A. ETHICAL GUIDELINE FOR JOURNAL PUBLICATION
The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed UJoST- Universal Journal of Science and Technology is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is, therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society.
UJoST was published since 2022 by ---- and ---- as publisher ---- takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously and we recognize our ethical and other responsibilities. We are committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. In addition, the UJoST and Editorial Board will assist in communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful and necessary.
B. PUBLICATION DECISIONS
The editor of the UJoST is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editors may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Editors should regard themselves as part of the wider professional editorial community, keep themselves abreast of relevant policies and developments, and ensure their editorial staff is trained and kept informed of relevant issues. To be a good editor requires many more principles than are covered here. These suggested principles, policies, and processes are particularly aimed at fostering research and publication integrity.
1. Accountability and responsibility for journal content
Editors have to take responsibility for everything they publish and should have procedures and policies in place to ensure the quality of the material they publish and maintain the integrity of the published record
2. Editorial independence and integrity
An important part of the responsibility to make fair and unbiased decisions is the upholding of the principle of editorial independence and integrity.
2.1 Separating decision-making from commercial considerations
Editors should make decisions on academic merit alone and take full responsibility for their decisions. Processes must be in place to separate commercial activities within a journal from editorial processes and decisions. Editors should take an active interest in the publisher’s pricing policies and strive for wide and affordable accessibility of the material they publish.
2.2 Editors’ relationship to the journal publisher or owner
Editors should ideally have a written contract setting out the terms and conditions of their appointment with the journal publisher or owner. The principle of editorial independence should be clearly stated in this contract. Journal publishers and owners should not have any role in decisions on content for commercial or political reasons. Publishers should not dismiss an editor because of any journal content unless there was gross editorial misconduct or an independent investigation has concluded that the editor’s decision to publish was against the journal’s scholarly mission.
2.3 Journal metrics and decision-making
Editors should not attempt to inappropriately influence their journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric. For example, it is inappropriate to demand that references to that journal’s articles are included except for genuine scholarly reasons. In general, editors should ensure that papers are reviewed on purely scholarly grounds and that authors are not pressured to cite specific publications for non-scholarly reasons.
3. Editorial confidentiality
3.1 Authors’ material
If a journal operates a system where peer reviewers are chosen by editors (rather than posting papers for all to comment as a pre-print version), editors must protect the confidentiality of authors’ material and remind reviewers to do so as well. In general, editors should not share submitted papers with editors of other journals, unless with the authors’ agreement. Editors are generally under no obligation to provide material to lawyers for court cases. Editors should not give any indication of a paper’s status with the journal to anyone other than the authors. Web-based submission systems must be run in a way that prevents unauthorized access.
Editors should protect reviewers’ identities
4. Encourage maximum transparency and complete and honest reporting
4.1 Authorship and responsibility
Journals should have a clear policy on authorship that follows the standards within the relevant field. They should give guidance in their information for authors on what is expected of an author and, if there are different authorship conventions within a field, they should state which they adhere to.
4.2 Conflicts of interest and role of the funding source
Editors should have policies that require all authors to declare any relevant financial and non-financial conflicts of interest and publish at least those that might influence a reader’s perception of a paper, alongside the paper. The funding source of the research should be declared and published, and the role of the funding source in the conception, conduct, analysis, and reporting of the research should be stated and published.
4.3 Full and honest reporting and adherence to reporting guidelines
Digital image files, figures, and tables should adhere to the appropriate standards in the field. Images should not be inappropriately altered from the original or present findings in a misleading way.
Editors might also consider screening for plagiarism, duplicate or redundant publication by using anti-plagiarism software, or for image manipulation. If plagiarism or fraudulent image manipulation is detected, this should be pursued with the authors and relevant institutions
5. Responding to criticisms and concerns
5.1 Ensuring integrity of the published record - corrections
When genuine errors in published work are pointed out by readers, authors, or editors, which do not render the work invalid, a correction (or erratum) should be published as soon as possible. The online version of the paper may be corrected with a date of correction and a link to the printed erratum. If the error renders the work or substantial parts of it invalid, the paper should be retracted with an explanation as to the reason for retraction (i.e., honest error).
5.2 Ensuring the integrity of the published record – suspected research or publication misconduct
If serious concerns are raised by readers, reviewers, or others, about the conduct, validity, or reporting of academic work, editors should initially contact the authors (ideally all authors) and allow them to respond to the concerns. If that response is unsatisfactory, editors should take this to the institutional level
1. Decision whether to review
Editors may reject a paper without peer review when it is deemed unsuitable for the journal’s readers or is of poor quality. This decision should be made in a fair and unbiased way. The criteria used to make this decision should be made explicit. The decision not to send a paper for peer review should only be based on the academic content of the paper, and should not be influenced by the nature of the authors or the host institution.
2. Interaction with peer reviewers
Editors should use appropriate peer reviewers for papers that are considered for publication by selecting people with sufficient expertise and avoiding those with conflicts of interest. Editors should ensure that reviews are received in a timely manner.
Peer reviewers should be told what is expected of them and should be informed about any changes in editorial policies. In particular, peer reviewers should be asked to assess research and publication ethics issues (i.e., whether they think the research was done and reported ethically, or if they have any suspicions of plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or redundant publication). Editors should have a policy to request a formal conflict of interest declaration from peer reviewers and should ask peer reviewers to inform them about any such conflict of interest at the earliest opportunity so that they can make a decision on whether an unbiased review is possible. Certain conflicts of interest may disqualify a peer reviewer. Editors should monitor the quality and timeliness of peer review and to provide feedback to reviewers.
1. Editorial and journal processes
All editorial processes should be made clear in the information for authors. All editors should be fully familiar with the journal policies, vision, and scope. The final responsibility for all decisions rests with the editor-in-chief.
2. Editorial conflicts of interest
Editors should not be involved in decisions about papers in which they have a conflict of interest, for example if they work or have worked in the same institution and collaborated with the authors, if they own stock in a particular company, or if they have a personal relationship with the authors.
1. Contribution to Editorial Decisions
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.
Any selected 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 from the review process.
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.
4. Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
5. Acknowledgement of Sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. 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.
6. Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
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.
E. AUTHOR policies
1. Soundness and reliability
Researchers should use appropriate methods of data analysis and display. Authors should take collective responsibility for their work and for the content of their publications. Researchers should check their publications carefully at all stages to ensure methods and findings are reported accurately. Authors should carefully check calculations, data presentations, typescripts/submissions and proofs.
Researchers should present their results honestly and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation. Research images (e.g. Micrographs, x-rays, pictures of electrophoresis gels) should not be modified in a misleading way.
Researchers should strive to describe their methods and to present their findings clearly and unambiguously. Researchers should follow applicable reporting guidelines. Publications should provide sufficient detail to permit experiments to be repeated by other researchers.
Reports of research should be complete. They should not omit inconvenient, inconsistent or inexplicable findings or results that do not support the authors’ or sponsors’ hypothesis or interpretation.
Research funders and sponsors should not be able to veto publication of findings that do not favour their product or position. Researchers should not enter
Agreements that permit the research sponsor to veto or control the publication of the findings (unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as research classified by governments because of security implications).
Authors should alert the editor promptly if they discover an error in any submitted, accepted or published work. Authors should cooperate with editors in issuing corrections or retractions when required.
Authors should represent the work of others accurately in citations and quotations.
Authors should not copy references from other publications if they have not read the cited work.
New findings should be presented in the context of previous research. The work of others should be fairly represented. Scholarly reviews and syntheses of existing research should be complete, balanced, and should include findings regardless of whether they support the hypothesis or interpretation being proposed. Editorials or opinion pieces presenting a single viewpoint or argument should be clearly distinguished from scholarly reviews.
Study limitations should be addressed in publications.
Authors should adhere to publication requirements that submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere in any language. Work should not be submitted concurrently to more than one publication unless the editors have agreed to co-publication. If articles are co-published this fact should be made clear to readers.
Applicable copyright laws and conventions should be followed. Copyright material (e.g. Tables, figures or extensive quotations) should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement.
Relevant previous work and publications, both by other researchers and the authors’ own, should be properly acknowledged and referenced. The primary literature should be cited where possible.
Data, text, figures or ideas originated by other researchers should be properly acknowledged and should not be presented as if they were the authors’ own. Original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations.
Authors should inform editors if findings have been published previously or if multiple reports or multiple analyses of a single data set are under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors should provide copies of related publications or work submitted to other journals.
Multiple publications arising from a single research project should be clearly identified as such and the primary publication should be referenced. Translations and
Adaptations for different audiences should be clearly identified as such, should acknowledge the original source, and should respect relevant copyright conventions and permission requirements. If in doubt, authors should seek permission from the original publisher before republishing any work.
All sources of research funding, including direct and indirect financial support, supply of equipment or materials, and other support (such as specialist statistical or writing assistance) should be disclosed.
Authors should disclose the role of the research funder(s) or sponsor (if any) in the research design, execution, analysis, interpretation and reporting.
Authors should disclose relevant financial and non-financial interests and relationships that might be considered likely to affect the interpretation of their findings or which editors, reviewers or readers might reasonably wish to know.
6. Appropriate authorship and acknowledgement
The research literature serves as a record not only of what has been discovered but also of who made the discovery. The authorship of research publications should therefore accurately reflect individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting.
Responsibility for the correct attribution of authorship lies with authors themselves working under the guidance of their institution. Research institutions should promote and uphold fair and accepted standards of authorship and acknowledgement. When required, institutions should adjudicate in authorship disputes and should ensure that due process is followed.
Researchers should ensure that only those individuals who meet authorship criteria (i.e. Made a substantial contribution to the work) are rewarded with authorship and that deserving authors are not omitted.
All authors should agree to be listed and should approve the submitted and accepted versions of the publication. Any change to the author list should be approved by all authors including any who have been removed from the list. The corresponding author should act as a point of contact between the editor and the other authors and should keep co-authors informed and involve them in major decisions about the publication (e.g. responding to reviewers’ comments).
Authors should not use acknowledgements misleadingly to imply a contribution or endorsement by individuals who have not, in fact, been involved with the work or given an endorsement.
7. Accountability and responsibility
All authors should have read and be familiar with the reported work and should ensure that publications follow the principles set out in these guidelines. In most cases, authors will be expected to take joint responsibility for the integrity of the research and its reporting. However, if authors take responsibility only for certain aspects of the research and its reporting, this should be specified in the publication.
Authors should work with the editor or publisher to correct their work promptly if errors or omissions are discovered after publication.
Authors should abide by relevant conventions, requirements, and regulations to make materials, reagents, software or datasets available to other researchers who request them. Researchers, institutions, and funders should have clear policies for handling such requests. Authors must also follow relevant journal standards. While proper acknowledgement is expected, researchers should not demand authorship as a condition for sharing materials.
Authors should respond appropriately to post-publication comments and published correspondence. They should attempt to answer correspondents’ questions and supply clarification or additional details where needed.
8. Adherence to peer review and publication conventions
Authors should follow UJoST requirements that work is not submitted to more than one publication for consideration at the same time.
Authors should inform the editor if they withdraw their work from review, or choose not to respond to reviewer comments after receiving a conditional acceptance.
Authors should respond to reviewers’ comments in a professional and timely manner.