Editorial Policy

Editorial Policy

Last updated: 2022-04-30

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STM has peer-reviewed Journals with a rigorous editorial screening and assessment process made up of several stages.
STM considers original research articles from all disciplines within the Journal’s scope. The editors make decisions on submissions based on scientific rigor, regardless of novelty, believing that peer review needs to be efficient, rigorous, and fair for everyone involved.
Peer review is a single-blind assessment with at least two independent reviewers, followed by a final acceptance/rejection decision by the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the quality of the publication process, including acceptance decisions, approval of Guest Editors and Special Issue topics, and appointing new Editorial Board members.

STM editorial process is given in the flowchart below:


Once the paper is submitted, the Journal’s Editor will perform the initial check to ensure:

  • The submission has been properly completed and is ready for further assessment.
  • No compliance with formatting and style requirements.
  • If it is worth sending the manuscript for peer review?
  • There are no Blurry figures, missing ethical statements, and incomplete author affiliations
  • In this stage, the Editor-in-Chief in the case of regular submissions, or the Guest Editor in the case of Special Issue submissions, can allow for peer review, reject a manuscript, or request minor edits and revisions from the author as needed before peer review.


Depending on the Journal’s editorial structure, the editor who performed the initial assessment may also oversee peer review or another editor with more specific expertise may be assigned:

  • Single Blind review: In this type of review, the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. This is the traditional method of reviewing and is the most common type by far.
  • Double-blind review: Both the reviewer and the author are anonymous in this model.
  • Open review: Open peer review is an umbrella term for many different models aiming at greater transparency during and after the peer review process. The most common definition of open review is when both the reviewer and author are known to each other during the peer review process.

Information For Reviewers

The following points are applied to all reviewers:

  • That they hold no conflicts of interest with the authors, including if they have published together in the last five years;
  • That they hold a Ph.D. (exceptions are made in some fields, e.g., medicine);
  • They must have recent publications in the field of the submitted paper;
  • They have not recently been invited to review a manuscript for any Journal.

Reviewers who accept to review a manuscript are expected to:

  • Have the necessary expertise to judge manuscript quality;
  • Provide quality review reports and remain responsive throughout peer review;
  • Maintain standards of professionalism and ethics.

What do we expect?

Authors: must submit a manuscript that has significant scholarly value and falls within the scope of the Journal. They must comply with all editorial and ethical policies and consider all reviewer and editor comments.

Reviewers are subject experts and evaluate manuscripts by using the quality assessment tool and designated review questionnaire that prioritize scientific quality, rigor, and validity. They evaluate the methodology of a study for solidity and rigor and ensure the research provides valid conclusions and is supported by sufficient data.

Editors are subject experts and assess the peer-review process and manuscripts meticulously. They only endorse publication if the reviewers validate the contents of a manuscript.

Manuscript Quality

STM ensures that manuscripts adhere to high-quality research and ethical standards and prevents the publication of any manuscripts that are below our quality standards.

At any stage before official publication, if a manuscript does not meet our editorial criteria and standards for publication, or if peer-review or research integrity concerns are raised by any review participant or reader (abstracts are published online ahead of official publication), the Journal's chief editors and will investigate these concerns, regardless of peer review or acceptance stage.

STM applies the following criteria for acceptance and rejection of manuscripts. See further information on our editorial and ethical policies below, as well as in our author guidelines, publication ethics and virtue, and terms & conditions.

Acceptance Criteria
  • All submissions accepted at STM must be VALID.
  • Valid research question and hypothesis, with a relevant theory to which the research question is being posed
  • Applies correct and transparent methodology, and the study design and materials are clearly laid out
  • Language and presentation are clear and adequate, figures and tables are in line with scientific norms and standards
  • In line with STM's Author guidelines on editorial and ethical policies
  • Determined by grounding in existing literature through sufficient referencing and appropriate coverage of the relevant literature.
Rejection Criteria

A submission may be rejected at any stage before the official publication of the article, including during initial validation, peer review, final validation, and, if issues are identified late-stage, also post-acceptance, for the following reasons:

  • The manuscript does not have a valid research question or hypothesis.
  • There are clear objective errors in the methodology of the study design, data collection, or analysis
  • The manuscript does not conform to our editorial policies as it is not original, is plagiarized, or is a duplication of previous work
  • The language and presentation of the manuscript are not of sufficient quality for a rigorous and efficient peer review to take place
  • The study violates our ethical policies by not complying with privacy protection guidelines, ethical review board approval guidelines, and internationally recognized standards for research involving humans or animals
  • The authors have not adhered to our authorship guidelines or have fabricated, falsified data, or manipulated images and figures in a deceitful manner
  • The references are biased (geographical, self-citation, school of thought, citation cartel) and do not reflect the current status of knowledge in the field
  • Based on biased or faulty analyses, the study’s conclusions are misleading and could even pose a public health threat

Editorial Decision

  • The editor considers reviewer feedback and their evaluation of the manuscript to reach a decision. The following decision types are available:
  • Reject
  • Major revision
  • Minor revision
  • Accept
  • Acceptance: decisions are taken by an Editor-in-Chief, a Guest Editor, or another suitable Editorial Board member and are communicated to the corresponding author in a formal email, along with reviewer feedback.
  • Revision: If the editor feels that your manuscript has the potential to be published, but requires changes, you’ll be invited to revise it. Any other requirements from the Revised versions of manuscripts may or may not be sent to reviewers, depending on whether the reviewer requested to see the revised version. By default, reviewers who request major revisions or recommend rejection will be sent the revised manuscript.
  • Accepted Manuscripts: When the handling editor is satisfied with the scientific aspects of the manuscript they’ll issue an editorial acceptance decision. This is a provisional acceptance, pending final checks for formatting and technical requirements. Once the final requirements are fulfilled, the Journal office will send a formal acceptance decision, and your manuscript will move on to production.

Plagiarism Policy

STM uses the Quetext software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Quetext software checks content against a database of periodicals, the Internet, and a comprehensive article database. It generates a similarity report, highlighting the percentage of overlap between the uploaded article and the published material. Any instance of content overlap is further scrutinized for suspected plagiarism according to the publisher’s Editorial Policies. STM allows an overall similarity of 11% for a manuscript to be considered for publication. The similarity percentage is further checked keeping the following important points in view.

Article Retraction

If any manuscripts are published, having certain assigned information of volume/issue/page number, and it is found that there are infringements of professional ethical codes in their content, such as plagiarism, excess similarity with some other article, fraudulent use of data, etc., then such manuscripts are retracted.

Human and Animal Rights

All clinical investigations should be conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki principles. For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants, formal review and approval by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee are required.
For research involving animals, the authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were under the standards outlined in the eighth edition of “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (
grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals_prepub.pdf published by the National Academy of Sciences, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.).

Research Involving Animals

Research work on animals should be carried out under the NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines. For In Vivo Experiments, please visit https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/arrive-guidelines
Authors should clearly state the name of the approval committee, highlighting that legal and ethical approvals were obtained before the initiation of the research work carried out on animals and that the experiments were performed under the relevant guidelines and regulations stated below.

  • US authors should cite compliance with the US National Research Council's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
  • The US Public Health Service's "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" and "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
  • UK authors should conform to UK legislation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations (SI 2012/3039).
  • European authors outside the UK should conform to Directive 2010/63/EU
  • Research in animals must adhere to the ethical guidelines of The Basel Declaration and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
  • The manuscript must include a declaration of compliance with relevant guidelines (e.g. the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Research Involving Plants

All experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild), should comply with international guidelines. The manuscript should include a declaration of compliance of field studies with relevant guidelines and/or relevant permissions or licenses obtained by the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Patient Consent

It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that:

  • Patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers are not mentioned anywhere in the manuscript (including figures)
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining the patient consent-to-disclose forms for all recognizable patients in photographs, videos, or other information that may be published in the Journal, in derivative works, or on the Journal’s website and for providing the manuscript to the recognizable patient for review before submission.
  • The consent-to-disclose form should indicate specific use (publication in the medical literature in print and online, with the understanding that patients and the public will have access) of the patient's information and any images in figures or videos, and must contain the patient's signature or that of a legal guardian along with a statement that the patient or legal guardian has been offered the opportunity to review the identifying materials and the accompanying manuscript.
  • If the manuscript has an individual’s data, such as personal details, audio-video material, etc., consent should be obtained from that individual. In the case of children, consent should be obtained from the parent or the legal guardian.
  • A specific declaration of such approval and consent-to-disclose form must be made in the copyright letter and a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the article, especially in the case of human studies where the inclusion of a statement regarding obtaining the written informed consent from each subject or subject's guardian is a must. The original should be retained by the guarantor or the corresponding author. Editors may request to provide the original forms by fax or email.
  • All such case reports require proper consent to be obtained before publishing.

Editors may request that authors provide documentation of the formal review and recommendation from the institutional review board or ethics committee responsible for oversight of the study. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.


  • Author(s) and Reviewers must be informed in case of misinterpretation or mishandling of International Acceptable Standards
  • A strict notice should be sent to the author and reviewer to avoid future unethical misconduct
  • An Editorial on the reported misconduct should be published or an official notice of unethical behavior should be posted on the website
  • Official letter about this misconduct should be issued to the Head of Departments, Funding Agencies of the accused author, and the reviewer, as well as Abstracting & Indexing Agencies
  • Where required, retraction and withdrawal of publication may be undertaken from the Publisher’s Journal in discussion with the Head of the Department of the author or reviewer, and other higher authorities should be informed.

The Publisher may impose restrictions for some period on future publications from the accused author in the Journals

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