FORMATH Editorial System

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The FORMATH journal publication ethics is based on recommendations of COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the standards of ethical behavior is therefore expected of all parties involved: Authors, Editors and Reviewers.

The FORMATH journal is committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics with all publications, and to uphold ethical research practices.  The FORMATH journal adheres to the Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (COPE, 1999), the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (COPE, 2011) 

We encourage editors to follow the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors and to refer reviewers to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers as appropriate.  We shall take all possible measures against publication malpractices.

The FORMATH journal is responsible for enforcing a rigorous peer-review with strict ethical policies and standards to ensure that high quality scientific works are added to the field of scholarly publications.  To avoid cases of plagiarism, data falsification, inappropriate authorship credit, and other malpractices, the reviewers and editors of the FORMATH journal are advised to be extra vigilant in identifying such issues as serious offenses, and to flag offending authors for appropriate actions.

1. Scientific Misconduct

All allegations of scientific misconduct will be referred to the Editor-in-Chief, who will review the circumstances in consultation with the editorial board. Initial fact-finding may include a request to all involved parties to state their case, and explain the circumstances in writing. With respect to research misconduct on data (data fabrication and falsification), methods or technical issues, and falsifying writings (such as purposeful hiding research outcomes and plagiarism), the Editor-in-Chief may consult with experts who are blinded to the identity of the individuals involved, or if the allegation is against an editor, consult with an outside expert editor. The Editor-in-Chief and the editorial board may arrive at a conclusion as to whether there is enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe there is a possibility of misconduct.

When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of the work in the submitted or published papers, the editor shall initiate appropriate procedures detailed by such committees as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). When allegations concern the authors, the peer review and publication process for the manuscript in question shall be halted, while the above investigation is implemented. The above investigation may be completed even if the authors choose to withdraw their paper. In the case of allegations against reviewers or editors, we will recuse and replace them, and at the same time allow the investigation to proceed.

Expression of concerns and retractions would be prominently labeled, and will appear on an electronic article including in their heading the title of the original article.  The retracted article shall clearly be labeled as retracted in all its forms (including abstract, full text, PDF). The authors of the retraction must be the same as the authors of the article, but if they are unwilling or unable the editor may under certain conditions accept retractions by other responsible persons, or the editor may be the sole author of the retraction or expression of concern. The text of the retraction should explain why the article is being retracted and include a complete reference citation to that article. Retracted articles should remain in the public domain and be clearly labeled as retracted.

The integrity of the research may also be compromised by inappropriate methodology that could lead to retraction. See COPE flowcharts for further guidance on scientific misconduct and expressions of concern.

2. Authorship and Contributorship

Only persons who meet the following four criteria for authorship should be listed as authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work
  2. Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  3. Drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content
  4. Have investigated and approved the final version of the manuscript for its submission for publication.

The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors are based on the above four criteria, and no inappropriate coauthors included in the author list.

Contributing to research can broadly be classified into the following categories:

  1. Intellectual contribution (ideas, writing)
  2. Practical contribution (conducting research, data analysis)
  3. Financial contribution (funds, experimental material)

Any researcher, who does not meet all four criteria for authorship should be listed as a contributor in the “Acknowledgements” section of the manuscript.  All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section after their written approval.

3. Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication

The authors should ensure that their work is original, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, they should appropriately cite or quote them.  An author should not publish the same work (i.e. work describing essentially the same research) in more than one journal. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publication behaviour. Simply said, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.

4. Complaints and Appeals

Complaints and appeals are handled in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Authors who wish to appeal the rejection of their manuscript can do so by emailing the Editorial Office of the FORMATH journal with a reference to the manuscript ID number.  In such a case, authors should explain in greater detail why they believe their manuscript should be reconsidered.  If it is determined that, it should be reconsidered, the author may be asked to submit it as a new manuscript.  The manuscript will then receive a new identification number and submission date and undergo a review, just like a new submission.

Submitters, authors, reviewers, and readers may register complaints and appeals in a variety of cases including (but not limited): 1) falsification, 2) fabrication, 3) plagiarism, 4) duplicate publication, 5) authorship dispute, 6) conflict of interest, 7) bias or unfair inappropriate competitive acts, 8) copyright, 9) stolen data, 10) defamation, and 11) legal problem.  If individuals or institutions want to lodge a complaint, they can do so by sending a letter to the Editor-in-Chief of the FORMATH journal.  For complaints or appeals, the submission should show concrete data with answers to all factual questions (who, when, where, what, how, why).  The Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board, or Editorial Office will be responsible for bringing complaints to a logical conclusion.

5. Conflicts of Interest

“Conflict of Interest” shall be defined as any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications or opinions stated, including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition.

A simple test for “Conflict of Interest” is to seek if there is any arrangement that would compromise the perception of your impartiality or that of your coauthors if it was to emerge after publication and you have not declared it.

  • The corresponding author is expected to obtain the relevant information from all coauthors on the “Conflicts of Interest” described above.
  • The FORMATH journal requires a declaration of any “Conflict of Interest” to be included in the manuscript upon submission. This information will be available to the Editors. If your manuscript is published, this information will be communicated in a statement in the published manuscript.
  • The corresponding author must report on behalf of all coauthors.
  • On submission, any potential “Conflict of Interest” should be clearly stated for each author by the corresponding author. The corresponding author is responsible for confirming with all coauthors whether they have any conflicts to declare.
  • All reviewers are either asked to decline to review a manuscript if they have a potential conflict or declare any potential conflict. 
  • Editors would not handle the review of a manuscript if there was a potential “Conflict of Interest”.

6. Data and Reproducibility

All available data upon which the conclusions of the manuscript depend on must be made available upon request, while considering the manuscript for publication in the FORMATH journal, and upon reasonable request immediately after publication.

It is recommended to deposit datasets in public repositories, where available. Datasets in repositories should be bi-directionally linked to the published material in a way that ensures proper attribution of data production.

It is encouraged to present all other data values in machine readable format as supplementary information.  Materials sharing after publication may be required.

Sharing information on software is also encouraged, and at a minimum a statement in the manuscript may be required to describe if the software is available and how it can be obtained.

7. Ethical Oversight

The policy of the FORMATH journal on the ethical oversight is built upon mutual trust of the participants of the publication process and the hope for compulsory observance of all the publication ethics principles in the “Publishing Ethics" and "Editorial policies".

Based on the definition of “Ethical Oversight” from COPE, the editorial staff of the FORMATH journal will ultimately be responsible for ensuring ethical principles are adhered to.

8. Intellectual Property

The FORMATH journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the general public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge under the term of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), which permits use distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors retain copyright and grant the FORMATH journal the right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in the FORMATH journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the FORMATH's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the FORMATH journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

There is no charge for the publication of an accepted manuscript, as well as readers of the FORMATH journal.  Future arrangements can be made among editorial staff of the FORMATH journal only for publication matters.

9. Peer review processes

The FORMATH journal relies on peer review processes.  The details can be found in the “Editorial Policies” section.

10. Post-publication discussions and corrections

If authors notice an error in the published manuscript, several courses of action are available.  A corrigendum shall be published when the authors have made an error in the manuscript.  An erratum shall be published when the publishing processes have made an error in the article.  A post-publication change to the original article can only be made where the error affects the discoverability, visibility and citability of the article. Example includes author names, titles and abstracts, or changes to affiliations, footnotes and/or acknowledgments in order to meet the requirements of a funding body, or those related to legal issues.

If post-publication changes are made, the errata of the article will be published online.

In cases where serious errors are identified, a retraction or expression of concern may be published.  A retraction shall be published as a way to correct the scientific record by bringing fundamental flaws/errors in the manuscript to the attention of the readership. They are usually reserved for cases where there is clear evidence of unreliable findings due to misconduct or honest error.  An expression of concern shall be issued when concerns about publications have not been conclusively proven but are sufficiently serious to warrant warning potential readers.