An Analysis of Medical Laboratory Technology Journals’ Instructions for Authors
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- Horvat, M., Mlinaric, A., Omazic, J. et al. Sci Eng Ethics (2016) 22: 1095. doi:10.1007/s11948-015-9689-2
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Instructions for authors (IFA) need to be informative and regularly updated. We hypothesized that journals with a higher impact factor (IF) have more comprehensive IFA. The aim of the study was to examine whether IFA of journals indexed in the Journal Citation Reports 2013, “Medical Laboratory Technology” category, are written in accordance with the latest recommendations and whether the quality of instructions correlates with the journals’ IF. 6 out of 31 journals indexed in “Medical Laboratory Technology” category were excluded (unsuitable or unavailable instructions). The remaining 25 journals were scored based on a set of 41 yes/no questions (score 1/0) and divided into four groups (editorial policy, research ethics, research integrity, manuscript preparation) by three authors independently (max score = 41). We tested the correlation between IF and total score and the difference between scores in separate question groups. The median total score was 26 (21–30) [portion of positive answers 0.63 (0.51–0.73)]. There was no statistically significant correlation between a journal’s IF and the total score (rho = 0.291, P = 0.159). IFA included recommendations concerning research ethics and manuscript preparation more extensively than recommendations concerning editorial policy and research integrity (Ht = 15.91, P = 0.003). Some policies were poorly described (portion of positive answers), for example: procedure for author’s appeal (0.04), editorial submissions (0.08), appointed body for research integrity issues (0.08). The IF of the “Medical Laboratory Technology” journals does not reflect a journals’ compliance to uniform standards. There is a need for improving editorial policies and the policies on research integrity.