Statement on publication ethics and misconduct
The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is fully committed to promoting ethical conduct in the publication of its science journals, based on the principles laid down by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (http://publicationethics.org).
To achieve this, the UAB considers it essential for all parties involved in the publishing process for its science journals – editors, reviewers, and authors – to know and accept the terms of the above code, as summarised below.
Publishers should undertake to do the following:
• clearly establish the relationship between publishers, editors and other parties through a contract;
• promote editorial independence;
• respect privacy;
• protect intellectual property;
• maintain the integrity of published content;
• publish content punctually.
• Decisions on publishing papers. After consulting the editorial board, journal editors decide whether or not to publish the papers submitted to their department, basing their decision on the reports made by two external reviewers and, in the case of significant disagreement between these, a third reviewer. They should apply the same criteria for accepting or rejecting all papers in accordance with their originality, importance and clarity. Editors must have systems in place for editorial decisions to be appealed against before the editorial board. They must also give full, up-to-date guidelines on authors' responsibilities and on the characteristics of papers sent to the journal.
• Non-discrimination. When examining submitted papers, editors should not take into account the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin, country of origin, citizenship or political views.
• Confidentiality. Editors and other journal employees should not reveal information about the papers received to anyone other than the authors themselves and the reviewers. They should ensure that throughout the process the anonymity of reviewers and authors is maintained at all times.
• Conflicts of interest and disclosure. Editors should not use results from papers submitted to them for their own research work without express permission from the author.
• Recognition of error. Editors should publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when necessary.
• Quality. Editors should elicit the opinions of authors, reviewers and the editorial board in order to improve the editorial process.
• Authorship of the text. Papers submitted should be signed by the author and by anyone else who has played a significant role in planning, organising, conducting or processing the research that the paper is reporting on. In cases of co-authorship, the author submitting the text should state explicitly that it contains the names of all the authors, and that these have given their approval to the final version of the paper, for publication in a UAB journal.
• Responsibility. Authors take full responsibility for the content of their manuscript.
• Plagiarism and originality. Authors should be prepared to declare that the paper submitted to the journal is original in each and all of its parts and that all sources used are correctly cited in it.
• Access and conservation of data. At the editors' request, authors should clarify the sources or the data on which the research is based. These data should be kept for a reasonable time after publication, and may be disclosed if necessary.
• Multiple or repeated publication and conflicts of interest. Authors should not publish papers that present the same content in more than one journal at the same time.
• Conflicts of interest and disclosure. Authors should be prepared to declare that there is no conflict of interest that could affect the results of the research or the interpretations offered. They should also state sources of funding for the research, where applicable, and the name of the project their paper reports on.
• Errors in published papers. Authors who discover an important error or inaccuracy in a published paper should inform the journal editors and provide any information needed to make the necessary corrections.
• Peer review. A system of double-blind review is to be adopted, which helps editors and the editorial board to make decisions on manuscripts submitted and at the same time gives authors an opportunity to improve their work.
• Meeting lead times. Having agreed to review a paper, reviewers should respect the lead times established. If unable to do so, they should give sufficient notice of this to the editors.
• Confidentiality. Papers under review are considered to be confidential documents, so the reviewers should not discuss them with third parties without the permission of the editors.
• Objectivity. Reviews should be carried out objectively. Reviewers should express their opinions on manuscripts appropriately and justify their conclusions.
• Bibliographic references. Reviewers should provide exact bibliographic data on works of importance in the paper's subject area that the author may have omitted. Reviewers should also inform editors about any similarities detected between the text under review and other works.
• Conflicts of interest and disclosure. Any restricted information obtained in the review process is considered confidential and may not be used for personal ends. If carrying out a review entails a conflict of interest for reviewers because they have collaborated or competed with the authors or the authors' institutions, these reviewers should decline the review proposal.