Editorial Policies

Competing Interests


For Authors

Authors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication in Insights Publisher hosted journals. Interests within the last five years of beginning the work (conducting the research and preparing the work for submission) should be reported. Interests outside the 5-year time frame must be disclosed if they could reasonably be perceived as influencing the submitted work. Disclosure of interests provides a complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate.


Interests that should be considered and disclosed but are not limited to the following:

  • Funding: Research grants from funding agencies (the research funder and the grant number are needed) and/or research support including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses by organizations that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript.
  • Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript. This includes multiple affiliations if applicable.
  • Financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies including holdings of spouse and/or children that may gain or lose financially through publication of this manuscript; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially. Patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication of this manuscript.


It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, any such figure is necessarily arbitrary, and so one possible practical guideline is the following: “Any undeclared financial interest that could embarrass the author were it to become publicly known after the work was published.”


Non-financial interests: In addition, authors are requested to disclose interests that go beyond financial interests that could impart bias on the work submitted for publication such as professional interests, personal relationships or personal beliefs (amongst others). Examples include, but are not limited to: position on editorial board, advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships; writing and/or consulting for educational purposes; expert witness; mentoring relations; etc.


In Insights Publisher hosted journals, all types of articles require a disclosure statement without any exception.


Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.


For Editors

Editorial Board Members and Editors

Editorial Board Members and Editors are required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.

In addition, they should exclude themselves from handling manuscripts in cases where there is a competing interest. This may include – but is not limited to – having previously published with one or more of the authors, and sharing the same institution as one or more of the authors.

Where an Editor or Editorial Board Member is on the author list they must declare this in the competing interests section on the submitted manuscript. If they are an author or have any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another Editor or member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. These submissions are subject to the exact same review process as any other manuscript.

Editorial Board Members are welcome to submit papers to the journal. These submissions are not given any priority over other manuscripts, and Editorial Board Member status has no bearing on editorial consideration.

Editorial Staff

All Insights Publisher journal editorial staff are required to declare to their employer any interests — financial or otherwise — that might influence, or be perceived to influence, their editorial practices. Failure to do so is a disciplinary offence. Insights Publisher has a strict policy of editorial independence in individual acceptance decisions and editorial standards of quality and significance should never be compromised. While some editors are financially incentivized to achieve journal growth, we are clear in our internal policies and individuals’ contracts or formal objectives that this should be achieved by ensuring submissions of sufficient quality and never by compromising editorial standards.


Research Involving Human Participants, Their Data or Biological Material


Ethics Approval

When reporting a study that involved human participants, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. If doubt exists, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that an independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. If a study was granted exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript including the reasons for the exemption.

Retrospective Ethics Approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

Although retrospective studies are conducted on already available data (for which formal consent may not be needed or is difficult to obtain), ethics approval may be required dependent on the law and the national ethical guidelines of the country where the study was carried out or the data were analyzed.  Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their country.

Ethics Approval for Case Studies

Case reports require ethics approval. Most institutions will have specific policies on this subject. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their institution and seek ethics approval where needed. Authors should be aware to secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable).  



Sex and Gender in Research (SAGER Guidelines)

Insights Publisher encourages the authors to follow the Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines” and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to.


Definition of Sex and Gender (taken from Office of Research in Women’s Health, NIH).

Sex - refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles.

Gender - refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time.


Informed Consent

All individuals have rights that are not to be infringed. Participants in studies have the right to decide what happens to the identifiable personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, and to any photograph that was taken as well. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors that mostly students in education, patients, refugees, etc) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In instances authors need to secure written consent before including individual images.

Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers, biometrical characteristics (such as facial features, fingerprint, writing style, palm vein pattern, DNA or other distinguishing characteristic) etc.) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scholarly purposes and the participant (or parent/guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable or legal representative) gave written informed consent for publication.

Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases. Detailed descriptions of individual participants, whether of their whole bodies or of body sections, may lead to disclosure of their identity. Under certain circumstances consent is not required as long as information is anonymized and the submission does not include images that may identify the person.

Informed consent for publication should be obtained if human being was included as participants of the studies. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort meaning.

Exceptions where it is not necessary to obtain consent:

  • Although mostly it is pretty rare to use biological images in education research, but if, in some occasions, images such as X-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, brain scans, pathology slides unless there is a concern about identifying information in which case, authors should ensure that consent is obtained.
  • Reuse of images: If images are being reused from prior publications, the Publisher will assume that the prior publication obtained the relevant information regarding consent. Authors should provide the appropriate attribution for republished images.


Consent and Already Available Data

Regardless of whether data are collected from individual or legal guardian, the prior written consent must be received. The aspect of confidentiality as well as any wishes from the participants should be respected. Special attention need to be paid to the deceased participants if that happened during carrying out the research. Under these conditions, the authors need to refer to the Insights Publishing Screening Committee (IPSC).

Consent to Participate

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16 years of age) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.

For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups where there is the potential for coercion or where consent may not have been fully informed, extra care will be taken by the editor and may be referred to the IPSC.

Consent to Publish

Individuals may consent to participate in a study, but object to having their data published in a journal article. Authors should make sure to also seek consent from individuals to publish their data prior to submitting their paper to the journal. This is particularly applicable to case and case series reports.