Peer Review Process
All manuscripts submitted to USP journals undergo a rigorous peer review process, in which most of our peer reviews are single blind (unless stated otherwise).
All submitted manuscript are firstly handled by our managing editor, who will check the manuscript for plagiarism, in which rejection of the manuscript can take place at this stage by the managing editor if plagiarism occurs in the manuscript.
After the plagiarism check is completed and results are deemed satisfactory, the managing editor will pass the manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief who will undertake the peer review process, or at times pass the task to one of the Associate Editor.
A minimum of 2 reviewers will be selected from the pool of reviewers available according to their expertise and suitability to the subject matter of the manuscript. Reviewers will have to give their comments and recommendations (Accept, Major Revisions, Reject) to the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor for them to make a final decision on the paper, and their comments will help the authors improve their papers.
Upon recommendations by the reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief or the Associate Editor can make a final decision on the paper and inform the author on their decision, adding comments to the Authors to make improvements in their research or paper.
Typically there are 3 main decisions in the peer review process – Accept, Major Revisions or Reject. If the Editor-in-Chief accepts the paper, it could be split into Minor revisions (author to make minor amendments to the paper) or No revisions (no amendments required by author), after which the paper can be sent to the Editing stage.
If the decision is a Major Revision, the authors are required to make the changes as suggested in the comments accordingly and the paper will be resubmitted for a second (or third) round of review. If the decision is to Reject the manuscript, the author will be notified and the rejected manuscript will be archived and the peer review process ends.
An accepted paper will be sent for Copy Editing, Layout Editing and Proofreading before publication of the paper. Correspondence between the authors and USP will be required here in order to improve the language and/or look of the manuscript. After the Editing stage is completed, authors are required to check the PDF file of the final version before the article is published. USP registers DOI for the manuscript before publishing it on our site, in which the article is immediately accessible to the public.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Conflict of interest can be either financial or non-financial. Authors submitting to USP journals are required to declare if they have any conflict of interest which may result in the data written in their article to be influenced by any personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations.
Financial Conflict of Interest include (but not limited to):
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future.
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the article, either now or in the future.
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
Non-Financial Conflict of Interest include (but not limited to):
- intellectual competing interests
Authors are required to declare both financial and/or non-financial conflict of interest in order to prevent any embarrassment or accusations of wrong-doing if they were to be made public after the publication of their manuscript. If there are no conflict of interest present, authors are required to include a statement declaring that there are no conflict of interest.
Reviewers are required to declare conflict of interest that might be relevant to them in the contents of the manuscript (e.g reviewer might be working in the organization that funds the research in the manuscript), and to inform the Editor in Chief that they might not be suitable for reviewing the paper.
Editorial Board is expected to (1) present unbiased, independent, and professional advice to the editor-in-chief, (2) maintain confidentiality about editorial board activities and discussion, and (3) sign a disclosure form to affirm that he or she has read, understands, and agrees to abide by the conflict of interest policy and to disclose any known conflicts or to state that no conflicts exist at the time. Conflicts of interest must be disclosed to the editor-in-chief who will determine how to manage, reduce, or eliminate the conflict.
Statement of Human and Animal Rights
All papers submitted to USP should declare agreement with the following ‘statement of human and animal rights’. Any paper lacking it will not be considered for publication. Papers describing procedures involving humans or animals must include an explicit and easily identifiable statement pointing out that the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 and 2008. If any doubt exists as to whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and then demonstrate that the institutional ethical committee explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.
Statement of Informed Consent
All papers submitted to our Journal should declare agreement with the following ‘statement of informed consent’. Any paper lacking it will not be considered for publication. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. All information which could contribute to identify patients, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, etc., unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives explicit written informed consent for publication. For this purpose the manuscript should be shown to the patient before publication and specific and explicit informed consent should be obtained. Furthermore, individuals who provide writing assistance should be identified by the authors, and they must disclose the funding source for this assistance.
Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. However, since complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, informed consent should be obtained from each patient involved, if there is any doubt. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning, and editors will note that.
Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are de-identified, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning, and editors will note that.
USP does not approve any form of plagiarism used in submitted manuscript. All manuscripts submitted to USP journals will be checked for plagiarism by our managing editor before being passed to the Editor-in-Chief. Any manuscripts found to be in violation of plagiarism will be rejected by our managing editor.
List those that have made significant contribution to the reported study as co-authors, and for others who have participated in certain aspects to be listed or acknowledged as contributors in their study. The corresponding author has to ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper, and agree to its submission for publication.
Article Processing Charge (APC)
Like most other gold open-access journals, USP journals maintains our high quality of service through an 'author-pay' model. The scientific community and the general public have, for free, unlimited and immediate access to all content published in our journals as soon as it is published on the Internet. As such, manuscripts that are accepted for publication following peer review may incur a article processing charge (APC). Payment of this charge allows Universe Scientific Publishing to offset peer review management, journal production and online hosting and archiving. In addition, overall publication charges also will be used to provide fee waivers for authors from lesser developed countries (see below).
Universe Scientific Publishing is committed to keeping its open access publication charges at a minimum level. There are no hidden costs at our journals. There is no additional charge for colour figures. Published articles appear electronically and are freely available from our website. Authors may also use their published articles for any non-commercial use on their personal or non-commercial institution's website.
The exact value of article processing charges for each journal is given in the table below. The APC covers editorial services and production of an article. Upon acceptance for publication a processing fee will be payable. Owing to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates fees may occasionally be subject to change without notice.
|USP Journals||Article Processing Charge|
|Probe - Soil Science||US$ 800|