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Journal processes and policies

Editorial Team

The Editorial team consists of the Editor-in-Chief, a Deputy Editor, the Editorial Office Team, and the Editorial Board (the Associate Editors).

Review Procedure

Except where clearly stated to the contrary, all submitted manuscripts are externally peer reviewed. Each manuscript is allocated to an Associate Editor according to specific subject area. Associate Editors are asked to pre-review manuscripts and may recommend against the full review of papers which they consider would have only a very limited chance of acceptance. Where agreement is reached between the Associate Editor and Editorial Team, papers are rejected without further peer review. Members of a pre-review panel may also be called on for further consultation. If the recommendation of the panel differs from that of the Associate Editor, the paper is sent for full peer review.
Pre-review rejection decisions are normally returned to authors within two weeks of submission.

Expert Reviewers are selected by the Associate Editors in conjunction with the Editorial Office. The Reviewers' reports are considered by the Associate Editor who provides a summary report and a recommendation regarding publication. The final decision is taken by the Editor-in-Chief (sometimes in collaboration with the journal’s Deputy Editor) and Managing Editor. Due to the considerable competition for publication in the journal, papers classified by the Reviewers and Associate Editors as having only a low or medium priority for publication will not normally be published. Articles submitted by the Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editor or Associate Editors are reviewed entirely independently of these people.

Timeline of Review

New manuscripts submitted to Molecular Human Reproduction are thoroughly reviewed. We pride ourselves on both speed and thoroughness and a first decision is sent to the Authors by email in 3-4 weeks on average.

Appeals

Peer review is imperfect, being based on a blend of evidence and opinion and, inevitably, mistakes occur. If an author has valid reasons for dissatisfaction with the review process and believes significant errors in process or judgment have been made, the journal will consider an appeal. Letters of appeal, clearly stating the major reasons and providing any supporting evidence, should be submitted by email to the Editor-in-Chief (editorial@humanreproduction.co.uk) who will call upon the advice of the manuscript’s Associate Editor and the other members of the Editorial Board if deemed appropriate. Ultimately, an editorial meeting will reach a recommendation of whether to uphold the original decision or permit resubmission.
The journal will not consider appeals unless a clear error in process or judgment has occurred; simply addressing reviewers’ comments on rejected manuscripts is not sufficient and these 'appeals' will not be considered.

Ethics of Scientific Publishing

Please note that all three ESHRE journals are members of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) and adhere strictly to COPE guidelines (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines) on good publication practice (see Human Reproduction 2001, pp. 1783 1788 and Human Reproduction 2006, pp.2463 2465).

Submission of a paper implies that it reports unpublished work and that it is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published tables, illustrations or text are to be included, then this should be clearly indicated in the manuscript and the copyright holder's permission must be obtained (where necessary). Copies of such permission letters should be submitted with the paper. Previously published material can be cited in a later review or commentary article, but it must be expressly indicated using quotation marks if necessary.
Republication in the case of an English language translation is (under certain circumstances) acceptable, provided that full and prominent disclosure of the original source is made. Failure to comply with these guidelines will be considered a double publishing offence and treated appropriately.

All manuscripts accepted by MHR are screened with iThenticate anti-plagiarism software to detect and prevent publication of plagiarised text. More information about iThenticate can be found here. Plagiarism of text from a previously published manuscript by the same or another author is a serious publication offence. Small amounts of text may be used, but only where the source of the material quoted is clearly acknowledged. Wherever verbatim text is used, this must be clearly indicated by the use of quotation marks. Verbatim use of text must be kept to a minimum.

Fraudulent data or data stolen from other authors is also unethical and will be treated accordingly. Any alleged offence is considered initially by the ESHRE Journals Editorial Team (comprising the Editors-in-Chief of HR, HRU and MHR, the Deputy Editors of HR, HRU and MHR and members of the Editorial Office) and later by the ESHRE Publication Committee. The ESHRE Journals reserve the right to reject papers on this basis alone, to bar authors from advisory positions on the journal or from membership of ESHRE, and to publish details of any transgression both in the printed and online versions of the journal. Other sanctions as recommended by COPE (such as informing the author's institutional head, publishing a notice of retraction etc.) may also be considered.

Ethics of Studies involving Humans or Animals

The editors draw the attention of authors to the Declaration of Helsinki for Medical Research involving Human Subjects (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/).

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Animal studies should be reported in accordance with the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines. These guidelines have been assembled by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (N3R) with input from researchers, statisticians and publishers to provide a 20-point checklist for the reporting of animal studies. The guidelines can be downloaded here. Further information is on the N3R website.

Studies involving humans or animals, or human or animal material, should have appropriate ethical approval and, where relevant, the patients' written informed consent. The editors reserve the right to refuse publication if the required ethical approval / patient consent is lacking.

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