Publication Ethics

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Outlined below are the ethical behavior expected from Editors, Reviewers, Authors, and Publisher of Journals under KnowEx Online published by The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM Publishing).

All papers are subject to a double-blind peer-review process based on an initial screening by the editor criteria for evaluation include a significant contribution to the field, conceptual quality, appropriate methodology and, clarity of exposition. The publication of an article in a “double-blind peer-reviewed” journal is essential in the development of a consistent and respected network of knowledge.

Ethical norms are very important to ensure the quality of scientific articles, the probity and credibility of the research results and, the credit that the authors receive for the published articles.

The KnowEx Social Sciences Journal, identified by ISSN: 2705-9901, subscribes to principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to deal with acts of misconduct thereby committing to investigate allegations of misconduct to ensure the integrity of research.

Submitting a manuscript to KnowEx Social Sciences Journal means that all of the authors have read and agreed to the content of the manuscript and confirmed its compliance with the journal’s policies.

KnowEx Social Sciences Journal follows the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE’s) “Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors”. This standard also applies to papers authored or co-authored by members of the KnowEx Social Sciences Journal editorial board. Peer reviewers will be asked to abide by the ‘Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE’s) “Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers”.

The ethical guidelines here are prepared based on the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

Please go through below guidelines before making your submission.

Ethical Guidelines

License terms

Access to the electronic format of the journal is free and unrestricted. This is equivalent to a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License [BY-NC]. So, referring to the journal’s content:

(a) Any article published in KnowEx Social Sciences Journal can be freely used and shared (free access to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format), as long as it is attributed to the author(s) and the journal by citing the name of the author(s) and the name of the journal [Attribution – BY].

(b) The authors of the articles and the journal itself allow all types of non-commercial use of the papers and, on the contrary, restrict their use for commercial purposes [Non-commercial use – NC].

(c) Users can use, reuse and build upon the material published in the journal but only for non-commercial purposes.

Responsibilities of the editor/editorial board

KnowEx Social Sciences Journal and its Publisher, TIIKM follows the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers.

Editors must secure a correct and unbiased, but also competent review by making sure of the double blindness of the review process, assigning submission to reviewers based on matching the research areas, and providing solutions to potential conflicts during the reviewers and authors while keeping each other’s identity undisclosed to its counterpart. The main responsibility is to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the ethnic or geographic origin, gender, sexual orientation, and ethical or political beliefs.

Editors have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article and they should have no conflict of interest to the articles they reject/accept. Editor in chief in consultation with the editorial board will be making the final decision on the manuscripts and will consider legal aspects such as libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism in making the decision.

Upon rejection, editors should convey to the authors as to why the rejection decision was made.

The editor must ensure that information regarding manuscripts submitted by the authors is kept confidential. The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used by the editor or the members of the editorial board for their research purposes without the author’s explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

The editors promote the publication of correction or retraction when errors are found in the paper. Nevertheless, they should preserve the anonymity of the reviewers.

Responsibilities of Reviewers

The peer-reviewing process assists the editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. All of KnowEx Social Sciences Journal’s content is subjected to peer-review. Peer-review is defined as obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers’ experts in the field. Peer-review is clearly described on KnowEx Social Sciences Journal’s Web site.

Reviewers should inform the editors if the manuscript cannot be reviewed as per the time is given for the review until it is too late.

Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and withdraw from the review process, so that the manuscript could be sent to another reviewer.

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.

Reviews of submitted manuscripts should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate and the reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

The reviewers should be objective and should not have any conflict of interest concerning the research, the authors, and/or the research funders. Reviewers should remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations, Reviewers should point out relevant published work that is not yet cited.

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Reviewers are required to inform the Editor-in-Chief if they cannot assess an article if it falls beyond their competence, is similar to an article published elsewhere, or determines a conflict of interests. Otherwise, they should complete the review process in due time by submitting a complete Review Form. No other means of communication can replace the Review Form. In the absence of this document, the submission is reassigned to a different reviewer.

A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

The reviewers’ professional, objective, and thorough review process will contribute to the quality of work and enhance the quality of published research.

Responsibilities of Authors

The authors are obliged to participate in the peer-review process and apply the requirements made by the reviewers to have their article published in KnowEx Social Sciences Journal. Also, the authors have to state that all data in the article are real and authentic and should provide retractions or corrections of mistakes each time they consider it necessary. All authors have significantly contributed to the research. All authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.

All authors should have articles with a list of references and indicate (if necessary) the financial support for the research. It is forbidden to publish the same research in more than one journal.

Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.

The authors should refrain from plagiarism. Plagiarism consists of below different types and all are unethical and unacceptable.

  • ** Pretending another author’s paper as your own paper
  • ** Copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper without proper acknowledgment
  • ** Claiming results from research conducted by others as own results

In general, manuscripts describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. Manuscripts that have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted.

Authors should acknowledge all sources of data used in the research and cite publications that have been influential in research work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.

The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors are included on the paper, all of them have gone through the final copy and agreed for the submission for publication.

The authors should consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscripts. Any change in the authorship list is not acceptable unless a clear reason is communicated to the editor. If you need to make a change to the authorship (any addition, deletion, or rearrangement), please write to the Editor-in-Chief of the journal: (a) a clear reason for the change and (b) written confirmation (a signed letter) of all authors that they agree with the change. The author being added or removed should also send a written confirmation to the journal. Please note that a change is only possible before the manuscript has received a notification of acceptance and only if the change request has been approved by the journal editor. No changes can be made after the publication of the article.

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in the submitted manuscript, the author should promptly notify the journal editor and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, the author should promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.

Plagiarism and copyright infringement

Plagiarism, data fabrication, and image manipulation are not tolerated. Plagiarism is not acceptable in the KnowEx Social Sciences Journal submissions. Plagiarism includes copying text, ideas, images, or data from another source, even from your publications, without giving any credit to the source.

Authors are responsible for ensuring that their works are unique and that they fully acknowledge the source of any content which is not entirely the authors’ own. The journal will check articles for plagiarism (i.e. reproducing any content without attribution and permission) and considers the inclusion of plagiarized content to be misconduct by the authors. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed. If plagiarism is detected during the peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, articles will be withdrawn from the journal.

Authors and readers are encouraged to inform the publisher and Editor-in-Chief if they notice anything that should be corrected. Reported errors will be investigated by the publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and discussed with the authors. The appropriate correction will be made after this consultation. Articles will be retracted if there is evidence of unethical research, unreliable data, misconduct or plagiarism, or if there are sufficient mistakes to invalidate the article.

Conflict of Interest Statement

For Authors:

All manuscripts for articles, original research reports, editorials, comments, reviews, book reviews, and letters that are submitted to the journal must be accompanied by a conflict of interest disclosure statement or a declaration by the authors that they do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.

All articles that are published in the journal must be accompanied by this conflict of interest disclosure statement or a statement that the authors have replied that they have no conflicts of interest to declare. If a journal prints unsigned editorials, they should not have been written by anyone with a conflict of interest.

To facilitate this policy, all authors must privately disclose ‘ALL their potential conflicts of interest’ to the editors of the journal at the time of submission. These include all financial and non-financial interests and relationships (see definitions provided a little later in the text), direct employment with a private sector entity (whether full or part-time), and service on private sector and non-profit Boards and advisory panels, whether paid or unpaid.

Authors should also disclose any conflict of interest that may have influenced either the conduct or the presentation of the research to the editors, including but not limited to close relationships with those who might be helped or hurt by the publication, academic interests and rivalries, and any personal, religious or political convictions relevant to the topic at hand.

In the article, the authors must include a draft statement that discloses all relevant conflicts of interest and affiliations. The relevance of financial conflicts of interest with private firms is defined as a relationship of any value with a firm that has a stake in the subject of the manuscript or its competitors. Relevance for patents is defined as any invention or pending invention connected in any way to the subject. As relevance is often in the eye of the beholder, one must err on the side of full disclosure when drafting the disclosure statement. Editors will check a draft against the private financial disclosure statement and initiate discussions toward possible adjustments, if necessary.

What to report: Any financial relationship from the past three years (dating from the month of submission) of any size, should be disclosed. These potential conflicts of interest include:

  • Direct Employment- Either full-time or part-time
  • Grants and research funding (but not grants to your institution or others within your institution, on which you have not worked). These include substantial grants from trade associations and non-profit (50% or more) or funded by private sector firms
  • Consultancies
  • Travel grants, speaking fees, writing fees and other honoraria.
  • Paid expert testimony for one side in adversarial proceeding (this does not include testimony as a factual witness in a civil or criminal case)
  • Patents granted and pending applications, irrespective of whether they are generating royalties or not.
  • Stock ownership and investment in the related ‘sector’ funds or stock options, including those of immediate family members, but excluding diversified mutual funds and investment trusts Membership of private sector, scientific or other advisory Boards, whether paid or unpaid

In addition, any current negotiations regarding future employment or current job offers, either full- or part-time, must be disclosed.

In disclosing these financial arrangements to the editors, the authors can include dollar amounts, albeit they will not be printed in the journal. Editors may choose to exclude this information from the publication, but in no case should an editor or author consider an arrangement irrelevant based on its size alone.

Non-Financial Conflicts of Interest:

Authors may have strong views about the article being submitted for publication.

The authors must consider disclosing these views and the editors may choose to print any affiliations or expressions from these views that may be relevant. These may be personal, political or intellectual, and may include any expression of strongly held views relevant to the subject of submission. Such disclosures may be original or they may be references to opinions previously expressed in books or monographs, opposite editorials (op-eds) or public comments, or to some prior sworn testimony or lobbying of legislators or legislative bodies. Disclosable non-financial conflicts of interest will also include membership or affiliation to non-governmental organizations that have an interest in the submission.

How do I Make a Declaration?

If you are submitting your article for publishing in the KnowEx Social Sciences journal that requires you to make a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’, please include such a declaration at the end of your manuscript, following any acknowledgments and prior to the references, under the heading ‘Conflict of Interest Statement’.

If no declaration is made, the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None Declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

Allegation of Research Errors and Frauds

If the Authors do not follow the ethical guidelines and policies mentioned in the ethical guidelines document the journal might take actions against them. Please go through the Allegations of Misconduct in order to refer the actions that can be taken by the journal in case of a misconduct.

Ethical issues

Six fundamental ethical issues have been defined, and procedures for responding to misconduct have been outlined below. Please note that these guidelines are not intended to provide or substitute legal advice. Each ethical issue is followed by recommended actions as advised by COPE for Journal Editors and when available additional reading has been added.

Clicking on the link will give you a flowchart with the actions stipulated. Please note that flowcharts are making a distinction between ethical issues in a submitted manuscript and published article.

  1. Data fabrication / Data falsification

Data fabrication: This concerns the making up of research findings.

Data falsification: Manipulating research data with the intention of giving a false impression. This includes manipulating images (e.g. micrographs, gels, radiological images), removing outliers or “inconvenient” results, changing, adding or omitting data points, etc.

With regard to image manipulation it is allowed to technically improve images for readability. Proper technical manipulation refers to adjusting the contrast and/or brightness or color balance if it is applied to the complete digital image (and not parts of the image). Any technical manipulation by the author should be notified in the cover letter to the Journal Editor upon submission. Improper technical manipulation refers to obscuring, enhancing, deleting and/or introducing new elements into an image. Generally, if an author’s figures are questionable, it is suggested to request the original data from the authors.

  1. Duplicate submission / publication and redundant publication

Duplicate submission / publication: This refers to the practice of submitting the same study to two journals or publishing more or less the same study in two journals. These submissions/publications can be nearly simultaneous or years later.

Redundant publication (also described as ‘salami publishing’): this refers to the situation that one study is split into several parts and submitted to two or more journals. Or the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification. “Self-plagiarism” is considered a form of redundant publication. It concerns recycling or borrowing content from previous work without citation. This practice is widespread and might be unintentional. Transparency by the author on the use of previously published work usually provides the necessary information to make an assessment on whether it is deliberate or unintentional.

Note! Translations of articles without proper permission or notification and resubmission of previously published Open Access articles are considered duplications.

  1. Duplication of text and/or figures (plagiarism)

Plagiarism occurs when someone presents the work of others (data, text, or theories) as if it was his/her own without proper acknowledgment. There are different degrees of plagiarism.

The severity is dependent on various factors: extent of copied material, originality of copied material, position/context/type of material and referencing/attribution of the material used.

Every case is different and therefore decisions will vary per case. Ask yourself the following question: Does it concern an honest mistake or is there an intentional deviation from the scientific norm? Please note there are many grey areas between honest, questionable and fraudulent practices.

Whilst reviewing the case consider the following factors:

  • Author seniority. Junior authors may be asked to paraphrase the copied text if it is believed that they are genuinely not aware that copying phrases is inappropriate. It is expected that a senior author should know better
  • Cultural background could be an indication for potentially different behaviors concerning the amount of copying which could be seen as plagiarism

The following listing is designed to make you aware of the various possibilities concerning plagiarism:

  • Verbatim copying of another’s work and submitting it as one’s own.
  • Verbatim copying of significant portions of text from a single source.
  • Mixing verbatim copied material from multiple sources (“patchwork copying”). This could range from 1 or 2 paragraphs to significant portions consisting of several paragraphs.
  • Changing keywords and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source as a framework.
  • Rephrasing of the text’s original wording and/or structure and submitting it as one’s own.
  • Mixing slightly rephrased material from multiple sources and presenting what has been published already as new.
  • The work is cited, but the cited portions are not clearly identified. This can be combined with copied parts of text without citation.

However for review papers the above is not directly applicable. Review papers are expected to give a summary of existing literature. Authors should use their own words with exception of properly quoted and/or cited texts and the work should include a new interpretation.

  1. Authorship issues

COPE has written an article with advice on how to spot potential authorship problems. Please visit the below link for more details.

Most authorship problems have to do with authorship without the author’s knowledge and unacknowledged authorship.

  1. Undeclared conflict of interest (CoI)

A conflict of interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations from authors or reviewers have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. Authors and reviewers should declare all conflicts of interest relevant to the work under consideration (i.e. relationships, both financial and personal, that might interfere with the interpretation of the work) to avoid the potential for bias.

  1. Ethical problems

There are ethical issues that relate to patient consent or animal experimentation and the lack of ethical approval.

Recommended action by COPE for Journal Editors can be referred via below link for each fraud.

It should be noted there are two distinct situations: serious scientific fraud or errors. Errors could be due to negligence (for example statistical errors) or honest errors which are part of the normal course of doing research. It is therefore important to treat potential cases with care as academic careers could be at risk.

Five steps to follow when encountering possible misconduct:

  • Remain a neutral player and treat all potential misconduct cases confidentially
  • Keep records of written communication including the allegation and the evidence of the complainant
  • Raise the issue with the accused (co-)author in a timely manner
  • Assess what exactly has happened (fact finding) and be transparent and final about decisions
  • In case of potential media attention (e.g. as soon as the media is aware) or legal questions please contact the editorial assistant.

Allegations of research errors and fraud

Fraud is publishing data or conclusions that were not generated by experiments or observations, but by data manipulation or invention. Changing the data measurements to conveniently fit the desired end result is fraud, but excluding inconvenient results is deliberate research error, which in effect is the same end result – fraud.

Recommended action

Note that the procedures below are similar to those for research results misappropriation.

The complainant must be made aware that the matter cannot be investigated unless the journal editor informs the corresponding (or complained-about) author (due process) and the institution or company at which the research took place (especially if fraud is alleged).

In the communication to the corresponding author, the editor should indicate that the matter will likely be referred to the institution or company where the research took place or any other relevant institution or agency (for example a funding agency) unless the author provides a reasonable explanation (accepted as reasonable by the editor).

Open Access

Open Access Policy

KnowEx Social Sciences Journal is an open-access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access.

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

In this regard, the only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

In respect of the BOAI definition, KnowEx Social Sciences Journal‘s governing body strongly recommends, for the authors who would like to republish a work that has been previously published in our journal, to include an acknowledgment with the mention of its first publication of the scientific paper, in the further publication