Publication ethics

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Ethical behaviour

For all parties involved in the act of publishing – the authors, editors, peer reviewers and the publisher – it is necessary to agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour. We have compiled a detailed overview for you in our ethics guidelines. 

Editor & reviewer responsibilities

Publication decisions

The editor of a journal is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The publishing decision is based on the recommendation of the journal’s reviewers. 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 him/herself from the review process.

The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor is committed to providing timely review to the authors. The editor, through editorial communications with the author, may also assist the author in improving the quality of the paper.

Standards of objectivity and “fair play”

The editors and reviewers evaluate papers based on the content. Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal 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 author. A reviewer should also call to the editors’ attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

The editor will at any time evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Confidentiality

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. The editor, reviewers 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. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

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.

Author responsibilities

Synopsis

Authors shall agree to submit a meaningful and truthful synopsis of the work presented to the editorial board upon request. The synopsis must include a discussion of the current research situation as well as a statement of the methodology and the sources on which the work is based. In addition, the results achieved should be summarized in the synopsis.

Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Originality and plagiarism

The authors should ensure that submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere in any language. An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication (“salami slicing”). Copying from published or unpublished works without acknowledging the source is considered plagiarism and constitutes unethical and unacceptable behaviour.

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. 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.

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.