Ethics for Authors

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Submission to the Chinese Optics implies that all authors have seen and approved the full manuscript.

To avoid unnecessary delays in the review process, please consider the following policies carefully before you submit your manuscript.


Requirements for all categories of articles largely conform to the standard practices of life sciences journals. A manuscript will be considered for publication with the understanding that:

1. all named authors have agreed to its submission

2. it is not currently being considered for publication by another journal

3. if the paper is accepted, it will not subsequently be published in the same or similar form in any language without the consent of publisher

Each author must have contributed sufficiently to the intellectual content of the submission. The corresponding author should list all authors and their contributions to the work. Any changes to the author list after submission, such as a change in the order of the authors, or the deletion or addition of authors, must be approved by a signed letter from every author. The corresponding author must confirm that he or she has had full access to the data in the study and final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. To qualify as a contributing author, one must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Conceived and/or designed the work that led to the submission, acquired data, and/or played an important role in interpreting the results

2. Drafted or revised the manuscript

3. Approved the final version

Other individuals who made direct contributions to the work but do not meet all of the above criteria may be recognized in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

Professional writers and industry employees can be contributors. Their roles, affiliations, and potential conflicts of interest should be included in the author list or noted in the Acknowledgments and/or Contributors section concurrent with their contribution to the work submitted. Signed statements from any medical writers or editors declaring that they have given permission to be named as an author, as a contributor, or in the Acknowledgments section is also required. Failure to acknowledge these contributors can be considered inappropriate, which conflicts with the editorial policy of the Chinese Optics.

Plagiarism and fabrication

Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. Plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. Because of some confusion as to the appropriate use of other authors' writing, we offer the following guideline in addition to the normal principles regarding plagiarism: if more than 5 consecutive words are taken verbatim from the text of another publication (including the authors’ own work), this fact should be indicated by the use of inverted commas, as well as citation of the original source. It is not appropriate to make trivial changes to the wording instead. This rule can be relaxed slightly for descriptions of methodology from the authors’ own papers, or for common phrases. If plagiarism is found, the journal will contact the author and, in some cases, the author's institute and funding agencies. The paper containing the plagiarism will be marked on each page of the PDF, and depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may be formally retracted. CrossCheck is a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. Chinese Optics uses CrossCheck to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. To find out more about CrossCheck visit

Duplicate publication

Material submitted to the journal must be original and not published or submitted for publication elsewhere in any language. This policy applies to material submitted elsewhere while the contribution to Chinese Optics is under consideration.

Authors submitting a manuscript should notify the editor(s) if part of their contribution has appeared or will appear elsewhere, or if any related material is under consideration or in press elsewhere.

If a submission contains a figure that is published elsewhere or that is copyrighted, the author must provide documentation that the previous publisher or copyright holder has given permission for the figure to be re-published. The editors consider all material in good faith, and assume that the journal has full permission to publish every part of the submitted material, including illustrations.


If a table or figure has been published before, the authors must obtain written permission to reproduce the material in electronic format from the copyright owner and submit it with the manuscript. This follows for illustrations and other materials taken from previously published works not in the public domain. The original source should be cited in the figure caption or table footnote. Permission to reproduce material can usually be obtained through the Copyright Clearance Center.

Clinical Trials

As defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), a clinical trial is any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention and comparison groups to study the cause-and effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. A medical intervention is any intervention used to modify a health outcome and includes but is not limited to drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, and process-of-care changes. A trial must have at least one prospectively assigned concurrent control or comparison group in order to trigger the requirement for registration. Nonrandomised trials are not exempt from the registration requirement if they meet the above criteria.

When reporting experiments on human subjects, please indicate whether the procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) or with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (as revised in 1983). Include Institutional Review Board or Animal Care and Use Committee approvals.

All clinical trials must be registered in a public registry prior to submission. The journal follows the trials registration policy of the ICMJE ( and considers only trials that have been appropriately registered before submission, regardless of when the trial closed to enrolment. Acceptable registries must meet the following ICMJE requirements:

• be publicly available, searchable, and open to all prospective registrants

• have a validation mechanism for registration data

• be managed by a not-for-profit organization

The trial registry number for eligible papers will be collected during the submission process.

Competing Interests

In the interests of transparency and to help readers form their own judgments of potential bias, authors must declare whether or not there are any competing interests in relation to the work described. This information must be included in their cover letter and after the acknowledgements of their manuscript. In cases where the authors declare a competing interest, a statement to that effect is published as part of the article. If no such conflict exists, the statement will simply read that the authors have nothing to disclose.

For the purposes of this statement, competing interests are defined as those of a financial nature that, through their potential influence on behaviour or content, or from perception of such potential influences, could undermine the objectivity, integrity or perceived value of a publication. They can include any of the following:

• Funding: Research support (including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through this publication. The role of the funding body in the design of the study, collection and analysis of data and decision to publish should be stated.

• Employment: Recent (while engaged in the research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through this publication.

• Personal financial interests: Stocks or shares in companies that may gain or lose financially through publication; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication.

It is difficult to specify a threshold at which a financial interest becomes significant, but note that many US universities require faculty members to disclose interests exceeding $10,000 or 5% equity in a company. Any such figure is arbitrary, so we offer as one possible practical alternative guideline: "Declare all interests that could embarrass you were they to become publicly known after your work was published." We do not consider diversified mutual funds or investment trusts to constitute a competing financial interest.

The statement must contain an explicit and unambiguous statement describing any potential conflict of interest, or lack thereof, for any of the authors as it relates to the subject of the report. Examples include “Dr. Smith receives compensation as a consultant for XYZ Company,” “Dr. Jones and Dr. Smith have financial holdings in ABC Company,” or “Dr. Jones owns a patent on the diagnostic device described in this report.” These statements acknowledging or denying conflicts of interest must be included in the manuscript under the heading Conflict of Interest. The Conflict of Interest disclosure appears in the cover letter, in the manuscript submission process and before the References section in the manuscript.

Following the Competing Interests heading, there must be a listing for each author, detailing the professional services relevant to the submission. Neither the precise amount received from each entity nor the aggregate income from these sources needs to be provided. Professional services include any activities for which the individual is, has been, or will be compensated with cash, royalties, fees, stock or stock options in exchange for work performed, advice or counsel provided, or for other services related to the author’s professional knowledge and skills. This would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the identification of organizations from which the author received contracts or in which he or she holds an equity stake if professional services were provided in conjunction with the transaction.

Examples of declarations are:

• Conflict of Interest.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

• Conflict of Interest.

Dr Caron's work has been funded by the NIH. He has received compensation as a member of the scientific advisory board of Acadia Pharmaceutical and owns stock in the company. He also has consulted for Lundbeck and received compensation. Dr Rothman and Dr Jensen declare no potential conflict of interest.

Pre- and Post-Submissions

Authors are welcome to post pre-submission versions or the original submitted version of the manuscript on a personal blog, a collaborative wiki or a recognized preprint server (such as arXiv and bioRxiv) at any time.

For content published under a Creative Commons license, authors can replace the submitted version with the final published version at publication as long as a publication reference and URL to the published version on the journal website are provided.

Electronic manipulation of images

Digital image enhancement is acceptable practice, although it can result in the presentation of unrepresentative data as well as in the loss of meaningful signals. During manipulation of images a positive relationship between the original data and the resulting electronic image must be maintained. If a figure has been subjected to significant electronic manipulation, the specific nature of the enhancements must be noted in the figure legend or in the 'Materials and methods' section. The editors reserve the right to request original versions of figures from the authors of a paper under consideration.

Supplementary information for editors and reviewers

Any manuscripts under review or accepted for publication elsewhere should accompany the submission if they are relevant to its scientific assessment.

Authors should also provide upon submission any kind of supplementary material that will aid the review process.

Peer Review

The journal operates single blind peer review. Manuscripts sent out for peer review are evaluated by at least one independent reviewer (often two or more). Authors are welcome to suggest independent reviewers to evaluate their manuscript, as well as request individuals or laboratories. All recommendations are considered, but the choice of reviewers is at the editors’ discretion. To expedite the review process, only papers that seem most likely to meet editorial criteria are sent for external review. Papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review. The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' evaluations:

• Accept, with or without editorial revisions.

• Revise, with the author addressing concerns raised by the reviewers before a final decision is reached.

• Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.


Even in cases where editors did not invite resubmission, some authors ask the editors to reconsider a rejection decision. These are considered appeals, which, by policy, must take second place to the normal workload. In practice, this means that decisions on appeals often take several weeks. Only one appeal is permitted for each manuscript, and appeals can only take place after peer review. Please note that an appeal should be sent to within a month after the final decision.

Decisions are reversed on appeal only if the editors are convinced that the original decision was a serious mistake, not merely a borderline call that could have gone either way. Further consideration may be merited if a referee made substantial errors of fact or showed evidence of bias, but only if a reversal of that referee's opinion would have changed the original decision. Similarly, disputes on factual issues need not be resolved unless they were critical to the outcome. Thus, after careful consideration of the authors' points, most appeals are rejected by the editors.

Correction and retraction policy

We recognize our responsibility to correct errors. Content published online is final and cannot be amended. The online version is part of the published record; therefore the original version must be preserved and changes to the paper should be made as a formal correction. If an error is noticed after online publication an HTML (or full-text) version of the correction will be created and linked to the original article. Please note the following policy for making corrections to online peer-reviewed content:

• Publisher Correction. Notification of an important error made by the journal that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors, or of the journal.

• Author Correction. Notification of an important error made by the author(s) that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or the journal.

• Retraction. Notification of invalid results. All co-authors must sign a retraction specifying the error and stating briefly how the conclusions are affected.

Decisions about corrections are made by the Editor (sometimes with advice of peer reviewers) and this sometimes involves author consultation. Requests to make corrections that do not affect the paper in a significant way or impair the reader's understanding of the contribution (a spelling mistake or grammatical error, for example) are not considered. In cases where co-authors disagree about a correction, the Editor will take advice from independent peer reviewers and impose the appropriate correction, noting the dissenting author(s) in the text of the published version.




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