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JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, welcomes original articles and case reports which provide practical clinical and practice management information for our readers―the nation’s urgent care clinicians and business leaders.
Clinical manuscripts submitted for publication in JUCM should report the results of original research, explore clinical or practice management topics from a uniquely urgent care perspective, or describe a case study dealing with clinical problems commonly encountered in the day-to-day practice of urgent care.
JUCM articles should offer practical advice and solutions to issues commonly encountered on a frequent, routine basis in urgent care. Our aim is to combine scientific precision and evidence-based content with a concise, lively style that’s easy to read.
JUCM has developed a loyal readership among practitioners. The information you provide should be of practical use to our readers, practitioners of urgent care medicine, who trained in a variety of clinical backgrounds. Your article should take their perspective into account by considering key issues, such as:
- Why is this issue relevant in urgent care medicine?
- What are the important aspects of the history and exam?
- What laboratory tests or diagnostics are required?
- What immediate management is indicated?
- What are the next steps—with whom should the patient follow up?
- Who should be admitted or referred to the emergency department?
Keep these questions and the guidelines which follow in mind as you’re preparing your manuscript, and remember that we have highly skilled, experienced editors who are prepared to give you as much help as you need to have a high-quality, readable article published. Manuscripts on clinical or practice-management topics should be 2600–3200 words in length, plus tables, figures, pictures, and references. Articles that are longer than this will, in most cases, need to be shortened during editing. Authors will have the opportunity to review edited manuscripts before publication. Please send tables, graphs, sidebars (boxes) and digital or film pictures whenever possible. Digital images should be a minimum of 300 dpi. Our readers appreciate well-chosen graphics that add practical value to an article. We prefer that you submit graphics that are original to you, such as x-rays taken as part of your practice. If you wish to use graphics that have previously appeared elsewhere — in print or on the internet — you must let the editor know. We can write the previous publisher for permission to reuse the material in JUCM. There is no guarantee, however, that permission will be granted, and if it is not, we cannot reprint the graphics.
With such a broad audience, the scope of JUCM is equally wide-ranging. The following are some examples of topics we’d like to cover in clinical review and practice management articles in the future.
Potential Topics, clinical:
- Burns: chemical, thermal
- Common soft-tissue injuries, such as those caused by fishhooks, foreign bodies, animal or human bites, and envenomation (bees, ants, spiders, marine animals, snakes, scorpions)
- Complications of malignancy
- Elbow pain and injury
- Electrolyte disturbances, such as hypo- or hypernatremia and hypo- or hyperkalemia
- Epididymitis, orchitis, prostatitis
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Geriatric falls
- Hypertension (stable versus urgent versus emergency)
- Joint pain—evaluation in the urgent care center
- Neck pain and trauma
- Pancreatitis and hepatitis
- Shoulder pain and injury
- Weakness and fatigue
Practice Management Potential Topics:
- Accountable care and new reimbursement models
- Billing and coding insights and changes
- HIPAA and patient privacy
- Hospital system integration of urgent care
- Human resources issues
- Integrating ancillary services
- Integrating physician assistants and nurse practitioners
- Leveraging electronic medical record systems
- Marketing to attract patients
- Patient satisfaction measurements and improvements
- Provider recruiting and retention
- Quality and compliance
- Risk management and patient safety
- Working with primary care physicians and specialists
The JUCM rarely publishes the results of clinical trials where informed patient consent and patient privacy are issues of concern. However, that does not preclude physicians and researchers from adhering to the basic constructs set forth in ethics board approval statements. The Journal requests that authors include the statement from their Institutional Review Board (IRB) in their work.
EDITORIAL ETHICAL STANDARDS
The JUCM adheres to industry standards regarding ethical behavior on the part of its authors, editors, reviewers, and staff and has a zero-tolerance attitude toward any misconduct whether identified before or after publication. Authors should know and avoid the various types of misconduct during both their research project and their publication of results. The following definitions are provided to guide all individuals involved with the Journal in adhering to its declaration of ethical behavior.
Additions and Corrections
Additions and Corrections may be requested by the author(s) or initiated by the Editor to address important issues or correct errors and omissions of consequence that arise after publication of an article. All Additions and Corrections are subject to approval by the Editor and should bring new and directly relevant information and corrections that fix scientific facts. Minor corrections and additions will not be published. Readers who detect errors of consequence in the work of others should contact the corresponding author of that work.
Additions and Corrections must be submitted as new manuscripts by the Corresponding Author for publication in the “Addition/Correction” section of the Journal. The corresponding author should obtain approval from all coauthors prior to submitting or provide evidence that such approval has been solicited. The manuscript should include the original article title and author list, citation including DOI, and details of the correction.
Articles may be retracted for scientific or ethical reasons and may be requested by the article author(s) or by the Journal Editor(s) but are ultimately published at the discretion of the Editor in Chief. Articles that contain seriously flawed or erroneous data such that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon may be retracted to correct the scientific record. When an article is retracted, a notice of Retraction will be published containing information about the reason for the Retraction. The originally published article will remain online except in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. where deemed legally necessary, or if the availability of the published content poses public health risks).
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) specifies the following as instances of misconduct in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results with the definitions cited on its website “Research Misconduct” accessed June 29, 2020, https://ori.hhs.gov/definition-misconduct
(a) Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
(b) Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
(c) Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
(d) Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.”
As defined by the various organizations respected in the medical journal community (namely the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) publication misconduct includes plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, inappropriate authorship, duplicate submission/multiple submissions, overlapping publication, and salami publication. The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine (JUCM) takes instances of publication misconduct seriously and acts to identify and rectify any errors in its publication through corrections or retractions, possible suspension of an author’s right to submit, and may inform the author’s institution.
The creation of data and/or results with no basis in legitimate research and reporting them as factual in an article submitted to a journal for publication.
Manipulating any one or several of the following: data, steps within procedures and/or processes, tampering with equipment, or omitting pertinent important about these in the results submitted for publication such that the research is not accurately and properly reported. This is especially egregious if such manipulations are not identified during the peer review process. Publication of falsified research can result in wasting other researchers’ time and resources following bad science or, worse yet, causing a health issue in one or more future patients.
The definition of plagiarism is the act of plagiarizing which is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. ” Thus, plagiarism is considered fraud and is a serious breach of publication ethics.
For example, the proper citation according to the Chicago Manual of Style for the above definition is:Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, s.v. “plagiarize,” accessed June 29, 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize
An equally unethical action is that of self-plagiarism, sometimes referred to as “recycling fraud.” This the use of significant (or nearly identical) portions of one’s own previously published work in a new manuscript without citing previous publication and providing complete citation. Many authors fail to recognize that including more than a paragraph or two of one’s prior publications without giving the proper citation falls under the act of plagiarizing and also constitutes a breach of publication ethics which can result in as serious a consequence as that incurred through the acts of fabrication, falsification, or manipulation.
Duplicate and Multiple Submissions
Duplicate (multiple) publication is sometimes referred to as redundant or overlapping publication. At issue is the potential for unnecessary peer review, editing, and publication by two or more separate journals. In addition, duplicate publications can result in increased attention and credit (i.e. citations) for authors. Thus, authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously to more than one journal. Simultaneous submissions by author(s) will be considered as acts of misconduct and may result in suspending an author for a certain period or indefinitely from the JUCM as well as informing the author’s institution. ICMJE “overlapping publications,” accessed June 29, 2020, http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/publishing-and-editorial-issues/overlapping-publications.html
Authors should submit only original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors must note any use of a preprint server, patents, and dissertations in the Author Checklist. The following does not constitute prior publication: theses in print or online; patents; and preprint servers.
Authors who choose to post their work on a preprint server should choose one that clearly identifies preprints as not peer-reviewed work and includes disclosures of authors’ relationships and activities. It is the author’s responsibility to inform a journal if the work has been previously posted on a preprint server. In addition, it is the author’s (and not journal editors’) responsibility to ensure that preprints are amended to point readers to subsequent versions, including the final published article. ICMJE “overlapping publications,” accessed June 29, 2020, http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/publishing-and-editorial-issues/overlapping-publications.html
The ICMJE recommends, and the JUCM concurs, that authorship be based on the following 4 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.
Contributors who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged for their specific participation—such as the following: “ ‘served as scientific advisor,’ ‘critically reviewed the study proposal,’ ‘collected data,’ ‘provided and cared for study patients,’ and ‘participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript’. ICJME website, accessed June 30, 2020, http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html
Process in the advent of publication misconduct
The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine (JUCM) has a zero-tolerance policy towards papers associated with any of the forms of publication misconduct cited above. Should a paper be identified as being an instance of one (or more) definitions of research and/or publication misconduct, the Journal will undertake an unbiased process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the Journal’s or publisher’s attention.
The process stages are:
- Receipt of an allegation either pre- or post-publication
- Preliminary assessment of the allegation
- Conduct of the inquiry and investigation
- Results which confirm the allegation trigger a decision on the part of the Journal to:
reject the manuscript or withdraw the published article not accept manuscripts submitted by the same author, authors, or research team for an appropriate time period (i.e. the next two-three years) determine whether the infraction is serious enough to inform the institution(s) which the corresponding author(s) is affiliated with and the research funder(s) about such misconduct, and post all penalty documents on the Journal site.
Should an author or collaborating authors be identified to have a second instance of misconduct, pending ameliorating circumstances, that author or group of authors will be banned from any future submission to the Journal. To report any allegations of editorial misconduct or complaints, or to appeal any article, email the Publisher, Stuart Williams, directly at [email protected].
THE PEER REVIEW PROCESS
Reviewers receive instructions on the rating sheet which accompanies the manuscript to be reviewed. It is important that reviewers understand six important guidelines:
- Reviewers should be able to evaluate the entirety of a paper.
- Reviewers do not edit manuscript content but rather provide comments and suggestions for improvement regarding readability of a paper when a medical term or procedure or a basic scientific concept is poorly presented.
- Reviewers are required to maintain anonymity and confidentiality during the entire peer review process.
- Reviewers may not contact the author(s) without permission from the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
- Reviewers should inform staff immediately if they ascertain a conflict of interest with the contents of the paper they have been asked to review.
- Reviewers are requested to tell staff at the earliest possible date whether there is the potential for not meeting the deadline to submit their review.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLE:
Before submitting your manuscript, please make sure to follow these guidelines:
- Declare That Your Manuscript Is Not Published Elsewhere. A manuscript submitted to JUCM must not have appeared previously in any publication, including other print journals or technical magazines, preprint servers, blogs, websites, or repositories.
- Declare Any Conflicts Of Interest (COI) Conflict of interest (COI) as defined by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) “exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests.” For additional information, including examples, please go to: http://wame.org/conflict-of-interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical-journals.
- Check That All Coauthors Meet Criteria For Authorship & Ensure Appropriate Acknowledgements Made In The Manuscript. An individual should be cited as an author of an article only if that person has made substantial intellectual contributions to the submitted manuscript. Supporting activities after the work has been completed are not considered substantial intellectual contributions. If you (and/or your coauthors) still have questions about authorship you can find an extensive resource at the COPE website: https://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/Authorship_DiscussionDocument_0_0.pdf
- Include Appropriate Funding Statements In The Manuscript. If during the conduct of the work or preparation of the manuscript any author received financial compensation from any individual or institution outside his or her principal employer such funding should be stated in order to determine any potential COI.
- Be Alert To Bias And Follow Guidelines For Accurate And Complete Reporting. “A case report is a narrative that describes, for medical, scientific or educational purposes, a medical problem experienced by one or more patients” as stated by the CARE (CAse REport) guidelines. A 2013 BMJ Case Report explained that: “The primary items of the checklist are title, key words, abstract, introduction, patient information, clinical findings, timeline, diagnostic assessment, therapeutic interventions, follow-up and outcomes, discussion, patient perspective and informed consent. We believe the implementation of the CARE (CAse REport) guidelines by medical journals will improve the completeness and transparency of published case reports and that the systematic aggregation of information from case reports will inform clinical study design, provide early signals of effectiveness and harms, and improve healthcare delivery.” For additional information regarding the CARE guidelines go to: http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/care/
- Inform The Journal If You Subsequently Find Errors In Your Article. There is no time limit on an author’s responsibility to inform the journal in which his or her article was published that errors have been identified. Depending on the consequences of the error the Editor may decide to include a short Errata in the next print version and/or a permanent comment appended to the digital version of the journal. Only extreme cases will create the need for a full retraction of an article.
- Sign A Copyright Agreement. Failure for all authors of an accepted manuscript to sign a copyright agreement will result in their manuscript not going forward to production and ultimate publication. The copyright agreement protects both the author and the publisher from a third-party stealing the intellectual property submitted for publication.
- Continuing Medical Education (CME) Primary clinical and practice management articles, as well as key case reports, published in JUCM articles are the basis of Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities in each issue. If the editors determine that your accepted manuscript will be one of these articles, you will be asked to complete an additional disclosure form, which JUCM will submit to its CME accreditor on your behalf.
All manuscripts submitted to the Journal are considered for publication on the condition that they have not been submitted to or published in another publication (in print or online). All manuscripts and reviews are submitted via the online content management system, Scholastica. The Journal does not accept submissions through any other method.
For a manuscript to be considered for publication, the author warrants that: (a) the manuscript is original (except for material in the public domain or as to which permission has been obtained from the copyright owner), (b) neither the manuscript nor one with substantially similar content under the author’s name has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere, (c) that the Author has identified in writing any material obtained from any source other than the Author and has obtained all permissions required for the inclusion and reproduction of such material, and (d) the manuscript does not contain any libelous or otherwise infringe on any personal or proprietary right of any person or entity.
Braveheart Group, LLC holds the copyright for all articles and artwork published in the Journal and thus requires all authors to transfer copyright prior to publication either online or in print. Each author must sign the Copyright Transfer Agreement which allows the Journal to publish the manuscript with exclusive world rights in print, online, or in any format to be based on a technology yet to be developed. Go to https://www.jucm.com/about-us/to review the JUCM Copyright Agreement. Neither the editorial staff, the Editor-In-Chief, or the Publisher, Stuart Williams, are responsible for any expression of opinion or statement of fact, all of which are published solely on reliability and integrity of the author (or authors) whose name is attached to the published article.