v.1.4 (updated September 2015)

The Balkan Medical Journal is a peer-reviewed open-access international journal that publishes interesting clinical and experimental research conducted in all fields of medicine, interesting case reports and clinical images, invited reviews, editorials, letters, comments and letters to the Editor including reports on publication and research ethics. The language of the journal is English. The journal is based on independent and unbiased double-blinded peer-reviewed principles. Only unpublished papers that are not under review for publication elsewhere can be submitted.

The primary aim of the journal is to publish original articles with high scientific and ethical quality and serve as a good example of medical publications in the Balkans. The Balkan Medical Journal believes that quality publication will lead to the progress of medical sciences and healthcare in Balkan countries as well as worldwide. The Balkan Medical Journal is indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science)Journal Citation ReportsPubMed/MEDLINEPubMed CentralScopusEMBASEDOAJCAB AbstractsChemical AbstractsCINAHLEBSCOGlobal HealthIndex Copernicus, and TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM TR Index.

The Editorial Board of the Balkan Medical Journal and the Publisher adheres to the principles of the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), the World Medical Association (WMA), the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI), the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), and the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE). The editor-in-chief has full authority over the editorial and scientific content of the Balkan Medical Journal and the timing of publication of the content.

All articles submitted for publication are strictly reviewed for their

ethical nature and,
suitability for the journal 

The Balkan Medical Journal uses a well-constructed scheme for the evaluation process. (Please refer to "Instructions to Author" page for more information).

Overall, the acceptance rate of the Balkan Medical Journal is between 3% and 6%, and the median response time for all submissions is 4 weeks (3 weeks for rejected papers, and for accepted papers, 6 weeks for the first revision request by the external reviewers). The median overall response time for accepted papers is 14 weeks because the editors and reviewers of the Balkan Medical Journal usually need to assist authors to improve their papers through several revisions to increase the quality of the articles published in the journal.

The entire submission process for a manuscript is completed online through the self-explanatory online submission system through the following website: The reviewers can also reach their personal pages from the same address with their own passwords.

Manuscripts that comply with the main rules of the journal are sent to at least two external reviewers, and the reviewers are asked for their opinion about the suitability of the paper for publication. The reviewed manuscripts are then re-reviewed by the Editor in Chief and the Editorial Board and a decision of rejection or acceptance is shaped.

If the reviewers have any potential competing interests, they must notify the editor before agreeing to review a submission.

The Balkan Medical Journal is committed to the highest standards of research and publication ethics. Editors will act in accordance with the relevant international rules of publication ethics (i.e., COPE guidelines, ICMJE Recommendations, CSE White Paper on Publication Ethics, CSE White Paper on Publication Ethics, WAME resources, WMA policies and ORI) if any ethical misconduct is suspected. The Editorial Board of the Balkan Medical Journal encourages reviewers to comment on possible research or publication misconduct such as unethical research design, duplication, plagiarism, etc. Plagiarism is a serious problem and the most common ethical issue afflicting medical writing. The Balkan Medical Journal does not allow any form of plagiarism. In accordance with our journal policy, submitted manuscripts are screened with plagiarism software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text (iThenticate and others) at least two times (during the evaluation process and after acceptance). If the reviewers have any suspect, the editors can provide them information obtained by plagiarism screening tools.

An approval of research protocols by an ethics committee in accordance with international agreements (“WMA Declaration of Helsinki - Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (last updated: October 2013, Fortaleza, Brazil)”, “Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals (8th edition, 2011)” and/or “International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals (2012)” is required for all research studies. If the submitted manuscript does not include ethics committee approval, it will be reviewed according to COPE's guideline (Guidance for Editors: Research, Audit and Service Evaluations). If the study should have ethical approval, authors will be asked to provide ethical approval in order to proceed the review process. If they cannot provide ethical approval, their manuscript will be rejected and also their institutions and when needed, the related bodies in their country will be informed that such studies must have ethics committee approval. If they provide approval, review of the manuscript will continue.

If the study does not need ethics committee approval after the editorial board’s review, the authors will be asked to provide an ethics committee approval or a document given by a related independent committee that indicates the study does not need ethics committee approval according to the research integrity rules in their country. If the authors provide either an approval or a document showing that ethics approval is not needed, the review process will continue. If the authors cannot provide either documents, the manuscript will be rejected.

For articles concerning experimental research on humans, a statement should be included that shows informed consent of patients and volunteers was obtained following a detailed explanation of the procedures that they may undergo. Informed consent must also be obtained for case reports. All recognizable photographs of a patient must be accompanied by written permission from the patient for reproduction. Procedures that were performed to eliminate any pain, harm and distress in subjects/animals should clearly be stated. The authors should clearly state their compliance with internationally accepted guidelines and the guidelines issued by the relevant authority of their country. The journal requests a copy of the Ethics Committee Approval received from the relevant authority.

The Balkan Medical Journal wants reviewers to treat the manuscripts in confidence. The material of the manuscripts must not be used or shared in any way until they have been published. The Balkan Medical Journal follows theCOPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct. Please refer to COPE ethical guidelines for peer reviewers for "Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere" and "Expectations from reviewers"

The Balkan Medical Journal uses bibliographic databases and also accepts authors' suggestions to find new reviewers. The journal thanks to the reviewers and publishes the reviewer list every year in the last issue and on the website after each issue. It is also being planned to award the reviewers on the basis of their performance.

If the reviewers need, they can go through the "Instructions to Authors". They can also use the questions below, when reviewing the manuscripts:

1.  Please state any conflict(s) of interest that you have in relation to the review of this manuscript (state "none" if this is not applicable).
2.  Do you suspect any research or publication misconduct? If yes, please indicate in detail.
3.  Does the manuscript contain new and significant information to justify publication?
4.  Is the title of the article appropriate?
5.  Does the abstract clearly and accurately describe the content of the article?
6.  Is the problem significant and concisely stated?
7.  Are the methods described comprehensively?
8.  Is the results section clear and satisfactory?
9.  Are the interpretations and conclusions justified by the results?
10. Is adequate and current reference made to other work in the field?
11. Is the language acceptable?
12. Please rate the priority for publishing this article (1 is the highest priority, 10 is the lowest priority).
13. Is the appropriate terminology used in the text?
14. Is it sufficient that figures and/or tables?
15. Is it necessary to shorten the article?

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