For editors

In this section publisher’s editorial policy is explained, editorial board, its duties and tasks.

Information for editors/reviewers

The Editorial Board consists of specialists in their field from different countries. All members of the Board occupy high positions in educational and research institutions. They delve into analyzing the problems of that scientific interest field they are specialists in and finding the solutions of their improvement with the further dissemination of research results.

The Editorial Board, that includes Editorial Board Members, External Reviewers and Advisory Board, is a team of reviewers in journal’s scope field. Their role is the following:

  • expertise in definite research field;
  • reviewing submitted sent papers;
  • pieces of advice to journal concerning police and scope. This role basically belongs to Advisory Board;
  • subject definition and conference choice for special issues. Also editorial members may be guest editors of special issue;
  • attract new potential authors;
  • send their own research papers for submission;
  • review 2-3 papers a year (Editorial Board), 3-4 (External Reviewers) or 1 a year (Advisory Board)

Guest editors play a vital role in ensuring the quality of special content publications, such as Special Issues. Guest editors lead the process, from proposal to publication.

The Editorial Board is reviewed twice a year, at the beginning of the calendar and academic year, in September and December respectively. This means Editorial members excluding, new members adding or providing sabbatical leave.

We appreciate applications from the editorial candidates. To lodge application please send letter to and add a file with your biography with the current place of work, occupation, education, the scope of your scientific interest, types of activity, list of publications, journals, in which you are reviewer, e-mail for contact and a link to personal page at you university.   

DUTIES OF EDITORS 

The Editor-in-Chief of the journal is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editor may be guided by the editorial policies of the journal and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with the members of the Editorial Board or reviewers in making this decision.

Fair play

The Editor-in-Chief at any time evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the nature of the authors or the host institution including race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. 

Confidentiality

The Editor-in-Chief, members of the Editorial Board, and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors of the paper, reviewers, potential reviewers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted paper will not be used in the own research of the Editor-in-Chief or the members of the Editorial Board without the express written consent of the author.

DUTIES OF REVIEWERS

Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists the Editor-in-Chief in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.

Confidentiality

Information regarding manuscripts submitted by authors should be kept confidential during or after review process. Also reviewers should not reveal any details about reviewing manuscript to anybody. 

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgement of sources

The 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. The reviewers should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the paper under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict 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 competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers. Reviewers should be objective and constructive, declare all potential conflicting interest, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest; do not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the author. 

Expectations from Editorial Board members

Publisher expects from Reviewers to receive CV updates in case of any changes in their professional occupation. During the peer-review process, report preparation and after refereeing we expect from Editorial Board members:

  • respond in a reasonable time-frame, especially if reviewer cannot do the review, and without intentional delay;
  • declare if they are not experts in the field the paper is in;
  • declare any potentially conflicting or competing interests (which may, for example, be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious) and seeking advice from the journal in this case;
  • decline to review if they feel unable to provide a fair and unbiased review or they are involved with any of the work in the manuscript or its reporting;
  • to get honest and fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the work and the manuscript;
  • to receive from reviewers completed report form which sends along with manuscript without any authors details;
  • be specific in their criticisms, and provide evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements to help editors in their evaluation and decision and in fairness to the authors;
  • remember it is the authors’ paper and do not attempt to rewrite it to one’s own preferred style;
  • suggest additional investigations if they help strengthen or extend the work;
  • do not make unfair negative comments or include unjustified criticisms of any competitors' work that is mentioned in the manuscript;
  • ensure their comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with their report for the authors;
  • any suggestions and comments must be based on valid academic or technological reasons;
  • continue to keep details of the manuscript and its review confidential during and after reviewing;
  • respond promptly if contacted by a journal about matters related to their review of a manuscript and provide the information required;
  • contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after they have submitted their review that might affect their original feedback and recommendations;
  • try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts they have reviewed

Editors’ responsibility

Your duties as an Editor of a journal include check and peer review of articles provided by authors. In some cases there may appear ethical questions whether during review process and reconsideration or after publishing when the complaint appears. The ethical questions may include:

  • Plagiarism
  • Research results not being original to purported author
  • Allegations about authorship of contributions
  • Double submission

These guidelines are intended as a general guide to the legal aspects of misconduct claims, prepared by attorneys who specialize in issues of publishing law.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism means when one author uses another work (as a rule some other author’s work) without permission or acknowledgement. Plagiarism may have different forms from copying word by word to rewriting.  

While defining plagiarism the following definitions are taken into account:

Literal copying

Copying the work word by word, in general or in parts without permission or acknowledgement of the source. Literal copying is clearly plagiarism and is easily found by comparing articles.

Substantial copying

Replicating substantial part of the work without permission and confirmation of the source. In determining what is “substantial”, both the quantity and the quality of the copied content are relevant.

Quality is measured by relative value of copied text comparing to the whole text. Where the essence of the work was copied, even not very big part of it, plagiarism is identified.

In addition to the value of quantity and quality of copied context you should take into account the following question: Has the author any benefit from mastership and ideas of the original author? Level of the positive answer will mean whether the copying is essential.  

Copying without literal or substantial copying: Paraphrasing

Copying may be made without literal replicating, used in the original work. This type of copying is known as paraphrasing and it may be the most difficult type of plagiarism to reveal.

To define if the part of the text is paraphrasing you should use test similar to substantial copying: look at the quantity and quality of what was taken from the original work and paraphrased, as well as whether there was benefit for the second author, who probably paraphrased the text of the first author.  If it turned out to be yes with the larger possibility that the second author took without permission the whole text or the bigger part of the original work and used it for creation of a second work in spite of declaring the same essence in other words, then this part is considered as plagiarism.

Findings of the research are not original

Research results’ authorship is usually verifiable information. If you have any doubts concerning originality of research results provided by the author or authors in the article you should make inquiries to the authors and/or their establishments getting their addresses from the publisher describing your doubts as an article reviewer. You, as an editor, are able to know what researches are held in any definite time, at any definite place, and by whom. This knowledge must help you in managing inquiries to appropriate individuals and institutions to assure the research is original. Besides, you may get directives from other specialists in the field of similar scientific research.  

Allegations about authorship of contributions

It is important that any author declared in the list of authors and declared in the filled and sent Cover letter form along with submitted paper is perceived as an author/co-author of the research.  

Authorship is not clearly defined. To be an “Author” you should be responsible for particular research aspect or preparation for work or make particular contribution to the concept, project, fulfillment, or research explanation, and it must be confirmed in the final work form. The idea is the author should be ready and have possibility and responsibility to publicly defend his work if needed.

You may use this standard as a test for authorship: All the authors of the article may publicly defend paper’s authorship/co-authorship.

Little contribution may not be considered as paper’s authorship. Individual with little contribution or providing appropriate data or other type of help may be considered as “contributor” by author/co-authors and may be declared in the paper in acknowledgement section.

Author/co-authors of submitted paper should fill in the Cover letter form to identify all the coauthors and other participants (and for getting their consent to publish the paper). If needed you should consult the authors and contributors to define definitely who did what in writing the paper and research. You should require that all those who satisfy authorship test be declared as co-authors. 

Duplicate submission

Papers submitted for publication must be original and must not be submitted to any other journal.

Except for some unusual circumstances (and only with your approval as an editor) authors must present papers which are unique and must not be submitted to any other journal. Sometimes authors may ignore this requirement, submitting the same document to several journals or submitting several documents on the basis of one and the same research. As in plagiarism duplicate submission may take different forms: literal copying, partial, but substantial copying or even paraphrased copying of the research. Publisher’s journals stick to the policy which forbids publication of lots of papers on the basis of one and the same research.

The cases of literal or substantial copying must be easily detected. The cases closer to paraphrase or with the participation of one and the same research are much more difficult to detect and analyze. That is particularly so when author writes about one’s own research in two or more articles from different points or basing on different aspects of research. In such cases an objective judgment of whether the submitted duplicate takes place on the basis of your knowledge of the research field. In difficult cases probably you may get directions from other specialists in this research field.  

How to cope with problems if they arise

If there are suspicions or accusations concerning any of these issues, you should follow the steps written below:

General recommendations

Ideally such questions should be tackled after submission and before publication. It is very important when you play the leading role and are the central point for all communications. Although you must announce and coordinate with the publisher in any question with doubt, that’s first of all your responsibility to inquire suspicions and make conclusion basing on the research. When necessary the publisher will provide you with further support and help.  

When you suspect ethics breach may exist towards submitted paper, please make the following actions:

  1. You must contact the publisher and explain your suspicions. Publisher will make a decision and announce the coordinates of the corresponding author for further clearing the situation or will be a medium between reviewer and author for keeping anonymity and objectiveness in reviewer’s ideas.
  2. You should also look for an explanation of your complaint providing facts and reasons.
  3. You should also look for the points of your complaint concerning answers and details provided by the author. You should also take into account author’s ideas on the complaint. While doing this you may agree with author’s point in no ethical violation. If that is not so then you should go on with this matter.
  4. If the authors cannot approve their position with no violation, then you should go on your inquiry. The depth of inquiry will vary, but there may be such steps:
  • Further inquiry of the claims of other sides
  • Asking colleagues of the author
  • Asking the officials at the establishments where the research was held
  • Asking the colleagues of the author in the establishment where one works
  • Asking experts in the research field
  • Asking the editorial advisory board of the journal
  • Cooperating with other institutions responsible for ethics questions e.g. the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Precaution measures concerning defamation claims

While making inquiry you should be aware to act fairly and objectively and not to defame any author (or complaint) in any case that may lead to juridical responsibility as well as losses. To escape defamation claims you should take into account the next steps in your inquiry:

  • Make any inquiries in the establishments where the authors of the article work. The inquiries should include facts and claims without any approval of author’s fault
  • Be careful while collecting information and try to give as less as possible information on possible accusation and suspicions. Publisher will help you in collecting information, and providing information on your request, letter patterns to use in investigation the claims of unethical behavior

Practical consequences of findings

If you decide there is no problem at first sight, the publication process may go on in usual order.

If your decision is positive in relation to unethical practice you may reject the paper. If unethical practice is found after the paper is published together with publisher you should consider the point of article’s retraction or in extraordinary circumstances removal from the content.

Legal consequences of findings

In case of finding plagiarism this may be breach of copyright and probably also moral rights. Moral rights include the right of an author of a work, which will be defined as such as well as the author’s right to prevent changes in his work, that have a humbling nature.  

You should keep the publisher aware in the research problem course, if some ethics violations are suspected. If needed and especially where there may be juridical responsibility publisher may ask juridical consultation. Publisher will always have right to take over investigation process along with the editor, if publisher considers it right to do.