ETHICAL GUIDELINES AND STATEMENTS ON THE PUBLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC WORKS
The journal publishing process involves many subjects, beside the publisher, who play a decisive role in the success of the project. It follows, therefore, that every person involved is required to comply with ethical standards at every stage of the process. Stamen undertakes to enforce and defend the rules of an ethical behavior, adopting and promoting the standards indicated by COPE in the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Below is a summary of our commitments to and our requests of directors, members of the various editorial bodies, peer-reviewers and authors of our journals.
CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF JOURNALS AND DUTIES OF THE PUBLISHER
Stamen selects the journals it publishes on the basis of its own editorial policy, and it declares, where required, any sources of funding. It insists that steering committees adopt internationally shared practices and verifies their application. It only accepts original publications — drawn up in compliance with copyright laws and not simultaneously submitted to other journals for evaluation — that follow high editorial standards. Furthermore, Stamen promotes and verifies the use of peer-review as a method of selecting articles. It supports independent research, condemns copyright infringement and plagiarism, undertakes to make corrections to any errors found in published articles or, where necessary, to withdraw them. Finally, Stamen is open to various forms of research promotion and cultural engagement, including publishing in Open Access formats.
DUTIES OF THE SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR AND THE EDITORIAL BOARD
The Scientific Director and the Editorial Board of P.O.I. are bound to act in compliance with COPE guidelines. In particular, the Scientific Director and the Editorial Board members of the Journal maintain sole responsibility for the decision to publish an article. In selecting the material for each issue, the Editorial Board is guided by the Journal’s editorial policies and is bound by current legal provisions on defamation, copyright infringement and plagiarism. In making decisions about the publication of papers submitted to the Journal, the Editorial Board is supported by at least two external reviewers chosen from among academic scholars, on the basis of their publications and their disciplinary field. The review is conducted using a double-blind peer review process. In the event that two conflicting opinions result from the review process, the Editorial Board requests a third opinion.
During the preliminary selection stage, the members of the Editorial Board evaluate the relevance of each paper received in terms of the theme of the issue in question (without considering in any way factors such as the race, sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, scientific, academic or political orientation of the author or authors). In the final editing phase, they are bound to ensure the formal correctness of the papers in terms of compliance with the Journal’s editorial standards. The members of the Editorial Board are entitled to share information about manuscripts received exclusively with the corresponding author, the reviewers (or potential reviewers), the editorial advisors, the Scientific Director and the Publisher. Unpublished material contained in the manuscripts sent to the Journal cannot be used by the members of the Editorial Board for their own research without the written consent of the author. If the Editorial Committee detects or receives a report of a significant problem regarding errors / inaccuracies, conflict of interest or plagiarism in a published article, it will promptly notify the author and the Publisher and will take the necessary actions to clarify the matter. After a careful examination of the matter, if an error or an abuse has been committed by the author, the Editorial Board will proceed to withdraw the paper or to publish a retraction or Erratum, according to the COPE guidelines.
DUTIES OF REVIEWERS
Reviewers assist the Editorial Board in decisions regarding the publication of the papers and can indirectly help authors improve their manuscript through the specific “comment for the author” section in the evaluation form. The selected reviewer who does not feel qualified to review the assigned manuscript, or who knows that they are unable to perform the review within the required time, must notify the Editorial Board of their inability to take part in the process. Received manuscripts must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with anyone who has not been previously authorized by the Editorial Board. The review must be conducted according to objective parameters, strictly observing what is required in the evaluation form. Reviewer’s personal criticism is not permitted. Referees must support each opinion expressed with clear and documented arguments. Particularly important, during the review process, is to ascertain that all relevant bibliographic references have been included by the author. Each of the reviewers’ declarations, observations or arguments should ideally be accompanied by a corresponding quotation, by way of example, from the evaluated text. Reviewers must report to the Editorial Board any substantial or partial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under examination and another published work of which they have personal awareness. Information or ideas drawn from the manuscript review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal benefit. Reviewers must not, under any circumstances, undertake to conduct a review when they recognise in the manuscript the presence of elements that could cloud their judgment, such as relationships of competition, collaboration, or any other type of connection with authors, companies or authorities related to the object of the manuscript.
The double-blind review process requires the author’s identity to be concealed from the reviewer, and vice versa, throughout the review process. If, due to any accidental circumstance, a reviewer becomes aware of the identity of the author during the review process, they must promptly report it to the Editorial Board, which will intervene in the appropriate ways to ensure the objectivity and impartiality of the judgment, possibly entrusting another scholar with the review of the manuscript in question. In order to protect reviewers, the Editorial Board undertakes, for its own part, to maintain absolute confidentiality regarding their identity even once the review process is completed.
DUTIES OF AUTHORS
Authors must ensure that their works are completely original and that, if the work and/or words of other authors are used, they are appropriately paraphrased or quoted literally and accompanied by a precise bibliographic reference. More broadly, authors are obliged to cite any publication that has influenced the proposed work. Authors of papers based on original research must present an accurate account of their work, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. The data presented by the research must be illustrated precisely, in detail and with accurate references, in order to allow others to verify the arguments. Fraudulent or intentionally incorrect declarations constitute unethical behavior and are deemed unacceptable.
Manuscripts submitted for publication must not have been published as copyrighted material in other journals. Unpublished translations of one’s own works published in another language are allowed, if compatible with the copyright and economic exploitation rules agreed to by the author with the publisher of the first edition of the text. During the review process, manuscripts must not be submitted to other journals for publication. By sending a manuscript, authors accept that, if its publication is approved, all the rights of economic exploitation, without space limits and with all the methods and technologies currently existing and/or developed in the future, are transferred to the Director of the Journal – who in turn will transfer them to Stamen.
The intellectual property of a manuscript is limited to those who have contributed significantly to it, i.e. those who have actively participated in its conception, development and drafting or who have intervened decisively in the interpretation of the data behind the research. These people must be listed as “co-authors”. Anyone who has contributed to other important aspects of the research project must be indicated in the acknowledgments.
The author responsible for communications with the Editorial Board must ensure that all co-authors are included in the manuscript, that they have seen and approved its final version and that they all agree on submitting it for publication. Each author will be asked to complete and sign a consent form. Authors must indicate in the manuscript any financial conflicts or other types of conflict of interest that may have influenced the results or the interpretation of the data behind the research. All sources of financial support to the project must be indicated. If an author finds significant errors or inaccuracies in the published manuscript, they must promptly notify it to the Editorial Board or the Publisher and cooperate with them in order to retract or correct the error(s).
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
A conflict of interest occurs when referees or members of the Editorial Board have personal or economic relationships with an author (or his institution), which may inappropriately influence their behavior and decision-making. This conflict occurs even if those involved believe that such relationships do not affect them. The Director of the Journal, who supervises the process of selection and acceptance of the papers, is entrusted with the evaluation and management of similar situations. In order to guarantee the correctness and transparency of the publication process, the Director must intervene either by rejecting the contribution or by requesting its evaluation, or re-evaluation, through the double-blind peer review process. Furthermore, authors might be asked for a declaration on the matter, as a further precautionary measure.