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Editorial Policies

Publication ethics

Science and Beyond Publishing UK supports the ethical principles set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Research must conform to the Helsinki declaration, and you will normally have to confirm that the study has been approved by a named research ethics committee. In addition, you must ensure that there is no risk of you being charged with duplicate publication.

Science and Beyond Publishing UK journals adhere to the principles outlined below, which have been devised to ensure the accurate, timely, fair and ethical publication of scientific papers. Publisher regularly reviews its editorial policies. It has adopted clear and rigorous guidelines for best working practices in scientific publishing, working in conjunction with our academic partners. Such policies will benefit our authors, editors and readers as we strive for a trustworthy, transparent and efficient publishing process. Responsibility for the journal and its policies lies with the Editor in Chief in conjunction with the Publisher; any concerns either regarding specific papers or general policies should be directed to the mail@sbpub.uk.

Confidentiality

Editors and reviewers are expected to treat articles they handle confidentially. Editors and reviewers must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the publishing process, reviewer feedback and final decision) to anyone. They should not use knowledge of the work before its publication to further their own interests. Reviewers also have the right to confidentiality; they will remain anonymous to authors (unless they choose to waive their anonymity) and readers, and their comments will not be published.

In situations where a reviewer wishes to co-review an article with a junior member of their laboratory, they must abide by the same rules of confidentiality and publishing ethics, and be named as a co-reviewer on submission of the review to the journal. Sharing manuscript details with lab members as a whole or with colleagues outside of the lab is not permitted.

Objectivity and fair play

An Editor will evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Any concerns regarding objectivity and fair play should be directed to the mail@sbpub.uk

Competing interests

Authors must declare any competing interests by completing a standard form, which will be sent to all authors at the conclusion of the peer review process. This should be returned with the revised manuscript.

Writers of letters and editorials must also declare competing interests. Steps are also taken to ensure that reviewers declare competing interests or, if there is a conflict and they feel it is appropriate, to decline to review an article.

COPE has given guidance on competing interests. They are defined as factors which could influence the judgement of an author, reviewer or editors, and may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial in nature. As a rough guide, they have been described as interests which, if revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. Statements of competing interests are included in online versions of research articles. 

Originality and plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as "the use of others' published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source". It is considered a dishonest and unacceptable practice. The words of others can be taken directly from another source in the form of a quotation, using appropriate punctuation and attribution. However, cutting-and-pasting sentences or long passages of text in a manner that suggests they are your own is not permitted, even if the original source is cited. By submitting an article, authors are thereby asserting that their work is entirely original and that others' work or text has been appropriately cited or attributed. The re-use of one’s own published work without appropriate citation (self-plagiarism) is also unethical.

Upon article acceptance, all manuscripts undergo screening for plagiarism (using the iThenticate software provided by CrossRef and other services for non-English).