Publishing Ethics & Policies

Cases of Misconduct

  1. Cases of Redundant Publication

    Suspected redundant publication in a submitted manuscript: If a submitted manuscript is found to have been published previously during the similarity/cross-check screening process, the reviewer is expected to inform the editor. The editor will then carry out an investigation using evidence and consider the extent of redundancy. Major Redundancy cases, where identical/similar findings are found, will be dealt with by contacting the corresponding author, other authors, requesting an explanation. If explanation is unsatisfactory, submission will be rejected and author/reviewer informed. If the authors are not responsive, author’s institution will be contacted and concern shared. Minor Overlap will be followed by correspondences to author in neutral terms and modification requests until a review/decision has been made.


    Suspected redundant publication in a published manuscript: if concern is expressed to editor by a reader, nature of redundancy will be investigated and the steps explained above based on minor/major overlap detected. If found guilty, a publishing statement of redundant publication/retraction will be made and editor of other journal, author, and reader informed.


  2. Plagiarism

    One of the most common and frequently occurring types of misconduct cases is plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the use of others’ work as if it were the author’s own and without any sort of acknowledgement or reference to the original work or owner. Referring to work that is not the author’s own must be:

    • Clearly emphasized through the use of quotation marks (“).
    • Granted permission for use, in the same condition and format, from the original author/publisher or rights-holder.
    • Followed by an in-text citation, an attribution to the source of the reference, as well as in the Reference/Bibliography section.

    Plagiarism takes different forms, and they include direct copying without the use of quotation marks around copied text, substantial copying such as the inclusion of tables, materials and concepts that are not cited, and similarly paraphrasing someone else’s work without crediting it. Another common type of plagiarism is self-plagiarism or Text-recycling. Self-plagiarism is the redundant use of the author’s own work or the integration of an author’s own previous work into an entirely new paper as a reproduction. Most authors assume that self-plagiarism is acceptable as long as the work is his/her own. However, in such cases, proper use of quotation marks and citation of previously discussed/published work is still required.


    IEREK Press uses iThenticate to screen for plagiarism entering the peer-review process. Detection of plagiarism, and any of its types mentioned above, will be investigated thoroughly by the editor of the ESSD journal. If the assertions are found to be of truth, the author will be contacted for an explanation. In the case of an unsatisfactory submission, the author and his/her corresponding authors will be banned from submitting to the journal in the future. In case no response is back from author, the author’s institution will be contacted for concern to be passed to the author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance. If still no response is back, the institution will be contacted every 3-6 months. If no resolution yet, authorities such as Office of Research Integrity in US will be contacted.



  3. Fabricated Data

    Suspected fabricated data in a submitted manuscript:

    If the reviewer suspects fabricated data is present in the paper, we will ask for evidence, and take a 2nd reviewer’s opinion. The author will be contacted for explanation. If the author replies with a satisfactory explanation, we proceed with the review process. If the author replies with an unsatisfactory answer or admits guilt, the author’s institution(s) are contacted requesting an investigation. If the author is cleared, we proceed with the peer review and inform reviewer of the outcome. If the author is found guilt, we reject the paper and inform reviewer of the outcome. In case the author does not reply in the first place, the institution(s) will be contacted for concern to be passed to the author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance. Still if no response is back, regulatory bodies will be requested for an enquiry.


    Suspected fabricated data in a published manuscript:

    In the case the reader suspects fabricated data is present in a published paper, two of the reviewers’ opinions are taken. The author is then contacted for explanation. If the author replies with a satisfactory explanation, a correction will be published if necessary, and reader will be informed with the outcome. If author admits guilt, the author’s institution(s) are contacted requesting an investigation. In this case, if the author is not found guilty, the reader is informed about the outcome, and if the author is found guilty of fabrication, a retraction will be published, and reader will be informed. If the institutions do not provide a response or an unsatisfactory response, regulatory bodies will be requested for an enquiry, or an expression of concern will be published, and the reader is informed. In the case the author does not reply in the first place, the institution(s) will be contacted for concern to be passed to the author’s superior and/or person responsible for research governance. If still no response is back, regulatory bodies are requested for an enquiry, and then checks if the author is guilty or not, following the fore mentioned process.


  4. Authorship and Contributor-ship

    Authors or co-authors should only be listed in the study submitted if they made a significant contribution to the manuscript. In other words, authors should avoid “gift” or “ghost” authorship; the addition of an individual to the list of authors without having contributed in any way to the writing of the study. That being said, an author, alongside co-authors involved, shares the responsibility for the content and results of the submitted article. Co- authors, specifically, must have contributed the work reported by: having taken part in the research concept/design, written/revised the work, and agreed on the journal where the article is submitted. If the article has been found to breach the codes of conduct, responsibility will then be equally shared by the named authors and corresponding authors. If needed, authors will be asked to provide detail(s) of individual contribution. In the case that listed author does not meet authorship criteria, suggestion to remove guest/gift authorship will be made and agreements changed accordingly.


  5. Changes in authorship

    Before the submission of a manuscript, the author and corresponding authors of the article are expected to be in agreement and provide definitive information accordingly. Changes in the authorship of a submitted article are acceptable ONLY before its publication and upon the approval of the Journal Editor(s). For changes to be considered:

    1. The exact changes requested should be clearly stated in an email to the Editor
    2. Reasons as to why the changes are necessary should be communicated in the same e- mail.
    3. Confirmation in an e-mail from all involved parties (Authors and corresponding authors) must be sent to the Editor.
    4. Conflict of Interest


  6. Conflict of Interest

    In case there are any relationships that could present some kind of conflict of interest, the author is obliged to disclose this information in full. Any financial relationship or any other kind that could be recognized as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest.


    As part of the journal submission requirements, and during the process of an author’s submission of his/her article, they will be asked to provide ticks for statements that apply. The statement(s) are designed to ensure that all there is no financial or personal interest that could affect their impartiality. If otherwise, authors are expected to contact the editor stating the source and nature of the potential conflict. Any detection of conflict of interest will be met with a request to amend, and announce if article is already published, competing interest statement(s).

Complaints Policy

*All complaints will be met with prompt and practical solutions, if applicable.
  1. For Appeal Against Editorial Decisions

    In cases where authors disagree with the decisions of editors and comments of reviewers, they are given the right to appeal by directly contacting the Editor-in-Chief. Accordingly, the editor will begin by reviewing the manuscript, comments, editor’s verdict and make a decision, which may include re-sending the manuscript for a fresh editorial process. The editor-in-chief will then have the right to accept/reject the paper based on the outcome.


  2. Editorial Matters

    For complaints related to policies, procedures, editorial content and actions of the editorial staff To make a complaint, please send an email to complaints.press@ierek.com. All emails will be acknowledged within 3- 5 working days. Depending on the complaint, it will be referred to the appropriate individual to deal with the matter and could be referred to the Section Editor as a first contact. If the issue cannot be resolved, the Editor-in-chief should take the matter into his/her own hands.


    The editor-in-chief will be handling the case only if it is related to matters such as policies, editorial content and actions of editorial staff. Depending on the seriousness and urgency of the case, decided upon by the person to whom the complaint is being made, a timeline for the procedure/investigation will be laid out. Frequent updates will be provided until the complaint is resolved.


  3. Responding to concerns

    Responding to whistle-blowers raising concerns directly (email or anonymously)
    Public disclosure of wrong-doing or criticism of an editor, reviewer, the publisher will be met with a request for evidence followed by an investigation. If guilty, a retraction/correction will be made and individual informed. If found not guilty, an end will be put to investigations carried out.


    Responding to whistle-blowers raising concerns publicly
    Criticism received concerning published articles on social media/peer-review sites will be met with an investigation and request of evidence for support. If yes, the matter will be dealt with the same way as concerns raised directly and retraction/correction made if found guilty.