The journal acts on the base of the 2008 Code of conduct elaborated by COPE. Consequently, authors, editors, and reviewers are required to know and share the following principles:
Duties of the editors and the members of the scientific council of the journal
- Decision on publication
The journal’s editors are ultimately responsible for the decision to publish or not the articles or the reviews proposed. In doing so, they are guided by the journal’s policies, as determined by the editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. Editors can ask a consultation with one or more external advisors in order to make informed decisions about the publication of any work.
The editors and scientific advisers are committed to evaluate the articles proposed for publication only on the basis of the quality of their content, without discriminating in any way the authors (by gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, ethnicity, citizenship or political orientation). Additionally, the editors will make every effort to ensure the integrity of the blind review process by not revealing the identity of the authors of a manuscript to the reviewers of that text, and vice versa.
The editors and the members of the scientific council are committed to not disclose any information relating to the articles or reviews proposed, except for the author, reviewers and publisher of the work reviewed.
- Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
The editors and the members of the scientific council are committed to not to use in their own publications any data or information contained in an article or in a book proposed for publication in the journal without the previous written consent of the author.
- Retracting of an article
The editors will be guided by COPE’s Guidelines for Retracting Articles when considering retracting, issuing an expression of concern about, or issuing corrections pertaining to articles that have been published in the journal. They are committed to working closely with fellow researchers and academics, in line with COPE’s advice on Cooperation between Research Institutions and Journals on Research Integrity Cases.
Duties of reviewers
- Contribution to editorial decisions
Given that the peer review is a procedure that helps editors and scientific advisers to make informed decisions regarding proposed articles and allows authors to improve their contributions, editors and members of the scientific council commit themselves to follow the peer review guidelines established by COPE and the ones provided by Elsevier.
- Respect of the times
The reviewer who retains to be not sufficiently competent regarding the issues addressed in the article he is referred to examine, or who knows that he cannot review the article within the already mentioned scheduled time, is required to promptly notify the editors and the members of the scientific council in order to be substituted.
Each text is assigned to a reviewer for reading with the obligation of maximum confidentiality. Therefore, the text must not become the subject of any discussion with any other person without the previous and explicit authorization of the editorial staff or the scientific council.
On the basis of the already cited COPE and Elsevier guidelines about how to conduct a peer review, the reviewer commits himself/herself to conduct the review of the assigned article objectively. Any personal judgment on the author is inappropriate. Reviewers are encouraged to express their views clearly, explaining and justifying all recommendations made. They should always attempt to provide detailed and constructive feedback to assist the authors in improving their work, even if the manuscript is, in the referee’s opinion, not publishable. Ultimately, the reviewers are required to motivate their judgments based on objective criteria.
- Text suggestion
The reviewers commit themselves to indicate precisely the bibliographic details of works they consider fundamental and neglected by the author. Reviewers must also report to the editors and members of the scientific council any similarities or overlaps of the contribution sent to them for reading with other bibliographic work they know.
- Conflict of Interest and Data disclosure
Reviewers are required not to accept for reading articles or books for which there would be a conflict of interest, due to previous collaborative or competitive relationships with the author and/or with his/her institution. In addition, any information and indication obtained by the reviewers during the peer review is to be considered as absolutely confidential and cannot be used for personal purposes.
Duties of the authors
- Creative Commons License
The authors of a manuscript submitted to the journal agree that, if the manuscript is accepted for publication, it will be copyrighted using the Creative Commons – Attribution license (CC-BY 4.0). It is recalled here that this license allows the authors to retain the copyright and allows any third part to download, reuse, re-print, modify, distribute and/or copy the final version of the papers. The works must be properly attributed to its authors. Apart from this, and in the limits of the already cited Creative Commons license, it is not necessary to ask further permissions to the authors or the journal board, although the authors are kindly requested to inform the journal’s board for every reuse of the papers already published.
- Images policy
The journal undertakes that any image or artwork used in an article is in order with any copyright issue. If needed, authors are responsible for obtaining a written permission to include any images or artwork for which they do not hold copyright in their articles. The journal reserves itself the right to raise objections regarding the legitimacy of copyright or otherwise and, in any case, cannot be retained responsible for any copyright infringement caused by an author.
If a copyright holder of an image used in an article gives the permission to use its work, he must be made explicitly aware that the images or artworks contained in the article will be made freely available online (as part of the paper itself) under the conditions established by the Creative Commons – Attribution license (CC-BY 4.0).
- Access and retention of data
If the editors or scientific advisers consider it appropriate, the authors of the articles or books should also make available the sources and/or data on which the research was based, so that they are kept for a reasonable period of time after publication and may possibly be made accessible to others for verification purposes.
- Originality and plagiarism
Authors are required to declare that they have composed an original work in its entirety and that they have cited all the texts used and consulted in the redaction of their work.
- Multiple, repetitive and / or concurrent publications
The author should not publish any article that features the results of the same research in more than one journal. Proposing the same text to more than one journal at the same time constitutes an ethically incorrect and unacceptable behavior.
- Indication of sources
The author must always provide the correct indication of all the sources and contributions mentioned in the article or review.
- Authorship of the work
The authorship of the work must be correctly attributed. All those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, organization, realization and eventual re-elaboration of the research that is the basis of the article must be indicated as co-authors. If other people have significantly participated in some phases of the research, their contribution must be explicitly recognized. In the case of contributions written by several hands, the author who sends the text to the magazine or series is required to declare that he has correctly indicated the names of all the other co-authors, that he has obtained their approval of the final version of the article and their specific and previous consent to the publication with the journal.
- Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
All authors are required to explicitly declare that there are no conflicts of interest that could have affected the results achieved or the interpretations proposed in their article. Authors must also indicate any funding bodies for the research and/or project from which the article originates.
- Errors in published articles or volumes
When an author identifies a significant error or inaccuracy in one of his articles, he is required to promptly inform the editors of the journal or the members of the scientific council and to provide them with all the information necessary to publish at the bottom of the article the necessary corrections.
All articles and books proposed to magazines and series are subjected to a careful check in order to detect any improper use of other texts. When plagiarism is detected, editors, members of the scientific council or reviewers commit to proceed as recommended in the appropriate guidelines developed by the COPE.
If instead there is a reader who wants to report a plagiarism case of an article, the editors or the members of the scientific council must proceed as such:
- They must inform those who have reported the abuse of the procedure, that will be started as soon as possible.
- They must verify the degree of actual coincidence of the proposed article with the text (or texts) that would have been plagiarized.
- They must inform the entire editorial staff of the journal or the entire scientific council of the journal in order to decide jointly on the next steps to take the more appropriate measures.
- They must transmit to the author and all the eventual co-authors of the article the evidence that emerged from the comparison with any plagiarized texts and ask him/her/them for an account.
If it turns out that the author has actually plagiarized other texts, the editors or the scientific advisers must:
- inform the author of the plagiarized contribution and the editor of the magazine/book in which it appeared.
- Publish on the journal’s website an official retraction of the published article or book explaining the reason.
- Withdraw the contribution from all the internet sources in which it appeared in relation with the journal.
- Must not accept other publications of the plagiarist for five (5) years.