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Ethics Statement

Duties and Responsibilities of Authors

Reporting standards - Authors 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 behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial works clearly identified as such. 

Data access and retention - Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review and should be prepared to provide public access to such data and in any event, be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication. 

Originality and plagiarism - The authors should ensure that they submit original work and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from passing off another paper as the author(s) own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another(s) paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication - Manuscripts submitted to this journal should not have been published or being considered for publication elsewhere. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. However, revision or re-publication of a manuscript that has been published in conference proceedings or under equivalent circumstances will be considered.

Acknowledgement of sources - Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must be used or reported with explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must be used with the explicit written permission of the author(s). 

Authorship of paper - 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. The corresponding author should ensure that co-authors are included on the paper and co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. 

Disclosure and conflicts of interest - All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or substantive conflicts 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. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honorarium, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible. 

Fundamental errors in published works - 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 journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to cooperate with the editor, including  providing evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper. 


Duties & Responsibilities of the Editor

Publication decisions - The editor 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 editor is guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision. 

Integrity - An editor should evaluate manuscripts for intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Confidentiality - 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. 

Disclosure and conflicts of interest - Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other members of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. 

Involvement and cooperation in investigations - An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made. 


Duties & Responsibilities of Reviewers

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. 

Confidentiality - Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author.

Standards of objectivity - Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

Acknowledgement of sources - A reviewer should 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. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.

Conflict of interest -. 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.

These guidelines are based on COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

 





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