Ceylon Journal of Science policy on Publication Best Practices and Publication Ethics covers the three sections listed below, based on the responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Managing Editor, Assistant Managing Editor, members of the Editorial Board, authors of the submitted manuscripts and the reviewers of manuscripts.
Double blind peer review
Ceylon Journal of Science uses a double-blind peer review option for reviewing manuscripts. Authors remain anonymous to the referees throughout the reviewing process. The authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript accordingly.
The peer review process ensures the transparency and integrity of a research publication. Reviewers are therefore expected to be responsible both ethically and professionally.
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (2013). COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. March 2013, version 1. Available at: http://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_guidelines_for_peer_reviewers_0.pdf
Editors, authors and reviewers are required to keep all details of the editorial and peer review process confidential. As the peer review process is confidential and conducted anonymously, the identities of reviewers are not divulged. If a reviewer wishes to seek advice from a colleague/s regarding the manuscript, the reviewer must consult the Editor in Chief and should ensure that confidentiality is maintained and the names of such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report. Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with the journal, referees' reports and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed or otherwise publicized without prior written consent. Reviewers should be aware that it is the journal policy to keep their names confidential and that the Editorial Staff will do their utmost to ensure this confidentiality. We cannot, however, guarantee to maintain this confidentiality in an event of a successful legal action to disclose identity.
The journal reserves the right to contact funders, regulatory bodies, journals and the authors’ institutions in cases of suspected research or publishing misconduct.
Plagiarism and Fabrication
Plagiarism is unacknowledged copying or an attempt to misattribute original authorship, whether of ideas, text or results. Plagiarism can include, "theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work". Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large portion of text have been cut-and-pasted without appropriate and unambiguous attribution. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in Ceylon Journal of Science.
We believe that Ceylon Journal of Science has a responsibility to investigate any instances of plagiarism that it detects. We achieve this by routinely using the Crossref, the Similarity Check powered by iThenticate on submitted manuscripts, and also providing clear guidelines for editors. Where a paper is suspected or discovered to be based on plagiarism, the Editor-in-Chief must take prompt action to investigate and to notify readers. The paper will be corrected or retracted depending on the severity of the case.
Aside from wholesale verbatim reuse of text, due care must be taken to ensure appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarizing the work of others. "Text recycling" or reuse of parts of text from an author's previous research publication is a form of self-plagiarism. Here too, due caution must be exercised. When reusing text, whether from the author's own publication or that of others, appropriate attribution and citation is necessary to avoid creating a misleading perception of unique contribution for the reader.
Duplicate publication occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from publishing an identical paper in multiple journals to only adding a small amount of new data to a previously published work.
We believe that Ceylon Journal of Science has a responsibility to investigate any instances of fraud or malpractice that it detects. We achieve this by working closely with the Committee on Publication Ethics and having clear guidelines in place for editors. Where a paper is suspected or discovered to be based on fraudulent results or to contain images that have been inappropriately manipulated, the Managing Editor, under the instructions of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board will take prompt steps to investigate and to notify readers. The paper will be retracted if fraud is confirmed.
Errata and Retraction Policy
Ceylon Journal of Science recognizes the importance of post-publication commentary on published research as necessary to advancing scientific discourse. These can involve challenges, clarifications or, in some cases, replication of the published work.
Corrections are published for significant errors at the discretion of the editors. Readers who have identified such an error should send an email to the Managing Editor, clearly stating the publication reference, title, author and section of the article, and briefly explaining the error.
The Ceylon Journal of Science operates the following policy for making corrections to the print and online versions of their peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Publishable amendments that affect the publication record and/or the scientific accuracy of published information receive a DOI and are published in print and online in the journal. Four categories of amendments are relevant for peer-reviewed material. All five correction types listed below are bi-directionally linked to the original published paper.
Managing Conflicts of Interest:
Authors. Conflicts of authors are most often associated with the risk of bias in a manuscript. As an author, if you have any interest or association that could be seen to have influenced your decision-making process, you should ensure that it is declared at the time of submission. Whether or not you believe a conflict of interest exists, you will be asked to include a statement in your manuscript. If you believe no conflicts exist, you will be asked to confirm this in writing.
Editorial Staff. As a member of the journal’s Editorial Staff, you need to be well aware of the risk of conflicts when handling a manuscript. Firstly, you should assess your own potential conflicts. If you have recently coauthored with the author of the manuscript, you could be perceived to be influenced by your relationship. Similarly, if you have recently shared an affiliation or employment history with the author, it could also be seen to be inappropriate for you to handle their work. The journal expects the members of the Editorial Board to declare any conflicts with authors when they handle a manuscript. If you believe a conflict exists, you should refuse to handle the manuscript.
The Editorial Board Members must not be involved in decisions about papers which they have authored/co-authored, or have been written by their family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the Editorial Board member has an interest.
Reviewers. By agreeing to peer review a manuscript you are providing essential neutral, unbiased assessment. As such, you should ensure that you have no conflicts of interest that could be seen to prevent you from acting in an impartial manner. After papers are assigned, individual reviewers are required to inform the managing editor of any conflicts of interests.
Policy for Dealing with Complaints
Once a complaint is received, an acknowledgement will be sent by the Managing Editor within three working days to the complainant with assurance that appropriate action will be taken on the complaint.
The investigation process is initiated by the Journal handling team according to the directions of the Editor-In-Chief/Associate Editors/ Editorial Board depending on the nature of the complaint. After the investigation is over, an Editorial Meeting is held with complete report on the complaint. The decision is taken in and the same is forwarded to the concerned author/scholar through his/her submitted email ID.
We consider complaints as an opportunity to enhance the transparency of our existing Manuscript Processing System. All the received complaints are dealt in polite, impartial and timely manner.
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We believe that Ceylon Journal of Science should support community best practices in terms of sharing and archiving of research data.
We achieve this by facilitating compliance with research funder and institution requirements to share data.
Acceptance of a manuscript to be published in Ceylon Journal of Science implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, may be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality.
The journal strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely to be available to readers, at request. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (wherever appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible.
Data availability statement
A data availability statement provides information where data reported in a published article can be found - including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analyzed or generated during the study.
Data availability statements can be in one of the following forms:
The journal also requires that authors cite any publicly available data on which the conclusions of the paper rely in the manuscript. Data citations should include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI) and should ideally be included in the reference list. Dataset identifiers including DOIs should be expressed as full URLs
Research Data and Peer Review
Peer reviewers are encouraged to check the manuscript’s data availability statement, where applicable. They should consider if the authors have complied with the journal’s policy on the availability of research data, and whether reasonable effort has been made to make the data that support the findings of the study available for replication or reuse by other researchers. Peer reviewers are entitled to request access to underlying data (and code) when needed for them to perform their evaluation of a manuscript.
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