Allegations of misconduct
Definitions of Misconduct
Deception may be deliberate, by reckless disregard of possible consequences, or by ignorance. Since the underlying goal of misconduct is to deliberately deceive others as to the truth, the journal’s preliminary investigation of potential misconduct must take into account not only the particular act or omission but also the apparent intention (as best it can be determined) of the person involved. Misconduct does not include unintentional errors. The most common forms of scientific misconduct include:
Responses to Possible Misconduct
A committee consisting of the editor-in-chief and editorial board members, as determined by the editor-in-chief, who has specific expertise in the area being investigated, will investigate misconduct allegations. The suitable actions were taken based on the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Allegations of misconduct
The editorial board will incessantly work towards observing publication misconduct such as redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fraudulent or fabricated data, changes in authorship, undisclosed conflict of interest, ethical problems with a submitted manuscript, a reviewer who has appropriated an author’s idea or data, complaints against editors, etc. When the journal faces suspected cases of research and publication misconduct, the resolving process will be followed by guidelines provided by the "Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)". The complete guidelines appear on the COPE website: http://www.publicationethics.org.
Dealing with possible misconduct
The journal follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on appeals.
The journal welcomes genuine appeals to editor decisions. However, the corresponding author will need to provide strong evidence or new data/information in response to the editor’s and reviewers’ comments. For scholarly articles of an opinion nature, an appeal is less likely to overturn an editor’s decision. These include viewpoints, commentaries, and book reviews, where editorial judgment about readability and relevance weighs most heavily. In any case, all opinion-led articles should be evidence-based and fully referenced.
For opinion-led articles, the corresponding author should always present the evidence and explain how it led to form the opinion. Editors don’t expect frequent appeals and they rarely reverse their original decisions. Therefore, if the corresponding author received a decision to reject a manuscript, the journal strongly advises that the manuscript to submitted to another journal. The decision to reject a manuscript for publication will often involve the editor’s judgment of priority/importance. These are things which authors usually cannot address through an appeal.
The authors have the right to complain and ask explanation if they perceive any misconduct in any applicable policies and ethical guidelines. The authors can raise their complaints by submitting a letter to: email@example.com. We follow the COPE guidelines on responding to whistleblowers, which includes protecting anonymity. All the complaints regarding delinquencies in the work processes are investigated according to the prevailing publication ethics practices. An author or any other scholar may submit their complaints about any issues related to:
- Authorship issues;
- Bias in the review process;
- Copyright violation;
- Deceiving in research results or wrong research results;
- Manuscript processing time is unusually late;
- The peer-review comments are unsatisfactory;
- Unrevealed conflicts of interest; and
- Violations of research ethics and integrity.
Conflicts of interest
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) states in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (2003) that:
‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’
the journal defines a conflict of interest as arising from any relationship authors, reviewers or editors have which interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of a manuscript. Conflicts of interest can be financial or non-financial, professional or personal, and can arise about an organization or an individual. The journal Commits full disclosure by authors of all conflicts of interest relevant to a submitted manuscript, which is integral to the transparent reporting of research.
Sources of funding for reported research, as well as relevant commercial relationships of authors, represent special categories of potential financial conflicts of interest for which specific disclosures are expected by the scientific community and the public.
Conflict of Interest: Obligations of Authors
Appropriate disclosures are made in three distinct sections of a manuscript: Acknowledgements, Funding, and Disclosures. The distinctions between these sections are described below.
Conflict of Interest: Obligations of Editors
Conflict of Interest: Obligations of Reviewers
For more information, please see the following COPE guidelines regarding conflict of interest:
The journal adheres that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
The consent of all authors, as well as related authorities/institutions, has been received before the submission of the manuscript. The order of the authors (as to be reflected in the published article) has been established. The adding or deleting of authors once the manuscript has been accepted for publication would have to be accompanied by a signed statement of consent from all authors. All authors have contributed significantly to the research. Authors are obligated to participate in the peer review process, providing retractions/corrections/amendments when necessary. All conflicts of interest/financial support have been declared. Any changes or corrections to a published work require the consent of all authors.
Definition of Plagiarism:
"Plagiarism is the use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source. The intent and effect of plagiarism are to mislead the reader as to the contributions of the plagiarizer. This applies whether the ideas or words are taken from abstracts, research grant applications, Institutional Review Board applications, or unpublished or published manuscripts in any publication format (print or electronic). Plagiarism is scientific misconduct and should be addressed as such. Self-plagiarism refers to the practice of an author using portions of their previous writings on the same topic in another of their publications, without specifically citing it formally in quotes. This practice is widespread and sometimes unintentional, as there are only so many ways to say the same thing on many occasions, particularly when writing the Methods section of an article. Although this usually violates the copyright that has been assigned to the publisher, there is no consensus as to whether this is a form of scientific misconduct, or how many of one’s own words one can use before it is truly "plagiarism." Probably, for this reason, self-plagiarism is not regarded in the same light as plagiarism of the ideas and words of other individuals. If journals have developed a policy on this matter, it should be clearly stated for authors." (WAME, 2020). Direct plagiarism is the plagiarism of the text. Mosaic plagiarism is the borrowing of ideas and opinions from a source and a few verbatim words or phrases without crediting the author. Plagiarism is committed when one author uses another work (typically the work of another author) without permission, credit, or acknowledgement. Plagiarism takes different forms, from literal copying to paraphrasing the work of another.
Authors can adhere to the following steps to report plagiarism:
The author bears the responsibility for checking whether the material submitted is subject to copyright or ownership rights, e.g., figures, tables, photographs, illustrations, trade literature, and data. The author will need to obtain permission to reproduce any such items and include these permissions with their final submission. Where use is so restricted, the editorial office and Publisher must be informed of the final submission of the material. Please add any necessary acknowledgements to the typescript, preferably in the form of an Acknowledgments section at the end of the article. Credit the source and copyright of photographs, figures, illustrations, etc. in the supplementary captions.
Plagiarism is an act intentionally or unintentionally in obtaining or trying to obtain credit or value for scientific work, by quoting part or all of the work and/or scientific work of other parties that are recognized as scientific works, without expressing the source appropriately and adequately. Therefore, manuscripts must be original, never published, and not in the process of waiting for publication elsewhere. Material taken verbally from other sources needs to be identified so that it is different from the original text. If plagiarism is identified, the Editor-in-Chief is responsible for reviewing the manuscript and will approve the action according to the level of plagiarism detected, with the following guidelines.
There are several indicators of plagiarism that all authors must be aware of:
Types of Plagiarism
We detect and consider the following types of plagiarism in the journal and prevent them from being used:
Full Plagiarism: Previously published content without any changes to the text, idea, and grammar is considered as full plagiarism. It involves presenting exact text from a source as one’s own.
Partial Plagiarism: If the content is a mixture of multiple different sources, where the author has extensively rephrased text, then it is known as partial plagiarism.
Self-Plagiarism: When an author reuses complete or portions of their pre-published research, then it is known as self-plagiarism. Complete self-plagiarism is a case when an author republishes their own previously published work in a new journal. (Read the COPE guidelines on text recycling)
Self-plagiarism or Text Recycling Guidelines
Self-plagiarism, also referred to as ‘text recycling’, is a topical issue and is currently generating much discussion among editors. Opinions are divided as to how much text overlaps with an author’s previous publications is acceptable, and editors often find it hard to judge when action is required.
How to deal with text recycling
These guidelines are intended to guide editors in dealing with cases of text recycling. Text recycling, also known as self-plagiarism, is when sections of the same text appear in more than one of an author’s publications.
Editors should consider each case of text recycling on an individual basis as the most appropriate course of action will depend on several factors.
When should action be considered?
Text recycling can take many forms, and editors should consider which parts of the text have been recycled.
When significant overlap is identified between two or more articles, editors should consider taking action. Several factors may need to be taken into account when deciding whether the overlap is considered significant.
Text recycling in a submitted manuscript
Text recycling may be identified in a submitted article by editors or reviewers, or by the use of plagiarism detection software, e.g. iThenticate. Editors should consider the extent of the overlap when deciding how to act.
Text recycling in a published article
If text recycling is discovered in a published article, it may be necessary to publish a correction to, or retraction of, the original article. This decision will depend on the degree and nature of the overlap, and several factors will need to be considered. As for text recycling in a submitted manuscript, editors should handle cases of overlap in data according to the COPE flowchart for dealing with suspected redundant publication in a published article .
Journal editors should consider publishing a corrected article when:
The correction should amend the literature by adding the missing citation and clarifying what is new in the subsequent publication versus the original publication.
Journal editors should consider publishing a retraction article when:
The retraction should be issued in line with the COPE retraction guidelines .
How far back should this be applied?
Attitudes towards text recycling have changed over the past decade. Editors should consider this when deciding how to deal with individual cases of text recycling in published articles. Editors should judge each case in line with accepted practice at the time of publication.
In general, where overlap does not involve duplication of results, editors are advised to consider taking no corrective action for cases where the text recycling occurred earlier than 2004. Editors may wish to take corrective action in the case of duplication of data before this date and should follow the COPE flowchart for dealing with suspected redundant publication in a published article .
Opinion, Review and Commentary articles
Non-research article types such as Opinion, Review and Commentary articles should in principle adhere to the same guidelines as research articles. Due to the critical and opinion-based nature of some non-research article types, action should be considered when text is recycled from an earlier publication without any further novel development of previously published opinions or ideas or when they are presented as a novel without any reference to previous publications.