The rules presented below were developed on the basis of the recommendations of COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics, which were included in the Core Practices.
Reporting standards: authors reporting results of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussionof its significance. The underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. The paper should contain sufficient details and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Originality and Plagiarism: authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, they should ensure that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publications: in general, authors should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Parallel submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Acknowledgement of sources: appropriate acknowledgement of the work of others must be given at all times. Authors should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Authorship of the manuscript: 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 named in the “Acknowledgements” section.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the author’s list of the manuscript, and that all co-authors have seen and approved of the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Hazards and human or animal subjects: if the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the must clearly identify these in the manuscript.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest: it takes place when the author has a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations whichcould influence his research. This is why all authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
Fundamental errors in published works: when the discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editor or publisher and cooperate with them in order to either retract the paper or to publish an appropriate erratum.
Accountability: the editor of a peer-reviewed journal is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal should be published, and, moreover, is accountable for everything published in the journal. In making these decisions, the editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board as well as by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers when making publication decisions. The editor should maintain the integrity of the academic record, preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards (e.g. ethical conduct of research using animals and human subjects, publication on vulnerable populations or groups of people), and always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
Fairness: the editor should evaluate manuscripts for intellectual content without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s). The editor will not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than the author(s), reviewers and potential reviewers, and in some instances the editorial board members, as appropriate.
Confidentiality: the editor 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.
Complaints and appeals: The publishing contacts (whistleblowers) are requested to help the editor to record and document the claim (e.g. data manipulation or fabrication, text recycling, plagiarism, research misconduct) The report should include:
– specific information about the case (who, what, when, where, why),
– in case of plagiarism and text recycling, details should be given about the relevant texts/articles.
Disclosure, conflicts of interest, and other issues: the editor shall be guided by COPE’s Guidelines for Retracting Articles when considering retracting, issuing expressions of concern about, and issuing corrections pertaining to articles that have been published.
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. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
The editor is committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions.
The editor should seek to ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or another member of the editorial board instead to review and consider the manuscript) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.
Involvement and cooperation in investigations: Editors should guard the integrity of the published record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct. Editors should also pursue reviewer and editorial misconduct. An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper.
Editors encourage readers to send by e-mail their opinions related to the material published. Editors are open to post-publication discussion.
Editors and editorial team members are excluded from publication decisions when they are authors or have contributed to a manuscript.
Contribution to editorial decisions: peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communication with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.
Promptness: any invited reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its timely review will be impossible should immediately notify the editor so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Confidentiality: any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the editor.
Standards of objectivity: reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is unacceptable. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources: reviewers should identify any relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument was previously reported should be accompanied by a 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 data of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest: privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider evaluating 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 submission.