Aldus 2.0 is committed to maintaining the highest standards of publication ethics and to supporting ethical research practices. Aldus follows the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. We encourage journal 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. Allegations of misconduct will be investigated in accordance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines as far as is practicable. If notified of a potential breach of publication ethics, we encourage journal editors and staff to inform Aldus 2.0 as soon as possible. We take publication ethics very seriously.
Aldus 2.0 expects all published articles to contain clear and accurate attribution of authorship. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that all authors that contributed to the work are fairly acknowledged and that the published author list accurately reflects individual contributions.
Attribution and acknowledgement
Aldus 2.0 supports the ICMJE definitions of authorship. Definitions of what constitutes authorship vary by journal, research area, or article type but typically authorship is confined to those who have made a significant contribution to the design and execution of the work described. Aldus 2.0 takes the extra step of emailing named authors at the point of submission (usually via the journal submission system) to confirm participation. Aldus 2.0 requires a short description of each authors’ contribution to be included with the submitted files or as part of the acknowledgements section of an article.
Changes in authorship
Requests for changes to authorship must be directed to the journal editor or administrator. Requests should be dealt with fairly and in accordance with the relevant COPE guidelines and/or the published policy of the journal. Changes in authorship will only be permitted where valid reasons are provided and all authors are in agreement with the change. Post-publication changes to authorship will typically be made via a published correction.
Aldus 2.0 takes every effort to ensure that editors, peer reviewers, and journal administrators treat all submissions respectfully, in confidence, and in accordance with COPE ethical guidelines. Aldus 2.0 expects that all individuals submitting manuscripts abide by established publishing standards and ethics. In proven cases of misconduct, the action taken will vary by journal and by context, but could result in one or more of the following:
- retraction of published work;
- publication of a correction or statement of concern;
- refusal of future submission;
- notification of misconduct sent to an author’s local institution, superior, and/or ethics committee.
Redundant publication (dual submission or publication)
Aldus 2.0 evaluates submissions on the understanding that they have not been previously published in or simultaneously submitted to another journal. If authors have submitted their work to other journals, they need to mention this in the section ‘Notes’ on the OJS platform., Aldus can investigate allegations of redundant publication thoroughly and in accordance with COPE guidelines. We also ask editors and journal administrators to keep a clear record of all communications between authors, editors, and peer reviewers regarding the submissions they handle. These records are carefully stored and may be used to facilitate investigations into possible cases of misconduct. Where necessary we will contact and/or co-operate with other publishers and journals to identify cases of redundant publication.
Aldus 2.0 evaluates submissions on the understanding that they are the original work of the author(s). We expect that references made in a manuscript or article to another person’s work or idea will be credited appropriately. Equally we expect authors to gain all appropriate permissions prior to publication.
Re-use of text, data, figures, or images without appropriate acknowledgment or permission is considered plagiarism, as is the paraphrasing of text, concepts, and ideas. All allegations of plagiarism are investigated thoroughly and in accordance with COPE guidelines detailed. Many journals now systematically run submitted papers through plagiarism-detection software to identify possible cases.
Whilst striving to promote freedom of expression wherever possible, Aldus 2.0 aims to avoid publishing anything that harms the reputation of an individual, business, group, or organization unless it can be proven to be true. We take all possible measures to ensure that published work is free of any text that is, or may be considered to be libellous, slanderous, or defamatory. We are also against any form of racial and gender discrimination.
Conflict of interest
Aldus 2.0 is committed to transparency in areas of potential conflict of interest. We encourage our editors to publish and regularly review policies on Conflict of Interest as they relate to authors, editors and peer reviewers.
Conflict of interest exists when an author’s private interests might be seen as influencing the objectivity of research or experiment, to the point that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behaviour or judgement was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests. It is the responsibility of a manuscript’s corresponding author to confirm if co-authors hold any conflict of interest. The corresponding author may be required to co-ordinate completion of written forms from each co-author and submit these to the editor or journal administrator prior to acceptance. The following must also be declared, either through the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript or at the point of submission:
- All sources of research funding, including direct and indirect financial support, supply of equipment, or materials (including specialist statistical or writing assistance).
- The role of the research funder(s) or sponsor(s), if any, in the research design, execution, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.
- Any relevant financial and non-financial interests and relationships that might be considered likely to affect the interpretation of their findings or that editors, reviewers, or readers might reasonably wish to know. These might include, but are not limited to, patent or stock ownership, membership on a company’s board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, consultancy for a company, or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company.
Aldus 2.0 expects its journal editors to declare competing interests at the point of agreeing their position and update them annually. Aldus 2.0’s standard editor agreement obliges the editor to declare any potential conflict of interest that might arise during the term of editorship prior to entry into any agreement or position. Editors are required to recuse themselves from individual manuscripts if they themselves have a potential conflict of interest and to avoid creating potential conflicts of interest through assignment of handling editors or peer reviewers.
We encourage editors and journal administrators to consider potential conflicts of interest when assigning reviewers. Aldus 2.0 includes wording in its invitation to review stating that acceptance of the invitation implies no financial or competing interest. Where a reviewer declares potential conflict of interest the editor should select alternative reviewers. Failure to declare conflict of interest may result in removal of the reviewer from the journal database.
Fair editing and peer review
Aldus 2.0 encourages all participants in the publishing process to adhere to established principles of ethical publishing. This extends from authors to journal editors, reviewers, journal administrators, and publishing staff.
Editors have full editorial independence. Although Aldus and any publishing partners may discuss strategy, process, and policy with editors, we will never knowingly exert pressure on editors to accept manuscripts for commercial or political reasons. Aldus 2.0 has clearly defined processes and policies for the handling of contributions by the editor or members of the editorial board to ensure that, where appropriate, these submissions receive an equivalent level of peer review to any other submission.
Peer review and reviewer conduct
Aldus 2.0 supports and refers its editors to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Aldus 2.0 supports double-blind peer-reviews.
Unless otherwise specified, Aldus 2.0 expects editors and reviewers to handle all submissions in confidence. If a reviewer wishes to delegate the review or seek the opinion of a colleague on a specific aspect of the paper, they are expected to clear this with the editor in the first instance.
Any suggestion that an editor or reviewer is appropriating ideas from a manuscript they handled for the journal will be thoroughly investigated in accordance with the following COPE guidelines.
Peer review fraud
It is the responsibility of the lead author to ensure that only genuine reviewers and reviewer contact details are put forward. Any suspected or alleged instances of authors submitting fabricated reviewer details will be thoroughly investigated. If such allegations are proven, the article in question will be immediately rejected or, if already published, retracted. The journal would typically notify the authors’ institutional or local ethics council and may also impose a ban on further submissions from the author group.
Falsification and fabrication
Submitted papers found to include false or fabricated data prior to publication will be returned to the author immediately with a request for an explanation. If no explanation is received or if the explanation provided is considered unsatisfactory, the journal will notify the authors’ institution, local ethical committee, or superior. The journal may also refuse to accept further submissions from the author for a defined period. Examples of data falsification or fabrication include: image manipulation; cropping of gels/images to change context; omission of selected data; or making-up data sets. Aldus 2.0 recognises that falsification is not always deliberate and will encourage to consider each case on its terms.