RBC Publishing Policies

About the RBC


Mission: The Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) click here promotes high quality, affordable, and sustainable health care services to the population through evidence-based interventions and practices guided by ethics and professionalism.


Vision: To become a Center of Excellence for the prosperity of the country, ensuring quality health service delivery, education and research.


RBC publishing


The RBC currently provides publishes one medical journal and a bulletin in Rwanda, namely:

1.     The Rwanda Public Health Bulletin: website and hosting

2.     The Rwanda Medical Journal: website and hosting


Journal Funding


The RBC is not financially responsible for the ongoing maintenance of any published journals it publishes. Each journal is required to seek the necessary means to ensure the ongoing activities of the journal.


Editorial policies


Editorial Board

The RBC does not provide day-to-day running of their published journals. All published journals are expected is to appoint an editorial board. The journal should provide a, publicly available, list of the members of the editorial board of the journal. 


The journal should maintain and utilise a formalised process for appointing competent members to the editorial board.


RBC management structure

The activities of the RBC are controlled and managed by the RBC cabinet. The day-to-day running and management of each published journal is undertaken by the Editorial teams of the respective journals, not the RBC. The RBC take a “light touch” approach to the day-to-day running of the journals, with the journal editorial boards being expected to ensure that the activities of the journals comply with the below RBC publishing policies, being answerable to the RBC cabinet.  


Editorial policies


Editorial policies: All published journals should have a publicly available editorial policy (e.g. on the journal website). This policy should be reviewed, and where necessary amended, regularly, with no review being longer than every three years.


The editorial policy should include the following key information:

-        Process for selecting articles (peer-review policy, see below)

-        Copyright and ownership of articles

-        Retractions, clarifications, amendments, appeals and complaints

-        Roles of the editorial board

-        Ensuring appropriate steps to reduce or eliminate bias

-        Authorship criteria

-        Advertising policy


Author instructions: All journals should have author instructions publicly available to ensure that potential authors can comply with the journal's requirements. The instructions should be reviewed, and where necessary amended, regularly, with no review being longer than three years


Peer-review policy


Peer-review aims to ensure that only good science is published. Peer-review is an objective process central to good scholarly publishing and is undertaken by all reputable scientific journals.


Each journal should provide a publicly available policy for the peer-review process. The policy should include

-        A description of the roles and responsibilities of peer-reviewers.

-        The outcomes of peer-review

-        How the peer-review will guide the editorial team to make decisions on which articles to publish


The RBC expects that all journals ensure that a minimum of two reviewers undertakes peer-review for original research articles.


Advertising policy

Where the financial integrity of any journal requires the use of advertising, then an advertising policy must be included in the journal’s editorial policy. If a journal starts to employ advertising for revenue, the following principles must be adhered to:


-        All advertisements and commercially sponsored publications should be independent of any editorial decisions. The journals should not endorse any product/service marked as an advertisement or promoted by a sponsor.

-        Editorial content should not be compromised by commercial or financial interests or by any specific arrangements with advertising clients or sponsors.

-        Editorial decisions should never be influenced by current or potential sponsors and advertisers and should not be influenced by marketing decisions.

-        Advertisements and editorial content must be distinguishable.

-        Advertisers and sponsors should have no control or influence over the results of searches a user may conduct on the website by keyword or search topic.

-        Advertisements should not be deceptive or misleading and must be verifiable. Advertisements should be distinguishable from the articles being published, They should identify the advertiser and the product or service being offered. Advertisements should not be accepted if they appear to be indecent or offensive in either text or artwork or if they relate to the content of a personal, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious nature.

-        Each page of an advertisement for a prescription-only medicine should be clearly labelled as intended for health professionals.

-        No journal should accept advertising for products or services known to be harmful to health (e.g. tobacco and alcohol products).

-        The editorial team (and RBC) reserves the right to decline any type of advertising

-        Once an advertisement has been used online, it can be withdrawn from the journal site at any time if the Editor(s)-in-Chief or Publisher request its removal.

-        Journals should not allow any treatment-specific or drug-specific campaign to be targeted to a specific/published article(s) or on any page where content relates to the product(s) being advertised.

-        All advertisements for drug-specific campaigns must comply with the relevant Rwandan legislation that regulates advertising.

-        All advertisements for drug-specific campaigns should encourage correct and rational use and must not be misleading.

-        Complaints concerning advertisements should be included in the publicly available editorial policy of the journal.


Research ethics policy


The RBC does not take responsibility for the behaviour of authors. It is the ultimate responsibility of the authors of any published article to ensure that ethical standards have been complied with. The publicly available editorial policies of each journal should describe the ethical expectations of authors.


Ethical standards for all published manuscripts should follow internationally recognized ethical standards and guidelines, namely:

·         The Helsinki Declaration (click here)

·         AERA, BERA for educational researchers

·         WHO guidelines

·         Local and national guidelines issued by regulatory authorities from the country of submission


The journal policy should include a description of the expectations regarding

1.     Participant consent processes

2.     Review by an appropriate Ethics Committee

3.     Requirements of authors in respect to potential conflicts of interest


Informed consent policy: All journals should provide an editorial policy that is publicly available. This policy should include the expected processes that authors should have taken to gain consent from human subjects.


These policies should comply with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidance on consent for research studies involving human participants (click here).


The process for handling cases requiring corrections, retractions, and editorial expressions of concern


All journals should have a publicly available description of the processes for handling retractions, clarifications, amendments, appeals and complaints.  Handling of these are the responsibility of the Editorial Board, and the RBC will not act as a mediator or respond to complaints.

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