Editorial Policies

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Authorship and Non-Author Contributors

MSURJ follows the definition of authorship and contributorship set out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Researchers who have significantly contributed to the conception or design of the work or to the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data, and to the drafting or scientific revision of the manuscript should be listed as authors. All authors must approve of the submitted manuscript and any published content and of their name being attached to these manuscripts. All authors must agree to be personally accountable for their own contributions.

Those who have contributed any but not all of the above requirements for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section. They may be acknowledged either individually or as a group, and their specific contributions should be given. Written permission must be granted by the parties being acknowledged to have their identities and activities published.

Research Ethics

For research requiring approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB; or the equivalent at your institution), a statement must be included under the methods section indicating that the specific named IRB reviewed your work. MSURJ will address ethics concerns pursuant to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) guidelines. Works for which authors do not satisfactorily address ethics concerns raised by reviewers will not be considered, and the authors’ institutions or other authorities may be notified.

Reproducibility & Data Availability

All necessary information for the critical interpretation of reported work and for evaluation and verification of the analysis and conclusions must be made available immediately. Any restrictions to such information must be explicitly disclosed on submission by inclusion in the email body; authors should be prepared for these statements to be included in their Acknowledgements section following consultation with the editors. 

Data not presented in the main manuscript may be included in a public repository licensed under a CC0 or CC-BY licence or in the Supporting Information if presentable in document format broken into US letter-sized pages. Deposited datasets should be cited as per the Author Instructions and stated in the Acknowledgements section. Guidance on repository selection is provided here by PLoS: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/recommended-repositories. The reported materials and methods must be sufficient for ensuring reproducibility.

Competing Interests

Any interests or relationships which may influence the submitted work must be disclosed to the editors. These may include sources of funding, personal financial interest (e.g. shares in companies which may be affected by the work), and memberships in related organisations, amongst others. Disclosures may be included in the submission email body. MSURJ reserves the right to publish these statements by modifying the Acknowledgements section. Authors should be as transparent as possible; the editors will work with authors to determine what will constitute a competing interest which must be declared to the readership.

Plagiarism & Redundant Publication

MSURJ does not tolerate plagiarism of any kind. McGill University’s definition of plagiarism is outlined in article 16 of the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, being the “representation of another’s work as one’s own or assisting another in representing another’s work, published or unpublished, as their own.” This includes copying or paraphrasing of text without proper attribution. MSURJ follows the COPE’s guidelines for addressing plagiarism, including a careful investigation of allegations. Minor cases will be communicated to the authors with a request for changes strictly conditional for possibility of publication in MSURJ. Major cases will be rejected outright and the authors banned from submitting to MSURJ in the future. The authors’ superiors or institutions may be contacted.

MSURJ will not consider manuscripts including original works or findings which have previously been published. Authors are not to divide a study between multiple manuscripts where substantially new conclusions are not drawn.

Dissertations/theses are not considered as being previously published. Depositing papers with not-for-profit preprint servers such as arXiv.org is not considered prior publication. Once submitted for consideration by MSURJ, edited versions of the manuscript should not continue to be deposited with preprint servers. Presenting the work at a scientific meeting and publishing an abstract or poster of such work for the purposes of a conference presentation will not preclude publication with MSURJ.

Research Misconduct

MSURJ seeks to handle allegations of misconduct according to the COPE Core Practices. MSURJ reserves the right to act on “any practice that may affect the reliability of the research record in terms of findings, conclusions, or attribution,” being the broadest definition of research misconduct given by COPE. We would like to highlight in particular the definition of research misconduct according to the Office of Research Integrity, being “fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.” The editors-in-chief at msurj.sus@mail.mcgill.ca are the primary point of contact for allegations of misconduct, and MSURJ is committed to cooperating in research misconduct-related inquiries. 

Investigation of research misconduct occurs in a confidential manner, being restricted only to those involved in the editorial and review process and to any funders, regulatory agencies, the author’s affiliated institutions, and other journals. Throughout this process, the authors will remain anonymous in any communications outside the Editorial Board until abundant evidence is gathered and the author is unable to provide a satisfactory response, when the allegations and evidence may be forwarded to the author’s institutions or other regulatory agencies. In such cases, authors will be barred from consideration for publication with MSURJ in the future.

Corrections, Retractions, & Post-Publication Statements

MSURJ follows the basic policy of Nature Portfolio and may publish notices of correction to previously published articles when changes are made “to correct an important error(s) made by the author(s) that affects the scientific integrity of the published article, the publication record, or the reputation of the authors or the journal.”

Where issues cannot be resolved by a correction, retractions are considered according to COPE’s guidelines, including but not limited to when it is determined after publication that the article contains plagiarism, unethical research, or improperly supported conclusions. The original article text will remain alongside a published notice of retraction detailing the reasons for retraction and the parties calling for retraction. Pursuant to COPE guidelines, editors will always seek to reach an agreement with authors on the wording of the retraction notice, but editors are ultimately responsible for its crafting. Undue prolonging of negotiations will not be accepted.

All post-publication statements will be linked from the article landing page as available directly from the associated DOI, and they shall in turn link to the original article. 

If content is discovered to be unlawful after publication, MSURJ reserves the right to remove said content from our online platforms, according to Nature Portfolio policies. The original article landing page including metadata for the article will remain alongside a notice on the reasons for removal of the article.


All editors, authors, and reviewers are obligated to maintain confidentiality in journal related matters. Details of the editorial process pertaining to particular manuscript submissions are not to be shared with anyone not party to the editorial process. 

Manuscripts forwarded to peer-reviewers are done so in confidence. Peer-reviewers are not to distribute the manuscript to anyone else without consultation and permission of the editors. Copies of the manuscript are to be deleted by peer-reviewers once their review is concluded, and reviewers may not use or act on the data without permission of the authors. 

MSURJ seeks to enforce these above policies on confidentiality; however, we cannot offer guarantees.


Authors who feel their submission was rejected from publication with MSURJ in error are free to resubmit a manuscript at any time along with reasoned and supported justification and/or any edits which had been requested during the editorial process. We will treat such resubmissions the same as any other manuscript from the point in the editorial process to which it had previously progressed. MSURJ does not guarantee successfully appealed manuscripts to be published in the same issue as that for which the submission was initially made. 


MSURJ takes any complaints against the conduct of our organisation, members of our organisation, or reviewers seriously. These may include improper use of research data made available to anyone during our editorial process. The primary contact for these concerns is the editors-in-chief at msurj.sus@mail.mcgill.ca, and they are responsible for investigating staff misconduct. If the complaint is against any of the editors-in-chief, any managing editor may be contacted to initiate proceedings pursuant to our constitution. Alleged misconduct will first be addressed by contacting the relevant parties with the specific complaint, anonymised. We may also seek advice from other journals and institutions. Ultimately, subsequent investigation and action will be referred to the relevant institutions or funding bodies of the accused parties.