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Editorial Policies

Authorship

RUP follows the recommendations from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors regarding defining authors and contributors. Specifically, all authors should fulfill 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; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • 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.

As further recommended by ICMJE, if there is a disagreement over authorship “it is the collective responsibility of the authors, not the journal to which the work is submitted, to determine that all people named as authors meet all four criteria; it is not the role of journal editors to determine who qualifies or does not qualify for authorship or to arbitrate authorship conflicts.”

Duplicate publication

When submitting a manuscript, the authors should affirm that no similar manuscript (including book chapters) is or will be under consideration for publication elsewhere (other than as an abstract that is less than 400 words in length and contains no figures). Any unpublished articles that are related to or could be perceived to overlap with the submitted manuscript must be included for evaluation by the editors and reviewers. Doctoral theses or dissertations are not regarded as prior publications.

Preprint policy

Posting of manuscripts to a community preprint server by the author does not preclude consideration for publication. Authors who post their work as a preprint should identify the preprint server and include the accession number or DOI during submission. Upon publication, authors should request that the community preprint server acknowledge that the work has been published and that the journal reference (including a DOI link to the published article) be included. See Reference Guidelines for formatting of citations to manuscripts posted to preprint servers. Citation of a previous preprint version of the manuscript under consideration should be included as a footnote.

Animal and human studies

All animal and human studies must be conducted in compliance with relevant local guidelines, such as the US Department of Health and Human Services Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals or MRC guidelines, and must be approved by the authors' Institutional Review Board(s). A statement to this effect with the name of the approving IRB(s) must be included in the Materials and methods section. All investigations with human subjects must be conducted according to the principles expressed in the Helsinki Declaration and must include a statement that informed consent was obtained from all subjects. We strongly encourage authors to use the appropriate Reporting Guidelines for their study type.

Data integrity and plagiarism

All accepted manuscripts will go through a plagiarism and image screening check prior to publication. We use Crossref Similarity Check to detect for textual similarity with other publications, including instances of self-plagiarism.

Images should be minimally processed and accurately reflect the original data. We understand that image processing may be necessary and is appropriate in most instances. Our screening process examines the following: whether any specific feature within an image has been enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced; whether dividing lines are added between juxtaposed images taken from different parts of the same gel or from different gels, fields, or exposures; whether adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance have been applied to the entire image and that adjustments do not enhance, erase, or misrepresent any information present in the original, including the background. We also look for duplicated images within the manuscript; any reuse of images, including control data, across multiple figures should be explicitly stated and justified in the legend. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend or Materials and methods section.

If figure resolution or quality is insufficient for proper image screening, we will request the original data. Failure to locate original data upon request during the editorial or production process will cause delays with your manuscript. In the event that inappropriate image processing is identified prior to publication, our editors will contact the authors. In many instances, we can resolve the issue and move forward with publication. In more serious cases where inappropriate image processing obscures or changes conclusions, we may be forced to revoke acceptance.

We investigate all instances of alleged scientific misconduct identified in our published papers (including, but not limited to, plagiarism, inappropriate data processing, and duplicate publication). Depending on the outcome of our investigation, we may publish a correction, ask authors to retract their paper, or publish an editorial statement of concern.

In instances where we are considering revoking acceptance, retracting a published article, or issuing an editorial statement of concern, we will contact the corresponding author’s institution during the course of our investigation. As Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) members, we abide by COPE guidelines in managing investigations of possible misconduct.

Materials and data sharing

As a condition of publication, authors must make protocols and unique materials (including, but not limited to, cloned DNAs; antibodies; bacterial, animal, or plant cells; and viruses) described in our published articles freely available upon request by researchers, who may use them in their own laboratory only. All materials must be made available on request and without undue delay. If researchers are having difficulty obtaining materials from the authors of a published article, they should contact the journal’s editorial office.

We encourage all authors to plan for the long-term storage and sharing of all original data underlying their manuscript. All datasets included in the manuscript must be available from the date of online publication, and the source code for all custom computational methods, apart from commercial software programs, must be made available either in a publicly available database or as supplemental materials hosted on the journal website. Numerous resources exist for data storage and sharing (see Data Deposition), and authors should choose the most appropriate venue based on their data type and/or community standard. If no appropriate specific database exists, we encourage authors to deposit their data to an appropriate publicly available database.

Confidentiality

All manuscript details, reviewer identities, and comments to the editors are considered privileged information and will never be disclosed to third parties. Manuscripts will be transferred only with author approval (see Transfer policy). RUP journals adhere to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

Conflict of interest

We take guidance from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation in determining how to define a perceived conflict of interest. Reviewers and editors are asked to disclose any potential conflicts of interest prior to evaluating a manuscript. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, individuals should recuse themselves from evaluating a manuscript if any of the following points apply:

  • The author is at the same research organization or university
  • The author is a recent collaborator or trainee (less than five years), family member, or a close personal friend
  • The reviewer/editor, his/her immediate family, or a close professional associate has a financial or vested interest in the manuscript

Transfer policy

RUP is committed to limiting time spent in peer review and reducing the burden placed on reviewers. For authors that wish to do so, we allow submission of previous reviewer comments from another journal when uploading a new manuscript. We also facilitate the transfer of peer reviewer comments from our journals to any other journal upon request.

Transfer to JCB

Authors may transfer peer reviewer comments from any other journal for editorial consideration at JCB. The full comments of all reviewers, name of the journal, and a detailed point by point response must be provided with your submission. Although we don't require that manuscripts be revised to address the reviewers' comments prior to submission, you are welcome to do so. We accept format-neutral first submissions, so there is no need to reformat your manuscript. The manuscript and reviewer comments will be assessed by our editors; we may reach out to you or the original journal for additional information or solicit further expert advice if needed. Once we've reached a decision, we will provide a detailed letter that explains either the revisions that would be required for acceptance or our decision to decline publication. Please contact the journal office with any questions about transferring your manuscript and peer reviewer comments.

Transfer from JCB

JCB authors have the option to seamlessly transfer their manuscripts to another RUP journal: Journal of Experimental MedicineJournal of General Physiology, and our open access journal Life Science Alliance — launched by an alliance of EMBO Press, Rockefeller University Press, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Both peer-reviewed and non–peer-reviewed papers can be transferred. Manuscripts must no longer be under consideration at JCB before transfer is allowed. Authors can request transfer by contacting the editorial office or they may receive a transfer offer in their JCB decision letter. JCB editors may consult with editors of other RUP journals about transfer of a submitted manuscript. Authors can easily opt-out of having their manuscript considered for transfer consultation during submission to JCB. If authors opt-in for transfer consultation, JCB editors will consult on the suitability of a manuscript in order to provide authors with a firm commitment from the recipient journal to either peer review or publish the manuscript. The decision to transfer is entirely author-driven. No files will be transferred unless the author initiates the process. For peer-reviewed papers, all reviewer reports will be automatically transferred; confidential comments to the editors will not be transferred. Reviewers may opt in to also allowing their identity to be transferred.

JCB, Journal of Cell Science (JCS), and Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC) have harmonized their submission systems to allow seamless transfer between these journals. No consultations will occur between JCB and the editors of JCS or MBoC. JCB editors will determine whether transfer to JCS or MBoC is appropriate, referring to the stated aims and scope of these journals. If a manuscript is suitable for transfer, this will be explained in the JCB decision letter and the author will receive a link allowing transfer. Manuscript transfer does not obligate the recipient journal to peer review or publish the transferred manuscript.

Peer review correspondence

Authors have the option to publish all formal correspondence for their accepted manuscript. This peer review correspondence will be published as a supplementary file online, including all editorial decision letters, peer reviewer comments to the authors, and author responses. Authors can modify this choice at any time prior to editorial acceptance. Authors also may request that data specifically included in the response to reviewers and intended for publication elsewhere be redacted from the document. It is the authors' responsibility to notify the editorial office should such redaction be needed. Reviewer comments originally submitted to another journal and transferred to Journal of Cell Biology will not be published online.

Open access

Prior to publication, all authors should check with their funding agency to ensure they are in full compliance with access requirements. All final published content of RUP journals will be automatically posted on PubMed Central and UK PubMed Central, where it will be available to the public no later than six months after the publication date. Please see the Sherpa Romeo website or the RUP Copyright page for details on our copyright and self-archiving policies.

Authors have the option to instead pay a single article charge of $5,000 in order to make their article open access immediately upon publication under CC-BY license. Wellcome or COAF funding recipients please note: this option must be chosen if you intend to have Wellcome/COAF cover your open access fees.

Authors will be invoiced for publication or open access fees after publication of their article. Open access is verified prior to invoicing. RUP is unable to process cancellations, refunds, or returns of open-access fees after publication.

Media policy

All accepted papers and manuscripts under consideration are strictly embargoed until the date of publication. Authors are free to talk with journalists one week prior to online publication, provided any information exchanged is embargoed until 9:00 AM US Eastern Time on the date of publication. Any questions or issues regarding our prepublication media policy should be directed to the RUP Director of Communications and Marketing, Rory Williams (rory.williams@rockefeller.edu).

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