Roles and Responsibilities of Editorial Board

Journal Owners

It is the responsibility of UVJOR owners to appoint and dismiss editors. UVJOR should provide editors at the time of their appointment with a contract that clearly states their rights and duties, authority, the general terms of their appointment, and mechanisms for resolving conflict. The editor’s performance may be assessed using mutually agreed-upon measures, including but not necessarily limited to readership, manuscript submissions and handling times, and various journal metrics. UVJOR should only dismiss editors for substantial reasons, such as scientific misconduct, disagreement with the long-term editorial direction of the journal, inadequate performance by agreed-upon performance metrics, or inappropriate behavior that is incompatible with a position of trust. Appointments and dismissals should be based on evaluations by a panel of independent experts. This is especially necessary in the case of dismissals because of the high value society places on freedom of speech within science and because it is often the responsibility of editors to challenge the status quo in ways that may conflict with the interests of UVJOR.

Editorial Freedom

Editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. UVJOR owners should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions. UVJOR Editors should base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, and editors should be free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of both the science and the art without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the goals of the UVJOR owners.

UVJOR Editors-in-chief should also have the final say in decisions about which advertisements or sponsored content, including supplements, the journal will and will not carry, and they should have final say in use of the journal brand and in overall policy regarding the use of journal content.

UVJOR has an independent editorial advisory board to help the editor establish and maintain editorial policy. Editors seek to engage in a broad and diverse array of authors, reviewers, editorial staff, editorial board members, and readers. To support editorial decisions and potentially controversial expressions of opinion, owners shall ensure that appropriate insurance is obtained in the event of legal action against the editors, and should ensure that legal advice is available when necessary.

If legal problems arise, the editor should inform their legal adviser and their owner and/or publisher as soon as possible. Editors should defend the confidentiality of authors and peer-reviewers (names and reviewer comments). Editors should take all reasonable steps to check the facts in journal commentary, including that in news sections and social media postings, and should ensure that staff working for the journal adhere to best journalistic practices including contemporaneous note-taking and seeking a response from all parties when possible before publication. Such practices in support of truth and public interest may be particularly relevant in defense against legal allegations of libel.

To secure editorial freedom in practice, the editor should have direct access to the highest level of ownership, not to a delegated manager or administrative officer. Editors and editors’ organizations are obliged to support the concept of editorial freedom and to draw major transgressions of such freedom to the attention of the international medical, academic, and lay communities.