Publication Charge Policy
BHJ does not charge any fees to the author from submission to publication, and to read. The priority is given to the scientifically conducted researches by Bhutanese and developing countries authors to ensure their work is visible to the scientific communities.  

Archiving Policy
Both the print version and digital version of the journal is archived in the BHJ Library maintained by BHJ office and in Central Library of the University. The BHJ digital version are also archived with Controlled Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (CLOCKSS) and Public Knowledge Project Preservation Network (PKP PN) for long-term preservation.

Privacy Policy
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site is used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and is not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. However, name, email and phone number of the corresponding author is made available in correspondence detail of the article, to make it available in a good faith that like-minded people e.g. researcher could contact them.

Plagiarism policy

Bhutan Health Journal (BHJ) follows international norms like ICMJE and COPE guidelines of screening and handling manuscripts for plagiarism. 

Plagiarism is publication misconduct and is considered a violation of academic integrity and a breach of journalistic ethic.  Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else works as his or her own without giving credit to the original author. Duplicate publication also known as self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to salami-publication, where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper.

The manuscripts are checked for similarity after the selection by the editorial support team using Drillbit Plagiarism checker, the authors are sent the plagiarism report and asked to make necessary changes before re-submission and are again checked for plagiarism before publishing. If the manuscripts still contains plagiarism or not rectified then the manuscript is handled based on the extent of the plagiarism in the following way.  

  1. <20 % Plagiarism:The manuscript will be returned to the author for revision and asked to resubmit the revised article for publication in the journal.
  2. >20% Plagiarism:The manuscript will be rejected for publication. The authors are barred for one year to submit to BHJ. The employer of the authors will also be notified regarding the misconduct.

Plagiarism can be detected in various forms but not limited to the following :

  1. Copying the exact content from the other source like intentionally using portions of another author's paper.
  2. Copying another author's paper, such as figures, tables, equations, or illustrations that are not common knowledge.
  3. Using text downloaded from internet sources in total.
  4. Copying or downloading figures, photographs, figures, or diagrams without acknowledging the sources.

BHJ does not view the following uses of a work as prior publication or deliberate plagiarism:

  1. Publication in the form of an abstract
  2. Publication as an academic thesis
  3. Publication as an electronic preprint

Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. BHJ allow readers to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose, as long as the author and journal are properly credited, which ensures maximum dissemination and a wider impact of our publications.

Copyright Policy
The authors (or their employers) retain copyright in their work. The Corresponding Author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, a worldwide licence to the BHJ and its licensees in perpetuity, in all forms, formats and media (whether known now or created in the future), to

  1. publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the Contribution,
  2. translate the Contribution into other languages, create adaptations, reprints, include within collections and create summaries, extracts and/or, abstracts of the Contribution,
  3. create any other derivative work(s) based on the Contribution,
  4. to exploit all subsidiary rights in the Contribution,
  5. the inclusion of electronic links from the Contribution to third party material where-ever it may be located; and,
  6. licence any third party to do any or all of the above. BHJ allows the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions.


BHJ allow to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose. The author(s) are allowed to retain publishing rights without restrictions. 

The BHJ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Complaint Policy
For any concern or complaint regarding publication misconduct, please email at complain@bhj.com.bt with your name, affiliation, address with phone number. The privacy of the person will be maintained as long as legally permitted. According to the nature of the complaint, BHJ will take appropriate action. 

Withdrawal Policy

Bhutan Health Journal abides by ICMJE and COPE recommendations of article withdrawal.

 Article Withdrawal

  1. The article may be withdrawn by the author or the publisher. The authors cannot withdraw after editorial decision. The authors who wish to withdraw should do so in writing to the Editor-in-Chief with valid reasons. The letter has to be signed by all the authors.
  2. The authors who withdraw their manuscript from BHJ cannot submit manuscripts to BHJ for a period of next one year.
  3. Cannot consider as accepted for withdrawal till the letter of acceptance is received from the journal office.
  4. Publisher has right to withdraw, if an article is imposed to violate the ethical codes especially by multiple submissions, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data without consent of original author, bogus claims of authorship.

Article Retraction

Article is withdrawn in the post publication step, if there are any legal disputes or any copyright infringements involving a particular manuscript. The original article will be removed from online but the PDF or HTML link will be displayed with a note as retracted. Massive efforts are put in processing the manuscripts by the reviewers and the editorial staff, therefore the author will not be allowed to submit manuscripts to BHJ for a period of next one year.

Article Removal

Article is removed from online database when subjected to legal limitations with publisher, copyright holder or author. Recognition of inaccurate data representation, violating legal rights, scientific data tampering and health risks are posed if the article remains published.

Article Replacement

 If authors believe that the article is flawed and may pose a health risk, the authors may retract the original one and replace it with a new version. In this case, the article retraction processes will be followed and the retraction note will contain the new link of the new article.

Changes in Authorship

If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission or publication, journal editors should seek an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.

Conflict of Interest
We require the author, peer reviewer, editors and editorial staffs to disclose any potential conflict of interest related to article and publishing process. We request authors to use Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form prepared by ICMJE  which is a Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflict of Interest as a means of promoting a standardized approach to such declarations. When submitted articles are authored /co-authored by the journal’s editorial board members, he/she/they will be completely blinded to the entire online article review process.

Please download the from HERE, fill the form and submit to us for disclosure of potential conflict of Interest.

Protection of Research Participants and Patients’ Rights to Privacy
When reporting studies on human, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the WMA Declaration of Helsinki - Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution’s or a national research council’s guide for or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Evidence of approval by a local Ethics Committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. Animal experimental procedures should be as humane as possible and the details of anaesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated. The ethical standards of experiments must be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CPCSEA (animal) and ICMR (human). The journal will not consider any paper which is ethically unacceptable. A statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under the ‘METHODS’ section.

Case Report: Do not use patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in the illustrative material in the article. Please download Case Report Consent Form, after taking consent, keep this form with patient's medical record chart. The copy of this form must be supplied by the authors on demand. 

Research and Publication Ethics Policy
BHJ is the first medical journal and the pioneer in Bhutan to introduce to submit "Ethical Approval Letter" for all research article submitted to BHJ. Maintaining research integrity is shared responsibilities among readers, researchers, authors, peer reviewers and editors. We take great care to make sure that research article has maintained such integrity.  However, if you suspect any misconduct in our published article, please report to us.  BHJ reserve the right to investigate misconduct in any suspected article submitted or published in the BHJ. We will collaborate and communicate with relevant and concern authority to maintain ethics in research and publication. 

Peer Review Process
The Editor-in-Chief, together with the editorial board will ensure the following peer review policy:
1. Double-blind: The manuscript will be blinded when sending out for review. The author is anonymous to the reviewer and the reviewer is anonymous to the author as well.
2. One-stage review: The reviewer is involved in the initial review of the manuscript only, i.e. not involved in evaluating the revisions made by the author based on the reviewer’s comments. Rather, the Editor-in-Chief carries the manuscript forward following the initial review.
3. In rare, controversial and special circumstances; Two-stage review: Those papers that require revision as suggested by the reviewer will be sent back to that same reviewer for him/her to evaluate the manuscript once again after revised re-submission from the author.

The author has to submit their manuscript according to  BHJ policy.
- All submitted article will undergo double-blinded peer review from two peer reviewers (national and international reviewers), simultaneously. If the decision conflicts between the two, it will be sent to a third peer reviewer.
- The typical review will take minimum 4-6 weeks which includes 2 weeks for peer review and remaining weeks for peer review handling process. However, this may take a little longer due to unseen workloads.
- When the article is received from peer reviewer there will be one of the following outcomes and the decision choices include:
Accept Submission: The submission will be accepted without revisions.
Revisions Required: The submission will be accepted after minor changes have been made according to the reviewer's comment.
Resubmit for Review: The submission needs to be re-worked, but with significant changes, may be accepted. It will require a second round of review, however.
Decline Submission/ Resubmit elsewhere: When the submission does not meet the focus and scope of BHJ, the submission will not be published in the journal.

All comments received from the reviewers will be passed on to the authors within 4-6 weeks after getting back from the reviewers. Regardless of whether or not the submission is accepted for publication, it is essential that appropriate feedback is provided to the contributors.
BHJ respect the views, opinion, comments and decision of the reviewer. However, the right for acceptance and rejection of the manuscript is reserved with the Editorial Board headed by the Editor-in-Chief,  on the basis of maintaining the integrity of the science as per the guidelines of ICMJEWAMECSECOPE.
The Managing editor in consultation with editors will be responsible for directing the manuscripts to the appropriate reviewers who have the knowledge and/or expertise in the requisite fields.  Each manuscript will be accepted or declined based on comments from peer reviewers, and other factors by Editorial Boards' decision. In the case of a controversial groundbreaking article that could have a far-reaching impact on the field, further reviews may be sought. The decision ultimately rests with the Editor-in-Chief.
Peer Reviewers will be provided with Review Guidelines, once they accept to review the submission. BHJ will rate reviewers on a five-point quality scale after each review. 

BHJ Endorse Guidelines and Checklist
BHJ endorses the use of an appropriate reporting guideline when writing any health research manuscript.
We encourage you to submit completed checklists for the relevant guidelines (and flow diagram if applicable) alongside your manuscript, indicating the manuscript page on which each checklist item is found. Editable checklists for reporting guidelines can be found here or on the EQUATOR Network, which also gives general information on how to choose the correct guideline and why guidelines are important. Using a checklist helps to ensure you have used a guideline correctly.
Authors must check the EQUATOR NetworkCONSORT and STROBE sites for any reporting guidelines that apply to your study design and ensure they include any required supporting information recommended by the relevant guidelines. Documentation (checklist) for specific studies should be uploaded as supporting information during manuscript submission. 
Checklists are not simply an administrative hurdle. We ask you to complete a checklist because this helps you to check that you have included all of the important information in your article and because it helps our editors and reviewers to complete the same check. If the checklist indicates an item that you have not addressed in your manuscript, please either explain in the manuscript text why this information is not relevant to your study or add the relevant information.