Dealing with unethical behavior

Anyone can report suspected unethical behavior or any misbehavior to the Editor-in-Chief / Editorial Board by providing the appropriate credible information/evidence to begin an investigation.

  • The Editor-in-Chief decides to launch an investigation.
  • During an investigation, any evidence should be treated as private and only shared with individuals directly involved in the inquiry.
  • Whenever possible, the accused shall be allowed to react to the charges levelled against them.
  • If misbehaviour has happened after the investigation, it will be rated as minor or severe.

Minor misconduct (that does not affect the paper's or journal's integrity, such as misunderstanding or incorrect application of publication standards) will be dealt with directly by authors and reviewers without the involvement of any other parties. The following are some of the outcomes:

  • Authors and reviewers are sent a warning letter.
  • Corrections to a paper's publication, such as when properly cited sources in the text are missing from the reference list.
  • If the editorial staff made an error, an erratum should be published.

In case of serious misconduct, the Editor-in-Chief / Editorial Board may take the following actions:

  • The misconduct is described in an official announcement or editorial.
  • Can Notifying the author's/affiliating reviewer's institution formally.
  • The journal's formal, public withdrawal of publications complies with the Retraction Policy.
  • An individual's submissions are prohibited for a set length of time.
  • A case is sent to a professional body or a legal authority for further examination and action.

The activities listed above can be conducted alone or in concert. Relevant expert organisations, bodies, or individuals may be consulted during the case resolution process.

The Editorial Board will follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standards and recommendations when dealing with unethical behaviour.