This journal follows the guidelines of the ‘Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) (https://publicationethics.org). This journal follows the ‘Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors’ and the ‘Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers’ as mentioned in COPE website (https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Guidelines and https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Flowcharts).
1. Duties of Editors
1.1 Fair play
Submitted manuscripts are evaluated for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself.
Editors and editorial staff will 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.
1.3 Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an Editor's own research without the explicit written consent of the author(s). Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.
1.4 Publication decisions
The editor of the journal is responsible for deciding which of the submitted articles should be published. 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 handling editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
2. Duties of Peer Reviewers
2.1 Contribution to editorial decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communication with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.
Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the editor. This also applies to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
2.4 Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
2.5 Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.
2.6 Disclosure and conflict of interest
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider evaluating 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 submission.
3. Duties of authors
3.1 Reporting standards
Authors reporting results 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 manuscript. 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.
3.2 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, 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.
3.3 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. Parallel submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
3.4 Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgement of the work of others must always be given. Authors should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
3.5 Authorship of the manuscript
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 named in an Acknowledgement section. 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 of the manuscript and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
3.6 Hazards and human or animal subjects
If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript.
3.7 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 their interpretation in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
3.8 Peer review
Authors are obliged to participate in the peer-review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions necessary", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.
3.9 Data access and retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review.
3.10 Fundamental errors in published works
When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper.
4. Duties of the Publisher
4.1 Handling of unethical publishing behaviour
In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism the publisher, in close collaboration with the editor, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum or, in the most severe cases, the complete retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.
4.2 Access to journal content
The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by maintaining its own digital archive.
4.3 Fair play
The Publisher and the Journal do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its publishing programs, services and activities.