Notes to contributors

All manuscripts are screened by the Editor-in-Chief or an Editorial Board member upon submission. Priority is given to articles that will help allied health professionals to make better decisions, increase pertinent knowledge base and support high quality research. Immediate manuscript rejection by the Malta Journal of Health Sciences is expected in the following instances:
  • study does not have a theoretical or evidence-based argument for the relevance of the work to allied health practice
  • manuscript does not contain sufficiently new or important information and therefore does not offer a significant contribution to the literature
  • reliability study does not include a discussion of the influence that the findings will have in the field
  • study evaluates a new test without a sound comparison to current tests
  • study has serious flaws in the Methods section
  • authors did not obtain ethics approval from a properly constituted ethics committee, where appropriate.
Manuscripts that qualify for review are evaluated by at least two experts as appropriate. A double-blind review process is adopted. After the reviewers receive a paper from the Editor-in-Chief, they read it closely and provide individual critiques in which they:
  • comment on the validity of the science, identifying scientific errors and evaluating the design and methodology used
  • judge its significance by evaluating the importance of the findings
  • determine the originality of the work based on how much it advances the field
  • recommend that the manuscript is rejected or accepted with minor or major revision; revision will entail further review.
The Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Board member reads the manuscript and the reviewers' comments, makes his/her own comments, and provides guidance to the Editorial Board on the suitability of the manuscript for publication. The Editorial Board will then decide on the content of the feedback letter to the author/s.
The Malta Journal of Health Sciences adheres to the following ethical guidelines for research and publication.

The definition of authorship is based on the following criteria:
  • significant contribution to the conception and design of the research, data collection or analysis and interpretation of data
  • drafting and/or critically reviewing the manuscript for its academic content
  • providing final approval of the version to be submitted (or resubmitted) for publishing.
  • Authors are expected to meet all three criteria. Contributors who do not qualify under the authorship criteria should be included in the Acknowledgments section.

Any acknowledgements should be included at the end of the article, prior to the declaration of conflicting interests and the reference list.

Any sources of funding must  be acknowledged in a separate section titled Funding, directly after the Acknowledgments section. Funding acknowledgments should be in the form of a sentence as shown below, with the funding agency written in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets when applicable:
This work was supported by XXX [grant number xxx].

If the article was not supported by funding, authors should include the statement below:
This research has received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or non-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest
In this section, authors are expected to disclose any associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted manuscript.
If there are no conflicts of interest to report, authors are to include the following statement:
The authors report no conflicts of interest.

This section should precede the reference list. All sources of funding or products must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

Originality of work
Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described:
  • has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract or academic thesis), and
  • is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.  If the manuscript is accepted for publication, it cannot be published in the same form elsewhere, in print or electronically, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright holder.

When previously published material (e.g., tables, photographs or illustrations) are included in submitted manuscripts, the authors are required to obtain a written statement from the copyright holder giving permission for reproduction. A copy of the permission obtained must be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.

Author misconduct and article withdrawal
As a policy, submitted articles are checked for plagiarism using duplication detecting software. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject any manuscript where unethical conduct during implementation of a research project, or in the manuscript authoring or content, is suspected.

Studies involving human and animal subjects
Research  undertaken with  human  and  animal subjects must have been carried out in accordance with relevant internationally accepted guidelines such as the Declaration of Helsinki for clinical research involving humans, recommendations by the International committee of Medical Journal Editors, the British Educational Research Association ethical guidelines and the EU Directive 2010/63/EU for research on animals.

Ethical approval
Ethical approval from a research ethics committee and/or institutional review board is usually required and details regarding the board providing approval should be listed in the Methods section of the manuscript.
Copyright on the published article will be retained by the author/s. Authors grant the Malta Journal of Health Sciences license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. In addition, authors may allow any third party the right to use the article as long as its original authors, citation details and publisher are identified, save for commercial purposes. Individual users may access, download, copy, display and redistribute to colleagues open access Malta Journal of Health Sciences articles solely for non-commercial and non-promotional purposes.