Future Healthcare Journal policies

Editorial independence

The journal has editorial independence from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and decisions regarding the commissioning, selection and dissemination of content are the responsibility of the editor, taking into account peer review and guidance from the editorial board. All articles and other material published by FHJ reflect the agreed opinions of their authors and should not be taken to represent the policy of the RCP unless this is specifically stated.

Peer review process

Manuscripts submitted to the Future Healthcare Journal are all subject to peer review. After an initial screening for general suitability, the editor‐in‐chief (assisted by the editorial board) will assign submissions to experts (usually two per manuscript) for peer review. The peer review process assesses manuscripts for originality, validity and significance. Our peer review process is double blind (authors and reviewers are not aware of each other’s identities). During the online submission process, authors are requested to supply names, affiliations and contact details of two potential reviewers; these reviewers may not be selected by the editors.

Following peer review, a decision will be made on your manuscript (accept, minor revision, major revision or reject) and communicated to you by email. If revisions are requested, the decision email will give instructions on how to submit your revised manuscript. Appeals or other complaints regarding peer review will be carefully considered and referred to COPE (see below) if unresolved.

Editorial process

All accepted submissions are copyedited by our in‐house editorial team to ensure language is clear and precise, to apply house style and to adjust article length where necessary. Any major queries will be sent to the author to resolve prior to typesetting; however, the majority of author queries are included at the proof stage. We recommend that all authors check and correct the proof, but request that a single set of corrections and copyright release form (see below) are coordinated and returned by one author. Please check the accuracy of all content, in particular the names and affiliations of authors, and the data displayed in figures and tables.

Content that is published online ahead of issue allocation is the finalised version following these processes; no further substantive changes are possible once the article has been published online.

Editorial policies

Authorship: All authors listed must meet all four of the following criteria recommended by the ICMJE:

  • substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work or to the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  • final approval of the version to be published
  • 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.

Where all criteria are not met, but an individual has made a significant contribution to the article, they should be acknowledged in an acknowledgements section at the end of the main text.

Copyright: Submission of an article to the journal is taken to imply that it represents original work, not previously published and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors are asked to sign a form transferring the copyright of their articles to the publishers. Copyright covers the distribution of the material in all forms, including but not limited to figures, tables, reprints, photographic reproductions and photocopies.

Protection of research participants: If a study reports human data, the cover sheet should state whether the authors have approval from their local research ethics committee or otherwise conforms to the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. If possible, individual patients should not be identifiable and non-essential identifying details should be omitted. If a patient is identifiable, informed written consent to publish must be obtained from the patient or from their next of kin if they are not able to consent themselves. Further guidance on the issue of patient identifiability can be found here.

Conflicts of interest: Potential conflicts of interest must be declared on the cover sheet at submission. These include relevant financial, personal, political or intellectual interests. The ICMJE provides a form that can be used to generate your conflict of interest statement.

Corrections and disagreements: Corrections to any published errors or misleading statements are published online. The views of readers who disagree with or would like to expand on published statements can express their opinions as a letter to the editor.

Research misconduct: The Future Healthcare Journal subscribes to the standards published by COPEResearch misconduct includes but is not limited to fabrication of results (making up data), falsification of results (manipulating, changing or omitting data so that the research is not accurately represented in the published article) and plagiarism (appropriating somebody’s ideas, data or words without giving appropriate credit). If the editor-in-chief of the journal suspects research misconduct relating to a submitted or published article or is made aware that others have concerns, they will initiate an investigation. Depending on the outcome of this investigation, the article may be retracted and the authors’ institutions and/or medical registration bodies may be informed.

Policy on patient involvement

The Future Healthcare Journal aims to embed patient involvement at all levels. Our patient involvement charter can be accessed here.

Policy on web accessibility

We want the Future Healthcare Journal to be accessible to as wide a range of readers and contributors as possible, regardless of disability or impairment. We believe that this is an ongoing process and are constantly seeking to improve in this area.

Our main platform for readers, rcpjournals.org, which is hosted by HighWire, is currently compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. HighWire are currently working on WCAG 2.1 compliance.

Our main platform for authors and reviewers is ScholarOne Manuscripts, which is hosted by Clarivate. A statement on steps Clarivate is taking to improve the accessibility of ScholarOne Manuscripts can be found here. If you have difficulty submitting your manuscript or review via ScholarOne Manuscripts due to a disability or impairment, please contact us at FHJ@rcplondon.ac.uk and we will be pleased to offer assistance.

The main RCP website, www.rcplondon.ac.uk, offers another portal to some of our content for members and fellows of the RCP. The web accessibility statement for the RCP website is here.

If you would like to pass on any feedback on how the journal could be made more accessible to any group of users, please contact us at FHJ@rcplondon.ac.uk.