Publishing Ethics

The policies and guidelines provided on this page are in place to protect the quality and integrity of all forms of scholarly practice and research, as well as the reputations of the publications produced by JMSSE and the learned societies that we represent.

Journal Policy: Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously(except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the publisher. Authors accept full responsibility for the factual accuracy of the data presented and should obtain any authorization necessary for publication. As such the contents of the papers are the sole responsibility of the authors and publication shall not imply the concurrence of the editors or publisher. JMSSE has a policy of screening for plagiarism.

Peer Review Policy: All peer-review is single blind. If found suitable for further consideration, papers are subject to peer review by independent, anonymous expect referees. All papers are submitted to referees who advise the editor on the matter of acceptance in accordance with the high standards required on the understanding that the subject matter has an element of novelty and has not been previously published and is not under consideration elsewhere. Referee names are not disclosed, but their views are forwarded by the editor to the authors for consideration. Authors are encouraged to suggest at least three to five names of experts in the field when papers are first submitted


Author's responsibilities

All authors are expected to adhere to the following guidelines when submitting to the JMSSE:

  • The article represents the authors’ own original work
  • The article is not being considered or reviewed by any other publication
  • The article has not been published elsewhere in the same or a similar form. This includes publication of an article in different languages and the reuse of substantial portions of articles without acknowledgement of prior publication
  • All authors are aware of and have consented to the submission and declared any potential conflict of interest – be it professional or financial – which could be held to arise with respect to the article
  • All authors fulfil the requirements for authorship
  • Authors must cite all relevant publications that have been used in or influenced the work, including their own previously published articles
  • Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion, should only be used and reported with written permission from the source and acknowledged as a personal communication.
  • The article contains no libellous, defamatory or unlawful statements
  • If asked to provide a list of suggested reviewers, authors must provide the correct details for suitable reviewers with the appropriate experience to review, ensuring that the suggested reviewers do not have a conflict of interest.


Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unauthorised and/or unacknowledged use or imitation of works, language, and ideas of another. Generally, in the context of article publication, plagiarism occurs when one researcher/author uses the words, language, or ideas of another researcher/author without making it clear within the narrative or referencing of the article that this has occurred; that is, passing off a piece of research or text as his or her own.

However, authors should also be aware of self plagiarism (redundant publication). This may occur where an author presents in an article items that he or she has previously published in his or her other works, and makes no reference to those other works.

Plagiarism can be committed through the literal copying of other authors’ work without making proper acknowledgement, but also through copying “substantial” elements of a work. Plagiarism may also take place through paraphrasing of another’s work without acknowledgement.

Use or paraphrasing of “substantial” amounts of work may mean making a decision about the quality or importance of what is being used, so it is always best to reference anything, however small or seemingly insignificant, that comes from the work of another person or that you have previously published yourself.

Authors should ensure that they clearly cite, reference and acknowledge all instances where they have used or been influenced by the work of others, including their own previously published articles and research material. Self plagiarism, especially where the copyright of the published article has been assigned to a publisher, learned society or other third party, is as serious as plagiarism of others, and must be avoided. All sources must be disclosed.

Authors should be aware that JMSSE may on occasion randomly check submissions to verify their originality. Submissions may be compared against the CrossCheck database and/or checked using automated software packages. Authors should not consider this in any way an indication of suspicion of guilt, rather a standard, random procedure implemented to uphold the integrity of our journal.

Where possible, we makes articles published in its journals available to CrossCheck, to help to protect authors’ priority and to guard against plagiarism.


Multiple or redundant publication

Redundant publication is the multiple publication or submission of the same research to different journals by an author. This includes publication of an article in different languages. It includes the reuse of substantial portions of articles without acknowledgement of prior publication.

Multiple submission or multiple publication of research is unethical. It wastes the time of the editors and reviewers that form research communities and contribute to the publication of scholarly journals.

Authors must inform the editors of JMSSE to which they submit their work about any related papers by any of the authors of the article that have been submitted to the same or other journals.

Authors should note that the submission of substantially similar articles to multiple journals, where perhaps some wording has been changed, but the outcome of the paper is substantially the same, also counts as redundant publication.

The practice of fragmenting research findings in order to increase the number of possible articles available for publication is to be discouraged in the strongest possible terms.

Any article found to have been submitted to, or under consideration by, more than one journal will be immediately rejected. Sanctions, such as a ban from submitting further publications for a specified period may also be considered.

 

Acknowledgement of sources

Authors should ensure that they clearly cite, reference and acknowledge all instances where they have used or been influenced by the work of others, including their own previously published articles and research material.

If passages of text are copied word for word, the source must be given and the text must be placed within quotation marks. If the original text is paraphrased or reproduced with minor alterations, this must be made clear and the source given. It is unacceptable to reproduce extensive passages of text without permission from the author(s) and the copyright holder.

Information obtained in conversation, correspondence or discussion should only be used and reported with written permission from the source and should be acknowledged as a personal communication.

 

Permissions

If an article reproduces research material, tables, images, or quotations of a substantial nature, the author must seek permission to use that material and fully acknowledge the owner and/or copyright owner. 

Authorship 

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the work reported and who share responsibility and accountability for the results.

The guidelines state that authorship should be limited to those who have fulfilled all of the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and,
  • Final approval of the version to be published

If others participated in substantial aspects of the research but do not meet the criteria for authorship, they should be listed as contributors in the acknowledgments.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone does not constitute authorship. Those who did not make a meaningful contribution should not be included as contributing authors for the sake of prestige or their own referencing quota.

For studies conducted by large, multi-centred groups, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

Changes to authorship after acceptance

This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list of accepted articles.

Before the accepted article is published in an issue:

Requests to make changes to the authorship must be sent by the corresponding author to the managing editor. This includes requests to:

  • add or remove authors
  • rearrange the order in which authors are listed
  • change the corresponding author

The request must contain: i) the reason for the change and ii) signed confirmation (by e-mail, fax or letter) from all authors (including authors being added or removed) confirming that they agree with the change.

This policy applies to articles that have been published online as Advance Articles. 

After the accepted article is published in an issue:

Changes to authorship after the accepted article is published in an issue will generally not be made. The corresponding author should, in the first instance, contact the managing editor with the information described above. Requests will be discussed with the academic editor.

Dishonesty and libel

Authors must use their best endeavours to ensure the material that they submit contains no fictitious data, reference omissions, or false statements.

Authors should avoid the use of personal, critical, or disparaging remarks and accusations against fellow researchers, colleagues or other individuals. Critical analysis of the work of other researchers may be justified, but defamatory or actionable material must not be included.

Sanctions

It is a condition of submission to the JMSSE that all authors of any article found, following due process, to breach good practice accept responsibility for this breach, which will be subject to sanction at the Publisher's and Editors' absolute discretion. These sanctions may include, inter alia, the retraction of a published article; publication of a note of correction or apology; banning of future submissions by any author for a specified period; and/or notification of the Head of the authors' department or organization.


Editor Roles and Responsibilities

Editor's role is to maintain and develop wherever possible the journal’s profile and reputation and responsibility for the journal’s content. Journal Editor ensure that the journal’s aims, scope and content respond to any changes of direction in the field of study to incorporate newly-emerging work. He/She will work closely with the journal’s publishing staff to ensure that it is strategically developed in line with market evolution. Both editor and the publishing staff will make recommendations in this regard, based on journal editor's complementary expertise and sources of information.

Responsibilities of an editor

  • Ensure a supply of high-quality manuscripts to the journal in quantities that are able to maintain the publishing schedule of the journal. If insufficient manuscripts are being submitted, then you should discuss how to address this with your publishing contact.
  • Ensure that the subject matter of the manuscripts reflects any changes of direction in the field of study to incorporate newly-emerging work (this may necessitate inviting articles or special issues).
  • Conduct your activities in accordance with generally accepted industry standards for integrity and objectivity and with the policies of the journal and the publisher
  • Select the Editorial Board, in co-operation with your publishing contact.
  • Continually engage the Editorial Board on the progress of the journal and update and include them on ideas for editorial development. The Editorial Board should be involved formally through an annual Editorial Board meeting or informally in ad hoc meetings and discussions.
  • Provide strategic input into your journal’s development. Your publishing contact will be in touch regularly to report on the journal’s performance and suggest possible strategies for development, as well as discuss your suggestions.
  • Highlight commercial advertising, supplement, and reprint opportunities, if these form important sources of income for your journal.
  • Promote the journal to peers and colleagues.

Reviewer Roles and Responsibilities

Peer review is the principal mechanism by which the quality of research is judged. Most funding decisions in science and the academic advancement of scientists are based on peer-reviewed publications. Because the number of scientific articles published each year continues to grow, the quality of the peer-review process and the quality of the editorial board are cited as primary influences on a journal’s reputation, Journal Impact Factor, and standing in the field. Scientific journals publishing peer-reviewed articles depend heavily on the scientific referees or reviewers who typically volunteer their time and expertise. In most circumstances, at least two reviewers are solicited to evaluate a manuscript; some journals request three or more reviews. This may be required in situations where review by a statistician is needed. In cases of controversy or strong disagreement regarding the merits of the work, an additional review may also be solicited or one of the journal’s editors might give an evaluation. More than three reviewers are sometimes used if reviewers from several fields are needed to obtain a thorough evaluation of a paper. In addition to fairness in judgment and expertise in the field, reviewers have significant responsibilities toward authors, editors, and readers.

Reviewer responsibilities toward authors

  • Providing written, unbiased, constructive feedback in a timely manner on the scholarly merits and the scientific value of the work, together with the documented basis for the reviewer’s opinion
  • Indicating whether the writing is clear, concise, and relevant and rating the work’s composition, scientific accuracy, originality, and interest to the journal’s readers
  • Avoiding personal comments or criticism
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the review process: not sharing, discussing with third parties, or disclosing information from the reviewed paper

Reviewer responsibilities toward editors

  • Notifying the editor immediately if unable to review in a timely manner and, if able, providing the names of alternative reviewers
  • Alerting the editor about any potential personal, financial or perceived conflict of interest and declining to review when a conflict exists (see section 2.3.2)
  • Complying with the editor’s written instructions on the journal’s expectations for the scope, content, and quality of the review
  • Providing a thoughtful, fair, constructive, and informative critique of the submitted work, which may include supplementary material provided to the journal by the author
  • Determining scientific merit, originality, and scope of the work; indicating ways to improve it; and, if requested, recommending acceptance or rejection using whatever rating scale the editor deems most useful
  • Noting any ethical concerns, such as any violation of accepted norms of ethical treatment of animal or human subjects or substantial similarity between the reviewed manuscript and any published paper or any manuscript concurrently submitted to another journal that may be known to the reviewer
  • Refraining from direct author contact

Sample correspondence related to this topic is available on the CSE website.5

Reviewer responsibilities toward readers

  • Ensuring that the methods and analysis are adequately detailed to allow the reader to judge the scientific merit of the study design and be able to replicate the study
  • Ensuring that the article cites all relevant work by other scientists

Ethical responsibilities

In addition to adhering to the 'Code of conduct and conflicts of interest' guidelines reviewers have the following responsibilities.

Treat the manuscript as confidential: The manuscript (or its existence) should not be shown to, disclosed to, or discussed with others, except in special cases, where specific scientific advice may be sought; in that event the editor must be informed and the identities of those consulted disclosed. Information acquired by a reviewer from such a paper is not available for disclosure or citation until the paper is published

Destroy/erase the manuscript and to inform the editor should they be unqualified to review the manuscript, or lack the time to review the manuscript, without undue delay.

To judge the manuscript objectively and in a timely fashion: Reviewers should not make personal criticism in their reviews.

To inform the editor if there is a conflict of interest: Specifically, reviewers should not review manuscripts authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a close personal or professional relationship, if this relationship could be reasonably thought to bias the review.

To respect the intellectual independence of authors.

To explain and support their judgements so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments, and to provide reference to published work, where appropriate.

To inform the editor of any similarity between the submitted manuscript and another either published or under consideration by another journal.

To ensure that all unpublished data, information, interpretation and discussion in a submitted article remain confidential and not to use reported work in unpublished, submitted articles for their own research.

To alert the editor if a manuscript contains or appears to contain plagiarized material, falsified or manipulated data.

To only suggest that authors include citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) own work where this adds value to the scientific aspects of the paper.

Not to retain or copy the submitted manuscript in any form; to comply with data protection regulations, as appropriate.

Not to use information obtained during the peer review process for their own or any other person’s or organization's advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others.

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Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, commissioning, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of research or non-research articles submitted to INSCIENCEIN Publishing Journals.

A conflict of interest exists if a person or institution has a relationship, personal or otherwise, which has the potential to compromise or in any way interfere with professional objectivity or judgment in issues related to the relationship.

A conflict of interest is actual if a relationship exists, or apparent if the possibility for a relationship could be inferred. In either case, it is the responsibility of journal Editors, Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, authors and reviewers to declare Conflicts of Interest, actual or apparent, in order that appropriate mitigating action is taken.

As conflict of interest is common, it reaches the level of concern when an observer may wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by his or her competing interest. Having competing interest does not imply wrongdoing, however it could undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of the journal. INSCIENCEIN Publishing, through this policy, aims to protect the integrity of the journals.

EDITORS

INSCIENCEIN Publishing has in place procedures by which potential conflict-of-interest information is obtained from all Editors and Associate Editors on a regular basis; annually, or upon appointment or re-appointment. Such information includes identification of editorial service with related or competing journals, institutional affiliations, paid consultancies, etc.

Editors, in consultation with INSCIENCEIN Publishing, manage their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their Associate Editors, staff, authors, reviewers and Editorial Board members. They maintain a summary of relevant interests (financial, academic and other kinds) of all editorial staff and members of editorial boards (which is updated at least annually).

Article submissions from the Editors, Editorial Board members, or employees are managed so that no details of the review process, other than the anonymous reviews and decision, are accessible to the Editor or employee.


The following situations are considered conflicts and should be avoided:

  • Co-authoring publications with at least one of the authors in the past 3 years
  • Being colleagues within the same section/department or similar organizational unit in the past 3 years
  • Supervising/having supervised the doctoral work of the author (s) or being supervised/having been supervised by the author(s)
  • Receiving professional or personal benefit resulting from the review
  • Having a personal relationship (e.g. family, close friend) with the author(s)
  • Having a direct or indirect financial interest in the paper being reviewed

AUTHORS

The author has the obligation to reveal any personal interest or relationship that has the potential to be affected by publication of the submitted manuscript. Sources of funding must be acknowledged in the manuscript. All authors must report any financial interest in corporate or commercial entities dealing with the subject matter of the manuscript. On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author has the responsibility to advise the Editor of an actual or apparent conflict of interest at the time of submission of the manuscript. Such conflicts will be acknowledged in the published article. Effective Mar 2022, all authors are required to include a Conflict of Interest Disclosure statement in their manuscripts submitted to INSCIENCEIN Publishing journals. Authors must also submit corrections if conflicts of interests are revealed after publication.

REVIEWERS

A reviewer is entrusted to provide an unbiased assessment of the scientific merit of a manuscript under review. Reviewers are tasked with evaluating any author-disclosed conflicts-of-interest as well as self-disclosing any situation or relationship to the Editor that could bias or be perceived to bias their assessment of the submitted manuscript. These include personal relations to the authors, concurrent competitive research on the same subject in the manuscript, or professional or financial ties to an organization with interests in the subject under review. In such cases where an actual or apparent Conflict-of-Interest is disclosed, the use of a review provided or requested is at the discretion of the Editor.