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Journal Policies

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Exclusivity
  • Diabetologia will not consider material that has been published, is in press or has been submitted elsewhere (abstracts excepted).
  • Posting on non-commercial preprint server (e.g. arXiv, bioRxiv) does not constitute prior publication and would not preclude submission to Diabetologia.
  • PhD theses posted online in open access repositories are not considered to breach our exclusivity policy.
Redundant publication

In their covering letter authors should notify the Editor of any potentially overlapping papers in preparation, submission or published. Failure to disclose such information is considered grounds for automatic rejection. It is the Editor’s judgement, rather than the authors’, as to whether any overlap is significant, so copies of papers should be included with the submitted manuscript to allow the Editor to come to an informed decision.

'Salami slicing'

Data should not be sliced to the size of the smallest publishable unit but must be a complete documentation of a study.

Papers rejected by other journals

There is no obligation to state that a manuscript has previously been submitted to another journal, but authors are encouraged to include the previous manuscript along with the referees’ reports and their own responses to these. Referees who have already seen a paper for a different journal will not be sympathetic if they find that their previous comments have been ignored.

Peer review

The journal operates a rapid triage system allowing authors to submit to a more appropriate journal without delay. Only the top 40% of papers, as judged by the Editor-in-Chief and Editors, are put through external peer review. The journal operates a single-blind peer review system such that authors are blinded to the identity of peer-reviewers and Editors, but not vice versa. Articles are usually assessed by two independent experts in the field. Authors must be prepared to provide additional information, original images or raw data if requested during the peer-review process. When it is deemed necessary, articles will be seen by an additional statistical reviewer.

The journal aims to return a decision on a peer-reviewed paper in less than a month.

Ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers

Diabetologia endorses the ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). These guidelines set out the basic principles and standards to which all peer-reviewers should adhere during the peer review process. Referees should familiarise themselves with these guidelines prior to reviewing papers for Diabetologia.

Prior to agreeing to review a paper reviewers must alert the Editorial Office to any potential conflicts of interest (which may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious). The journal considers the following to represent a conflict to reviewing:

  • Working at the same institution as any of the authors
  • Current or recent (within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders
  • A close personal relationship with any of the authors
Clinical trials

In accordance with guidelines issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), Diabetologia requires registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment. A clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Health-related interventions are those used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; examples include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, dietary interventions, quality improvement interventions, and process-of-care changes. Health outcomes are any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events.

Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) do not require registration.

The ICMJE accepts registration in any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform or in ClinicalTrials.gov.

The trial registry number should be included at the end of the Abstract.

Reports of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) should include the checklist items set out in the CONSORT guidelines, as well as a patient flow diagram. See CONSORT website for further details. Authors must submit a completed CONSORT 2010 checklist along with the original trial protocol (including statistical analyses to be undertaken). For reports of non-pharmacological treatment interventions please use the appropriate extension of the CONSORT statement.

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Data integrity

Authors of papers containing cropped gels, western blots and immunofluorescence images are required to upload, at the point of submission, a separate PDF or Powerpoint file (distinct from any other supplementary material) that displays the entire unedited gel/image. Authors should indicate clearly which bands were used in which figure/figure part.

All potentially accepted manuscripts will undergo image forensics analysis as part of the review process.

Image manipulation

Diabetologia has adopted the following statement developed by Cell Press as its policy on the manipulation of digital images:
Authors should make every attempt to reduce the amount of post-acquisition processing of data. Some degree of processing may be unavoidable in certain instances and is permitted provided that the final data accurately reflect the original. In the case of image processing, alterations must be applied to the entire image (e.g. brightness, contrast, colour balance). In rare instances where this is not possible (e.g. alterations to a single colour channel on a microscopy image), any alterations must be clearly stated in the figure legend and in the methods section. Groupings and consolidation of data (e.g. cropping of images or removal of lanes from gels and blots) must be made apparent by the arrangement of figures (e.g. dividing lines) and should be explicitly indicated in the text of the figure legend. Data comparisons should only be made from comparative experiments, and individual data should not be utilised across multiple figures. In cases where data are used multiple times (e.g. multiple experiments were performed simultaneously with a single control experiment), this must be clearly stated within each figure legend. In the event that it is deemed necessary for proper evaluation of the manuscript, authors will be required to make the original unprocessed data available to the editor.

Image editing software and investigative techniques will be used to screen images in potentially acceptable papers to identify any manipulation. Any untoward manipulation will be investigated by the Scientific Integrity Panel following guidelines set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

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Scientific misconduct

Diabetologia takes seriously its responsibility to help protect the integrity of the public scientific record and will take appropriate action if alerted to possible misconduct. The most common forms of scientific misconduct include:

  • Falsification of data: This ranges from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or wilful suppression and/or distortion of data.
  • Improprieties of authorship: Improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published; or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
  • Piracy and plagiarism: The unauthorised reproduction or use of ideas, data or methods from others without adequate permission or acknowledgement. The intent of the perpetrator is the untruthful portrayal of the ideas or methods as his or her own. Plagiarism is a form of piracy that involves the unauthorised use or close imitation of the language (including figures or tables) and thoughts of others and the representation of them as one’s own original work without permission or acknowledgement by the author of the source of these materials. Plagiarism generally involves the use of materials from others, but can apply to researchers’ duplication of their own previously published reports without acknowledgement (sometimes called self-plagiarism or duplicate publication).
  • Inappropriate or fraudulent digital image manipulation: Diabetologia has adopted the statement developed by Cell Press as its policy on the post-acquisition processing of data (see Image manipulation). Inappropriate manipulation is the adjustment of image data that violates these guidelines but does not affect the interpretation of the data. Examples include (i) adjustments of brightness/contrast to a gel that completely eliminate the background or obscure background smears or faint background bands and (ii) the splicing of images from different microscope fields into a single image that appears to be a single field. Fraudulent manipulation refers to adjustment of image data that does affect the interpretation of the data. Examples include deleting or adding a band to a gel, insertion of control data from a different series of experiments.
  • Violation of generally accepted research practices: Serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
  • Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: Including but not limited to serious or substantial, wilful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.
  • Inappropriate behaviour in relation to misconduct: This includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, withholding or destruction of information relevant to a claim of misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.

(The above are taken from the ORI publication Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct, accessed 26/3/2018 and the Council of Science Editors’ White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications, accessed 26/3/2018).

Responding to allegations of possible misconduct

Scientific Integrity Panel

Diabetologia does not have the resources or authority to conduct a formal judicial inquiry or arrive at a formal conclusion regarding misconduct. That process is the role of the suspect’s employer, university, granting agency or regulatory body. However, Diabetologia takes seriously its responsibility to help protect the integrity of the public scientific record and will refer all allegations of possible misconduct to the Scientific Integrity Panel of the EASD (Referral Track 1 below). The composition of this Panel will not be made known publicly. Such allegations of possible misconduct may relate to a published article, a submitted manuscript or to the review process, or any other situation involving the editors or the editorial office. The Panel will review the evidence in the strictest confidence and may ask the editorial office to assist in providing documentation under the same terms of confidentiality. The editorial office will not be involved in any other way and neither the office nor any editor will respond to direct enquiries during the course of an investigation by the Panel. If the allegation is against an editor, a member of the Advisory Board or any member of the editorial office staff, the Panel will work entirely independently of the journal and such cases may be referred directly to the Panel (Referral Track 2 below).

Initial fact-finding will usually include a request to all parties involved to state their case, and explain the circumstances, in writing. In questions of research misconduct centring on methods or technical issues, the Scientific Integrity Panel may confidentially consult experts who will be blinded to the identity of the individuals wherever possible. Since the underlying goal of misconduct is to deliberately deceive others as to the truth, the Scientific Integrity Panel’s preliminary investigation of potential misconduct will take into account not only the particular act or omission, but also the apparent intention (as best it can be determined) of the person involved. The Scientific Integrity Panel will follow guidelines recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for handling cases of misconduct. The Panel will arrive at a conclusion as to whether there is enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe there is a possibility of misconduct.

If the Scientific Integrity Panel concludes there is a reasonable possibility of misconduct, they will consider any of the following options, dependent upon the apparent magnitude of the misconduct. Responses may be applied separately or combined, and their implementation will depend on the circumstances of the case as well as the responses of the participating parties and institutions. The following options are ranked in approximate order of severity:

  • A letter of explanation (and education) sent only to the person(s) against whom the complaint is made, where there appears to be a genuine and innocent misunderstanding of principles or procedure.
  • A letter of reprimand to the person(s) against whom the complaint is made, warning of the consequences of future such instances, where the misunderstanding appears to be not entirely innocent.
  • A letter of reprimand to all co-authors on the paper informing them of the findings of the Panel and warning of the consequences of future such instances.
  • A formal letter as above, including a written request to the supervising institution(s) that an investigation be carried out and the findings of that inquiry be reported in writing to the journal.
  • Publication of a notice of redundant or duplicate publication or plagiarism, if appropriate and unequivocally documented. Such publication will not require approval of authors, and may also be reported to their institution and, if appropriate, funding agency.
  • Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, published in the journal, informing readers and the indexing authorities (National Library of Medicine, etc), if there is a formal finding of misconduct by the author’s institution. Such publication will not require approval of authors, will be reported to their institution, and will be readily visible and identifiable in the journal. Diabetologia reserves the right to publish a retraction without the agreement of the authors if these conditions are met.

Allegations about misconduct can arise regarding authors, reviewers, editors and others. When allegations concern authors, the peer review and publication process for the manuscript in question will be halted while the above process is carried out. The investigation will be completed even if the authors withdraw their paper, and the responses above will still be considered.

In the case of allegations against reviewers or editors, they will be replaced in the review process while the matter is investigated. Editors or reviewers who are found to have engaged in scientific misconduct will be removed from further association with the journal, and this fact will be reported to their institution.

Methods of referral:

  • Track 1: Allegations of possible misconduct involving the journal should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief (email: diabetologia-j@bristol.ac.uk) for referral to the Scientific Integrity Panel who will inform the person making the allegation of the action taken.
  • Track 2: Any individual may refer an allegation of possible misconduct involving the journal directly to the Scientific Integrity Panel if s/he has reason to believe this may avoid a potential conflict of interest or deems this more appropriate for any other reason. This should be addressed by email to: SIP@easd.org. The Panel will only consider allegations of possible misconduct as defined in the above Statement, and not challenges to any editorial decision regarding a submitted manuscript.

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Data availability

Submission to Diabetologia implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, as long as participant confidentiality is not breached.

Diabetologia strongly encourages authors to make available to readers all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supplementary files whenever possible. Please see Springer Nature’s information on recommended repositories. General repositories – for all types of research data – such as figshare and Dryad may be used where appropriate.

Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. Persistent identifiers (such as DOIs and accession numbers) for relevant datasets must be provided in the paper.

For the following types of data set, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory:

Mandatory deposition Suitable repositories
Protein sequences Uniprot
DNA and RNA sequences Genbank
DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ)
EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (ENA)
DNA and RNA sequencing data NCBI Trace Archive
NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA)
Genetic polymorphisms dbSNP
dbVar
European Variation Archive (EVA)
Linked genotype and phenotype data dbGAP
The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)
Macromolecular structure Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB)
Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB)
Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB)
Microarray data (must be MIAME compliant) Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)
ArrayExpress
Crystallographic data for small molecules Cambridge Structural Database

 

Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.

For more information see Research Data Policy Frequently Asked Questions.

Diabetologia encourages authors to provide a statement of data availability in their article. Data availability statements should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found, including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. Data availability statements can also indicate whether data are available on request from the authors and where no data are available, if appropriate. Click here for examples of data availability statements, including examples of openly available and restricted access datasets.

Springer Nature provides a research data policy support service for authors and editors. This service provides advice on research data policy compliance and on finding research data repositories but does not advise on specific manuscripts.

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Data archiving

Diabetologia expects authors of accepted manuscripts to keep original data available for a minimum of 5 years.

Embargo policy and press releases

All material accepted for publication is under embargo until it is published online. This means that, with the exception of research distributed to journalists as part of an embargoed press release (either issued by Diabetologia or in consultation with Diabetologia), material should not be distributed to third parties or discussed with the media before this time.

Diabetologia has a dedicated press officer who will issue press releases on selected papers. Authors arranging their own press release should send a draft to the editorial office (email: diabetologia-j@bristol.ac.uk). The editorial office will advise on embargoes.

Statement of Principle

Together with representatives of other scientific organizations devoted to improving health care and advancing research, Diabetologia and EASD will refrain from publishing articles addressing political issues that are outside of either research funding or health care delivery. Download the full Statement of Principle and the list of signatories here.

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