Ethical Policy

1.    A commitment to ethical behavior

Education & Self Development has an absolute commitment to the highest standards of publication ethics.  The Journal observes the codes of conduct set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for the ethical behaviour of editors, authors, reviewers, the members of the editorial board and the Journal’s publisher. The following sections set out what we as editors expect of you – and what you have a right to expect of us, the Editorial Team.

2.    The Editorial Team

As Editors we take full responsibility for everything that is published in Education & Self Development.  We will:

  1. Strive to meet the needs of readers and authors by actively seeking the views of authors, reviewers, readers and members of the editorial board on ways of improving our processes.
  2. Strive to constantly improve the journal. We will encourage and be aware of research into peer review and publishing;
  3. Put in place processes that will ensure the quality of the material we publish, and review these processes from time to time to improve them;
  4. Support initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics and those designed to reduce research and publication misconduct. We will assess the effect of our journal policies on author and reviewer behaviour and revise those policies, as required, to encourage responsible behaviour and discourage misconduct;
  5. Adopt systems that promote good practice for authors or contributors (i.e. so that author listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g. ghost and guest authors)
  6. Champion freedom of expression. Our decisions will not be affected by the origins of the manuscript, including the nationality, ethnicity, political beliefs, race, or religion of the authors. Decisions to edit and publish will not be determined by the policies of governments or other agencies outside of the journal itself;
  7. Encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in E&SD. Authors of criticised material will be given the opportunity to respond.
  8. Be open to studies reporting negative results.
  9. Maintain the integrity of the academic record;
  10. Not permit our standards to be compromised by business needs;
  11. Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
  12. Inform readers about the steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board have received an objective and unbiased evaluation;
  13. Include submission and acceptance dates with published articles.
  14. Base our decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of reporting rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference
  15. Ensure that any press releases issued by the journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context.
  16. Ensure that any complaints about the Journal are investigated in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If you have a complaint about any aspect of the journal please contact a member of the Editorial Council.  Their names and addresses can be found on the Journal website at http://en.eandsdjournal.org/editor-groups/editorial-council/.
  17. Investigate concerns about potential misconduct as follows:
  • We will first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If we are not satisfied with the response, we will ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.
  • We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, we will make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem.
  1. Have systems for managing our own conflicts of interest as well as those of our staff, authors, reviewers and editorial board members

3.    The authors

We promise our authors that:

  1. All submissions to the Journal will be reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers who are members of the Journal’s reviewer panel (including statistical review where appropriate);
  2. We will, where possible, respect requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned and practicable;
  3. Our decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication will be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the scope of the journal;
  4. We will not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission;
  5. We will publish a transparent description of our review process (single blind review) and be ready to justify and important deviation from the described processes.
  6. We will ensure that reviewers are given strict instructions to keep their comments confidential and not share them with anyone except the editors dealing with your submission. We will share the anonymised comments to the other reviewers of your work as part of the reviewer moderating process.
  7. We will send you the reviewers’ comments in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libellous remarks.
  8. We will correct errors, inaccurate or misleading statements promptly and with due prominence
  9. We will support authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism, and work with their publisher to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g. by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright.
  10. Any complaints about the way in which a submission has been handled will be investigated in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If you have a complaint about the way in which your submission has been handled please contact a member of the Editorial Council.  Their names and addresses can be found on the Journal website at http://en.eandsdjournal.org/editor-groups/editorial-council/.
  11. Concerns about suspected misconduct, including disputed authorship, will be guided by the COPE flowcharts (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts.). Such concerns will not be a cause for summary rejection until they have been properly investigated.
  12. We will publish our instructions to authors and review them at regular intervals.

In return we ask our authors to:

  1. Confirm that their contribution is original and that is has neither been published previously nor is currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors must confirm this in your covering letter to the Editor-in-Chief when they make the submission;
  2. Not submit work that has been published elsewhere or which contains significant amounts of material that has been taken from the work of other authors (plagiarism) or previous work by the authors of the contribution (text recycling). Education & Self Development uses systems that detect passages that are not original, and contributions that fail this criterion will be rejected.
  3. Include a statement in their manuscript detailing who has funded the research or other scholarly work, whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was;
  4. To declare any conflicts of interest in the work reported.
  5. Ensure that all of the listed authors have made a substantive contribution to the work and take collective responsibility for the article. Guidance on authorship is included in our notes for authors.
  6. Obey the laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction. Regardless of local statutes, however, authors should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from people who might recognise themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or photographs). It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, or if it is impossible to obtain consent and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication. It is always helpful if as an author, you can include a statement to this effect in your manuscript.  You should note that consent to take part in research is not the same as consent to publish personal details, images or quotations.
  7. Ensure that the research you carry out is carried out according to the relevant internationally accepted guidelines (e.g. the Declaration of Helsinki for clinical research, the AERA and BERA guidelines for educational research).
  8. Include a statement in your manuscript that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. If necessary, we may ask authors to provide evidence of ethical research approval and question authors about ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed.

4.    The reviewers

We promise our reviewers that we will:

  1. Provide reviewers with a set of notes detailing everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence. This guidance will be regularly updated;
  2. Send you, from time to time, information on best reviewing practice and findings of the latest research on peer review, so that you can keep yourself up to date.
  3. Keep your identity confidential and, in particular, not disclose it to the authors of submissions you are reviewing.
  4. Monitor the peer review processes used by E&SD to see if any improvement is possible.
  5. Monitor your performance and ensure that it maintains a high standard.
  6. Thank you publicly for your valuable contribution on the Journal website from time to time and will encourage your institution to recognise peer review activities as part of the scholarly process;
  7. Investigate any concerns about troubling cases or suspected misconduct, following the guidance in the COPE flowcharts (http://publicationethics.org/flowcharts)

In return we ask our reviewers to:

  1. Advise the editors if you feel that, either you are not competent to undertake the review in a timely manner (for example, because of unfamiliarity with the statistics), because you have a conflict of interest (which may, for example, be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious) whether this is apprent before starting the review or during its preparation.
  2. Decline to review if:
  • you do not feel that they can provide a fair and unbiased review.
  • you have been involved with any of the work in the manuscript or its reporting.
  • the manuscript that is very similar to one you have in preparation or under consideration at another journal
  1. Declare any potentially conflicting or competing interests, seeking advice from the journal if you are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest. To inform the Editors if:
  • you work at the same institution as any of the authors (or will be joining that institution or are applying for a job there);
  • you are or have been recent (e.g. within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders;
  • you have a close personal relationship with any of the authors.
  1. Not allow your reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
  2. Ensure that suggestions for alternative reviewers are based on suitability and not influenced by personal considerations or made with the intention of the manuscript receiving a specific outcome (either positive or negative).
  3. Not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript, including junior researchers you are mentoring, without first obtaining permission from the journal; the names of any individuals who have helped you with the review should be included with the returned review so that they are associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and can also receive due credit for their efforts.
  4. Not intentionally prolong the review process, either by delaying the submission of your review or by requesting unnecessary additional information from the journal or author.
  5. Read the manuscript, ancillary material (e.g. reviewer instructions, required ethics and policy statements, supplemental data files) and journal instructions thoroughly, getting back to the journal if anything is not clear and requesting any missing or incomplete items you need to carry out a full review
  6. Keep your comments confidential and not share them with anyone except the editors dealing with the submission. The editors will share the anonymised comments with the other reviewers of your submission as part of the reviewer moderating process.
  7. Not contact the authors without express permission from the Editors.
  8. Not use information obtained during the peer-review process for your own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others. Not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review.
  9. Bear in mind that the editor is looking to you for subject knowledge, good judgement, and an honest and fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the work and the manuscript.
  10. Make clear at the start of your review if you have been asked to address only specific parts or aspects of a manuscript and indicate which these are.
  11. Not prepare your report in such a way or include comments that suggest the review has been done by another person, or in a way that reflects badly or unfairly on another person (for example by making unfair negative comments or include unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work that is mentioned in the manuscript).
  12. Be specific in your criticisms, and provide evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements such as, ‘this work has been done before’, to help editors in their evaluation and decision and in fairness to the authors. Make it clear which suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work.
  13. Remember that it is the authors’ paper and not attempt to rewrite it to their own preferred style if it is basically sound and clear. Suggestions for changes that improve clarity are, however, important.
  14. Be sensitive to issues surrounding language issues that are due to the authors writing in a language that is not their own, and phrase the feedback appropriately and with due respect.
  15. Comment on:
  • ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects (including animals), inappropriate data manipulation and presentation);
  • the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism.

Reviewers  should however, keep their concerns confidential and not personally investigate further unless the journal asks for further information or advice

  1. Be objective and constructive in your reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments. We will stop using reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews.
  2. Not suggest that authors include citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work merely to increase the reviewer’s (or their associates’) citation count or to enhance the visibility of their or their associates’ work. Suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons.
  3. Ensure your comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with your report for the authors; most feedback should be put in the report for the authors. Confidential comments to the editor should not be a place for denigration or false accusation, done in the knowledge that the authors will not see these comments
  4. Review afresh any manuscript you have previously reviewed for another journal as it may have changed between the two submissions and the journals’ criteria for evaluation and acceptance may be different.
  5. Acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out your fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner.
  6. Provide the Editors with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of your expertise.
  7. Recognise that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.
  8. Read the reviews from the other reviewers, to improve your own understanding of the topic or the decision reached
  9. Contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after you have submitted your review that might affect their original feedback and recommendations.
  10. Try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts you have reviewed.

5.    The Editorial Board

The membership of the Editorial Board will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it consists of suitable qualified scholars who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal

We promise the members of the Editorial Board that we will:

  1. Provide them with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and will keep them updated on new policies and developments. These guidelines (E&SD Editorial Board roles and responsibilities v1-4) are sent to all members of the Editorial Board
  2. Consult with them regularly to solicit their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenges.
  3. Have policies in place for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review.

In return we ask them to:

  1. Observe the obligations of reviewers set out above, and take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of material published in the Journal, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards. Decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal.
  2. When commissioning others to undertake reviews, to be sure to provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them using the standard notes for the guidance of reviewers.
  3. Ensure that manuscripts submitted to the Journal are kept confidential, that reviewers’ identities are protected and that their reports are kept confidential.
  4. Maintain confidentiality and not divulge information about the journal to third parties.
  5. Declare any conflicts of interest however they may arise.

Members of the Editorial Board who fail to comply with these ethical guidelines will be asked to resign from the Board.

6.    The Journal’s publisher

Education & Self Development  is published by Kazan Federal University (KFU)

The relationship between the Journal and the University is based firmly on the principle of editorial independence. The Editors make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from the University.  The Editors have frequent meetings with the University’s senior management and this provides an opportunity to handle any disagreements with due process.

 

You can download a pdf version of this Policy here: esd-ethical-policy-v1-0