Editorial Policies
The editorial policies of United Scientific Group (USG) are designed according to the aspects, advices and recommendations of Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Submission of a manuscript to any USG journal implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.
Plagiarism is a growing problem in scientific publishing, and open access is no exception. The journal editors take effective measures to prevent, detect, and address any plagiarism in the published articles. USG has adopted strict COPE guidelines to detect plagiarism and any such cases with significant plagiarism will be handled according to the guidelines and the editor has full right to communicate this to the author’s institution.

USG is a member of CrossCheck and we use the iThenticate plagiarism detection system to screen submitted articles for originality.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying text, images, or data from other sources
  • Reusing text from your own previous publications
  • Enhancing, moving, or removing specific feature(s) within an image
  • Grouping or ungrouping of images, adjusting brightness, contrast, or color balance to misrepresent any information or image

Authors should keep in mind that manuscripts that have been detected to have plagiarized content during the pre-screen or peer review processes will be immediately rejected. If the same is detected post publication, USG reserves the right to retract the article or publish a correction. USG reserve the right to inform authors' institutions about plagiarism detected either before or after publication.

USG follows the policies of ICMJE with regard to duplicate publications. During the initial submission of a manuscript to a USG journal, the author must declare and cite any potential overlapping publication and can upload as additional supporting documents. Any unpublished or “in press” manuscript cited, should be made available if requested by the editors. The manuscript or substantial parts of it should not have been formally published before in any journal or in any other citable form. It is completely at the editor’s discretion for any exceptions only if the author is able to justify and have declared this upon submission.

Journal of Addiction Science (JAS) follows the PLUS Model [Public License of Unrestricted Science] style publication in which the articles accepted will be reflected as the latest articles and at the end of the year posted in per volume per issue model. This is in contrary to the conventional current issue model wherein we release the articles per issue either monthly / bimonthly / quarterly / half-yearly.

Authorship is a state of being an author, who makes the actual intellectual contributions for the completion of the research work and carries the responsibility and answerability for the published work.

The ICMJE recommendations state that authorship credit requires all of the following:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception, design and execution of the work, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data.
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version published.
  • Responsibility for all aspects of the work ensuring that questions related to the quality and truthfulness of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In addition, each author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific parts of the work performed and all those who qualify should be listed.

When a large group/team or collaboration center or association has conducted the work, the author list should include the individuals whose contributions meet the criteria defined above, as well as the group/team name.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in 'Acknowledgements' section of the manuscript. They include names of people who have contributed technical help, assistance in scientific writing and preparing manuscript, contributed financially or material support, and institution/department head who has supported with access/permissions etc. It is the author’s responsibility to obtain consent from persons who have their names included in the acknowledgement section.

The author is required to submit a contributory statement along with the manuscript submitted to USG journals. In this, the author should clearly state the contribution towards the work like participation in design and planning, actual execution of the experiment, result generation, analyses and reporting, preparation of figures/tables, writing and preparing the manuscript etc.

Once a manuscript have been submitted to a USG journal, changes with respect to the authorships (example: additions, deletions, change in order of names or change in the contributions) must be approved by all the authors of the manuscript. If the changes are appropriate and acceptable, the editor will require a written confirmation from the corresponding author that all the authors have provided their consent for the change in authorship. The editor also has the right to contact any or all of the authors to confirm if they have consented for the change in authorship.

A competing interest subsists when the authors’ interpretation and analysis of data or presentation of critical information that may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other individuals or organizations.

USG has made it mandatory that all authors must declare all financial and non-financial “competing interests” with regard to their manuscript submitted and this declaration must be included at the end of the manuscript text. If the authors have no such “competing interests”, they should include the following statement in the manuscript: “The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests”. Upon publication of a manuscript, if USG detects any undeclared competing interests, then USG retains the right to reject/retract the manuscript or issue a formal correction, as appropriate.

Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and will be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.

Financial competing interests

Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Holding board membership stocks or shares in an establishment or company that may gain or lose financially from the publication of article, either present or in the future.
  • Holding, or currently applying for patents related to subject matter / content of the manuscript submitted.
  • Receiving salary, reimbursement, funding, and consultancy fee from a company that holds or has patents relating to the content of the article submitted.
Non-financial competing interests

Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to): professional (academic and intellectual), personal (religious, political and ideological).

Commercial organizations

Authors from industries / companies (pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology, agricultural, oil and gas, manufacturing, engineering sectors, etc), or other commercial organizations should declare these as competing interests on submission to ensure that publications are produced in a responsible and ethical manner.

If, after reading the above mentioned guidelines, you are unsure whether you have a competing interest, please contact the Editor.

To accelerate the impact of the potential research findings, USG adopts open access model to provide immediate, worldwide, barrier-free access to all articles published. To make this happen and to offset operational and technical expenses—including those for online hosting, developing and maintenance of electronic tools, devices and systems for peer review management and journal production, archiving and securing inclusion in indexing databases—the article publication costs will be in the form of an Article processing charge (APC) of $525. However, USG believes that lack of funds should not be a barrier to open access publication and will consider discount or waiver to the APC on a case-by-case basis.

Original Research Article and Clinical case report: 525 USD

Other Articles (Reviews, Short Communications, etc.): 450 USD

There are no publication charges for Editorials and Letters to the Editor.

*APC may vary by journal and is payable for articles upon acceptance.

USG ensures a rigorous, high-quality and unbiased peer review process for all manuscripts submitted to USG journals. The decision of article acceptance is judged by a panel of expert reviewers and / or editors emphasizing whether the findings and / or conclusions are novel and make useful contributions to the field.

USG operates an “optional peer review” process where the author gets to choose from two different methods of peer reviewing: open review or closed review. Individual journal differ in their peer review process or can apply both based on the discretion of the editor and the author.

In open peer review process, reviewers are asked to sign their reviews. Upon acceptance, the pre-publication history including all the versions of the manuscript, reviewers' reports and authors' responses are made available online along with the final version of manuscript. Reviewers’ names are not disclosed and the pre-publication history of the article will not be made available online in closed peer review process.

The following are the steps that each manuscript of USG journals undergo during the process of the peer review:

  1. All submissions are reviewed by internal editorial team to ensure adherence to USG editorial policies and are then assigned to an Editor for evaluation.
  2. The Editor decides whether reviews from appropriate independent experts / reviewers are needed to evaluate the manuscript. Two external reviewers evaluate majority of USG submissions, but it is up to the handling Editor to determine the number of reviews required.
  3. Once the reviews have been received, the editor makes a decision to accept or reject a manuscript, or to request revisions from the author in response to the reviewers’ comments. If the decision is Minor Revision or Major Revision, authors will be given 21 days to resubmit the revised manuscript.

Portability of peer review

USG offers a free portability of manuscripts among different USG journals. That is, if an editor of one USG journal feels that a submitted manuscript does not fit in the scope of interest of his journal but will be more suitable for another USG journal, then the editor may communicate this with the corresponding author and offer to transfer the manuscript. Upon acceptance, the former editor will share with the new editor all the manuscript files submitted and the correspondences related to the submitted manuscript and the manuscript will be considered as a fresh submission in the new journal.


Editors and reviewers treat all manuscripts submitted to USG journals in confidence.

Appeals and complaints

Authors have the right to appeal rejection of their manuscript and should be based on the scientific content and its validity for publishing in the particular journal. All appeals must be submitted within 10 days and should address to the journal’s Editor-in-chief. The Editor-in-chief decision on the appeal is final. For appeals and other complaints that cannot be resolved, the individuals (authors, reviewers, users) should contact the publisher.

USG is currently in negotiations with various indexing and abstracting service providers and the criteria for inclusion might vary from service to service.

Authors may present and discuss their findings ahead of publication with USG at scientific conferences, blogs, research networking sites and other informal communication channels.

In some cases, Editor-in-Chief may select outstanding manuscripts accepted for publication for press release. The corresponding author will be informed if their manuscript is being considered for press release. Upon acceptance by the author, the press release will be written and will be asked to approve the text. If an author’s institution, organization or funder wants to issue their own press release, authors should ensure that activities are coordinated with the USG Press Office.

Authors must provide a Data sharing statement when submitting a manuscript online. The statement should explain any unpublished data from the study are available,where, to whom and how these can be obtained. If the article is accepted for publication, the data availability statement will be published as part of the final article.

It is the author’s responsibility to adhere to the guidelines in their fields for the collection and recording of their data. USG advises the authors to select credible digital repositories for depositing their data. It is mandatory that the authors deposit all the data and related metadata related to their manuscript in one such publicly available repository and provide the data set accession numbers and/or digital object identifiers in the data availability statement while submitting their manuscript. For manuscripts that contain only small data sets, the authors may upload the data as supplementary files while submitting their manuscript online.

In certain cases where the data used in a manuscript is restricted under a patent or a trademark control and thus cannot be made public, then the author’s are required to provide an analysis of public data that validate the conclusions stated in the manuscript. If the author’s have used data from a third party (that is if they have not collected the data themselves), they must properly cite appropriately the source from where they have obtained the data. Any discrepancies in the above mentioned guidelines come to the notice of USG journals post-acceptance or publishing of an article, USG reserves the right to make the required corrections, contact the author’s organization and / or funding agency; or retract the publication. For more information to authors on how to indicate about the source of data and readers who have difficulty in obtaining materials or accessing data, are encouraged to contact the journal editorial office.

Statements and views mentioned in a USG Journal are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Journal or publisher. USG undertakes all efforts to make the content of their journals unique and accurate; however, USG does not warrant that the information be true, complete and are not responsible for any errors, omissions or misleading content. Similarly, USG does not undertake any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of product liability, negligence, or otherwise, or from any use of methods, techniques, products, instructions, or ideas contained in any of the published articles. USG does not take any responsibilities or warranties with respect to any investigational reports, observations, discussions, and recommendations as to medical procedures, diagnostic techniques, treatment procedures, medication type, and drug dosages and they are the sole responsibility of the authors. Consumers should consult with their own health professionals about their medical condition before making any treatment procedures.

For any concerns and / or complaints, readers or authors should contact the editorial office.

Articles published in USG journals remain exact and unaltered. However, in rare cases published articles can be modified, corrected, replaced, retracted or removed. The USG will follow the following general principle to alter a published article.

Article withdrawal can only be requested before the article is published online (in press). The reason for withdrawal could include (but not limited to) duplicate submission, incorrect claim of authorship, error in data, plagiarism.

Article correction/replacement will be allowed only when error (s) or inaccuracy in reported data is detected, a change in authorship and/or affiliation is needed, or major changes in the manuscript (where the option of Letter to Editor is not applicable) are discovered after the article is published online. If changes are substantial additional processing charge will be levied and the original version of the article will be archived.

Article retraction as advised by an author/editor/publisher is an occasional event where the results/interpretations/conclusions of a published article are found to be misleading, proved to contain falsified data, is defamatory, or infringes other professional ethical principles (such as plagiarism, duplicate submissions, incorrect authorship claims, and unethical methods or research). A published article will be removed only in very rare case and generally only on legal grounds affecting the publisher, editor-in-chief or author (s).

In all the above mentioned conditions, the Editor-in-Chief will hold the decision authority. Once a decision is made, it will be made available along with an effective date and reason (correction/replacement/retraction/removal) as a note or a new screen in the online version of the manuscript for all the readers to be aware of. In almost all such cases (with rare exception), the original article will be archived as a history of the article (except when an article is removed). All authors must provide written consent for any change / modification and submit the request to the Editor-in-Chief. Article processing charges will not be refunded in case of retraction/removal.