Instructions for authors

Before submission, follow the EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators, freely available in many languages at:
www.ease.org.uk/publications/author-guidelines

Adherence should increase the chances of acceptance of submitted manuscripts.

  • conflict of interest are stated
  • sources for all information extracted from other publications are provided
  • reproduction permissions from publisher concerned are obtained

Ethics before submission

OCL Journal can only process articles that were approved by all co-authors and are not under review for publication elsewhere

Authors are encouraged to refer to The Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) for all aspects of publication ethics: http://publicationethics.org/

Should a paper turn out to have been submitted to other journals concurrently, or to have been published in essentially the same form elsewhere, it will be rejected categorically and immediately; the editorial office(s) of the other journal(s) will be notified. The authors concerned will not be allowed to publish in OCL for at least two years.

Electronic submission

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the Editorial Manager System at
http://www.editorialmanager.com/ocl/.
Authors can submit their manuscripts and all associated files via the web to the editorial office, and track the progress of their manuscript throughout the peer review process. Authors will receive e-mail notifications at key stages in the process.
Please check lines are numbered before submitting.

Title

The title should not contain abbreviations.
If one of the co-authors speaks French, please provide, in addition to the English version, a French translation of the title.

Authors

  • All author names should be listed in the following order:
    • First names (written in full),
    • Middle name(s) or initial(s), if desired and
    • Last names (surname, family name).
  • Each author should list an associated department, university, or organizational affiliation and its location, including city, state/province and country.
  • One author should be appointed as the corresponding author and his or her email address should be mentioned at the time of submission.
  • The list of co-authors should remain unchanged from submission to final decision. It is nevertheless permissible to add as new co-authors the names of persons who contributed to the revisions. Any removal of a co-author requires that person's written agreement.
  • The contributions of all authors must be described. OCL Journal has adopted the CRediT Taxonomy to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work. The submitting author is responsible for providing the contributions of all authors at submission.
Contributor RoleRole Definition
Conceptualization Ideas, formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims
Data Curation Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later reuse
Formal Analysis Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data
Funding Acquisition Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication
Investigation Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection
Methodology Development or design of methodology; creation of models
Project Administration Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution
Resources Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools
Software Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components
Supervision Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team
Validation Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs
Visualization Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation
Writing – Original Draft Preparation Creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation)
Writing – Review & Editing Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre- or post-publication stages

Abstract

Between 150 and 200 words, the abstract briefly explain:

  • why you conducted the study (BACKGROUND),
  • what question(s) you aimed to answer (OBJECTIVES),
  • how you performed the study (METHODS),
  • what you found (RESULTS: major data, relationships),
  • and your interpretation and main consequences of your findings (CONCLUSIONS).

The abstract must reflect the content of the article, as for most readers it will be the major source of information about your study. Reviewers accept, or refuse, to evaluate an article on the basis of its abstract. It is thus essential to take care of its quality. For example, for a research article, the abstract must give the quantitative results of the experimentation carried out. If one of the co-authors speaks French, please provide, in addition to the English version, a French translation of the abstract.

Keywords

Keywords may number up to five.
If one of the co-authors speaks French, please provide, in addition to the English version, a French translation.

Introduction

The introduction should provide background that puts the manuscript into context and allows readers outside the field to understand the purpose and significance of the study. It should define the problem addressed and explain why it is important. If possible, formulate the hypothesis you tested.

Conventions and abbreviations

Scientific names of species and genera should be in italics.

Abbreviations should be defined in brackets when they first appear in the text. Units, symbols and nomenclature should follow international conventions. Standard units and symbols of chemical elements do not need defining.

Material and Method (for Research Articles)

Describe in detail how the study was carried out (eg study area, data collection, criteria, origin of analysed material, sample size, number of measurements, equipment, data analysis, statistical tests, software used…). All factors that could have affected the results need to be considered.
Sources of experimental materials obtained from biobanks should be mentioned with full names and identifiers, if available (Bravo et al., 2015).
If you cite a method described in a non-English or inaccessible publication, explain it in detail in your manuscript. Make sure that you comply with the ethical standards (e.g., WMA 2013) in respect of patient rights, animal testing, user protection, environmental protection, etc.

  • Agronomical articles
    • An experiment carried out over a single year cannot be conclusive, unless conducted in two very different geographical areas; if this condition is not respected, please do not submit your paper as it will be refused.
    • An experiment carried out only in a greenhouse is too preliminary to be published in OCL.
    • A traceability of the plants must be provided through a description of the variety and the GPS location of the harvested materials and seed or vegetative samples should be deposited in an accredited germplasm repository, so that the referees and readers can measure the effect of the variety, the terroir, the date of sampling...
  • Chemical articles
    • The genus and species of the source must be verified by appropriate means of classification. The GPS location of the harvested materials and seed or vegetative samples should be deposited in an accredited germplasm repository.
    • The equipment and the method must be accurately described, including the dimensioning of the tests carried out (test tube or pilot work do not have the same meaning).
    • Considering analyses, replicates are necessary; if this condition is not respected, please do not submit your paper as it will be refused.
    • Only papers based on proven methods can be submitted.
  • Nutrition articles
    • In vitro studies are too preliminary to be published in OCL.
    • In Research articles, the presence of a control group is required.
    • Experimental group and control groups must be precisely described.
    • In intervention studies, the dose used must also be precisely specified and discussed, to distinguish between nutritional and pharmacological doses.

 Data, Analytic Methods (Code), and Research Materials (for Research Articles)

The policy of OCL Journal is to publish papers only if the data, methods used in the analysis, and materials used to conduct the research are clearly and precisely documented and are maximally available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.

  1. Authors reusing data available from public repositories must provide program code, scripts for statistical packages, and other documentation sufficient to allow an informed researcher to precisely reproduce all published results.
  2. Authors using original data must
    a. make the data available at a trusted digital repository (Note: If all data required to reproduce the reported analyses appears in the article text, tables, and figures then it does not also need to be posted to a repository.)
    b. include all variables, treatment conditions, and observations described in the manuscript
    c. provide a full account of the procedures used to collect, preprocess, clean, or generate the data
    d. provide program code, scripts, codebooks, and other documentation sufficient to precisely reproduce all published results
    e. provide research materials and description of procedures necessary to conduct an independent replication of the research.
  3. In rare cases, despite authors’ best efforts, some or all data or materials cannot be shared for legal or ethical reasons. In such cases, authors must inform the editors at the time of submission. This will be taken into account during the review process. Authors are encouraged to anticipate data and material sharing at the beginning of their projects to provide for these circumstances. It is understood that in some cases access will be provided under restrictions to protect confidential or proprietary information. Editors may grant exceptions to data and material access requirements provided authors:
    a. explain the restrictions on the dataset or materials and how they preclude public access.
    b. provide a public description of the steps others should follow to request access to the data or materials.
    c. provide software and other documentation that will precisely reproduce all published results.
    d. provide access to all data and materials for which the constraints do not apply.
  4. Data, program code, research materials, and other documentation of the research process should be made available through a trusted digital repository. Trusted repositories adhere to policies that make data discoverable, accessible, usable, and preserved for the long term. Trusted repositories also assign unique and persistent identifiers. For example these services are offered by partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS) and most institutional repositories. Author maintained websites are not compliant with this requirement.
    a. Dissemination of these materials may be delayed until publication. Under exceptional circumstances, editors may grant an embargo of the public release of data for at most one year after publication.
    b. Articles accepted for publication will not be assigned a publication date until the above conditions have been met. Authors are responsible for ensuring that their articles continue to meet these conditions. Failure to do so may lead to an editorial expression of concern or retraction of the article.

Design and Analysis Transparency (for Research Articles)

The policy of OCL Journal is to publish papers where authors follow standards for disclosing key aspects of the research design and data analysis. Authors are required to review the standards available for many research applications from http://www.equator-network.org/ and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. At manuscript submission, authors must confirm that they reviewed the standards, report whether any standards were relevant for the research application, and confirm that they followed those standards in the manuscript.

Preregistration of Studies (for Research Articles)

The policy of OCL Journal is to publish papers where authors indicate whether the conducted research was preregistered in an independent, institutional registry (e.g., http://clinicaltrials.gov/, http://socialscienceregistry.org/, http://osf.io/, http://egap.org/design-registration/, http://ridie.3ieimpact.org/). Preregistration of studies involves registering the study design, variables, and treatment conditions prior to conducting the research. A link to the preregistration in an institutional registry must be made available to the journal prior to publication. The journal, or an entity acting on behalf of the journal, will verify that preregistration adheres to the specifications for preregistration and then provide certification of the preregistration in the article.

  1. Authors must, in acknowledgments or the first footnote, indicate if they did or did not preregister the research in an independent, institutional registry.
  2. If an author did preregister the research, the author must confirm that the study was registered prior to conducting the research with links to the time-stamped preregistrations at the institutional registry, and that the preregistration adheres to the disclosure requirements of the institutional registry or those required for the preregistered badge maintained by the Center for Open Science.

Preregistration of Analysis Plan (for Research Articles)

The policy of OCL Journal is

to publish papers where authors indicate whether or not the conducted research was preregistered with an analysis plan in an independent, institutional registry (e.g., http://clinicaltrials.gov/, http://socialscienceregistry.org/, http://osf.io/, http://egap.org/design-registration/, http://ridie.3ieimpact.org/). Preregistration of studies involves registering the study design, variables, and treatment conditions. Including an analysis plan involves specification of sequence of analyses or the statistical model that will be reported.

  1. Authors must, in acknowledgments or the first footnote, indicate if they did or did not preregister the research with or without an analysis plan in an independent, institutional registry.
  2. If an author did preregister the research with an analysis plan, the author must:
    a. confirm in the text that the study was registered prior to conducting the research with links to the time-stamped preregistrations at the institutional registry, and that the preregistration adheres to the disclosure requirements of the institutional registry or those required for the preregistered badge with analysis plans maintained by the Center for Open Science.
    b. Report all pre-registered analyses in the text, or, if there were changes in the analysis plan following preregistration, those changes must be disclosed with explanation for the changes.
    c. Clearly distinguish in text analyses that were preregistered from those that were not, such as having separate sections in the results for confirmatory and exploratory analyses.

Results (for Research Articles)

Present the new results of your study. All tables and figures must be mentioned in the main body of the article, and numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. Make sure that the statistical analysis is appropriate (e.g., Habibzadeh, 2013).
Do not fabricate or distort any data, and do not exclude any important data; similarly, do not manipulate images to make a false impression on readers. Such data manipulations may constitute scientific fraud (see COPE flowcharts).

Discussion (for Research Articles)

This section is not the place to present new results, including statistical results.
Answer your research questions (stated at the end of the Introduction) and compare your main results with published data, as objectively as possible.
Discuss their limitations and highlight your main findings.
Consider any findings that run contrary to your point of view. To support your position, use only methodologically sound evidence (Roig, 2015).
At the end of the Discussion or in a separate section, emphasize your major conclusions and the practical significance of your study.

Review, case studies

A different article structure may be more suitable for theoretical publications, review articles, case studies, etc. (e.g., Gasparyan et al., 2011).

Data paper

There are many different definitions of research data available and the definition depends on the scientific discipline and subject area. The data can take many forms: documents, spreadsheets, data files, database contents (video, audio, text, images) etc. (see some examples here).

OCL Journal and EDP Sciences journals encourage authors to share and make data if legally and ethically possible.

Authors are encouraged to upload supplemental datasets related to their research to an online repository, making it available for both human and machine reading in order to further aid the acceleration of scientific discovery. They are invited to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) data principles.

Authors are further encouraged to cite data in the same way as article, book, and web citations and authors are required to include data citations as part of their reference list.

Authors are encouraged to provide a data availability statement (DAS). This is a statement that tells the reader where the data associated with a paper is available, and under what conditions the data can be accessed and linked to the data set. The most likely place will be just before the References section.

Declaration of conflict of interest

The authors must state whether or not they have a conflict of interest (financial connection with an organisation or establishment, whether public or private, which might be concerned by the results presented). Any funding which supported the work presented shall be mentioned in the acknowledgement.

Reference Style

Make sure that you have provided sources for all information extracted from other publications. In the list of references, include all data necessary to find them in a library or in the Internet. For non-English publications, give the original title (transliterated according to English rules if necessary), wherever possible followed by its translation into English in square brackets (CSE 2014). Avoid citing inaccessible, coercive and irrelevant references. Wherever appropriate, cite primary research articles instead of reviews (DORA 2013). Do not include unpublished data in the list of references – if you must mention them, describe their source in the main body of the article, and obtain permission from the producer of the data to cite them.

It is important to verify the accuracy of bibliographic information contained in references. This has become particularly important with the advent of online versions. Hyperlinks will be programmed to enable readers to jump directly to the material cited. If your cited references are incorrect or incomplete (e.g., missing author name, or an incorrect volume number or page), the associated hyperlink may fail, and the usefulness of your paper in the online environment may be reduced.

References in the text must include the name of author followed by the year of publication. For example: (Smith, 2002), According to Smith (2002), (Smith and Davies, 2002; Davies, 2003; Smith, 2005; Smith et al., 2007).

Citation standards

All data, program code and other methods must be appropriately cited. Such materials are recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation.

a. All data sets and program code used in a publication must be cited in the text and listed in the reference section References for data sets and program code must include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
b. Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or data set. Persistent identifiers are assigned to data sets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories and partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS).

c. Data set citation example: Campbell, Angus, and Robert L. Kahn. American National Election Study, 1948. ICPSR07218-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07218.v3

 

Reference list

The names of journals should be abbreviated according to the World list of scientific periodicals and italicized. The following usage should be conformed to:

Journal:
Goozner M, Caplan A, Moreno J, Kramer BS, Babor TF, Husser WC. 2009. A common standard for conflict of interest disclosure in addiction journals. Addiction 104:1779-1784.

Book
Goodman NW, Edwards MB. 2006. Medical writing: a prescription for clarity, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book's chapter:
Lepoivre P, Kummert J. Le diagnostic des maladies parasitaires. In : Semal J, Ed. Traité de pathologie végétale. Gembloux (Belgique) : Presses agronomiques de Gembloux, 1989, pp. 54-76.

Internet:
AuthorAID Resource Library. Available from http://www.authoraid.info/resource-library (last consult: 2013/23/03) -- please note the American date format.

Tables

When an author has reproduced a table from another publication, its origin should be indicated clearly in the manuscript; the author should also obtain reproduction permission from the publisher concerned.

Tables should be numbered consecutively throughout (Table 1, etc.) and be cited in the text as follows:

There are about 185 901 nodes and 113 367 elements used (Tab. 2).

Each table must be accompanied by a brief caption situated directly above the table. Each table should be printed on a separate page.

Figures

When an author has reproduced a figure from another publication, its origin should be indicated clearly in the manuscript; the author should also obtain reproduction permission from the publisher concerned.

Each figure should be cited in the text and should be numbered as follows:

There are about 185 901 nodes and 113 367 elements used (Fig. 1).

Each figure should have a brief caption describing it. There is no limit on the number of figures used. However it is important to make sure that all figures are absolutely necessary, and are well designed.
Uncropped images should be attached as appendices.

Highlights

Authors of accepted papers will be requested to submit a 300 character text (3-4 lines), headed ‘Highlights’, outlining the key findings of their paper and its contribution to the discipline. The Highlights should be uploaded in the Editorial Manager System as a separate Word file. They will be published in the online table of contents, along with the title of the article and the list of authors.

Manuscripts

Manuscripts should be written in English preferably, although French is acceptable. For authors not perfectly fluent in English, we recommend that the manuscript be read carefully by a native speaker before its submission.
Manuscripts should not exceed 20 pages (tables, figures or pictures included).

 

Evaluation in the first instance

The Editors-in-chief reserve the right to decide whether or not a new submission should be sent to the referees. They can also reject a manuscript which does not meet the publication criteria (namely poor quality of presentation, inappropriate subject matter or errors). The paper should be:

  • Basically correct and sound;
  • A significant advance, not just a minor improvement on earlier work;
  • Accessible to the general readership of the journal.

Regarding the scientific content, a part covering the scientific developments and/or industrial applications in the domain should be developed. The following questions/criteria will be addressed to referees for further judgment:

  • Is the subject matter within the scope of the Journal?
  • Is the paper technically sound and free of errors?
  • Does the paper contain enough original results or insights to warrant publication?
  • Is the paper expected to have a high impact?
  • Is the quality of the drafting satisfactory? Should the paper be shortened (material irrelevant or redundant)?
  • Is the work clearly and concisely presented? Is it well organized?
  • Are the industrial applications sufficiently developed?
  • Are the scientific developments adequately investigated?
  • Does the title clearly and sufficiently reflect its contents? Is the abstract informative?
  • Are the main results and conclusions mentioned? Is the scientific discussion sound and not misleading?
  • Are the illustrations of adequate quality? Are they relevant and understandable?
  • Does the bibliography give a clear view of the current state-of-the-art in the domain?

Peer review

Referees are invited to submit their report within a period of 3 weeks.

The editor usually collects two independent reports. However in the case of a clear cut decision, the editor is allowed to reject or to accept the manuscript on the basis of a single report.
In the case where the referees cannot agree, an independent expert can be asked to act as an adjudicator.

Deadline for revision

The revised version should be received within 2 months from the editorial decision; resubmission after that date will be dealt with as a new manuscript. However, should the revisions require more time it is possible to request an extended deadline from the editorial office.

Withdrawal / retraction of a paper

Papers can be withdrawn from the journal after submission on the condition that they are accompanied by a letter of explanation giving the reasons of the withdrawal. After the withdrawal, the article file is closed immediately and the authors’ letter of explanation is sent to the referees. It is against this Journal's editorial policy, and ethical standards in publishing more generally, to permit freely the withdrawal and subsequent submission elsewhere of a paper which has been improved through referees' recommendations.

Appeals

Appeals can be considered in the event of a disagreement with the final editorial decision provided that there are grounds for complaint. The editor reserves the right to accept or reject consideration of the appeal. Please note that the journal will consider only one appeal.

Expressions of concern

Expressions of concern are used to raise awareness to a possible problem in an article.
OCL Journal editors may consider issuing an Expression of Concern if they have well-founded concerns and feel that readers should be made aware of them, but do not have (for the moment) evidence that the article should be retracted.

Retractions

Editors will consider retracting a publication if:

  • They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (eg, of data) or falsification (eg, image manipulation)
  • It constitutes plagiarism
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication)
  • It contains material or data without authorisation for use
  • Copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy)
  • It reports unethical research
  • It has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process
  • The author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.

Notices of retraction:

  • are linked to the retracted article wherever possible (ie, in all online versions)
  • clearly identify the retracted article (eg, by including the title and authors in the retraction heading or citing the retracted article)
  • are clearly identified as a retraction (ie, distinct from other types of correction or comment)
  • are published promptly to minimise harmful effects
  • are freely available to all readers (ie, not behind access barriers or available only to subscribers)
  • state who is retracting the article
  • state the reason(s) for retraction
  • are objective, factual and avoid inflammatory language.

Proofs

Please note that no modifications can be made to the text or to the figures once the manuscript has been sent to production.

The galley proofs will be sent to the corresponding author in .pdf format and should be returned promptly.

Should the author be absent during that period, it is preferable to delegate proofreading to a collaborator.

Proofs can be handled electronically only. In the proofs, only minor changes and corrections of typos or mistakes that occurred in the production process itself are permitted. If the corrections go beyond what can be normally accepted, regarding either the form or the content, they will be submitted to the Editor for approval; this will certainly delay the publication of the paper.

Statement of Informed Consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note, authors should identify Individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Statement of Human and Animal Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.