International Journal on Robotics, Automation and Sciences (IJORAS) is an online annual journal (eISSN: 2682-860X), being published in the month of November by Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University under MMU Press. IJORAS takes all stages of publishing and ethical responsibilities seriously. Articles published in IJORAS are free for users to read, download, search or link to the full texts for any educational/non-commercial purposes.
IJORAS follow guidelines from The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE publishes a code of practice for editors of scientific, technical, and medical journals: http://www.publicationethics.org. IJORAS abide by its Code of Conduct and aim to adhere to its Best Practice Guidelines that supports the development of, and practical application of consistent ethical standards throughout the scholarly publishing community.
For the purpose of the statement, the following terms are defined as such:
- ‘Journal’ refers to a collection of scholarly articles that is published regularly throughout the year.
- ‘Editor-in-Chief’ refers to the principal editor of a publication that takes the leadership and managerial role of the journals.
- ‘Editorial’ refers to the Editor-in-Chief and members under the Editorial Structure of a journal.
- ‘Authors’ refers to the individual or group that sends scholarly articles to be published in journals.
- ‘Reviewers’ refers to the individual who evaluate article submissions to journals based on the requirements of that journal, predefined criteria, and the quality, completeness and accuracy of the research presented.
- ‘MMU Press’ refers to Multimedia University (MMU)’s publishing house specialising in scholarly publications.
1.1 Allegations of Misconduct
- Authors are expected to be aware of, and comply with, best practice in publication ethics.
- Reviewers and Editor-in-Chief are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence, and to declare any competing interests.
- The Editor-in-Chief will vigorously investigate allegations of research or publication misconduct and reserve the right to contact the authors’ institutions, funders or regulatory bodies if needed.
- In cases of suspected or alleged misconduct, the COPE guidelines will be adhered to and advice may be sought at the COPE forum. If conclusive evidence of misconduct is found, steps will be taken to correct the scientific record, which may include issuing a correction or retraction.
- The Editor-in-Chief may be formally contacted via email or any other means suitable if there are any concerns about potential misconduct.
The peer review process and appeal to the Editor-in-Chief’s’ decisions are as follows:
- Complaints by Authors
- Complaints pertaining to matters related to a failure of process (e.g. lengthy delays) or reviewer misconduct should be emailed to the Editor-in-Chief.
- All complaints should be accompanied with adequate supporting information (e.g., copies of email correspondence). If the complaint is related to a specific article, include the title and URL (if it is published) or the manuscript ID number (if it is unpublished).
- Complaints by Public about Articles
- Complaints by the public about author’s misconduct should be emailed to the Editor-in-Chief.
- All complaints should be accompanied with adequate supporting information (e.g., copies of email correspondence). If the complaint is related to a specific article, include the title and URL.
- Concerns may include, but are not limited to suspicion of unethical matters relating to:
- Manuscript (including undeclared conflicts of interest, false ethical declarations, use of identifiable images without consent or use of copyrighted images without permission)
- Image manipulation in a published article
- Publication process (including practices such as duplicate publication, self-plagiarism, salami-slicing or excessive self-citation)
- Complaints about Editor-in-Chief
- Any complaints about the Editor-in-Chief regarding severe misjudgements (e.g. an improperly applied retraction notice) should be directed to MMU Press.
- MMU Press will consider the complaints against the Editor-in-Chief only when there is a clear breach of policy.
- A rejection of the submission of a manuscript is not a ground for complaint, unless there is evidence of misconduct on the part of the Editorial or the Editor-in-Chief.
- MMU Press will consider appeals against the Editor-in-Chief’s decision only when there is a clear breach of policy.
- Investigations will be made to establish that correct procedures are followed, ensuring the decisions are reached based on academic criteria and not by personal prejudice or any form of biased decision that influences the outcome, and to resolve any outstanding issues.
1.3 Article Withdrawal Policy
- Withdrawal of articles is not encouraged. It is granted on a case by case basis. Withdrawal refers to Articles of the early version, which have been accepted for publication. Reasons for withdrawal may include reasons such as:
- contains errors
- may have been accidentally submitted twice
- may violate the journal’s publishing ethics guidelines (e.g. multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or similar incidences)
- Note to authors:
- Authors do not have the right to withdraw an Article after it is published.
- A completed Article Withdrawal Form, indicating valid reason for withdrawing, must be signed by all authors must be submitted to the editorial office.
- Authors can only assume their Article has been withdrawn after they received an acknowledgement letter from the editor’s office.
- A penalty will be levied if an Article is withdrawn after 10 days of acceptance.
1.4 Article Retraction
- Articles may be retracted as per COPE retraction guidelines found at Retraction Guidelines website. on the following grounds:
- There is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
- The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross referencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication).
- It constitutes plagiarism.
- It reports unethical research.
- The decision to retract an article is made on a case by case basis only after the editor consults the author(s) and reviewers.
- The author(s) must sign the retraction note and submit it to the Chief Editor before an article can be retracted. All the authors must consent to the retraction before a retraction note can be published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list. However, in the case of some co-authors disagreeing to the retraction of the article, the editor will decide on the retraction upon identifying the dissenting co-authors.
- On the webpages of the retracted article, a note stating that the article has been retracted from the journal will be posted to replace the article.
1.5 Article Removal
- Albeit exceptionally, it may be necessary for a published Article to be removed due to the following reasons:
- Defamatory, or infringement of legal rights of others
- Possibly a subject of a court order
- Violation of the copyright of others
- Legal issues arising/expected to arise in the context of the article
- In such circumstances, the bibliographic information and the PDF file will also be removed. A note, stating that the article has been removed will replace the Article text.
1.6 Article Replacement
- Flawed original articles can be replaced with a corrected version.
- Only significant corrections such as inaccurately published information etc. will be published. Minor corrections such as spelling or grammatical errors which do not alter the comprehension of a paper will require no corrections.
- The following actions can be taken for errors discovered in the published article:
- An Errata will be published only when mistakes are recognized in the published article which went unnoticed during Editing and Layout setting in Figures, Tables etc.
- A Corrigenda is published when the authors realise that errors in the published article could affect its accuracy or its validity of the scientific content. On the other hand, if readers detect an error in a published article, they can submit the same as a letter to the editor. The author, editor and a reviewer would then assess the validity of the error pointed out. Corrigenda will then be published with reference to the letter and the answers provided by the author.
- An Addenda is published if significant information is inadvertently omitted during manuscript submission and the authors would like to add the revised content to the article after publication. The information provided for addendum will undergo peer-review prior to editorial acceptance. The Editor-in-Chief will grant Addendum only if the information is essential to understand a significant portion of the published article.
- For Errata and Corrigenda, the PDF version of the correction Article is attached to the online version of the original article and a link is created between the errata/corrigenda article and the original article for readers and other users/systems to be aware of the corrections. For corrigenda, the article must follow the format: “Corrigenda: “original article title” (“original article reference”).
2.1 Authorship and Contributorship
- Authorship denotes responsibility and accountability for published work, other that bestows credit. Credits are given to authors and contributors to clarify authors’ roles in taking responsibility and accountability for the article published. Each author should have contributed adequately to be publicly accountable for the content of the article.
- Authors and contributors are expected to perform the following functions:
- Make significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the study
- Draft the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content
- Review and approve the final version of the manuscript
- Agree to its submission for publication and to be accountable for all aspects related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work.
- The identification of the contributors who meet these criteria shall be made by the individual(s) who conduct the work or the institution(s) where the work was conducted. Editor-in-Chief is not responsible to determine the authorship or to arbitrate authorship conflicts. Any request by the authors to remove or add an author after article submission or publication shall be accompanied with an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.
- Other forms of contributions, such as technical help, proofreading, acquisition of funding alone, collection of data alone, and general supervision of the study alone do not meet the above criteria and therefore do not characterise authorship. Nonetheless, such contributions should be acknowledged in the “Acknowledgements” section.
- The corresponding author is the individual who takes the responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, as well as completing all required information for publication purposes, such as providing details of authorship and completing conflict of interest forms and statements. Other roles include responding to editorial queries in a timely manner, replying to critiques of the manuscript and accommodating any requests from the journal for data or additional information.
- Duties of Authors
- Authors should present the study accurately in terms of the work performed and the results. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to allow for replication of the study. Review articles should be accurate, objective and all-inclusive. Editorial opinion or perspective articles should be clearly indicated as such.
- Authors should be prepared to provide the raw data of their study, whenever required, for editorial review. It is expected that all data are accessible to peers for at least seven years after publication, usually via an institutional data repository or other data centre. The confidentiality of the participants is to remain protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
- Authors should submit entirely original manuscript and ensure that the use of others’ ideas, work and words are properly cited. All forms of plagiarism are unethical and unacceptable.
- Authors should ensure that the work of others and publications that have been instrumental in the described work are properly acknowledged.
- Authors should not submit a manuscript that is under consideration by another journal. Concurrent submission of a manuscript to more than one journal is unethical and unacceptable.
- Authors should disclose any conflict of interest that might be interpreted to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript at the earliest stage possible. The authors are responsible for obtaining ethics committee and public disclosure approval from their respective institutions. All sources of financial support relevant to the work should be disclosed, including the name of the fund, the grant number or other identifying information in the manuscript.
- If animals or human participants were involved in the study, the authors should ensure that all procedures taken complied with relevant laws and appropriate approval has been obtained. Whenever experimentation with human participants was used in the study, the authors should have obtained informed consent from the participants. The manuscript should contain a statement(s) to these effects.
- Authors are responsible to cooperate and respond to editors’ requests during the peer review process. All responses to reviewers’ comments should be made in a timely manner.
- Whenever authors discover any fundamental errors or inaccuracies after their work has been published, the authors are required to promptly inform the Editor-in-Chief. The authors are to cooperate with the editors in ensuing course of action. If the errors or inaccuracies are discovered by a third party, the authors are also required to respond and cooperate with the Editor-in-Chief in resolving the issue. Authors may be required to provide evidence of the correctness of the article. Possible courses of action following the discovery may include correcting the article in the form or an erratum or retract the paper.
2.2 Data and Reproducibility
- Authors may provide data and/or related materials to enhance reporting in an article.
- Questionable/Incorrect Data Practices:
- If an investigation report is received to recommend retraction of article due to questionable/incorrect data practices, Editor-in-Chief shall check the research work presented in the article, and find if there is anything obviously incorrect.
- If the investigation report shows sound evidence that the data is fake or manipulated, then the article shall be retracted.
- If the data is suspected not correct but no way to validate it, then Editor-in-Chief will issue an expression of concern.
- Inappropriateness and Reproducibility Issue of Research Methodology
- If an investigation report is received to express concern on inappropriateness and reproducibility of research methodology, Editor-in-Chief shall contact the corresponding author of the article to provide a clear explanation of how the research is conducted so that it could be reproduced persistently by others.
- Editor-in-Chief will invite at least a post-publication peer review to specifically comment on the methodology that has been clarified by the authors.
2.3 Intellectual Property
- All authors must declare that they are the rightful joint authors of an article, and that they are the joint copyright owners of the work.
- Where the copyright ownership has passed to the employer as a work of an employee, it is the duty of the author to get a copyright release from the employer so that the copyright ownership can be fully assigned to the journal publisher.
- Prior to publication of an article, the publisher shall obtain copyright assignment of the article from all authors/owners. Assignment must be signed and in writing. Assignment must be complete and in respect of all forms of exclusive rights without reserve, for all applicable duration, and in all jurisdictions in the world.
- In return, the article will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License.
- Where the authors own the copyright and database right to datasets used in the article, the authors are encouraged to make available to the public those datasets so that the analysis in the research can be replicated and that the datasets can be reused for other purposes. A suitable Creative Commons license may be used depending on the nature of the datasets.
- The authors are expected to agree to indemnify the publisher and its assigns for any losses arising from an intellectual property infringement suit, as a result of intentional or unintentional action of one or more of the authors.
2.4 Plagiarism Policy
- The Editor-in-Chief takes serious view over unethical authoring practices involving plagiarism.
- Plagiarism includes self-plagiarism, whereby a substantial part of a submission by the same authors has already been published.
- An article which has been published elsewhere shall not be accepted for publication in any circumstances.
- The Editor-in-Chief shall decide, based on the usual conventions of the field of research, whether a paper presented at a conference is considered as publication.
- The Editor-in-Chief should, as far as feasible, check the submissions for plagiarism, and in any case, before publication of an article.
- Where minor borderline issues are detected, such as for the want of a reference, the editors should refer the matter back to the authors for appropriate corrective actions.
- However, if serious plagiarism is detected, it is appropriate for the editors to reject the submission.
3. Journal Management
3.1 Job duties
- Duties of Editor-in-Chief
- Fairness and editorial independence: Submitted manuscripts are evaluated solely on the basis of their academic merit and relevance to the journal’s scope.
- Confidentiality: Editor-in-Chief/ the Editorial editorial staff is responsible to ensure that any information about a submitted manuscript will not be disclosed to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
- Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Editor-in-Chief/ the Editorial will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editor-in-Chief will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the Editorial to handle the manuscript.
- Publication decisions: The Editor-in-Chief ensures that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other members of the Editorial or reviewers in making this decision.
- Investigations: Editor-in-Chief will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.
- Duties of Reviewers
- Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer review assists Editor-in-Chief in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour.
- Promptness: Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
- Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
- Standards of objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.
- Acknowledgement of sources: Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.
- Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Any invited referee who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted. Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
- Duties of the Publisher
- Handling of unethical publishing behaviour: In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.
- Access to journal content: The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility and maintaining the digital archive.
3.2 Conflicts of Interest and Competing Interests
- Editor-in-Chief, authors, and peer reviewers should disclose interest that might appear to affect their ability to present or review work objectively. These might include relevant financial interest (for example, ownership, consultancies or speaker’s fees) or personal, political or religious interests.
MMU Press defines conflict of interest as follows;
“A conflict of interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as the validity/originality of the writing) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.”
- Strict policy preventing people with conflict of interest from publishing might encourage authors to conceal relevant interests and might therefore be counterproductive.
- Editor-in Chief, Members of Editorial Broad and staff who are involved with decisions about publication should declare their interests. Journal should consider publishing these on their website and updating as required as well as disclosing how conflicts of interest were managed for specific papers.
- Editor-in-Chief should clearly explain what should be disclosed including the period that these statements should cover (for example, 3 years). Editor-in-Chief should ask authors to describe relevant funding, including the purpose of the funding (for example, travel grant) and to describe relevant patents, stocks and shares that they own.
- Editor-in-Chief should publish authors’ conflict of interest whenever they are relevant, or a statement of their absence. If there is doubt, Editor-in-Chief should opt in favor of greater disclosure.
- If authors state that there are no conflicts of interest, editors should publish a confirmation to this effect.
- Editor-in-Chief should manage peer reviewers’ conflicts of interest. An invitation to review a manuscript should be accompanied by a request for the reviewer to reveal any potential conflicts of interest a request for the peer reviewer to disqualify or recuse themselves when these are relevant.
- When Editor-in-Chief, Members of Editorial Broad and other editorial staff are presented with papers where their own interest may be perceived to impair their ability to make unbiased editorial decision, they should withdraw from discussions, deputize decisions or suggest that authors seek publications in a different journal.
3.3 Peer Review Processes
Peer Review Role
- The role of peer review in scholarly publishing is crucial to ensure that all manuscripts submitted are high quality papers. Reviewers evaluate and provide feedback on manuscripts submitted according to the publishing criteria of each journal, validity of the research done and the completeness of the research presented.
- Manuscripts submitted are subjected to a double-blind peer review process. Thus, the identities of reviewers are withheld from author(s) and vice versa. All manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. The whole double-blind peer review process will take 14 working days to complete. However, a reviewer may request from the Editor-in-Chief for more time to review a paper, if required.
- All author(s) are advised to avoid multiple submissions of the same article. All manuscripts submitted will undergo the following peer review process:
- Multiple submissions of the same article will not be tolerated.
- Manuscripts submitted must be written within the scope and publishing criteria of each journal, failing which, will not be considered for review.
- Each manuscript submitted will be reviewed by at least 2 reviewers who are subject matter experts of the articles’ research area.
- The Editor-in-Chief’s decision on publication, made based on reviewers’ report, is final.
- Authors of rejected papers will be promptly notified.
- All manuscripts submitted are checked for plagiarism. Manuscripts with a similarity index of more than 10% will be rejected. Details with regards to plagiarism can be read from our Plagiarism Policy.
4.1 Ethical Oversight
- Authors submitting works to MMU Press Journals publications do so with the understanding if it is discovered that these basic principles have not been adhered to, action will be taken following the COPE guidelines and may result in one of the following Correction notices:
- Erratum: This generally refers to a production error, which has been introduced during the publication process. If an erratum is issued, it will appear on the abstract of the online version of the paper to ensure full visibility.
- Corrigendum: This generally refers to an author error or oversight, prior to the paper’s submission to the publication. If a corrigendum is issued, it will appear on the abstract of the online version of the paper to ensure full visibility.
- Retraction notice: A retraction notice will be issued in serious cases of ethical misconduct or where the research is seriously flawed and misleading. In normal circumstances, the paper will remain in the online version of the journal. A retraction notice will appear on the online version of the paper.
- Note of clarification: A note of clarification will be used when a point needs to be emphasized or clarified in the text but it does not constitute a correction. Please note that any correction has to be highlighted as a stated erratum, corrigendum or note of clarification and the text cannot be amended. This is to make sure that the reader is aware of any changes to the text which they might have cited or referred to in their subsequent research or practice.
- Expression of concern: In cases where a conclusion is unclear or where we are unable to make a fair decision due to conflict of interest or lack of information, we will publish an expression of concern regarding the paper. An expression of concern will appear on the online version of the paper at the abstract level in order to ensure visibility for all readers, including non-subscribers.
- Please note that for legal reasons or when an article forms evidence in an independent hearing, we may not be able to take action until all matters have been fully resolved. MMU Press reserves the right to not proceed with a case if the complainant presents a false name or affiliation or acts in an inappropriate or threatening manner towards MMU Press editors and staff.
- In all cases, MMU Press will:
- Act professionally and efficiently
- Be fair and objective
- Always approach the accused party to establish their position before making a decision or committing to a course of action.
- Ensure that we provide sufficient time for all parties to respond
- Keep all parties informed of the decisions, including the copyright owners, editors and authors
- As members of the Committee on Publication Ethics, follow the processes highlighted in the flowcharts presented by COPE
- It is the responsibility of MMU Press to protect the authors' moral rights (to be acknowledged as the author and not to be misrepresented) and to ensure the correct record of the literature.
MMU Press reserves the right to withdraw and rescind any acceptance should a case of ethical misconduct be discovered prior to publication. It will not be possible to please all parties in every case. Following a fair and considered process, the final decision in any disputed case will rest with the editor and MMU Press.
For further information on MMU Press ethics and policies, please contact (Legal Email), or refer to the COPE guidelines.
4.2 Ethical Issues
- Journals under MMU Press will follow the Ethical Oversight Flowcharts in COPE’s Core Practices that include step-by-step guideline to handle ethical issues in submitted or published articles related to:
- Redundant (Duplicate) Publication: Authors are expected to submit original, previously unpublished content to MMU Press publications. It is an unacceptable academic practice to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time – authors are expected to wait until receiving a decision from one journal before submitting the next.
- Plagiarism: MMU Press requires that all articles submitted to the journals is original. Using another person’s idea, language, graphs, pictures, results and experiments without giving credit to them.
- Self-Plagiarism (Text Recycling): Authors are expected to submit original content to MMU Press publications. It is only acceptable for a research to be repeated if it leads to different or new conclusions or for comparisons with new data. In all cases, it is important to provide reference of the previously published work. If any element of the work has been published previously, ensure that the work is fully referenced and state it at the point of submission, so that the Editor may make a fully-informed decision.
- Fabrication/ Falsification of Data: Making up data, results and recording or reporting them, is fabrication of data. Falsification of data is manipulating research materials, omitting, deletion, suppression of conflicting data without justification. This will cause mistrust and disgrace to scientific community.
- Authorship Problems: In multi-authored papers, it is important that all authors that have made a significant contribution to the paper are listed. Those who have provided support but have not contributed to the research should be acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section.
- Authorship issues falls into three main types:
- The exclusion of a contributor from the list of authors
- The inclusion of a named person who has not contributed to the paper or does not wish to be associated with the research
- The order of the authors on the paper and the level of contribution that they have made to the paper.
- Undisclosed Conflict of Interest: All conflicts of interest should be declared by the author, editor or reviewer. Conflicts of interest include:
- A financial or personal interest in the outcomes of the research;
- Undisclosed financial support for the research by an interested third party;
- A financial or person
- A note to highlight the background to financial support for the research from third parties or any other possible conflict of interest must be added to the paper prior to review. If a conflict of interest is suspected, then it should be reported to the Editor.
- Coercive Citation: During the peer review process, it is typical for authors to be directed by reviewers to papers which further develop and improve the author’s ideas. Whilst there may be legitimate occasions where it is necessary to reference other publications, MMU Press regards ‘coercive citation’ (i.e. where a reference is included as a condition of acceptance or without academic justification) as unethical and does not condone this kind of behaviour.
- Defamation / Libel: MMU Press requires that authors obtain written "proof of consent" for studies about named organizations or people. If inaccurate, unsubstantiated or emotive statements are made about organizations or people in a submitted paper, MMU Press reserves the right to request changes to the text from the author or to reject the paper prior to publication. Critiques and reviews of products and services are acceptable but comments must be constructive and must not be made maliciously. If statements have been made in a paper that is published by MMU Press and found to be defamatory, a retraction notice will be published. In some cases, and when legally required, the paper will be withdrawn from the online version of the journal. An apology will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal or volume of the book. MMU Press will advise all authors of case studies to inform the subject (person or organization) and to seek permission. If MMU Press considers that the study could be potentially libellous, we will require written proof of consent before placing the paper into the production process.
- Unethical Research and Testing: An author must follow appropriate international and national procedures with respect to data protection, rights to privacy, child protection and medical testing on humans and animals. Authors must make available to all consent forms and requisite forms from the appropriate regulatory bodies to the editors and publishers at MMU Press. MMU Press encourages all authors to demonstrate how their research contributes to the benefit of the society. If research is found to contravene international or national procedures and it is confirmed with the appropriate regulatory body, MMU Press will publish a retraction notice at once.