Editorial, Legal, and Ethical Policies

For additional editorial, legal, and ethical policies, please visit the Instructions for Authors.

Duplicate Publication, Plagiarism and Fabrication

Manuscripts containing original material are accepted for consideration if neither the article nor any part of its essential substance, tables, or figures has been or will be published or submitted elsewhere before appearing in PQS (in part or in full, in other words or in the same words, in English or in another language), and will not be submitted elsewhere unless rejected by the Journal or withdrawn by the author. (This restriction is exclusive of abstracts of the Work submitted for presentation to learned societies and scholarly forums.)   Simultaneous submissions of the same article to multiple journals are prohibited. If an author violates this requirement or engages in similar misconduct, PQS’s Editorial Board may reject the manuscript or impose a moratorium on acceptance of new manuscripts from the author. If it deems the misconduct sufficiently serious, the Editorial Board can refer the matter for investigation to the author’s academic institution or hospital or to the appropriate state or local disciplinary body. A letter of permission is required for any and all material that has been published previously or is “in press” by another journal. It is the responsibility of the author to request permission from the publisher for any material that is being reproduced. This requirement applies to text, illustrations, and tables. These permissions must be supplied to PQS upon submission of the article, along with ample acknowledgement of the original source of the materials in the legend and/or text.

To reiterate, any previously published material (including material published in foreign-language, open access, or e-journals) that is included in a submission to PQS needs to:

a) Clearly reference the original publication of the previously published material.

b) Be accompanied by a letter of permission from the copyright holder of the material. Any fee associated with permission to reuse previously published material is the responsibility of the author of the manuscript.

If an author submits an article to PQS that contains material to which he or she holds the copyright (figures, material from articles published on open-access or e-journals, and so on), he or she needs to clearly indicate that he or she holds the copyright and provide PQS with written permission to use the previously copyrighted material. Authors retain copyright of all material published in PQS. All permission statements allowing PQS to publish previously published material must extend to all print and digital media (so that material can be both printed and placed on the Journal’s website) and must not include any time limitations.

PQS’s online submission system, Editorial Manager, employs an automated plagiarism/duplicate publication program called “CrossCheck.” As such, we use this program strategically to help us discover instances of misconduct at the earliest stages of manuscript submission.

Plagiarism is when an author passes off the work of someone else as his or her own. This can also include self-plagiarism, which happens when an author reuses portions of his or her previously published work without the proper references. Manuscripts containing plagiarized content will not be considered for publication in PQS. All authors need to take responsibility for their manuscripts. If your name is on a manuscript, make sure all of the material in the paper either is original or is properly cited and has proper permission to be reproduced. If you have a question about the originality of any part of a manuscript, verify it with your coauthors. Senior authors should pay special attention to what the junior authors are doing and where they are sending their manuscripts.

If you realize you have made an error of dual publication or plagiarism inadvertently, proactively contact the editorial office. It is much better to come forward of your own volition than to have an accusation made against you.

If PQS learns of a case of plagiarism after publication, PQS will conduct an investigation. If plagiarism is found, the author, the author’s institution and funding agencies, and the original publication will be notified. A statement noting the plagiarism, providing a reference to the plagiarized material, and linking to the original to the original paper may follow. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.


Image Integrity

Illustrations, figures, and tables should be labeled clearly, arranged symmetrically, in either “portrait” or “landscape” orientation, and numbered sequentially in the text. Photographs should be identical in terms of size, position, and lighting. Figures must be accompanied by legends attached at the end of the manuscript.

Graphics altering programs can be used to assemble multi-panel images, clean up dust specs from scanning in originals, and cropping. However, these programs should not be used improperly to attempt to modify results.

Conflict of Interest

All sources of funds supporting the work and a statement of financial interest, if any, must be included for each author of a manuscript, along with a list of all products, devices, drugs, etc. used in the manuscript. All manuscripts must have this information. Each author is required at the time of submission to disclose any commercial associations or financial disclosures that might pose or create a conflict of interest with information presented in any submitted manuscript. Such associations include any of the following: consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest, patent licensing arrangements, payments for conduction or publicizing a study described in the manuscript, royalty recipient, grant recipient, employee, board member and review panel member.

Correction and Retraction Policy

PQS takes full responsibility to correct errors as they occur. Content that is published online or in an issue is considered the final published record and must be preserved; therefore all changes to articles must be made as a formal correction. Corrections will be published online and in the next available issue and will be bi-directionally linked to the original article.  These corrections will then be picked up by Ovid and transmitted to indexing services and other aggregating databases.

Corrections will be reviewed and considered if they affect the publication record, the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors, or of PQS.  Corrections that do not significantly affect the paper may not be approved (i.e. a spelling error).

Retractions will be considered if results are invalid or ethical guidelines have been violated (i.e. applicable cases of plagiarism or ghostwriting). All coauthors must sign a retraction detailing the error and how the conclusions were affected.

All decisions about corrections or retractions are made by the Editor. Author consultation may be required. In situations where coauthors disagree about a correction, the Editors will consult with independent peer-reviewers before applying the appropriate correction. The dissenting author(s) position will be noted on the correction.


Publication Charges

Because PQS is an open-access journal and free for all readers (no subscription required). An article-processing charge (APC) covers the cost of publication, including administering peer review process, journal production, and online archiving and hosting www.pediatricqualityandsafety.com.  The APC will not be requested on non-accepted articles; the APC will not be requested until the peer review process has completed and the manuscript is accepted. For the foreseeable future, the APC for accepted manuscripts will be underwritten by donations from industry partners.