Publication Decisions & Accountability
The editor of the journal is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal should be published, and, moreover, is accountable for everything published in the journal. In making these decisions, the editor is guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board and the policies of the superintendent and sponsor, as well as, by the legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers when making publication decisions. The editor should maintain the integrity of the academic record, preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.
The 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 author(s).
The 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, as appropriate.
Disclosure, conflicts of interest, and other issues
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the explicit written consent of the author(s).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 through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. The editor is committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint, or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. The editor should seek so ensure a fair and appropriate peer-review process. The editor should recuse himself/herself from handling manuscripts (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor, or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) 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. The editor should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.
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 timely review will be impossible should immediately notify the editor 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.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author(s) is inacceptable. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the author(s). Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Reviewers should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published data 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 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.
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 behavior and are 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.
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 behavior and is unacceptable.
Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgment 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.
Authorship of a 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 coauthors. 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 coauthors (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. All co-authors must be clearly indicated at the time of manuscript submission. Requests to add co-authors after a manuscript has been accepted will require approval of the editor.
Hazards and human or animal subjects
If the work involves chemicals, procedures, or equipment that has any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author(s) must clearly identify these in the manuscript. Additionally, manuscripts should adhere to the principles of the World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Helsinki regarding research study involving human or animal subjects.
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.
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’s editor or publisher and cooperate with them to either retract the paper or to publish an appropriate correction statement or erratum.