At EANSO, we consider ethics the key driver of quality research and meaningful findings. The world counts on scholars to be truthful and accurate about their words because most people count on their words to make decisions, further research, or develop policies. This, therefore, follows that if the researcher intentionally misleads stakeholders, errors in judgement arise that can sometimes be catastrophic. This page highlights why we value ethics, the ethical measures in place and the expectations we have of our authors.
2.0 General Ethical Considerations
We adopt the general ethical considerations as advanced by Bryman and Bell. We expect that all scholars submitting in our journals adhere to these considerations before, during and after their research process. These considerations are as follows:
- Do not harm research participants.
- Respect the dignity of the research participants.
- Always obtain consent before including case studies or subjects.
- Ensure the protection and privacy of participants at all times.
- Ensure an adequate level of confidentiality when collecting data.
- Ensure anonymity of participating individuals and organizations.
- Avoid deceptions and exaggerations during the research process.
- Affiliations, funding and conflict of interest should be declared.
- Research communication should be honest and transparent.
- Avoid misleading information and misinterpretations.
All the manuscripts submitted must be original work and not incorporate more than 25% of other existing articles. This includes articles from the same author. An author submitting to any of our hosted journals is not allowed to submit a paper that is more than 25% similar to papers already published by them.
4.0 Authorship of Articles
Manuscript authorship should be limited to those who directly made significant execution, contributions to the conception or interpretation of the study. Those that meet the standards for inclusion should be listed as co-authors while those that have participated in substantive aspects of the research project but do not meet the inclusion standards should be acknowledged as contributors. The corresponding author must ensure that no inappropriate co-authors are included in the paper and must have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agree to be submitted for publication.
5.0 Multiple, redundant, or concurrent publication
Authors must ensure that they do not submit the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently to uphold ethics in the publication process. This means that authors should neither submit for consideration in any of our journals a previously published articles nor submit a manuscript that is already under consideration in a journal not hosted by us. They should also not submit articles already published by us to other journals.
6.0 Acknowledgement of sources
Authors should ensure acknowledgement is given for the parts of their articles derived from other authors. Information obtained privately, conversation, correspondence, or any discussion of third parties should not be used or reported without the written permission of the source. Even after the permission is granted, authors publishing in all our hosted journals must in all cases acknowledge these sources and avail links to the sources where necessary.
7.0 Disclosure, conflicts of interest and financial support
Authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might influence the results or the interpretation of their manuscript and acknowledge individuals or organizations that have provided research support. In general, readers should be informed about who has funded the research and the role of the funders in the research. This is key to discerning the objectivity of the findings and the extent of applicability.
8.0 Fundamental errors in published works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her published work, the author should immediately notify the Editor-in-Chief or the publisher and cooperate with the editor to correct the paper. If the Editorial learns from a third party that a published article contains significant errors, the author must promptly retract the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
9.0 Data access and retention
Authors should be able to provide raw data in connection with their manuscripts for editorial review and be prepared for public access to such data if possible. This is in the spirit of ensuring research accuracy by analysing the methodologies and tools that were deployed to put together the article.
10.0 Action the editors will take in event of malpractice
When Editors suspect an ethic violation may exist about an article submitted or allegations concerning a submitted article, the Editor will take the following steps:
- The editor will raise the issue with the correspondent author and in some cases with a specific author whose actions are complained or all authors are called in for questioning and seek explanations where necessary and evidence that support the same.
- The editor will seek the complainant's view on any evidence and evidence provided by the author and vice versa.
- At this point, the Editor will have to determine if there is an ethical violation, if not the investigation continues.
- If the authors are unable to satisfy editors on a balance of probabilities that there has been no violation, the editors will carry out further investigation and the depth of the investigation will vary from case to case but may have the following:
- Further investigating any allegations made by third parties
- Speaking to colleagues of any author
- Speaking to officials at any institutions where the research in question was carried out
- Speaking to officials at any professional body or institution of which any author is a member
- Speaking to other leading experts in the field of research in question
- Speaking to members of the editorial advisory board of the journal
- Working with any professional body with an investigative mission such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
- In carrying out the investigation the Editor will act fairly and objectively and not defame any author
- The journal follows the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.
11.0 Practical consequences of findings
If editors decide that there is no issue, publication may take place or continue in the normal way.
If editors decide that there has been an unethical practice, editors may reject the paper. If an unethical practice is discovered after it has been published, editors will consider retraction of the article or removal if appropriate.
12.0 Legal consequences of findings
In the case of plagiarism, there may be an infringement of copyright. Moral rights include the right of an author of a work to be identified as such, as well as the right of an author to prevent changes to his or her work that are disrespectful.
In the case of research results not being original to the stated author and allegations about the authorship of contributions, there may be an infringement of the moral rights, but also an infringement of a person’s moral right not to have a work attributed to him or her when not the author.
In all cases of ethical misconduct, there is likely to be a violation of the contract by the author, who will have contravened the terms of his or her publishing agreement with the publisher.
13.0 Reporting standards
Authors of papers should present an accurate account of the work performed and an objective discussion of its significance. Fundamental data should be represented accurately in the paper that contains sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Knowing inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should be accurate and objective, and Editorial opinion should be identified as such.
14.0 Metadata changes
Any change of authorship or in the order of authors is not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript. Requests to any addition or deletion of authors at the revision stage or after publication is a serious matter and may be considered only after receipt of written approval from all authors and a detailed explanation about the role/deletion of the new/deleted author. The decision on accepting the change rests with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Upon request, authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, or records.