Our publication ethics and publication malpractice statement is mainly based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct. The following is a summary of the guidelines, and for the complete statement, refer to the website (http://publicationethics.org/files/u2/New_Code.pdf). It is necessary to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer and the publisher.
Our editor in chief evaluates manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit. They have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article, only accepting a paper when reasonably certain. They should encourage debate and academic integrity and also protect individual data. They also have a duty to act if any misconduct is suspected and to ensure the integrity of the academic record. They should take reasonable responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper. When mistakes are found in the published paper, they should promote publication of correction or retraction.
Our editor in chief will always evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
Our editor in chief and other editorial board members must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Also, they should preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
The editor in chief and editorial board members should have no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author.
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Literature review articles and scientific notes should also be objective, comprehensive, and accurate accounts of the state of the art. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Originality and plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately acknowledged or quoted. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
Authors should not submit articles describing essentially the same research to more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
Authorship of the paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. In the author's declaration, each participant must list what they did in research. The corresponding author should ensure that there is a full consensus of all co-authors in approving the final version of the paper and its submission for publication.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed, including grants and scholarships.
Participating in the peer review process and mistake corrections
The corresponding author in connection with co-authors must participate in the peer review process, accepting or not all comments made by the reviewers. When the comments are not accepted, they must state why. When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments, so that authors can use them for improving the paper. Therefore, personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate. Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited in the paper.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself/herself from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also draw the editor's attention to any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, research funders, or institutions connected to the work.
Publishing ethics issues
Monitoring/safeguarding publishing ethics by editorial board
The editor in chief and associate editors should actively seek the views of authors, readers, reviewers and other editorial board members about ways of improving their journal's processes and should monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure this is of high quality. The editor in chief should consult editorial board members periodically to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenges.
Guidelines for retracting articles
We follow COPE's rules for retracting articles (http://publicationethics.org/files/retraction%20guidelines.pdf). Our editor in chief will consider retracting a publication if:
- there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
- the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross referencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
- it constitutes plagiarism
- it reports unethical research
Maintain the integrity of the academic record
Our editors take responsibility for everything they publish and should have procedures and policies in place to ensure the quality of the material they publish and maintain the integrity of the published record.
Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards
Research funders and sponsors should not be able to veto publication of findings that do not favor their product or position. Researchers should not enter agreements that permit the research sponsor to veto or control the publication of the findings (unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as research classified by governments because of security implications).
Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
No plagiarism, no fraudulent data
Authors should adhere to publication requirements that submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere in any language. Work should not be submitted concurrently to more than one publication unless the editors have agreed to co-publication. If articles are co-published this fact should be made clear to readers. Applicable copyright laws and conventions should be followed. Copyright material (e.g. tables, figures or extensive quotations) should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement. Relevant previous work and publications, both by other researchers and the authors’ own, should be properly acknowledged and referenced. The primary literature should be cited where possible. Authors should inform editors if findings have been published previously or if multiple reports or multiple analyses of a single data set are under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors should provide copies of related publications or work submitted to other journals. Multiple publications arising from a single research project should be clearly identified as such and the primary publication should be referenced. Translations and adaptations for different audiences should be clearly identified as such, should acknowledge the original source, and should respect relevant copyright conventions and permission requirements. If in doubt, authors should seek permission from the original publisher before republishing any work.