Policies

Journal policies on authorship and contributorship

Authorship should be based on the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the study; or acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data
  • Drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • Final approval of the version to be submitted for publication

Anyone who has contributed to the study or manuscript but does not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the 'Acknowledgments'. Permission to include the name and affiliation of those mentioned in the Acknowledgments section must be obtained.

If the list of authors changes after publication, a new version of the article can be published with an explanation. Changes in the author list must be confirmed by all authors. In agreement with COPE guidelines, the BEC editorial team cannot take responsibility for any authorship disputes.

How the journal will handle complaints and appeals

Bioenergetics communications follows the COPE guidelines in relation to complaints and appeals. If you wish to make an appeal about an editorial decision or make a complaint, please contact the editorial team.

Journal policies on conflicts of interest / competing interests

Authors must declare any conflicts of interest. A conflict of interest will not preclude publication, but it provides full transparency for the reviewers and readers. If there are no conflicts to declare, the following standard statement is added: ‘No conflicts of interests were disclosed’.

A conflict of interest may be of non-financial or financial nature. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Individuals receiving funding, salary or other forms of payment from an organization, or holding stocks or shares from a company, whose financial situation might be influenced by the publication of the findings;
  • Individuals, their funding organization or employer holding (or applying for) related patents;
  • Official affiliations and memberships with interest groups relating to the content of the publication;
  • Political, religious, or ideological competing interests.

Journal policies on data sharing and reproducibility

Bioenergetics Communications support the FAIR principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR Principles).

All articles in Bioenergetics Communications that report original results should include the raw data underlying the results, together with details of any software used to process the results. It is essential that others can see the raw data to be able to replicate the study and analyze the data, as well as in some circumstances, reuse it. Failure to provide access to the raw data for publication without good justification is likely to result in the article being rejected.

All articles must include a Data Availability statement at the end of the manuscript, even where no data is associated with or has been included in the article.

Where possible, data should be deposited in a stable and recognized open repository under a CC0 license prior to manuscript submission. Please check that the DOI(s) and/or accession number(s) provided are publicly available. Data should be submitted to discipline-specific, community-recognized repositories, or to generalist repositories if no suitable community resource is available. Possible generalist repositories are listed below. These repositories have their own policies and may be subject to file size limits and/or fees.

We recognize that there may be cases where openly sharing data may not be feasible (due to ethical or security considerations, or data protection issues). If you think that this applies to your article, please indicate this at the submission stage.

Exceptions may be made for ethical and security considerations

If data access is restricted for ethical or security reasons, the manuscript must include:

  • A description of the restrictions on the data; and
  • All necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to apply for access to the data and the conditions under which access will be granted.

Data protection issues

Where human data cannot be effectively de-identified, data must not be shared to protect patient/participant privacy unless the individuals have given explicit written consent that their identifiable data can be made publicly available.

In instances where the data cannot be made available, the manuscript must include:

  • an explanation of the data protection concern;
  • any intermediary data that can be de-identified without compromising anonymity;
  • what, if anything, the relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) or equivalent said about data sharing; and,
  • where applicable, all necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to apply for access to the data and the conditions under which access will be granted.

Large data

It is not always feasible to share large data sets. In these cases, authors should include a description of the data, including the file types and sizes, when submitting their manuscript.

Where data is too large to be feasibly hosted by a repository, the manuscript should include:

  • Any intermediary data that can be easily shared; and
  • All necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to access the data alongside a description of this process.

Data under license by a third party

In cases where data has been obtained from a third party and restrictions apply to the availability of the data, the manuscript must include:

  • All necessary information required for a reader or reviewer to access the data by the same means as the authors;
  • Any intermediary data that can be shared legally; and
  • Publicly available data that is representative of the analyzed dataset and can be used to apply the methodology described in the manuscript.

Journal policy on ethical oversight

Bioenergetics Communications follows the COPE guidelines relating to ethical oversight.

Research involving humans:

Ethics approval

All studies involving humans (individuals, human data or material) must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval must have been obtained for all protocols from the authors’ institutional or other relevant ethics committee (Institutional Review Board, IRB) to ensure that they meet national and international guidelines. Details of this approval must be provided when submitting an article, including the institution, review board name, and permit number(s).

Patient privacy and informed consent for publication

As stated in the Recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: “Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.”

Research involving animals:

Bioenergetics Communications recommends following the PREPARE guidelines for planning experiments and the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting experiments using animals. Experiments involving vertebrates or regulated invertebrates must adhere to the ethical guidelines provided by the authors’ institution and national or international regulations. Where applicable, a statement of ethics permission granted, or animal licenses should be included. If animals were used but ethical approval was not required, a clear statement should be included stating why this approval was unnecessary. In all cases, a statement should be made to confirm that all efforts were made to minimize the welfare impact on animals and details of how this was achieved should be provided.

Journal policy on intellectual property

Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License BY-NC-ND license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited. © remains with the authors, who have granted Bioenergetics Communications an Open Access license in perpetuity. The CC BY-NC-ND license allows others to download the publications and share them as long as the authors are credited but do not allow changes that create a derivative or commercial use of these publications. Merely changes in the format are not considered a derivative.

Permanency of content, peer-review process, and Journal's options for post-publication discussions and corrections

All articles published in BEC should undergo a formal open peer-review process coordinated by the BEC editors. Each article shall be reviewed by 2 independent reviewers for publication. The reviewers must have expertise in the area and not present any conflict of interest. The only exceptions in which this traditional peer-review process is not followed are invited book chapters and consortium publications.

All accepted article versions will receive a DOI and are permanently published.

Living Communications and the open peer-review model

  • All manuscripts submitted to BEC should be available as a preprint at the time of submission, aiming at allowing discussion of the material by the scientific community, which can be used by the authors to improve the manuscript.
  • BEC follows an open peer-review process in which the reviewer names and their reports are published alongside the article, and the authors’ responses to the reviewers are also made publicly available.
  • External review should lead without 'unreasonable' delay to publication in Bioenergetics Communications, which can include an appended discussion comprising of/based on the correspondence with the reviewers. BEC reviewers do not have the option to insist on additional experiments, but strictly focus on the quality of the presently provided information. BEC reviewers may suggest additional experiments for future versions, without delay of publishing the actually available and evaluated information.
  • Reviewers, editors and readers may encourage follow-up interlaboratory collaborations. Extended information can then be added in future versions of the publication by the original authors, or new collaborators upon mutual agreement with the original authors, with detailed information provided in the section 'Author contributions'.
  • When reasonable, authors can revise and update their articles by publishing new versions, which might include more data. The reviewers of the updated version are not necessarily identical to the reviewers of the resource publication. This new version will be published with a different DOI and the individual versions, once published, cannot be altered or withdrawn and are permanently available.
  • Comments: While peer reviewers are formally invited, we encourage unsolicited open scientific discussion on all articles. Such contributions are published through our comment system Disqus.  Comments should contribute to, and focus on, the scholarly debate and related to the content presented in the articles with which they are associated. Prior to being published, comments will be evaluated by BEC editors. Comments that appear to be advertising, are potentially libelous or legally problematic are not permitted. Nor will we accept comments that are offensive, indecent or contain negative comments of a personal, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious character. All Comments must be written in good English; a Comment may be rejected if it is deemed unintelligible. Readers who wish to comment on an article are asked to declare any competing interests.
  • Authors may integrate these corrections and additions arising from comments into a new version of the Living Communication — possibly with added coauthors —, which upon submission to BEC will be subject to Open Peer Review.

Retraction

Articles may be retracted for several reasons, including:

  • Honest errors reported by the authors (for example, errors due to the mixing up of samples or use of a scientific tool or equipment that is found subsequently to be faulty)
  • Research misconduct (data fabrication)
  • Duplicate or overlapping publication
  • Fraudulent use of data
  • Clear plagiarism
  • Unethical research

For any retracted article, the reason for retraction and who is instigating the retraction will be clearly stated in the Retraction notice. The retraction notice will be linked to the retracted article (which will remain on the site) and the article will be clearly marked as retracted (including the PDF).

Allegations of research misconduct

Authors commit to taking measures to prevent the publication of content in which research misconduct has taken place, as it is stated in the authors' declaration.

Publishers and editors shall take reasonable steps to prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others.

When allegations regarding research misconduct of a publication are made, the publishers and editors might take measures to identify the eventual misconduct and respond with appropriate actions.