An article published in a peer-reviewed open access journal is a vital element in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. It is therefore important to set and accept certain standards and guidelines for the editors who are responsible for scrutinizing the articles and allow the publication of only useful and relevant content.
The Editor-in-Chief is solely responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions. The Editor-in-Chief may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding issues such as libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
The Editor-in-Chief shall ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. The articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary the Editor-in-Chief should seek additional opinions. The Editor-in-Chief shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field, taking account of the need for appropriate, inclusive and diverse representation. The Editor-in-Chief shall follow best practice in avoiding any potential for bias in peer-review process.
The Editor-in-Chief should ensure that the articles are evaluated for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. When nominating potential editorial board members, the Editor-in-Chief shall take account of the need for appropriate, inclusive and diverse representation. The editorial policies of the journal encourage transparency and honest reporting, and the Editor-in-Chief should ensure that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
The Editor-in-Chief must protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with editors and journal staff members. In exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the publisher, the Editor-in-Chief may share limited information with editors of other journals were deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct. The journal is operating a double-blind peer-review system so the Editor-in-Chief must protect editors and authors identities.
The Editor-in-Chief should ensure that any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the editor. The Editor-in-Chief must not be involved in decisions about papers in which he/she has an interest. Any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.
The editorial board members should assist in peer-reviewing the submitted manuscripts on priority basis and on timely manner. The editors are asked to treat authors and their work as they would like to be treated themselves and to observe good reviewing etiquette. Any selected editor who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify immediately and decline to participate in the review process.
The editors must treat a manuscript as a confidential document. They must not share the review or information about the paper with anyone or contact the authors directly without permission from the publisher/Editor-in-Chief. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in editors own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
The editors should be alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and should bring these to the attention of the editor, including any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the editor has personal knowledge.
The editors should observe that manuscripts are reviewed objectively and without any personal bias. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Editors should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. If an editor suggests that an author includes citations to the editor’s work, this must be for genuine scientific reasons and not with the intention of increasing the editor’s citation count or enhancing the visibility of their work.
The editors should ensure that they submit at least two manuscripts for publication in a year. The editor will not be involved in peer-review of own papers. Any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently by another competent editor and their research groups. The articles submitted by editors will be free from Article Processing Charges and only a nominal amount will be paid by the editors to bear the expenses in processing articles. The editors are expected to promote the journal in their network and encourage authors to submit articles.
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