Publication ethics and malpractice statement
1) Duties of the Editor, Associate Editors and Editorial Board
- The Editor(s) together with Associate Editors and the Editorial Board are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published.
- The Editor(s) should be guided by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding label, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
- The Editor(s) and the editorial board evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political opinion of the authors.
- The Editor(s) and any editorial staff 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.
- Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an Editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.
2) Duties of reviewers
- A peer reviewer assists in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communication with the author may also assist the author in improving 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 from the review process.
- Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the Editor.
- Reviews should be conducted objectively. Ad hominem criticism of the author is inappropriate.
- Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
- 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 call to the Editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
- Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
- 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, or institutions connected to the papers.
3) Duties of authors
- 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 cited or quoted. Plagiarism, where someone assumes another’s ideas, words, or other creative expression as one’s own, is a clear violation of scientific ethics. Plagiarism may also involve a violation of copyright law, punishable by legal action. Plagiarism includes the following: Word for word, or almost word for word copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author’s work without clearly indicating the source or marking the copied fragment (for example, using quotation marks); Copying equations, figures or tables from someone else’s paper without properly citing the source and/or without permission from the original author or the copyright holder.
- Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
- 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.
- 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. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
- 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.
Identification of Unethical Behaviour
- Complaints of unethical behaviour should be made promptly and without regard to the position of the person alleged to have behaved unethically.
- A proposal for the investigation of unethical behaviour may be submitted by any author of an article, reviewer or one of the Editors or members of the Editorial Board, or by the publisher or any reader of the journal.
- Evidence of unethical behaviour is accumulated by the executive team of the journal. In the case of alleged unethical behaviour by the Editors or Editorial Board it is accumulated by the publisher.
- Evidence of unethical behaviour is archived.
Investigation of Unethical Behaviour
- The Editorial Board is responsible for the investigation of unethical behaviour.
- Investigation of unethical behaviour by the Editorial Board is the responsibility of the publisher of the journal.
- In the case of minor irregularities, the person concerned will receive a written notification from the executive team, or as the case may be the publisher.
- The person concerned will be given the opportunity to remedy the irregularity and required to provide a written explanation of the irregularity.
- The Editor-in-Chief, or as the case may be the publisher, will accumulate and archive evidence about the alleged unethical behaviour.
- Decision on the credibility of the evidence and the results of the unethical behaviour will be taken by the Editorial Board of the journal.
Consequences of Unethical Behaviour
- In the case of serious substantiated doubts concerning the integrity of the (guest) Editor, the person concerned may be removed from this position.
- In the case of serious substantiated doubts concerned the integrity of the publisher, the professional community will be informed of this via the web pages of the journal. At the same time information about steps taken to deal with the situation will be published.
- In the case of serious substantiated doubts concerning the integrity of authors or referees, co-operation with them will be suspended for a stipulated period corresponding to the seriousness of the doubts. The persons concerned will be informed of this in writing.
- If doubt is cast on the integrity of an author with reference to a manuscript that has just been sent for publication, the Editor will refuse to publish the manuscript and return it to the author with appropriate negative commentary.
- If serious doubt is cast on the integrity of an author when the study concerned has already been published and the violations have been discovered only later, the Editor will inform the author about the findings. The negative viewpoint of the Editor and Editorial Board regarding the study will be published in the journal and on the journal’s web pages.
The rules of publication ethics and malpractice statement are in line with COPE general guidelines http://publicationethics.org/