The publication of peer-reviewed articles plays a crucial role in the development of knowledge. Therefore, it is fundamental that publishers, editors, authors, and reviewers operate within an acceptable ethical and professional standard in the process of journal publication. Our publication ethics policy is based on the “Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors” published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). IJSS also complies with the “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing” collaboratively made available by the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association and the World Association of Medical Editors.  Based on this, the ethical guidelines for publishers, editors, reviewers and authors are discussed below following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)'s Core Practices.

Ethical Guidelines for Publishers

  • The publisher (ERRCDF) dedicates to supporting the editors, reviewers and authors' voluntary endeavours.
  • The publisher (ERRCDF) also ensures that the article publication process and the system are smooth with utmost conformity with ethical guidelines among editors, reviewers, and authors.

Ethical Guidelines for Editors

  • Editors should ensure that submitted articles are assessed and acknowledged within two to three working days of receipt and provide a fair peer-review process, review status and timely review reports.
  • Editors must ensure that manuscripts are dealt with in a confidential manner without disclosing article-related issues to anyone other than the authors, the reviewers, editorial advisers, and the publisher if need be. The members of the editorial board cannot use any unpublished materials disclosed during the submission and revision process for their own research purpose or for any personal advantages.
  • Editors must declare and excuse themselves from the article process if there is a conflicting interest with the author(s), authors’ affiliations, and region.
  • The reviewers' names and detailed identities must not be divulged to the third party without the reviewers’ permission.
  • The final decision on whether or not to accept the article lies in the prerogative right of the editor with a clearly defined reference to the originality, significance and clarity of the article. That is, the editor’s decision must be informed by the importance, quality, validity, relevance and originality of the article to the scope of the journal and the world of knowledge. This decision process must not be influenced by the authors’ sexual orientation, religion, ethnic attachment, institutional affiliation, political philosophy, race, citizenship and gender.
  • The editor should by no reason oblige the authors to cite their journal(s) or their personal articles as a condition for accepting articles for publication.
  • In case of any ethical issues concerning a submitted manuscript or a published paper, the editor should immediately take necessary measures in consultation with the author(s).

Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers

  • Reviewers should ensure optimum objectivity devoid of personal displeasure. Reviewers should objectively express their views with argument within the limited and extended purview of the article and refrain from unfair and/or unsubstantiated comments, including unfounded reproaches of any kind.
  • Reports of the review should be prepared by the reviewers themselves unless the editor grants permission to involve a third party/another person(s). Reviewers are prohibited from requesting authors to cite their work and/or associate work unless there is a justifiable and valid reason. All suggestions must be informed by valid, reliable, technical academic criteria.
  • Reviewers should excuse themselves from any conflicting and competing interest which is not limited to intellectual, professional, political or religious, institutional, or financial, among others. If the article is from the same institutions where the reviewer is currently employed, has a collaborator, and joint grant holders, having mentees or mentors, reviewers are advised to decline the review of such articles.
  • Reviewers are to accept articles they are qualified to review with the assurance that they will deliver within the prompt possible time. Otherwise, the reviewer is responsible for notifying the editor, who will reconsider the article for another reviewer.
  • Confidentiality is sacrosanct in the publication process; therefore, the manuscript routed to any reviewer must be treated with the utmost confidentiality. The reviewer, at all times, should refrain from using information from the review process for personal advantage or discredit or disadvantage others.  
  • In case of any irregularities such as ethical and plagiarism issues, as may be observed or noticed by the reviewers, such plagiarised material or falsified data should be communicated in confidence to the journal editor.

Ethical Guidelines for Authors

  • Redundant, multiple or concurrent publication is prohibited in this journal. That is, an article submitted to this just must not be submitted concurrently to another journal except if the editor rejects the article. Also, a previously published article should not be submitted to this journal for consideration. In general, authors should desist from publishing articles that could be seen as essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. IJSS consider this unethical and unacceptable.
  • The author should ensure that his or her research data is honestly gathered and interpreted. Hence, reviewers, editors, readers and even the publisher are entitled to request such from the author for his or her research. Therefore, authors should retain such data for any possible use after publication.
  • By submitting an article, the author has guaranteed that the submitted work is original and that the work or words of others used are cited and acknowledged appropriately.
  • Authors should ensure that the submitted article is within the similarity index of 10% or less. Plagiarism in all forms, including self-plagiarism, are unethical and unacceptable.
  • Authors must indicate all sources involved in the research and that the conflict of interest has been disclosed where necessary.
  • Acknowledgement of those who have made one or two contributions to the research must be made, while those who made a significant contribution to the study be made co-authors. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors consent and approve the final copy of the article before submission.
  • In the case of any obvious errors in a published article, the author should immediately notify the editor and cooperatively work with the editor to retract or correct the article. In a case where a third party informs the editor that a published paper contains an obvious error, a retraction letter should be written by the author or make the correction within the directives of the author.
  • An article may need to be retracted, removed or replaced to protect the credibility and trustworthiness of academic literature. This may be determined by the Editor-in-Chief and may be initiated by the authors if there is a case of flaws in data and subsequent conclusion. However, a notice of such will be published alongside the title, the authors and the reason for the action.
  • Studies involving human participants and vulnerable populations require information about ethical approval. Where applicable, the name of the ethics committee and the approval number should be included in the article. In this case, consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardians) and added to this statement.