Publication Ethics

Publication ethics and malpractice statement
Journal of Phytonanotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences (JPPS) is based on the guidelines and standard developed by the committee on publication (COPE). The relevant roles and responsibilities of the authors, reviewers and editors of the Journal are set out below:

Authors and their roles and responsibilities
As the author of the submitted work, author responsibility is to ensure that the manuscript presents a technically as well as grammatically correct copy. A well-prepared manuscript will help to speed up the peer-review process as less time will be spent by reviewers annotating technical inefficiencies of the paper and more time evaluating the intellectual content.

Authors are required to prepare their manuscripts according to the format of the Journal. World Scientific reserves the right to reject a manuscript otherwise. For general format and style, consult recent issues of the journal. Manuscripts submitted not in accordance to the journal format will be significantly delayed during the production stage. They are:

  • The authors should present their works in accordance with journal’s standards and title.
  • The authors should ensure that they have written their original works/researches. Their works/researches should also provide accurate data, underlying other’s references.
  • Authors are responsible for their works’ accuracy.
  • All the work reported in the manuscript must be original and free from any kind of plagiarism. Any potential conflict of interest must be clearly acknowledged.
  • Proper acknowledgements to other work reported (individual/company/institution) must be given. Permission must be obtained from any content used from other sources.
  • Authors must ensure that data have been collected in an ethical manner. Authors must be prepared to demonstrate that their research has been approved by an institutional review board.
  • Authors should submit only previously unpublished work.
  • Authors of research manuscripts should ensure that the manuscript is prepared so as to facilitate the review process.
  • Authors are responsible for disclosing potential conflicts of interest.
  • Authors who receive an editorial decision of revise-resubmit are expected to submit the revised paper within the time frame provided in the action letter. Failure to do so may rescind the invitation to revise the paper. Authors are expected to return copy-edited versions and galley proofs and answer queries regarding the proofs by the provided deadlines. Failure to do so, may result in the paper not appearing in the journal as scheduled or in the article being published.
  • Only those who have made any substantial contribution to the interpretation or composition of the submitted work, should be listed as ‘authors’. While other contributors should be mentioned as ‘coauthors’.
  • The submitted articles should be in the specialized field of the journal and scientifically written and integrated in accordance with the guidelines of the journal
  • The articles must be the result of original research work, conducted by the authors and proper reference to others’ works must be provided. The research has to be conducted with accuracy and observation and the data should be accurately reported in the manuscript.
  • The authors are held responsible for the accuracy and reliability of the contents of the articles and they are obliged to ensure the validity of the articles. The publication of an article does not reflect the verification of the contents by the journal.
  • The authors are obliged to refrain from ‘research and publication misconduct’.
  • The authors are obliged to perform accurate citation that they need to use other researchers’ works, and they need to make sure that permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.
  •  The author in charge is strongly advised to ensure the correct submission of the authors’ names and information and that no names are included except for the authors, contributing to the research and writing of the article.
  • The author in charge has to ensure that all the authors have studied the article and unanimously agree with the presentation of the article and their contribution.
  •  Submission of an article means that the authors have been granted the consent of the financial commitment.
  • The authors are obliged to immediately inform the journal at any time they become aware of any errors or inaccuracy in their article and either modify or withdraw their article.
  • The authors are expected to reserve the samples and raw data, used in the article for at least one year after publication of the article to be able to respond to any potential questions proposed by the readers of the journal.
  • Any dangers posed to human beings or the environment through this research must be clarified in the article.
  • The authors are expected to cooperate with the journal in the peer-review of other researchers’ articles in the corresponding specialized fields.

Note 1: Publishing an article is not known as acceptance of its contents by the journal

  • Duplicate submission is not accepted. In other words, none of the article’s’ parts, should not carry on reviewing or publishing elsewhere.
  • Overlapping publication, where the author uses his/her previous findings or published date with changes, is rejected.
  • Authors are asked to have authors’ permission-for an accurate citation. When using ones direct speech, a quotation mark (“ “) is necessary.
  • Corresponding author should ensure that the complete information of all involved authors in the article.

Note 2: Do not write the statement of “gift authorship” and do not omit the statement of “ghost authorship”

  • Corresponding author is responsible for the priorities of coauthors after their approval.
  • Paper submission means that all of the authors have satisfied whole financial and local supports and have introduced them.
  • Author(s) is/are responsible for any fault or inaccuracy of the article and in this case, journal’s authorities should be informed immediately.
  • Author(s) is/are asked to provide and reserve raw data one year after publication, in order to be able to respond journal audiences’ questions.

Reviewers and their roles and responsibilities

  • Peer-review process assists editors in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their manuscripts. Peer-review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour. Scholars who wish to contribute to the scientific process, have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing. The reviewers are requested generally to treat authors and their work as they would like to be treated themselves and to observe good reviewing etiquette. Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript that its prompt review will be impossible, shall notify the editor and decline to participate in the review process.
  • Reviewers should provide a detailed, constructive, and unbiased evaluation in a timely manner on the scientific content of the work. Maintaining the confidentiality of the complete review process. Notifying the journal editor about any financial conflict of interest and declining to review the manuscript when a possibility of such a conflict exists.
  • Notifying the journal editor of any ethical concerns in their evaluation of submitted manuscripts; such as any violation of ethical treatment of animal or human subjects or any considerable similarity between the previously published article and any reviewed manuscript. Qualitative, contextual and scientific study in order to improve articles’ quality and content.
  • The reviewing must be carried out upon scientific documents and any self, professional, religious and racial opinion is prohibited. Should not accept the articles which consider the benefits of persons, organizations and companies or personal relationships. To inform editor-in-chief when accepts or reject the review and introduce an alternative.
  • Accurate review and declaration of the article’s strengths and weaknesses through a clear, educational and constructive method. Responsibility, accountability, punctuality, interest, ethics adherence and respect to others’ right. Be sure of accurate citations. Also reminding the cases which have not been cited in the related published researches.
  • Reviewers should not benefit new data or contents in favor of/against personal researches; even for criticism or discrediting the author(s). The reviewer is not permitted to reveal more details after a reviewed article being published.
  • Reviewer is prohibited to deliver an article to another one for reviewing except with permission of Editor-in-Chief.
  • Reviewer and co-reviewer’s identification should be noted in each article’s documents.
  • Reviewer should not contact with the author(s). Any contact with the authors should be made through the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Trying to report “research and publication misconduct” and submitting the related documents to Editor-in-Chief.
  • Reviewers collaborate with the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial board of the journal in the quality, content and scientific assessment of the articles, and contribute to the improvement of the quality and contents of the authors’ articles via the journal.
  • The selected reviewer is obliged to inform the journal’s editor-in-chief of their decision about acceptance or rejection of the review request immediately after reading the abstract. The reviewer is also expected to aid the Editor-in-Chief to select a replacement for the reviewer.
  • Professionally, the reviewer has to be an expert in the field of the article. The reviewer should not accept peer-review of articles outside his/her field of expertise. It is also advisable that the reviewer refrains from accepting articles with subjects on which he/she has major disagreement and may not be able to provide a fair assessment.
  • The reviewer may not accept the articles which serve the benefits of individuals, institutes when personal interests are taken into account.
  • The reviewer may not accept articles which he/she has had a role in conducting, analyzing or writing of.
  • After accepting to review the article, the reviewer is responsible to provide the editor-in-chief and the authors with his specialized and constructive opinions very clearly including necessary documents if needed, in the assigned time limit. The thorough examination of the references, tables, illustrations and other attachments of the article are also the responsibility of the reviewer.
  • The review of the articles must be based on scientific study and reasoning and imposing personal, professional, racist, religious, etc, tastes and interests must be avoided.
  • The reviewer is expected to provide the editor and the authors with his assessment of the weaknesses and strengths of the article in a constructive, clear and educational manner accompanied by the analysis of the weak and strong points and offer suggestions to improve the article.
  • The reviewer is expected to be responsible, accountable, punctual, truth-seeking, interested and dedicated to professional ethics and individual rights. Referring to valid related documents, fairness, courtesy, avoidance of prejudice, and quick judgment, accompanied by clear statements for the editor-in-chief about the suitability of the article for publication in the journal are other attributes of the reviewers.
  • If, the article is written based on the guidelines and is flawless, the reviewers are expected to avoid corrections and requests for revision based on their personal taste and preferences. The reviewers must remember that the journal is in need of their scientific expertise and not editing capabilities.
  • The reviewers are responsible to ensure that referencing to all of the researches, subjects, citations and quotations is done thoroughly and accurately. They are also expected to notify the authors of the related published researches that have not been referred to in the article.
  • The reviewer must consider all the information in the article confidential and refrain from making it available to or discussing it with others.
  • The reviewer is not authorized to use the data or concepts provided in the article in favor of or against his own or others’ researches before the publication of the article, or use it to criticize or discredit the authors. In addition, after the publication of the article the reviewer is not allowed to disclose any details about the article beyond what has been published by the journal.
  • The reviewer is not authorized to assign the responsibility of peer-review of the article to another person including other faculty members or post-graduate students without consent of the editor- in-chief. The name of any individual who has assisted the reviewer in the review process has to be mentioned in the review report to the Editor-in-Chief and recorded in the article documents.
  • The reviewer is not allowed to be in direct contact with the authors regarding the articles under review. Any form of contact with the authors will be done through the journal office.
  • The reviewers are expected to pay special attention to reporting “research and publication misconduct” and provide the related documents to the Editor-in-Chief.

Editors and their roles and responsibilities
All the submitted articles are subjected to an extensive peer-review in consultation with the members of the journal’s editorial board and independent external two reviewers. All manuscripts are assessed rapidly and the decision based on all the peer- reviewers’ comments, taken by the journal’s editor- in-chief, is then conveyed to the author(s). Submissions from the editor- in-chief should undergo independent peer-review and will be submitted to another editor for his decision on acceptance. All the editors of the journal should follow the COPE ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers.

Peer-review process chart is shown in the figure below:

Editors of scientific journals have responsibilities toward the authors, the peer-reviewers who comment on the suitability of manuscripts for publication, the scientific community, the publishers of the journals, and the public as a whole. Depending upon the relationship between the editor and publisher for particular journals, some of the roles and responsibilities between the two may overlap in some of the following:

Most of the journals appoint a Editor-in-Chief and several associate, sub- or section-editors and members of editorial board. In most of the cases, the Editor-in-Chief, being the point of reference for most correspondence relating to a submitted manuscript, has the major role of responsibilities in all matters relating to processing of submitted manuscripts till the rejection/publication, as well as to deal with any post-publication/rejection activities. Generally, the editorial positions in journals are honorary and, therefore, the editorial job is done more for the love of labor and prestige associated with it.

The board of editors (all categories) and their decisions play important roles in ensuring the quality of published material and, thus the overall prestige of the journal. Their responsibilities include getting timely and informed peer-reviews on the submission, check of linguistic properties of the text, quality and adequacy of data and any illustration material in the manuscript, appropriate formatting of the text for publication, getting proofs corrected in time and finally to publish with good quality in scheduled time. The following general ethical aspects need to be followed by editors.

  • The editor of a journal holds a vital position, taking important editorial decisions on all peer- reviewed articles submitted for publication.
  • Journal editors must keep the peer-review process confidential. They must not share information about a manuscript with anyone outside of the peer-review process.
  • The editor should maintain the transparency of the academic research and record, preclude professional needs from cooperating ethical standards, and always be willing to publish retractions, rectifications, and erratum when required.
  • If, a journal editor receives a credible allegation of misconduct by an author, reviewer, or journal editor, then they have a duty to investigate the matter as per COPE guidelines.
  • The editor should assess manuscripts for their scientific quality and intellectual content, free from any sort of biased decisions based on discrimination of race, gender, geographical origin, or religion of the author(s). The editor should evaluate manuscripts objectively based on their academic merit free of any commercial or self-interests.
  • Journal editors may reject a submitted manuscript without formal peer-review, if they consider it to be inappropriate for the journal and outside its scope.
  • The editor should not disclose any information on submitted manuscripts before publication of the manuscript.
  • Journal editors should make all reasonable effort to process submissions on time.
  • Promoting research rectitude must be preserved. If at any stage, the publisher suspects any kind of misconduct in research, it should be investigated promptly in detail with suitable authority; and if any suspicious act of misconduct is observed in the peer-review, it should be resolved with diligence.
  • Journal editors should delegate the peer-review of any original self-authored research article to a member of the editorial or advisory board as appropriate.
  • If, a journal editor receives convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of an article published in the journal are incorrect, then, in consultation with as per COPE guidelines, the journal editor should ensure the publication of an appropriate notice of correction.
  • Any data or analysis presented in a submitted manuscript, should not be used in a journal editor’s own research without the consent of the author.

Publisher and their roles and responsibilities
All research output needs a publisher to widely disseminate the research output. Publishers who disseminate research output in the form of journals, monographs, books (authored or edited), etc., are established scholarly societies/academies or academic institutions. Occasionally, individuals or academic institutions may also publish proceedings of a conference as a stand-alone volume. Recent years have witnessed an increasing involvement of commercial publishers in dissemination of scholarly works, which unfortunately, also has brought in some unethical practices.

The roles and responsibilities of the publisher is to support the huge efforts, made by editors and reviewers in maintaining the integrity of the scholarly record. Although, ethical codes inevitably concentrate on violations that can occur, it is a tribute to scholarly practice that the system has worked so well for so long and that problems are relatively rare. The publisher has a supporting, investing and nurturing role in the scholarly communication process, but is also ultimately responsible for ensuring that best practice is followed in its publications. Editors, reviewers and authors are performing their ethical duties under COPE guidelines.

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. Some general ethical principles that should be followed by publishers of scholarly articles are noted below:

  • Publication of research output is a societal responsibility and, therefore, should not be taken as a purely commercial activity.
  • The announced schedule and frequency of publication is to be maintained.
  • Publishers should not take recourse to artificially enhance the citation/ impact factor of journals.
  • Maintaining the independence of the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial board.
  • Effort to maintain a high quality of layout and publication of the journal with maximum care and in the shortest possible time.
  • Providing the Editor-in-Chief, the editorial board and the reviewers with the necessary training for their optimum performance.
  • Considering requests of citation of the material published in the journal in other publications.
  • Cooperating with the Editor-in-Chief in investigating reports of “research and publication misconduct” and offering expert consultation to the accused and the plaintiff if necessary.
  • Training the journal authors with the aim of improving the content and layout of the articles and observing the principles of research and publication ethics.
  • Cooperating with the Editor-in-Chief in order to maintain the highest level of research and publication ethics in the journal and to ensure absence of errors in the contents, layout and format of the journal.
  • Protection of the authors’ personal information and the contents and details of the article during the review and assessment process of the articles, except for what is published in the journal after acceptance of the article. The only acceptable exception is to investigate “research and publication misconduct” of the authors’ provided there is reasonable evidence.
  • Determining and clearly announcing the publication policies of the journal regarding independent decision making of the editorial board, publication ethics, intellectual property and copyright, conflict of interests, author’s responsibilities, the editor-in-chief and the editorial board, the review process and decision making, reassessment requests and objections, preservation of the scientific documents of the review process, protection of the authors’ and reviewers’ information, modification or omission of the published articles, mediating between the plaintiffs and the accused in a “research and publication misconduct” case.
  • Publishing of ‘predatory’ or bogus journals, which would rapidly publish ‘anything’ on payment of a fee but without sensible peer-review is absolutely unethical.