Code of Conduct for Reviewers
The following set of practices is regarded as the code of conduct for reviewers:
- All researchers are consider for peer-reviewing of manuscripts as a professional responsibility.
- When approached to review, the reviewer must agree to review only if he/she has the necessary expertise to assess the manuscript and can be unbiased in his/her assessment. Expertise includes a track record of research publication and knowledge about the current state of research in the area of review.
- The reviewer must be familiar with the issues related to research ethics, best practices in research, research misconduct and the latest tools and technology to detect plagiarism.
- The reviewer must disclose any competing interests. Competing interest is particularly relevant in the open review process. However, it might also be relevant in a blind review if the reviewer can identify the author(s) of the article. Competing interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, or political in nature.
- Reviewers must do the review professionally following the guidance for reviewer provided by the journal. If a reviewer feels that he/she does not have enough expertise, he/she should decline to review and inform the editor.
- Recommendation for the acceptance of the manuscript must be based on the originality of the article and its potentiality to contribute to the existing knowledge in the area of study.
- Reviewers must make sincere effort to complete the task within the time-frame agreed upon.
- Reviewers must act responsibly maintaining the confidentiality of the review process, documents, research subjects and authors if known.
Code of Conduct for Editors
The following set of practices is regarded as the core code of conduct for editors:
- Editors are accountable for everything published in their journals regarding academic responsibility and quality, including authors’ compliance with integrity and ethics.
- Editors must adhere to journal policies and publication ethics.
- Editors must ensure that contributors follow the publication ethics.
- Editors must ensure that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers (including statistical review wherever applicable).
- Editors must maintain a roster of qualified reviewers or have a mechanism to search for the most suitable reviewer for a particular submission.
- Editors must provide the reviewer guidance on reviewing, code of conduct for reviewers and best practices, which, among other things, include the disclosure of potential competing interests.
- Editors must respect requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission if these are well-reasoned and practicable.
- Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the duly conducted peer-review report on paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal.
- Editors should have a system in place to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected unless they use an open review system, which is declared to authors and reviewers in advance.
- In cases of disputes regarding misconduct, competing interests, and authorship, editors should follow the Dispute Resolution Flowchart to resolve the issue.
- Editors should publish relevant competing interests for all contributors and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.
- Editors should regularly review the policies of the journal and make them public through the journal.