Ethical Guidelines

These guidelines are based on existing Elsevier policies and COPE’s Best Practices Guidelines for Journal Editors.


1. General duties of the Editor of the Journal

The Editor of the Journal should:

1. Constantly improve the Journal.
2. Ensure the quality of the articles published.
3. Maintain the integrity of the academic record.
4. Champion freedom of expression.
5. Always be willing to publish corrections, and to do so if mistakes are detected. To publish clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed. In this regard, the Editor will observe the Guidelines for retracting articles published by COPE.
6. Preserve anonymity of the reviewers in each case.
7. Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards.
8. Review and ensure the compliance of the publication ethics and malpractice statement together with the Editorial Board.


2. Authorship

2.1. Promotion of ethical conduct

It is the responsibility of the Editor to take appropriate measures to ensure the quality of articles published. Furthermore, the Editor should avoid the publication of plagiarisms or unoriginal works.

2.2. Duties of authors

2.2.1. Originality and plagiarism

The submitted manuscripts for publication must contain the data necessary to allow to be quoted by other authors. 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). Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical conduct and is unacceptable. The editorial staff uses the TURNITIN software to verify the originality of manuscripts submitted to the Journal. The Editor of the Journal should take reasonable measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published article. Such measures will include contacting the author and giving due consideration of the respective complaint made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions or research bodies. And if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction or other type of note, even if it is discovered years after publication, will be required.

2.2.2. Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication

An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of one article in more than one journal is justified only in exceptional cases. In any case, the primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

2.2.3. Acknowledgement of sources

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in their own work. Information obtained privately must not be used or reported without explicit and written permission from the author.

2.2.4. Mistakes in published works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author's duty to promptly notify the Editor of the Journal and cooperate with the Editor to retract or correct the article. If the Editor 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 article.

2.2.5. Authorship of the paper

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, or execution of the submitted manuscript. 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 properly. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the article and have agreed to its submission for publication in the Journal.

2.2.6. 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.

2.3. Guidelines for authors

The publication process of the Journal will be published and kept up to date so that authors can have all the information they need. Only for duly justified reasons can that information be altered. In particular, a description of the peer review process shall be included.

2.4. Decisions regarding the publication

Decisions regarding acceptance or rejection of an article for publication should be based solely on the quality of the article, more concretely, on its clarity, originality, significance and its relevance to the objectives and scope of the Journal. The Editor is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the Journal should be published.

Articles are never rejected because of their critical viewpoints of majority and/or expressed views by members of the Journal, provided that such articles meet the quality standards and justify their positions without disparaging other authors or researchers.

Moreover, the decision either of acceptance or of rejection is always communicated to the author in the time indicated on publication standards, and it must be justified, especially in case of rejection. This decision should not be changed later, unless there have been serious problems in the publication process that must be justified properly.

In any case, any change in the structure of the Journal does not affect any decisions regarding the acceptance or rejection of articles submitted for publication.

2.5. Confidentiality and conflicts of interest

The Editor, Assistant Editor and Editorial Board of the Journal must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, and other editorial advisers, as appropriate.

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in the Editor’s, Assistant Editor’s, members of the Editorial Board’s and reviewer’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.

The Editor should require all authors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.


3. Peer review process

3.1. Contribution to editorial decisions

The peer review is an essential component of the Journal. Peer reviewers assist the Editor in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communications with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.

The articles will be reviewed by two reviewers. The opinion of a third reviewer may be required in case of discrepancies between the two assessments about the publication of the article in the Journal.

3.2. Standard of conduct

Reviewers or referees should be consistently objective, and should make judgments and assessments clear and precise, well-supported and objective enough. Similarly, they should avoid conflicts of interest of whatever type (personal, academic, commercial, etc.). In particular, reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Reviewers should also call to the Editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published article of which they have personal knowledge.

Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify immediately the Editor of the Journal.

3.3. Confidentiality

In any case, the evaluation process is subject to strict conditions of confidentiality. Neither the reviewers nor the authors will know their identities, thus avoiding conflicts of interest that might occur. In this connection, the Editor of the Journal will have a strict duty of confidentiality. Similarly, any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as expressly authorized by the Editor of the Journal.

3.4. Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer`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. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from close relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscripts.