The editor, editorial board, editorial team and reviewers will strictly follow and respect generally accepted standards of publication ethic as they are known to scientific community and expressed by respected bodies like COPE – Committee on Publication Ethics.
1. Ethical responsibilities of the editor and reviewers
An identified behaviour against publication ethics can be brought to the attention of the editor or publisher at any time and by anyone. It is expected that such allegation will be accompanied by relevant information and evidence. All such allegation will be fairly, seriously and confidentially treated until final decision is reached. For such investigation and gathering needed evidence, the editor can co-operate with other two editorial board members close to the field submitted contribution is concerned.
The editor of the journal is respected and experienced scholar with responsibilities to the editorial board, authors, reviewers and scientific community. It is expected that she/he will:
- act in a balanced, objective and fair way while carrying out their duties, without discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors
- articles are considered and accepted solely on their academic merit, without any institutional and commercial influence
- treat all authors fairly, honestly, in reasonable time framework of peer review process with clear and immediate communication with authors on any aspect of review and publication process (if accepted)
- manage editorial work concerning all submitted manuscripts in confidential way. Any manuscript will not be disclosed to anyone except those involved in the processing and preparation of the manuscript for publication until it is published (if accepted). It usually includes only editorial staff, authors, potential and actual reviewers, and editors
- avoid any conflict of interests during review processes by selecting suitable reviewers
- ask reviewers to state explicitly whether conflicts of interests do or do not exist
- encourage reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research misconduct
- actively act if any doubts on ethical issues are indicated
- provide authors an opportunity to any complaints of ethical nature. All complaints should be investigated in reasonable way and any documentation associated with such complaints should be retained.
The contribution of reviewers to the quality of journal is important thanks to their key role in evaluating submitted paper and editorial decision on publication. They also have important role in identifying unethical behaviour and misconduct. They should:
- work in confidential way and in agreed time framework for review
- not disclose any communication and material concerning review process to other persons and not retain or copy the manuscript
- disclose any conflict of interest and if necessary, decline the review of any manuscript they perceive to have a conflict of interest (personal, financial). As a conflict of interest should be considered, for example – actual working relation in subordinated or supervisory position, joint publication within the last two years, doctoral student/supervisor relation, personal relations, being in indirect research competition
- pay serious attention to ethical questions and possible research misconduct
- not use knowledge of the work before the publication.
2. Authorship policy
The editor and editorial board are fully aware of principal role authorship has in scientific environment.
- All communication between journal and authors, as well as journal and reviewers is confidential
- All authors must have made substantial contribution to submitted contribution. The list of authors should include all appropriate researchers, but no others. No author is omitted if qualified for co-authorship
- The order of authors reflects collective decision of all authors and should reflect value of their scientific participation. Those persons whose contribution does not meet the criteria for authorship should be mentioned in acknowledgement
- Submission a contribution to the editor means that all the listed authors have agreed all the content of contribution
- Ghost, guest or gift authorship is unacceptable for the journal
- Lead/first (corresponding) author is responsible for submitted contribution as well as for prompt communication during manuscript reviewing and processing. She/he is also responsible for accuracy of names of co-authors, their addresses and affiliations
- Lead/first (corresponding) author can be asked for a statement that clearly specifies the contribution of every author upon request of the editor (author contributions statements)
- Additional changes to list of authors after review process started are possible only after consent of all original authors.
Open access statement
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution.
Article publication and submitting fee
There are no article charges for the author.
Publisher's own licence
All content is made freely available, and users are allowed to use, reuse
and build upon the material published in the journal (copy and
redistribute the material, transform, and build upon the material as long
as they cite the source) but only for non-commercial purposes.
Author holds the copyright and retains publishing rights without
3. Plagiarism, multiple and simultaneous submission
The journal publishes original research results, not submitted to any other publication. If particular sections overlap with already published or submitted content, author are obliged to acknowledge and cite those sources. Author should provide editor a copy of any submitted manuscript that might contain overlapping or closely related content. The journal will not consider for publication contributions having clear signs of any form of plagiarism, duplicate, multiple, or simultaneous submission. In practice journal refuses:
- papers submitted to more journals simultaneously, as well as multiple papers based on the same research, known as simultaneous submission
- author reuses substantial parts of his or her own already published, including paraphrasing, known as self-plagiarism and duplication
- author submits paper with small amount of additional research results to previously published paper, so-called „salami-slicing“
- author submits paper already published in different language without notification of editor and relevant explanation
- author attempts to publish work of someone else, known as plagiarism.
4. Publication of paper in more languages
The journal will publish paper already published in other language in exceptional cases only. This will be possible only after Editorial Board agreement and under following conditions:
- the editor of journal where paper had been already published must be informed
- all inevitable consents and rights must be obtained from previous publisher
- well visible note that paper had been already published in other language must be provided, altogether with full reference to journal where paper already appeared.
5. Measures applicable in a case of unethical publishing behaviour
If any form of misconduct and unethical behaviour is identified, following measures are applicable based on decision of editor-in-chief and editorial board. Any kind of measures or sanctions will be applied only after very careful consideration by editor and editorial board.
5.1. Measures applied in a case of confirmed minor violations
5.2. Measures applied in a case of confirmed serious violations
- these violations will be consulted without wider publicity
- those concerned (author, reviewer) will be informed and explained where standards of ethical publication behaviour had been violated
- those individuals concerned will have chance respond to allegations and adopt own mitigating measures and submit adjusted paper to the journal once again.
- those concerned (author, reviewer) will be informed and explained where standards of ethical publication behaviour had been violated, accompanied by strict warning to prevent such future behaviour, in strongly worded formal letter
- formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period will be introduced
- in a case of reviewer, she/he will not be invited as reviewer for defined period
- the journal will formally contact the author's/reviewer's employer and/or mentioned funding agencies
- if contribution had been already published - the paper will be marked on its electronic PDF version (especially in a case of plagiarism)
- depending on the scope of misconduct, the paper may be fully withdrawn from full text electronic resources and abstracting databases, with editor's notice in content of particular journal number where published paper is to be missing.
Adopted by the Geographical Section Committee at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University and by the Editorial Board of the journal
Bratislava, May 2015
(Note: for more on publication ethic see e.g. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) - http://publicationethics.org/; or Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK) - http://www.elsevier.com/editors/perk)
Publication Ethics Policy (*.pdf)