- 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- Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Editor-in-Chief/ the Editorial will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes.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.
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.
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.