Editorial Policies

Aims and Scope

   The Acta Urologica Portuguesa (AUP) publishes articles in Portuguese (from Portugal) and/or English.
It has been published continuously since 2001.
It is an open access scientific peer-reviewed medical journal that aims to publish quality articles highlighting the latest achievements in the field of urology, including urologic oncology, pediatric urology, andrology, kidney transplantation and nephrology. In accordance with this goal, we publish timely, practical, and state-of-the-art contributions on clinical research and experience in the relevant field.
   The audience is primarily urologists, andrologists, nephrologists, oncologists, surgeons, obstetricians, pediatricians, general practitioners, medical researchers.
    TheAUPis signatory of the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE Recommendations), and follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.
The online version can be accessed at http://www.actaurologicaportuguesa.com/

Reasons for Publishing with APU

  • Speed: We offer fast publication while maintaining rigorous peer review;
  • Quality: We are committed to the highest standards of peer review.
  • Indexed in Repositório Científico de Acesso Ab­erto em Portugal (Scientific Open Access Repository of Portugal - RCAAP);
  • Indexed in ÍndexRMP;
  • Open Access – maximum visibility: Meaning it is free to access from anywhere in the world;
  • No Costs: Any publication charges.

Editorial Freedom

APU adopts the World Association of Medical Editors’ definition of editorial freedom, which holds that editors-in-chief have full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Journal 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. The Editor-in-chief bases editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the commercial implications for the journal, and is free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects of medicine without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the commercial goals of the publisher. The Editor-in-chief has the final say in decisions about which advertisements or sponsored content, including supplements, the journal will and will not carry, and has the final say in use of the journal brand and in overall policy regarding commercial use of journal content.

General Overview

Submission of a manuscript to the APU implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.

Manuscripts submitted for publication should be prepared in accordance with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), updated in December 2015. This document is available at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.
The Journal supports COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics), which provides a forum for publishers and editors of scientific journals to discuss issues relating to the integrity of the work submitted to or published in their journals.

 Standards of Reporting

The Journal advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research. We strongly recommend that authors adhere to the guidelines on data reporting established by the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) network (http://www.equator-network.org). Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:

  • Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT)
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses* (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
  • Observational studies (STROBE)
  • Case reports (CARE)
  • Qualitative research (COREQ)
  • Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD )
  • Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
  • Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines (AGREE)
  • Quality improvement studies (SQUIRE)
  • Study protocols (SPIRIT)

*Authors of systematic reviews should also provide a link to an additional file from the ‘methods’ section, which reproduces all details of the search strategy. 
The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to our readership. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are single-blind peer reviewed by two anonymous reviewers and the Editor. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editor, who reserves the right to refuse any material for publication.
Manuscripts should be written in a clear, concise, direct style, so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of scientific content, the Editor and the publisher reserve the right to modify typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision
Manuscripts that do not comply with the instructions for authors may be returned for modification before being reviewed.

Authorship

To give appropriate credit to each author, the individual contributions of authors should be specified in the manuscript.
The Journal defines an author as a person who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study to take public responsibility for it.
We recommend that the authors adhere to the authorship criteria of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). According to the ICMJE guidelines, to qualify as an author one should have:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not usually justify authorship.
Any person who does not meet all four of the listed criteria does not qualify as an author and should not be designated as such. The final author line up and order should be determined by all authors before submission and may not be changed without a written explanation and signed permission of all authors.
Each manuscript must have a corresponding author, who assumes full responsibility for the integrity of the submission as a whole, from inception to published article. The Journal reserves the right to clarify each author’s role, based on information collected from authors in connection with their submission.

Acknowledgements: All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed (with their written permission) in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section with a description of their individual contributions. This requirement covers any editorial or authorship contributions made on behalf of outside organizations, persons, funding bodies, or persons hired by funding bodies.

Role of the Funding Source: All sources of funding should be declared as an acknowledgment at the end of the text. At the end of the Methods section, under a subheading "Role of the funding source", authors must describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication. If there is no Methods section, the role of the funding source should be stated as an acknowledgment.  If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Role of Medical Writer: When medical writers or editing services were used, their activities should be acknowledged, along with their source funding source. This information should be added to the Acknowledgments section. We require signed statements from any medical writers or editors declaring that they have given permission to be named in the Acknowledgments section.

Patient and Other Consents

Appropriate written consents, permissions, and releases must be obtained where you wish to include any case details, personal information, and/or images of patients or other individuals in the APU in order to comply with all applicable laws and regulations concerning privacy and/or security of personal information. Studies on patients or volunteers need approval from an ethics committee and informed consent from participants. These should be documented in your paper.
"Blackout" bars or similar devices do not anonymise patients in clinical images: appropriate consent is needed.

Duplicate Submission and Publication

APU does not accept material previously published in printed or electronic form or manuscripts under consideration by another journal.
APU endorses the policies of the ICMJE in relation to overlapping publications

Plagiarism Policy
Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is a serious violation. We define plagiarism as reproduction of another work with at least 25% similarity and without citation. If evidence of plagiarism is found before/after acceptance or after publication of the paper, the author will be offered a chance for rebuttal. If the arguments are not found to be satisfactory, the manuscript will be retracted and the author sanctioned from publishing papers for a period to be determined by the Editor.

Fast-Track Publication

A fast-track system is available for urgent and important manuscripts that meet the Journal’s requirements for rapid review and publication.
Authors may apply for fast-track publication through the manuscript submission process, clearly indicating why their manuscript should be considered for accelerated review and publication. The Editorial Board will decide whether the manuscript is suitable for fast-track or regular publication and will communicate their decision within 48 hours. If the Editor-in-Chief finds the manuscript unsuitable for fast-track publication, the manuscript may be proposed for the normal review process, or the authors can withdraw their submission. An editorial decision on manuscripts accepted for fast-track review will be made within five working days.
If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the Journal will aim to publish it online within 16 days.

Peer Review

All research articles, and most other article types, published in the APU undergo thorough peer review. Editor-in-Chief will treat all manuscripts submitted in confidence. Reviewers are therefore required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by the APU. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from the Editor.
The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality, clarity and originality of the research and its significance to our readership. Manuscripts should be written in a clear, concise, direct style. The manuscript should not have been published, in whole or in part, nor submitted for publication elsewhere.
All submitted manuscripts are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and can be rejected at this stage, without being sent to reviewers. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editor-in-Chief, who reserves the right to refuse any material for publication.
APU follows a rigorous single-blind peer review. APU will send manuscripts to outside reviewers selected from an extensive database.
All manuscripts that do not comply with the instructions for authors can be rejected before being reviewed by the scientific advisors. Final acceptance is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief.
Letters to the Editor or Editorials will be evaluated by the Editorial Board, but also may be requested an external review.

In the evaluation, the articles can be:
a) Accepted without changes
b) Accepted after modifications suggested by scientific advisors
c) Rejected

Upon receipt of the manuscript, the editor-in-chief sends it to two reviewers if the manuscript is in accordance with the instructions to authors and meets the editorial policy.
Within 30 days, the reviewer should respond to the chief editor indicating their comments on the manuscript subject to revision, and suggestion regarding acceptance, revision or rejection of the work. Within 10 days the Editorial Board will make a decision which may be: accept the manuscript without modifications; sending reviewers' comments to authors proceed in accordance with the stated; rejection.
When changes are proposed Authors have 30 days (which period may be extended at the request of the authors) to submit a new revised version of the manuscript, incorporating the comments of the reviewers and of the editorial board. Answering all the questions and a revised version of the article, with the amendments inserted highlighted with a different colour.
The editor-in-Chief has 10 days to make the decision on the new version: reject or accept the new version, or refer it to a new appreciation for one or more reviewers.
In case of acceptance, in any of the previous phases, the same will be communicated to the Corresponding Author.
In the authors proof revision phase will not be accepted substantive changes to manuscript. The inclusion of these changes can motivate the rejection of the manuscript by decision of the Editor-in-Chief.
In all cases the opinions of the reviewers will be fully communicated to authors within 6-8 weeks from the date of receipt of the manuscript.

 Signatures

At the external peer review stage you will need to send signed copies of the following statements:

  • Authors' contributions
  • Conflicts of interest statements
  • Acknowledgments — written consent of cited individual
  • Personal communications — written consent of cited individual
  • Use of copyright-protected material — signed permission statements from author and publisher

After Submission

Proof Revision

The corresponding author will receive by email a PDF file of the proof copy of their article, which should be corrected (if necessary) and returned as quickly as possible, ideally within 48 hours. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are returned in one communication; inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely the responsibility of the corresponding author.
Changes to proofs should be made using the Comment functions in Adobe Reader only. Do not re-save the PDF in Adobe Acrobat or other editing software.
The corresponding author will receive, at no cost, an offprint of the published article in PDF form.

Corrections

After publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an erratum.
If an error is noted in a published article requiring publication of a correction, the correction will appear as an erratum on a numbered page listed in the Table of Contents.

Retractions

The reviewers and the editors initially assume that authors are reporting work based on honest observations. However, if substantial doubt arises about the honesty or integrity of work, either submitted or published, the editor will inform the authors of the concern, seek clarification, and pursue the issue with the author’s sponsoring body and/or employing authority. Consequently, if the sponsoring body and/or employers find a published paper to be fraudulent, the journal will print a retraction. If, however, this method of investigation does not result in a satisfactory conclusion, the editor may choose to conduct his or her own investigation, and may choose to publish an expression of concern about the aspects of the conduct or integrity of the work. The validity of previous work by the author of a fraudulent paper cannot be assumed. Editors may ask the author’s institution to assure them of the validity of earlier work published in their journal or to retract it. If this is not done, editors may choose to publish an announcement expressing concern that the validity of previously published work is uncertain.

Final Note

For further clarification of the above matters authors should consult the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals available at http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.

Last revised: Abril 2017