Allegations of Misconduct
- Authors are expected to be aware of, and comply with, best practice in publication ethics.
- Reviewers and Editor-in-Chief are required to treat manuscripts fairly and in confidence, and to declare any competing interests.
- The Editor-in-Chief will vigorously investigate allegations of research or publication misconduct and reserve the right to contact the authors’ institutions, funders or regulatory bodies if needed.
- In cases of suspected or alleged misconduct, the COPE guidelines will be adhered to and advice may be sought at the COPE forum. If conclusive evidence of misconduct is found, steps will be taken to correct the scientific record, which may include issuing a correction or retraction.
- The Editor-in-Chief may be formally contacted via email or any other means suitable if there are any concerns about potential misconduct.
- The peer review process and appeal to the Editor-in-Chief’s’ decisions are as follows:
- Complaints by Authors
- Complaints pertaining to matters related to a failure of process (e.g. lengthy delays) or reviewer misconduct should be emailed to the Editor-in-Chief.
- All complaints should be accompanied with adequate supporting information (e.g., copies of email correspondence). If the complaint is related to a specific article, include the title and URL (if it is published) or the manuscript ID number (if it is unpublished).
- Complaints by Public about Articles
- Complaints by the public about author’s misconduct should be emailed to the Editor-in-Chief.
- All complaints should be accompanied with adequate supporting information (e.g., copies of email correspondence). If the complaint is related to a specific article, include the title and URL.
- Concerns may include, but are not limited to suspicion of unethical matters relating to:
- Manuscript (including undeclared conflicts of interest, false ethical declarations, use of identifiable images without consent or use of copyrighted images without permission)
- Image manipulation in a published article
- Publication process (including practices such as duplicate publication, self-plagiarism, salami-slicing or excessive self-citation)
- Complaints about Editor-in-Chief
- Any complaints about the Editor-in-Chief regarding severe misjudgements (e.g. an improperly applied retraction notice) should be directed to MMU Press.
- MMU Press will consider the complaints against the Editor-in-Chief only when there is a clear breach of policy.
- A rejection of the submission of a manuscript is not a ground for complaint, unless there is evidence of misconduct on the part of the Editorial or the Editor-in-Chief.
- MMU Press will consider appeals against the Editor-in-Chief’s decision only when there is a clear breach of policy.
- Investigations will be made to establish that correct procedures are followed, ensuring the decisions are reached based on academic criteria and not by personal prejudice or any form of biased decision that influences the outcome, and to resolve any outstanding issues.
Article Withdrawal Policy
- Withdrawal of articles is not encouraged. It is granted on a case by case basis. Withdrawal refers to Articles of the early version, which have been accepted for publication. Reasons for withdrawal may include reasons such as:
- contains errors
- may have been accidentally submitted twice
- may violate the journal’s publishing ethics guidelines (e.g. multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or similar incidences)
- Note to authors:
- Authors do not have the right to withdraw an Article after it is published.
- A completed Article Withdrawal Form, indicating valid reason for withdrawing, must be signed by all authors must be submitted to the editorial office.
- Authors can only assume their Article has been withdrawn after they received an acknowledgement letter from the editor’s office.
- A penalty will be levied if an Article is withdrawn after 10 days of acceptance.
- Articles may be retracted as per COPE retraction guidelines found at Retraction Guidelines website. on the following grounds:
- There is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
- The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross referencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication).
- It constitutes plagiarism.
- It reports unethical research.
- The decision to retract an article is made on a case by case basis only after the editor consults the author(s) and reviewers.
- The author(s) must sign the retraction note and submit it to the Chief Editor before an article can be retracted. All the authors must consent to the retraction before a retraction note can be published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list. However, in the case of some co-authors disagreeing to the retraction of the article, the editor will decide on the retraction upon identifying the dissenting co-authors.
- On the webpages of the retracted article, a note stating that the article has been retracted from the journal will be posted to replace the article.
- Albeit exceptionally, it may be necessary for a published Article to be removed due to the following reasons:
- Defamatory, or infringement of legal rights of others
- Possibly a subject of a court order
- Violation of the copyright of others
- Legal issues arising/expected to arise in the context of the article
- In such circumstances, the bibliographic information and the PDF file will also be removed. A note, stating that the article has been removed will replace the Article text.
- Flawed original articles can be replaced with a corrected version.
- Only significant corrections such as inaccurately published information etc. will be published. Minor corrections such as spelling or grammatical errors which do not alter the comprehension of a paper will require no corrections.
- The following actions can be taken for errors discovered in the published article:
- An Errata will be published only when mistakes are recognized in the published article which went unnoticed during Editing and Layout setting in Figures, Tables etc.
- A Corrigenda is published when the authors realise that errors in the published article could affect its accuracy or its validity of the scientific content. On the other hand, if readers detect an error in a published article, they can submit the same as a letter to the editor. The author, editor and a reviewer would then assess the validity of the error pointed out. Corrigenda will then be published with reference to the letter and the answers provided by the author.
- An Addenda is published if significant information is inadvertently omitted during manuscript submission and the authors would like to add the revised content to the article after publication. The information provided for addendum will undergo peer-review prior to editorial acceptance. The Editor-in-Chief will grant Addendum only if the information is essential to understand a significant portion of the published article.
- For Errata and Corrigenda, the PDF version of the correction Article is attached to the online version of the original article and a link is created between the errata/corrigenda article and the original article for readers and other users/systems to be aware of the corrections. For corrigenda, the article must follow the format: “Corrigenda: “original article title” (“original article reference”).