Conflict of Interests
1. General Principles
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in its guidelines defines a conflict of interests in the following way:
A conflict of interests takes place when authors, reviewers and editors have implicit interests which may influence their evaluation of the published material.
A potential conflict of interests occurs when there are financial, personal or professional conditions which could have an effect on the scholarly evaluation of the reviewer or editor and as a consequence, on the decision of the editorial board concerning the publication of the article.
2. Obligations in Relation to a Conflict of Interests
The journal does not require a formal declaration upon the emergence of a conflict of interests. Nevertheless, it is presumed that the author, when submitting the article to the editorial board of the journal, asserts that:
- All sources of funding for research activity are indicated in the text of the article;
- There are no commercial, financial, personal or professional factors which may cause a conflict of interests in relation to the article submitted for the consideration.
Upon the emergence of a conflict of interests the author may:
- Ask for excluding a particular editor and/or reviewer from the process of reviewing the corresponding manuscript;
- Make an explicit assertion about a possible conflict of interests in the text of a cover letter when submitting an article to the editorial board.
The editors jointly with the reviewers shall not leave unnoticed any conflicts of interests which may have an influence on the decision of the editorial board.
Upon the emergence of a conflict of interests between an editor and/or reviewer with the author of the manuscript, the article shall be transferred to another reviewer.
The emergence of a conflict of interests claimed by one of the participants of the process of consideration or reviewing does not presume a rejection of the publication of the article.
All interested parties must avoid the emergence of conflicts of interests in any form at all stages of presenting their articles for publication. Upon the emergence of conflict situations in any form, the party who first discovers such a conflict shall immediately inform the editor. The same thing pertains to any infringements of common ethical norms and rules.
In some cases, the editorial board may decide to withdraw the article (retraction).
The reasons for retraction (withdrawal) of an article from the publishing house may be the following:
- revealing plagiarism in an article before or after its publication, including borrowing figures, graphs, tables, etc. (see: “Plagiarism”);
- the emergence of claims in terms of copyright on the article or its certain parts by a third party;
- discovery of the fact of a prior publication of the article in another journal;
- discovering substantial mistakes in the published article, calling into question its scholarly significance.
Under such circumstances, the editorial board shall initiate an examination, and in accordance with the results of this examination the submitted article may be withdrawn from publication. A public statement of withdrawal of the article is written, which is signed by the editor-in-chief. A copy of the statement shall be sent to the author.
At the same time, the article is not physically removed from the published edition and the file of issue on the website. The editorial board shall publish a statement about the withdrawal of the article with its placement on the appropriate page of the content of the issue on the official website of the journal.
The editorial board shall consider in a careful and responsible manner all substantiated reference to the subject of the violations discovered in the published materials.
The editors believe that the author and reviewer are obligated as quickly as possible to inform the editorial board about overlooked mistakes and violations discovered by them after publishing the article.
Plagiarism and the Tactics of Editorial Board Against It
The authors of the articles shall provide a guarantee that their submitted manuscripts are original works. If the articles make use of works and/or fragments of texts of other authors, the authors shall provide the corresponding citations on the published works.
All materials submitted to the editorial board in a mandatory fashion at an early stage of acceptance are checked for corresponding citations on the published works as well as via other network search engines in the Internet and only after this the articles are sent for reviewing. Upon the emergence of unidentified citations in the submitted article all cases of such adoptions are considered individually.
In the case of any reasonable suspicion of plagiarism or the elicitation of techniques which allow the concealment of its presence, the article shall not be accepted for further consideration. The authors shall be informed about the refusing in the consideration by reason of suspected plagiarism. If plagiarism is detected in the published article, such a work is disavowed without the possibility to restore status (without physical withdrawal of the article, by publishing corresponding documents and materials on the website and in the journal).
Characteristics of plagiarism include various forms of its presence in the text: from presenting somebody else’s work as one’s own to copying or rephrasing essential sections of other people’s works (without indicating their authorship) and up to claiming one’s own rights to the results of other people’s research.
Deliberate assumption of authorship of somebody else’s work of scholarship or art, other people’s ideas or inventions is an infringement of copyright laws and patent laws and as such may entail legal action.
The editorial board considers the following examples as plagiarism:
- Making use (citations verbatim) of any material in any amount without indicating the source;
- Making use of images, drawings, photos, tables, graphs, charts and all other forms of graphical representation of information without indicating the source;
- Making use of images, drawings, photos, tables, graphs, charts and all other forms of graphical representation of the information published in scholarly and popular publications without the accordance of the right holder;
- Making use of materials without written permission of the authors or copyright holders that prohibit the use of their materials without special approval.
The editorial board considers the next forms of incorrect adoptions:
- A reference on a source of the adopted text which is not the first without any explicit indication of this fact (the error in determining the source);
- An incomplete list of bibliographic description of sources which obstructs their identification;
- The absence of references from the text on sources quoted in the reference list;
- An excessive amount of citations (with references to the sources), the quantity of which is not substantiated by the genre and the objectives of the article.
Upon the emergence of editorial grounds for more detailed inspections additional means for tracing adoptions may be applied.
The editorial board strongly discourages the authors from using any technical devices for improving the assessment of the text in the context of the system of verification of its originality.
If any signs of technical modifications for the purpose of artificially enhancing the originality of the text are detected in the articles, the manuscripts shall be barred from publication in the journal, even in the case of additional work on revision of the text on the part of the author. The editors shall communicate about all such cases to the reviewer and, if the author is employed in an educational institution, to his or her management.