We first published Hektoen International in November 2008 as a free online journal with the motto of Uniting Medicine with Culture. Named in honour of Doctor Ludvig Hektoen, a distinguished professor of pathology at Cook County Hospital and the University of Chicago, it was to feature articles on art, education, ethics, literature, health care, history, and humanities as related to medicine. At the outset it was conceived as a quarterly journal with a limited circulation, but over time its readership grew so that now it is read in almost every country of the world.
We began the journal with a few articles displaying an image followed by a short text. Later we added new sections and experimented with different lay-outs. We now take advantage of the new developments in communication - email and social media. We can publish an article within a few days. We can correct errors after publication and even add new material later if we so wish.
Literature is art, and we think of our journal as a museum, its articles as precious paintings. We publish them first in Hektorama, our collection. We then display or feature them periodically in Frontispiece (the traditional front page), in our regular emails, or in social media. They can be exhibited again and again, like a Correggio or Titian, not archived and forgotten.
In an era of rapid change and innovation what was new yesterday is consistently rendered obsolete by new technology, just as the printing press of Guttenberg replaced the illuminated manuscripts of the monks and scribes. We experiment in Hektoen International, make changes, and if we make mistakes try to correct them later. But we constantly strive to balance modern innovations with the aim of publishing a serious journal of medical humanities, thus Uniting Medicine with Culture.
The journal’s domestic and international editorial boards and the journal staff review contributions for appropriateness of originality, style, and content within two to three months of submission. All reviewers and editors advise the Editor-in-Chief, who makes the final decision on whether to publish an article.It should also be stressed that Hektoen International endorses and complies with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
Editorial & Peer Review Process
The Hektoen International journal has a national and international editorial board of distinguished professionals who mostly served in the medical profession, but also includes members who work in the humanities, technology, and business. A listing of those members and their professional affiliations is provided on the Hektoen International website.
In terms of the editorial and peer review process, the journal’s Editor – in – Chief, Dr. George Duneaofficially accepts and provides a preliminary review of all submissions to the journal. If deemed appropriate as a potential journal article, it is then routed to in-house staff who would conduct technical, quality and grammatical reviews, preliminary editing and provide commentary on the article. Once that is completed, the submission is forwarded to at least one editorial board member whose background would provide proper and appropriate due diligence on the subject matter, including technical veracity. After that review, it is submitted back to the Editor – in – Chief for final review and then is submitted to in-house staff for uploading and placement into a section of the journal.
Advertising Policy for Print & Web Publications
Hektoen International does not accept advertising. But, it is open to sponsorships for inclusion in the quarterly versions or special editions of the journal. The Editor – in - Chief is the ultimate decision maker in accepting sponsorship for the journal and utilizes the following guidelines:
- Those entities participating in sponsorships with the journal will receive prominent mention in the masthead of the particular issue(s) they are supporting;
- The journal will not allow any commercial-type content promoting the sponsor or the sponsor’s products or services; and
- Statements from the sponsor on the reasoning for sponsoring the journal in general or a specific topic or edition in the journal are acceptable and welcome.
Policy on Conflicts of Interest, Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent for Publication
All authors must declare any conflicts of interests related to their submissions. Those interests include but are not limited to commercial, personal, political and intellectual aspects. All editors, editorial staff and reviewers are required to report potential conflicts of interests related to the submissions they are working with.
Conflicts of interest may be financial or non-financial and are defined as when the author’s presentation or reviewer’s opinion of the submission may be influenced by their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations or when a non-financial competing interest may cause them or Hektoen International embarrassment if they were to become public after publication of the article.
In terms of submissions involving research, all research must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. If there is suspicion that work has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, Hektoen International will contact the author’s institution or applicable ethics committee for verification. Breaches are taken very seriously and are grounds for rejection.
If an article references research on human subjects, human material, or human data, the journal mandates that it must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing that approval must accompany the submission. Lack of this is basis for rejection.
If an article involves animal experiments involving vertebrates or higher invertebrates, the study should comply with all relevant institutional and national animal welfare laws, guidelines and policies, which should be indicated in a section of the submission manuscript.
Hektoen International also requires that any submissions that involved human subjects must have the informed consent of the participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. This includes submissions that include details or images of human participants. If a participant is deceased, if consent was not obtained prior to their death, consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. The decision on compliance is at the discretion of Hektoen International which will be treated confidentially.
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