(This policy applies to all journals published or hosted by Discover STM Publishing Ltd, until stated otherwise)
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
We encourage the best standards of publication ethics and take all possible measures against publication malpractices. Discover STM Publishing Ltd, as a publisher, takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously and we recognize our ethical and other responsibilities.
Duties and responsibilities of editors
In addition to many general duties, such as constantly improving the quality and integrity of the journal, striving to needs of authors and readers, encouraging academic debate, and others, the editors accept obligation to apply best will and practice to cope with the following responsibilities:
Editorial board will be generated from recognized experts in the field. The editor will provide full names and affiliations of the members as well as updated contact information for the editorial office on the journal webpage.
The editor should be 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 drive such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Peer review process
All of a journal’s content is subjected to peer-review. Articles submitted for possible publication are subjected to a double-blind, peer review process. Articles are first reviewed by editors. The editor may reject it out of hand either because it is not dealing with the subject matter for that journal or because it is manifestly of a low quality so that it cannot be considered at all. Articles that are found suitable for review are then sent to two experts in the field of the paper. Referees of a paper are unknown to each other. Referees are asked to classify the paper as publishable immediately, publishable with amendments and improvements, or not publishable. Referees’ evaluations usually include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript. Referees’ comments are then seen by the author.
Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described process. Editors should not reverse decisions on publication unless serious problems are identified.
Editors should publish guidance to either authors and reviewers on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and will refer or link this code.
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. Editors´ decision to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper´s importance, originality and clarity, and the study´s relevance to the aim of the journal.
The editor will ensure digital preservation of access to the journal content by academic indexes.
Editor 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. Editors will ensure that material submitted remains confidential while under review.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
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. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other 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. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.
Procedures for dealing with unethical behavior
Unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
The 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 of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, depending on the misconduct seriousness.
Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
Serious misconduct might require application of one or more following measures:
Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
A formal letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.
Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer's department
Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
Duties and responsibilities of authors
Publication and Submission fee
Full information about fees is clearly stated on the journal´s website. If the authors require a waiver, a request should be submitted before submitting the manuscript.
Open Access Policy
Authors are required to agree with open access policy which enables unrestricted access and reuse of all published articles. The articles are published under the Creative Commons copyright license policy CC-BY. Users are allowed to copy and redistribute the material in printed or electronic format and build upon the material, without further permission or fees being required, provided that appropriate credit is given.
Authors of papers 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 behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial and opinion works should be clearly identified as such. Please refer to EQUATOR Network for further details on reporting guidelines (http://www.equator-network.org/).
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 (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another´s paper as the author´s own 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 behavior and is unacceptable.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
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 behavior. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.
For Open Access publishing, the copyright remains with the authors (CC-BY), thus they can decide about eventual republication of their text. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgment 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.
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. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. 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. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which 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 stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.
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 and cooperate with the editor 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 or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
Duties and responsibilities of reviewers
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. Authors who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
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 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.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer´s own research without the written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. 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.