PUBLICATIONS ETHICS AND MALPRACTICE STATEMENT
The statement is based on the worldwide recognized Elsevier’s Publishing ethics resource kit (http://www.elsevier.com/ethics/toolkit) and on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines). Full detailed guidelines of international standards for authors and editors can be found here: http://publicationethics.org/international-standards-editors-and-authors.
Reporting standards. Authors of original research reports should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an argumentatively coherent discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail to permit others to judge the academic and scientific merits of the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
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, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and plagiarism. The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, 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's 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 behaviour and is unacceptable.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication. An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.
Acknowledgement of sources. Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source.
Authorship of the 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. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all 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 other substantive conflict 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.
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.
Publication decisions. The editors of a peer-reviewed journal are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editors may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
Fair play. An editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.
Confidentiality. The editors 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 expressed written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Contribution to editorial decisions. Peer review assists the editors in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.
Promptness. Referees who feel unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that a prompt review will be impossible, should notify the editor and excuse themselves from the review process.
Confidentiality. Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editors.
Ethics. Reviews should be written respectfully. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Sweeping general remarks that disfavour the author's paper is unacceptable and such remarks needs to be backed up with clear arguments and concrete references to the content of the paper reviewed.
Acknowledgement of sources. Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editors' attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest. 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. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest.