Ethical policy for journals


The ethical policy of Global Science Press journals follows the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. We faithfully adhere to the COPE (Committee on Public Ethics) guidelines and principles as set out in its Core Practice documents. To editors and publisher, the custodians of the journal’s reputation, several things loom large in their thinking: the timeliness of publication, the editorial independence and safeguarding the integrity of the research output and its publishing process. We are scrupulous in adhering to industry best practices in the fundamental processes of peer reviews and editorial gatekeeping to build our reputation. Together, these concerns underline our efforts to formulate the ethics of publication which begin with rules regarding authorship. These ethical concerns ultimately translate into quality assurance, and therefore, we make it our first duty to safeguard the authenticity and originality of authorship.

Integrity in Authorship and Research Output

Authors must be honest in presenting their results and conclusions of their research. Research misconduct is harmful for knowledge,which may mislead other researchers. In terms of authorship and research activity, we expect our authors and contributors to uphold high standards to ensure the following:

1. Honesty is the top priority 

When submitting a manuscript, an author is required to confirm that his or her work is original and has not been previously published. The only exception to this requirement applies to conference papers. The author is beholden to rules of integrity in research work, transparency in communication, and meticulous care in research practice. Accountability applies to the accuracy of the work performed and resisting the temptation to make inflated claims for a research project or indulging in other forms of self-deception. Doing due diligence includes being vigilant in weeding out methodological and human errors. Conducting a pre-publication review is expected and indeed, recommended.

To us, only persons who meet the following criteria may be listed as authors of a submitted manuscript as they are morally obligated to take responsibility for its content: (1) those who have made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition or analysis or interpretation of the study; (2) those who have drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) those who have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. Anyone who has provided technical help, writing and editing assistance and general support should be recognized in the “Acknowledgements” section, provided that they have consented to be named. The corresponding author should see to it that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript before its submission for publication.  

It is axiomatic that being an author comes with the requirement to acknowledge the contributions of anyone who has provided assistance in research or writing.

The corresponding author has ultimate responsibility in proofreading, revising or resubmitting the manuscript.

An author is expected to disclose the identity of the institution where the research was carried out or funded. He or she should also reveal the institutional affiliations of the author or co-authors.

Plagiarism is a cardinal sin in publishing for which this new journal has a zero tolerance. Authors are forbidden to borrow another person’s ideas, data, text, illustrations, mathematical derivations, computer code, methodology or other material, including materials garnered from lectures, conference presentations, whether published or unpublished, without explicit acknowledgement. Self-plagiarism, in the form of recycled publication, is equally frowned upon.

Recycled or dual publications refer to duplicate or redundant publications. They extend to self-plagiarism when a work is published more than once by the same author without justification for overlap and approval from the original publication or without citation of the original source. This applies even if the duplication is done in a different language. However, preprint of the material on the author’s personal website or in a preprint archive will not be considered as duplicate publication.

If a manuscript originates from a thesis, the author is expected, indeed required, to rework the material in a way that conforms to our journal’s style guide.

2. Transparency 

We are committed to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing enshrined in the COPE statement. To this end, we encourage transparency and openness with respect to code, data and other research-related material. Authors are advised to keep their supporting evidence current and make it accessible to other researchers and scholars. We also emphasize the need or desirability to publish supplementary materials to the main text for the benefit of readers.

To ensure that our code of publishing ethics is respected, we encourage authors, co-authors, readers and other interested parties to contact us through our website in cases of complaint for any alleged non-compliance with the said code.  

Peer Review Process

The journal content is peer-reviewed by at least two experts in the field who are independent from our publication’s editorial staff. In giving reviewers access to the unpublished material, we ensure the confidentiality of the manuscript. Reviewers are urged to avoid any potential conflict of interest before agreeing to undertake the responsibility of reviewing, specifically, that the reviewer not be in direct competition with the author or authors, and that no personal relationship exists between the review and author(s), including any institutional affiliations or exploitable commercial relationship.

For obvious reasons, reviewers’ names are kept strictly confidential. Their identities may only be disclosed to our Editorial Board members who likewise are obligated to maintain confidentiality. There is to be no consultation between reviewers and editors. Information and ideas obtained while acting in the reviewer’s role must be kept confidential and not used for unfair competitive advantage. Unless the papers have been published, the reviewers are asked not to discuss their content with colleagues or third parties.

It is our policy never to guarantee acceptance of manuscript for publication, nor for that matter, do we promise unrealistically short review times. The safeguarding of quality is a laborious process and should not be rushed, for any reason.

Given that the reviewing process plays an important part in deciding whether a manuscript is published, reviewers are expected to be timely, objective, honest and fair with their judgments, in such a way that authors can understand the basis of their criticisms or comments. As experts in the field, they are in a good position to detect plagiarism or self-plagiarism or dual publication. We expect them to stand sentinel in the early stages of the publishing process.

In short, we see the peer review process as essential to upholding the standards of our publication. They are our first line of defense in protecting the integrity of our publication.

The Role of the Editor 

The first simple duty of the editor is to see that there is no undue delay in publishing a submission, as this will adversely affect the career of the author as well as the reputation of the journal.

Even more important than the timeliness of publication, editorial independence is a jealously guarded principle. We uphold the editorial independence and expert decision-making of our editorial board. As subject experts, our editors are immune from any interference in exercising their judgment, experience and expertise.

In the event that any editorial decision is subject to ethical or legal review or challenge, this process will be made fully transparent and in complete compliance with COPE principles and guidelines.

Another paramount principle governs the editorial process, the overarching tenet of non-discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, disability or political affiliation or persuasion. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any external agencies.

In terms of process, manuscripts submitted to the journal are first reviewed by our in-house editors. If they determine that it is suitable for publication, they may refer it to two external reviewers whose independent report and assessment will inform the editors’ decisions. The editor’s decisions are to some extent appealable, provided that there is fresh relevant information or if there is alleged failure to follow our journal’s own publishing ethics.

The ethical rules that apply to the reviewer also apply to the editor, i.e. the avoidance of conflict of interest (including encouraging authors to cite the editor’s own publications), and being objective with a double blind critical process.  But in addition to the ethical obligations of the reviewer, the editor has two other salient duties: to only consider publishing papers that bring fresh ideas or add value or otherwise contribute to the advance of the discipline concerned.

Secondly, the editor has an obligation to thoroughly investigate any complaint or allegations of publishing misconduct. Our editors and publisher will take every step conceivable to prevent the publication of papers that are suspected of data falsification or fabrication, as well as outright or partial plagiarism. On first detection of violations of publishing ethics, our publisher or editors will initiate a process that complies in full with COPE guidelines covering publishing misconduct.  Such policy on intellectual property is clearly spelled out on our website.

The editors as the custodians of our publishing ethical standards, avoid any appearance of impropriety, favoritism or bias, removing themselves from the editorial process when a conflict of interest exists or arises.

Maintaining integrity in the publishing process requires constant vigilance, a requirement imposed on our editors as our last line of defense. The Editor-in-Chief, who has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal, is responsible for the timing of publication as well as making the final decisions on any submitted manuscript.

Other Housekeeping Matters and Concerns 

Please consult our website for the following

• Journal ownership and management
• Governing body including editorial board, with the full names and affiliations of the journal’s editorial board
• The journal’s contact information, including email addresses and full address
• Policy on copyright
• Open access (optional) fees
• Periodicity of journal publication
• Access to readers via subscription
• Archiving. The journal will institute plans for electronic preservation of journal content
• Funding sources of journal, including institutional support, author fees, subscription and organizational
  funding. None of our revenue sources affect or influence our editorial decisions.