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 Approved by
  Chief Editor,
Professor, PhD, MD
Leonid Lazebnik

14 April 2012


All manuscripts are subject to peer review and are expected to meet standards of academic excellence. Submissions will be considered by an editor and “if not rejected right away” by peer- reviewers, whose identities will remain anonymous to the authors.


Authors should be aware that manuscripts will be screened upon submission. Only manuscripts which fully comply with the submission requirements outlined and in which the level of English is of an acceptable standard will enter the peer review process.

First submission. Once successful submission of a manuscript has taken place, an acknowledgement will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author. The number of the manuscript should be used by the authors in all communications with the Editorial Office. All the manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editors and, in most cases, by other expert reviewers. After review, the corresponding author will be notified by means of a letter of the decision to accept or reject the manuscript for publication. This letter may include reviewers' comments, and will be sent only via email.

Resubmission of manuscripts. Authors may be invited to submit a revised version of the manuscript for further review. This invitation does not imply, in any case, that the revised version will be accepted for publication. Revised manuscripts must be received by the Editorial Office within three months of the date of the first decision, otherwise they will be considered withdrawn. Instructions for resubmission of manuscripts are identical to those for the first submission, with the following additions:

  • The cover letter must state that the revised manuscript has been modified according to the comments made by the Editor and the Reviewers.
  • All changes made in the revised manuscript should be underlined or highlighted.

A point by point reply to the Editor's and/or reviewers' criticisms must be uploaded along with the new cover letter, revised manuscript, figures and tables.


Contribution to Editorial Decisions – Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method. Publisher shares the view ofmany that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.

      • Promptness – Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor of "Experimental and Clinical Gastroenterology" and excuse himself from the review process.
      • Confidentiality – Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorised by the editor.
      • Standard and objectivity – Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
      • Acknowledgement of Sources – Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Article Number  
Criteria Excellent Good Poor Comments
Paper structure        
(organization into sections, subsections, appendix)
Clearly stated purpose and objective(s)        
Transitions used        
Introduction & conclusion focus clearly on the main point        
Development & Support
Criteria Excellent Good Poor Comments
Major ideas/topics received enough attention and explanation        
Supporting material persuasive        
Adequate references and resource material        
Criteria Excellent Good Poor Comments
Topic and level of formality appropriate for audience        
Sentences and words varied        
Grammar and Mechanics
Criteria Excellent Good Poor Comments
Recommended Changes
Please recommend specific changes in the writing.


Reviewer Comments
Final Decision Accept □  Modify □  Refuse □  Recommend to other journal □
Please write down your final opinion for this article.



Editors of journals should consider the opinion of the publication, if:
they have clear evidence of the unreliability of the information published, either as a result of conscious actions (for example, falsification of data), or due to good faith errors (for example, errors in calculations or experiments);
the findings have been previously published in another publication and there is no proper reference, authorization and justification for re-publication (i.e. duplicate publication).);
it is plagiarism;
describes unethical research.
Editors of journals should consider the concerns, if:
they received information about the authors ' inappropriate actions, but there is no clear evidence of such behavior;
there are arguments that the results of the work are unreliable, and the institution in which the authors work is not going to find out the truth;
they believe that the investigation into the alleged violations committed by the authors in connection with the publication has either not been or will not be fair, impartial and convincing;
the authors ' violations are being investigated, but the results are not expected soon enough. Journal editors should consider making amendments if:
a small part of the rest of the high-quality publication is unreliable (especially because of conscientious errors);
the list of authors / sponsors contains errors (i.e., it does not contain someone who is worthy to be an author, or a person who does not meet the authorship criteria).
In most cases, a review is not appropriate if:
authorship needs to be changed, but there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings. Recall notifications should:
if possible, have a hyperlink to the article (in all electronic versions);
clearly identify the article you are withdrawing (for example, include its title and author in the title of the withdrawal notification);
be clearly defined as a review (i.e. different from other types of amendments and comments);
be published as soon as possible to minimize the negative effects of false publications;
be freely available to all readers (that is, be not in limited access or available only to subscribers); specify who withdraws article;
specify the reasons for the recall (to distinguish conscious misconduct from fair errors); avoid potentially defamatory or libellous statements.


Purpose of withdrawal

Feedback is a mechanism for correcting published information and alerting readers to publications that contain serious flaws or erroneous data that cannot be trusted. Data inaccuracy may be the result of a good faith misconception or a deliberate violation.

Reviews are also used to warn readers about duplicate publications (i.e., when authors submit the same data in multiple publications), plagiarism, and to hide important conflicts of interest that may affect the interpretation of the data or recommendations for their use.

The main purpose of the feedback is to correct the published information and ensure its integrity, and not to punish the authors who have committed violations.

What form should the review take?

A revocation notice must contain the reasons and basis of opinion, to distinguish between violations and bona fide errors; it also needs to be specified person withdrawing the article. Notifications must be published in all versions of the journal (i.e. printed and / or electronic). You must include the authors and title of the retracted article in the title of the withdrawal notice.

Withdrawn articles should be clearly marked as such in all electronic sources (for example, on the website of the journal and in any bibliographic databases). Editors are responsible for ensuring that the withdrawn publications are marked so that they are well identified as such by all bibliographic databases (which should also include a reference to the withdrawn article). The notice of withdrawal shall be known to every electronic search engine of the withdrawn publication.

Revoked articles should not be removed from printed copies of the journal (for example, in libraries) or from electronic archives, but their status as withdrawn should be specified as clearly as possible.

Which publications should be withdrawn?

If only a small part of the article contains invalid data, especially as a result of a good – faith error, the best way to solve the problem is to make a correction or record in the list of typos. (The term "typo" usually refers to a technical error made by a journal. The term "correction" (or "correction") usually refers to an author's error.) Partial review is not appropriate because it makes it difficult for readers to determine the status of the article and the reliability of its parts.
Similarly, if only a small part of the article (e.g., a few suggestions in the discussion) is plagiarism, editors should consider whether it would be better for readers (and the author of the original work) if the article were amended (with correct references to the source) than if the entire article was withdrawn in its entirety, which may contain meaning and original data in its other parts.

Reviews are usually recommended for publications with such serious violations (for any reason) that their findings cannot be considered reliable.

In cases of duplicate publications (i.e. when the authors have published the same data or article in more than one journal without proper justification, permission and cross-references), the journal, the first to publish the article, may issue a notice of the duplicate publication, but it should withdraw the article only if its conclusions are incorrect. Any journals that subsequently print a duplicate article must revoke the article and provide a reason for revocation.

If the article serves more than one journal at the same time, was adopted and is printed in both journals (either electronic or in printed form) at the same time, the priority can be set on the date on which the authors signed a publishing license or the contract on transfer of copyright.

In cases of partial duplication (that is, when authors present some new findings in an article that also contains a significant amount of previously published information), editors should decide what is best for readers: to withdraw the entire article or to issue a notice of duplicate publication indicating previously published parts and cross-referencing the previous work. This will depend on the amount of duplication. Editors should keep in mind that the main purpose of reviews is to correct the published information and ensure its integrity, and not to punish authors – violators.

Only published articles are subject to recall. Recommendations for handling duplicate material found prior to publication can be found in the appropriate COPE [] The publication of the final version on the website is a publication, even if the article does not appear (or will not appear) in print. If an article is withdrawn before the printed version appears in the journal, the electronic version should be stored on the journal's website with a clear notice of withdrawal and included in the bibliographic databases (for example, with a digital object identifier [DOI] or other permanent link that determines its location), even if it does not appear in the printed version of the journal and thus will not be placed on the page. This is necessary because researchers could already refer to it and cite electronic versions of the article, and they should be warned about its withdrawal.

Who should conduct the review?

Articles can be withdrawn by their author (s) or editor. In some cases, reviews are carried out jointly on behalf of the journal owner (e.g., the scientific society or the publisher). However, since the responsibility for the content of the journal rests with the editor, he/she should always make a final decision on the withdrawal of the article. The editors of the journals to withdraw the publication (or publish an expression of regret), even if all or some of the authors refuse to retract the publication.

When should a publication be withdrawn?

Publications should be withdrawn as soon as the editor of the journal is sure that the publication has serious violations and contains false information (or is duplicate or plagiarism). Prompt feedback should minimize the number of researchers who cite erroneous works, draw conclusions from them or come to incorrect conclusions, for example, using duplicate publications in meta-analyses or similar procedures.
If the editors have strong evidence of the need to withdraw the article, they should withdraw the publication immediately, without postponing the review only because the authors do not want to cooperate with them. However, if the allegation of violations regarding potential recall leads to disciplinary hearings or internal investigations of the institutions where the study was conducted, it is necessary to wait for the results before the review is carried out (but in the meantime it is necessary to publish an expression of regret to warn readers – see below).

How should the editors act if the evidence of unreliability of the publication is not sufficient?

If it is not possible to obtain conclusive evidence of the credibility of the publication (e.g. if the authors provide conflicting information, the institution where the authors work, refuse to investigate alleged violations or to make public the results of such investigations, or if the investigations have not been conducted fairly or have taken an unreasonably long time), the editors should publish an expression of doubt, and not withdraw the publication immediately.

Such expressions of doubt, as with revocation notices, must accurately refer to the original publication (i.e., have a hyperlink to the electronic databases and include the author and title of the original publication in the title of the notice) and contain the reasons for the doubt.

If more convincing proof of the publication's credibility is later made available, the expression of doubt should be replaced by a notice of withdrawal (if the article was determined to be unreliable) or a statement of justification related to the expression of doubt (if the credibility of the article was proved and the author's reputation restored).

Can revocation be used in cases of disputed authorship?

Sometimes authors ask to withdraw an article when authorship is disputed after publication. If there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings or the reliability of the data, the publication should not be withdrawn solely on the basis of authorship disputes. In such cases, the editor of the journal should inform the persons involved in the dispute that he/she can not make court decisions in such cases, but will be ready(ready) to publish the corrected list of authors, if the authors / co-authors (or their institutions) provide appropriate evidence that such a change is justified.

(On the issue of authorship disputes before publication, see the relevant COPE scheme. I
Do authors have the right to refuse a withdrawn publication?

If the review is related to the actions of several, but not all, authors of the publication, this must be reported in the notification of the review. However, most editors believe that authorship entails some degree of joint and several liability for the integrity of the research, so it is unacceptable for authors to refuse a retracted publication even if they were not directly responsible for the violations.

Are there grounds for trial if the author is suing the journal for revocation or for refusing to withdraw the publication?

Authors who do not agree with the withdrawal of their articles (or authors who have been refused to withdraw the publication) sometimes threaten editors of journals with lawsuits. The desire to avoid litigation can lead to the refusal of editors to withdraw the article, especially in the face of opposition from the authors.

Journal instructions for authors should provide an explanation of the revocation procedure and a description of the conditions under which articles can be withdrawn. This information should be included (e.g. in the form of links) in the publication agreements and brought to the attention of the authors. However, even if the agreement on the publication or the journal's instructions do not establish the specific conditions of the review, the authors usually do not have grounds for taking legal action against the magazine for opinion if the opinion an investigation was conducted and performed all the procedures.

However, legal advice can be useful for correctly formulating a notice of withdrawal or expressing doubt, ensuring that there is no defamation or slander. However, notice of withdrawal should always indicate the reason (s) for the withdrawal in order to distinguish a good faith error from a violation.

Where possible, editors should negotiate with the authors and try to agree with them a language that is clear and informative to the readers and acceptable to all parties. If the consent of the authors with the wording of the statement of revocation is received, this provides protection against allegations of defamation. However, lengthy negotiations on language should not unnecessarily delay the publication of a review, and editors should publish a statement of withdrawal even if consensus was not reached.

Additional literature

ICMJEguidelines [Recommendations of the International Committee of medical journal editors]:

SoxHC & Rennyed. Researchmisconduct, retraction, andcleansingthemedicalliterature: lessonsfromthePoehlmancase [research Irregularities, reviews, and cleaning up medical literature: lessons from the Poelman case]. Annals of Internal Medicine 2006;144:609-13

Nath SB, Marcus SC & Druss BG. Retractions in the research literature: misconduct or mistakes? [Feedback in the research literature: violations or errors?] MJA2006;185:152-4

BuddJM. Sievert M, Schultz TR. Phenomena of retraction [recall Phenomenon]. JAMA1998;280:296-7

2009 COPE. This article is publicly available and distributed Under the terms of the creative Commons Attribution License ("attribution License"), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, attribution and source.

September 2009.

    Elizabeth Wager, Virginia Barbour, Steven Yentis, Sabine Kleinert