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RESPONSIBILITIES AT THE MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY

The main role of the Editorial Board of the Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology is to support the operation of the Journal within specific terms of reference which are regularly reviewed; to oversee papers that are submitted for review; play a leading role with certain submissions and liaise with the authors about revisions, if necessary. Editorial board members will be fully supported in these tasks by the professional editors of the journal so that their task is not onerous at all. Appointment to the Board is initially for a three year term of office, which may be extended for up to a further three years by agreement to achieve optimal continuity and balance of expertise in the Board.

All members of the Editorial Board of the Mediterranean Journal of Rheumatology must abide by the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, http://www.icmje.org/) and COPE (http://publicationethics.org/) guidelines.
The following points outline some of the duties proposed to Editorial Board members, as guidelines for efficient workflow, if possible:
• Identifying key topics to include in the journal and inviting key authors on these topics to submit an article;
• Providing reviewer comments, when invited, of papers submitted for consideration;
• Taking part in the updating editorial policies and priority topics of the journal policies;
• Timely responding to the reviewer invitations by the Editors-in-Chief and actively contributing to the evaluation of the published articles by submitting editorials;
• Bringing to the attention of the Board potential new contributors, who may promote the journal and upgrade its editorial policy further;
• Liaising with the author(s) to oversee revisions and preparation for publication;
• Liaising with the Editors-in-Chief to ensure the efficient conduct of the business of the Editorial Board;
• Taking responsibility as guest editors to process and publish special issues on priority topics;
• Identifying appropriate conferences for editors to attend and to promote the journal;
• Attending meetings of the Editorial Board up to twice a year, usually to coincide with major regional and global rheumatology conferences.


Editors’ responsibilities
• The Editors-in-Chief and other decision-making editors of this journal are expected to provide unbiased and highly professional decisions to publish original works with positive implications for rheumatology care in the Mediterranean region and beyond.
• They should handle all submissions in the same way, regardless of the origin of the authors, the responsible institutions, and the sponsors.
• The editors should regularly advance their editorial skills by attending educational meetings, including those aimed at discussing matters arising at the journal.
• In case of receiving complaints and appeals from the authors and reviewers, the editors should attentively evaluate all related issues and make prompt decisions.
• The editors should act responsibly in compliance with the Core Practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/core-practices).

Reviewers’ responsibilities
• Reviewers are experts in the scientific field of the articles they review. They are chosen by editors to evaluate the quality of the submissions and to provide unbiased, courteous, constructive, and evidence-based comments in a timely manner (http://www.wame.org/recommendations-on-publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals#Peer%20Review).
• Reviewers should disclose any conflicts of interest that may introduce undue bias in their comments.
• Reviewers should maintain the confidentiality throughout the peer review process and avoid retaining, copying, or using the manuscripts they review for personal purposes.
• They should alert the editors to any identified overlaps of the submissions they review with other published items.
• Reviewers should provide recommendations to editors on further processing or publication of the submission, but they should be also aware that the final decisions are made by the Editors-in-Chief.
• They should follow the principles presented by the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3954607/)

Authors’ responsibilities
• Authors are ultimately responsible for the scientific quality and correctness of their submissions. Prior to the submission, they should check all ethical statements in their articles and ensure that no part of their submissions to this journal has been copied or published elsewhere. They should also confirm that the submission to this journal is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. In case of adopting graphical materials from other sources, official permissions from primary publisher and considerations of the copyrights are mandatory.
• All contributors listed as authors should meet the authorship criteria of the International Committee of Medical Editors (2013) (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html#two)
• Corresponding authors are responsible for listing as co-authors only the contributors with substantial contribution to the work and accountability for all its aspects. They are also responsible for properly coordinating revisions, responding to editors’ and reviewers’ comments, and getting final approvals from all co-authors.
• Upon request of the editors, authors of original research articles should provide access to their records of primary data and statistical analyses.
• If it is not against the regulations of the authors’ academic, research or funding institutions, they are responsible for archiving their published works at institutional and individual online repositories and scholarly networking websites, such as ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/).
• Authors should ensure that their studies involving human or animal subjects conform to local, regional, and institutional regulations, such as WMA Declaration of Helsinki (https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/) and NIH Policy on Use of Laboratory Animals (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/air/index.htm). The approval of the study by an ethics committee is required along with statements about human subjects’ consent and their privacy.
• Authors should disclose any financial or non-financial conflicts of interest that may introduce undue subjectivity and bias in their research reports (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/author-responsibilities--conflicts-of-interest.html).
• Authors should notify the editors if any mistake or major error is identified in their articles post-publication, warranting corrections or retractions by the publisher.