After that they can be published by all the media currently available. They cannot be used for commercial purposes without DCMQ’s explicit authorization. We also encourage the authors to file their articles in their institution’s data warehouse and in their personal web sites.