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Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
HomePublication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

General

The publishing ethics and malpractice policies of Pensoft follow the relevant COPE guidelines (http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines) and in case a malpractice is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with them.


Open access

Pensoft journals adheres strictly to gold open access to accelerate the barrier-free dissemination of scientific knowledge. All published articles are made freely available to read, download, and distribute, immediately upon publication, given that the original source and authors are cited (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY).  

For more details on Pensoft’s open access and copyright policy see the Copyright Information page.


Privacy statement

The names and email addresses present on journals’ websites will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the journals and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.


Open data publishing and sharing

Pensoft encourages open data publication and sharing, in accordance with Panton’s Principles and  Pensoft’s Data Publishing Policies and Guidelines for Biodiversity Data.
 

Data can be published in various ways, such as data files or packages supplementary to a research article, or hosted in and linked to data repositories.

Datasets should be deposited in an appropriate, trusted repository and the associated identifier (URL or DOI) of the dataset(s) must be included in the data resources section of the article. Reference(s) to datasets should also be included in the reference list of the article with DOIs (where available). Where no discipline-specific data repository exists authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as Dryad or Pangaea.

In Pensoft’s journals, open access to data is not compulsory, however highly recommended and encouraged. Open data publication is mandatory in the Biodiversity Data Journal,  where authors must make available all research materials or data, associated with a manuscript upon its submission.


Submission, peer-review and editorial process

The peer-review and editorial process is facilitated through an online editorial system and a set of email notifications. Pensoft journals’ websites display stepwise description of the editorial process and list all necessary instructions and links. The later are also included in the respective email notification.

General: Publication and authorship

  • All submitted papers are subject to rigorous peer-review process by at least two international Reviewers that are experts in the area of the particular paper. 
  • The factors that are taken into account in review are relevance, soundness, significance, originality, readability and language. 
  • The journals allow a maximum of two rounds of review of a manuscript. The ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the respective Subject Editor and in some cases with the Editor-in-Chief. All appeals should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, who may decide to seek advice among the Subject Editors and Reviewers.
  • The possible decisions include: (1) Accept, (2) Minor revisions, (2) Major revisions, (3) Reject, but re-submission encouraged, (5) Reject. 
  • If Authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit a submission, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted. 
  • The paper acceptance is constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. 
  • No research can be included in more than one publication.

Responsibility of Authors

  • Authors are required to agree that their paper will be published in open access under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY) license.
  • Authors must certify that their manuscripts are their original work. 
  • Authors must certify that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere. 
  • Authors must certify that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. 
  • Authors should submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English and formatted in accordance with journal’s Author Guidelines.
  • Authors must participate in the peer review process. 
  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes. 
  • All Authors mentioned are expected to have significantly contributed to the research. 
  • Authors must notify the Editors of any conflicts of interest. 
  • Authors must identify all sources used in the creation of their manuscript. 
  • Authors must report any errors they discover in their published paper to the Editors.
  • Authors should acknowledge all significant funders of the research pertaining to their article and list all relevant competing interests.   
  • Other sources of support for publications should also be clearly identified in the manuscript, usually in an acknowledgement (e.g.,  funding of article processing charge for an open access article, or writing, language editing or editorial assistance).
  • The corresponding Author should provide the declaration of any conflicts of interest on behalf of all the Authors. Conflicts of interest may be associated with employment, sources of funding, personal financial interests, and membership of relevant organisations, or others.

Responsibility of Reviewers

  • The manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or three experts with the aim of reaching a first decision as soon as possible. Reviewers do not need to sign their reports but are welcome to do so. They are also asked to declare any conflicts of interests.
  • The Reviewers are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as for the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. If Reviewers recognize that a manuscript requires linguistic edits, they should inform both Authors and Editor in the report.
  • Reviewers are asked to check whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable.
  • In cases of strong disagreement between the reviews or between the Authors and Reviewers, the Editors can judge these according to his/her expertise or seek advice from a member of the journal's Editorial Board.
  • Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external publicity, including press releases addressed to science journalists and mass media.
  • During a second review round, the Reviewer may be asked by the Subject Editor to evaluate the revised version of the manuscript with regards to Reviewer’s recommendations submitted during the first review round.
  • Reviewers are asked to be polite and constructive in their reports. Reports that may be insulting or uninformative will be rescinded.
  • The Reviewers are asked to start their report with a very brief summary of the reviewed paper. This will help the Editors and Authors see whether the reviewer correctly understood the paper or whether a report might be based on a misunderstanding.
  • Further, the Reviewers are asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research:
  • Is the paper sufficiently novel and contributes to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny, or is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive?
  • Is the introduction clear and concise? Does it place the work into the context that is necessary for a reader to comprehend aims, hypotheses tested, experimental design or methods? Are Material and Methods clearly described and sufficiently explained? Are reasons given when choosing one method over another one from a set of comparable methods? Are the results clearly but concisely described? Do they relate to the topic outlined in the introduction? Do they follow a logical sequence? Does the discussion place the paper in scientific context and go a step beyond the current scientific knowledge on the basis of the results? Are competing hypotheses or theories reasonably related to each other and properly discussed? Do conclusions seem reasonable?

Previous research: Is previous research adequately incorporated into the paper? Are references complete, necessary and accurate? Is there any sign that substantial parts of the paper were copies of other works?

  • Reviewers should not review 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 papers.
  • Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information. 
  • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 
  • Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
  • Reviewers 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.

Responsibility of Editors

  • The Editors in Pensoft’s journals carry the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the published papers and base their decisions solely one the papers' importance, originality, clarity and relevance to publication's scope.
  • Subject Editor takes the final decision on a manuscript’s acceptance or rejection and his/her name is listed as “Academic Editor” in the header of each article.
  • The Subject Editors are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as for the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. 
  • Editors are expected to spot small errors in orthography or stylistic during the editing process and correct them.
  • Editors should always consider the needs of the Authors and the Readers when attempting to improve the publication. 
  • Editors should guarantee the quality of the papers and the integrity of the academic record. 
  • Editors should preserve the anonymity of Reviewers, unless the later decide to disclose their identities. 
  • Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. 
  • 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. 
  • Editors should not reject papers based on suspicions, they should have proof of misconduct.
  • Editors should not allow any conflicts of interest between Authors, Reviewers and Board Members.


Misconduct

Research misconduct may include: (a) manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, (b) changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the article.

A special case of misconduct is the plagiarism, which is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

If misconduct is suspected, journal Editors will act in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines

Should a comment on potential misconduct be submitted by the Reviewers or Editors, an explanation will be sought from the Authors. If this is satisfactory and a mistake or misunderstanding has taken place, the matter can be resolved. If not, the manuscript will be rejected and the the Editors will impose a ban on that individual's publication in the journals for a period of three years.

In cases of published plagiarism or dual publication, an announcement will be made in both journals explaining the situation.


Appeals and open debate

We encourage academic debate and constructive criticism. Authors are always invited to respond to any editorial correspondence before publication. Authors do not have a right to neglect unfavorable comments about their work and to choose not to respond to criticisms.

No Reviewer’s comment or published correspondence may contain a personal attack on any of the Authors. Criticism of the work is encouraged and Editors should edit (or reject) personal or offensive statements.

The Author should submit their appeal on editorial decisions to the Editorial Office, addressed to the Editor-in-Chief or to the Managing Editor. Authors are discouraged from directly contacting Editorial Board Members and Editors with appeals.

Editors will mediate all discussions between Authors and Reviewers during the peer-review process, that is prior to publication. If agreement cannot be reached, Editors may consider inviting additional reviewers, if appropriate.

Editor-in-Chief will mediate all discussions between Authors and a Subject Editor.

The journals encourage publication of open opinions, forum papers, corrigenda, critical comments on a published paper and Author’s response to criticism.

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Pensoft adheres to open access as much as possible to accelerate the barrier-free dissemination of scientific knowledge. Several of our journals and e-books can be read, downloaded, printed and distributed at no charge for the reader!
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