Ethics and malpractice
Responsibility of the Editor(s):
- Editors evaluate manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their relevance to the journal’s scope, and their academic and intellectual merits, without regarding the author(s)’ race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin, religious belief, citizenship, political orientation or social class.
- Editors decide which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal should be published based on the quality of the work, its scientific contribution, and the reviewers’ feedback. In making these decisions, editors are guided by the policies of the journal and by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
- Editors ensure that all manuscripts have a fair and unbiased double-blind peer review and that all information related to them is confidential and the identities of both authors and reviewers are protected.
- Editors select appropriate reviewers and provide guidance with the peer review process.
- Editors ensure that unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript are not used for the editors’ own research. Ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling manuscripts will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. In case there is conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript, editors are to withdraw in order to be substituted by another member of the editorial board.
- Editors are bound to take action when ethical complaints are presented concerning a submitted or published manuscripts. In cases of suspected misconduct, they follow the COPE flowcharts, available at http://publicationethics.org/files/Full%20set%20of%20flowcharts.pdf.
- Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication, and in cases where the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern will be announced in the journal.
Responsibility of the Reviewer:
- Reviewers evaluate manuscripts based on their content without regard to the authors’ race, age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, citizenship, political orientation or social class.
- Reviewers assist both the editor in assessing the manuscripts and deciding on publications and the author(s) in improving their manuscript.
- Reviewers should offer their feedback and comments in an objective manner, supported with arguments, so authors can work and revise their manuscript to an improved version.
- Reviewers are bound to treat all manuscripts that have been received for review as confidential documents, and under no circumstances can the privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review be used for personal advantage.
- Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other close relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscripts. In such cases, they need to notify the editor in order to substitute them with another reviewer.
- Reviewers must report to the editor if they are aware of copyright infringement and plagiarism on the author’s part and bring forth statements that are observations, derivations or arguments from previous publications which are not accompanied by a relevant citation.
- Reviewers who are unable to review a manuscript (e.g., due to time restriction, area of expertise, etc.) should decline the invitation speedily so that another reviewer can be assigned.
Responsibility of the Author(s):
- Authors should present an accurate account of their work and to objectively report its significance and contribution to the research field. Review articles should present accurate, objective, and comprehensive content. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are not acceptable.
- Authors must ensure that the manuscript is their original work and that other authors, contributors, or sources have been appropriately credited and referenced. Authors should be prepared to make the data publicly available, taking under consideration that the confidentiality of the participants is protected and that legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
- Authors confirm that the manuscript represents their own contributions and have not been copied or plagiarized in whole or in part from other works without clearly citing the source. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
- 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 such significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
- The corresponding author with the journal should ensure that all appropriate co-authors are included in the author list of the manuscript, and that there is a full consensus of all co-authors in approving the final version of the paper and its submission for publication.
- Authors must ensure that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not submitted simultaneously to more than one publication at a time. This constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is not acceptable.
- Authors should disclose financial or other conflict of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support should be disclosed.
- Authors should report cases where a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work is discovered, since it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editors and cooperate with them to retract or correct the manuscript. If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to correct or retract it or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the manuscript.