The Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement of the Sprin journals are based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct guidelines and requirements for peer-reviewed journals, elaborated by the ‘Elsevier’ Publishing House (by international ethical rules of scientific publications).
1.1. The publication in a peer-reviewed learned journal serves many purposes outside of simple communication. It is important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer and the publisher.
1.2.Publisher has a supporting, investing, and nurturing role in the scholarly communication process but is also ultimately responsible for ensuring that best practice is followed in its publications.
1.3. Publisher takes its duties of guardianship over the scholarly record extremely seriously.
2. Duties of the Publisher
It is our duty to adopt policies and procedures that support editors, reviewers, and authors of the journals in performing their ethical duties under these ethics guidelines. The publisher should ensure that the potential for advertising or reprint revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions.
3. Duties of Editors
3.1. Publication decision
The Editor of any journal published with us is solely and independently responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions.
3.2. Fair play
3.2.1. An editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The editorial policies of the journal should encourage transparency and complete, honest reporting, and the editor should ensure that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
3.2.2. Peer review. The editor shall ensure that the peer-review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. The editor shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field and shall follow best practices in avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. The editor shall review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers to determine whether there is any potential for bias.
The editor and any editorial staff of any journal published under the umbrella of Sprin Publisher 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. Unless the journal is operating an open peer-review system and/or reviewers have agreed to disclose their names, the editor must protect reviewers’ identities.
3.4. Disclosure and Conflicts of interest
3.4.1. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s 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.
3.4.2. 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) 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.
3.5. Vigilance over Published Record
An editor presented with convincing evidence that the substance or conclusions of a published paper are erroneous should coordinate with the publisher to promote the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant.
3.6. Involvement and cooperation in investigations
An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies.
4. Duties of Reviewers
4.1. Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of the scientific method. In addition to the specific ethics-related duties described below, reviewers are asked generally to treat authors and their work as they would like to be treated themselves and to observe good reviewing etiquette.
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 of any journal and excuse himself from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
4.4. Standard and objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
4.5. Acknowledgement of Sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. A reviewer should be alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and should bring these to the attention of the editor, including any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.
4.6. Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
4.6.1. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s 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.
4.6.2. 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.
5. Duties of Authors
5.1. Reporting standards
5.1.1. Authors of reports of original research 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 behaviour and are unacceptable.
5.1.2. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial 'opinion’ works should be clearly identified as such.
5.2. Data Access and Retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should, in any event, be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
5.3. Originality and Plagiarism
5.3.1. The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
5.3.2. Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s paper, 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.
5.4. Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
5.4.1. An author should not, in general, publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
5.4.2. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.
5.4.3. Publication of some kinds of articles (eg, guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
5.5. Acknowledgement of Sources
Proper acknowledgement 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.
5.6. Authorship of the Paper
5.6.1. 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 others have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
5.6.2. 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.
5.7. Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
5.7.1. All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or another 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.
5.7.2. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that 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 at the earliest possible stage.
5.8. Fundamental errors in published works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in a published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the editor of that particular journal and cooperate with the Publisher 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.