Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

All parties involved in the act of publishing (authors, journal editors, peer reviewers,
and the publisher) have to agree upon standards of ethical behavior.
Our ethic statements are based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors

Editor Responsibilities

Accountability and publication decisions
The editor of a peer-reviewed journal decides, and is accountable for, which submitted articles should be considered and published, being guided by the journal policies and constrained by legal demands concerning libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism, while conferring with other editors or reviewers as regards publication decisions. The editor should preserve the integrity of the academic record, prevent business needs from putting at risk intellectual and ethical criteria, and accept to publish corrections, explications, retractions, and justifications when required.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations
Editors should protect the entirety of the published record by communicating required corrections and retractions and investigating alleged research and publication, reviewer, and editorial misconduct. Judiciously responsive measures should be taken when ethical complaints concern a submitted or published paper.

Fair play
The editor should assess manuscripts for scientific content without considering author’s gender, sexual orientation, race, religious belief, political orientation, ethnic origin, or citizenship, and will not disclose any information about a considered paper to anyone other than the author(s), (potential) reviewers, and possibly the editorial board members.

Information as regards a submitted manuscript must be disclosed by the editor/editorial staff only to the corresponding author(s), (potential) reviewers, and possibly the editorial board members.

Data privacy policy
Limited personal data are processed for individuals visiting the website without planning to set up an account. Information is gathered from customers to supply usage reporting. Additional personal data are processed when using the submission and peer review systems. Personal data are used in promoting our services and products to users, and for derived statistical analysis. Third party content is added to enhance website experience. Distinct data protection standards may be deployed for personal data disclosed outside user’s country of residence. Personal data are secured by having adopted adequate safeguards and are retained only for a short time interval. Users may be entitled to exercise particular rights concerning personal data processing, according to applicable legislation.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
COPE’s Guidelines for Retracting Articles are used as regards retracting and issuing expressions of concern about and corrections relating to published articles. Privileged information or ideas collected throughout the peer review process must not be disclosed or employed for personal advantage.
Advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue must not influence on editorial decisions. The editor should ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process and should ask a(n) co-editor/associate editor to review and consider submitted manuscripts in which conflicts of interest occur from relationships or connections with the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the paper. All contributors must disclose significant competing interests and corrections should be published if such concerns are reported after publication together with a retraction note or an expression of concern.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions
The editor makes decisions as a result of the peer review process and of communications with the author(s), assisting the latter in improving the submitted manuscript.

Any invited peer reviewer who feels unqualified to review the submitted manuscript or knows that its prompt report cannot be carried out should notify the editor without delay and thus alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Any received manuscripts for review must be considered confidential documents, and must not be shown to or debated with other persons except as authorized by the editor.

Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be performed impartially, without personal criticism of the author. Peer reviewers should express their positions comprehensibly, with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgement of sources
Peer reviewers should determine significant published sources that the authors have not cited. Any assertion that an observation, deduction, or reasoning had been reported at an earlier time should be presented in conjunction with the appropriate citation. Peer reviewers should notify the editor concerning any considerable resemblance or overlap between the considered manuscript and any other identifiable published research.

Disclosure and conflict of interest
Peer reviewers must keep confidential and not use for personal advantage any privileged information or ideas collected throughout the peer review process, and should not evaluate manuscripts in which conflicts of interest occur as a consequence of relationships or connections with any of the authors or entities associated with the submission.

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards
Authors covering original research should display a precise account of the work carried out and an unbiased discussion of its relevance. A manuscript should integrate enough details and references so that the research can be replicated, underlying data should be precisely presented, and unethical behavior through fraudulent or inaccurate statements is impermissible.

Data access and retention
Authors must supply, provide public access to, the raw data associated with a research for editorial review (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should preserve such data after publication.

Originality and plagiarism
The authors should ensure that the scientific content belongs to them and that unoriginal work has been appropriately cited or quoted.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
An author must not submit manuscripts presenting substantially the same research to more than a journal, and parallel submission constitutes unethical behavior.

Acknowledgement of sources
The authors must properly acknowledge unoriginal work and cite influential sources that articulated the reported research.

Authorship of the paper
The corresponding author should ensure that authorship includes as co-authors only the scholars who have had a relevant role in the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the presented research, making a significant contribution. Individuals who have participated in certain aspects of the research marginally should be acknowledged. All co-authors must check and approve the final version of the manuscript, and agree to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in a note any financial or other conflict of interest that may impact the outcomes or interpretation of their research, and specify all associated sources of financial support.

Fundamental errors in published works
Authors must immediately notify the journal’s editor or publisher as regards an identified error or inaccuracy in the published article and cooperate in either having the paper retracted or an appropriate erratum added.

Hazards and human or animal subjects
The authors must clearly specify any inclusion of hazardous chemicals, procedures, or equipment in the submitted manuscript.

Appeals and complaints
Appeals to editorial decisions, long delays in handling manuscripts, and complaints as regards publication ethics are handled by the editor-in-chief/the editor.

Authorship principles
All authors must adhere to the authorship guidelines applicable in their particular scientific field, agree with the submitted content, and indicate that consent has been obtained from the responsible authorities at the entity where the research was performed. All authors listed on the manuscript have made significant contributions as regards the conception or design of the research (or the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of deployed software), drafted the research or thoroughly revised, approved the publication of the final version, and agree to be accountable concerning the accuracy or integrity of the performed research. All authors must add information in relation to sources of funding, financial or non-financial interests, study-specific permission by the appropriate ethics committee for human/animal research, informed consent from any human participants, and, if appropriate, a statement on welfare of animals. All data and materials, together with software application or custom code, must support the published assertions and conform to field standards. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors have approved the final version of the manuscript, that the names and order of authors are correct, and handle the communication between the journal and all co-authors, being transparent as regards the re-use of material while specifying, in a cover letter to the editor, any unpublished content presented in the manuscript. The disclosures, declarations, and transparency concerning data statements from all authors must be added to the manuscript as appropriate. Each author’s main affiliation should be the institution where most of the research was performed. Authors who have changed their names for various reasons can ask that such biographical information be updated on the published paper. Authors must include their ORCID ID when submitting a manuscript for consideration. Co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative of a dead or incapacitated person during the drafting, submission, or peer review process. All communication with the journal must be treated as confidential by the authors, unless explicit consent has been specified to share information. The journal cannot investigate or adjudicate an authorship dispute during peer review or after the paper is accepted/published.

Biosafety and biosecurity
Manuscript submission must be conducted according to significant institutional biosafety and biosecurity conventions and (inter)national guidelines associated with the research field. Authors should be conscious of dual-use concerns as regards their manuscript and proceed to reduce mistreatment of their work. The editor may ask researchers to supply details concerning how a dual-use risk has been mitigated and how it observed their institutional and funder’s demands. Expert advice may be asked in cases where concerns occurred and thus a manuscript may undergo a specific peer review process to evaluate the dual-use risk.

Research and review articles and editorial material must cite only pertinent sources supporting the assertions made. Excessive self-citations, citation cartels, and unjustified citations are inappropriate, and thus such citation manipulations lead to the submitted article being rejected, and the case reported to authors’ institutions. Authors should report to the publisher any attempts by peer-reviewers or editors to condone such practices.

Corrections and retractions
The publisher and the editors will intervene in situations of alleged/proven scientific misconduct to amend the submitted/published article, by adding an editorial expression of concern, erratum/correction or rejecting/retracting the specific work. The retracted article is maintained and watermarked on the platform, with a link to an explanatory note.

Data availability statement
Scientific claims can be replicated by access to the raw data, thus assessing the integrity of original published research that must include mandatory availability statements as regards the associated data or figure source data files (even concerning confidential or proprietary data).

Ethical responsibilities of authors
Misrepresentation of research results can affect the scientific endeavor, the journal prestige, and the credibility of the authors. The manuscript should be original and submitted to only one journal. A single research must not be split up into several parts. Displayed research must not include data or image fabrication, falsification, or manipulation. Discipline-specific rules must be followed in collecting, selecting and processing data. Submitted articles are screened for plagiarism by use of software. Authors must acknowledge unoriginal data or text, and need official permission to reproduce figures or use surveys and scales. Documentation or data must be provided together with the submitted article for checking result validity. If authors identify errors or inaccuracies after the article was published, they should notify the publisher, and a correction or retraction will be posted.

Informed consent
Individual participants can decide with reference to personal data collected, recorded text, or taken photos, particularly regarding images of vulnerable people or in sensitive contexts. Authors must secure written informed consent, and identifying details of the studied participants must not be made public. Consent is not required if information is anonymized and does not include detailed descriptions that may result in identity disclosure.

The protection of vulnerable groups and individuals
AGSER supports standard ethical standards associated with research concerning vulnerable groups and individuals who must receive specific protections throughout the entire scientific enterprise. Ethical oversight covers confidential data management, policies on consent and content, ethical conduct in animal and human research, and ethical business/marketing practices.

Use of animals (data or biological material) in research
Authors must provide detailed data as regards ethical treatment of animals during testing and research procedures, and document informed consent in manuscripts entailing client-owned animals together with adherence to exemplary practice of veterinary care. Exemption may be granted or ethics approval may not be needed, but this must be clarified.

Use of human participants (data or biological material) in research
Studies involving human data or biological material must include a detailed approval/exemption by the appropriate and specified research ethics committee, and clarify that the research was carried out in conformity with ethical standards. If authors use human cells, the source of the cell line must be identifiable, together with its authentication and method. Prospective clinical trials must be registered in appropriate publicly accessible repositories to ensure the robustness of patient-centered trial reporting. AGSER pleads for comprehensive and unambiguous biomedical and biological research/applications reporting.

Use of human embryos, gametes, and stem cells in research
Research reporting experiments covering human embryos/embryonic stem cells and gametes, and associated clinical applications must clarify having followed specific guidelines and regulations. A detailed statement must specify the research ethics committee that approved the experiment. Informed consent must be received from cell/tissue recipient/donor, and the circumstances of material donation must be outlined.

Use of plants, algae, fungi in research
AGSER embraces regulations, transparency, and complying with governance concerning gathering and using specimens and carrying out experiments and/or field investigations. As regards genetically engineered plants, certain permissions and/or licenses must be included.

Use of sex and gender in research
Sex as a biological attribute and gender as influenced by socio-cultural contexts must be employed must be employed carefully to keep clear of confusion, including in article title and abstract. Disaggregated data and study design must be configured in terms of sex and/or gender, and respective outcomes clarified.