Research Misconduct Policy

1. Introduction

This policy outlines the process for identifying and dealing with allegations of research misconduct related to articles submitted to or published in this journal. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of research integrity and will take all reasonable steps to prevent the publication of articles based on misconduct.

2. Definitions

  • Research Misconduct: Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that deviate from accepted research practices and could affect the reliability of the findings.
  • Fabrication: The invention of data or results that have not been obtained through research.
  • Falsification: The manipulation of research materials, equipment, or processes to alter or misrepresent the research findings.
  • Plagiarism: The appropriation of another person's ideas, results, or text without proper citation.

3. Identification of Misconduct

Editors and reviewers will be vigilant in identifying potential research misconduct during the peer-review process. This may include:

  • Duplicate publication: Submitting the same research for publication in multiple journals.
  • Citation manipulation: Citing irrelevant references or manipulating citations to inflate the impact of the research.
  • Authorship concerns: Including or excluding authors who did not contribute significantly to the research.
  • Inconsistencies with research methodology: Identifying unrealistic or implausible claims or methodologies.

4. Reporting Misconduct

If an editor or reviewer suspects research misconduct, they will report their concerns to the Editor-in-Chief. Anyone with concerns about a published article should also report them to the Editor-in-Chief.

5. Investigation

Upon receiving an allegation of misconduct, the Editor-in-Chief will follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines https://publicationethics.org/ (or equivalent) to initiate an investigation. This may involve contacting the corresponding author, requesting additional information, and potentially involving external experts.

6. Outcomes of Investigation

Based on the investigation, the following actions may be taken:

  • No misconduct found: The article will continue to be published.
  • Minor misconduct: The authors may be required to publish a corrigendum or erratum to correct the record.
  • Serious misconduct: The article may be retracted. In this case, the retraction notice will clearly state the reason for retraction.
  • Further action: Depending on the severity of the misconduct, the journal may contact the author's institution or funding agency.

7. Confidentiality

The identities of those who report allegations of misconduct will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible.

8. Record Keeping

Records of all allegations and investigations of research misconduct will be maintained by the journal for a specified period.

9. Training

Editors and reviewers will be provided with training on how to identify and report potential research misconduct.

This policy is subject to review and revision at any time