Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statements
Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statements
The International Journal of Agriculture and Biosciences (IJAB) is quarterly (January-March; April-June; July-September; October-December) peer-reviewed, and open access journal published by the Unique Scientific Publishers. This journal publishes original research papers, reviews, clinical articles/case reports and short communications in agriculture, veterinary, animal sciences and allied disciplines. The IJAB publishes the articles/manuscripts those contribute significantly to the knowledge in the field of agriculture and biosciences. Preference is given to the original articles that develop new concepts or experimental approaches and are not merely repositories of scientific data.
2. Publishing Ethics
Publication malpractice is an unfortunate occurrence in the world of scholarly literature. The prevention of publication malpractice is not only the responsibility of the editor, but also of author(s), reviewer(s), publisher(s) and institution(s). IJAB has clear and publicly available statements of publication ethics and publication malpractice and IJAB will ensure high ethical and professional standards.
The formal part of the scholarly communication system, the publication of an article in a peer-reviewed learned journal, serves many purposes outside of simple communication. It is a building block in developing a rational and respected knowledge network. It is prima facie evidence for the quality and impact of the research work of its authors and, by extension, the institutions that support them. It supports and is itself an example of the scientific method. For all these reasons and more, it is important to lay down standards of expected ethical behavior by all parties involved in publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, and the publisher. This includes all parties treating each other with respect and dignity and without discrimination, harassment, bullying, or retaliation.
It is the responsibility of the Editor, IJAB and the Unique Scientific Publishers to take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. In no case the Editor, IJAB and the Unique Scientific Publishers will encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. If such misconduct case has been reported then Editor, IJAB and the Unique Scientific Publishers will deal with allegations appropriately.
Authors are required to go through the document “Publication Ethics and Policies of the IJAB” before submission of the manuscript.
The management of the IJAB is committed to maintain a high academic standard and is unbiased to any religious, nationality and ideological issue. This journal is purely research-based. Thus, we are impartial to anyone. The IJAB considered those manuscripts prepared keeping all the Ethical guidelines suggested by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE ). It is assumed that all named authors agree with the contents and form of the manuscript and are responsible for the validity and originality of data presented in the manuscript.
Any behavior contrary to this ethics including plagiarism is unacceptable; the manuscript will be removed from our website and the employer of the author (s) will be asked for strict action against such person (s). Thus, it is the responsibility of the author (s) to ensure that their submitted work does not interfere with any existing copyright material.
These guidelines are designed specifically for IJAB but may also be relevant for review and other professional publications. IJAB is among journals those are concerning discipline-specific standards or standard-setting bodies. IJAB follows the Publication Ethics laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE ), World Association of Medical Editors (WAME ), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE ), Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT ), and Guidelines for what a Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement should adhere to (PEMS ).
3. Peer-review Process
It is being clarified that all submissions to IJAB are subjected to peer-review process. IJAB follow the double-blind peer-review process. Manuscripts are sent for obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers’ expert in the field who are not part of the journal’s editorial staff. Submission of any manuscript does not guarantee manuscript acceptance or very short peer review times.
4. Integrity in Research and its Publication
4.1. Authorship and contribution-ship
Authorship should be limited to those who have contributed significantly to the conception, design, execution, data analysis, interpretation of the data, and writing up and revision of the manuscript. All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors. IJAB will follow the guidelines provided by the ICMJE about authorship. In this regard, COPE’s guidelines are also much clear.
At the time of submission, all authors listed as author has to provide his/her consent in written form that he/she has contributed significantly to the manuscript under discussion. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication.
4.2. Authorship from unrelated field
IJAB will not consider authors to be included from other fields, e.g., Manuscript is related to fish toxicology and authors have been included from humanities or engineering, etc. Another example could be, Manuscript is related to crop protection and authors have also been included from economics or animal sciences.
4.3. Ghost, guest, or gift authorship
IJAB discourages the ghost, guest, or gift authorship, in this regard IJAB will follow COPE policy . IJAB will suspend peer review if suspicion is raised about authorship as suggested by COPE . Once it is identified and proved that there is guest, ghost or gift authorship, IJAB will go beyond the suspension of peer review process, will reject the publication.
4.4. Addition, Deletion or Re-arrangement of Authors
Authors are expected to consider the list and order of authors carefully before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Only in exceptional circumstances will the editor consider (at their discretion) the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been submitted, and the authors must send any such request to the editor. Editor will ensure that all authors have agreed with any such addition, removal, or rearrangement in written form. Authors take collective responsibility for the work. Each individual author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
5. Duplicate Submission
Only those manuscripts are considered for publication in the IJAB, the contents of which have not been published and are not being considered for publication in any other journal. It is unethical that authors submit their manuscript simultaneously to more than one journal. Authors should wait for the result of the first submission, if not accepted, then they can proceed. If any such duplicate submission is proved, then IJAB will blacklist such authors and will deny future submission.
6. Ethical Guidelines
Ethical guidelines are developed keeping the standards defined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE ). Authors must write Bioethical statement at the start of the Materials and Methods section. Ethics Committee or Bioethics/Biosecurity Committee/Institutional Bioethics Committee approval is mandatory when human or animal/bird subjects/samples are involved in the research. In addition to this approval, authors must have written consent from patients (or relatives/guardians) before submitting the manuscript to the IJAB. It is taken for granted that the anonymity of the personals involved in research will be maintained.
All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and associated guidelines (UK Animal Act 1986 ) or EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (EU Directive 2010 ), or the US Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act .
7. The ethical requirements for publishers, editors, reviewers, and authors
include but are not limited to the following:
In of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in IJAB, the publisher or editor will follow COPE’s guidelines (or equivalent) in dealing with allegations.
7.1. Publisher: We require publishers to promote and comply with industry best practices. The publisher shall provide editors with technical, procedural, and legal support and ensure their editorial decisions are independent and not affected by any other factors.
a. Guardianship of the scholarly record: These guidelines have been written with all these requirements in mind but especially recognizing that it is an important role of the publisher to support the huge efforts made by journal editors and the often-unsung volunteer work undertaken by peer reviewers in maintaining the integrity of the scholarly record. Although ethical codes inevitably concentrate on the infractions that sometimes occur, it is a tribute to scholarly practice that the system works so well and that problems are comparatively rare. The publisher has a supporting, investing, and nurturing role in the scholarly communication process but is ultimately responsible for ensuring that best practice is followed in its publications (STM ; COPE Codes of Conduct ). Unique Scientific Publishers takes its duties of guardianship over the scholarly record seriously. Our journals record “the minutes of science,” and we recognize our responsibilities as the keeper of those “minutes” in all our policies, not least the ethical guidelines we have adopted here. Unique Scientific Publishers is adopting these policies and procedures to support editors, reviewers, and authors in performing their ethical duties under these guidelines. We work with other publishers and industry associations to set standards for best practices on ethical matters, errors, and retractions.
b. Safeguard editorial independence: We, the Publisher are committed to ensuring that the potential for advertising, reprint, or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions.
c. Collaborate to set industry best practice: We promote best practices by opting for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE ) guidelines and providing editors with Crossref/Turnitin Similarity Check reports for all submissions to our editorial systems.
d. Provide editors with technical, procedural and legal support: We support editors in communications with other journals or publishers where this is useful to editors and are prepared to provide specialized legal review and counsel if necessary.
e. Educate researchers on publishing ethics: We also provide extensive education and advice on publishing ethics standards, particularly for early career researchers, by conducting various workshops in institutions.
7.2. Editors: The editors shall follow the industry best practice, including but not limited to ensuring the editorial decisions they make, and the peer review process are fair, unbiased, and timely. It is wroth to mention that Editorial decisions are based on merit and not affected by factors such as the origins of the manuscript and the nationality, political beliefs or religion of the author.
a. Publication decisions: The editor of a learned journal is solely and independently responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions. The editor 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 issues such as libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making these decisions.
b. Peer review: The editor shall ensure that the peer-review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. At least two external and independent reviewers must typically review research articles; where necessary, the editor should seek additional opinions.
The editor shall select reviewers with suitable expertise in the relevant field, considering the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation. The editor shall follow best practices to avoid the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers (WAME Best Practice ). The editor shall review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers to determine whether there is any potential for bias.
c. Fair play: The editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. When nominating potential editorial board members, the editor shall consider the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation.
The journal’s editorial policies should encourage transparency and complete, honest reporting, and the editor should ensure that peer reviewers and authors clearly understand what is expected of them. The editor shall use the journal’s standard electronic submission system for all communications. The editor shall establish, along with the publisher, a transparent mechanism for appeal against editorial decisions.
d. Journal metrics: The editor must not attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric. In particular, the editor shall not require that references to that (or any other) journal’s articles be included except for genuine scholarly reasons, and authors should not be required to include references to the editor’s articles or products and services in which the editor has an interest.
e. Confidentiality: The editor must protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. In exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the publisher, the editor may share limited information with editors of other journals where necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct (COPE Guidelines ).
Unless the journal operates an open peer-review system and/or reviewers have agreed to disclose their names, the editor must protect reviewers’ identities. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the author’s express written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be confidential and not used for personal advantage.
f. Declaration of Competing Interests: Any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher before the editor’s appointment and updated if and when new conflicts arise. The publisher may publish such declarations in the journal.
The editor must not be involved in decisions about papers which s/he has written him/herself or have been written by family members or colleagues or related to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Further, any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently of the relevant author/editor and their research groups, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.
The editor shall apply the Unique Scientific Publishers policy relating to disclosing potential conflicts of interest by authors and reviewers, e.g., the ICMJE guidelines .
g. Vigilance over the Published Record: The editor should work to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing reported or suspected misconduct (research, publication, reviewer, and editorial) in conjunction with the publisher.
Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies. The editor shall make proper use of the publisher’s systems to detect misconduct, such as plagiarism.
An editor presented with convincing evidence of misconduct should coordinate with the publisher to arrange the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other correction to the record, as may be relevant.
7.3. Reviewers: Reviewers shall assist the editors in making editorial decisions and may also assist the author in improving the paper. Reviews should be conducted objectively, and reviewers are responsible for ensuring the review process is fair, unbiased, and timely.
a. Contribution to Editorial Decisions: Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions, and the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is essential to formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of the scientific method. In addition to the specific ethics-related duties described below, reviewers are asked to treat authors and their work as they would like to be treated and observe good reviewing etiquette. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and decline to participate in the review process.
b. Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Reviewers must not share the review or information about the paper with anyone or contact the authors directly without permission from the editor.
Some editors encourage discussion with colleagues or co-reviewing exercises. Still, reviewers should discuss this with the editor to ensure that confidentiality is observed and that participants receive suitable credit. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the author’s express written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be confidential and not used for personal advantage.
c. Alertness to Ethical Issues: A reviewer should be alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and bring these to the editor’s attention, including any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge. The relevant citation should accompany any statement that had previously reported observation, derivation, or argument.
d. Standards of Objectivity and Competing Interests: Reviewers should conduct reviews objectively. Reviewers should be aware of personal bias and consider this when reviewing a paper. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Reviewers should consult the editor before agreeing to review a paper where they have potential conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers. Suppose a reviewer suggests that an author includes citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work. In that case, this must be for genuine scientific reasons and not to increase the reviewer’s citation count or enhance the visibility of their work (or that of their associates).
7.4. Authors: The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works and should not, in general, publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal. It is also the responsibility of the authors, whenever any question raises about the presented data, then authors have to reproduce the data for verification.
a. Reporting Standards: Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should represent accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should be accurate and objective and clearly identify editorial ‘opinion’ works.
b. Data Access and Retention: Authors may be asked to provide the research data supporting their paper for editorial review and/or to comply with the open data requirements of the journal. Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable number of years after publication. Authors may refer to their journal’s Guide for Authors for further details.
c. Originality and Acknowledgement of Sources: 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, and permission has been obtained where necessary. Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have influenced the reported work and give the work appropriate context within the larger scholarly record. 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.
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 behavior and is unacceptable.
d. Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication: An author should not generally publish manuscripts describing the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical behavior and is unacceptable.
In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a paper that has been published previously, except in the form of an abstract, as part of a published lecture or academic thesis, or as an electronic preprint.
Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g., clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication. Further detail on acceptable forms of secondary publication can be found in the ICMJE .
e. Confidentiality: Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
f. Authorship of the Article: Authorship should be limited to those who have contributed significantly to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors.
The acknowledgments section should recognize others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the paper (e.g., language editing or medical writing).
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included in 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.
Authors are expected to consider the list and order of authors carefully before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Only in exceptional circumstances will the editor consider (at their discretion) the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been submitted, and the author must flag any such request to the editor. All authors must agree with any such addition, removal, or rearrangement.
Authors take collective responsibility for the work. Each individual author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Individual journals may have particular definitions of authorship, e.g., medical journals may follow the ICMJE definition of authorship, and authors should ensure that they comply with the policies of the relevant journal.
g. Hazards and Animal Subjects: If the work involves chemicals, procedures, or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must identify these in the manuscript.
Suppose the work involves the use of animal or human subjects. In that case, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures comply with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) have approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures ) Act 1986 and associated guidelines (UK Animal Act 1986 ) or EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (EU Directive 2010 ), or the US Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act.
h. Declaration of Competing Interests: WAME defines conflict of interest as “a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities, such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests” (WAME Editorial statement on COI ). All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could be viewed as inappropriately influencing (bias) their work.
All sources of financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article should be disclosed, as should the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. This should be stated if the funding source(s) had no such involvement.
Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should disclose include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest possible stage (WAME Editorial statement on COI ).
i. Notification of Fundamental Errors: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their 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 if deemed necessary by the editor. Suppose the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains an error. In that case, it is the obligation of the author to cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where requested.
j. Image Integrity: It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly (Rossner and Yamada 2004 ).
Authors should comply with any specific policy for graphical images applied by the relevant journal, e.g., providing the original images as supplementary material with the article or depositing these in a suitable repository.
k. Clinical Trial Transparency: The Unique Scientific Publishers supports clinical trial transparency. For relevant journals, authors are expected to conform to industry best standards in clinical trial registration and presentation, for example, the CONSORT guidelines as further set out in the policies of the relevant journal (ICMJE).
8. Research Misconduct
The management of IJAB will take it seriously if any type of misconduct in research presented for publication is found. Research misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Descripencies could be:
8.1. Data Falsification/Fabrication
This is a serious offence to manuplate/fabricate the data generated. Data in Tables or Figures/Bardiagrams should be orginal as acquired from the analysis. A strict action will be taken in such case and the submitted manuscript will be rejected.
8.2. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
8.3. Lives Miss-treated
If in an experiment, lives (could be humans, birds, animals) were used, prior consent and Ethical approval was not obtained and over-stressed, miss-treated, or miss-guided, IJAB will not entertain such submissions.
To verify originality, submitted manuscript will be checked by any originality detection service such as Turnitin (https://www.turnitin.com/), Crossref Similarity Check (https://www.crossref.org/ ), iThenticate (https://www.ithenticate.com/ ), etc. Keeping Similarity Index less than 19% and also Similarity Index from any single source less than 5% at the time of submission of the manuscript is the responsibility of authors. If the similarirty index is high, manuscript is liable to be rejected.
8.5. Citation Manipulation
IJAB encourages the use of EndNote software (a commercial reference management software package, used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles) for writing references. Only citations/references closely related to the author’s work are allowed for citation. It is not only the responsibility of Editor to check the citations in the manuscript relevant to the subject, but major responsibility is of authors. If such irrelevant citations are found in the submitted manuscript, the manuscript will not be processed further but will be returned to authors for correction.
9. Handling of Allegations of misconduct
This heading is multifactorial. Editor/Publisher will have to deal according to the nature of the misconduct. The management of IJAB will deal strictly with the misconduct cases. Though at the time of submission, plagiarism will be checked, and if found greater than 19%; that submission is not processed further. If plagiarism is detected in published article, then that will be reported to the institution concern to take serious action and published article will be retracted. Similarly, data fabrication, falsification, manopulation of figures/pictures could lead to rejection of the manuscript and reporting to their parent institution for strict action.
Any complaint against Management of IJAB/Editor/Publisher whenever it arises, an External Committee will be constituted comprised of three editors of reputed Scopus indexed (Q2) journals with the request to find facts and figures and propose solution. If a complaint is against an author or authors, then it will be dealt Editor, IJAB in consultation with the publisher. All such decision/action taken will be discussed and approved in the meeting of the Management of IJAB.
11. Conflict of Interest
All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest, including any financial, personal, or other relationships with other people or organizations, within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work.
12. Copyright and Licensing
Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship. Works are original when they are independently created by a human author and have a minimal degree of creativity. Independent creation simply means that you create it yourself, without copying, thus copryrights of the published article are retained by the authors. However, IJAB has open-access policy under the CC BY-NC-ND license .
Modified: May 28, 2023