The Editorial Board of Theory and Practice of Forensic Science and Criminalistics encourages authors to adhere to the proper level of formal and ethical requirements for preparation and publication of scientific articles submitted to editorial staff of the Scientific Journal. These regulations are determined by quality standards for scientific works and their presentation adopted by world scientific community, in particular, publishing principles of the Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK), recommendations of Elsevier, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Ethics Code of Ukrainian scientist, as well as experience of foreign and Ukrainian professional communities, scientific institutions, editorial boards and editorial offices. The following standards provide significant assistance in preparation of scientific publications for experienced scientists, teachers, postgraduate students, university students, law enforcement officers, judges, forensic scientists and other practitioners.
It is very important to harmonize ethical standards for all parties involved in publication procedure of the Scientific Journal: Publication author/co-authors, members of the Editorial Board, reviewer, publisher, readers of the Scientific Journal and other users contributed to.
The Editorial Board is in earnest about supervision of scientific publication stages. At the same time, the Editorial Board is aware of full ethical and other responsibility for quality and academic novelty of publications and aims to assist in establishing cooperation with other Scientific Journals/Scientific paper collections and/or Publishing Houses.
ETHICAL DUTIES OF AUTHORS
Publication authors/co-authors should perform researches not only according to the current legislation but also in accordance with ethical norms of scientific activity. Author of original research should present an accurate report on the performed work as well as an objective discussion of its significance. A scientific paper should contain sufficient information and references to the source document allowing others to use the heritage of this scientific work.
False information submission equates to unethical behavior and is unacceptable.
Article review and specific publications should be accurate and objective and “editorial opinion” should be clearly delineated.
Data Access and Retention
The Editorial Board can ask authors to provide raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review. Authors can be asked to provide open access to such data and should be prepared to store this data within a reasonable time after the publication.
Originality and Plagiarism
The authors/co-authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, for example «passing off» another’s article as the author’s own paper, copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without reference to original source and authorship indication), claiming results from research performed by other scientists. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. In the case of detecting plagiarism, the authors assume responsibility for the provided content. The authors' formulations of main theses and conclusions should be clear and unambiguous without received data forgery or improper manipulation.
Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal of primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. An author should not submit for consideration in another journal a paper that has been published previously. Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g. clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and Members of the Editorial Board of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Acknowledgement of Sources
While research activity, the scientific paper author is obligated to carry out a literary search, to find original publications on the subject of scientific research and to properly disclose the sources of content used in his work if these materials were not obtained by the author. Authors should refer to publications having significant impact on determining nature of the provided work. Information obtained privately by means of conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, should not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the original source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, should not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services. The author should quote publications in a proper way and clearly indicate the sources of all quoted or provided information and make bibliographic references to used sources according to established requirements. The author should make references to actual editions of normative acts taking into account their variability and placement on corresponding resources.
Authorship of the Paper
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 substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors. Co-authors of a publication should be all persons who have made a significant scientific contribution to the provided work and share responsibility for obtained results. Other contributions should be indicated in the notes or in the text as gratitude. Author submitting a manuscript for publication is responsible for including all persons meeting the authorship criterion in the list of collaborators. If an article is written by several authors, the author who provides contact information to the Editorial Board, documents and reports to the Editorial Board assumes responsibility for the approval by other authors for its publication in the Journal. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscripts any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that can influence research results or their interpretation. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of possible conflicts of interest can include: employer information, informational consultation, stock ownership, fees, expert fees, honoraria, patent applications/registrations, as well as grants and other financing types. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.
Fundamental Errors in Published Works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the Editorial Board or Publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains significant errors, the author should provide the editorial staff with proof of source data correctness of the scientific article.
EDITORIAL BOARD ETHICAL STANDARDS
The Editorial Board is responsible for quality of all materials published in the Scientific Journal. For this purpose, their selection, external and internal review of all materials submitted for publication are carried out. Co-chairmen can confer with other members of Editorial Board in making these decisions. The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject the articles if it considers that publication does not correspond to the Journal profile or the authors violated the formal legal or ethical norms listed below or to return it for modifying. In this case, the author is obliged to finalize the article according to Editorial Board remarks.
In the case of a refusal to post the article after revision, it is not accepted for consideration by the Editorial Board. Information about the publication refusal is delivered to the author by e-mail.
The Editorial Board should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content regardless race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The Editorial Board decisions do not depend on commercial or other interests and are based on ensuring honest review.
The Editorial Board has no right to disclose information about provided works to anyone other than the author, reviewer, and other editorial advisers.
Members of the Editorial Board should not provide third parties with any information about the content of the manuscript under consideration (except those who participate in the professional evaluation of the manuscript) except for announcement of publications. If Editorial Board members receive convincing evidence that main content or conclusions of the work previously published in the Scientific Journal are false, the Editorial Board is obliged to publish the relevant notification indicating falseness of the content or conclusions and correct mistakes, if the work has not yet been published.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Unpublished materials used in a provided scientific work, cannot be used in own researches by Editorial Board members. Information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used by the Editorial Board for personal advantage. Co-chairmen of the Editorial Board should declare recusal (entrust another member of the Editorial Board to consider the manuscript instead) to consider the manuscript regarding that he has a conflict of interest as a result of competitive relations, cooperation or other relations and relationships with one of the authors, companies or (possibly) institutions related to the provided manuscripts. Co-chairmen should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publications if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate actions should be taken such as disproof or expression of apologies.
Cooperation and Participation in Investigation
When submitting an ethical complaint regarding a provided manuscript or a published scientific article, Co-chairmen of the Editorial Board should take reasonable, appropriate measures. Such measures usually include contact with author of the manuscript/scientific article and due consideration of the respective complaint or claim. If the need arises, it may be necessary to contact relevant institutions or research organizations. If the complaint is supported, it is necessary to publish appropriate corrections, rebuttal or apologies. Any notice of the fact of unethical behavior should be considered.
Ethical Duties of Reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions
The Editorial Board has the right to review (Double-Blind Peer Review), edit, abbreviate and reject articles.
Peer Review of a scientific article is an essential stage while preparing publications for printing. Members of the Editorial Board are required to perform a certain amount of work regarding the appropriate peer review of a scientific article. All scientific articles submitted for publication should be reviewed by the scientific supervisor or adviser of the author(s) assessed by the research institution where the work was performed. Peer review helps Co-chairman of the Editorial Board in making editorial decisions through the collaboration between the Editorial Board and the author and can help the author in improving his work.
Peer review is an essential component of formal scientific communication and is the basis for scientific method. The Editorial Board shares the common view that all scholars who wish to contribute to the concerned publication are required to fulfill their review responsibilities in a qualitative way. All members of the Editorial Board perform an internal review of a scientific article. External review is carried out by leading specialists and scientists in the field of Forensic Science and Criminalistics of Ukraine and other countries.
Reviewers are elected by the Co-chairmen of the Editorial Board or by the executive secretary. Review period is 2-4 weeks. Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the reported research represented in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and refuse the reviewing.
If the Editorial Board is not convinced of publishing possibility of the submitted scientific article, it reserves the right to appoint an independent reviewer. Reviewer should objectively evaluate scientific article quality, theoretical and practical significance of the work, scientific nature of the presentation and conclusions, compliance of the manuscript with relevant standards. Reviewer should respect intellectual independence of authors and treat the manuscript sent for reviewing as a confidential document.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Reviewers should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in this scientific article without author’s approval. Reviewer should not evaluate the manuscript with the author or co-author of which he has personal or professional relationships, if such relationships can affect opinion about the manuscript.
Standards of Objectivity
Reviewers should adequately explain and argue their opinions so that authors and editors could understand what their comments are based on. Any allegation that observation, conclusion or argument has already been published has to be accompanied by an appropriate reference.
If the review contains recommendations for article refinement, the Editorial Board sends the author a text of the review with a suggestion to take them into account while preparing a new version of the article or reasoned to refute. The article revised by the author is redirected for peer review.
Members of the Editorial Board could decide to involve one or more reviewers whose participation is contested by authors, if reviewer opinions are important for an impartial review of the manuscript. Such decision can be made, for example, when there are serious contradictions between the manuscript submitted prior to publication and a preliminary work of the potential reviewer.
In case of unresolved contradictions regarding the manuscript of an article, the Editorial Board can send the manuscript for additional review.
Original reviews are kept for the last 3 years of development.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewer should indicate any cases of insufficient citation by authors of other scholars who are directly related to the reviewed work; he should draw editor attention to any significant similarity between the submitted manuscript and any published article.
ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF READERS AND OTHER USERS OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED IN THE SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL
1. According to international copyright law, the content of Scientific Journal site cannot be reproduced in whole or in part in any form (electronic or printed) without the prior written consent of authors (or in the case of their death without an Editorial Board permission). While using published material in the context of other documents, a reference to the publication source is required. Distribution on electronic network of any articles from the Journal or extracts from is allowed but while such distribution the reference to the primary source is obligatory. Publishing and/or distribution content of the Journal by third parties or institutions on paper and solid electronic media is prohibited.
2. Claims concerning illegal publications without author permissions (or in case of their death without permission of the Scientific Journal Editorial Board) can be advanced by each author or Hon. Prof. M.S. Bokarius Kharkiv Research Institute of Forensic Examinations.
3. Site users, Scientific Journal readers, authors could send their comments, questions regarding publications, etc., by mail to the editorial board observing generally accepted ethical standards. Hon. Prof. M.S. Bokarius Kharkiv Research Institute of Forensic Examinations. should ensure processing and publication of such content and facilitate the relevant information presentation for authors of these publications.