Scope.

The Open Journal accepts submissions of papers in all fields of BioMed sciences. All articles are published under the Open Access model; currently the publication is free. Presently only original research articles are accepted.

Authors.

Each author must have a profile in The Open Journal. Authors that do not have a profile, must create one. During the submission process authors that do not have a profile can be invited to open an account and added to the manuscript in the later stages, as long as the manuscript is not formally submitted. It is important that the profiles are kept complete and up to date, since details such as affiliation that will appear on the article will be copied from the profile. Once article is submitted, all authors will be required to confirm their authorship, affiliation, contribution to the submitted manuscript and declare conflicts of interest. Authors that did not have their affiliation filled in before being listed on the manuscript might not have a correct affiliation at the time of the formal submission. Conflicts of interest section is filled after the declaration by each author, and it is therefore empty during the formal submission. Only the corresponding author or author that initiated the submission can make any changes to the manuscript. All authors can view the submission.

Article content and length.

Each research article should have a title, running title, abstract, authors list, introduction, methods or materials and methods, results, discussion (the later two can be combined in a single section) and acknowledgments. Abstract should be contained in a single paragraph. All articles must be in English. Usage of non-ANSI encoding should be limited to Unicode (UTF8); non-ANSI characters are not allowed in the title or abstract. We encourage articles to be as brief and concise as possible. By shortening articles, you ensure that more people would read them. However, we do understand that sometimes longer articles are needed. Our length limits are currently defined as following:

Min Max
Title 10 140 Characters
Running title 6 40 Characters
Abstract 20 250 Words
Any section 40 4000 Words
Table or Figure caption 3 200 Words

Formatting and References.

Sections, table and figure legends and response to referees can be formatted. The Open Journal uses tinyMCE for editing. It should allow copy/paste directly from your favorite text editor, such as MS Word, or copy/paste from a web browser, and the formatting should be preserved. However we noticed that the performance of the tinyMCE editor slightly varies between web browsers and operating systems. Use an up-to-date browser, and if you have any problems (formatting is removed on copy/paste, you loose content or don’t see any editor at all), try to use refresh button of your browser, and if it still fails try another browser. We also noticed that Safari or Internet Explorer retain most of document format when copy/pasting from MS Word, while Firefox can remove it.

The Open Journal has an in-built referencing system. Presently, you can cite PubMed articles, books and URLs. When citing an article, which is not available in PubMed, we suggest referencing the URL. Citations should be preceded by the \cite and enclosed in curly brackets. Type of citation should be followed by colon then by citation id.
For example:
PubMed article: \cite{PMID:19052320}
Website: \cite{URL:http://www.theopenjournal.org}
Book: \cite{ISBN:0596000278}
Page numbers can be added to book reference. For example,
\cite{ISBN:0596000278p111}
or
\cite{ISBN:0596000278pp111-112}

Multiple references should be enclosed within curled brackets and separated by coma (no spaces allowed), for example:
\cite{PMID:19052320,PMID:18523433,ISBN:0596000278p222,URL:http://www.theopenjournal.org}.

References will be formatted automatically. If you don't see proper formatting after pressing 'done' button, your reference is in wrong format which could not be understood by the system.

While it's not required, reference management software such as EndNote can be used. You can download the EndNote style for The Open Journal here. Presently, this style can only format PubMed articles, and will not format correctly book or website references.

Figures and Tables.

Figures and Tables should be mentioned in text in order of appearance and numbered. For example, mentioning Figure 1 will cause the system to display figure 1 in the immediate vicinity. The system will automatically bold Figure 1 in text. If the figure or table is not uploaded, a link to the uploading page will be provided. At the uploading page, the legend, the size of the figure or table should be provided relative to a page or column width. The "page or column" referes to rendering of the pdf version of the article, which has 2 columns on a page.

For figures, we currently accept image files in EPS, JPG, PNG or TIFF format, at resolution of at least 300dpi. Maximum file size is set at 1 megabyte, uploading of larger figures will be rejected. If a figure has several panels (A,B,C), all panels should be combined and uploaded as a single image. Once uploaded, the figure will be automatically formatted for browsing in different resolutions. Figure and Table legends should not exceed 200 words.

Tables should be prepared and uploaded as tab-delimited text files. For example, it can be done using Excel to render the table and save the file as 'text'. To prevent tables extending to non-readable areas, tables are limited by the maximum number of characters that they can have in a row (35 and 90 characters for column and page-fitting tables respectively). If your table is too wide, split some rows into two or more (see below for an example), and re-upload. Once uploaded, table can be modified to insert rows and columns, merge cells, format cells etc. Merging cells from different columns and rows is not allowed. Line breaks within cells are not allowed. Instead, contents of long cells should be split between cells in different rows.

For example, compare these two options of making a table:

Sample  Average isoelectric point
Mat layers 1 6.5
2 6.6
3 6.69
Whalefall 6.95
Sludge 7.62
Acid Mine Drainage 7.68
Sample Average
isoelectric
point
Mat layers 1 6.5
2 6.6
3 6.69
Whalefall 6.95
Sludge 7.62
Acid Mine Drainage 7.68

The long string in the table header on the left was split to 3 rows in the table on the right. This produces much better rendered tables, and is highly advised. In addition, such rendering will reduce the overal width of the table, and should be performed if you get 'your table is too wide' error.

Referees

The Open Journal has an innovative refereeing model. There are no editors; authors communicate directly with referees. Authors are responsible for choosing the referees and for ensuring a timely review process. All referees must be members of The Open Journal. Referees must be approved by the system by passing two tests. First, referees should have enough experience and knowledge to review a paper. Presently, referees must have a minimal score of 5 to qualify. Second, referees should not have a close connection to each other or to any of the authors. Such connections would be interpreted by the system as a conflict of interest and the referee approval will fail.

Close connection is established when two persons share

Authors must invite 3 referees. Any referee can refuse reviewing the article, and authors will be responsible for choosing an alternative referee. However, if 10 referees refuse to review an article, the manuscript will be considered to have no potential audience and automatically rejected.

If a referee becomes non-responsive, authors can send reminders (after 4 days of referee inactivity) or cancel the invitation to review for referees that are inactive for more than a week. However, canceled referees still count towards the maximum number of 10 reviewers.

Because refereeing is not anonymous, referees will be publicly acknowledged and associated with the papers they review. To avoid being associated with papers of doubtful quality, we recommend that referees agree to review only high-quality drafts. This would also reduce a potential conflict between an author and referee. Therefore we recommend that referees scan the complete paper for potential conflicts before they agree or deny serving as referees.

Referees that accept an invitation are presented with a set of questions regarding the quality of each aspect of the paper. If a referee replies to any of the question 'No', acceptance cannot be recommended. Any 'No' reply requires an explanation how this aspect should be improved. The answers are returned to authors for review.

The decision on a submitted manuscript is made as follows:

  1. Article is rejected if 10 referees deny requests to review or if 2 referees recommend rejection.
  2. If 3 referees recommend acceptance, article is accepted for publication.
  3. If one referee recommends rejection, opinion of an additional referee is requested.
  4. If any referee requires revision, revision is requested.

Referees are requested to provide their opinion on the size of the potential audience for the article. There are 3 categories: technical, field or broad interest, each successive category suggests a potentially broader audience. The ability of a referee to recommend the level of interest depends on their qualifications (score), and their history of review. Referees with a low score can only recommend technical interest, referees with higher scores can only recommend field interest after enough technical recommendations made etc. If the article is accepted, the opinion of each referee will be displayed in the journal.

Finally, The Open Journal referees are acknowledged and are held accountable for their actions. The names of the referees are attached to the article, and papers they review are linked to their profile. This provides accountability and track record of reviewing process.

Fees

The Open Journal has Open Access publication model, that is authors pay for publication and readers access it for free. Presently, in the first stages of the journal, the publication fee is waved for any publication. At some point new publications will be charged a fee, however we promise to keep the lowest price of all open access journals.

We wish you best luck with submitting your research.