For all parties involved in the act of publishing (the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer and the publisher) it is necessary to agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour. The ethics statements for Scholars Journal of Science and Technology (Scholar J. Sci. & Tech. or SJST) are based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
The editor of a peer-reviewed journal is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal should be published, and, moreover, is accountable for everything published in the journal. In making these decisions, the editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board as well as by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers when making publication decisions. The editor should maintain the integrity of the academic record, preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
The editor should evaluate manuscripts for intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s). The editor will not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than the author(s), reviewers and potential reviewers, and in some instances the editorial board members, as appropriate.
The editor 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, conflicts of interest, and other issues
The editor will be guided by COPE’s Guidelines for Retracting Articles when considering retracting, issuing expressions of concern about, and issuing corrections pertaining to articles that have been published in Scholars Journal of Science and Technology (Scholar J. Sci. & Tech. or SJST). Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.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.
The editor is committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. The editor should seek to ensure a fair and appropriate peer-review process. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or another member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. 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.
Involvement and cooperation in investigations
Editors should guard the integrity of the published record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct. Editors should pursue reviewer and editorial misconduct. An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper.
Contribution to editorial decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communication with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.
Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its timely review will be impossible should immediately notify the editor so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the editor. Scholars Journal of Science and Technology (Scholar J. Sci. & Tech. or SJST) operate double-blind peer review. Reviewers should be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is unacceptable. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
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 editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published data of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider evaluating 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 submission.
Authors reporting results of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
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.
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. Parallel submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgement of the work of others must always be given. Authors should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Authorship of a manuscript
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 named in an Acknowledgement section.
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the author list of the manuscript and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Ghostwriting and guest authorship are strictly forbidden as contradictory to the scientific work rules and ethics. The contribution to the research from financing agencies and other institutions should be shown in Acknowledgments. The statement of the main author about no ghostwriting and guest authorship in the proposed paper has to be included in the submission form.
Hazards and human or animal subjects
If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the 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’s editor or publisher and cooperate with them to either retract the paper or to publish an appropriate erratum.
This list is not exhaustive. Authors should be aware of local laws and standards adopted in scientific publications.
In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum or, in the most severe cases, the complete retraction of the affected work.