Publication Ethics Statement
Journal of STEPS for Humanities and Social Sciences ethics statement is based on the “Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors” document developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and published in 2011.
Duties of Editors
Journal of STEPS for Humanities and Social Sciences editorial board is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. Members of the board confer and refer to reviewer recommendations in making this decision, constrained by legal requirements related to libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. Editorial decisions are not affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors.
Confidentiality, disclosure, and conflicts of interest
During the review process, editors must not disclose information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, and other editorial advisers. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's, reviewer’s, or any other reader’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Readers should be informed about who has funded the research or other scholarly work and whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was.
Editors strive to ensure that peer review at STEPS is fair, unbiased, and timely. The journal has established policies for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review. Author instructions provide guidance about criteria for authorship.
STEPS encourages reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent, inappropriate data manipulation), and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism. Reviewers’ comments should be sent to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libelous remarks. Contributions of reviewers to the journal are regularly acknowledged, and STEPS ceases to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality, or late reviews.
Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that different sections have different aims and standards. Editors should seek assurances that the research they publish has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with their publisher to handle potential breaches of laws and conventions. Errors, inaccurate, or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
Duties of Reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions
Reviewers assist the editorial board in making editorial decisions. Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the paper. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
Qualification of reviewers
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself from the review process. Reviewers should not consider 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.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. References to the ideas of others should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Duties of Authors
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. Review articles should be objective, comprehensive, and accurate accounts of the state of the art. Authors should be prepared to provide public access to raw data in connection with a paper and retain such data for at least two years after publication. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Originality, plagiarism and concurrent publication
Authors should ensure their work is entirely original and that any work and/or words of others have been appropriately acknowledged. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Submitting essentially the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
Authorship of the paper
The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
Fundamental errors in published works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in the published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor and work with the editor to retract or correct the paper.