Publication Ethics

BACKGROUND
1.    Academic publishing is primarily intended to contribute to increased scientific knowledge, and thus largely depends on trust. Editors 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. 

2.    Good decisions and strong editorial processes designed to manage these interests foster a sustainable and efficient publishing system which will benefit academic societies, journal editors, authors, research funders, readers, and publishers. 

3.    CEPAR is committed to peer review integrity and upholding the highest standards of review. To help us maintain these high standards, we provide guidelines for ethical publishing for journal editors and advisory board members, authors and reviewers, to assist them in performing their mandates.

4.    Authors must declare any conflict of interest related to the manuscript. Such interests include, but are not limited to, commercial, personal, political, and intellectual aspects. Editors and reviewers must also report a potential conflict of interest related to the submissions they are working on.

5.    The following points are only intended to give a broad overview and are not exhaustive. We encourage our authors, reviewers, and editors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website http://publicationethics.org. Any further ethical issues are dealt with according to COPE recommendations. 

PUBLISHER'S STAND AND RESPONSIBILITIES
6.    The publisher is responsible for ensuring that the publication system works smoothly within institutional, financial, and other frameworks.

7.    The editorial board sets the aims, scope, and priorities of the CEPAR editorial policy which are confirmed by the publisher. The editorial board has full autonomy and accountability for the scientific content of the journal’s work and related issues in achieving the journals’ goals, in particular the scientific excellence to develop public administration and governance disciplines.

8.    CEPAR protects the copyright and intellectual property rights of its authors and contributors, while they are also responsible to do so within their own capacity.

EDITOR'S MANDATES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

9.    The editorial board – consisting of the editor-in-chief as the main coordinator, field editors, assistant and technical editors – strives for sustainable scientific excellence of CEPAR and for the journal’s aims and scope. The advisory board, composed of distinguished international experts, has been nominated to support the editors in their mandate.

10.    The editors evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

11.    The editors make every effort to ensure the integrity of the blind review process. The editors may not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding and other authors, or (potential) reviewers. Likewise, no information about the reviewers is to be disclosed to the authors.

12.    The editors have ultimate responsibility for deciding if a manuscript submitted to CEPAR will be desk rejected or accepted for a review procedure and published. In doing so, they are guided by the journal’s policies, as determined by the CEPAR editorial board, and constrained by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. 

13.    The editorial office acknowledges the receipt of submitted manuscripts within a reasonable time and ensures an efficient, fair, and timely review process.

14.    The editors responsible for specific manuscripts may consult with other members of the editorial board, as well as with reviewers, in making the final publication decision. 

15.    The editors must recuse themselves from processing manuscripts if they have any conflict of interest. The editors will not allow any conflict of interest among authors, reviewers, and board members. 

16.    The editor-in-chief or other field editors nominate reviewers. The editors take into account authors' suggestions regarding the selection of reviewers, while making sure that there is no conflict of interest and that the review procedure is objective. 

17.    The editors take action if they suspect misconduct, and make every effort to  resolve the problem during all stages of the publication process. The editors do not reject papers based on suspicions, but only after misconduct has been proved.

18.    The editors respond promptly and take reasonable measures in the event of ethical complaints concerning a submitted manuscript or a published paper. In such cases, the responsible editors immediately contact and consult with the author; a written formal retraction or correction may also be required.

19.    The editors ensure that any suspicions of scientific or publishing misconduct are treated reasonably, sensibly, and confidentially, and that any complaints by the authors are dealt with fairly and promptly.

20.    If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work and reports it to the journal, the editors publish errata pages, make corrections, or retract the paper where so required. The editors are guided by the COPE Guidelines for Retracting Articles when considering retracting, issuing an expression of concern, and issuing corrections pertaining to articles that have been published.

21.    The editors may not, under any circumstances, use any part of any data or work reported in the submitted and yet unpublished articles for their own research or personal gain. 

22.    The editors may not, by any means, oblige the authors to cite their sources either as an implied or as an explicit condition for accepting their manuscripts for publication.

23.    When evaluating a manuscript for publication, in addition to considering standard criteria pertaining to the rigour of the manuscript, the quality of its presentation, and its contribution to humanity’s stock of knowledge, the editors also seek evidence that ethical harms have been minimised in the conduct of the reported research. They question whether the benefits outweigh the harms in the particular study case. 

24.    The editor-in-chief has the right to make the final decision on whether to accept or reject a manuscript with reference to the significance and originality of the manuscript and its relevance to the journal. The editorial office will inform the authors about the acceptance or rejection of their papers as soon as possible after the reviews have been received and the adequate editorial decision has been made, stating the acceptance in one of the following, and not necessarily the first, upcoming CEPAR issue.

25.    The editors pay special attention to ensuring the protection of personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and national law.

26.    The same procedures apply, mutatis mutandis, to potential guest or associate editors and advisory board members.

REVIEWERS' MANDATES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

27.    Before conducting a review for CEPAR, all reviewers must read these guidelines and the instructions for reviewers (with a form), which serve as an aid to carry out their mandate and to ensure they act in full awareness of our policies and practices.

28.    Peer reviewers assist the editors in making editorial decisions and the authors in improving the papers, within the CEPAR aims and scope. 

29.    All submitted papers are subject to a double blind peer-review process, that is a procedure carried out by at least two referees of different affiliations and, in principle, different mother public administration disciplines related to the article, specialised in the area covered by a particular paper. Additional reviewer(s) may be nominated, particularly when the reviews by the original referees differ significantly.

30.    The reviewers preview a manuscript that they have been asked to review to see if they have any conflict of interest that could jeopardise their review. The reviewers must disclose to the editors any conflict of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript and recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists.

31.    The reviewers recuse themselves from the assignment if it becomes apparent to them at any stage that they do not possess the required expertise to perform the review.

32.    The manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential at every stage. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and may not be used for any personal advantage. Likewise, the manuscript may not be shown to or discussed with third persons except when authorised by the editor.

33.    The reviewers who have accepted manuscript assignments are expected to submit their reviews in due time, according to the agreement with the editorial office, usually in a few weeks. Any referee who feels unqualified to review the subject of a manuscript or is unable to promptly review a paper, must notify the editorial office thereof and withdraw from the process.

34.    The reviews are conducted as objectively as possible. The reviewers must refrain from engaging in personal criticism of the author(s). They are encouraged to express their views clearly, explain and justify the recommendations made, and hence provide a constructive, friendly, and specific feedback to assist the author(s) in improving their work, even if, in their opinion, the manuscript is not publishable. Personal criticism of the author(s) is both unprofessional and inappropriate. While we welcome strict comments and reviews, the reviewers are encouraged to avoid being unnecessarily harsh on the authors.

35.    The reviewers must identify in their reviews any relevant published work that has not been cited by the author(s), together with any instances in which proper attribution of sources has not been provided. They must call to the responsible editor’s attention any major resemblances between a manuscript under consideration and other published articles or papers of which they are aware, as well as any concerns they might have in relation to the ethical acceptability of the research reported in the manuscript.

36.    The reviewers must immediately notify the editor of any similarities between the manuscript under review and another paper published or under consideration by another journal. The reviewers must immediately call to the editor’s attention a manuscript containing plagiarised material or falsified data.

AUTHOR'S RESPONSIBILITIES

37.    Authorship is limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported work. All those who have made significant contributions are listed as co-authors in the order of their contribution to the article. If others have participated in certain substantive aspects of the project, they are acknowledged or listed as contributors. 

38.    Plagiarism in any form constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. The authors guarantee that the works they have submitted are original, that the paper has not been previously published and cannot be construed as plagiarising any other published work, including their own previously published work. It is also not allowed to publish a manuscript or parts thereof on publicly accessible platforms if no permission has been given in advance by the editor-in-chief. If the authors have used work and/or words by others, appropriate citations are required to indicate that data is true and not manipulated. This is further enforced by the CEPAR Online Open Form or the Copyright Assignment form that needs to be submitted by the (co)authors(s) together with the article to warrant that the article is their own original work, has not been published before in any language, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in its final version either in printed or electronic form.

39.    The authors must indicate explicitly all sources that have supported the research and declare any conflict(s) of interest. The authors must disclose any substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. By submitting a manuscript, the author(s) guarantee that the manuscript is their own original work and that the sources of any ideas and/or words that are not their own have been properly attributed through the respective citations. The authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to include any images or artwork for which they do not hold the copyright, or to accept any such images or artwork for inclusion in their articles.

40.    The authors may not submit concurrent manuscripts (or manuscripts essentially describing the same subject matter) to multiple journals. Such redundant publication is considered unethical publishing behaviour and, if discovered, may result in a manuscript under consideration being rejected or a published article being retracted.

41.    An original research paper must contain sufficient details and references to permit others to replicate the work. The authors must present an accurate account of the work and include a discussion that addresses the significance of the report. Underlying data must be represented accurately. The authors of the original research must present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.

42.    The authors may be asked to provide the raw data connected to their paper for editorial review and must be willing to provide access to such data upon request. In any event, the authors retain such data for a reasonable time after publication. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour.

43.    The corresponding author must ensure that all the appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper, agreed to its submission for publication, and agreed to take responsibility for their own contributions.

44.    Following peer review, the possible decisions include acceptance, acceptance after major or minor revisions required, or rejection. If the authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit a manuscript, there is no guarantee that the revised submission will be accepted. Revised papers must be submitted in due time determined by the editorial office or they will be automatically rejected and not re-reviewed.

45.    The authors must promptly inform the journal editor of any obvious error(s) in their published papers and cooperate earnestly with the editor in the retraction or correction of the paper. If any party other than the author notifies the editor that the published paper contains an obvious error, the author must write a retraction or make the correction based on the medium of publication. 

46.    After acceptance, the papers are published under the open access CEPAR policy, with full issue being published and archived without statute of limitation online (World Wide Web). The authors are encouraged to promote their works published in CEPAR at any time after the online CEPAR publication, through various publicly accessible platforms.

47.    The authors retain the copyright of their published articles, and the corresponding author has the right to grant, on behalf of all authors, the licence to the publisher. This licence allows the publisher to publish, reproduce, display, distribute and store the authors’ submissions, and allows the authors to use their own articles for their own non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from the publisher; they must, however, provide proper acknowledgement and citation of the first publication in CEPAR. If they intend to use the submission for commercial purpose, the authors must obtain permission from the publisher.

48.    Any unethical behaviour may constitute a reason for refusing or withdrawing a manuscript or published article. Any unethical practices may be grounds for a journal correction or paper retraction if such actions are deemed appropriate by the editors after a complete and fair investigation.