EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics for The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences (EJSBS)


About the EJSBS

The EJSBS is a peer-reviewed journal that selects and publishes research in the social and behavioural sciences. The Code of Ethics describes the journal’s policies for ensuring the ethical treatment of all participants in its publication process. The EJSBS authors, editors, and reviewers are encouraged to review these guidelines and address any questions or concerns to the EJSBS Editor-in-Chief, at admissions@europeanpublisher.com


Review Process


The EJSBS uses double-blind review; both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. The initial step of the review process begins when a paper is received in the e-submission system. The Deputy Editor in Chief then sends the paper for initial screening to an editor with expertise in the field of studies covered in the paper to ensure that the paper is suited to the journal’s scope of coverage and abides by the ethical guidelines stipulated in the EJSBS Code of Ethics policy. The paper is also checked by the Managing Editor to ensure that the paper abides by the formatting requirements of the journal’s paper template. If the paper is found to be unsuitable at this stage, it is returned to the corresponding author to be corrected and resubmitted. Papers can also be rejected at this stage on the basis of unsuitability of content to the journal’s scope, extremely poor standard of language and/or writing (largely incomprehensible), severe lack of rigour in the research design and reporting or detection of unethical practices such as global plagiarism.

Once the suitability of the paper has been established, the paper will then be sent to two qualified reviewers to comment of the quality and appropriacy of the paper for publication. This entire process will take between 2½ – 3 weeks. There may be occasions when the reviewer/s are not able to return the paper within the stipulated timeframe due to unforeseen circumstances and require an extension to complete the review. In such cases, the author/s are informed and kept updated on the process. In cases where a reviewer is unable to complete the review, the Deputy Editor in Chief will invite another reviewer or an Editor with suitable expertise to review the paper.

Once the paper is returned with the reviewers’ comments, the Deputy Editor in Chief will, based on the reviewers’ comments, return the paper to the corresponding author and notify him/her that the paper has been accepted or rejected for publication. Acceptance for publication require both reviewers to agree that the paper is acceptable for publication without corrections or publication with minor corrections (which does not require a second review; in this case, the Editor will ascertain if the corrections are acceptable and proceed with the publication). In the case of publication with major corrections, the corrected paper will be sent for a second and final review to ascertain that the corrections are satisfactory before being approved for publication. If the corrected paper does not meet the approval of the reviewers during the second round, it is rejected. A negative feedback from both reviewers will result in an automatic rejection. In certain cases of rejection, no offer to resubmit will be made due to serious inadequacies in the paper. In other cases, the author/s will receive an offer to resubmit after certain inadequacies have been amended/corrected. In cases of a mixed response from the reviewers, the Editor, whose decision is final, will arbitrate. In every case of rejection, the returned paper will be accompanied by the reviewers’ comments and feedback. Author/s can appeal the decision by writing to the Deputy Editor in Chief and providing responses to each of the reviewers’/Editor’s comments. The Deputy Editor in Chief will then refer the paper and the appeal to another Editor and reviewer to decide whether to accept the paper for publication, submit it for another round of review or to reject the paper. The decision to reject the paper at this stage is final and no further appeal will be entertained. 

Authors are cautioned that submission of papers for the review process does not guarantee publication.

Recommended Reviewers

To facilitate and expedite the review process, authors are strongly advised to recommend three to four reviewers who possess the necessary expertise to review the submitted paper. This can be done through the e-submission system when submitting the paper. These potential reviewers will be contacted by the Deputy Editor in Chief with an offer to review the paper. All reviewers must possess a doctorate and have publication experience. Potential reviewers cannot be co-authors or collaborators from the same institution/s as the author/s. Authors cited in the submitted paper may be recommended as reviewers.  

Authorship and Responsibilities

By submitting a manuscript to the EJSBS, all persons included as authors agree that they have reviewed and approved the manuscript prior to submission, and that they accept responsibility for the information contained in the submission. Authorship credit should be based on:

  • Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  • Final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3 as stated to be included as authors. Individuals who were not principal researchers or writers should not be listed as authors but should be acknowledged instead for their ancillary role in the acknowledgment section of the paper.

In multicentre studies, the authors should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship as defined above and these individuals will need to complete a Conflict of Interest disclosure forms. All authors must also sign a Copyright transfer form. The individual authors’ contributions to the paper must be explained in detail in the cover letter which must be submitted together with the paper. The names of all authors must be placed under the title of the paper. By submitting original research, the author/s agree that the original research data are available for review upon a formal request from the Editor.

Any research that involves the use of human subjects must show evidence of having followed the stipulations of the ethics committee or review board of the author/s’ institution/s. This means that documented approval, which includes the project identification code, date of approval and the affiliation of the ethics committee/review board, should be attached as supplemental material in the paper. Alternatively, these details can also be mentioned in the Research Methods section of the paper with an accompanying statement such as “Informed consent was obtained from all participants prior to the research and for the research to be published. The research was approved by the Ethics Committee/ Review Board of (affiliated institution) under (Project Identification Code)”. The inclusion of these details and statement is clear and strong evidence that the ethical research protocols were followed.

The author/s must be able to show proof if necessary, of documented informed consent from the participants involved in the research. At no point in the paper, should the personal details of the participants such as name and affiliation or any other identifying marker be revealed. Permission to use data that may include photographs of the participants must be obtained from the participants or parents/guardians in the form of documented approval to use such images as part of the research findings and for publication. These documents must be made available to the Editors, if the need arises. Failure to conform to these stipulations for ethical research and provide evidence of the necessary documents will result in an automatic rejection of the paper.

The EJSBS Editors accept author/s affiliated institutions’ templates as valid documents for participants’ informed consent. The templates should cover, as far as possible, all aspects of protocols for ethical research and publication. It is the responsibility of the author/s to ensure that their affiliated institutions’ documents’ coverage of protocols for ethical research and publication are comprehensive enough to prevent any possibility of subsequent claims of unethical behaviour/unfulfilled promises of payment for participation in the research by any participant once the paper has been published.  The Editors will not accept any responsibility for participants’ claims once the paper has been published. Any complaints of this nature will be forwarded to the corresponding author to deal with.

Plagiarism and duplicate publication

Global, mosaic and verbatim plagiarism are viewed as copying of words, ideas, models, images and/or data from other works, without giving due credit to the original author/s. As such, the EJSBS Editors view all forms of plagiarism/duplicate publication as serious threats to the integrity of the research process. Papers in which plagiarism is detected will be handled on a case by case basis depending on the extent of plagiarism detected.

  • Less than 5 % - The paper is assigned a Full Text Paper ID and it is immediately returned to the corresponding author for revision.
  • Between 5 and 25 % - The paper is not assigned a Full Text paper ID and it is immediately returned to the corresponding author for revision.
  • More than 25 % - The paper is rejected without editorial review. The authors are advised to revise the plagiarized parts of the paper and resubmit it as a fresh paper.

There may be cases when an original paper is not freely accessible to indexing services due to restrictions by programmers, journals or publishers; in such cases, it may not be possible to detect plagiarism / duplicate publication in a paper.

Fabrication and Falsification

Fabrication is construed as the misrepresentation of research processes, manipulation of data and reporting of results with the aim of misleading the readers. 
Falsification is construed as misrepresentation and/or omitting of research processes, data and/or results with the aim of misleading the readers. Manipulation of original images, models, concepts and data with the aim of passing off such manipulated material as one’s own or to provide distorted interpretations of such material is also classified as falsification.

In both cases, the authenticity of the research processes, data/analysis, reporting of results are compromised and the paper will be rejected for publication.

Once evidence of plagiarism, duplicate publication, fabrication and falsification has been detected in a paper during the review process, the papers are rejected and the Deputy Editor in Chief will contact the corresponding author, the author/s’ institution/s and/or funder/s to inform them of the situation. This underscores the EJSBS editorial policy of rejection of any form of ethical misconduct. If, despite the Editors’ best efforts, such a paper has already been published, a retraction and apology will be published by the Editors in a subsequent issue of the journal.

The Editors’ actions in cases that may require article withdrawal, retraction, replacement and corrections are guided by guidelines stipulated in the Committee on Publication Ethics (2019) 

Conflicts of Interest

The EJSBS policy on conflicts of interest covers the understanding that author/s are not unduly pressured to manipulate their research to please external agents such as, but not limited to funders, institutional pressures, political pressures, socio-cultural trends and/or religious convictions. Personal bias and prejudice should also not interfere with the fair and transparent process of academic research. Examples of personal bias include manipulating sample sizes by ethnicity to produce data that shows a certain ethnic group exhibits certain negative traits while another ethnic group (which the author belongs to) exhibits certain positive traits and then concluding that this ethnic group is “better” than the other ethnic group. Other examples of conflict of interest include manipulating data to appease political masters, funders, institution management, and other agencies with a direct or indirect influence on the author/s.

Author/s are encouraged to disclose all potential conflicts of interest as part of their adherence to the EJSBS’s policy on ethical research. The journal Editors are cognizant of the fact that research data and findings can have profound repercussions on society, the environment and human life. The journal’s role in sharing and disseminating research is premised on the foundation that academic integrity is at the heart of ethical academic pursuits and as such, the EJSBS values and supports author/s’ integrity in conducting and reporting research that is underpinned by the Code of Ethics of the journal. If there is no conflict of interest, a statement should be made to that effect after the Acknowledgment section or before the References Section in the paper. The author/s need to submit a signed Conflict of Interest disclaimer when submitting a paper in the e-submission system. The paper will not be processed for review if this document is not submitted.

Language

Only full text papers that abide by the journal's regulations and are written in standard (internationally acceptable) English will be considered for publication. The EJSBS does not offer editing/proofreading services. The authors are responsible for all language corrections. In cases of minor/minimal language errors that do not subvert the intended meaning and/or organization of content, the Deputy Editor in Chief will undertake to make the necessary corrections. In such cases, the paper will not be returned to the corresponding author. 

General Responsibilities of Editors

  • To embrace and commit wholeheartedly to the journal’s aims and success as a journal of international repute.
  • To understand and accept their role as pivotal in the journal’s editorial process.
  • To support and maintain the integrity and freedom of expression in scientific research.
  • To strive to meet the needs of readers and authors within the scope of the journal’s area of coverage. 
  • To apply consistent standards in their editorial processes while ensuring transparency, fairness and lack of bias.
  • To decide on the suitability of papers for publication and provide authors with an explanation regarding the editorial decision of papers
  • To evaluate manuscripts fairly without regard to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. 
  • To objectively monitor the performance of peer reviewers and editors in terms of timeliness and quality.
  • To accept responsibility for all texts published in the journal. 
  • To maintain confidentiality about a paper under consideration/review.
  • To encourage peer reviewers and fellow editors to consider ethical issues related to the research under review. 
  • To abide by policies in place in all cases of ethical misconduct.
  • To arbitrate in a mixed decision as to the publication worthiness of a reviewed paper.
  • To act sensitively when publishing images of objects of cultural/religious significance or that may offend.

 

Editorial Responsibilities/Jurisdiction

  • To abide by the regulations and guidelines for editors stipulated in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, 2019). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors
  • To ensure submissions have not been previously published.
  • To ensure that publications do not contain any copied/copyrighted material from published or copyrighted work.
  • To ensure submitted papers are free of fabrication and/or falsification.
  • To remove any inaccurate, false, misleading, obscene, scandalous, or unlawful text or graphic, with due feedback to the author/s concerned.
  • To publish as and when needed, clarifications (errata), corrections, retractions, or apologies. For action on retractions of articles, the EJSBS Editors conform to the guidelines in the Committee for Publication Ethics COPE (2019). Author/s are advised to familiarize themselves with these guidelines at https://publicationethics.org/files/retraction-guidelines.pdf
  • The Editors are not responsible for the ideas, opinions, perspectives, conclusions, implications and recommendations expressed by the author/s in the papers. 


Responsibilities of Reviewers

  • To understand and accept their role as pivotal in the journal’s publication process.
  • To support and maintain the integrity and freedom of expression in scientific research.
  • To ensure that they have sufficient expertise to provide a satisfactory review of the offered papers.
  • To abide by the guidelines for reviewers stipulated in the Committee on Publication Ethics COPE(2019). Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers
  • To ensure that all papers are reviewed thoroughly and completely according to the requirements of the journal’s Reviewer checklist.
  • To ensure that the timelines for the review are strictly adhered to, except in unforeseen circumstances when an extension may be required.
  • To respect the confidentiality of the review process.
  • To maintain communications with the Editor/Deputy Editor in Chief throughout the review process.
  • To clarify issues related to the paper only with the Editor/Deputy Editor in Chief.


Responsibilities of Authors

  • Submit only original works, and properly cite the works of others.
  • Ensure that funded research/collaboration is adequately acknowledged in the paper.
  • Ensure submissions do not include plagiarised material and/or self-plagiarism (also known as duplicate publication), fabrication and falsification and conflicts of interest. Authors need to familiarize themselves with the guidelines for Authorship and Responsibilities in the journal’s code of ethics regarding plagiarism, falsification and fabrication, and conflicts of interest to avoid paper rejections.
  • Notify the Editor in writing about any related manuscripts under consideration by another publisher or in press. Forward copies of these manuscripts to the editor.
  • When requested, provide the data and a description of the research methods used and data obtained/informed consent documents for the submitted/published paper.
  • Promptly notify and cooperate with the Deputy Editor in Chief or publisher to retract or correct any significant error or inaccuracy in the paper.
  • Ensure that the corresponding author has signed the EJSBS copyright, certifying that the article is an original work, that it has not been published previously, and that is not under consideration for publication elsewhere in any form.
  • Ensure that the Conflict of Interest Statement and the Informed Consent/Oversight statements are completed and submitted when submitting the paper.
  • Ensure that the contributions of all authors in a co-authored paper are clearly designated in the cover letter to avoid any potential authorship disputes.
  • Accept full responsibility for all ideas, opinions, perspectives, conclusions, implications and recommendations expressed by the author/s in their work.
  • Respond in a timely manner to communications from the Deputy Editor in Chief regarding the status of the paper during the correction process.
  • Abide by the timelines for submission stipulated by the Deputy Editor in Chief during the correction process. Failure to abide by the timeline may result in the paper being excluded for publication or being carried forward to the following issue.

Complaints

  • Complaints to the publisher must be related to an author, reviewer, paper, editor, or publisher.
  • Complaints regarding the validity and authenticity of research methods, data collection and analysis, plagiarism and authorship disputes will be handled by the Editor and Deputy Editor in Chief assisted by an Editor with expertise in the area being disputed. There may be occasions when such complaints are referred to the author/s institution’s ethics committee.
  • Any potential conflict of interest should be directed to the Deputy Editor in Chief.
  • The Deputy Editor in Chief / Editors are responsible for the timely and thorough investigation of all complaints and for reporting the outcome of the investigation to the complainant. The decision of the editorial board is final.


References 

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, 2019). Principles of Transparency and Best Practices. Retrieve from here.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, 2019). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (updated). Retrieve from here.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, 2019). Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Retrieve from here.    

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, 2019). Flowcharts. Retrieve from here