Peer Review Process        

1. Review criteria

Manuscripts are evaluated according to the following criteria:
the material is original and timely;
the manuscript is written clearly and in accordance with the guidelines for authors;
appropriate study methods have been used;
the data are valid;
the conclusions are reasonable and well supported by the data;
the information contained in the manuscript is important, topical, and medically relevant.

2. Peer Review Mode

APT uses single-blind peer review, which means the identity of the peer reviewer is kept confidential but the author’s identity is made known to the reviewer.
Usually, reviewers are given three weeks to complete their review. Extensions might be granted on request. At least two independent review reports are collected for each manuscript. However, sometimes the opinions of more reviewers are sought. Peer reviewers are selected based on their expertise and ability to provide high quality, constructive, and fair reviews. For research manuscripts, the editors may also seek the opinion of a statistical reviewer.
The existence of a manuscript under review should not be revealed to anyone other than the peer reviewers and editorial staff. Peer reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to the manuscripts they review and must not divulge any information about a specific manuscript or its content to any third party without prior permission from the journal’s editors.
Information from submitted manuscripts may be systematically collected and analyzed to help improve the quality of the editorial or peer-review processes. Identifying information remains confidential. Final decisions regarding the publication of manuscripts are made by the Editorial Office.

3. Peer Review

Peer review is thus far the best practice and most important procedure to hunt problems in and contribute suggestions to manuscripts. A journal is not a court that adjudicates a study or a group, but a free forum that provides an opportunity for scholars to equally discuss a topic and broaden a thinking.

When inviting reviewers, editorial staff will check and make sure that:
The reviewers' information is valid and reliable;
The reviewers are qualified considering expertise and research background;
The reviewers and authors have no potential conflict of interests.

Generally, all research articles, reviews, therapeutic briefs, model profiles and case reports submitted to APT undergo the standard external peer review process. (Usually non-research articles, e.g., editorials, conference abstracts, or other editorial materials, the reviews are completed directly by the editors).

4. Online review system

To ensure the most convenient and efficient peer review process possible, our peer reviews are conducted electronically via the OJS system, which can be accessed through the journal’s website:

5. Recognition for Reviewers

APT entered into a partnership with Publons. The partnership enables the contributions of our expert peer reviewers to be easily recognized. APT’s peer review system is now integrated into the Publons platform:
Reviewers can get recognition on the review work from Publons ( We strongly encourage our reviewers to create a Publons profile and add their review work on Publons.

6. Peer review flowchart

Technical evaluation. All submitted manuscripts will be evaluated by the Academic Editor within 48 hours of receipt for technical conformity including formatting, need for English language editing, and plagiarism check. Manuscripts that conform to the journal standards will be immediately passed to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) for peer review.

Peer review. The EIC will poll associate editors to determine if the manuscript should be sent out for external review or rejected. For manuscripts to be sent out for external review, the EIC will assign an editor for overseeing the review process. This will include recruiting expert reviewers who can complete the review in two weeks, and making a decision on the manuscript based on reviewer comments. Rejections will be made in concert with the EIC, and final approval for publication will be made by the EIC.

Revision. In cases where only minor revisions are recommended, the authors are usually requested to revise the paper before resubmitting it to the Academic Editor. Manuscripts may or may not be sent to reviewers again after author revision, depending on whether the reviewer requested to check the revised version. Usually we allow at most two rounds of major revision per manuscript.

Editor Decision. Decisions can only be made by external Academic Editors, EIC and/or Associate Editor, an Editorial Board member if the former have conflict of interest with authors, Guest Editor if the manuscripts are submitted to the special issue he/she edits.

When making a decision, Academic Editors check:

 Whether the reviewers are qualified and suitable to review the manuscript;
 Whether the reviews were thorough and comments are adequate;
 Whether the authors have properly responded to reviewers’ comments;
 Whether the manuscript now meets the standard for publication.

Academic Editors will check again at this stage whether the manuscript contains plagiarism.

The Academic Editor will make a decision on a paper comprehensively based on all review comments. They can accept, reject, or ask the authors for revisions. Academic Editors can make a decision that conflicts with the reviewers, in which occasion, they must justify their decision.

If a manuscript is rejected, authors have an opportunity to appeal or complain the decision by contacting the Managing Editor of the journal. Subsequent procedures will be take at once.

Copyediting. The EIC will forward all approved manuscripts to copyediting.

Production, Proofreading and Publication. Production process contains layout editing, language editing and conversion to other formats for indexing purpose. This process are carried out by our internal professional editors. Only extensive language editing service will be charged if authors confirmed the need. We encourage authors to seek help from native English speaker colleagues prior to our free-of-charge language editing. Before final publication, authors have a last chance to proofread the final version and only make minor necessary corrections.

Correction and Retraction. Corrections on significant errors found after publication will be published separately in Correction form at the end of each issue. Small errors that do not influence the understanding of the study will not be published. We encourage authors to carefully proofread the final version and try to avoid such small corrections after papers are published online.

Retractions are published when authors, audience or editors found honest errors or scientific misconduct, etc., contained in the paper after publication. Editors will investigate the paper in question on a case by case basis, and will contact authors and reviewers before make a final decision of retraction.

Note: All manucripts will be technically evaluated by the publishing editor. Editorials, commentaries, and certain short notes will not generally go through the complete review process but reviewed internally by academic editors. All other manuscripts will go through the complete review process. Editors who are co-authors on a manuscript submitted to APT will not be involved in the review process or final decision to reject or approve for publication.   

7. Submission turnaround time

Initial review: 3 days
External peer review: 2–3 weeks
Publication ahead of print: within 2 weeks after being accepted
Formal publication: within 1-2 months after being accepted.

Note: Articles reviewed directly by editors are excluded.

8. Author Appeals

Author may appeal an editorial decision by sending an email to the editorial office. The appeal must contain detailed reasons/responses or rebuttals to the review comments and the editorial comments. The appeal and related material and/or information will be forwarded to the Editor-in-Chief for judgement and for decision on the manuscript. The Editor-in-Chief may recommend acceptance, revision, rejection, or referring to additional peer reviewers. The editorial decision at this stage will be final and cannot be reversed.

Editorial Policies

Our journal editorial office takes a similar structure to those at many other academic journals. Comprising a range of experienced individuals, including managing editor, editorial associates, software specialists, and administrative coordinators, the editorial office strives to provide a smooth service for authors and reviewers alike. Its responsibilities include:

 Managing the peer review process to ensure manuscripts progress smoothly through peer review. This involves providing reviewers with all the information they need, to guarantee authors receive a review that improves the quality of their manuscript.

 Compiling issues, making sure they are delivered on time and to the highest standard.

 Editing, proof-reading, and reformatting manuscripts to ensure they are finished to a high quality and conform to the journal style.

 Providing assistance with submissions and handling queries and problems.

Our editorial office is quick to respond to online trends. We aim to provide a friendly, fluent and fast service to authors. Authors have a number of opportunities to submit rebuttals against review comments or editorial decision. We take immediate action in response to authors’ inquiries or requests.

For publishing and ethical standards, we follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals ( issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Cope of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors ( issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Publication Ethics Policy

As a globally open access publisher, we strive to promote the best practice in the academic arena and maintain integrity in all of our publishing activities. We follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Cope of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

All of our publishing activities are guided by the following core ethical values:

 Authorship and contributorship: All authors and co-authors must meet criteria for authorship and ensure appropriate credit is given in their manuscript. Authors are encouraged to make a clear statement about contributions to their work.

 Originality: Authors must guarantee the submitted manuscript was originally written by them. The work must not have been published previously nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. If the work and/or words of others are included, they must be appropriately cited or quoted.

 Data access and citation: Authors may be requested to provide the raw data relevant to the paper for editorial review. They should also be prepared to provide public access to such data. Data must be cited in the same way as article, book, and web citations and authors are required to include data citations as part of their reference list.

 Acknowledgement of sources: The authors should properly acknowledge any work in the manuscript that has been contributed by others.

 Declaration and conflicts of interest: All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.

 Reporting standards: Authors of original research papers should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.

 Human and Animal Rights: For research that includes experiments involving humans, a statement of compliance is required to show that procedures were followed in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). For research that reports on experiments involving animals, authors are asked to indicate whether the institutional and/or national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

 Research ethics: The research we publish must have received a statement of approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and, where applicable, informed consent. Clinical trials must have been registered in clinical trial registries, in adherence with local and international standards.

 Authors’ ethical statement: Authors are accountable for all aspects of their work (including full data access, data integrity, and the accuracy of the data analysis) in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. 

Research Ethics Policy

Manuscripts submitted to Ant journals should follow the guidelines listed below. Editors will check each manuscript. Lack of the following statement or failure to meet the requirements may result in rejection. Even after publication, any concerns associated with ethics are still subjects to further investigation and action.

Human Research

All studies involving human subjects should be in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and seek approval to conduct from an independent local, regional or national review body (e.g., ethics committee, institutional review board, etc.). Such approval, including the name of ethics committee, institutional review board, etc., should be listed in a declaration statement of Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate in the manuscript. If the study is judged exempt from ethics approval, related information (e.g., name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption, and the reason for the exemption) should also be listed. Further documentation on ethics should also be prepared, as editors may request more detailed information. Manuscripts with suspected ethical problems would be investigated according to COPE Guidelines.

Animal Research

Experimental research on animals should be approved by appropriate ethics committees and must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. APT encourages authors to comply with the AALAS Guidelines, the ARRIVE Guidelines, and the ICLAS Guidelines and obtain prior approval from relevant ethics committee. Manuscripts must include a declaration statement of Ethical Approval and Consent to Participate indicating that the study has been approved by relevant ethical committee and the whole research process complies with ethical guidelines. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption should be detailed. Editors will take account of animal welfare issues and reserve the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research.

Plant Research

Experimental research using plants (either cultivated or wild) including collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. Ant journals recommend the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Voucher specimens must be deposited in a public herbarium or other public collection providing access to deposited material. Ant journals ask authors to include a section (Ethics Statement), detailing the populations sampled on the site of collection (GPS coordinates), date of collection, and document the part(s) used in the study where appropriate.

Cell Lines Research

Authors must describe what cell lines were used and their origin so that the research can be reproduced.

For de novo cell lines derived from human tissue, an appropriate approval from an institutional review board or equivalent ethics committee and consent from the donor or next of kin should be obtained.

Clinical Trials Registration

Authors are strongly encouraged to register their clinical trials in suitable publicly available databases, including those listed on the ICMJE website, as well as any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform or

Informed Consent Policy

The data and information of individuals (e.g., information obtained through a doctor–patient relationship) must be handled with the highest levels of confidence and discretion. It is therefore almost always necessary for authors to obtain written informed consent from any patients described in case reports and from those who are the subject of photographs. However, a report may be published without explicit consent if it meets all three of the following conditions: it is of great significance to public health (or is important in some other way); consent would be unusually difficult to obtain; and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.

Human and Animal Rights

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Conflicts of Interest

1. APT Conflicts of Interest Policy

It is the responsibility of every academic to maintain the transparency and credibility of the research publication. Improving the transparency and legitimacy of the publishing system allows us to effectively share important information, thereby improving our understanding of academic knowledge. APT requires authors to declare any competing financial and/or non-financial interests in their submitted manuscripts.

2. Definition of conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest refer to a situation where an author cannot handle things from an objective stand because of various relationships. APT's conflicts of interest include financial and non-financial interests which could undermine the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication.

  Financial conflicts of interest?Funding Support: Authors need to disclose funding support that may gain or lose through this publication, as well as the funders role in the conception, design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish and preparation of the manuscript.

Employment: Recent (while engaged in current research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through this publication.

Personal financial interests: Stocks, shares, consultation fees and other forms of remuneration that may gain or lose financially through the publication; Patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by the publication.

It is difficult to define a detailed threshold which will refer to financial interest, so we suggest authors declaring all possible conflicts of interest of their research manuscripts, avoiding embarrassing the authors once the article is published online without declaration.

  Non-financial conflicts of interest: No-financial conflicts of interest usually refer to personal or professional relations with organization and individuals. It mainly includes but is not limited to the following situations: unpaid membership in a government or non-governmental organization, unpaid advisory position in a commercial organization; acting as an expert witness. We suggest authors declaring any unpaid roles or relationship that may affect the publication process.

3. Conflicts of interest policy for authors

APT requires authors to declare any possible financial and/or non-financial conflicts of interest at the end of their manuscript and in the cover letter, as well as confirm this point when submitting their manuscript in the submission system. If no conflicts of interest exist, authors need to state "The authors declare no conflicts of interest". We also recognize that some authors may be bound by confidentiality agreements, in which cases authors need to sate "The authors declare that they are bound by confidentiality agreements that prevent them from disclosing their competing interests in this work."

Declaration of each manuscript in peer review is fully open to reviewers and subsequently fully open to readers when the manuscript is online published after acceptance.

4. Conflicts of interest policy for reviewers

APT suggests reviewers avoid reviewing manuscripts in which significant conflicts of interest exist. However, under the situation that editors are well informed of any related interests and the existing interests do not affect the conclusion of the manuscript, reviewers may still evaluate it and give their comments. Editors will consider the interests when weighing their recommendations.

5. Conflicts of interest policy for editors

Editors of APT are required to declare any interests that may impact their editorial practices and to exclude themselves if the conflicts of interest would have a significant effect on the editorial processing.

Data Sharing Policy

APT adopts ICMJE requirements ( regarding data sharing statements. In particular, we adopt the view that data sharing statements must indicate the following:

  Whether individual de-identified participant data (including data dictionaries) will be shared;

  What data in particular will be shared;

 • Whether additional, related documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan, data dictionary, etc.);

  When the data will become available and for how long; by what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism).

Authorship and Contributorship

1. Authors’ responsibility

The authors of each manuscript are asked to confirm that:

1) The manuscript has not been previously published or submitted elsewhere;

2) They made a significant contribution to the work and approved the final version of the manuscript;

3) Their work complies with ethical standards;

4) They are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved;

5) They have obtained all necessary permissions to publish any figures or tables in the manuscript, and assure that the authors will pay for Article Processing Charges (APC) if applicable.

2. Authorship criteria

We require authors to refer to the criteria recommended by ICMJE for defining authorship:

• Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;

• Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;

• Final approval of the version to be published;

• Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

We require all those designated as authors to meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who contributed to some parts but do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged. The corresponding author should obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all individuals to whom acknowledgment is applicable.

3. Author contributions

This section is only required for research articles, review articles, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis articles. It describes the contribution made by each author to the manuscript. Authorship credit should be based on:

1) Substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study, the acquisition of the data, or the analysis and interpretation of the data;

2) Drafting the article or critically revising it for important intellectual content; and

3) The final approval of the final version to be published.

Authors should meet all three of these conditions.

Note: the acquisition of funding, collection of data, language editing, or general supervision of the research group alone do not constitute authorship.

4. Changes to authorship or contributorship

If there is any change in authorship and/or contributorship after the initial submission, approval from all authors must be presented. This applies to additions, deletions, change of order to the authors, or contributions being attributed differently. Any change must be explained to the Editor. The Editor may seek ascertainment from any of the authors/contributors regarding whether they have agreed to any change.

When disagreements among authors arise, Ant follows the guidance of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE):

Copyright and License to Publish

APT is a peer reviewed, open access journal. All content of the journal is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). The CC BY 4.0 allows for maximum dissemination and re-use of open access materials and is preferred by many research funding bodies. Under this license users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) and remix (adapt) the contribution for any purposes, even commercially, provided that the users appropriately acknowledge the original authors and the source.

Copyright is retained by authors. Authors are required to sign a Submission Statement (which can be downloaded from the journal's Author Guidelines), which identifies itself as the original publisher, exclusive rights to publish their articles, and granting any third party the right to use the articles freely as long as the integrity is maintained and the original authors, citation details and publisher are identified.

Publication Ethics Statement

APT follows the International Committee of Medical Journal (ICMJE) recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journal and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)'s guidelines.

Manuscripts submitted must be the original work of the author(s) and must not be published previously or under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The editors of APT enforce a rigorous peer-review process together with strict ethical policies and standards to guarantee to add high quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication. Unfortunately, cases of plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation, inappropriate authorship credit, and the like, do arise. The editors of APT take such publishing ethics issues very seriously and are trained to proceed in such cases with a zero tolerance policy. To verify the originality of content submitted to our journals, we use CrossCheck (powered by iThenticate) to check submissions against previous publications.

Plagiarism Screening Policy

Ant Publishing Corporation strives to maintain academic integrity in publishing. All manuscripts submitted to the APT will be screened for plagiarism by the plagiarism checker CrossCheck (powered by iThenticate)  at the following points in time:

1. Upon receipt of the submission?

2. When the author(s) submits the finalized manuscript after peer review.

A manuscript will be rejected immediately if considered by the editorial office to be plagiarized or self-plagiarized.

A report of plagiarism will be handled as follows:

The complainant contacts the editorial office of the journal in which the published article suspected of plagiarism appeared.

The complainant indicates which sections have been plagiarzed by clearly referring to both the original and suspected articles.

The editorial office conducts an investigation, during which time the editor of the journal and the corresponding author(s) of the suspected article will be in contact.

The corresponding author(s) will be asked to provide an explanation.

If the author(s) of the suspected article accepts the complaint of plagiarism, an erratum or retraction is necessary to remedy the situation. However, there may still be a disagreement concerning the wording of the description.

In the case of nonresponse within the stipulated time or an unsatisfactory explanation, the article may be permanently retracted.

Allegations of Research Misconduct Policy

Ant Publishing Corporation’s policy for managing allegations of research misconduct is based on the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), available at

Authors are required to read the journal’s author instruction and ethical policies carefully and to adhere to the terms before submission. While authors are given the option to suggest potential reviewers for the peer-review process, the qualifications and potential conflicts of interest of all reviewers will be carefully checked before they are invited to review.

Report of research misconduct may be related to a published article or a manuscript under peer-review process. The procedure for the application and management of complaints of author misconduct should proceed with sensitivity, tact, in confidence, and in the following manner:

1. The editorial office of the journal receives a complaint that an article submitted to or published in the journal is suspected of containing research misconduct.

2. The complainant needs to clearly indicate the specific manner and detail of misconduct; for example, in a case of plagiarism, the plagiarized paragraph should be clearly highlighted and the original and suspected articles should be referred to clearly.

3. The editorial office will conduct an investigation, during which time the editor of the journal and the corresponding author(s) of the suspected article will be in contact.

4. The corresponding author(s) will be asked to provide an explanation with factual statements and any available evidence.

5. If the author(s) of the suspected article accepts the misconduct complaint, the editorial office will take the following actions depending on the  situation:

a. If the article has been published, an erratum or retraction may be necessary to remedy the situation. However, there may still be disagreement concerning the appropriate wording of the description.

b. If the misconduct is reported during the review process, the review process may continue, with the author(s) making the relevant changes.

6. In the case of nonresponse in the stipulated time or an unsatisfactory explanation, the article may be permanently retracted or rejected. Before making a decision, confirmation will be sought from the experts of the relevant institution or other authorities as required.

7. The complainant will be informed of the outcome once the issue is resolved.

8. The complaint case will thereupon be considered concluded.

Corrections and Retractions

Ant Publishing Corporation ensures that all of its published journals follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) ( and the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (  

We aim to ensure the integrity of the academic record of all published or potential publications. Whenever it is recognized that a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement, or distorted report has been published, it must be corrected promptly and with due prominence. If, after an appropriate investigation, an item proves to be fraudulent, it should be retracted. The retraction should be clearly identifiable to readers and indexing systems.


Errors in published papers may be identified in the form of a corrigendum or erratum when the Editor-in-Chief considers it appropriate to inform the journal readership about a previous error and makes a correction to the error in the published article. The corrigendum or erratum will appear as a new article in the journal, and will cite the original published article.


Retractions are considered and published when there are severe errors in an article that invalidate the conclusions. Retractions are also made in cases where there is evidence of publication malpractice, such as plagiarism, duplicate publication, or unethical research.

According to industry best practice and in accordance with COPE guidelines, Ant implements the following procedure if a retraction is confirmed:

1. A retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.

2. In the electronic version, a link is made to the original article.

3. The online article is preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. It is to this screen that the link resolves; the reader can then proceed to the article itself.

4. The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the PDF indicating on each page that it has been “retracted.”

Appeals and Complaints

If authors do not agree with any decision made in editorial handling, they can submit a formal appeal to the editorial office, explaining their reasons. The issue will be soon dealt with according to the COPE Guidelines.

Data citation

We are committed to improving openness, transparency, and reproducibility of research. Authors are required to cite relevant literature appropriately in support of the claims made in the manuscript. They must not cite sources that have not been read, and should ensure that all the citations are correct. Original work rather than its derivations should be cited. Excessive and inappropriate self-citations or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite are strongly discouraged.

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