The Research in Social Sciences and Technology (RESSAT) follows strict ethical standards for publication to ensure high-quality scientific publications and public trust in research findings. The publication ethics policy is based mainly on the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
RESSAT also adheres to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing jointly published by COPE, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, and the World Association of Medical Editors.
The ethical standards summarized below provide guidelines for editors, reviewers, and authors who contribute to RESSAT. For more detailed information on ethical issues, please see COPE’s guidelines.
Ethical Guidelines for Editors
Editors should strive to eensure that peer review is fair, unbiased, and timely and to provide authors with information about the ongoing review and publication process.
Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s quality, importance, and originality, the study’s validity, and its relevance to the journal’s scope. The manuscripts must be evaluated without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, institutional affiliation, or political philosophy of the author(s).
Editors and editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used by the editor or the editorial board members for their own research purposes or personal advantage in any way.
Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers
Peer reviewers play a central role in ensuring the integrity and quality of the scholarly publication. They must conduct reviews in an ethical and accountable manner. The review report must be prepared by the reviewer himself/herself, unless he/she has permission from the journal’s editor to involve another person. Reviewers must refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to their (or an associate’s) work unless there is a valid reason. All suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological criteria.
Reviews shall be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author(s) is inappropriate. Reviewers shall express their views clearly with supporting arguments. They shall refrain from making unfair negative comments or including unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work mentioned in the manuscript.
Reviewers must not consider manuscripts in which they have competing or conflicting interests. Competing or conflicting interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious. If reviewers are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been their mentors, mentees, close collaborators, or joint grant holders, they must not agree to review the manuscript.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and withdraw from the review process.
Manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Reviewers shall respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for their own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others.
Suspicion of ethics violations
If the reviewers come across any irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics (e.g., plagiarism), they must inform the journal’s editor. They must cooperate, in confidence, with the journal and not investigate on their own.
For more detailed information on ethical issues regarding peer reviewers, please refer to COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.
Ethical Guidelines for Authors
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Significant contributions include:
- significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or interpretation of the study;
- drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
The corresponding author should verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication. Those who contributed to the work but do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements.
Originality and acknowledgement of sources
The manuscript should be an original work. Authors must appropriately cite the sources of other works, words, ideas, or figures used in the manuscript. Text copied from another source must be appropriately quoted and cited according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition).
Authors must present an accurate account of the work performed, especially regarding data collection and their analysis and interpretation. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. The study must contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Plagiarism, one of the biggest threats to scholarly publication quality and academic integrity, is forbidden in RESSAT. Plagiarism may take different forms, such as showing someone else’s work as one’s own, copying or paraphrasing parts of other studies without proper attribution, or using research data collected or produced by others without permission and proper attribution.
All manuscripts submitted to RESSAT are routinely screened for plagiarism. RESSAT’s editors use Turnitin to check each manuscript for plagiarism and text duplication. If editors suspect plagiarism during the peer review process, they shall follow the guidelines set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If plagiarism is confirmed, the manuscript will be rejected.
Practices such as fabricating or manipulating data, manipulating images and other visual objects, and deliberately selecting analysis tools or methods to support a particular conclusion constitute unethical behavior and are strictly forbidden in RESSAT.
Published articles in RESSAT should remain extant and intact. However, under exceptional circumstances involving plagiarism, data fabrication, and redundant publication or involuntary data errors, articles may need to be retracted, removed, or replaced in order to protect the integrity of the literature. The need for a retraction will be determined by the Editor-in-Chief but may be initiated, in cases of flawed data or conclusions, at the request of the author(s).
To retract an article, a notice of retraction will be published. This notice of retraction will:
- include the title and author(s) of the article, the reason for the retraction, and who is retracting the article;
- be published online and be linked to the online version of the article.
We encourage authors to make the research data on which their paper is based available either by depositing the data into a public repository or uploading the data and files as supplementary materials with the submission. The Registry of Research Data Repositories is available at www.re3data.org.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
A manuscript that has already been published or is currently under review in another journal may not be submitted to RESSAT. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. If the paper has been published in a language other than English, it may be submitted provided that this is clearly and properly declared. Papers based on a thesis or extended version of a paper presented at a conference may be submitted.
In the educational sciences, as well as in other fields such as medicine, researchers must comply with ethical rules while using human subjects, working with vulnerable populations, or handling confidential data. RESSAT adheres to the Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research published by the British Educational Research Association (BERA). We encourage authors who will submit their manuscripts to RESSAT to adopt these ethical guidelines and apply them to their research process.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Authors should include a statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicting or competing interests that may be construed to influence the results or interpretation of the manuscript. All sources of financial support must be disclosed.