Ethical guidelines for authors and reviewers
Duties of authors
- Multiple, or concurrent publication: Authors must guarantee that submitted manuscripts have not been published elsewhere, are not currently under review elsewhere, and have been submitted with the full knowledge of their institutional home. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
- 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. Any manuscripts that do not meet originality requirements will be rejected without peer-review. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and is unacceptable.
- Acknowledgement of sources: Proper acknowledgement 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.
- Permission for copyrighted materials: Signed, written permission from the copyright holder is required for the use of previously published tables, figures, or diagrams.
- 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. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate 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.
- Documentation of ethics approval: Where appropriate, confirmation of ethics approval by a properly constituted ethics committee should be provided within the text of the manuscript, along with the ethics reference number allocated to the study by the ethics committee. In addition, details of the ethics review process should be included in the methods section of the manuscript.
- Disclosure of funding for research: The manuscript should acknowledge any funding that has been received towards the research, added in a note at the end of the article text.
- Disclosure of conflicts of interest: Disclosure should be indicated in a note at the end of the article text. Authors must raise any potential conflicts of interest with the editor upon submission, on a confidential basis.
Duties of reviewers
- Promptness: 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 be excusedfrom the review process.
- Confidentiality: 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 editors.
- 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: 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.