Authors are expected to conduct their research – from research proposal to publication – in accordance with the best practices and codes of conduct of relevant professional bodies and/or national and international regulatory bodies. Some ethical matters to consider when publishing are:
- Authorship of the submission needs to be limited to those who have made a significant and direct contribution to the submission under review in terms of conceptualisation, design, experimental implementation, and data analysis and interpretation.
- The authors need to ensure that they have written an entirely original piece of work and if the works of others have been used, they are appropriately cited.
- An author shouldn’t, in general, publish manuscripts which discuss essentially the same research in more than one journal. However, the following do not come within the ambit of prior publication – publication in the form of an abstract, publication as a thesis, and an electric preprint.
- Authors can be expected to provide public access to the raw data used or referred in their submission for editorial review.
- Proper acknowledgement of sources used is a must.
- All submissions need to include a disclosure of all such relationships that could present a potential financial or other conflicts of interest.
- If an author discovers a significant error in the published work, the author is obligated to inform the journal editor in order to either correct or retract the submission.
- For the editors, it’s imperative that they evaluate the suitability and validity of the submissions for the journal, including quality of the work; whether it meets the aims and scope of the journal; and the originality of the work. Editors also need to ensure the prompt handling of the whole review process.
- Reviewers should point out the relevant publications not cited in the submission and point out similarities with previously published works. They also shouldn’t review submissions which present any kind of conflicts of interest. Submissions received for review should be treated as confidential documents and not shown or discussed with others without authorization from the editors. Authors should expect to receive reviewer reports in a prompt manner. Reviewer misconduct (breach of confidentiality, delay of peer review, plagiarism, or conflicts of interest) will not be tolerated.
Authors must identify and declare any personal circumstances or interest that could be viewed as inappropriately influencing the interpretation of reported research results. Therefore, a ‘Declaration of Interest’ should be submitted by each author in this regard. If there is no conflict of interest, please state “The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.”