ETHICS

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

 

Responsibility of the Editor

The editor’s chief responsibility is to determine which submissions to the journal will be published. He/she must ensure that decisions are made on the basis of the manuscript’s merit and that the author’s race, gender, religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, or citizenship are not considered.

Confidentiality

Information concerning a submitted manuscript should only be revealed to the corresponding author, reviewers, editorial board members, or the publisher as is required or otherwise appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.

Fair play and editorial independence

Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.

Publication decisions

The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations

Editors (in conjunction with the publisher and/or society) will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.

Responsibility of Reviewers

Purpose of peer review

The peer review process is a crucial component in helping the editor and/or editorial board reach editorial or publishing decisions and may also serve the author in improving the quality of the submission.

Promptness

A potential reviewer should withdraw from the review process if he/she feels unqualified to assess the contribution or cannot provide an assessment in a timely manner as defined by the editor.

Confidentiality

Manuscripts for review must be considered confidential documents. Information concerning the manuscripts should not be discussed with others without the approval of the editor.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.

Objectivity

Reviewers should strive to be objective in their assessments. Reviewers’ comments should be clearly expressed and supported by data or arguments. Personal criticism of the author(s) is not appropriate.

Acknowledgment 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 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.

Responsibility of the Author

Reporting standards

Authors of original research reports should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Multiple, redundant, or concurrent publication

In general, papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by one journal should not be submitted to other publications while the manuscript is under review. Journals that publish creative works may make exceptions to the previously published rule; please consult the editor.

Acknowledgment of sources

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. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.

Originality and plagiarism

Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another’s paper as the author’s own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour 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. 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.

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. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed to the editor at the earliest stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.

Peer review

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of “revisions necessary”, authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Fundamental errors in published works

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 to provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.

Please send questions, concerns, or comments to [email protected]

Duties of the Publisher

Handling of unethical publishing behaviour

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work.  The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.

Access to journal content

The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.