Ethical Statement & Publication Malpractice Statement

These guidelines are fully consistent with the COPE Principles of Transparency and Best Practice Guidelines and the COPE Code of Conduct. More details can be found here: https://publicationethics.org.

Guidelines for Editors

General Responsibilities

The editors are accountable for all content published in their journal. The editors must be ready to publish corrections and apologies when necessary.

The editors must follow a transparent editorial policy. Submission guidelines and requirements for potential contributors to the journal must be published.

Conflicts of Interest

The editors require authors, reviewers and editorial board members to disclose potential conflicts of interest.

The editors make decisions to accept or reject submissions on the basis of the quality of the submission and its suitability for the journal. The editors must make sure that commercial considerations do not interfere with their editorial decisions.

The editors must make sure that non-peer-reviewed sections of the journal are clearly marked as such.

Peer Review Practice

The editors must ensure that all research submissions are peer-reviewed. A description of the peer review practice must be published for the benefit of potential contributors to the journal.

The editors are accountable for recruiting qualified reviewers. The editors must strive to obtain highly competent reviewers and discontinue using reviewers who consistently deliver poor-quality reviews.

The editors must ensure that reviews are relevant, courteous and timely. Reviewers should judge the quality of the research and not comment on the researcher’s gender, race, beliefs and the like.

Academic Integrity

Editors and reviewers must treat all submissions under review as confidential.

The editors must protect the identity of reviewers and the identity of authors if a double-blind review process is used.

The editors must ensure that all submissions comply with ethical research standards, particularly in research involving human or animal subjects.

The editors must make sure that all submissions comply with academic integrity standards, particularly with respect to plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation and the like. Suspicions of scientific misconduct must be promptly investigated and a response from authors suspected of misconduct must be sought.

Guidelines for Reviewers

Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.

Any invited referee who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Guidelines for Authors

General Responsibilities

Authors are accountable for all aspects of their research submitted for publication to the journal. Authors of a multi-author submission have joint responsibility for their research, unless stated otherwise.

Authors must promptly notify the editors if they discover any errors in their research. This applies to research that has been submitted, is under review or has been published. Authors must cooperate with the editors to rectify any errors.

Authors must comply with submission guidelines and requirements published by the editors. Authors are aware that failure to meet these requirements may result in rejection of their research for publication.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors must disclose potential conflicts of interest.

Authors must publish all sources of their research funding, including both financial and non-financial support.

Authors must disclose their relationship to the journal, particularly when editors and reviewers seek publication in a journal that they are affiliated with.

Peer Review Process

Authors must cooperate with the editors at all stages of the publication process. Authors must notify the editors if they choose to withdraw their submission at any stage of the peer review and publication process.

Authors must respond to the comments of reviewers in a relevant and timely manner. Authors must carefully check proofs supplied by the editors before authorising them.

Academic Integrity

Authors must not seek publication of their research in more than one journal concurrently, unless all parties agree on co-publishing.

Authors are accountable for the soundness and honesty of their research. Authors must use appropriate methods for reporting their research and provide sufficient detail for other researchers to repeat their experiments. Authors must publish the complete results of their research and not withhold findings that are inconsistent with their hypothesis.

Authors must comply with ethical research standards, particularly in research involving human or animal subjects, and must be prepared to provide sufficient proof on request.

Authors must comply with academic integrity standards, particularly with respect to plagiarism, data falsification, image manipulation and the like. Authors must appropriately quote and cite all sources used in their research and refrain from including indirect quotations from sources that they have not consulted.

Authors must obtain permission to use any third party images, figures and the like from the respective copyright holders.