Editorial policies & Ethical Publishing

Overview

All journals of Science Research Publishers, including the Journal of Soil, Plant and Environment  (JSPAE)  respect the directions of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), abide by its Code of Conduct, and aim to adhere to its Best Practice Guidelines.

It is required of authors, editors, and reviewers to adhere to publishing ethical best practices.

It is expected of authors to be aware of and abide by best practices in publication ethics, particularly with regard to authorship (e.g., avoiding ghostwriting or guest authoring), dual submission, plagiarism, manipulating figures, conflicting interests, and adherence to research ethics policies. Information is given here or in the documents that are linked.

Reviewers and editors are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence and to declare any competing interests.

It is mandatory for editors and reviewers to disclose any competing interests and to handle manuscripts with confidentiality and fairness.

We will adhere to the COPE flowcharts and may consult the COPE forum for guidance in situations involving suspected or reported misbehavior. We will take measures to repair the scientific record, which may involve retracting or correcting our findings if we discover clear evidence of misconduct.

If you have any concerns about potential misconduct, please email the journal. Address correspondence to the journal’s Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor as appropriate. Concerned readers should not rely solely on posting their comments on blogs, social media or other third-party websites to make us aware of concerns, but should ensure to contact the journal directly.

Please inform the journal if you have any concerns regarding possible misconduct. Write to the managing editor or editor-in-chief of the journal, whichever is most suitable. Readers who have issues should be sure to get in touch with the journal directly rather than relying just on leaving comments on blogs, social media, or other external websites.

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

The Journal of Soil, Plant and Environment  (JSPAE ) is dedicated to upholding the highest ethical standards. To guarantee that our readers receive an academic journal of high quality, JSPAE  is directed by the accompanying principles:

The JSPAE  editor is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the JSPAE  journal should be published. The editor's decisions may be influenced by the journal's editorial board policies and bound by legal obligations related to issues like libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. Confidentiality of submitted works must be maintained by the editors until publication unless there is a suspicion of double submission. If a decision is made not to publish a material, the manuscript should not be repurposed without the author's explicit written consent. Additionally, an editor handling a submitted manuscript should not have a personal interest in the authors.

JSPAE  reviewers play a crucial role in aiding editors in the publication decision-making process for submitted manuscripts. We adhere to the Double Blind Review process, where confidentiality is paramount. Any manuscripts provided for review must be handled as confidential material and should not be disclosed or discussed with others without explicit authorization from the editor. Reviewers are expected to refrain from evaluating manuscripts where conflicts of interest exist with any of the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the papers.

Engaging in the simultaneous submission of a single manuscript to multiple journals is considered unethical publishing behavior and is not acceptable. It is imperative to provide appropriate acknowledgment of the contributions of others. Authors are expected to cite publications that have significantly influenced the nature of the reported work.

 

Plagiarism Policy

JSPAE  maintains a strict policy against plagiarism in submissions. Any content found to be plagiarized will not be considered for publication. In cases where plagiarism is identified, we will adhere to the guidelines set by COPE guidelines.

The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. For more detail, click here 

Ethics Statement  and Allegations of research or publishing misconduct

JSPAE  adheres to the guidelines and flowcharts provided by COPE  in addressing publishing ethics allegations. This includes handling issues related to research or publishing misconduct, such as referee misconduct, citation manipulation, and data fabrication or falsification. The aim is to identify and prevent the publication of content involving such misconduct and to effectively manage allegations of research or publishing misconduct even after publication. The summarized procedures followed by JSPAE  are outlined below.

An Ethics Panel within JSPAE  is composed of the Managing Editor, Editor in Chief, and ad hoc experts brought in as needed.

The Ethics Panel has the option to seek guidance from senior members of the Editorial Board, as well as other relevant parties, including publishers and investigative bodies within universities or institutions. These external entities may be informed of, consulted on, or involved in inquiries conducted by JSPAE .

Authors submitting manuscripts to our journal must ensure that their work is original and has not been published elsewhere. They must also declare any conflicts of interest that may affect the integrity or interpretation of their research.

Furthermore, all research involving human subjects or animals must have been conducted in accordance with relevant ethical guidelines and must be accompanied by appropriate ethical approval statements. Authors are responsible for obtaining informed consent from human participants and ensuring the welfare and proper care of animals used in their studies.

We are committed to transparency and accountability in all aspects of our editorial process. Should any ethical concerns arise regarding published articles, we will investigate them promptly and take appropriate action in accordance with COPE guidelines.

Procedure for handling allegations of misconduct in submitted manuscripts: 

  • Submitted manuscripts to the JSPAE journal may undergo assessments for similarity to other published material and image screening to verify originality and detect image manipulation, respectively.
  • Instances of suspected ethics misconduct are brought to the attention of the journal Editor-in-chief (EiC) and the Managing Editor by editors, reviewers, and/or staff.
  • Upon receiving the allegation, the EiC and Managing Editor conduct a preliminary assessment. If they deem the allegation meritorious, the manuscript is temporarily put on hold.
  • Other analyses, such as similarity checks and forensic image analyses, may be requested as deemed necessary.
  • A letter of inquiry will be sent to the corresponding author from EiC, summarizing the allegation and requesting an explanation, possibly requesting original data.
  • The Ethics Panel will convene to assess the claims, responses provided, any corrections, and sanctions. Consequences may include warnings, enhanced examination of subsequent papers, and prohibitions from publishing in the JSPAE journal for a certain time, with lifetime bans possible in the most serious cases.
  • The Ethics Panel's decision is communicated to the corresponding author and co-authors.
  • Authors have the option to appeal the decision by writing to the JSPAE Ethics Committee.
  • Preserving the integrity of the scientific record is a top priority for JSPAE . Additionally, the journal aims to educate authors on misconduct issues. Therefore, manuscripts submitted by authors receiving warnings and/or sanctions for ethical misconduct are likely to undergo heightened scrutiny. Repeated offenses may result in more severe sanctions.
  • The Ethics Panel notifies the author's institution(s) of any suspected fraud or misconduct, cooperating with its investigations and following their decisions.

Additional procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in published manuscripts: 

  • In accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations governing timelines for investigating research misconduct, JSPAE  will investigate allegations of publishing misconduct within six years of publication. For older papers, JSPAE  may pursue allegations of misconduct if these papers demonstrate a significant pattern of misconduct.
  • JSPAE will refrain from making comments on allegations posted on public websites or through social media.
  • To ensure the proper correction of the scientific record in response to an allegation, the Ethics Panel will determine the appropriate measures. If the manuscript's conclusions hold true despite the violation, authors could be permitted to submit revisions. However, if the authors' justification is found to be inadequate, they are unable to offer original data, and/or the findings of the paper are no longer substantiated, the manuscript may be withdrawn.

Appealing an JSPAE  Ethics Decision
Within 30 days of receiving the decision, authors have the option to appeal a decision issued by the JSPAE  Journal Ethics Panel by contacting the JSPAE  Ethics Committee in writing.

COMPLAINTS PROCESS

The journal's complaint procedure for writers: Please get in touch with the publisher if you have any complaints about the publication process or any of the editors. click here to contact the publisher.

Competing Interests or Conflict of Interest Statement

Journal of Soil, Plant and Environment  requires authors to declare all competing interests, often called a conflict of interests, in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must accompany a ‘competing interests’ statement listing all competing interests. Where authors have competing interests, they need to append this statement to the manuscript. Editors may ask for further information relating to competing interests.

Competing interests may be financial or non-financial, professional, or personal. Competing interests can arise in a relationship with an organization or another person. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by their personal or financial relationships with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the article.

JSPAE  has a policy for disclosure of potential competing interests from its reviewers and editors. In order to promote ethical peer review, a reviewer or an editor is expected to uphold the integrity of the peer review process. When a reviewer is invited to review a manuscript or or an editor is invited to carry out editorial responsibility, it is very important to check for any competing interests that may exist between the reviewer/editor and the authors. If a reviewer/editor thinks he/she has a competing interest, get in touch with the journal right away. Depending on the situation, the journal editors may ask the reviewer/editor to perform the responsibility or decide to find a different reviewer/editor.

Human and animal rights

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research.

Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines and, where available, should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) outlines fundamental principles to adhere to when conducting research in animals.

Informed Consent

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.

Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an 'acknowledgements' section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or writing assistance or a head of the department/institution who provided only general support.

Changes in authorship

In line with COPE guidelines, it requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submitted manuscripts or published articles. This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm that they agree with the proposed changes. If there is disagreement amongst the authors concerning authorship and a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the authors must contact their institution(s) for a resolution. It is not the Editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via the publication of an Erratum.

Data and material release

Submission of a manuscript to a Journal of Soil, Plant and Environment  implies that readily reproducible materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. Nucleotide/protein sequences should be deposited in an appropriate database in time for the accession number to be included in the published article. In computational studies where the sequence information is unacceptable for inclusion in databases because of lack of experimental validation, the sequences must be published as an additional file with the article.

Algal, fungal, and botanical names

From January 2023, electronic publication of algal, fungal, and botanical names is a valid form of publication. Manuscripts containing new taxon names or other nomenclatural acts must follow guidelines set by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. 

Authors describing new fungal taxa should register the names with a recognized repository such as Mycobank and request a unique digital identifier which should be included in the published article.

Corrections and retractions

JSPAE  publishes corrections, retractions, and expressions of concern as appropriate and as quickly as possible. We follow the ICMJE and COPE guidelines where applicable.

Rarely, it may be necessary to publish corrections to, or retractions of, articles published, so as to maintain the integrity of the academic record. Corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing the 'Correction' or 'Retraction' article without altering the original article in any way other than to add a prominent link to the Correction/Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain, and the subsequent Correction or Retraction will be widely indexed. In the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory, we may have to remove that material from our site and archive sites.

Appeals or complaints

Authors have the right to appeal the rejection of their manuscript. Appeals should be based on the scientific content of the manuscript and its suitability for publication rather than concerns about the process. Authors wishing to appeal a rejection should contact the Editor in Chief by email (editor@jspae.com). The Editor’s decision on the appeal is final.

Authors wishing to complain should contact the publisher by email (info@jspae.com thesrp.journals@gmail.com).

For more detail:

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Dealing with unethical behavior

Plagiarism prevention

Retraction policy