These Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics have been written to offer authors a framework for developing and implementing their own publication ethics policies and systems. Editors from journal VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability trust peer reviewers to provide fair assessments, authors trust editors to select appropriate peer reviewers, and readers put their trust in the peer-review process.
Editors from journal VITRUVIO believe good decisions and strong editorial processes designed to manage these interests will foster a sustainable and efficient publishing system, which will benefit academic societies, journal editors, authors, research funders, readers, and publishers. Good publication practices do not develop by chance, and will become established only if they are actively promoted.
Readers have a right to know who funded a research project or the publication of a document. Research funders should be listed on all research papers. Funding for any type of publication, for example, by a commercial company, charity or government department, should be stated within the publication. Other sources of support for publications should be clearly identified in the manuscript, usually in an acknowledgment. (Authors Guidelines).
Authors of the papers
The list of authors should accurately reflect who did the work. All published work should be attributed to one or more authors.
If an authorship dispute emerges after publication (for example, somebody contacts the editor claiming they should have been an author of a published paper, or requesting that their name be withdrawn from a paper), the editors of VITRUVIO contact the corresponding author and, where possible, the other authors to establish the veracity of the case.
Publication of papers that have not been published before
VITRUVIO considers only work that has not been published elsewhere. One reason for this is that the scientific literature can be skewed by redundant publication, with important consequences, for example, if results are inadvertently included more than once into meta-analyses. VITRUVIO asks authors for a declaration that the submitted work and its essential substance have not previously been published and are not being considered for publication elsewhere (Authors Guidelines).
The editors of VITRUVIO have a right to demand original work and to question authors about whether opinion pieces (for example, editorials, letters, non-systematic reviews) have been published before.
Promoting research integrity
If the editors of VITRUVIO suspect research misconduct (for example, data fabrication, falsification or plagiarism), they should attempt to ensure that this is properly investigated by the appropriate authorities.
Peer review sometimes reveals suspicion of misconduct. If peer reviewers raise concerns of serious misconduct (for example, data fabrication, falsification, inappropriate image manipulation, or plagiarism), these should be taken seriously. However, authors have a right to respond to such allegations and for investigations to be carried out with appropriate speed and due diligence.
Protecting the rights of research participants/subjects
Editors of VITRUVIO create publication policies that promote ethical and responsible research practices. The editors seek assurances that studies have been approved by relevant bodies. If human participants were involved, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each. Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed. If a paper has been submitted from a country where there is no ethics committee, institutional review board, or similar review and approval, editors should use their own experience to judge whether the paper should be published. If the decision is made to publish a paper under these circumstances a short statement should be included to explain the situation. In the majority of cases, editors should only consider publishing information and images from individual participants where the authors have obtained the individual's explicit consent.
Respecting cultures and heritage
Editors of VITRUVIO exercise sensitivity when publishing images of objects that might have cultural significance or cause offence (for example, Australian aboriginal remains held in museums, religious texts, historical events).
Informing readers about research and publication misconduct
Editors inform readers if ethical breaches have occurred. VITRUVIO publishes corrections (errata) when errors could affect the interpretation of data or information, whatever the cause of the error (i.e. arising from author errors or from editorial mishaps). Likewise, VITRUVIO publishes ‘retractions’ if work is proven to be fraudulent, or ‘expressions of concern’ if editors have well-founded suspicions of misconduct. The title of the erratum, retraction, or expression of concern includes the words ‘Erratum’, ‘Retraction’, or ‘Expression of concern’. It is published on a numbered page (print and electronic) and should be listed in the journal's table of contents. It enables the reader to identify and understand the correction in context with the errors made, or explains why the article is being retracted, or explains the editor's concerns about the contents of the article. It is linked electronically with the original electronic publication.
Editors of VITRUVIO have a responsibility for ensuring the peer-review process is fair and should aim to minimize bias. Editors have chosen a double blind peer-review system that best suits VITRUVIO. Our system is a peer review process. The material that has not been peer reviewed is clearly identified. If discussions between an author, editor, and peer reviewer have taken place in confidence, they remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties or there are exceptional circumstances. Editors or board members are never involved in editorial decisions about their own work.
Peer reviewer selection and performance
Editors of VITRUVIO have a responsibility to ensure a high standard of objective, unbiased, and timely peer review. Editors monitor the performance of peer reviewers/editorial board members and record the quality and timeliness of their reviews. They will demand a further review when it is considered that provided is not of sufficient quality, just be advised when there are few days to meet the deadline for review estimated.
Conflicts of interest
Editors, authors, and peer reviewers have a responsibility to disclose interests that might appear to affect their ability to present or review data objectively.
The editors of VITRUVIO require statements about conflicts of interest from authors. Editors should explain that these statements should provide information about financial (for example, patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies, speaker's fees), personal, political, intellectual, or religious interests relevant to the area of research or discussion.
The editors of VITRUVIO have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the material they publish. VITRUVIO encourages authors and readers to inform them if they discover errors in published work. We publish corrections if errors are discovered that could affect the interpretation of data or information presented in an article. Corrections arising from errors within an article (by authors or journals) are distinguishable from retractions and statements of concern relating to misconduct.
Editorial independence is respected. Journal publishers do not interfere with editorial decisions. The relationship between the editor and the journal publisher is set out in a formal contract and an appeal mechanism for disputes is established. Editorial Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, as the publisher of VITRUVIO, works with the journal editors to set journal policies appropriately and aim to meet those policies, particularly with respect to: editorial independence; research ethics(including confidentiality, consent, and the special requirements for research in social sciences); authorship; transparency and integrity (conflicts of interest, research funding, reporting standards); peer review (for further information concerning responsibilities in relation to peer review process.
Responsible publication practices
Editors will follow to the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Council of Science Editors (CSE), or other competent authority, if more advice is needed.
Editors of VITRUVIO pursue cases of suspected misconduct that become apparent during the peer-review and publication processes.
Plagiarism and copyright
VITRUVIO editors and readers have a right to expect that submitted work is the author's own, that it has not been plagiarized (i.e. taken from other authors without permission, if permission is required) and that copyright has not been breached (for example, if figures or tables are reproduced).
We ask authors to declare that the work reported is their own and that they are the copyright owner. To support the review before a possible plagiarism, Similarity Check platform will be used and all works will be checked. In case of plagiarism, the author could state the situation through the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peer reviewer conduct and intellectual property
Authors are entitled to expect that peer reviewers or other individuals privy to the work an author submits to VITRUVIO will not steal their research ideas or plagiarize their work. VITRUVIO explains to peer reviewers that material is in confidence until it has not been published. Editors of VITRUVIO protect peer reviewers from authors and, even if peer reviewer identities are revealed, should discourage authors from contacting peer reviewers directly, especially if misconduct is suspected.
VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability