Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

To develop a coherent and cohesive network of knowledge, the publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is considered an essential building block. In fact, it reflects the quality of the work of the authors and the institutes that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and represent the scientific method. It is, therefore, essential that all related to the publication process, the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society of society-owned or sponsored journals, follow certain standards of ethical behaviour. Online Academic Press (OAP) follows the Code of Conduct of Committee on Publication Ethics,  2018 and its Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Our journals follow COPE’s procedures for dealing with potentially unethical behaviour by authors, reviewers or editors. Online Academic Press’s editorial staff are all trained in how to recognize and respond to ethical problems and issues. 

Online Academic Press strongly asks that all manuscripts comply with the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2018)

Reference

Committee on Publication Ethics  (January 2018). Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from
https://publicationethics.org/files/Principles_of_Transparency_and_Best_Practice_in_Scholarly_Publishingv3.pdf

Responsibilities at a glance:

Duties of Authors

Submission:

Manuscripts should be submitted by one of the authors. Submissions by anyone other than one of the authors will not be accepted. The submitted paper, or any translation of it, must neither be published nor be submitted for publication elsewhere. Violations of these rules will normally result in an immediate rejection of the submission without further review.

When a new submission is received, a couple of checks will be done at the publisher’s office:

*Initial check of format and completeness

*Initial check for the publication status

*Initial check of author’s background

*Initial check for Plagiarism

*Check for machine produced manuscript

Reporting Standards:

Authors are required to present an accurate account of the work done as well as an objective discussion on its importance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the research paper. In research paper there should be sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work if desired. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate information constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable in any circumstances.

Data Access and Retention:

Authors may be asked to provide the reviewers with the research/raw data supporting their paper for review process and/or to comply with the open data requirements of the journal.  Authors should be ready 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. 

Originality and Acknowledgement of Sources:

The authors should ensure originality in their research works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, they should ensure that this has been appropriately cited or quoted and permission has been obtained where necessary.

 Authors are required to acknowledge the works of others properly. They should cite the publications that have influenced the reported work and that have given the work appropriate context within the larger scholarly record. Information obtained privately, such as face to face conversation, correspondence, or discussion with the third parties, must not be used or disclosed without explicit, written permission from the original source.

Plagiarism:

Plagiarism in its all forms including, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper to claiming results from others’ research is altogether unethical and unacceptable. Such articles will be rejected immediately. Papers submitted to ECSE must contain original material. An Initial Plagiarism Check is carried out for every manuscript submitted to ECSE. 

Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication:

An author should avoid going for multiple, redundant and concurrent publication. Manuscripts describing the same research in more than one journal of primary publication are taken to be multiple redundant or concurrent. Such practice is considered unethical and unacceptable.

 Apart from an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, the author should not submit any research work that has already been published in another journal.

 Publication of some kinds of research articles such as clinical guidelines and translations in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the concerned journals 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. 

Confidentiality:

Information achieved in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be utilized without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in such services.

Authorship of the Paper:

Authorship should be confined to those who have made a significant contribution in the research design, execution of the study and interpretation of data of the reported study.  All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors.

 All those who have rendered their services in certain substantive aspects of the paper such as language editing or medical writing should be recognized in the acknowledgement section.

The corresponding author/ authors are responsible to ensure that all appropriate co-authors have been listed in the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper before its submission for publication.

Authors are expected to consider the list and order of authors carefully before submitting their research articles and provide the definite list of authors at the time of the original submission. The addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been submitted will be executed in accordance with the discretionary powers of the editors. Furthermore, all authors must agree with any such addition, deletion transposal or rearrangement.

As 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 suitably investigated and resolved.

Authors are expected to follow the definition of authorship according to the journal they are desirous to submit their research for. Compliance with the policies of the relevant journal is highly appreciable.

Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects:

If the work involves hazardous chemicals, procedures or equipments used in the research, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript.

 If the animal or human subjects have been involved to conduct research work, the author should ensure that all procedures were carried out in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. A statement regarding the informed consent for experimentation with human or animal subjects should also be presented with the manuscript.  

 The author can take help from The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans. For animal experiments, the author should comply with the ARRIVE guideline, the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedure Act 1986 and associated guidelines, or  EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, or the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Animal Welfare Act.

 If the author needs include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an publication, he must ensure consents, permissions and all that is relevant in black and white and the same should be provided to ECSE on request.

Declaration:

The authors are required to disclose in their manuscript all the financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could have caused any biased influence on their work.

 The author should disclose all sources of financial support for the conduction of the research and/or preparation of the article, as well as 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. If there are no funding sources, this should be ignored.

Notification of Fundamental Errors:

It is the sole responsibility of the author to notify the editor if he discovers any significant error or inaccuracy in his own published work. Further, he should cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper if deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or the publisher learn from a third party about an error or inaccuracy in the published work, it is obligatory for author to cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where requested.

Image Integrity:

To obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image is unethical and unacceptable. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or colour balance are acceptable and permitted if 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 unethical and will be dealt with accordingly.

Authors are required to 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.

Duties of Editors

Publication Decision:

The decisions regarding the publication of an article are solely and independently taken by the editor of the concerned journal. Such decisions govern the validation of work in question and its importance to the researchers and readers. The editorial board also governs the editor in the light of editorial policies. The editor may also be under constraints such as copyright infringements and plagiarism.  The editor may counsel other editors or reviewers in making these decisions.

Peer Review:

The editor is responsible to ensure fair, unbiased, and timely review process.  All research articles must be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers. The editor should seek further opinions if needed.

In the selection of reviewers, the editor must ensure suitable expertise in the relevant field and must follow best practice to avoid the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. The editor shall review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias.

Fair Play:

The editor is supposed to evaluate research articles for their intellectual content disregarding any other influence such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Transparency, thorough and honest reporting should be the focus on the editorial policies of the journal and the editor should ensure that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.  The editor of the journal will use the journal’s standard electronic submission system for all journal communications.

The editor will also establish, along with the publisher, a transparent mechanism for appeal against editorial decisions.

Confidentiality:

The editor must ensure confidentiality of all submitted material and all communication with reviewers unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. The editor may share limited information with editors of other journals where deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct and he may also consult with the publisher in extreme cases. The editor must hide reviewers’ identities unless the journal is operating in an open peer review system or the reviewers agree to unfold their identities

 The editor cannot use unpublished material of the submitted articles for his own research without the express written consent of the author.  He is expected to keep privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review confidential.

Declaration of Competing Interests:

In case of any potential editorial conflicts of interest, they should be communicated to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the editor, and then updated if and when new conflicts arise. Such declarations may be published in the journal.

The papers which the editor has written to him/herself or have been written by family members or colleagues must be dealt on merit regarding acceptance or rejection. Moreover, any such submission must be subject to the journal’s usual procedure.

Vigilance over the Published Record:

The editor is responsible to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing the reported or suspected misconduct regarding research, publication, reviewer and editorial along with the publisher.

The editor is also responsible to take such measures as contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made. He may further communicate to the relevant institutions and research bodies too. He will also ensure apt use of the publisher’s systems for the detection of misconduct, such as plagiarism.

An editor, if presented with convincing evidence of misconduct, is also responsible to coordinate with the publisher (and/or society) to arrange the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other correction to the record, as may be relevant.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions:

Peer review is an important component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of the scientific method. 

Peer review helps the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communication with the author he may also assist the author in improving the paper. Apart from the described and specific ethics-related duties, reviewers are expected usually to treat authors and their work as they would like to be treated themselves and to observe good reviewing etiquettes.

Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research article or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should communicate to the editor and refuse to participate in the review process.

Confidentiality:

Any research article received for review must be dealt with as a confidential document. Reviewers must not share or communicate with anyone the review report or information about the paper or contact the authors directly without permission from the editor.

 Discussion with colleagues or co-reviewing exercises may be held, but reviewers should first communicate this with the editor in order to ensure confidentiality.

 The reviewers cannot use unpublished materials presented in a submitted research article in their own research without the prior written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept in secret and must not be used for personal gains.

Alertness to Ethical Issues:

A reviewer’s duty is to be vigilant regarding any potential ethical issues in the paper and the same should be brought to the attention of the editor. Potential ethical issues may include any similarity in the disclosed material or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge. Any statement or any observation, derivation, or argument that had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.

Standards of Objectivity & Competing Interests:

Reviewers should be objective and unbiased in the review process. Personal criticism of the author is altogether inappropriate. Referees should express their opinions clearly with supporting arguments.

Reviewers should counsel 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.

 If a reviewer recommends that an author includes citations to the reviewer’s work, this must be based on genuine scientific reasons and not with the intention of increasing the reviewer’s citation count or enhancing the visibility of their work.

Duties of the Publisher

Ensure Editorial Independence:

We always strive to ensure that the potential for advertising, reprinting or other commercial revenue has no influence on editorial decisions.

Promote Industry Best Practice:

We are committed to promoting the best practice by offering editors publication ethics advised by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and providing them with Similarity Check reports for all submissions to our editorial systems.

Provide Editors With Technical, Procedural & Legal Support:

We support editors’ communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful to editors. We also are ready to provide specialized legal review and counsel if needed.

Educate Researchers On Publishing Ethics:

We also provide opportunities especially to beginner researchers for extensive education and advice on publishing ethics standards.

Copyright, Article Sharing, Article Withdrawal, Article Retraction, Article Removal and Article Replacement:

Online Academic Press ensures some policies for authors about the publication and distribution of the article. As an author, you should know these policies before the submission of an article. Below are mentioned these policies.

Copyright:

An author signs a copyright form/agreement with Online Academic Press thereby rendering publication and distribution rights. By this agreement, he also retains significant rights to use and share his own published article. All publisher and author rights are mentioned in the copyright form/agreement available here.

Online Academic Press retains unlimited rights to publish and distribute the published article by this agreement.  The copyright/agreement transfer covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprint, translation, photographic reproduction, microform, electronic form (online, offline) or any other reproduction of similar nature.

Article Sharing:

After publication, it is most important to share published work at several platforms. Article sharing helps the author to get more citations, audience, visibility and reputation. Thus, the article gets more citations and promotes the author in his professional career. Here are some ways that will help you to promote your paper after publication.

1-You can consider search engine optimization and keywords to help readers to discover your article.

2-You can share your paper on press and social media. A sharing option is available on every published article.

3-You may share your article on your personal website or blog.

4-You may share your article on any indexing database or institutional repository.

Online Academic Press publishes articles open access. All articles are CC-BY licensed. So, you can share articles with anyone, at any platform via any communication channel.

Policies on Article Withdrawal:

Online Academic Press understands the importance of completeness of the scholarly record for researchers and librarians and gives the highest importance to maintaining trust in the authority of its electronic archive. After publication, it is necessary that the article must be exactly what it is. But in some cases (Very occasionally) it comes necessary to withdraw, retract, remove or replace the article. Such cases are not taken very lightly. Online Academic Press follows some strict specific rules and policies mentioned below.

Article Withdrawal:

Sometimes, after submission, if an author needs to withdraw his article due to some reasons, the editor investigates the matter and reason for withdrawal. The editor processes the withdrawal after investigating the matter. The author can request for withdrawal within ONE week of submission. The author can withdraw his article after submission or after payment before publication. In case he demands withdrawal after payment. The manuscript will be withdrawn but the publication fee will not be refunded.

Retractions, Corrections, and Expressions of Concern:

Journal editors will consider retractions, corrections, or expressions of concern in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. If an author is found to have made an error, the journal will issue a corrigendum. If the journal is found to have made an error, they will issue an erratum. Retractions are usually reserved for articles that are so seriously flawed that their findings or conclusions should not be relied upon. Journals that publish accepted manuscripts may make minor changes, such as those which would likely occur during typesetting or proofreading, but any substantive corrections will be carried out in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines.

Reference

COPE (2019) COPE Retraction guidelines — English. https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.4 Version 2: November 2019.

Article Removal: Legal Limitations:

In an extremely limited number of cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. 

Article Replacement:

In case, where an article might pose a serious health risk, the author can replace his article with correct version. In this case, we will post a notice and link to the corrected re-published article.

Marketing Communication

Social media and email communication are powerful tools for disseminating and engaging with our publications, for reaching new readers, and for keeping content alive. However, such onward communication should never be at the expense of the integrity of the content or the academic record. All colleagues with responsibility for our social media channels are expected to familiarize themselves with the relevant Journal of Education and e-Learning Research social media policies and best practice in media use, and to follow the Advertising Standards Authority’s guidance on the marketing of publications (or equivalent bodies applicable to our global offices). Colleagues are also expected to apply these policies and this guidance when using external influencers during a social media campaign.

Advertising

We allow limited, appropriate, and sometimes targeted advertising on our online academic platforms and within some of our print publications. Where present, advertising must:

  • be independent from editorial decisions on what we publish,
  • be clearly distinct from content.

 We reserve the right to reject or remove any advertising if we have concerns that it contravenes these Research Publishing Ethics Guidelines or our Code of Ethics. We also advertise our products and services to customers. We do so in accordance with our data protection regulations, the Advertising Standards Authority’s guidance on themarketing of publications, and our internal compliance procedures.

How to raise a concern

Anyone who believes that research published by Online Academic Press has not been carried out in line with these principles should raise their concerns with the relevant editor, or email publishingethics@onlineacademicpress.com.