ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. DESCRIPTION, AIMS AND SCOPE
2. AUDIENCE
3. ABSTRACTING AND INDEXING
4. EDITORIAL PROCESS & PEER REVIEW
5. AUTHOR’S DECLARATIONS
6. RESEARCH ETHICS POLICY
7. THE PROCESS FOR HANDLING CASES REQUIRING CORRECTIONS, RETRACTIONS, AND EDITORIAL EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN
8. ADVERTISING POLICY

1) DESCRIPTION, AIMS AND SCOPE

“Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal, engaged in publishing original and review articles of the highest quality in a wide range of basic, clinical and experimental research areas, covering all aspects of human health. It is the official journal of the Balkan Medical Union (BMU) and is published 4 times a year. “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” also publishes abstracts of papers presented at the annual scientific sessions of the Balkan Medical Union (BMU). The journal provides a forum for the exchange of information on all aspects of clinical and experimental medicine, including educational, historical, philosophical, economic, social, bioethics and technological issues, especially for (but not restricted to) Balkan countries.

The Editorial Board of the Archives of Balkan Medical Union 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).

2) AUDIENCE

Specialists in all areas of medicine and pharmacy. For detailed, current information, browse the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” Homepage http://www.umbalk.org. Here you will find the current table of contents, complete with abstracts and full-text articles, references, tables and figures. The “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” homepage also features other important information on permissions, advertising contacts, and related products.

 Printed copies of the journal are distributed to over 100 university libraries in 10 Balkan countries, the library of the Academy of Medicine of France and all around the World. All articles are also available in PDF format on our website (www.umbalk.org) and can be downloaded free of charge.

3) ABSTRACTING AND INDEXING

4) EDITORIAL PROCESS & PEER REVIEW

  • REVIEW OF MANUSCRIPTS
    All manuscripts submitted to the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” will be assessed first by the Editorial Board. Some manuscripts will be returned to authors at this stage if they are deemed more appropriate for another journal, if the paper fails to meet submission requirements, or if they are deemed to have insufficient priority. Submissions that advance in the publication process will undergo appropriate blind peer review by at least two independent reviewers, and all papers provisionally accepted for publication will undergo a detailed statistical review. If there is no clear consensus between the 2 reviewers, the manuscript will be reviewed by a 3rd referee. The review period is expected to last between 2-4 weeks, aiming always to obtaining a high quality assessment of the submitted materials by international experts in the relevant field.
    All accepted manuscripts are peer-reviewed and carefully corrected in style and language, if necessary, to make presentation clear (there is no fee for this service). Every effort is made (a) to maintain the personal style of the author’s writing and (b) to avoid change of meaning. Authors will be requested to examine carefully manuscripts which have undergone language correction at the pre-proof or proof stage.Authors should pay attention to the following points when writing an article for “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union”:
    • The Instructions to Authors must be followed in every detail.
    • The presentation of the experimental methods should be clear and complete in every detail facilitating reproducibility by other scientists.
    • The presentation of results should be simple and straightforward in style. Results and discussion should not he combined into one section, unless the paper is short.
    • Results given in figures should not be repeated in tables.
    • Photographs should be clear with high contrast, presenting the actual observation described in the legend and in the text. Each legend should provide a complete description, being self-explanatory, including technique of preparation, information about the specimen and magnification.
    • Statistical analysis should be elaborated wherever it is necessary. Simplification of presentation by giving only numerical or % values should be avoided.
    • Fidelity of the techniques and reproducibility of the results, should be points of particular importance in the discussion section. Authors are advised to check the correctness of their methods and results carefully before writing an article. Probable or dubious explanations should be avoided.
    • The References section should provide as complete a coverage of the literature as possible including all the relevant works published up to the time of submission.
    • By following these instructions, Authors will facilitate a more rapid review and processing of their manuscripts and will provide the readers with concise and useful papers.Articles submitted to “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” may be rejected without review if:
    • they do not fall within the journal’s policy.
    • they do not follow the instructions for authors.
    • language is unclear.
    • results are not sufficient to support a final conclusion.
    • results are not objectively based on valid experiments.
    • they repeat results already published by the same or other authors before the submission to the “Archives of he Balkan Medical Union”.
    • plagiarism is detected by plagiarism screening services.

    The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision of each submission.
  • AFTER MANUSCRIPT ACCEPTANCE
    The Editor-in-Chief will notify the corresponding author if the submited manuscript has been accepted for publication. If revisions are solicited by the reviewers, a revised manuscript must be returned to the editorial office as stipulated in the relevant decision letter.
    It is a condition of publication in the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” that authors grant an exclusive licence to the Balkan Medical Union. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and thus ensures that the article is disseminated as widely as possible. As part of the licence agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications, provided the BMU is acknowledged as the original place of publication and is notified in writing in advance.
  • PLAGIARISM DETECTION
    The Archives of Balkan Medical Union is committed to the highest standards of research and publication ethics, and does not allow any form of plagiarism. All submitted manuscripts are screened with plagiarism software (Sem Plag) at least two times during the evaluation process to detect instances of overlapping and similar text.
  • PROOFS CORRECTION
    Page proofs will be submitted to the corresponding author electronically. These should be checked thoroughly for any changes or typographic errors.
    It is the editor’s intent to review and correct the proofs and publish the accepted work as soon as possible. To achieve this, it is mandatory that all corrections are returned within three days. Subsequent additional corrections will not be possible, hence please ensure that all amendments are marked up comprehensively in the proofs.
  • ARTICLE PUBLISHING CHARGES:
    there is a publication fee of 400 RON (approx. 90 Euros) per article, if the first author/corresponding author is a member of Balkan Medical Union (with the yearly fee paid). For non-members, the publication fee is 500 RON/article (approx. 110 Euros). This fee is payable only if the article has been accepted for publication. There is no article processing charges. If substantial language corrections are necessary, an additional fee may be applied.
  • AUTHOR INQUIRIES
    For inquiries relating to submitted articles or to articles currently under review, please contact the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” editorial office at drcameliadiaconu@gmail.com.
    The mailing address for “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” and the Editor-in-Chief is:
    Dr. Camelia Diaconu, MD, PhD, FESC, FACC, FACP, FEFIM
    Editor-in-Chief, “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union”
    1 Georges Clemenceau street, Bucharest, Romania
    phone 0040 726 377 300, e-mail drcameliadiaconu@gmail.com.

The Archives of the Balkan Medical Union Journal requires that each author, reviewer, and editor must disclose to the editor-in-chief any conflict of interest related to family, personal, financial, political or religious issues as well as any competing interest. Whether or not a conflict of interest and financial support exist, they must be declared at the ICMJE Conflict of Interest form as well as at the end of the manuscripts. If a reviewer, an associate editor, or a section editor has a conflict of interest and/or believes that it is not appropriate to be a reviewer, or an editor for a given manuscript, the reviewer or the editor should resign from the assignment. The Editorial Board members of the Archives of the Balkan Medical Union Journal, who handle submissions and recommend decisions to the Editor-in-chief may also submit their own manuscripts to the journal as all of them are active researchers and scientists. However, they cannot take place at any stage in the editorial decision of their manuscripts in order to minimize any possible bias. They will be treated like any other author, and if any, final acceptance of such manuscripts can only be made at the positive recommendation of at least two external reviewers, who are not the members of decision-making Editorial Board.

5) AUTHOR’S DECLARATIONS

6) RESEARCH ETHICS POLICY

It is essential practice for the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” journal to adopt publication policies to ensure that ethical and responsible research is published, and that all necessary consents and approvals have been obtained from authors to publish their work.

Animals in research
Research involving animals should be conducted with the same rigor as research in humans. The “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” journal encourages authors to implement the 3Rs principles of replacement (approaches which avoid or replace the use of animals), reduction (methods which minimize the number of animals used) and refinement (methods which minimize animal suffering and improve welfare).
The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has published ethical guidelines for researchers, editors, and reviewers.
Our journal encourages authors to adhere to animal research reporting standards, for example the ARRIVE reporting guidelines, which describe the details journals should require from authors regarding:

1. Study design and statistical analysis.
2. Experimental procedures.
3. Experimental animals.
4. Housing and husbandry.

The authors of the “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” journal are required to confirm that ethical and legal approval was obtained prior to the start of the study and state the name of the body giving the approval. Authors also should state whether experiments were performed in accordance with relevant institutional and national guidelines and regulations.
The authors must describe in their manuscript how discomfort, distress, and pain were avoided and minimized, and to confirm that animals did not suffer unnecessarily at any stage of an experiment.

Bias-free language
For research which includes, or refers to, human participants, it is necessary to detail the study population which requires the use of descriptors. It is important that the language and descriptors used to describe research populations are bias-free. The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2009) provides recommendations for eliminating bias in language in relation to gender, age, racial and ethnic background, sexual orientation, disability status, and socioeconomic status.

For research related to gender, age, racial and ethnic background, sexual orientation, disability status, and socioeconomic status, there may occasionally be qualitative data from participants (i.e. direct quotes or transcribed interviews) which may include derogatory demographic descriptors. Wherever possible, authors should avoid using derogatory demographic descriptors or offensive language unless it is essential to the research in question. For example, offensive language may be appropriate to include if it is a direct quote (and noted as such) from a participant reporting their own personal experiences of the use of such language.

Borders and territories
Potential disputes over borders and territories may have direct relevance for authors when describing their research in a submitted manuscript, or in the address they use for correspondence. The choices made by authors are respected, but should a perceived dispute or complaint be raised, then editorial team will attempt to find a resolution that works for all parties. Ultimately, the final decision on content is an editorial matter and will rest with the journal editors which, where necessary, will be in consultation with the relevant society and publisher.

Cultures and heritage
There is recognition of increasing innovation in the management of joint copyright in relation to intercultural research, to enable appropriate legal acknowledgment of intellectual property in attribution and acknowledgment.
Editors consider any sensitivities when publishing images of objects that might have cultural significance or cause offence (for example, religious texts or historical events). In addition:

1. Editors are conscious of the ethics surrounding publication of images of human remains and should recognize that human remains are perceived differently in different cultures. Images of human remains are not published without consideration of the views of any demonstrated genealogical descendants or affiliated cultural communities, if feasible. In cases where descendants or affiliated cultural communities cannot be contacted, images of human remains are not published without consultation with and permission from the curating institution or relevant stakeholder.
2. Cultural restrictions do exist in some cultures that prevent publication of the names of deceased people. Editors consider any sensitivities and, if necessary, confer with the author about appropriate representation of subjects in published work.

Ethnicity and race
When detailing demographic information about a study population, it is advisable to use terms to designate ethnicity (e.g. African American and South Asian) rather than race.

Human studies and subjects
For manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, including but extending beyond medical research, the journal requires a statement from authors to confirm that the appropriate ethical approval has been received, along with details of the approving ethics committee, and that the study conforms to recognized standards, see for example, Declaration of Helsinki; European Medicines Agency Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice.

The “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” journal only considers publishing research which includes individual participants’ information and images where the authors’ have obtained the prior informed consent from all participants.

In cases where manuscripts may involve potentially vulnerable groups and, therefore, where informed consent may have required particular attention from the study authors and the institution where the work took place, the journal team has particular care to ensure expected standards have both been met and are described in the articles we publish. The Icelandic Human Rights Center presents a list containing twelve examples of vulnerable groups: “1) women and girls; 2) children; 3) refugees; 4) internally displaced persons; 5) stateless persons; 6) national minorities; 7) indigenous peoples 8) migrant workers; 9) disabled persons; 10) older adults; 11) HIV positive persons and AIDS victims; 12) Roma/Gypsies/Sinti; and 13) lesbian, gay and transgender people.”

To ensure that informed consent has been obtained, the journal requires authors to confirm this upon submission, and requires that this information be included in a statement to this effect within their manuscript. Note that consent to participate in research is separate from consent to publish. It is necessary to obtain consent to publish if there is any possibility that information shared may identify an individual person, and document that this has been given within the manuscript. Consent forms do not need to be submitted with the manuscript, but researchers should provide necessary details if requested to do so by the journal.
In the case of technical images (for example, radiographs or micrographs), editors ensure that all information that could identify the subject has been removed from the image. For images of any human subject, permission according to applicable national laws must be sought from research participants before distributing.

Funding
The journal requests that authors list all funding sources in their manuscript. If there is no specific funding this should be stated. The role of the research funder beyond providing funding itself should also be described. It may be important to disclose, for example, if a commercial organization funded the study, designed the study, and also recruited the investigators.
Other sources of support should be clearly identified in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. For example, these might include funding for open access publication derived from a grant or from an author’s institution, or funding for writing or editorial assistance, or provision of experimental materials.

7) THE PROCESS FOR HANDLING CASES REQUIRING CORRECTIONS, RETRACTIONS, AND EDITORIAL EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN

Corrections, Retractions, Republications and Version Control
Honest errors are a part of science and publishing and require publication of a correction when they are detected. Corrections are needed for errors of fact. Matters of debate are best handled as letters to the editor, as print or electronic correspondence. Updates of previous publications (e.g., an updated systematic review or clinical guideline) are considered a new publication rather than a version of a previously published article.
If a correction is needed, the journal “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” follows these minimum standards:
• it should publish a correction notice as soon as possible, detailing changes from and citing the original publication; the correction should be on an electronic or numbered print page that is included in an electronic or a print “Table of Contents” to ensure proper indexing;
• it should post a new article version with details of the changes from the original version and the date(s) on which the changes were made;
• it should archive all prior versions of the article. This archive can be either directly accessible to readers or can be made available to the reader on request;
• previous electronic versions should prominently note that there are more recent versions of the article;
• the citation should be to the most recent version.
Pervasive errors can result from a coding problem or a miscalculation and may result in extensive inaccuracies throughout an article. If such errors do not change the direction or significance of the results, interpretations, and conclusions of the article, a correction should be published that follows the minimum standards noted above.
Errors serious enough to invalidate a paper’s results and conclusions may require retraction. However, retraction with republication (also referred to as “replacement”) can be considered in cases where honest error (e.g., a misclassification or miscalculation) leads to a major change in the direction or significance of the results, interpretations, and conclusions. If the error is judged to be unintentional, the underlying science appears valid, and the changed version of the paper survives further review and editorial scrutiny, then retraction with republication of the changed paper, with an explanation, allows full correction of the scientific literature. In such cases, it is helpful to show the extent of the changes in supplementary material or in an appendix, for complete transparency.

Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction
Scientific misconduct in research and non-research publications includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images; purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest; and plagiarism. Some people consider failure to publish the results of clinical trials and other human studies a form of scientific misconduct. While each of these practices is problematic, they are not equivalent. Each situation requires individual assessment by relevant stakeholders. When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in submitted or published papers, the editor should initiate appropriate procedures detailed by and adapted from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), consider informing the institutions and funders, and may choose to publish an expression of concern pending the outcomes of those procedures. If the procedures involve an investigation at the authors’ institution, the editor should seek to discover the outcome of that investigation, notify readers of the outcome if appropriate, and if the investigation proves scientific misconduct, publish a retraction of the article. There may be circumstances in which no misconduct is proven, but an exchange of letters to the editor could be published to highlight matters of debate to readers.
Expressions of concern and retractions should not simply be a letter to the editor. Rather, they should be prominently labelled, appear on an electronic or numbered print page that is included in an electronic or a print “Table of Contents” to ensure proper indexing, and include in their heading the title of the original article. Online, the retraction and original article should be linked in both directions and the retracted article should be clearly labelled as retracted in all its forms (abstract, full text, PDF). Ideally, the authors of the retraction should be the same as those of the article, but if they are unwilling or unable the editor may under certain circumstances accept retractions by other responsible persons, or the editor may be the sole author of the retraction or expression of concern. The text of the retraction should explain why the article is being retracted and include a complete citation reference to that article. Retracted articles should remain in the public domain and be clearly labelled as retracted.
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 other work published in their journals, or they may 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.
The integrity of research may also be compromised by inappropriate methodology that could lead to retraction.

8) ADVERTISING POLICY

Any inquiries or interest in advertising with “Archives of the Balkan Medical Union” journal can be sent to:
Address: 1, Georges Clemenceau Street, 101295, Bucharest, Romania
Phone: +40-21-3121570; Email: editor@umbalk.org

Guidelines for advertising
1. All advertisements are subject to approval of the publisher or editor. However, the publisher or the editor shall not unreasonably withhold such approval.
2. Advertising is separate from content. Advertisers and sponsors should have no advance knowledge of our editorial content, nor should the editors shape content to accommodate advertising. Advertisers do not influence any of the publishers’ editorial decisions or advertising policies.
3. The appearance of an advertisement in the publisher’s journal is neither a guarantee nor an endorsement of the given product, service, company, or of the claims made in such advertising by the publisher, society, or editorial partner.
4. Advertising that appears in the publisher’s journal will be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.
5. Publisher’s advertising sales representatives have no control over, or prior knowledge of, specific editorial content before it is published.
6. Advertisers have no control or influence over the results of searches a user may conduct on the publisher’s journal. Search results are based solely on the functionality available through our search software (e.g., keywords or natural language) and user-defined criteria (e.g., displaying most recent or most relevant items first).
7. In consideration of the publication of an advertisement, the advertiser and the agency, jointly and severally, agree to indemnify and hold harmless the publisher, its officers, agents, and employees against expenses (including legal fees) and losses resulting from the publication of the contents of the advertisement, including, without limitation, claims or suits for libel, violation of privacy, copyright infringement, or plagiarism.
8. All advertisements must clearly and prominently identify the advertiser by trademark or signature.
9. Any reference to the publisher or it products or services in advertisements, promotional material, or merchandising by the advertiser or the agency is subject to the publisher’s prior written approval for each such use.
10. The publisher is not responsible for any damages, including but not limited to actual, direct, incidental, or consequential damages, for errors in displaying an advertisement.
11. The publisher will not be bound by any condition, printed or otherwise, appearing on any insertion order or copy instructions when such conditions conflict with the conditions set forth in this policy statement.
12. In the event of nonpayment, the publisher reserves the right to hold the advertiser and/or its advertising agency liable for such monies as are due and payable to the publisher.
13. Any use of publication trademarks or copyrighted material for links to and from the website must be approved, in advance, by the publisher. Any such unauthorized linking is prohibited.
14. All advertisements for recruitment or employment must be nondiscriminatory and comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Advertisements of this nature that discriminate against applicants based on sex, age, race, religion, marital status, or physical handicap will not be accepted.
15. Advertised products must be compliant with the regulations in the country where the advertisement will be seen.
16. The publisher does not release personally identifiable data on the users of our websites or email service to advertisers.