Scientific papers accepted for publication in scholarly journals are subject to peer review. For International Journal of Pediatrics, this is an electronic process. Manuscripts are usually reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers selected from a reviewer database according to specific expertise, the editorial board, PubMed and editorial choice. The reviewers are encouraged to complete the review within three weeks. The reviewers assess the paper’s suitability for publication against defined criteria. The reviewer is looking for a paper written with clarity in good English. It should be original and the conclusions supported by robust statistics and ethically sound data. The paper should present a coherent story. It is important that the paper fits the aims and scope of the journal. The journal’s Editor-in-Chief will make the final decision regarding publication, based upon the reviewer comments. Some consideration may be made to the article’s potential contribution to the impact factor and whether the paper is likely to be cited and downloaded. If the paper is not accepted for publication, a revision may be requested. It is important that authors review and respond to the recommendations made by the reviewers and the journal’s editor before resubmitting the article.
Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to 'salami-slicing', where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper.
International Journal of Pediatrics is now using DocCop (www.doccop.com) to test the degree of plagiarism and then manuscripts will be reviewed by the Administrative Office for any probable plagiarism.
Since many papers have multiple authors, the only way for the guarantor author to know that the final paper does not contain plagiarized text is to run it through a program like Doc Cop prior to submission.
If a case of plagiarism comes to light after a paper is published, the journal will conduct a preliminary investigation. If plagiarism is found, the journal will contact the author's institute and funding agencies. A determination of misconduct will lead the journal to run a statement, bidirectionally linked online to and from the original paper, to note the plagiarism and to provide a reference to the plagiarised material. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.