Ethical standards


Cuestiones de Fisioterapia assumes responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the publication of articles and for promoting ethical conduct in all participants of the editorial process, so it adheres to the guidelines contained in the White Paper on Publication Ethics approved by the Board of Directors of the Council of Science Editors on March 30, 2012, Available on (accessed on 19/08/2014).

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia aims to select scientific information of relevance to the practice of Physiotherapy through an external review process (peer review), exclusively assessing the scientific quality of the articles as well as their usefulness and applicability. Therefore, it does not discriminate against authors by academic or professional category, or by sex, or by geographical origin.

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia is aware that the editorial process that an article follows from its reception and preliminary assessment to its publication, must be thorough, conscientious, objective, unbiased and fair; therefore, almost all the steps that make up this process require the mediation of important ethical principles in decision-making, which we wish to record in these regulations. In the same way, we recognize that the prestige of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia depends on the trust placed in it by the different actors involved in it: readers, authors, reviewers, editors, etc., and that this trust will be reinforced if they know in detail the policy of ethical principles that the journal follows. Thus, these ethical standards describe the policy of Physiotherapy Issues to ensure ethical and equitable conduct of all those involved in the publication process, making them known and making them available to any interested person.

These ethical standards are based on the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Recommendations on Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals, available at (accessed 19/08/2014). It also adapts certain references to the Ethical Standards of the journal Gaceta Sanitaria available in contents/normas_eticas.pdf
(consulted 26/08/2014).

Conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest exists when there is a divergence between an individual's personal interests and his or her responsibilities with respect to the scientific and editorial activities he or she carries out, so that an observer might reasonably wonder whether the individual's behavior or judgment has been objective or influenced by his or her interests. These are facts or circumstances that occur in the different actors involved in the process of publishing a scientific article (authors, reviewers and members of the editorial committee) and that can influence their critical judgment and the integrity of their actions, thus affecting the credibility of said scientific article. Facts or circumstances that may give rise to a potential conflict of interest should always be declared, as there is a potential conflict of interest regardless of whether individuals consider that such facts or circumstances have not affected their judgment or integrity. Certainly, having a competing interest does not imply committing falsehood or perversion, but it is a major problem when it can lead authors, reviewers, and editors to make decisions, consciously or unconsciously, that tend to serve their interests to the detriment of their responsibilities in the publication process, thus distorting that process. That is why it is necessary to effectively manage conflicts of interest, starting by making them evident. Finally, we must add that the mere appearance of conflict of interest, even where it does not really exist, can erode trust in a scientific journal, damaging its reputation and credibility.

Types of conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest can be of various kinds:

Economic. This conflict is present when a participant in the publication process (author, reviewer, editor) has received or expects to receive money or other economic benefits, such as: research grants, patents, ownership of shares, gifts, study funding, fees for consulting, lecturing or membership of advisory boards, charges for clinical services related to research, etc.

Academic. This conflict is present when reviewers or editors are strongly attached to a certain methodological or ideological tendency in such a way that they may be biased to evaluate the work of others who agree or disagree with their tendencies, making extra efforts to find flaws in the manuscripts of opposing teams to delay publication or relegate the work to a lesser journal.

Of personal relationships. Personal relationships with family, friends, enemies, competitors, or colleagues can pose conflicts of interest. For example, an editor or reviewer may have difficulty being impartial to articles written by researchers who are or have been co-workers; or that they are competitors because they have a similar project about to end, or a close collaboration, or that they have an antagonism with one of the authors.

Labour. A conflict of interest arises when a participant in the publication process is an employee of a company or belongs to an institution that has an interest in the publication of research results. For example, if the researcher, publisher, or reviewer is an employee of the company that manufactures the device whose effectiveness is being investigated, or if the participant's institution holds the patent for that device.

Moral. A strong religious conviction or a strong commitment to a particular political vision can pose a conflict of interest for a given publication, if those religious or political issues are affirmed or challenged in the publication. For example, research related to abortion, sexuality and the end of life.

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia considers that the first step for an effective management of conflicts of interest is to make them visible, therefore, depending on the roles played by the different actors involved in the process of publishing scientific articles, it applies the following criteria for declaring conflicts of interest:

Criteria regarding authors' conflicts of interest

Authors, when sending the manuscript to Cuestiones de Fisioterapia, must indicate in writing the existence of any conflicts of interest that each of the signatories may have. In particular, the authors shall explicitly indicate, where appropriate, the sources of funding and whether the organisation that funded the research was involved in the collection and analysis of data and in the interpretation and communication of the results. Similarly, if there is no conflict of interest, they must also state it explicitly. All submitted manuscripts must meet this requirement, as it will be an essential condition for the manuscript to pass the preliminary review. When they deem it appropriate, the editors may require the authors to expand the declaration of conflicts of interest presented.

Criteria regarding the conflicts of interest of the reviewers

The reviewers, before agreeing to review the manuscript, will be asked and will declare if they have any conflict of interest with the content of the manuscript. As the review is anonymous, there should be no conflicts of interest regarding the authors. However, if this were to happen, the reviewers must declare it. The editor will take good care that the reviewers do not belong to the same institution as the authors. Reviewers will not be responsible for evaluating manuscripts for which they declare to have a conflict of interest.

Criteria regarding publishers' conflicts of interest

The editors of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia will not make any editorial decision or participate in the editorial process of a manuscript submitted to such journal if he personally, a close member of his family or a person who lives with him, presents a financial or other conflict of interest with respect to said manuscript. Therefore, they will not be responsible for manuscripts whose authors work in the same centre, are relatives, come from the same department, have or have had professional relationships, etc. When an editor is the author of a manuscript submitted to Cuestiones de Fisioterapia, it will be managed by another editor, so that during the editorial process the editor/author will not only refrain from participating in the discussion and decisions about the manuscript, but will not even be able to access any information about the editorial process and its status. If, after external and editorial evaluation, the article is accepted for publication, special attention will be paid to explicitly stating as a conflict of interest that one or more of the signatories are part of the journal's editorial team. The Physiotherapy Issues Directorate will carefully check the scrupulous compliance with these criteria.

Ethics and study design

The manuscripts submitted to Cuestiones de Fisioterapia will be based on research carried out with high standards of quality control both in its design and execution and in the analysis of the data. Authors will keep the data and data records of the studies on which the submitted manuscripts are based, as reviewers and editors can request that the authors prepare a new analysis or they can even request the original databases for review and verification as they deem appropriate.

Biased manipulation, invention, falsification, selective communication, concealment, misleading information, or misrepresentation of data constitutes an impermissible scientific fraud against which Physiotherapy Issues will fight. Thus, the cases of scientific fraud that are detected can be published in the journal and reported to the competent authorities.

Physiotherapy Issues adheres to the basic principles of the World Medical Association's ( index.html) Declaration of Helsinki. When the manuscripts submitted to Cuestiones de Fisioterapia describe studies carried out on human beings, it will be an essential condition that they have been previously evaluated and authorized by the corresponding Ethics Committee (institutional or regional). When experiments carried out on animals are described, it should be indicated that the rules of the institution, or the national research council, or national laws, regarding the care and use of laboratory animals have been followed. Likewise, the procedures used on patients and controls will have been carried out after obtaining informed consent. Authors must explicitly declare in their manuscripts that they have met these requirements and that they have in their possession all these documents, which may be required by the editors.


Cuestiones de Fisioterapia adheres to the authorship criteria set out in the Recommendations for the Presentation, Notification, Editing, and Publication of Academic Papers in Medical Journals, of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( Therefore, he considers authorship to imply a significant intellectual contribution to the manuscript, some role in the writing of the manuscript, and the revision of the final draft. All authors are responsible for the quality, accuracy, and ethics of the work, but one, usually the corresponding author, will take responsibility for the work as a whole. In all manuscripts, the corresponding author will detail in the cover letter the specific contributions made by each of the authors, which will be recorded in the article. When the editor deems it appropriate, each author will be asked to describe what their contributions to the manuscript have been. Cuestiones de Fisioterapia will be attentive to the possibility of irresponsible authorship (authorship fraud), both in cases of unjustified authorship, in which "guest" authors are presented (people who do not meet the authorship criteria but sign the work) and in cases of incomplete or "ghost" authorship (people who meet the authorship criteria but do not sign the work); It will especially monitor these aspects in those manuscripts with seven or more authors.

Those who participate exclusively in obtaining funds, in data collection, in the general supervision of the research group, or facilitate the completion of the study or manuscript, should not be listed as authors, as they do not meet the criteria for authorship. These people or institutions must be mentioned in the acknowledgements section, provided that they have given their consent to do so.

Peer review

Peer review is fundamental in the process of scientific publication and dissemination of sound scientific knowledge. The external reviewers of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia are experts in the scientific subject who address the articles they review, and are selected by the editors based on their objectivity and scientific knowledge, with the aim of providing a written evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript sent to them, to improve the quality of the dissemination of research and to identify the most appropriate material for the journal.

Before undertaking the work of reviewing a manuscript, the reviewers declare that they consider themselves competent to carry out the review and that they do not present any type of conflict of interest. Reviewers are aware that the manuscript under review is privileged information and should treat it as confidential. They must not retain, keep, copy, or share it with any other colleague without explicit permission from management. Reviewers and editors shall not make any personal or professional use of manuscripts and shall keep criticism and comments on them confidential in the review process, except if they are commissioned to write an editorial or commentary to accompany the publication of the article. If reviewers suspect fraud, they will confidentially notify the editor and will not share it with others unless officially authorized by the editor.

All manuscripts that pass the initial selection are reviewed by a member of the editorial committee and by at least two external reviewers. When deemed necessary, a third reviewer or methodological reviewer intervenes.

Authors can propose names of people who can review their study as well as names of people who they consider should not do so, detailing the reasons that motivate it.

Editorial decisions and appeals

Decisions on the publication of an article will be based on its importance, originality, clarity, methodological quality and relevance to the scope and contents of Physiotherapy Issues. Studies with negative results, or that contradict the results of previously published papers, will receive the same consideration.

Authors can appeal the decision made by the editor by sending a letter to the address requesting a new review arguing the reasons for their appeal (errors or biases committed by the editors or reviewers) and not only giving their opinion on their disagreement. The directors, advised where appropriate by the management advisory board, will decide on the appeal.

If significant errors or defects are found in an article after publication, the editor will assume responsibility for correcting them promptly. The correction letter will appear in the index and will specify whether the errors originated from the author or from the journal.

Original works and previous publications

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia only accepts to publish original works, which have not been previously published or submitted or submitted for consideration by any other publication in whole or in any of its parts. Therefore, it does not accept redundant or duplicate publications either in print or electronic media. Redundant publication is considered when several manuscripts, in which the full text is not included, share the same data or results. At the time of submission, authors must report the existence of related articles that have been previously published or are currently under review in another journal, even if it is in another language. Published abstracts of communications, papers or conferences presented at national or international scientific meetings do not prevent their presentation for subsequent publication, but the authors will state this.


Plagiarism consists of taking ideas or words (or other intellectual property) from other people, published in any format (printed or electronic) or unpublished, without having obtained permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source. The purpose of plagiarism is to mislead the reader into considering the plagiarist as the author. Self-plagiarism occurs when an author uses portions of his or her previous writings in another publication without specifying it through bibliographic reference. Plagiarism is a scientific fraud, so if editors or reviewers of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia detect the existence of plagiarism or self-plagiarism in a manuscript it will be automatically rejected. If it is detected after publication, the journal's management will inform those affected and the authors, publish a retraction and, if necessary, cooperate with the courts.


Physical Therapy Issues does not include advertising.

Responding to Cases of Potential Scientific Fraud

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia assumes the responsibility of helping to protect the integrity of scientific publications, so it will fight against any type of scientific fraud that may arise, whether it comes from authors, reviewers, editors or other possible actors in the process of publishing an article. Potentially fraudulent acts or omissions can be done deliberately, out of reckless disregard for the potential consequences, or out of ignorance. Since the goal of fraud is to deliberately deceive others, in the face of a possible case of scientific fraud, Physical Therapy Issues will consider not only the particular act or omission, but also the apparent intent (as best ascertainable) of the person involved. Scientific fraud does not include unintentional error. Therefore, only cases in which deliberate action, bad faith and intent to deceive are documented will be considered fraud. In the event of a complaint of scientific fraud, the editorial committee will act following the guidelines offered by the guidelines of the Office of Research Integrity of the United States (Analysis of Institutional Policies for Responding to Allegations of Scientific Misconduct, available at: http: //, accessed on 26/08/2014).

If it is considered that there is a possibility of scientific fraud, Cuestiones de Fisioterapia will respond depending on the seriousness of the case with the following actions:

• Written reprimand, warning that in future such cases will not be considered innocent misunderstandings.
• Request to the managers of the centre where the perpetrators work to open an investigation or direct complaint to them of the fraudulent acts.
• Public retraction of the article, making all the relevant information known in an editorial note.

When reviewers or editors participate in scientific fraud, Cuestiones de Fisioterapia will sever all relations with them and inform the authorities of their workplace.

Relationship of Physiotherapy Issues with the Andalusian Society of Physiotherapy SOFIA and the collaborating institutions.

In a climate of respect, trust and recognition of authority and responsibilities, the management and editorial committee of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia act with total independence from the sponsoring society and the collaborating entities in the fulfilment of their mission: establishment and development of the editorial policy, responsibility for the quality and interest of the contents of the journal, etc.

Cuestiones de Fisioterapia is financed exclusively through subscriptions and both the directors and the rest of the editorial committee exercise their functions on an honorary basis.

The relationship of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia with the Professional Associations of Physiotherapists that have adopted it as their scientific dissemination body, is limited to the fact that these Associations make a collective subscription for all their members. Cuestiones de Fisioterapia considers that the Presidents/Deans of these Colleges should be part of an advisory committee to the journal's management, to which they join after being invited and explicitly accepting it.