Revised October 4, 2021 | Revision history
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The Journal does not consider unsolicited manuscripts in non-research categories such as Review, Viewpoint, or Commentary. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding manuscript handling and status should be addressed to email@example.com. To avoid the possibility of misinterpretation and/or errors in communication, the Journal will typically communicate only with the corresponding author. For any communication with us, reference the assigned tracking number as noted in the Journal’s acknowledgment of your submission. If you do not have this information, provide the manuscript title and corresponding author’s name.
Questions concerning editorial policies or decisions should be addressed to the Science Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other members of the Editorial Board do not take calls or written inquiries from authors concerning decisions or other editorial matters. In general, responses are sent after evaluation of the written material and subsequent discussion by the Editorial Board.
Authors may submit inquiries to the JCI regarding manuscripts of potential suitability. Inquiries should include the manuscript abstract and a statement detailing the reasons why the manuscript might be of interest to the Journal’s readership. Decisions on such inquiries are not a substitute for peer review but are intended to provide informal guidance to authors in determining where to submit their research for full peer review.
The JCI does not consider research manuscripts that have been posted to a community preprint server to be prior publications.
The Science Editors assign manuscripts to appropriate Associate Editors. Papers may be rejected without external review if the Associate Editor, together with a Science Editor or the Editor in Chief, determines that the study does not significantly advance the field or the subject material is inappropriate for the JCI’s readership. When papers are sent for external review, the choice of reviewers is made by the Associate Editor and may include reviewers suggested by the authors during the submission process. Requests by authors to exclude specific potential reviewers will be honored to the greatest extent possible if a compelling reason is provided. At least two, and generally three, expert referees are asked to review the manuscript in a timely manner and to assign a priority based on content, originality, quality, relevance, and interest. Authors are informed of the final decision by email, with applicable comments from reviewers and Editors included.
Note: Manuscripts from Johns Hopkins University are handled not by the Editorial Board at large, but instead in a separate process; in these circumstances, a Science Editor is the only Editor privy to the manuscript and, if the manuscript is sent for review, works with an outside consultant to formulate a decision.
ASCI members. Any dues-paying ASCI member who is a corresponding author of a first-round submission, and whose dues are current, may designate a first-round JCI submission to be guaranteed for external peer review (limit of 1 per calendar year). A member wishing to designate a submission for guaranteed review must start the submission using the “JCI family of journals” portal through the member’s ASCI account. Manuscripts submitted using the guaranteed review must fit within the scope of the Journal and will be held to the same standard for publication as other manuscripts considered by the Editorial Board. Note that the guaranteed external review option may not be used for manuscripts, in the same form or after revision, that have previously been rejected by the Journal. If an option is used for a new submission that is identified as a revision of a previous manuscript, the option will be removed from the submission and become available for use on a new submission.
Reviewer rewards. Frequent reviewers are provided the opportunity to submit a new manuscript, as corresponding author, with a guarantee of external review. The Reviewer Reward is granted in January to reviewers who have completed on-time reviews for at least 3 separate manuscripts within the preceding 18 months. Only 1 reward may be used per calendar year. Submissions using the reward must fit within the scope of the journal and will be held to the same standard for publication as other manuscripts considered by the Editorial Board. Note: ASCI members whose dues are current receive a separate benefit for guaranteed external review (see above) and may not earn Reviewer Rewards in addition. More details are available here.
The peer review process rests on the assumption that an assigned reviewer will treat all manuscripts as privileged information. A reviewer may request advice from another party, subject to the general principle of confidentiality and notification of the JCI.
Manuscripts may be accepted with no changes, provisionally accepted pending minor revisions, or rejected. For a rejected manuscript, if the reviewers and the Board believe that the paper, if appropriately revised, will merit a high enough priority to be published in the JCI, the authors are invited to submit a revision. All revised manuscripts are carefully reexamined. While acceptance cannot be guaranteed, the Board will make every effort to ensure that revised manuscripts are accepted presuming that the authors are able to address all reviewer criticisms and that no new studies published in the interim have compromised the paper’s novelty. If the authors of a rejected manuscript believe that a serious scientific error occurred during the review process, they may send a rebuttal explaining why the Board should reconsider the decision (see Contacting the JCI). While few rebuttals are successful in reversing the original decision, they are taken seriously, and their handling can take several weeks; we receive a large number of manuscripts each week to which we must give first priority.
If authors of rejected manuscripts are subsequently able to make new advances that go far beyond the original submission, they may consider submitting a substantially revised manuscript for de novo review. The authors should refer to the prior version in their cover letter, particularly to indicate how the present version differs. The Editors will make a determination as to whether the work is substantially advanced beyond the original submission. Note that de novo submissions are considered as new papers and may be sent to the same or independent referees.
Note: JCI Insight Editors may screen any manuscript the JCI decides to reject and may invite authors to transfer manuscripts to JCI Insight for consideration.
By submitting a manuscript to the JCI, the authors agree to subject it to the confidential peer review process outlined above. However, all manuscripts remain the property of the submitting author(s) unless a decision to accept the manuscript is made and the authors officially assign copyright to the ASCI.
As of the date of publication, authors will be required to make materials and methods used in the study available to academic researchers for their own use. No exceptions will be made to this policy. This requirement includes antibodies, cell lines, and any newly created mutant animals. Animals can be made available through the authors' institution or via a publicly available repository. Other reagents, methods, etc., must be made available to the academic community. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will be considered a violation of the authorship agreement and could result in retraction of the published article.
Large data sets for gene expression microarrays, SNP arrays, and high-throughput sequencing studies must be deposited in a public repository. Microarray data must be deposited in a MIAME-compliant public database. High-throughput sequencing data must be deposited in a MINSEQE-compliant public database. The relevant accession numbers must appear in the main text of the manuscript. Deposition of other types of large data sets in a public repository is strongly encouraged. Other supporting data sets must be made available to any interested reader on the publication date from the authors directly. Researchers who encounter a persistent refusal by an author of a paper to comply with these guidelines should contact the Editors’ office by email at email@example.com.
In general, the JCI adheres to guidelines established by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity. For further information, refer to the Office’s website at http://ori.hhs.gov/.
Duplicate publication and scientific fraud are rare events that have a very serious impact on the integrity of the scientific community. If the Board discovers or is presented with evidence of such problems, the Board will contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution(s) from which the manuscript originated. It is then left to the institution(s) in question to pursue the matter appropriately. Depending upon the circumstances, the journal may choose to publish errata, corrigenda, or expressions of concern, or to retract the manuscript in its entirety. If we detect any manipulation of images or figures prior to publication, we will automatically request all primary data for all figures for verification purposes.
When a member of the scientific community disagrees strongly with the methodology and/or conclusions of an article the JCI has published, but does not allege fraud, the JCI encourages the concerned individual to contact the authors of the article directly or to allow the natural corrective mechanisms of science to settle the issue with time.
If samples have been randomly assigned to experimental groups or processing order, a statement specifying the randomization procedure should be included in Methods.
If investigators have been blinded to the sample group allocation during the experiment or analysis of the experimental outcome, a statement describing the level of blinding should be included in Methods.
Authors should provide sufficient details about the sample collection to distinguish between independent biological replicates and technical replicates. Biological replicates represent samples from different sources, while technical replicates represent an assay of the sample tested multiple times. The exact number of samples (n) for each figure panel representing multiple experiments must be included in the figure or its legend. For representative experiments, authors should state the number of times the experiment was performed.
The Methods section should include a description of the experimental procedures to allow researchers in the field adequate to reproduce the work. Authors may include additional methods in the supplemental materials as needed.
Authors should fully describe all statistical tests used during the analysis in the methods, and the statistical test used must also be reported in the relevant figure legend. We encourage authors to describe methods used to assess whether the data met the assumptions of the statistical test utilized (e.g., normal distribution). Authors should specify whether statistical tests are 1- or 2-sided. When making multiple comparisons on a single data set, authors should choose statistical tests that account for multiple groups (such as ANOVA rather than a series of t tests). The statistical analysis should also correct for repeated measures when comparing multiple measurements within subjects. A statement describing inclusion/exclusion criteria must be included in Methods if any samples were excluded from the analysis. Error bars must be defined, either in Methods or in the legends themselves; e.g., “Data represent mean ± SEM.” Variance around the mean and statistical analysis should not be presented if fewer than 3 independent samples are included.
All clinical investigation must have been conducted according to Declaration of Helsinki principles. All human studies must have been approved by the appropriate institutional review board(s), and a specific declaration of such approval must be made in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the Methods section, including a statement indicating that written informed consent was received from participants prior to inclusion in the study. Participants should be identified by number, not by name. Manuscripts without declaration of ethical approval for experiments will not be reviewed. For manuscripts that include patient photographs, a separate statement must be included, in the Study Approval section of Methods, indicating that written informed consent was provided for pictures appearing in the manuscript.
For studies involving demographic reporting, authors should follow the guidelines below to the fullest extent possible:
Authors are encouraged to follow the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) guidelines for reporting on animal studies. For animal models, the precise genotype, strain, source, number of backcrosses, sex, and age of animals studied must be provided in the manuscript. All animal studies must have been approved by the appropriate institutional review board(s), and a specific declaration of such approval must be made in a stand-alone Study Approval paragraph at the end of the Methods section.
Authors should describe the source of all cell lines utilized. Authors are also encouraged to include information regarding authentication of cell lines and testing for mycoplasma contamination.
A description of all antibodies used should be included in Methods, providing the source and catalog/clone number for commercial antibodies or a description (or reference to a description) of the generation of custom antibodies.
Authors should submit original nucleotide or amino acid sequence data to GenBank, the European Molecular Biology Library–European Bioinformatics Information (EMBL-EBI) database, DNA Databank of Japan (DDBJ), or another appropriate publicly available database in general use in the field that gives free access to researchers from the date of publication.
For any new chemical compound described, the chemical structure must be reported. Authors should also provide adequate data to support assignment of identity and purity of the compounds. For most compounds, chemical identity should be established through spectroscopic analysis. Authors should include adequate experimental and characterization data in Methods or Supplemental Methods. Methods describing the synthesis of new compounds must also be included.
For authors reporting T cell assays and NK cell assays, we recommend including Minimal Information About T Cell Assays (MIATA) in Methods, figure legends, or elsewhere as appropriate.
Authors describing new software that they have developed are encouraged to report the source code for software in the Supplemental Methods or include a statement explaining how the software can be obtained.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation and American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct in research, and in its evaluation and related communication. It is important that the Editors, authors, and referees conduct themselves in accordance with stringent standards and transparent policies for addressing potential conflicts of interest. Herein, we delineate what constitutes a potential conflict of interest for the JCI as it relates to Editors, authors, and referees. Those found in violation of these policies may be subject to sanctions as determined by the JCI Editors.
The Journal Editors (Editor in Chief, Deputy Editors, Associate Editors, Executive Editor, and Science Editors) are responsible for maintaining the highest possible standards in evaluating contributions to the Journal as well as for maintaining its integrity. In the interest of establishing full transparency, Editors are obliged to disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest to the Journal. We have determined two tiers of potential conflict and corresponding actions to be taken. The Editors will report changes to their potential conflicts as they occur. An annual formal review of all disclosures will be performed in the evaluation of compliance.
If an Editor declares a first-tier potential conflict relating to item 1, 2, or 3, this information will be published on the Journal website, and the Editor will be recused from Editorial discussion and decisions related to the manuscript. An Editor will be considered to be in conflict if a manuscript is funded solely by an organization with which the Editor has a potential conflict, regardless of whether a research institution employs the authors.
The second tier of potential conflicts will necessitate only internal disclosure to the Editorial Board and Journal staff. The Editor in potential conflict will also be recused from editorial discussion and decisions related to the manuscript.
The Science Editors or other editorial staff member designated by the Editor in Chief will be responsible for recording and updating all potential conflicts. The Editor in Chief will review any Journal editorial staff potential conflicts.
Other potential issues that may arise will be evaluated by the Editor in Chief on a case-by-case basis.
Journal Editors are discouraged from serving as Editors for other primary research journals for which they would make final decisions on manuscripts. All such editorial duties must be approved by the Editor in Chief.
In order to avoid even the appearance of potential favoritism to institutional colleagues, manuscripts from Johns Hopkins University will be handled not by the Editorial Board at large, but instead in a separate process. In these circumstances, a Science Editor will be the only Editor privy to the manuscript and, if the manuscript is sent for review, will work with an outside consultant to formulate a decision.
All authors are expected to disclose all financial relationships that could undermine the objectivity, integrity, or perceived value of a publication. The Editors will keep the potential conflicts in mind while evaluating the manuscripts.
The Journal requires that all authors issue a statement disclosing all financial holdings, professional affiliations, advisory positions, board memberships, and patent holdings, as described below, even if they believe their conflict is not germane to the content of the submitted paper (these correspond to the first tier of potential conflicts defined for Editors). Such potential conflicts will be published in a footnote if the manuscript is ultimately accepted. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to collect the list of all potential conflicts from each author and to communicate it to the Editors with the submission.
Any questions concerning these potential conflicts should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referees should exclude themselves in cases where there is a material potential conflict of interest, financial or otherwise. We ask that referees inform the Editors of any potential conflicts that might be perceived as relevant as early as possible following invitation to participate in the review, and the Editors determine how to proceed. Disclosing a potential conflict does not invalidate the comments of a referee; it simply provides the Editors with additional information relevant to the review.
We ask referees to use their judgment in responding to our request for full disclosure, basing their response to the Editors on the same financial criteria applied to authors and Editors, as described above.
The JCI is indexed by the following:
All authors associated with the submission are sent an email requesting assignment of copyright to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) prior to publication. Authors with funding from agencies requiring open access should request a CC BY license, and the ASCI will ensure that if accepted, such manuscripts are published according to the funding agency's policy. Effective beginning with manuscripts published in the January 4, 2022, issue of the JCI, authors will retain copyright, and all content in the Journal will be published with a CC BY 4.0 license.
See Open access for detailed information.