Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Journal of Kidney Cancer and VHL (ISSN: 2203-5826) is a peer-reviewed, online-only, open access journal dedicated for the dissemination of research findings in kidney cancer and VHL.

Kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is relatively rare representing approximately 2% of all cancers. Aberrations in the von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL) are the major risk factors for the development of kidney cancer. VHL aberrations, by themselves, also cause another rare condition called VHL syndrome. The incidence of VHL syndrome is estimated to be 1 in 36,000 individuals.

Journal of Kidney Cancer and VHL aims to be a scholarly forum for the exchange of knowledge which will enable scientists to develop better treatment strategies for the management of these two disorders. The journal will publish basic science and clinical research articles in all aspects of kidney cancer and VHL. Original articles, comprehensive reviews, case reports, short communications, and letter to the editor are suitable for submission. The journal will also publish findings that are controversial to the established norm.

 

Section Policies

Editorial

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Kidney Cancer: Review Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Kidney Cancer: Original Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Kidney Cancer: Case Reports

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Hemangioma and Hemangioblastoma

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Pheochromocytoma

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Transitional Cell / Urothelial Carcinoma

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

VHL and VHL Related Disorders

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Wilms Tumor / Nephroblastoma

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Letter to Editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

All submitted manuscripts will undergo a three-step review process: preliminary check, plagiarism check and single-blind expert peer review. 

Preliminary check: All submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by the journal’s editorial office for compliance with guidelines for preparation of articles as described under Author Guidelines. Articles that do not comply with the guidelines will be sent back to the authors. 

Plagiarism check:  Articles that are in compliance with the guidelines will be subjected to plagiarism check. We work with CrossRef to use iThenticate to detect plagiarism. iThenticate gives a 'similarity index', which is the word-by-word copying of materials from previously published literature. We use similarity index to make a decision. Even if the original source was cited, articles with more than 10% similarity index will be returned to the authors without peer review for corrective action. For articles with similarity index between 1-10%, we follow the guidelines of COPE on text recycling to make a decision. Articles that pass the plagiarism check will be reviewed by experts in the field. 

Selection of reviewers: Appropriate experts to review the manuscripts will be identified via PubMed search, or from the list of editorial team. Authors are required to suggest three potential reviewers, however. there is no guarantee that these reviewers will be invited to review. Potential reviewers will be personally contacted by the editorial staff to seek expression of interest to review the paper. The email will contain the details of the authors and the abstract. Also the reviewers will be asked to disclose conflict of interest. If the reviewers agree to review, and if there is no potential conflict of interest, they will receive the official invitation from the journal containing the link to access the manuscript.  

Peer review and reviewer responsibilities: The reviewers will remain anonymous. Reviewers are expected to keep the manuscript confidential, provide an unbiased scientific opinion of the manuscript and declare any conflict of interest. Also reviewers are expected to submit their comments within the indicated time frame. 

Criteria for assessing original articles: 

  • Does the manuscript require language editing?
  • Is the abstract written in such a way that it conveys the major theme of the paper?
  • Does the introduction describe the rationale for the study in the context of the available literature?
  • Where relevant, have appropriate ethics approval and informed consent been obtained?
  • Are the methods adequately described?
  • Is the number of samples, number of repeats, equipment and chemicals used clearly mentioned?
  • Is the catalogue number of antibodies mentioned?
  • Are statistical methods clearly stated?
  • Are the results clearly described?
  • Is there any indication of scientific misconduct, for example data fabrication and figure manipulation?
  • Is the discussion well-balanced in light of the available literature and the research findings?
  • Is conflict of interest stated?

Criteria for assessing review articles: 

  • Does the manuscript require language editing?
  • Is the abstract witten in such a way that it conveys the major theme of the article?
  • Does the article comprehensively and critically evaluate an existing problem in the context of the available literature?
  • If relevant, does the article suggest a possible solution to the problem?
  • Is conflict of interest stated? 

Criteria for assessing case reports: 

  • Does the article require language editing?
  • Is the abstract written in such a way that it conveys the major theme of the article?
  • If relevant, have appropriate ethics approval and informed consent been obtained?
  • Does the introduction clearly describe the rationale for the case in light of the available literature?
  • Are the methods clearly described?
  • Is the case adequately described?
  • Is there any indication of scientific misconduct, for example data fabrication and figure manipulation?
  • Is the intended message for fellow practitioners obvious? 
  • Is conflict of interest stated?

Negative, neutral and contradictory findings: Journal of Kidney Cancer and VHL (JKCVHL) strongly encourages scientifically plausible negative, neutral and contradictory findings. Reviewers should be open to these findings. 

Editorial decision: Based on the comments of the reviewers, a decision will be made by the editor-in-chief either to accept the manuscript without any changes, give authors an opportunity to revise and resubmit, or reject. The corresponding author will be notified of the decision via the journals's automated notification system.

If the authors choose to revise and resubmit, the manuscript will be evaluated by the original reviewers or the editor-in-chief to verify if the original comments of the reviewers have been adequately addressed. Based on the recommendation, the manuscript will be either accepted or returned to the authors for further clarification. If the paper is accepted, it will be published online as html and pdf. If rejected, it is final. However, if the author for correspondence believes that his or her article did not receive a fair review, and rejected unjustly, the author can make an official complaint via editor@jkcvhl.com. The appeal will be handled by the scientific advisory board as described here.

Each published article will be assigned a doi, deposited with CrossRef, and permanently archived with Portico and the National Library of Australia.

 

Publication Frequency

Each calendar year will have one volume. In 2014, when JKCVHL was first published, each month had a separate issue. From 2015, JKCVHL will have four issues per volume – January-March (Issue 1), April-June (Issue 2), July-September (Issue 3) and October-December (Issue 4). JKCVHL publishes articles as soon as the final copy-edited version is approved by the authors rather than waiting for a collection of articles for a specific issue. Also each article is published in its respective category (review, original or case report). As a result, the page numbers in the 'Table of Contents' displayed for each issue will reflect this rather than numerical order.

 

Open Access Policy

The Journal of Kidney Cancer and VHL 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.

 

Archiving

This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...

 

Publishing Fee

A publishing fee of USD 500 will be charged for accepted articles. This is the only amount and there are no other fees. Accepted articles will be published only after the payment has been received. The following questions and answers may help you to make an informed decision about the publishing fee.

What procedures have you implemented to ensure that the person who submits an article is aware of the publishing fee BEFORE completing the submission?

During the submission process, the person who submits the article has to tick a mandatory box confirming that he or she is aware of the publishing fee. This statement can be viewed by scrollling down to the ‘Submission Preparation Checklist’ on this page. This is the first item the person who submits the article has to tick, without which the submission process cannot proceed.

Who is responsible for making or arranging the payment?

The person who submits the article is responsible for making or arranging the payment (for instance, via the institution) upon editorial acceptance of the manuscript. The invoice will be issued to the person who is identified as the author for correspondence in the manuscript.

When do I pay the publishing fee?

The publishing fee is payable after the editorial acceptance of an article. Upon editorial acceptance of an article, the submitting author and the author for correspondence will be notified that payment is due.

How do I pay the publishing fee?

There will be two options for payment: via direct bank transfer or paypal. The instructions for payment will be included in the invoice. No taxes are included in this charge. For any tax-related issues, please follow the regulations of your country.

Do I have to pay if my article is rejected?

No.

If I withdraw my article, do I have to pay?

Authors can withdraw their article at any stage. If a decision to withdraw is made by the author BEFORE the editorial acceptance of the article, then the authors do not have to pay. If a decision to withdraw is made by the author AFTER the editorial acceptance of an article, then the full fee of USD 750 must be paid.

 Why do I have to pay a publishing fee?

All articles published in JKCVHL are open access and freely available online under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). This means anyone, anywhere in the world who has access to internet can read your article without any restriction. The typical costs associated with publication of articles could be grouped under three categories: technology, article processing and post publication activities.

Technology: Online presence requires a publication platform, hosting, necessary security features and email services.

Article processing: Receiving articles, preliminary check of manuscript to ensure adherence to guidelines, plagiarism check, communicating between authors/editors/reviewers, organizing peer review, receiving revised manuscripts, copyediting, implementing corrections by authors, type setting, layout editing, proof reading, graphic design, assigning doi to articles, reference checking, assigning doi to references, indexing.

Post publication activities: Conversion of articles to XML in accordance PMC guidelines for PubMed indexing, permanent preservation using Portico and other service providers, article promotion, marketing and continued online presence.    

Do you have a publishing fee waiver policy?

Yes. We do have a waiver policy for articles from Low-income economies and Lower-middle- income economies.

Low-income economies (100% fee waiver): If an article is contributed by authors from countries listed as low-income economies by the World Bank, we offer complete fee waiver upon producing proof from their institutions that all authors reside in that country, and that the research was done in that country or another lower-middle income economies. The list of countries is given below:

Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Dem. Rep), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Korea (Dem. People's Rep), Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Lower-middle- income economies (50% fee waiver): If an article is contributed by authors from countries listed as lower-middle-income economies by the World Bank, we offer 50% fee waiver upon producing proof from their institutions that all authors reside in that country, and that the research was done in that country or another lower-middle income economies. The list of countries is given below:

Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (Rep), Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt (Arab Rep), El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lesothom, Mauritania, Micronesia (Fed. Sts), Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen (Rep), Zambia.

 

Publication Ethics

Following is an outline of our commitment to publication ethics and transparency in accordance with the principles of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE). JKCVHL is a member of COPE. 

Peer review process: All submitted manuscripts undergo rigorous peer review. The peer review process is detailed here

Governing Body/Editorial team/contact information: The editorial board members of JKCVHL are experts in the field of kidney cancer and/or VHL. Their full names and affiliations are given here. Their roles are decribed here.

Publishing fee: JKCVHL charges a publishing fee of USD 500 for accepted articles. Please see here for details.

Copyright/Licensing Policy: The authors retain the copyright of their published articles. All our publications are open access, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This policy is displayed under editorial plocies here, and below each published article on our website. From late 2015, the statement about license also appears on the pdf and html of the published articles. 

Process for identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct 

Plagiarism check:  All submitted articles undergo plagiarism check first. We work with CrossRef to use iThenticate to detect plagiarism. iThenticate gives a 'similarity index', which is the word-by-word copying of materials from previously published literature. We use similarity index to make a decision. Even if the original source was cited, articles with more than 10% similarity index will be returned to the authors without peer review for re-writing. For articles with similarity index between 1-10%, we follow the guidelines of COPE on text recycling to make a decision. 

Responsibility of Authors: As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance as included towards the end of this page. 

Responsibility of reviewers: Reviewers are expected to keep the manuscripts confidential, provide an unbiased scientific opinion of the manuscript on time and declare any conflict of interest. 

Copyright violation: Where relevant, it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission from copyright holders, and to ensure that the use of images, data and illustrations in the manuscript do not violate copyright laws. If a copyright violation in any of the published article is brought to our attention, we will notify the authors. It is the responsibility of the author to settle issues with the copyright holder. As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off this statement. 

Corrections: If an error in any of the published article is brought to our attention, we will publish an Erratum or Corrigendum. The published manuscript will remain unaltered. 

Retraction: Proof of scientific misconduct will lead to retraction of a published article. Other issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case based on the retraction guidelines of COPE. The retracted article and the reason(s) for retraction will be clearly stated. 

The handling of research misconduct is the role of the scientific advisory board. the process is described here.

Ownership and management: The journal is published under the banner of Codon Publications, owned by Dr. Chris Morais. The company is registered in Australia under ABN 66856928087. The administrative aspects of the journal are done in Australia. The infrastructure and technical support for online presence is provided by the Public Knowledge Project (Simon Fraser University, Canada). Post-acceptance processing of articles is performed by Newgen KnowledgeWorks, who has offices in Europe, India, UK and USA. Some of their clients, either currently or in the past, include the Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Stanford university Press, Wolters Kluwer, Wiley, Cambridge University Press and Springer Publishing. Permanent preservation of published articles is done via Portico and Pandora (National Library of Australia). Services for doi and plagiarism check are provided by Crossref.

Web site: To the best of our knowledge, the site does not contain any misleading information.

Name of journal: Pubmed indexation and ISSN were used as the criteria for determining the name of the journal.  At the time of publication of the first issue on 22 April 2014, to the best of our knowledge, there were no other journals with the similar name that met both criteria. 

Conflict of interest: It is mandatory that Editors and authors disclose conflict of interest. More information is given here.

Access: Our publications are freely available online. There is no need for any kind of registration to access them. 

Revenue sources: The journal charges an articles processing fee of USD 750.   

Advertising: We do not accept advertisements. 

Publishing schedule: Each calendar year will have one volume. In 2014, when JKCVHL was first published, each month had a separate issue. From 2015, JKCVHL will have four issues per volume – January-March (Issue 1), April-June (Issue 2), July-September (Issue 3) and October-December (Issue 4). JKCVHL publishes articles as soon as the final copy-edited version is approved by the authors rather than waiting for a collection of articles for a specific issue. Also each article is published in its respective category (review, original or case report). As a result, the page numbers in the 'Table of Contents' displayed for each issue will reflect this rather than numerical order. This policy is mentioned here

Archiving: We use Portico and Pandora (National Library of Australia) for permanent preservation of our published contents.  

Direct marketing: Potential authors are invited via email based on their prior publication track record in the field of kidney cancer and/or VHL.  

Contact details: Our contact details are displayed under “Contact”. Although our phone number is given, we prefer email as the primary means of correspondence due to difference in time zone.

Instructions for Authors: Detailed guidelines for authors are included under “For Authors”. 

Complaints: Any complaint about the operations of JKCVHL should be sent to Dr. Chris Morais at chrismorais@codonpublications.com 

To maintain transparency, all correspondence will be in writing, via the above email address. In the initial contact, please identify yourself, state the complaint and sign off with your full name and contact details, including a valid phone number with the country and area code. The initial email should not contain any attachments, html codes, or clickable links. All correspondence should be in English with the subject line ‘Complaint’. Initial emails that do not meet any of these criteria will not receive a response and will be deleted. Emails that meet these criteria will receive a response from Dr. Morais within 72 hours. He will work with the person who made the complaint for a speedy resolution.

 

Conflict of Interest

The ICMJE guidelines state that a conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as patients' welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Anything that could be perceived as a conflict of interest should be declared. Some examples are: financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony), personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, and intellectual beliefs. 

Authors: As an integral part of the online submission process, the author who submits the article is required to declare the conflict of interest of all authors. It is the responsibility of the submitting author to obtain relevant information before starting the submission process. In addition, all manuscripts should include a mandatory conflict of interest statement as mentioned under author guidelines.  If there are no conflicts of interest then the author should enter “The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to research, authorship and/or publication of this article". If a previously undisclosed competing interest for an author of a published paper is brought to the attention of the editor-in-chief, and is subsequently confirmed with the authors, the undeclared interest will be published as an erratum in a future issue. 

Reviewers: Before accepting the invitation to review a paper, potential reviewers are required to disclose any conflict of interest.

Submission by a member of the editorial team: No special consideration will be given to an article submitted by an author who is also an editorial team member. The process of selection of reviewers, and the review process will be similar to that of an author who is not an editorial team member.

 

Ethics Approval and Informed Consent

All experiments involving humans and animals should obtain appropriate ethics approval, and declare it in the manuscript.

Human ethics: JKCVHL considers WMA Declaration of Helsinki - Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects as the authoritative source, however, national and institutional variations are possible. All experiments involving human subjects or human-related materials should obtain relevant ethics approval in accordance with national and institutional guidelines. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

Informed consent: Where relevant, informed consent should be obtained from human subjects using the form approved by the institutional ethics committee prior to commencing any work. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

Animal ethics: All experiments involving animals should obtain relevant ethics approval in accordance with national and institutional guidelines prior to commencing any animal work. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript. If deemed necessary, JKCVHL deserves the right to contact the authors’ institution for verification.

 

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We do not accept third party advertisements.

 

Scientific Quality

The scientific quality of the publications is maintained by an eminent editorial team as listed here. The editorial team consists of an editor-in-chief, a scientific advisory board, and an editorial board. The editorial team is selected based on expertise and publishing credentials, not on gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity or any other personal attributes.

General: As all members have active and demanding careers in academia and/or patient care, it is a policy of the journal not to overwhelm them with unnecessary workload. All members of the editorial team will be required to review articles, but never more than three per calendar year. They are required to complete the review within two weeks. The identity of the reviewers will remain anonymous. The reviewers are expected to keep the manuscript confidential, provide an unbiased scientific opinion of the manuscript, and declare any conflict of interest. Any member of the editorial team can initiate special issues and invite articles. They are also encouraged to promote the journal within the scientific community.

Editor-in-Chief: As per the ICMJE guidelines, the editor-in-chief is ultimately responsible for editorial decisions. The editor-in-chief can reject any article at any time before publication, including after acceptance if concerns arise about the integrity of the work. The tenure of Editor-in-Chief is five years, and is renewable.

Scientific Advisory Board: The scientific advisory board consists of a limited number of experts. The term of the scientific advisory board is five years, and is renewable.

Research misconduct: If an allegation of scientific misconduct is made against a published article, all members of the scientific advisory board will be notified of the allegation. It is mandatory that the person who raises the allegation discloses any conflict of interest. Two of the most appropriate advisory board members will be assigned the task of investigating the case. After a thorough investigation, they will make a recommendation to the editor-in-chief either to dismiss the allegation, or to publish an erratum, corrigendum or retraction. The editor-in-chief will make a decision based on the recommendation. The decisions will be published.

If the allegation is against a manuscript published by a member of the editorial team, then it will be handled by the publisher independent of the editorial team. A minimum of two experts will be assigned the task of investigating the case. To maintain transparency, the actions taken and the outcome will be published. 

Appeal for fair review: If an author for correspondence believes that his or her article did not receive a fair review, and rejected unjustly, the author can make an official complaint via editor@jkcvhl.com. Again, a similar procedure as described above will be followed. The editor-in-chief will make the final decision based on the recommendation of the scientific advisory board. This will be final and no further appeal is possible.

If the appeal is from one of the editorial team members about his or her article, then it will be handled by the publisher independent of the editorial team as described above. The decision of the independent experts will be final, and a copy of the decision will be sent to the author. 

Editorial Board Members: One of the challenging aspects of running a journal is finding appropriate reviewers. On occasions where an appropriate reviewer cannot not be found, or a timely review was not submitted by the reviewer who had agreed to review, an appropriately qualified editorial board member may be contacted to review the article. Also, on occasions where external reviewers cannot make a recommendation or bias in reviewer report is observed, one of the appropriate editorial board members may be contacted for expert opinion.

 

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in JKCVHL are not necessarily those of the Publisher or the Editorial team. The Publisher or the Editorial team cannot be held responsible for any errors or consequences arising from the use of the information contained in JKCVHL. Publication of advertisement does not constitute endorsement of the product by the Publisher or the Editorial team. 

While we make every effort to provide an uninterrupted online presence, we cannot guarantee this will be the case. The website is subject to interruptions. Also we do not guarantee that website will be error or virus-free. It is the responsibility of the user to make adequate provisions (up-to-date antivirus, security and intrusion prevention and scanning software) for the protection of the device they are using. 

We may provide links to external websites. These websites belong to third parties and we have no control over the reliability or stability of these links.  While we verify them at the time of linking, we are unable to provide any warranty regarding the stability or availability of these links.  Also a link to an external site does not imply an endorsement of the views, information or products provided or held by such websites.

 

Types of articles

Journal of Kidney Cancer and VHL publishes basic science and clinical research articles on all aspects of kidney cancer and von Hippel-Lindau syndrome.

Kidney Cancer: All subtypes of renal cell carcinoma; renal angiomyolipoma; nephroblastoma/Wilms tumor.

VHL and related disorders: Cystadenomas, endolymphatic sac tumors; hemangioma; hemangioblastoma; pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; paraganglioma; pheochromocytoma; VHL syndrome.

Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, and letter to the editor are suitable for submission.