These are policies that guide the publication process of the Advanced Journal of Plant Biology. These policies include authorship, acknowledgements, change in authorship, manuscript submission, conflict of interest, confidentiality, research misconduct, correction and retraction of articles.
An author is an individual who contributed significantly to the development of a manuscript and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work. The ICMJE recommends the following 4 criteria for authorship: (1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND, (2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND, (3) Final approval of the version to be published; AND, (4) Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. When a large group or centre has conducted the work, the author list should include the individuals whose contributions meet the criteria defined above, as well as the group name. All authors must approve the final manuscript before submission. An approval letter or cover letter stating that all authors approve the submission should be sent along when submitting the manuscript.
Individuals who contributed to the development of a manuscript but do not qualify for authorship should be acknowledged. This acknowledgement may be individual or together as a group under a single heading. The contributions of such individuals or groups should be specified. Organizations that provided support in terms of funding and/or other resources should also be acknowledged (ICMJE).
It is expedient for the authors to read the “Authors Guidelines” and prepare their manuscript according to the style and specifications as stated in the Authors Guidelines. Authors listed on the manuscript should have met the criteria for authorship and their full names, affiliations, emails, and phone numbers should be provided. One author should be designated as the corresponding author. Manuscripts should be submitted online through the journal website at https://integrityresjournals.org/submit-manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The potential for conflict of interest and bias exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain). According to ICMJE recommendations on Conflicts of Interest: (1) Authors must disclose all relationships and activities (such as financial, personal relationships or rivalries, academic competition, intellectual beliefs etc.) that might bias or be seen to bias their work, (2) Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists, (3) Editors should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to manuscripts under consideration, and (4) Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain.
Changes in authorship
The Advanced Journal of Plant Biology does not encourage change of authorship especially when the journal editor has accepted the manuscript for publication. However, whenever there is a need to make changes in the authorship of a manuscript or a published article, the changes will be implemented according to COPE guidelines. Only corresponding authors can make requests for a change in authorship and such requests should be made to the journal editor using the Authorship Correction Form. All correspondences regarding change of authorship should be forwarded to the editorial office at email@example.com.
Manuscripts submitted to journals are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details (ICMJE-Confidentiality). The Advanced Journal of Plant Biology will not disclose submitted manuscripts to anyone except individuals who partake in the processing and preparation of the manuscript for publication. Such individuals include authors, reviewers, editors and editorial staff. However, confidentiality may have to be breached if dishonesty or fraud is alleged; a manuscript may be disclosed to members of journals’ ethics committees and institutions/organizations that may require it for the resolution of the suspected case of dishonesty or fraud.
Research misconduct occurs when a researcher fabricated or falsified data, or plagiarizes information or ideas within a research report. The misconduct must be committed intentionally, and the allegation must be proven by sufficient evidence. Misconduct can also extend to breaches of confidentiality and authorship/publication violations (American Psychological Association). The Advanced Journal of Plant Biology considered any violation of editorial policy, journal policies, publication ethics, or any applicable guidelines/policies specified as research misconduct. Researchers are expected to adhere to ethical, legal, and professional guidelines that structure how research is conducted. The consequences that research misconduct can have are considerable and potentially disastrous (Georgia Tech). Any act of research misconduct will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken in accordance with COPE guidelines.
Correction and Retraction of Articles
Mistakes in academic publishing happen for all sorts of reasons. The way in which these errors are handled depends on their severity. Corrections may be made to a published article with the approval of the journal editors. Editors will decide the magnitude of the corrections. Minor corrections are made directly to the original published article. In cases of major corrections, the original published article will remain unchanged, while the corrected version will also be published. Both the original and corrected version will be linked to each other. A note indicating the reason for the major change to the article will also be published. When it becomes necessary, retraction of articles will be done according to COPE retraction guidelines.
References for Further Reading
COPE - Retraction guidelines.
ICMJE - Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.