Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
By submitting an article to this journal you agree to comply with the following Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.
Duties and responsibilities of authors
Originality and Plagiarism
All manuscripts must be the original work of authors and not evidence plagiarism.
Authorship of the Paper
Authorship of a manuscript should be limited to authors who have made significant contributions.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
Authors must not submit the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently.
Acknowledgement of sources
Authors must properly and accurately acknowledge the work of others.
Disclosure and Conflicts of interest and financial support
Authors should disclose any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript and acknowledge individuals or organisations that have provided financial support for research.
Data access and retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with manuscripts for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data if possible.
Duties and responsibilities of editors
The editors are accountable for everything published in this journal. The editors strive to:
- Meet the needs of readers and authors
- Constantly improve the journal
- Champion freedom of expression
- Maintain the integrity of the academic record
- Preclude business needs from comprising intellectual and ethical standards
- Be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
Editors are responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal should be reviewed or published.
Editors should ensure the integrity of the publication review process. As such, editors should not reveal either the identity of authors of manuscripts to the reviewers, or the identity of reviewers to authors.
Editors must treat received manuscripts for review as confidential documents and must not disclose any information about submitted manuscripts to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Editors and any editorial staff must not use materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript (published or unpublished) for their own research without the author’s written authorisation.
Editors shall conduct proper and fair investigation into ethical complaints.
Responsibility of reviewers
Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat them as privileged information.
Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author.
Contribution to Editorial Decision
Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Reviewers should complete their reviews within a specified timeframe.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Reviewers should not review 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.
Action the editors will take in event of malpractice
When suspicion or allegations arise regarding any of misstatement or malpractice, the editors will ideally, address such issues after submission and prior to publication. Editors will investigate suspicions and any allegations made and reach a conclusion on the basis of those investigations.
When the editors suspect an ethics violation may exist in relation to an article submitted or allegation concerning a submitted article, the editors will take the following steps:
1. Editors, as a matter of due process, will raise the issue with the corresponding author and in some cases with a specific co-author whose actions are complained about— in some circumstances all co-authors of the article in question may need to be contacted. Editors will seek an explanation and, where necessary, the provision of evidence supporting that explanation.
2. Editors will also seek an explanation from, and the views of, any complainant together, where necessary, with evidence supporting that explanation.
3. Editors will seek the complainant’s views on any explanation and evidence provided by the author. Similarly, editors will seek the views of the author on any explanation and evidence provided by the complainant.
At this point in the investigation, Editors may be satisfied that there has been no ethical violation. If not, however, editors will continue to investigate the matter.
4. If the authors are unable to satisfy editors on a balance of probabilities that there has been no violation, then the editors will carry out further investigation. The depth of the investigation will vary from case to case, but may include the following steps:
- Further investigating any allegations made by third parties
- Speaking to colleagues of any author
- Speaking to officials at any institutions where the research in question was carried out
- Speaking to officials at any professional body or institution of which any author is a member
- Speaking to other leading experts in the field of research in question
- Speaking to members of the editorial advisory board of the journal
- Working with any professional body with an investigative mission such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
Caution regarding defamation claims
In carrying out any investigation, editors will take great care to act fairly and objectively and not to defame any author (or complainant) in any way, which could give rise to legal liabilities, including damages. To avoid defamation claims by authors, editors will bear in mind the following guidelines in investigation:
- Any inquiries of an author’s institution will be made in terms of an “alleged” or “apparent” violation. The inquiries should clearly state the facts and the allegation without premature judgment of the author’s culpability.
- Care will be taken to gather information while imparting as little information as possible about the suspicion or accusation.
Practical consequences of findings
If editors decide that, prima facie, there is no issue, publication may take place or continue (as the case may be) in the normal way.
If editors decide that there has been unethical practice, editors may reject the paper. If unethical practice is discovered after the article has been published, editors will consider whether retraction of the article or, in very exceptional cases, removal is appropriate.
Legal consequences of findings
In the case of plagiarism , there may be an infringement of copyright and, possibly, also moral rights. Moral rights include the right of an author of a work to be identified as such, as well as the right of an author to prevent changes to his or her work that are of a derogatory nature.
In the case of research results not being original to the purported author and allegations about authorship of contributions, there may be an infringement of the moral rights outlined above, but also infringement of a person’s moral right not to have a work attributed to him or her when not the author.
In all cases of ethical misconduct, there is likely to be a breach of contract by the author, who will have contravened the terms of his or her publishing agreement with the publisher or the relevant instructions to authors.
When a paper has been published in another journal or other publication and it appears that this paper (1) plagiarises a paper published in the FPRJ, (2) contains research results that are not original to its author but are original to the author of a paper published in FPRJ, or (3) has already been published in whole or in part in the FPRJ, editors will observe the following procedure.
As a first step, editors will contact the editor of the publication in which the offending paper appears, seeking a full explanation. It is to be hoped that the editor of that publication will take steps similar to those recommended by these guidelines in relation to our publications.
If that editor fails to investigate the matter properly or is not able to satisfy you on a balance of probabilities that there is no issue, then FPRJ editors will follow the steps recommended when the suspected offending paper appears in the FPRJ. That is, editors will investigate the suspicion or allegation by initially contacting the author(s) of the offending publication for an explanation, and continuing the investigation to its necessary conclusion.