Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Our publication ethics and publication malpractice statement is mainly based on the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011). The authors have to follow the following guidlines to submit manuscript:
- Human research: Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: PRISMA guidelines (for protocols, see the PRISMA-P guidelines)
- Case reports: the CARE case report guidelines
- Clinical trials: CONSORT (for protocols, see the SPIRIT guidance)
- Animal studies: ARRIVE and Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
BBASR is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions. BBASR also endorses the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.
Submission of a manuscript to a BBASR journal implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content and that the manuscript conforms to the journal’s policies.
Medeye Publishers remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Communicate with Respect
At Medeye Publishers we believe that only through relationships based upon mutual respect can we build trust and deliver quality publishing products and services to the communities we serve. Our staff are expected to behave professionally and respectfully at all times when engaging with authors, reviewers and readers. Likewise, we expect the same standards of behavior from the academic community and the public in their interactions with our staff. We do not tolerate aggressive behavior, or any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination directed against Medeye Publishers staff. We reserve the right to bring serious cases to the attention of employers or local authorities, if needed, and may refuse to interact, or do business, with individuals who repeatedly or seriously violate this policy.
Ethics and consent
Research involving human participants, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
Retrospective ethics approval
If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
New clinical tools and procedures
Authors reporting the use of a new procedure or tool in a clinical setting, for example as a technical advance or case report, must give a clear justification in the manuscript for why the new procedure or tool was deemed more appropriate than usual clinical practice to meet the patient’s clinical need. Such justification is not required if the new procedure is already approved for clinical use at the authors’ institution. Authors will be expected to have obtained ethics committee approval and informed patient consent for any experimental use of a novel procedure or tool where a clear clinical advantage based on clinical need was not apparent before treatment.
Consent to participate
For all research involving human participants, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups (for example, unconscious patients) where there is the potential for coercion (for example prisoners) or where consent may not have been fully informed, manuscripts will be considered at the editor’s discretion and may be referred to an internal editorial oversight group for further scrutiny. Consent must be obtained for all forms of personally identifiable data including biomedical, clinical, and biometric data. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. Documentary evidence of consent must be supplied if requested.
Research involving human embryos, gametes, and stem cells
Manuscripts that report experiments involving the use of human embryos and gametes, human embryonic stem cells and related materials, and clinical applications of stem cells must include confirmation that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations (See also Ethics and Consent)
The manuscript should include an ethics statement identifying the institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approving the experiments and describing any relevant details. Authors should confirm that informed consent (See also Ethics and Consent and Consent for publication) was obtained from all recipients and/or donors of cells or tissues, where necessary, and describe the conditions of donation of materials for research, such as human embryos or gametes. Copies of approval and redacted consent documents may be requested by the Editor.
We encourage authors to follow the principles laid out in the 2016 ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation.
In deciding whether to publish papers describing modifications of the human germline, the Editors are guided by safety considerations, compliance with applicable regulations, as well as the status of the societal debate on the implications of such modifications for future generations. In case of concerns regarding a particular type of study the Editor may seek advice from the Medeye Publishers Research Integrity Group.
The decision to publish a paper is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
Sex and gender in research (SAGER)
We encourage our authors to follow the ‘Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines’ and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If a sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. We suggest that our authors consult the full guidelines before submission.
- Definition of Sex and Gender (taken from Office of Research in Women’s Health, NIH).
- Sex - refers to biological differences between females and males, including chromosomes, sex organs, and endogenous hormonal profiles.
- Gender- refers to socially constructed and enacted roles and behaviors which occur in a historical and cultural context and vary across societies and over time.
- Applications of the guidelines: These guidelines apply to studies involving humans, vertebrate animal and cell lines.
Research involving animals
Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The Basel Declaration outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals and the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) has also published ethical guidelines.
A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines (e.g. the revised Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in the UK and Directive 2010/63/EU in Europe) and/or ethical approval (including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate) must be included in the manuscript. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption). The Editor will take account of animal welfare issues and reserves the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
Manuscripts presenting studies that have employed anesthesia or euthanasia methods inconsistent with the commonly accepted norms of veterinary best practice (e.g. chloral hydrate, ether, and chloroform) will not be considered. Decisions to not consider manuscripts presenting such anesthesia or euthanasia methods are independent of the approving ethics committee and any previously published work. We recommend that authors consult the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals (2020), as a comprehensive resource for guidance on veterinary best practice for the anesthesia and euthanasia of animals.
For experimental studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.
Field studies and other non-experimental research on animals must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or appropriate permissions or licences must be included in the manuscript. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Research involving plants
Experimental research and field studies on plants (either cultivated or wild), including the collection of plant material, must comply with relevant institutional, national, and international guidelines and legislation.
Manuscripts should include a statement specifying the appropriate permissions and/or licences for collection of plant or seed specimens. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
To support reproducibility, voucher specimens for all wild plants described in a manuscript must be deposited in a public herbarium or other public collection that provides access to deposited material. Information on the voucher specimen and who identified it must be included in the manuscript.
Research involving palaeontological and geological material
Details of palaeontological specimens and geological samples should include clear provenance information to ensure full transparency of the research.
It is recognized that precise provenance information may not be available for older museum collections. In circumstances where providing specific provenance information may compromise the security of palaeontological or geological sites it may be appropriate to exclude detailed locality information.
Samples must always be collected and exported in a responsible manner and in accordance with applicable local and national laws. Any submission detailing new material should include information regarding the requisite permissions obtained and the issuing authority. Authors may be required to provide specific supporting documentation upon request.
Type, figured and cited palaeontological specimens, should be deposited in a recognised museum or collection to permit free access by other researchers in perpetuity. Sufficient information on the repository, including the assigned unique catalogue numbers (where applicable), should be provided to allow the specimens to be traced.
We encourage deposition of 3-D scans of fossil specimens (where appropriate) within a permanent, accessible repository to facilitate study by the scientific community.
Medeye Publishers requires that submitted content adheres to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) normative instruments for the protection of cultural heritage, and Resolutions, Motions, guidance and other statements of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Dual Use Research of Concern
Some manuscripts provide information that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat to public health, safety or security, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, or the environment. For such information to be published, the benefit to the research community, society, or to public health, must outweigh any risks. We reserve the right to take expert advice in cases where we believe that concerns may arise, and we may require a manuscript to undergo peer review specifically to assess the dual use risk. Where the risk of misuse outweighs any potential benefit, publication is declined; published content may be corrected, retracted or removed.
Researchers are expected to comply with their institutional and funder’s requirements, as well as any national regulations. They should be aware of dual-use concerns related to their work and take steps to minimize misuse of their research. Such concerns include, but are not limited to, biosecurity, nuclear and chemical threats. Where relevant regulations exist, authors should disclose whether their study is subject to consideration as dual use research of concern; if it is, the manuscript should report the authority granting approval and reference number for the regulatory approval. When the study reports material that can be harmful outside the laboratory context, the manuscript should describe appropriate containment (e.g. biosafety) procedures.
We recognize the widespread view that openness in science helps to alert society to potential threats and to defend against them, and we anticipate that only very rarely will the risks be perceived as outweighing the benefits of publishing a paper that has otherwise been deemed appropriate for publication.
Standards for research in complementary and alternative medicine
Medeye Publishers journals are committed to evidence-based research. We believe that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research should be held to the same standards and evidence threshold as those of medicine research.
We welcome manuscripts for submission which meet the following clinical research standards:
- Clinical research manuscripts that comply with international and national standards for such work (such as the Declaration of Helsinki or relevant Governmental regulation e.g. the UK’s The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations).
- Studies which are adequately controlled (be that compared to a placebo or conventional medicine), blinded (where appropriate), randomised and of sufficient statistical power to confidentially and accurately interpret the effect reported. Studies reporting a CAM treatment/technique compared only to another CAM treatment/technique are not sufficient to test the efficacy of the CAM treatment in question. Studies in which a conventional treatment is supplemented with a CAM technique are only valid if compared to the same conventional treatment supplemented with a placebo.
- CAM treatments/techniques tested on animal models and/or human patients: It is unethical for such work, on humans or animals, to have taken place without adequate prior evidence that the treatment/technique shows some potential of being therapeutic. Manuscripts must include evidence that takes the form of objective, measurable data from previously published peer reviewed literature which adheres to scientific principles (for instance in vitro or cellular work). Other forms of evidence are not valid. Manuscripts describing work lacking this evidence will not be considered on ethical grounds.
Consent for publication
For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to an individual person, written informed consent for the publication of these details must be obtained from that person (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 18). The consent must be for publication of their details under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (such that they will be freely available on the internet). If the person has died, consent for publication must be obtained from their next of kin. The manuscript must include a statement that written informed consent for publication was obtained.
Human Research Participant Publication Approval Templates: English / German - can be used to obtain consent from human research participants/patients where there may be identifiable information and/or media. The consent form must state that the details/images/videos will be freely available on the internet and may be seen by the general public.
In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Editor.
Further information, including Third Party Rights for dissemination, is available on the Medeye Publishers pages.
BBASR supports initiatives to improve reporting of clinical trials. This includes prospective registration of clinical trials in suitable publicly available databases. In line with ICMJE guidelines, BBASR requires registration of all clinical trials that are reported in manuscripts submitted to its journals.
The ICMJE uses the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial, which is "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes". This definition includes phase I to IV trials. The ICMJE defines health-related interventions as "any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome" and health-related outcomes as "any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants". Authors who are unsure whether their trial needs registering should consult the ICMJE FAQs for further information.
Suitable publicly available registries are those listed on the ICMJE website as well as any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, including the ISRCTN registry, which is administered and published by BBASR.
The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Publication of study protocols reduces the risk of non-publication of research findings and facilitates methodological discussion, and is encouraged by a number of BBASR journals. If the study protocol for a trial has been published, then it should be cited in the manuscript.
For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, BBASR encourages retrospective registration to ensure the complete publication of all results. Further information on retrospective registration is available from the AllTrials campaign, the Public Accounts Committee and the Department of Health.
Many journals published by BBASR will consider manuscripts describing retrospectively registered studies. The TRN, date of registration and the words 'retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Registration of systematic reviews
BBASR supports the prospective registration of systematic reviews and encourages authors to register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO). Authors who have registered their systematic review should include the registration number as the last line of the manuscript abstract.
Availability of data and materials
Submission of a manuscript to a BBASR journal implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.
For all journals, BBASR strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers, and where there is a community established norm for data sharing, BBASR mandates data deposition (for data types with required deposition, see below).
We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the Data repository guidance page for further information. For several journals, deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely is required. Please check the individual journal’s Submission Guidelines for more information.
Authors who need help understanding our data sharing policies, finding a suitable data repository, or organising and sharing research data can access our Author Support portal for additional guidance.
Mandated data deposition based on community-established norms
For certain data types (for example genomic data, nucleic acid or protein sequences), BBASR mandates data deposition in a public access repository upon submission as there is a community-accepted standard of data deposition and data sharing.
Please consult this list of mandated data types, ensuring any relevant data are deposited in an appropriate repository and linked from your manuscript.
Such data must be available to editors and reviewers to evaluate during peer review and has to be released without restriction to the public upon publication.
*DNA and RNA sequences: Deposition of novel DNA and RNA sequence, and novel genome assembly data is mandated while we strongly encourage depositions of all DNA and RNA sequences. Novel DNA sequence, novel RNA sequence, and novel genome assembly data must be deposited to repositories that are part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Collaboration (INSDC), or those which are working towards INSDC inclusion. When publishing reference genomes, the assembly must be made available in addition to the raw sequence reads. Sequences must be deposited even for short stretches of novel sequence information such as epitopes, functional domains, genetic markers, or haplotypes. We encourage short novel sequences to be supplemented with surrounding sequence information to provide context. The sequences of all small RNA probes central to the conclusions of the paper must be provided. BBASR highly encourages the deposition of microbial assemblies derived from metagenomics data.
Genomics and transcriptomics datasets: When depositing genomic and transcriptomics datasets, BBASR encourages the provision of the metadata to allow for reproduction of the dataset. We encourage including annotations where applicable, especially when presenting data of unsequenced genomes.
Linked phenotype and genotype data for human subjects: Should be submitted to a publicly accessible repository with appropriate access controls. Any restrictions on data access for sensitive data (for example electronic medical records, forensic data, and personal data from vulnerable populations) require an explanation of the nature of and reasons for the restrictions, and details of the conditions under which the data can be accessed or reused.
Gene expression data: Data derived from microarray studies must be MIAME compliant.
Publication of clinical datasets
For datasets containing clinical data, authors have an ethical and legal responsibility to respect participants’ rights to privacy and to protect their identity. Ideally, authors should gain informed consent for publication of the dataset from participants at the point of recruitment to the study or trial. If this is not possible, authors must demonstrate that publication of such data does not compromise anonymity or confidentiality or breach local data protection laws, for the dataset to be considered for publication. Authors must consider whether the dataset contains any direct or indirect identifiers (see here for further information) and consult their local ethics committee or another appropriate body before submission if there is any possibility that participants will not be fully anonymous. Authors must state in their manuscript on submission whether informed consent was obtained for publication of patient data. If informed consent was not obtained, authors must state the reason for this, and which body was consulted in the preparation of the dataset.
Software and code
Any previously unreported software application or custom code described in the manuscript should be available for testing by editors and reviewers in a way that preserves their anonymity. The manuscript should include a description in the Availability of Data and Materials section of how the editors and reviewers can access the unreported software application or custom code. This section should include a link to the most recent version of your software or code (e.g. Zenodo or Code Ocean) as well as a link to the archived version referenced in the manuscript. The software or code should be archived in an appropriate repository with a DOI or other unique identifier. For software in GitHub, we recommend using Zenodo. If published, the software application/tool should be readily available to any scientist wishing to use it for non-commercial purposes, without restrictions (such as the need for a material transfer agreement). If the implementation is not made freely available, then the manuscript should focus clearly on the development of the underlying method and not discuss the tool in any detail.
Discipline-specific community-recognized repositories
Data should be submitted to discipline-specific, community-recognized repositories where possible. See our data policy guidance for more information. Where a suitable discipline-specific resource does not exist, data should be submitted to a generalist repository.
Availability of research materials
Submission of a manuscript to a BBASR journal implies that any unique materials described in the manuscript will be freely available to scientists wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. Research materials include uniquely generated resources, such as strains, tools, chemical compounds, antibodies, cell-lines or mutant lines.
It is acceptable to request reasonable payment to cover costs of distribution, and reagents may be made available via commercial or non-commercial third party providers. For biological materials such as mutant strains and cell lines, BBASR encourages authors to use established public repositories where available and persistent identifiers and/or accession numbers of such resources should be listed in the manuscript. Any restrictions on availability of materials, including if materials are to be distributed by a for-profit company, must be clearly stated in the paper.
For studies where new research materials have been generated, BBASR encourages the following statement to be included in the ‘Availability of data and materials’ section:
[REAGENTS/TOOLS/MATERIALS] generated in this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Availability of data and materials statements
All authors must include an “Availability of Data and Materials” section in their manuscript detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. If your data cannot be shared openly, please include a statement to this effect, and provide the reason as to why the data cannot be shared openly. On some journals, the editors may decline further consideration of the manuscript after evaluation if restrictions are found to be unduly prohibitive.
BBASR encourages data availability statements for manuscripts reporting clinical trial data to follow the standards set out in the ICMJE recommendations on clinical trial data sharing suggesting the following information to be provided:
whether individual de-identified participant data (including data dictionaries) will be shared (“undecided” is not an acceptable answer); what data in particular will be shared; whether additional, related documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.); when the data will become available and for how long; by what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism).
Availability of data and materials statements can take one of the many forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple datasets). For more information on how to draft a Data availability statement and examples of published statements, visit Medeye Publishers’s guidance to Data Availability Statements here and read further tips in this blog here.
BBASR endorses the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI). Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs.
Example of an “Availability of data and materials” statement
The data described in this article can be freely and openly accessed at Harvard Dataverse: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/J9EUZU .
With data cited in the reference list as
 Correndo AA, Moro Rosso LH, Ciampitti IA. Agrometeorological data using R-software. Harvard Dataverse. 2021. https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/J9EUZU.
Post-publication access of data
BBASR journals mandate that all materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available post-publication to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes without restriction, without breaching participant confidentiality. After publication, authors must comply with the data availability statement included in the manuscript and arrange to make the data available to any reader as indicated in the manuscript. For datasets where it is the community norm to share data, BBASR expects that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely are made available to readers via community-accepted repositories linked to the manuscript via permanent identifiers. If the original data cannot be produced, the Editor may investigate further and reserves the right to contact the institution or funding body. In the case of published articles, inability to gain access to the requested data may lead to a retraction.
Third party data and analysis
When a third party is used to generate or analyse part or all of the data presented in the study, this should be clearly stated within the ‘Methods’ and/or ‘Availability of data and Materials’ sections. The corresponding author is responsible for all data presented within the published manuscript (for more information, refer to the roles and responsibilities of the corresponding author under “Authorship”). When data obtained from third parties cannot be made available, the restrictions should be clearly stated in the data availability statement. Authors must make data available for purposes of peer review, if requested by reviewers, within the terms of a data use agreement and if compliant with ethical and legal requirements.
Standards of reporting
BBASR advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research. For biomedical and biological research, the checklist below must be completed before peer review, and made available to the Editors and reviewers.
- Randomized controlled trials (CONSORT)
We strongly recommend that authors refer to the minimum reporting guidelines for health research hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript, and FAIRsharing.org for reporting checklists for biological and biomedical research, where applicable.
In addition, BBASR strongly encourage the use of the following checklists and reporting guidelines:
- Protocols for randomized controlled protocols (SPIRIT)
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses* (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
- Observational studies (STROBE)
- Case reports (CARE)
- Qualitative research (COREQ)
- Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD and TRIPOD)
- Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
- Pre-clinical animal studies (ARRIVE)
- Statistics checklists for editors and reviewers to use when evaluating the statistics in manuscripts:
- Life Sciences journals
- Medical journals
- Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science journals
In addition, journals may mandate that other reporting guidelines are followed and the exact requirements may vary depending on the journal; please refer to the journal’s submission guidelines.
*Authors of systematic reviews should also provide a link to an additional file from the ‘methods’ section, which reproduces all details of the search strategy. For an example of how a search strategy should be presented, see the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook.
Authors should include full information on the statistical methods and measures used in their research, including justification of the appropriateness of the statistical test used (see the SAMPL guidelines for more information). Reviewers will be asked to check the statistical methods, and the manuscript may be sent for specialist statistical review if considered necessary.
The editor is responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. The editor will evaluate manuscripts without regard to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. The decision will be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the journal's scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism should also be considered.
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 and conflicts of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted paper will not be used by the editor or the members of the editorial board for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent.
Contribution to editorial decisions
The peer-reviewing process assists the editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions
and may also serve the author in improving the paper.
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 withdraw from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be
disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
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 cases in which relevant published work referred to in the paper has not
been cited in the reference section. They should point out whether observations or arguments
derived from other publications are accompanied by the respective source. Reviewers will notify the editor of 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 associated with the papers.
Authors of original research reports 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 paper. 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.
Data access and retention
Authors could be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the paper for editorial
review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event,
authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least ten
years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights
concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgement of sources
Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
In general, papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing
behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by the journal should not be resubmitted to copyrighted publications. However, by submitting a manuscript, the author(s) retain the rights to the published material. In case of publication they permit the use of their work under a CC-BY-NC license Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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 ensures that all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved persons are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should include a statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of
interest that may be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their 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 editor or publisher and to cooperate with the
editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum.