Publication ethics and malpractice statement (PEMS)

The Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement supports the combined efforts by authors, members of the editorial board and the scientific committee, and reviewers to produce a responsible scientific publication.

This statement is based on ethical principles that generally follow the lines established by the Committe on Publication Ethics (COPE).

1. Authors’ responsibilities

Manuscripts submitted for publication must be based on original, unpublished research. They must include the data obtained and used, as well as an objective discussion of the results. They must supply enough information to allow any specialist to reproduce the research and confirm or refute the interpretations defended in the manuscript.

Authors must be aware of and refrain from engaging in scientific misconduct, breaching publishing ethics.

Authors should present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation.

All authors must ensure that the data and results reported in the manuscript are original and have not been copied, fabricated, falsified or manipulated.

Plagiarism in all forms, multiple or redundant publication, as well as invention or manipulation of data constitute serious ethical failings and are considered scientific fraud.

Authors should provide appropriate authorship attribution and acknowledgement. Authors must refrain from deliberately misrepresenting a scientist’s relationship with published work. All authors must have significantly contributed to the research.

Authors must indicate the journal when they have a direct or indirect conflict of interest with editors or members of the Editorial board or International scientific committee.

No significant part of the article must have been previously published either as an article or as a chapter, or be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

If authors discover a serious mistake in their manuscript, they must report this to the person responsible for the journal as soon as possible, in order to modify, withdraw, or retract the manuscript, or to publish a correction or erratum notice.

If the Editorial Board detects the potential error, they authors must ten demonstrate that their manuscript is free from error.

Authors are obliged, for all materials submitted, to participate in a peer review process and to follow publication conventions.

2. Editors’ responsibilities

The Editorial Board will be impartial when handling submitted manuscripts proposed for publication and must respect the intellectual independence of the authors, who must be given the right of reply if they receive a negative review.

Members of the Editorial Board are obliged to maintain confidentiality about the submitted manuscripts and its contents until they have been accepted for publication. Only then, their title and authorship may be communicated.

Furthermore, no member of the Editorial Board may use data, lines of reasoning or interpretations in unpublished works for their own research, except with the author’s own written consent.

2.1. Publication decision

All contributions will be initially assessed by the journal’s Editorial Board. The Editorial Board is solely and independently responsible for selecting, processing, and deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal meet the editorial goals and could thus be published. Each paper considered suitable is sent to two independent peer reviewers who are experts in their field and able to assess the specific qualities of the work. The editor is responsible for the final decision regarding whether or not the paper is accepted or rejected.

The decision to publish a paper will always be measured in accordance to its importance to researchers, practitioners, and potential readers. Editors should make unbiased decisions independent from commercial considerations.

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should withdraw from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential problems concerning articles under consideration. The responsibility of the final decision regarding publication will be attributed to an editor who does not have any conflicts of interest.

2.2. Peer review

Each article submitted is the responsibility of one member of the Editorial Board or of the international scientific committee, who undertakes to have it evaluated by two peers who are experts in the field and who evaluate it anonymously.

Reviewed articles are treated confidentially by editorial board members, members of the international scientific committee, and reviewers.

The Editorial Board will assess and acknowledge the input of all those involved in the review of the manuscript submitted to the journal. It will also encourage academic authorities to acknowledge peer review activities as part of the scientific process, and should decline reviewers whose submit reports that are of poor quality, improper, disrespectful or that are delivered after the agreed deadline.

2.3. Identifying and preventing misconduct

In no case shall a journal and members of the Editorial Board and international scientific committee encourage misconduct of any kind or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.

Members of the Editorial Board and international scientific committee shall try to prevent misconduct by informing authors and reviewers about the ethical conduct required of them.

Members of the Editorial Board, scientific committee, and reviewers are asked to be aware of all types of misconduct in order to identify papers where research misconduct of any kind has or seems to have occurred and deal with the allegations accordingly.

In case of misconduct, the journal editor is responsible for resolving the issue. He or she can work in conjunction with the other co-editor, members of the Editorial Board and scientific committee, peer reviewers, and experts in the field.

The issue will be documented accordingly. All factual questions should be documented: who, what, when, where, why. All relevant documents should be kept, in particular the article(s) concerned.

The journal editor shall contact the author or publication involved, either the author submitting or another publication or author. The author is thus given the opportunity to respond to or comment on the complaint, allegation, or dispute.

In the event that misconduct has or seems to have occurred, or in the case of needed corrections, the Editorial Board deals with the different cases by following the appropriate COPE recommendations.

Great care will be taken to distinguish cases of honest human error from deliberate intent to cheat.

The editorial board will consider retracting a publication in case of misconduct, issuing an expression of concern in case of inconclusive proof of misconduct; or issuing a request for the correction of a misleading segment.

3. Reviewers’ responsibilities

All reviewers must know and keep in mind the Editorial policy and Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.

The journal requires potential reviewers to have scientific expertise or significant work experience in a relevant field. They must have recently conducted research and/or work and have recognized expertise by their peers. Potential reviewers should provide personal and professional information that is accurate and that gives a fair representation of their expertise.

All reviewers must likewise withdraw if they know they are unqualified to evaluate a manuscript, if they feel their evaluation of the material will not be objective, or if they understand themselves to be in a conflict of interest.

Reviewed articles are treated confidentially by reviewers and members of the Editorial Board and international scientific committee.

Reviewers should point out relevant published work which has not yet been cited in the reviewed material. If necessary, the editor may issue a correction request to this effect.

Reviewers are asked to identify papers where research misconduct has or seems to have occurred and inform the Editorial Board, which will deal with each case accordingly.

4. Conflict of interest

Members of the Editorial Board and reviewers shall withdraw in any case of conflict of interest with an author or authors, or with the content of a manuscript to be evaluated.

The journal shall avoid all conflict of interest between authors, reviewers, and members of the Editorial Board and scientific committee.

The editors and reviewers should withdraw from making decisions if: