Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavor. Maintaining the integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:
- The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
- The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full) unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling (“self-plagiarism”)).
- A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the number of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. “salami-publishing”).
- No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions
- No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgments to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for copyrighted material.
- Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism. The plagiarism is checked through two methods: reviewer check and plagiarism prevention tool (iThenticate). All submissions will be checked by online software before being sent to reviewers.
- Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly - at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out before the work is submitted.
- Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.
- Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
- Requesting to add or delete authors at the revision stage, proof stage, or after publication is a serious matter and may be considered when justifiably warranted. Justification for changes in authorship must be compelling and may be considered only after receipt of written approval from all authors and a convincing, detailed explanation about the role/deletion of the new/deleted author. In case of changes at the revision stage, a letter must accompany the revised manuscript. In case of changes after acceptance or publication, the request and documentation must be sent via the Publisher to the Editor-in-Chief. In all cases, further, documentation may be required to support your request. The decision on accepting the change rests with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal and may be turned down. Therefore authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission.
- Upon request, authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc.
If there is a suspicion of misconduct and after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and allowed to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond a reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
- If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
- If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note.
- The author’s institution may be informed.