Publishing Policies

Editorial and Publishing Policies of the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group (JNSPG), and the Editors cannot be held responsible for views or opinions expressed in articles in JNSPG journals or in any supplemental materials on the JNSPG website (www.thejns.org) that are linked to those articles. In addition, publication of an article in a JNSPG journal does not imply endorsement of materials, equipment, or intellectual property specified in that article or endorsement of any external websites or contents therein that are linked to that article.

JNSPG remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

ORIGINALITY OF WORK

The Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group (JNSPG) encourages submission of original work that has not been previously published in whole or in part. Publication of material that substantially overlaps material already published in print or electronically should be avoided.

Use of Generative AI and AI-assisted Technologies

Text:

The JNSPG does not accept any AI tool as a credited author on a research paper. AI tools to analyze and draw insights from data as part of the research process are acceptable and must be declared in the Methods or Acknowledgments section of the paper, as appropriate. In the writing process, generative AI and AI-assisted technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work. Authors should carefully review and edit the result to ensure accuracy and validity of language, references, and data. The authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the content of the work.

Authors must disclose in their manuscript the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies, and a statement will appear in the published work. Declaring the use of these technologies supports transparency and trust while facilitating compliance with the terms of use of the relevant tool or technology.

Figures:

The JNSPG does not permit the use of AI tools to create or manipulate an image or figure included as part of a submitted manuscript; that is, we do not accept the use of such AI technology to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce any specific features in an image, although adjusting color, contrast, or brightness is acceptable if it does not mask or subtract any details in the original figure or image. The JNSPG may use available forensic tools or software to investigate any suspected creation or alteration of an original image.

We acknowledge that AI or AI-assisted tools may be used as part of a research design or methods (e.g., biomedical imaging studies), and this is acceptable if the authors provide explicit details on such use in the Methods section of the paper, including the name of the program or tool, the version and extension numbers, the manufacturer, and a description of how the technology was used in the image creation or alteration. It is the authors’ responsibility to follow the AI software’s usage policies and attribution requirements. The JNSPG may require authors to submit the composite raw images used to generate the final submitted versions (i.e., pre–AI-adjusted versions of images).

Plagiarism Screening

All submissions are screened through iThenticate Plagiarism Prevention software.

Attribution to Previously Published Works

Authors must clearly denote any of the manuscript’s content that may be considered duplicate publication. All such content must display clear reference to the previous work; text identical to that in the previous work should be surrounded by quotation marks and referenced.

Material from works of others may be paraphrased or quoted as long as the original work is referenced. If a long quote (more than 150 words) is included, the author must seek permission from the copyright owner to include the quote. If paraphrasing is used, the author should consult a manual of writing style to ensure that the style and extent of paraphrasing avoids copyright infringement.

Previous Presentation

The JNSPG allows submission of a study abstract previously presented at scientific conferences, as well as presubmission placement of a manuscript on a preprint server. Such activities are not considered duplicate publication, but must be noted on the title page.

Preprint Policy

When submitting a manuscript that has been posted to a preprint server, authors must adhere to the following:

  • Provide the name of the preprint server, URL, accession numbers, and DOIs for all versions of the manuscript.
  • The preprint must be clearly marked as not peer reviewed.
  • Authors may not update the preprint version of the manuscript to show any changes made in response to JNSPG peer review.
  • Authors must agree to the purchase of an open access license if accepted for publication. For some JNSPG journals, the open access option incurs no cost.
  • If the manuscript is accepted by a JNSPG journal, the corresponding author is responsible for ensuring the creation of a link from the preprint to the published article.

PEER REVIEW

To ensure scientific integrity, all manuscripts submitted to the JNSPG are subjected to rigorous peer review by surgeons and researchers whose specialties encompass work similar to that of the authors. Manuscripts are evaluated to determine their scientific merit, neurosurgical significance, and reader interest. Papers submitted by the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, or Topic Editor or from authors of the same institution are evaluated and assigned to an unbiased Editorial Board member of a different institution. For specifics related to each journal’s peer review process, please visit the journal’s Information for Authors page.

Confidentiality

Contents of submitted manuscripts and all internal communications and documentation generated during the peer review process are considered confidential. Identities of authors are known to JNSPG Editors, Reviewers, and Staff, but identities cannot be revealed to the public prior to publication. Identities of Reviewers evaluating individual manuscripts are safeguarded and may not be released to authors specifically or to the public at any time.

Impartiality

Continual effort is made to avoid bias in reviewing manuscripts. Membership of an author in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) has no bearing on whether the review of a manuscript will be favorable or unfavorable. No author receives preferential treatment.

Reviewers and Editors are required annually to submit Conflict of Interest statements to the JNSPG. In addition, they must disclose if they have a relationship (financial or otherwise) with a manufacturer, researcher, or institution that could predispose them to regard an individual manuscript favorably or unfavorably. When a clear conflict of interest exists, the Reviewer or Editor will not be assigned to that manuscript or will recuse themselves from reviewing the manuscript.

AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS

Authorship

The JNSPG reinforces the criteria established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for authorship. All four criteria must be met:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Corresponding Author: The corresponding author is responsible for the integrity of the manuscript and represents all authors when communicating with the JNSPG Editors and Staff. During the peer review process, this person is responsible for sharing Reviewers’ comments and acquiring consensus from all authors for revisions and resubmissions. If the manuscript is accepted, the corresponding author must respond to questions and approve page proofs prior to publication.

Deceased Contributors: Persons who have died prior to submission may not be listed as authors. The deceased contributor should instead be recognized for contributions to the manuscript within the Acknowledgments section.

Authorship Policy: Once a paper has been accepted for publication, authors cannot be added or removed; the order of authors cannot be changed; and the corresponding author cannot be changed.

Contributors: Some individuals contribute to a study or manuscript but do not fulfill all the criteria for authorship. Examples include program directors, healthcare professionals, lab technicians, data collectors, and medical editors. These individuals and their contribution to the manuscript should be mentioned in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. For large studies, there may be an extensive list of contributors. These persons can be represented by a group name in the last position of the author listing (on the title page, but not in the submission system), and named separately in an in-text Appendix. If these individuals should be indexed in PubMed as collaborators, the corresponding author must communicate this to the JNSPG.

PROTECTION OF HUMANS AND ANIMALS

Studies Involving Humans

In order for manuscripts to include information on studies involving patients or healthy volunteers , the studies must adhere to the principles set forth in the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=83cd09e1c0f5c6937cd9d7513160fc3f&pitd=20180719&n=pt45.1.46&r=PART&ty=HTML), and the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/).

IRB Approval and Informed Consent
For a study involving human subjects to be considered for publication by a JNSPG journal, the relevant institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee must have approved the study protocol and informed consent must have been obtained from the study participant(s) (patient or healthy volunteer). In the case of a minor or incapacitated patient, consent must have been obtained from the person authorized to give consent (for example, the parent, guardian or next of kin).

Clinical Trials
All interventional clinical trials described in manuscripts should be registered in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). A study is considered an interventional clinical trial if it is a prospective research study in which participants are assigned to a health-related intervention to study the relationship between that intervention and a health outcome. For the JNSPG to accept manuscripts for review, clinical trials must be registered before patient enrollment. We do not endorse a particular trial registry, but the one chosen should provide at a minimum, the 24-item trial registration data set outlined by the World Health Organization and the ICMJE.

Authors are required to report all pertinent data relating to the clinical trial. Authors of studies sponsored by the manufacturer of a drug or surgical device must have total access to all data and data analyses, and the manufacturer may have no influence on what material is reported in the manuscript.

Confidentiality of Patient Identity
In general, no images, names or coding letters/numbers, or detailed data that can lead to identification of patients or healthy volunteers are included in JNSPG articles or in material submitted for ancillary publication online. On occasion, recognizable images or other identifiable data are integral components of an article. In such cases, written approval must be obtained from the study participant or, in the case of a minor or deceased participant, from the parent, guardian, or next of kin, respectively, to publish the identifiable information.

Studies Involving Embryonic Human Stem Cells
Relevant studies must be conducted in accordance with applicable national, state/province, or local laws and regulations regarding such activities.

Studies Involving Animals

The care and use of animals in laboratory investigations reported in JNSPG journals must be humane and comply with the guidelines established in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition (Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2011; available online at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals.pdf) and with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Approval of the study protocol by the local institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) must be obtained before commencement of all experiments.

Studies Involving Recombinant DNA

Studies involving the use of recombinant DNA/gene transfer must adhere to the principles set forth in the Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules issued from the US National Institutes of Health (https://osp.od.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/NIH_Guidelines.pdf) and abide by all local laws and regulations.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

When preparing their manuscript, authors should follow reporting requirements specific to their subject matter. Requirement guidelines can be accessed via the EQUATOR Network website. Examples include CONSORT (randomized controlled trials), PRISMA (systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses), MOOSE (meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology), STROBE (observational research), STARD (diagnostic/prognostic studies), CHEERS (economic evaluations), and ARRIVE (preclinical animal studies). At the time of submission, authors should upload the appropriate checklist with their paper.

Sharing of Resources and Data

As a condition of publication, authors must agree to share the methods and materials necessary to reproduce laboratory experiments and clinical studies described in JNSPG journals. Also required is sharing of data necessary to verify and build on the results of these studies. As much as possible, free access to methods, materials, code, and data must be given to interested parties who wish to use them for academic, noncommercial research.

Submission of Articles on Sponsored Research to PubMed Central

Some sponsoring agencies require authors of funded research to submit their peer-reviewed papers to PubMed Central following paper acceptance or publication. The JNSPG respects this requirement and asks that only final, published versions of articles be submitted to PubMed Central. Upon request, and for a nominal fee, the JNSPG will submit articles to PubMed Central on behalf of authors. If authors prefer, they may submit their article themselves including a statement that the JNSPG has placed an embargo on the paper for six months after the date of online publication.

FUNDING SOURCES AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Funding Sources

All financial and in-kind support of studies and/or reporting of studies must be declared by answering the appropriate fees question within the submission site. It is imperative that authors had total access to the study data and complete independence in data analysis and publication of the results.

Conflict of Interest

All authors must disclose any potential or perceived conflict of interest. Each author will be sent an email with a link to the JNSPG conflict of interest and financial disclosure form. A completed form is required by each author and will be noted as the source of record when it comes to reporting conflicts of interest within the published paper. JNSPG reserves the right to request a conflict-of-interest statement from physicians or scientists who are not listed as authors, but who have made a substantial contribution to the work (including a statistician or scientific writer) and are listed in the manuscript’s Appendix or Acknowledgment section.

ARTICLE WITHDRAWAL, ERRATUM, RETRACTION, AND EDITOR’S ALERT

Withdrawal

A manuscript may be withdrawn before publication by the author at any time and for any reason. It may also be withdrawn at the request of the Editor-in-Chief if duplicate publication, plagiarism, or scientific fraud is identified and verified before publication.

If the corresponding author requests that a manuscript be withdrawn, it is assumed that all authors have agreed to the action. The Editor will normally accept the request; however, in exceptional situations in which there is proof of plagiarism or scientific fraud, the Editor may choose to apprise the authors’ institution and/or funding agency of the circumstances of withdrawal.

Erratum

Errors occasionally occur in publications. If an error is identified and verified by the authors, the published article will be corrected. An accompanying notice of erratum will be published in the JNSPG journal in which the original article appeared, and the original paper will be corrected online. A direct link between the article and the notice of erratum will be created online and PubMed/MEDLINE will be informed.

Retraction

A published article will be retracted if a substantial error in method or data reporting occurred and is discovered after publication. An article will also be retracted if scientific fraud, plagiarism, or copyright infringement due to duplicate publication (self-plagiarism) is identified and verified after publication. Retraction may be initiated by the authors or by the Editor-in-Chief. When a paper is retracted, a retraction notice to this effect will be published in the JNSPG journal in which the original article appeared. On the JNSPG website, the original article will be retained but tagged as a retracted article, and a link will be provided to the retraction notice. The retraction notice will identify the reason why the article has been removed and specify whether it has been retracted by the authors or by the Editor-in-Chief. PubMed/MEDLINE will also note the article as retracted.

Editor’s Alert (Editorial Expression of Concern)

If the reliability of an article is suspect, the Editor-in-Chief may alert the readership by publishing an Editor’s Alert (also known as an expression of concern). This is likely to occur if investigation into the matter has become prolonged or the final evidence is inconclusive. The Alert will state the reason for concern and will be linked to the article. PubMed/MEDLINE will also note the Alert. Over time, an Editor’s Alert may be replaced by an exonerating statement or by an erratum or retraction notice.

Specific protocols for Erratum, Retraction, and Editor’s Alert can be found here.

AUTHOR NAME CHANGE POLICY

Upon the request of a JNSPG author, the JNSPG will change the requesting author’s name and preferred pronouns in all previously published digital articles (HTML and PDF) and deliver updated metadata to affiliated indexing services. Authors requesting name changes must provide the JNSPG with a listing of all JNSPG articles to be changed. A correction notice can be published at author request.

Authors of papers accepted by JNSPG journals are required to assign, transfer, and convey all rights, title, and interest in their manuscripts and accompanying original tables and figures (photographs, scans, images, sonograms, diagrams, graphs, flow charts, etc.), including copyright ownership, to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons if the work is published by the JNSPG.

In return for transfer of copyright, the JNSPG provides a liberal permissions policy to authors who wish to reuse such materials at a later time. Authors are allowed to reuse these materials for noncommercial, educational purposes (teaching, peer presentation, and inclusion in authors’ future articles in noncommercial educational publications) without first seeking formal permission from the JNSPG. If materials are reused in future articles, the initial JNSPG article must be fully credited. For detailed information on when formal permission is required, please visit our Permissions page, or contact the editorial office.

Exemptions from Copyright Transfer:

Authors who are employees of the U.S. federal government are exempt from transferring copyright to the AANS, because their work is not assigned copyright within U.S. borders.

Three types of content appearing in journal articles are also exempt from copyright transfer: original artwork, photographs of prepared cadaveric specimens, and short video clips that accompany a written article. Persons (artists or authors) or institutions holding copyrights on these items may retain copyrights and license the work to the AANS so that the figure/video can be published. Please note that a completed and signed Original Material License Agreement must be uploaded with the submission.

Open Access (OA) Options

More specific journal information regarding Open Access may be found on their respective pages:

Journal of Neurosurgery
Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Journal of Neurosurgery: Case Lessons
Neurosurgical Focus
Neurosurgical Focus: Video

PUBLICATION ETHICS AND MISCONDUCT

Publication Ethics and Misconduct: JNSPG takes all allegations of academic misconduct very seriously. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, figure manipulation, and duplicate and redundant publication. When addressing an allegation, JNSPG follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Please feel free to contact Gillian Shasby, Director of Publications, with any concerns of publication misconduct.

ADVERTISING

All advertising is subject to Publisher approval. The AANS reserves the right to accept, reject, or cancel any advertisement at any time and evaluates ad copy to ensure that it does not contain misleading statements or information contrary to AANS policy. All advertisements must clearly identify the advertiser and the product or service being offered and must be clearly identifiable to the reader as advertisements. Drug advertisements must include the full generic name of each active ingredient. Claims that include statistical statements or clinical studies must be based on studies by qualified individuals and documented by specific references. Articles accepted for publication, but not yet published, may also be used but the name and date of issue of the journal involved must be furnished. Documentation based on scientific exhibits or personal communications are not acceptable; all promotional claims must have complete citations.

Additional information can be found on the Advertising Rate Information page.