Ethics and Publication Malpractice

Journal of BioScience and Biotechnology follows the ICMJE Recommendations for the Biomedical Journals (http://www.icmje.org) and the standards for Ethics and Publication Malpractice set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Conformance to standards of ethical behavior is therefore expected of all parties involved: Authors, Reviewers, Editors, and the Publisher.

AUTHORSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The authorship should be based on the following 4 criteria:

1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; AND
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. "Clinical Investigators" or "Participating Investigators"), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," "provided and cared for study patients", "participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript"). The criteria are not intended for use as a means to disqualify colleagues from authorship who otherwise meet authorship criteria by denying them the opportunity to meet criterion #s 2 or 3. Therefore, all individuals who meet the first criterion should have the opportunity to participate in the review, drafting, and final approval of the manuscript.

It is the collective responsibility of the authors, not the journal to which the work is submitted, to determine that all people named as authors meet all four criteria; it is not the role of journal editors to determine who qualifies or does not qualify for authorship or to arbitrate authorship conflicts. If agreement cannot be reached about who qualifies for authorship, the institution(s) where the work was performed, not the journal editor, should be asked to investigate. If authors request removal or addition of an author after manuscript submission or publication, journal editors should seek an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.

The corresponding author is the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal's administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Publication and authorship

1. All submitted papers are subject to strict peer-review process by at least two international reviewers that are experts in the area of the particular paper.
2. The factors that are taken into account in review are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language.
3. The possible decisions include acceptance, acceptance with revisions, or rejection.
4. If authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit a submission, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted.
5. Rejected articles will not be re-reviewed.
6. The paper acceptance is constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
7. No research can be included in more than one publication.

Authors' responsibilities

1. Authors must certify that their manuscripts are their original work.
2. Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere.
3. Authors must certify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
4. Authors must participate in the peer review process.
5. Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.
6. All Authors mentioned in the paper must have significantly contributed to the research.
7. Authors must state that all data in the paper are real and authentic.
8. Authors must notify the Editors of any conflicts of interest.
9. Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript.
10. Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.

Reviewers' responsibilities

1. Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information.
2. Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author.
3. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
4. Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
5. Reviewers should also call to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
6. Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Editors' responsibilities

1. Editors have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article.
2. Editors are responsible for the contents and overall quality of the publication.
3. Editors should always consider the needs of the authors and the readers when attempting to improve the publication.
4. Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record.
5. Editors should publish errata pages or make corrections when needed.
6. Editors should have a clear picture of a research's funding sources.
7. Editors should base their decisions solely one the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.
8. Editors should not reverse their decisions nor overturn the ones of previous editors without serious reason.
9. Editors should preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
10. Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines.
11. Edittors should only accept a paper when reasonably certain.
12. Editors should act if they suspect misconduct, whether a paper is published or unpublished, and make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem.
13. Editors should not reject papers based on suspicions, they should have proof of misconduct.
14. Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers and board members.

THE REVIEW PROCESS

The Editor-in-Chief initially assesses the appropriateness of each submitted manuscript for publication. Manuscripts which fall outside the journal's scope or are substandard in respects of non-merit reasons (presentation, style, technical aspects) may be declined without a review. The Editor-in-Chief appoints an Editor with expertise in the relevant field, who is fully responsible for further handling the manuscript and an ultimate decision about its acceptance/rejection. The Editor initially evaluates the originality and potential impact of the work. Manuscripts deemed unsuitable (work incomplete, inconclusive, merely confirmatory, with scientific or methodological flaws, of insufficient originality or limited interest to a general biological audience) are returned to the author(s) without detailed review. Manuscripts that meet editorial criteria for content and minimum quality standard are rigorously vetted by external expert reviewers recruited by the Editor. Authors are encouraged to suggest names of potential referees though there is no agreement that the manuscript should necessarily be sent to them; the final selection of reviewers remains a prerogative of the Editors. Editors and reviewers are requested to treat all submitted manuscripts in strict confidence. The authors' names are revealed to the referees, but not vice versa. The articles are reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers.

The reviewers make an objective, impartial evaluation of scientific merits of the manuscript. Reviewers are asked to comment on the following aspects of the submitted manuscripts:
• novelty and originality of the work;
• broad interest to the community of researchers;
• significance to the field, potential impact of the work, conceptual or methodological advances described;
• study design and clarity;
• substantial evidence supporting claims and conclusions;
• rigorous methodology.

The primary criteria for judging the acceptability of a manuscript are its originality, scientific importance and interest to a general biological audience. If a manuscript is believed to not meet the standards of the journal or is otherwise lacking in scientific rigor or contains major deficiencies, the reviewers will attempt to provide constructive criticism to assist the authors in ultimately improving their work. If a manuscript is believed to be potentially acceptable for publication but needs to be improved, it is invited for reconsideration with the expectation that the authors will fully address the reviewer's suggestions.

Once all reviews have been received and considered by theEditor, a decision letter to the author is drafted. There are several types of decisions possible:
• Accept without revision
• Accept after minor revision
• Accept after major revision
• Reject.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

In order to encourage transparency without impeding publication, all authors, referees and editors must declare any association that poses a conflict of interest in connection with the manuscript.

Authors should declare whether they have any conflicts of interests that could have influenced the reporting of the experimental data or conclusions in their paper. Such a statement should list all potential interests or, if appropriate, should clearly state that there are none. The editors may decide not to publish papers when we believe the competing interests are such that they may have compromised the work or the analyses or interpretations presented. Upon submission of a manuscript, authors may suggest to exclude any specific editors or reviewers from the peer review of their article. It is the responsibility of authors to disclose in the Acknowledgments section any funding sources for the project or other relationships that are relevant.

Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern. Editor who believes that the conflict will preclude an impaired judgment should disclose  the nature of the conflict and decline to handle the paper.

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 manuscripts. 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. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.