Publication policies

Review Process
The journal advocates and applies the Open review method, for reasons of transparency and accountability. Manuscripts are thus evaluated (open, non-blinded) by two (2) members of the Editorial Board (a Section Editor and another editor), and if necessary, by the Editorial Advisory Board. Following preliminary editorial evaluation, a manuscript submitted for publication as a refereed article is sent out for evaluation by two (2) external peer-reviewers; refereed commentaries are evaluated by one (1) external peer-reviewer. All other contributions are reviewed by two editors of the journal. Striving to increase the transparency of the publication process, the names of the editors and peer-reviewers are known by authors (and vice versa); their names also appear on final publications, unless a peer-reviewer requests not to be named (listed as “Anonymous”). This approach is taken in order to promote constructive criticism to authors by editors and reviewers.

Editors and peer-reviewers are required to acknowledge and apply COPE’s ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers. Specifically, they should respect author confidentiality, not publicly discuss an author’s work/material while still in the pre-publication process, not appropriate author ideas or intellectual property, etc.

Manuscripts will be evaluated according to specific criteria (e.g., originality, academic merit, pertinence, innovation) and COPE’s guidelines for reviewers. Criteria are verified according to a standardized marking grid (which will be provided to both authors and reviewers). Reviewers are solicited based on their demonstrated expertise (i.e., publications); authors may also suggest peer-reviewers with whom they do not have a conflict of interest. Manuscripts can be accepted with minor or major revisions or rejected if they do not meet the standards of the journal. The editors will work with authors, to the extent that it is reasonable, to help arrive at publications of the highest quality. The editors will respect requests from authors that a particular editor not review their submission if these requests are well reasoned and practicable. When revisions are requested prior to final decision, revised manuscripts must be received within approximately one (1) month. Should an author be dissatisfied with an editorial decision, they may submit an appeal to the Executive Committee, who will meet to review all pertinent documentation (manuscript, emails, evaluations, etc.) and render a final decision within one (1) month.

The Canadian Journal of Bioethics applies the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License to all its publications. The author(s) retain copyright of their publication. They can reuse their publication, link to it on their home page or institutional website, deposit a PDF in a public repository, etc. Authors allow anyone to download, reprint, distribute, and/or copy their publication (no permission is required from authors or the publisher), so long as the original authors and source are cited.

Original Publication
Manuscripts will be considered for publication in the Canadian Journal of Bioethics provided they have not been previously published or are not concurrently under review elsewhere for publication. The Editorial Board will nonetheless consider propositions for the inclusion of material previously published in another language (assuming permission from the copyright holder has been obtained). Figures or tables that have been published elsewhere must be identified (with the complete reference), and permission of the copyright holder must be provided.

Access and Publishing Fees
The Canadian Journal of Bioethics is a diamond Open Access journal. Accessing the full content of publications in the journal will always be free. Authors will never be asked to pay a fee for the publication of their manuscripts. Nonetheless, donations are accepted and welcome to support the operating expenses of the journal.

Appeals and Complaints to Editorial Decisions
In the event that authors or readers of a manuscript are dissatisfied with the review process, published material, editorial management or decisions, scientific content, publishing ethics or policies, they may appeal the decision or lodge a complaint. Appeals and/or complaints should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief, who will review the manuscript (blind to the initial review) and then consult with the editors involved with the submission. The decision of the Editor-in-Chief is final. If a complaint cannot be resolved internally, the Journal will solicit an independent third party, e.g., a member of the Editorial Advisory Board, to help settle the dispute.

The Canadian Journal of Bioethics will publish corrections for errors (made by the journal or authors) of a scientific nature that do not alter the overall basic results or conclusions. A note to this effect, with a label "CORRECTION", will be added to a revised PDF of the manuscript. Corrections linked to non-scientific content (e.g., minor typographic errors, correspondence information) will not be published as errata.

The Canadian Journal of Bioethics will publish retractions for major errors or confirmed misconduct that may call into question the source of the data or the validity of the results and conclusions of a publication, according to COPE’s retraction guidelines. In the event that the validity of the entire paper is called into question, this may result in retraction and possible investigation. The journal will publish a “Notification of retraction” with information about the publication, and justifications for the decision.