Code of Ethics
The adopted code of ethics is a charter or commitment that demarcates and defines some of the ethical standards and moral responsibilities concerning the research activities, as well as their publication, in the journals, which are hereafter referred to as journal. The journal’s code of ethics aims to prevent scholarly violations, irrespective of their intentionality, committed by the writers of submitted manuscripts.
The code of ethics is based on the “Charter of Research Ethics and Standards” approved by the Deputy for Research and Technology, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran. The code also adheres to the internationally accepted publishing standards as well as the available experiences of the journal and those of some of the other scholarly journals.
Authors, reviewers, the editorial board, and the editor-in-chief are expected to observe and remain committed to all the principles of scholarly ethics. Manuscript submissions by authors, reviewing and assessment by the reviewers, and the subsequent decision made by the editorial board and the editor-in-chief all presuppose the full observance of these rights. In the event of any violation of the principles and responsibilities by the foregoing parties, the journal is entitled to take any legal action it sees fit. The Charter of Research Ethics and Standards approved by the Deputy for Research and Technology is intended to provide guidance for the authors, reviewers, and the publication of the journal.
2. Author’s Responsibilities
Submitted manuscripts must fit the scope of the journal and be structured and prepared scientifically and coherently in such a way as to meet the journal’s guidelines.
Manuscripts must be the authors’ original research. Any idea or fact taken from an outside source must be cited properly. Research must be conducted precisely and objectively, and data must be reported accurately.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the contents of their manuscripts. Authors are required to ascertain the validity and precision of their manuscripts. The publication of a manuscript does not imply that the journal endorses or approves its contents.
Authors are required to avoid research and publication misconduct, which will be explained in Section 3.
Authors may not attempt duplicate submission of a manuscript. In other words, the manuscript or part of it must not be published or under review for publication in any other journal.
Authors are not allowed to attempt overlapping publication—that is to say, the publication of the data or findings of their previously published articles with minor modifications as a new article.
Authors are required to carefully cite all the sources they use, and, if necessary, request the written permission of cited authors. When using another scholar’s verbatim quote, it should be placed in double quotation marks (“ “).
Authors are to insure that the name and contact information of only the involved writers are included. In other words, gift authorship or ghost authorship must be avoided.
The corresponding author is required to insure that all the involved writers study the manuscript and are in agreement about their roles in the conduct of their research. The corresponding author must also insure that all the involved writers are unanimous in submitting the manuscript.
Submission implies that authors have acknowledged all the sponsors and obtained their prior permission.
Authors are required to notify the journal whenever they notice an error in their manuscript and take the necessary steps to correct the error or withdraw the manuscript altogether.
Authors are expected to keep possession of the samples and raw data utilized in their study for at least a year so as to be able to reply to the possible questions and criticisms of the readers.
Any danger posed to people or environment by the conducted research must be explicitly mentioned in the manuscript.
Authors are expected to collaborate with the journal in reviewing other manuscripts that are within their field of interest.
3. Unethical Practices in Research and Publication
The disclosure of any of the following practices during the process of submission, reviewing, revision, or the publication of a manuscript signifies unethical research and publication practices and entitles the journal to take legal action against the wrongdoer(s).
Fabrication: entails false reporting of findings and presentation of data or manipulated results as laboratory findings, empirical studies and/or personal findings. False recording of unreal events or the manipulation of the findings of various studies are instances of fabrication.
Falsification: entails recording and presenting the findings of a study in such a way that the details of its conduct and the process of data collection are manipulated. Falsification also encompasses the omission or modification of data, or the magnification of minor findings (juicy quotes), in an attempt to conceal the truth and preclude any potential disputes and thus direct the study toward furthering personal interests.
Plagiarism: consists of the close adaptation of other scholars’ ideas and observations, copying others’ points of view, structural similarities in writing and/or unacknowledged appropriation of others’ ideas and results by presenting them as one’s own original research.
Ghost authorship: occurs when authors employ another writer for the conduct of research, and then publish the study with minor modifications as their own original work.
Fabricated affiliations: signifies the false claim of affiliation with an academic institution or research facility that had no involvement in the conduct of the study.
Re-submission of an article, overlapping publication, adding “gift authorship” or omitting the name of the real author are also among unethical practices in research and publication.
4. Reviewers’ Responsibilities
Reviewers are to collaborate with the editor-in-chief and the editorial board in the qualitative, thematic, and scientific assessment of submitted manuscripts and thus contribute to the enhancement of their quality and content.
After studying the abstract, the assigned reviewer is required to promptly notify the editor-in-chief of his or her decision as to whether he or she accepts the review assignment. In the event of rejection, the reviewer is expected to help the editor-in-chief to choose another reviewer.
The reviewer is required to be a qualified expert and authority in the same subject area as that of the assigned manuscripts. The reviewer must not accept the review assignment of those manuscripts that are not within his or her area of expertise. It is also advised that the reviewer refuse the review assignment of those manuscripts with whose subject matter he or she is in fundamental disagreement, as it would prevent the reviewer from providing an unbiased appraisal of the manuscripts.
The reviewer must not accept the review assignment of those manuscripts that seek to advance the interests of specific individuals, institutions, and companies or contain personal relationships.
The reviewer must not accept the review assignment of those manuscripts in whose conduct, analysis, or composition he or she has collaborated.
In the event that a review assignment is accepted, the reviewer is required to prepare his or her expert views and revisionary comments, which are advisably supplemented by textual evidence, as clearly as possible and, subsequently, present them to the editor-in-chief as well as the authors before the set deadline. The careful examination of references, tables, figures, and notes is also part of the reviewer’s responsibilities.
Manuscript reviewing must be according to scientific evidence and sufficient justification, and any personal, institutional, racial, and/or religious remarks must be eschewed in the assessment of a manuscript.
The reviewer is expected to provide the editor-in-chief and the author(s) with his or her evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the assigned manuscript in a constructive, clear, and instructive manner along with sufficient analysis and suggestions for revision.
The reviewer is expected to be responsible, accessible, punctual, conscientious, keen, ethical, and principled. Reference to authentic sources, fairness, courtesy, impartiality, avoidance of prejudgment or rash conclusions, along with coherent expression of views regarding the suitability of the assigned manuscript for publication, are also among the reviewers’ qualities.
Reviewers are expected to avoid rewriting or revising manuscripts based on their personal preferences and priorities if the manuscripts are correct in principle and clear in expression. It must be noted that the journal seeks the reviewers’ expertise rather than their editing and proofreading services.
The reviewer is required to verify the full citation of every study, subject, quotation used in the assigned manuscript. Additionally, the reviewer is expected to inform the author(s) of other published studies that are related to the topic of their study but are not mentioned in the manuscript.
The reviewer must consider the contents of the assigned manuscript confidential and avoid sharing or discussing them with others.
Reviewers are not allowed to use data or the new findings for or against their or others’ studies and discredit or criticize other researchers before the publication of the assigned manuscript. Furthermore, the reviewer is not authorized to disclose any further details other than what is published by the journal after the publication of the manuscript.
The reviewer is not authorized, except with the permission of the editor-in-chief, to assign the task of reviewing to another person, including colleagues or graduate students. The name of anyone who has collaborated in the task must be recorded in the review report that is submitted to the editor-in-chief as well as in the journal’s archive.
The reviewer is not allowed to contact the writers of the assigned manuscript directly. Contact must be made only via the journal’s office.
It is expected that reviewers endeavor to submit their reports on unethical practices in research and publication, along with corroborative evidence, to the editor-in-chief with due diligence and consideration.
5. Editorial Board’s Responsibilities
The assignment of reviewers and the acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript after receiving the reviewers’ assessment are among the responsibilities of the editor-in-chief and the editorial board.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board must be professional experts in their field and have numerous publications. They are expected to be responsible, accessible, conscientious, fair, impartial, scrupulous, considerate and sensitive to others’ rights. The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are also required to contribute toward the achievement of the goals of the journal and its constant development.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are expected to provide the journal with a database of qualified reviewers and update it regularly based on the reviewers’ performance.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board must strive to choose the competent reviewers based on their area of expertise, eminence, work experience, and integrity. They are also expected to comply with the writers’ reasonable, well-founded requests that their manuscript not be reviewed by a particular reviewer.
The editor-in-chief must encourage thorough, well-grounded assessments, prevent superficial, hasty reviews, and contest biased, unfounded, or humiliating comments.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are required to take the necessary steps to record and archive reviewers’ reports as academic documents and keep the names of the assigned reviewers confidential.
Decisions as to whether submitted manuscripts should be accepted or rejected must be taken based on the evaluation of the reviewers’ expert comments, their validation, corroborative research-based evidence, and sufficient justification. No personal, institutional, racial, and/or religious measures must influence the decision.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are required to promptly notify the corresponding author of their final decision as to whether the submitted manuscript has been accepted or rejected.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board must consider all the information contained in the submitted manuscripts confidential and avoid sharing or discussing them with others.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are not allowed to use data or the new findings for or against their or others’ studies and discredit or criticize other researchers before the publication of the submitted manuscript. Furthermore, the editor-in-chief and the editorial board are not authorized to disclose any further details other than what is published by the journal after the publication of the manuscript. The only exception, which is, nevertheless, contingent upon plausible evidence, would be inspection of the articles for any incidence of potential unethical violations in research and publication that might have been committed by the authors.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are required to prevent any conflict of interests in the review process that might potentially affect the acceptance or publication of submitted manuscripts via any personal, commercial, academic, and financial relations.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board must encourage reviewers to carefully examine submitted manuscripts with regard to originality and lack of violation in research and publication.
The editor-in-chief is required to carefully study the manuscript of the author who is accused of breaching research and publication ethics and take subsequent action according to the steps under the section on the procedure for handling unethical research and publication practices below.
The editor-in-chief must not desist from taking further action against proven wrongdoers after rejecting the manuscript and is required to see the procedure through, while affording the accused writer(s) a reasonable opportunity to explain their conduct.
The editor-in-chief is required to remove those published articles that are proven to have committed unethical violations in research and publication immediately and apprise readers and involved databases in a clear and explicit manner.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are required to examine and publish revisions promptly and notify readers of the incidence of misconduct in published articles.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board are expected to encourage and publish valid and justifiable criticisms of published articles.
The editor-in-chief and the editorial board must constantly solicit the views of the authors, readers, and reviewers about ways to improve the publication policies as well as the formal and thematic quality of the journal.
6. Responsibilities of the Scientific Publications Office
The Scientific Publications Office of Isfahan University of Technology is responsible for editing, layout, typography, and finally the online or print publication of accepted manuscripts.
The following are among the responsibilities of the Scientific Publications Office:
Establishing and announcing its publication policies particularly regarding the editorial board’s independent decision-making, publication ethics, intellectual property and copyright protection, conflict of interests, the responsibilities of authors, reviewers, the editor-in-chief and the editorial board, the review process, complaints and appeals for reconsideration, archiving documents related to the editorial decision-making process, archiving authors’ and reviewers’ information, revision or elimination of accepted manuscripts, and solving conflicts between complainants and defendants over unethical practices in research and publication.
Endeavoring to finish the editing, layout, and publication process with utmost care and within the shortest possible time.
Protecting authors’ personal information and the contents of submitted manuscripts, except for what is published by the journal after their acceptance, during and after the review process. The only exception, which is, nevertheless, contingent upon plausible evidence, would be inspection of the articles for any incidence of potential unethical violations in research and publication that might have been committed by the authors
The maintenance of the dependence of the editor-in-chief and the editorial board.
Offering comprehensive guidelines to the editor-in-chief, the editorial board, and reviewers in such a way as to aid them in the proper fulfillment of their duties.
Providing authors with necessary instructions for the enhancement of the formal and thematic quality of the manuscripts and the scrupulous observance of ethics in research and publication.
Collaborating with the journal’s editor-in-chief in enforcing complete compliance with the highest standards of research and publication ethics and insuring against formal and thematic errors.
Collaborating with the journal’s editor-in-chief in investigating reports on unethical practices in research and publication and offering expert counsel to complainants and defendants, as needed.
Consideration of requests for permission to use the contents of the journal’s published articles in other publications while following citation guidelines.
7. The Procedure for Handling Unethical Research and Publication Practices
Receiving a written indictment from a natural person or an organization.
Convention of an editorial board meeting in the presence of the representative of the university’s publication center in order to investigate the allegation.
Collecting and assessing available documents and writing up the minutes of the meeting and the reached decision on the legitimacy and credibility of the allegation.
Submitting the indictment to the accused authors and requesting a reply within the appointed time limit.
The examination of the accused authors’ reply in an editorial board meeting in the presence of the representative of the university’s publication center and reaching a final decision.
Submitting the decision, accompanied by suggested punitive measures in the event that the allegation is sustained, to the complainant and defendant.
Notifying the highest-ranking authority at the offenders’ affiliated institution.