Aim and Scope
Osteopathic Family Physician (OFP), the official journal of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, is a peer-reviewed publication whose purpose is to deliver information that helps osteopathic family physicians care for their patients, improve their practices, and better understand the activities ACOFP is taking on for their behalf.
The content areas of the journal reflect the interests of Association members in such diverse topic areas as preventive medicine, managed care, osteopathic principles and practices, pain management, public health, medical education, and practice management.
Osteopathic Family Physician provides a forum for careful systematic reviews of primary care. As the official journal of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Osteopathic Family Physician publishes policy statements, communications from the Board of Governors, and notices of important Committee and Special Interest Group projects.
There are no fees or charges required for manuscript processing and/or publishing materials in Osteopathic Family Physician.
Conflict of Interest
The OFP journal requires all participants in the peer review and publication process to disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Editors may use information disclosed in a conflict of interest and financial interest statements as a basis for editorial decisions.
All authors should refer to the OFP Policy Statement on Duality of Interest and submit the relevant conflict of interest statements with OFP’s mandatory Manuscript Submission Form.
In addition, for all manuscript submissions, regardless of article type, all authors should include conflict of interest statements in both the comments to the editors at the time of submission and within the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript itself. If authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose, this should also be indicated in both sections. Examples of potential conflict of interest include:
- Employment, membership on the board of directors, or any fiduciary relationship with a third party entity engaged in the development, manufacture, or sale of pharmaceutical or medical devices, supplies, or information
- Ownership of stock or receipt of honoraria, travel or meeting expenses, or consulting or review fees from a third-party entity, as described above
- Holding patents or receiving royalties related to the development of pharmaceutical or medical devices, supplies, or information
- Receipt of writing assistance, medicines, equipment, or administrative support from a third-party entity, as described above
- Membership on a scientific advisory panel or other standing scientific/medical committee
- Receipt of payment or honoraria for author contributions or author designation
Any other relationships that readers could perceive to have influenced, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, the content of the submitted work.
Investigators must disclose potential conflicts of interest to study participants and should state in the manuscript whether they have done so.
If the study was sponsored by a third party, authors should describe the role of the study sponsor in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state. At the time of submission, OFP requires that the submitting author of a study funded by an agency with a proprietary or financial interest indicate that she/he had full access to all of the data in the study and takes complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. This author, unless otherwise specified, will be listed in the published version of the article as the "guarantor" of the study.
Please note that the editors may request a statistical analysis of all data by an independent biostatistician, and will decline to consider an article if a sponsor has asserted control over the authors’ right to publish.
Peer reviewers for OFP publications are required to disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript. Likewise, the Editor and Associate Editors are required to recuse themselves of any final decision on manuscripts for which they may have personal or professional biases. In such cases, a different member of the Editorial Team, or an "Ad Hoc Editor" (e.g., a previous Editor-in-Chief of the journal), will be appointed to adjudicate the review of the manuscript and render a decision on the manuscript.
Authors are encouraged to provide editors with the names of persons they feel should not be asked to review a manuscript because of potential conflicts of interest. Authors should explain their concerns in their comments to the editor at the time of submission; the editors will consider this information when determining who to invite to review the manuscript.
OFP encourages authors to share the data and other artifacts supporting the results in the paper by archiving it in an appropriate public repository. Authors may provide a data availability statement, including a link to the repository they have used, in order that this statement can be published in their paper. Shared data should be cited.” All accepted manuscripts might elect to publish a data availability statement to confirm the presence or absence of shared data. If you have shared data, this statement will describe how the data can be accessed and include a persistent identifier (e.g., a DOI for the data, or an accession number) from the repository where you shared the data.
All opinions in OFP are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the editors, the ACOFP, or the institution with which the authors are affiliated unless expressly stated. No part of OFP may be reprinted or reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher.
Human and Animal Rights
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.
Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from publishers and authors to adapt or reprint previously published tables, illustrations, and other graphic elements. Authors must specifically obtain permission to reprint or adapt graphic elements for both the OFP's print and online versions.
Authors must also obtain written permission from patients to use their photographic images if those patients are identifiable in the images. If a patient is younger than 18 years, authors must obtain permission from one of the patient's parents or guardians. Authors are encouraged to use the OFP's patient-model release form for this purpose.
Authors must submit signed permissions from publishers, authors, and patients once their manuscripts are accepted for publication in the OFP. Likewise, authors must submit signed permission from anyone explicitly named in their studies, including named sources for unpublished data and individuals listed in the acknowledgments.
Authors serving in the US military must obtain armed forces' approval for their manuscripts and provide military or institutional disclaimers when submitting manuscripts.
Failure to submit appropriate permission forms may delay publication.
Peer Review and Publication Process
OFP employs a three-stage review process – editorial office, external review, and editors’ decision.
The first stage of the review process takes place in the editorial office. On submission, a manuscript is reviewed to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements of the journal before it is sent to external reviewers. At this stage, the manuscript is reviewed for the following
- Possible plagiarism: The manuscript is evaluated to compare the level of similarity with other published works. Manuscripts that have a high level of similarity with other works (including the author(s) previous works) are rejected at this stage.
- Scope: After a manuscript has undergone a similarity check and the level of similarity is judged appropriate, the content of the manuscript is checked to ensure that it fits within the scope of the journal selected by the author(s). In situations where the content of the manuscript does not fit the scope of the journal, the author’s consent is sought for the manuscript to be transferred to a more suitable journal. A transferred manuscript does not automatically translate to an accepted manuscript in the receiving journal. The manuscript still undergoes the usual peer review and may be accepted or reject if it is not suitable.
- Recent references: OFP encourages authors to cite articles that were published within the last five years.
Manuscripts are checked for the structure, organization, correctness, and clarity of the language as it adheres to the OFP’s Instructions for Authors. The editorial office usually makes corrections to minor grammatical errors in such a manner that it does not alter the manuscript. However, in situations where the language is substantially difficult to comprehend, the manuscript is returned to the author to improve the clarity of the language.
A manuscript that fails in this first stage of the review process is returned to the author(s) for modification and resubmission.
Once a manuscript successfully completes the editorial office review process, it proceeds to the second stage. The second stage of the review process employs the double-blind review system. A minimum of three external reviewers is selected from our database, editorial board of the journal, or other sources. These reviewers have expert knowledge of the subject area of the manuscript. The reviewers are invited to review the manuscript by sending them the abstract of the manuscript. Upon acceptance to review the manuscript, the full text of the manuscript is sent to the reviewers after the author(s) have been concealed.
Reviewers are required to evaluate the manuscripts and provide useful comments to enable the author(s) to improve the quality of the manuscript. Reviewers also score the manuscript in terms of originality, contribution to the field, technical quality, clarity of presentation, and depth of research. Finally, reviewers make one of the following suggestions about the manuscript;
- Requires minor corrections
- Requires moderate revisions
- Requires major revisions
- Not suitable for further processing. In this case, the reviewer provides the specific reason(s) why the manuscript was not further processed.
It should be noted that though a reviewer may give a positive report on a particular manuscript if another reviewer raises concerns that may fundamentally undermine the study and results the manuscript may be rejected.
Upon receipt of the reviewers’ comments, the editorial office reviews the comment. All reviewers’ comments are thereafter sent to the author(s). The reviewers’ identities are concealed from the author(s). The total time is taken to complete the second stage of the manuscript review dependent on the availability of the reviewers. However, it is usually completed between three to six weeks.
Using the reviewers’ comments, author(s) make corrections to the manuscript and submit a revised manuscript. Upon receipt of the revised submission, the manuscript undergoes the third and final stage of the review process. The original manuscript, the revised manuscript, and all the reviewers’ comments are sent to an editor of the journal. The editor reviews the manuscript and makes one of the following decisions:
- Accept as it is
- Accept with minor corrections
- Requires major corrections
- Send revised manuscript for review again
Manuscripts that are accepted "as it is" are scheduled for publication. Manuscripts that require corrections (either minor or major) are sent to the author(s) to make the corrections suggested by the editor. After making the corrections, the editor reviews the manuscripts again before the manuscripts are accepted for publication. In some cases, the editor may require authors to make corrections a second time. In other cases, the editor may request for the revised manuscripts with (or without) the additional corrections to be sent to a specific reviewer who had earlier reviewed the manuscript before the manuscript can be accepted for publication.
The OFP usually notifies authors of manuscript acceptance, revision requests, or rejection within 3 months of acknowledging receipt of manuscripts. Authors are encouraged to contact the OFP if they have not received a status update in that period.
Corresponding authors will receive galley proofs of edited manuscripts for review and comment before publication. Corresponding authors are responsible for responding to peer reviewers' comments and concerns, as well as staff editors' queries. Corresponding authors are also responsible for verifying all statements in their articles, including confirming the accuracy of changes made by the OFP's staff editors. Failure to respond fully to peer reviewers' comments and concerns before manuscript acceptance, to address staff editors' queries, or to verify statements may result in publication delay.
Accepted manuscripts are scheduled for publication according to (1) article type (i.e., original contributions are assigned the highest priority followed by systematic reviews), (2) the timeliness of the topics the manuscripts address, and (3) the priority assigned by the ACOFP's editor in chief and the OFP's associate editors.
Authors who would like their manuscripts considered for rapid review should justify that request in their cover letters.
Authors who are considering submitting multiple manuscripts that will convey the progression of a study or that are part of a series of articles intended to be published at the same time are strongly encouraged to contact OFP staff in advance of submitting such articles.
Although tentative publication dates are provided to corresponding authors in advance as a courtesy, those dates are subject to change with due notice based on changes in priority made by the editor in chief, the associate editor, and the OFP Editorial Advisory Board.
Journal is published 6 times per year.