Editorial Policy

Authorship and Contributions
Authorship must be limited to those who have contributed substantially to the work. The corresponding author must have obtained permission from all authors for the submission of each version of the paper and for any change in authorship.  All authors must approve the final manuscript.

Throughout submission and peer review, a single corresponding author is responsible for providing all necessary manuscript information and interactions with the editorial office. The corresponding author must also ensure that all authors have disclosed any competing interests.

Reviewer guidelines
Peer review allows research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts who work within the same academic field as the authors. It also helps to improve manuscripts and allows the editor to assess a work’s suitability for publication. To save time for authors and peer reviewers, only work that seems most likely to meet our editorial criteria is sent for formal review. Those manuscripts judged by the editors to be of insufficient interest or otherwise inappropriate for CJIC are rejected (desk rejected) promptly without external review.

Review process
The journal has a double-blinded peer review process. Manuscripts are initially examined by editorial staff and are sent by the Editor-in-Chief to two expert independent reviewers, either directly or by the Associate Editor.

Typically two or three reviewers but sometimes more are invited if special advice is needed. The editors then decide based on the reviewers’ advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Accept submission – with or without editorial revisions.
  • Invite author revision – addressing specific concerns before a final decision is reached.
  • Reject – but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission.
  • Reject outright – typically on the grounds of poor quality, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Selecting peer reviewers
Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, and our own previous experience of a reviewer’s characteristics. For instance, we avoid using people who are slow, careless, or do not provide reasoning for their views, whether harsh or lenient.

We check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that the facts below contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.

CJIC has an editorial board and also maintains a database of suitably qualified peer reviewers. Monitors the performance of peer reviewers/editorial board members and records the quality and timeliness of their reviews. Peer reviewers who repeatedly produce poor-quality, tardy, or unconstructive reviews shall be restricted from further assignments.

As a general rule, CJIC encourages peer reviewers to identify any conflict of interest with the material they are being asked to review. In this situation peer reviewers should decline invitations requesting peer review where any circumstances might prevent them from producing a fair peer review.

Reviewer invitations
Reviewer invitations are emailed from the journal’s Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor through Editorial Manager. The invitation will include the manuscript abstract to help you decide whether to accept the invitation. 

Accept or decline invitation 
The manuscript will only be available to download once you accept the invitation to review.

Please indicate whether you accept the invitation by clicking on the applicable button and emailing the editor.

Due date
CJIC is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the scientific community as a whole. We therefore ask reviewers to respond promptly within the number of days agreed. If reviewers anticipate a longer delay than previously expected, we ask them to let us know so that we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternatives.

Submitting the review
The primary goal of the review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a fair decision. The review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their manuscript to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible a negative review should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere. That being said, referees should not feel obliged to provide detailed, constructive advice to authors of manuscripts that do not meet the criteria for publication. If the reviewer believes that a manuscript would not be suitable for publication, their report to the author should be as brief as is consistent with enabling the author to understand the reason for the decision.

Confidential comments to the editor are welcome, but it is helpful if the main points are stated in the comments for transmission to the authors. The ideal review should answer the following questions:

  • Who will be interested in reading the work, and why?
  • What are the main claims/conclusions of the work and how significant are they?
  • How does the work stand out from others in its field?
  • Are the claims novel, or in support of emerging knowledge in the field?
  • Are the claims/conclusions convincing? If not, what further evidence is needed?
  • Are there other experiments or analysis that would strengthen the manuscript further?
  • How much would further work improve it, and how difficult would this be? Would it take a long time?
  • Are the claims appropriately discussed in the context of previous literature?
  • If the manuscript is unacceptable, is the study sufficiently promising to encourage the authors to resubmit?
  • If the manuscript is unacceptable but promising, what specific work is needed to make it acceptable?
  • Are there any special ethical concerns arising from the use of human or animal subjects? 

Editorial decisions
Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors and may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the practice of infection prevention and control.

We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. We are very aware, however, that reviewers are usually reluctant to be drawn into prolonged disputes, so we try to keep consultation to the minimum as we strive to provide a fair hearing for the authors.

When reviewers agree to assess a manuscript, we consider this a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted manuscript back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms.

Authors are encouraged to remove any information from their manuscripts that might lead a reviewer to discern their identities or affiliations. CJIC does not release reviewers’ identities to authors or to other reviewers. We ask reviewers not to identify themselves to authors without the editor’s knowledge. If they wish to reveal their identities while the manuscript is under consideration, this should be done via the editor. We ask authors to inform the editor as soon as possible after the reviewer has revealed their identity to the author. Also, we deplore any attempt by authors to confront reviewers or determine their identities. CJIC will neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers’ identities.

Editing reviewers’ reports
CJIC does not suppress reviewers’ reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On occasion we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments that reveal confidential information about other matters, or to make the report more understandable. We ask reviewers to avoid statements that may cause needless offence; conversely, we strongly encourage reviewers to state plainly their opinion of a manuscript. Authors should recognise that criticisms are not necessarily unfair simply because they are expressed in robust language. 

Editors or editorial board members will never be involved in editorial decisions about their own work.

Editors, members of editorial boards and other editorial staff (including peer reviewers) should withdraw from discussions about submissions where any circumstances might prevent them from offering unbiased editorial decisions.

Editorial independence
Editorial independence is always respected. No one shall interfere with editorial decisions. Decisions by editors about whether to publish individual items submitted to CJIC are never influenced by pressure from IPAC Canada or the publisher.

Intellectual property
Authors are entitled to expect that peer reviewers or other individuals privy to the work of an author who submits to CJIC will not steal their research ideas or plagiarise their work.

Competing interests
You should not review a manuscript if you have a potential competing interest. Please declare such conflicts within the review process.