|Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia|
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Publication ethics and publication malpractice standards
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Publication ethics and publication malpractice standards
Our publication ethics statements are based on COPE’s (Committee of Publication Ethics) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and COPE’s document “Core practices”. All parties involved in the act of publishing – the editor of the publication, the peer reviewer, the author and the publisher – must agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour.
The editor of a peer-reviewed publication is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted for publication should be published. The decision will be based on paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the scope of the publication.
The editor may be guided by the policies of the publication’s editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall be in force at the time regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Editors must treat all submitted papers as confidential. The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
The editor may at any time evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The editor and the editorial staff will not disclose any information about a manuscript or its disposition to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers and the publisher, as appropriate.
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained though editing process must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.
Reviewers should provide speedy, accurate, courteous, unbiased and justifiable reports. Any selected and invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself/herself from the review process so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor. The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied. Reviewers should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission.
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Reviewers should identify cases in which relevant published work referred to in the paper has not been cited by the authors in the reference section. They should point out whether observations or arguments derived from other publications are accompanied by the respective source. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
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.
Authors of original research reports should present an accurate account of the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Authors could be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the paper for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available, if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one publication or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one publication concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the publication’s editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.