Ethics & Malpractice

Editors of the Advances in Science and Technology Research Journal (ASTRJ) pay attention to maintain ethical standards in scientific publications and undertake any possible measure to counteract neglecting the standards. Papers submitted for publication are evaluated with respect to reliability, conforming to ethical standards and the advancement of science. Principles given below are based on COPE's Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, which may be found at:

Ethical standards
The authors of publications should present the results of their work in a clear, reliable and honest manner regardless of the fact whether they are the direct authors of publication or they took benefit of specialized help.
Openness of information on any party contributing to preparation of a publication (content-related, material, financial etc. input) is proof of ethical attitude of a research worker and of high editorial standards and that is an indication of both good practice and social responsibility.
Main responsibility to disclose full information remains on author submitting manuscript.
Any cases of redundant (duplicate) publication, plagiarism, fabricated data, ghostwriting, guest authorship etc. are indication of scientific dishonesty and all such cases will be exposed and adequate institutions will be informed (institutions employing the author, scientific societies, scientific editors associations etc.).
The editorial office should acquire information on sources of financing of a publication.

Editorial independence
The Editor-in-Chief of ASTRJ has full authority over the entire editorial content of their journal and the timing of publication of that content. Authors should not interfere in the evaluation, selection, scheduling, or editing of individual articles either directly or by creating an environment that strongly influences decisions. Editors base editorial decisions on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers, not on the someone's interest motives, and editors are free to express critical but responsible views about all aspects without fear of retribution, even if these views conflict with the somebody's goals.
Editor-in-Chief has the final say in decisions about which work and when appears and has final say in use of the journal brand and an overall policy regarding journal content.
Authors are obliged to respect the concept of editorial freedom.

Preliminary evaluation
Received manuscripts are first examined by Editors according to ASTRJ requirements and policy. Incomplete packages or manuscripts not prepared in the advised style will be sent back to author(s) with suggestions for correction. The authors are notified with the reference number upon manuscript registration at the Editorial Office. The Editor-in-Chief or Section Editor reads every manuscript received and assigns a general priority level: (a) manuscripts sent to reviewers immediately; (b) manuscripts returned to authors with suggestions for the correction of data presentation; and (c) rejected manuscripts. If the manuscript is improved adequately, it is sent to two or more reviewers. The preliminary evaluation process usually takes 2-3 weeks.

Authorship statement
Within submission process in the Editorial System, the authors confirm the originality of the report, validity of authorship, copyright transfer and assert compliance with the review process.

Conflict of interests
Authors should disclose at the time of submission any financial arrangement they may have. Such information will be held in confidence while the paper is under review and will not influence the editorial decision, but if the article is accepted for publication, the editors will usually discuss with the authors the manner in which such information is to be communicated.
It is requires, that reviewers and editors reveal in a letter to the Editor-in-Chief any relationships that they have that could be construed as causing a conflict of interest with regard to a manuscript under review.

Copyright transfer
ASTRJ require exclusive assignment of copyright transfer from all authors at the time of manuscript submission. Manuscript will be enter the peer-review process after the copyright transfer is completed. Upon acceptance all published manuscripts become the permanent property of the owners of the ASTRJ, and may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

Review process
The registered manuscripts are sent to independent experts for scientific evaluation. We reserve the right of final selection of potential reviewers. After 3-5 weeks after submission of the manuscript, the authors will receive the reviews. The comments and suggestions made by the reviewers should be addressed and closely followed.
The purpose of the review is to provide an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript. The review supply authors with feedback on how to improve their manuscript so that it will be acceptable for publication. Although confidential comments to the editors are respected, any remarks that might help to improve the paper should be directed to the authors themselves.
It is important to remember that review time is merely an average, and the actual time taken depends on various factors, like the journal editor’s ability to find suitable peer reviewers, the availability and responsiveness of the peer reviewers, and the extent of revisions recommended.

The review process in ASTRJ is confidential (double-blind) – the author and the reviewer are anonymous to each other. Submitted manuscripts are accepted for publication after a positive opinion of the independent reviewers. Reviewers are asked to assess reliably the submitted papers in written form using unified ‘Reviewers Questionnaire’ (provided by Editorial Office) and include definite conclusion on whether article should be published.
If reviewers appear to differ in their opinion, the Editor-in-Chief: (a) may choose to share all reviews with each of the reviewers, or (b) ask other reviewers to assess the manuscript, or (c) consider all comments and balance the final decision. To assist in this process, the reviewer should provide the editors with as much information as possible. A review that clearly outlines reasons both for and against publication is therefore of as much or even more value as one that makes a direct recommendation.
When a manuscript has been revised in response to comments of reviewers or when authors feel their argument has been misconstrued in review, reviewers are asked for additional comments on the revised or contested manuscript. However, this could be find as an attempt to put pressure on the reviewer, so the editor carefully judge the relevance of contact.
In the case of rejection, the authors have the right to appeal if they think that the reviewers did not understand or appreciate some points in the manuscript. The editors will then decide if there are grounds for reconsideration of the manuscript.

Common reasons for rejection
If the manuscript is a poor quality, that will be directly rejected without sending to the reviwewers. The main reasons that papers can be rejected at this stage are:
• The manuscript has big Similarity Index idetified by iThenticate – a plagiarism detection service.
• The manuscript is lacking key elements.
• The English is not of sufficient quality.
• The figures and tables are not complete or are not clear enough.
• The manuscript does not conform to the most important aspects of the Instructions for authors.
• The study topic was of little significance or of marginal interest to the field.
• The bad structure of manuscript, or poor drawings resolution.

There are two main reasons that papers may be retracted. First, the researcher may decide to self-retract, if realized that there was an errors in the text. The second, if it is found that the research was carried out, or conclusions drawn, in a fraudulent way, the editorial board may retract the article. Reasons for this type of paper retraction include fraudulent data, plagiarism, untrue authorship claims, multiple submissions of the same article, or general misconduct related to professional codes of ethics.

The authors should clearly and precisely made correction of manuscript, in accordance with the reviewers’ requests. It should be prepare description, numbered in the order of reviewers’ comments. Altered paragraphs in the new version of the manuscript should be specified using page and paragraph numbers, or alternatively marked in color.

Duties of Editors
Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively based on their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief of ASTRJ has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.
Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors due to handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors 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 board to handle the manuscript.
The journal editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two experts 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 editors or reviewers in making this decision.
The journal editors may seek advice about submitted papers not only from technical reviewers but also on any aspect of a paper that raises concerns. These may include, for example, ethical issues or issues of data or materials access. Advice will usually be sought simultaneously with the technical peer-review process.

Duties of Reviewers
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
Editor will take reviewer misconduct seriously and pursue any allegation of breach of confidentiality.

Duties of Authors
Authors should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Authors should ensure that submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere in any language, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
Applicable copyright laws and conventions should be followed. Copyright material (e.g. tables, figures or extensive quotations) should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement.
An author should not publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.

Duties of the Publisher
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 amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification, or the retraction of the affected workers in the most severe case. In addition, together with the editors, the publisher 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 occur.
The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our digital archive.
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