The journal follows the guidelines of the Japanese Association of Medical Journal Editors (JAMJE), which in turn endorses the editorial policies of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The journal follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines when dealing with any cases of misconduct or dispute.
By submitting an article to the journal, the authors undertake that the work has not been previously published, is not under active consideration for publication elsewhere, has been approved by all co-authors for publication, and that, tacitly or explicitly, it has been approved by the relevant authorities where the work was carried out.
All authors must sign an Author Agreement Form, which summarizes the necessary warranties and undertakings of the authors in respect to their submission.
There are various basic criteria listed throughout this document which manuscripts must comply with. These include being within the journal’s subject area, being original contributions, and being compliant with the following: ethical behavior policies, human or animal experimentation policies, clinical trial registration, data policies, technical requirements, English standards, and copyright provisions, among others.
The journal aims to be an important outlet for local and regional work, and to increasingly bring this work to the attention of the international community – for its greater benefit. The journal also wishes to bring subject areas of local expertise and specialty, such as geriatric rehabilitation, to the attention of its international audience. Therefore, articles in the journal must also be:
- scientifically and/or clinically rigorous
- important, or potentially important, to the overall progress of the field and the researchers and practitioners within it
- constructed, written and/or placed in an appropriate context in order to be relevant and of interest to an international audience
To qualify as authors, all those included in the author list of a submission must have made substantial contributions to:
- conceiving and designing the work undertaken, or obtaining, analyzing or interpreting the data
- writing the article or revising it critically for intellectual content
All listed authors must also have provided final approval of the version to be submitted and agree to be held accountable for all aspects of the work.
Re-use of Copyrighted Material
Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s), for both print and online formats. The official documents outlining the permissions granted must be provided when submitting their manuscript.
Availability of Data and Materials
The journal is supportive of initiatives that improve the research process and the usefulness of research to the community. By submitting to the journal, authors agree that any reasonable requests by the journal or readers for materials, data and any protocols in relation to their article will be made available.
Authors undertake that their submissions are original works. The journal uses the CrossCheck system (based on the iThenticate software) to screen manuscripts; by submitting a manuscript, the authors agree to this process. The journal will no longer consider manuscripts if they are found to contain unacceptable levels of unoriginal work.
Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest (COI) exists when primary interests such as the validity of a work is inappropriately influenced by other secondary interests, such as financial issues or personal relationships. All authors must disclose any potential conflicts of interest.
Examples of potential COIs that are directly or indirectly related to research include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Research grants from funding agencies (please provide the research funder and the grant number in the Acknowledgments section)
- Honoraria for speaking at, or financial support for attending, symposia
- Financial support for educational programs
- Employment or consulting roles
- Support from a project sponsor
- Position on an advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships
- Multiple affiliations
- Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest
- Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights, and royalties from such rights)
- Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have a financial interest in the work
A Conflict of Interest disclosure statement must be included at the end of the main text before the References section.
Also, it is mandatory for all authors to fill out and submit a Conflict of Interest Self-Disclosure Form upon the submission.
Human/Animal Experimental Subjects
All investigations involving human participants must be conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki and its revisions, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Investigations involving human subjects or animals require prior approval of the appropriate institutional review board/ethics committee or its equivalent. A statement containing the approval number/identifier should be documented in the main text (e.g., the Materials and Methods section).
Studies published in the journal that involve human participants must obtain prior, written informed consent from them for their participation in the investigation. Identifying details or personal information (names, dates of birth, and other information) of the participants included in a study should not be included in any format or section, including but not limited to case studies, written descriptions, images and/or photographs, or genetic profiles.
If the above information is essential for the scientific understanding and interpretation of your study, the participant (or parent or guardian if the participant is incapable) must provide explicit written informed consents, permissions, and/or releases for publication of the identifying details. The approvals must be provided via the submission system. All applicable laws and regulations concerning privacy and/or security of personal information must be complied with.
The following statement for informed consent should be included in the Materials and Methods section for Original Articles, or the Case section for Case Reports: “Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”
If identifying information about participants is available in the article, the following statement should be included in the Materials and Methods section: “Additional informed consent was obtained from all participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.”
Clinical Trial Registration
The World Health Organization defines a clinical trial as any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes (http://www.who.int/ictrp/en). The journal follows the ICMJE Clinical Trial guidelines for submissions to be considered for publication. These require that clinical trials be registered in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment.
Any manuscript that describes the work or outcomes of a clinical trial must register it at one of the registries below, which the journal deems to be compliant. Any posting of results in a clinical trial registry as part of these requirements will not be deemed to be previously published or an overlapping publication.
Authors must also provide or submit the original protocol upon request and provide the registration identification number and the URL for the trial's registry upon submission.
Examples of compliant registries
All manuscripts that are under consideration, or have been returned to authors, are in- confidence. Authors will maintain confidentiality of all correspondence from the journal, editors, and editorial office about their submission.
The journal undertakes single-blind peer review, and reviewers’ identities are not disclosed unless requested by the reviewer in writing. As part of their agreement to review articles for the journal, reviewers agree to maintain the confidentiality of manuscripts they have reviewed.
Editorial and Peer Review Process
Submitted manuscripts are categorized into six broad subject areas, which are:
Neurological and mental health conditions
Internal medicine and other conditions
Submissions are initially screened for compliance with the journals’ policies and other technical aspects. Those that do not comply will be returned to authors.
For journal policy-compliant manuscripts, a Handling Editor first assesses the scientific rigor of the article. For manuscripts deemed potentially suitable for publication, a Section Editor is assigned who undertakes a single-blind peer review process by selecting reviewers, assessing their reports, and making an initial decision.
There are two potential initial decision pathways: first, the Section Editor decides to offer authors the opportunity to resubmit with minor revision or major revision. Authors are then given two months to revise the manuscript and re-submit it.
Second, the Section Editor can recommend to the Editor-in-Chief that a manuscript is either suitable for acceptance without revision or should be rejected. The Editor-in-Chief then makes the final decision.
Resubmitted manuscripts may be sent back to the original reviewer or to new reviewers if deemed necessary by the Section Editor. After a final assessment of the revised manuscript and any further reviews or advice, the Section Editor makes a recommendation of acceptance or rejection to the Editor-in-Chief who makes the final decision.
The journal invites authors to suggest two potentially suitable reviewers who must be qualified experts; any ongoing or former relationships with any authors must be declared. Authors can also request that one potential reviewer be excluded if they wish. The journal may consider these requests but is under no obligation to honor them; the Section Editors and Editor-in-Chief have complete discretion over the selection of reviewers.
Errata and Retractions
The journal will correct any significant errors published in the journal. If authors or any third- party discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in a published article, they should notify the Editor-in-Chief who will determine whether an Erratum or a Retraction is appropriate.
Errata describe errors that significantly affect the scientific integrity of an article, or the reputation the authors or the journal. Retractions describe situations in which the results or conclusions are found to be misleading or invalid, or when there is evidence of lapses in research or publication ethics. Minor errors by authors will not be amended.
The journal reserves the right to publish an Erratum or Retraction in all cases, including those in which the authors, or some co-authors, disagree to the said article being published. In these cases, the journal will separately list the dissenting co-authors.
The journal’s decisions in these matters is final.