Researchers should conduct their research – from research proposal to publication – in accordance with the professional academic practices and codes of conduct related to academic expert associations, as well as national and universal administrative bodies. In uncommon cases, it is possible that moral issues or misconduct could be included in your journal when research is submitted for publication.
This document will provide practical guidance to Journal Editors and Society & Publishing Partners, and help deal with the repercussions arising from distributing work, which could infringe the codes of conduct.
Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Duties of Editors
Fair play and editorial independence
Editors assess submitted manuscripts solely on the premise of their academic quality (significance, originality, study's validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal's range, without respect to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, citizenship, religious conviction, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Choices to alter and publish are not dictated by the policies of governments or some other organizations outside the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief has full power over the whole article content of the journal and the planning of publication of that content.
Editors and editorial staff will not reveal any data or information about the submitted work to anyone except the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as may be deemed necessary.
Disclosure and conflicts of interests
Disclosed unpublished information will not be used by editors and editorial board members in their submitted manuscripts for their own particular research purposes without the authors' express written approval. Privileged information acquired by the editors as a result of keeping the manuscripts will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have irreconcilable situations arising because of competitive, collaborative, or different connections/associations with any of the authors, organizations or companies associated with the papers; rather, they will approach another member of the editorial board to deal with the manuscript.
The editors ensure that all of the submitted manuscripts that are ready for publication undergo a reviewing process by at least two expert reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief is the one who decides which of the manuscripts are appropriate to be published in the journal, based on the approval of the work being referred to, its significance to researchers and readers, the comments of the reviewers and points of view, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may consult other editors regarding these matters.
Involvement and cooperation in investigations
When ethical concerns are raised regarding a submitted manuscript or a published paper, editors (in conjunction with publishers as well as society) will take responsive measures in this matter. Every instance of unethical publishing will be considered and investigated, even if it is discovered a long time after publication. AP-SMART editors follow the COPE Flowcharts when dealing with cases of suspected misconduct. In case of finding ethical concerns during investigation, a publication of correction, retraction, and expression of concern or other related actions will be made in the journal.
Duties of Reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions
Editorial decisions are made by editors with the assistance of peer review and may also assist authors in improving their manuscripts, through editorial communications. Peer review is considered to be a fundamental part of formal academic communication and lies at the core of scientific endeavor. AP-SMART offers the perspective that all researchers who wish to contribute to the scientific process should commit to doing their fair share of reviewing.
If any invited referee feels unqualified or feels it is difficult to review the research reported in a manuscript and cannot finish it promptly, the referee should immediately notify the editors and reject the invitation to review, so that they can contact alternative reviewers.
All of the manuscripts for review are confidential documents that cannot be shown or discussed with anyone unless authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do that under exceptional circumstances). This also applies to the nominated reviewers who have declined the review invitation.
Standards of objectivity
For improving the manuscripts, reviews should be conducted objectively, and the observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments. Moreover, personal opinions and criticism of the authors is inappropriate and unacceptable.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has been cited by the authors. Any statement in the form of observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the stated citation. A reviewer should inform the editors if there was any essential similarity or interference between the manuscript that is under consideration or any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
If any invited referee has problems or conflicts of interest due to competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript, the referee should notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review, so that the editors may contact alternative reviewers. Unpublished materials that have been revealed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer's own research without the written approval of the authors. Privileged information or ideas acquired through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer's personal benefit. This also applies to the invited reviewers who have declined the review invitation.
Duties of Authors
Authors of the original research should show an exact record of the work done and the outcomes, along with an objective discussion of the essentialness of the work. The manuscript ought to contain adequate details and references to allow others to duplicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial 'points of view' or perspective pieces ought to be clearly distinguished accordingly. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior, and hence they are unacceptable.
Data access and retention
Authors may be asked to provide original notes of their study along with the manuscript for editorial review. They should be prepared to make the data publicly accessible if convenient. Generally, authors should ensure accessibility of such information to other competent experts for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights proprietary data do not prevent their release.
Originality and plagiarism
Authors should ensure that they have written and submitted entirely original work, and if they have used works and/or words of others, these should be appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should be cited as well. Plagiarism can be in many forms. It can be 'passing off' someone's paper and work as the author's own, copying or paraphrasing essential parts of a paper (without referring), or claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all forms is considered an unethical publishing behavior and it is unacceptable.
Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication
Papers that describe the same research should not be published or submitted in more than one journal or primary publication. Therefore, authors should not submit a manuscript that has previously been published in another journal.
Submission of a manuscript to more than one journal is considered to be an unethical publishing behavior, and hence it is not acceptable. Publishing some kinds of articles in more than one journal is sometimes considered justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors must agree on secondary publications that reflect the same data as the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Authorship of the manuscript
Persons who meet these authorship criteria will be listed as authors in the manuscript as they should be able to take public responsibility for the content: (1) made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; (2) drafted or revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, and (3) have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication. All persons who have participated or made essential contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship, must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the 'acknowledgement' section as their written permission has been obtained. 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 list and verify that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript, and agreed to its submission for publication.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Authors should disclose any conflicts of interest that might influence the results of their interpretation in the manuscript (by submitting a disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript). Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include financial ones such as, honoraria, educational grants or other funding, participation in speakers' offices, membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest, and paid expert certificate or patent-licensing arrangements, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscripts. All of the work's financial support sources should be disclosed (including the grant number or other reference number if any).
Acknowledgment of sources
Authors ought to ensure that they have appropriately recognized the work of others, and ought to likewise refer to publications that have been effective in deciding the ideas found in the detailed work. Data acquired confidentially (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be utilized or revealed without clearly written consent from the source. Writers should not utilize data acquired while giving private services, for example, refereeing manuscripts or considering applications, unless they have obtained the unequivocal written consent of the author(s) of the work associated with these services.
Hazards and human or animal subjects
If the work includes chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual dangers inherent in their utilization, the authors should clearly recognize these in the manuscript. Moreover, if the work includes the utilization of animals or human participants, the author ought to guarantee that all methods were performed in a way consistent with relevant laws and institutional regulations; and that the proper institutional committee(s) have affirmed them; the composition ought to contain a statement concerning any impact. Authors ought to likewise incorporate a statement in the manuscript that approval was acquired for experimentation with human participants. The protection rights of human participants should be observed carefully.
Authors are obliged to take part in the peer review process and coordinate constructively by responding promptly to editors' requests for raw data, clarifications, and confirmation of morals approval, tolerant assents and copyright permission. In case of decisions carried at point by point, and in appropriate ways, the review of their manuscript to the journal should stick to the due date given.
Fundamental errors in published works
When authors find significant blunders or errors in their own published work, it is their duty to instantly inform the journal's editors or publishers, and coordinate with them to either amend the paper as an erratum or to withdraw the paper. If the editors or publishers know from a third party that a published work contains a noteworthy blunder or error, it is the authors' duty to immediately correct or withdraw the paper, or give confirmation to the journal editors to justify the paper's accuracy.
Duties of the Publisher
Handling of unethical publishing behavior
In cases of affirmed or demonstrable scientific misconduct, fake publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in cooperation with the editors, will take every single appropriate measure to rectify the situation and to alter the articles being referred to. This includes the instance of publication of a misprint, clarification or, in the most serious case, the withdrawal of the influenced work. The publisher, together with the editors, should find a way to recognize and keep the publication of papers where research misconduct has happened, and not in any way to promote such misconduct, or intentionally enable such misconduct to occur.
Access to Journal's content
The publisher should maintain the constant accessibility, availability and protection of scholarly research by collaborating with the related associations, and by maintaining our own particular digital archive.
Researchers should conduct their research from proposal to publication in accordance with the professional academic practices and rules of conduct relevant to expert bodies or potentially national and global administrative bodies. In uncommon cases, it is conceivable that ethical issues or misconduct could be experienced in your journal when research is submitted for publication.
Ethical responsibilities for authors
The journal will adopt the COPE rules in the best way to manage potential instances of misconduct.
Authors should avoid distorting research outcomes which could harm the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and the whole scientific endeavor. Maintaining the probity of the research and its presentation can be accomplished by following the guidelines of professional scientific practice, which include:
- The manuscript should not have been submitted to more than one journal for concurrent consideration.
- The manuscript has not been published formerly (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns a development of a previous work (please provide clarity on the re-utilization of material to maintain a strategic distance from the trace of content reusing (self-plagiarism).
- An undivided study cannot divided into more sections in order to build up an amount for a submission to different journals or to one journal after some time (e.g. salami-publishing).
- No information has been simulated or tampered with (including images) to bolster conclusions.
No information, content, or hypotheses by others are displayed as though they were the author's own. Appropriate affirmations to different works must be given. This includes material that is nearly replicated (near verbatim), summarized as well as reworded, quotes that are utilized for verbatim duplicating of materials, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.
- Important note: the journal may use software to detect plagiarism.
- Agreement to submit should be obtained from all co-authors, in addition to the responsible authorities - implicitly or explicitly - at the institute/association where the work has been executed, before the work is submitted.
- Authors whose names appear on the submitted work have contributed significantly to the scientific work; and they should share collective responsibility and accountability for the outcomes.
- Authors are strongly encouraged to guarantee the right of the author group, the relating author, and request of authors at submission. Changes of authorship at the request of authors are not accepted after approval of a manuscript.
- Adding as well as omitting authors at the revision stage might be legitimately justified. A letter must be attached to the revised manuscript to clarify the role of the amendments as well as the omitted author(s). Further documentation might be required to support your request.
- Requests for adding or removing authors because of authorship disputes after assent are honored after a formal notice by the organization or independent body, and/or when there is agreement between all authors.
- Upon request, authors ought to be set up to send relevant documentation or information so as to verify the validity of the outcomes. This could be in the form of original notes, samples, records, and so on. Sensitive data such as confidential and proprietary information is excluded.