Publication Ethics: The publication process at Bulletin of Biotechnology (Bull. Biotechnol.) is the basis of the improvement and dissemination of information objectively and respectfully. Therefore, the procedures in this process improves the quality of the studies. Peer-reviewed studies are the ones that support and materialize the scientific method. At this point, it is of utmost importance that all parties included in the publication process (authors, readers and researchers, publisher, reviewers and editors) comply with the standards of ethical considerations. The journal expects all parties to hold the following ethical responsibilities.
Ethical Responsibilities of Authors: The authors who submit their manuscripts to Bulletin of Biotechnology are expected to comply with the following ethical responsibilities:
Author(s) must submit original studies to the journal. If they utilize or use other studies, they must make the in-text and end-text references accurately and completely.
People who have not contributed to the study at the intellectual level should not be indicated as author.
If the manuscripts submitted to be published are subject of conflicting interests or relations, these must be explained.
During the review process of their manuscripts, author(s) may be asked to supply raw data. In such a case, author(s) should be ready to submit such data and information to the editorial and scientific boards.
Author(s) should document that they have the participants' consent and the necessary permissions related to the sharing and research/analysis of the data that are used.
Author(s) bears the responsibility to inform the editor of the journal or publisher if they happen to notice a mistake in their study which is in early release or publication process and to cooperate with the editors during the correction or withdrawal process.
Authors cannot submit their studies to multiple journals simultaneously. Each submission can be made only after the previous one is completed. A study published in another journal cannot be submitted to Bulletin of Biotechnology.
Author responsibilities are given in a study (e.g.: adding an author, reordering of author names) whose review process has begun cannot be changed.
Ethical Responsibilities of Editors: The editor and field editors of Bulletin of Biotechnology should hold the following ethical responsibilities that are based on the guides "COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors" and "COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors" published as open Access by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
General Duties and Responsibilities: Editors are responsible for each study published in the Bulletin of Biotechnology. In this respect, the editors have the following roles and responsibilities:
• Making efforts to meet the demand for knowledge from readers and authors,
• Ensuring the continuous development of the journal,
• Managing the procedures aimed to improve the quality of the studies published in the journal,
• Supporting freedom of expression,
• Ensuring academic integrity,
• Following the procedures without making concessions on intellectual property rights and ethical standards,
• Being transparent and clear in issues that require correction or explanation.
Relationships with Readers: Editors must make decisions taking into consideration the knowledge, skills and expectations of all readers, researchers and practitioners need. They must also ensure that the published studies contribute to the literature and be original. Moreover, they must take notice of the feedback received from researchers and practitioners and provide explanatory and informative feedback.
Relationships with Authors: Editors have the following duties and responsibilities in their relations with authors:
• Editors must make positive or negative decisions about the studies' importance, originality, validity, clarity in wording and suitability with the journal's aims and objectives.
• Editors must accept the studies that are within the scope of the publication into the pre-review process unless there are serious problems with the study.
• Editors must not ignore positive suggestions made by reviewers unless there are serious problems with the study.
• New editors, unless there are serious issues, must not change the previous editor's decisions about the studies.
• “Blind Review and Review Process” must be published and editors must prevent possible diversions in the defined processes.
• Editors must publish an “Authors Guide” that is comprehensive enough in answering queries by authors. This guide must be updated regularly.
• Authors should be provided with explanatory and informative feedback.
Relationships with Reviewers: Editors have the following duties and responsibilities in their relations with reviewers:
• choose reviewers according to the subject of the study.
• provide the information and guidance reviewers may need during the review process.
• observe whether there are conflicting interests between reviewers and authors.
• keep the identities of reviewers confidential in a blind review.
• encourage the reviewers to review the manuscript in an unbiased, scientific and objective tone.
• evaluate reviewers regularly based on criteria like performance and timing.
• develop practices and policies that increase the performance of reviewers.
• take necessary steps to update the reviewer pool dynamically.
• prevent unkind and unscientific reviews.
• make effort to ensure the reviewer pool has a wide range.
Relationships with the Editorial Board: Editors must make sure that the members of the editorial board follow the procedures in accordance with the publication policies and guidelines, and must inform the members about the publication policies and developments. The editors must also train new members of the editorial board and provide the information they need. Moreover, editors must
• ensure that the members of the editorial board review the manuscripts in an unbiased and independent manner.
• select the new members of the editorial board from those who can contribute to the journal and are qualified enough.
• send manuscripts for review based on the subject of expertise of the editorial board members.
• regularly communicate with the editorial board.
• arrange regular meetings with the editorial board for the development of publication policies and the journal.
Relationships with the Journal's Owner and Publisher: The relationship between the editors and publisher is based on the principle of the independence of editors. All the decisions made by the editors are independent of the publisher and the owner of the journal as required by the agreement made between editors and publisher.
Editorial and Blind Review Processes: Editors are obliged to comply with the policies of “Blind Review and Process” stated in the journal's publication policies. Therefore, the editors ensure that each manuscript is reviewed in an unbiased, fair and timely manner.
Quality Assurance: Editors must make sure that articles in the journal are published in accordance with the publication policies of the journal and international standards.
Protection of Personal Information: Editors are supposed to protect the personal information related with the subjects or visuals in the studies being reviewed, and to reject the study if there is no documentation of the subjects' consent. Furthermore, editors are supposed to protect the personal information of the authors, reviewers and readers.
Encouraging Ethical Rules and Protection of Human and Animal Rights: Editors are supposed to protect human and animal rights in the studies being reviewed and must reject the experimental studies which do not have ethical and related committee’s approval about the population given in such studies.
Precautions against possible Abuse and Malpractice: Editors are supposed to take precautions against possible abuse and malpractice. They must conduct investigations meticulously and objectively in determining and evaluating complaints about such situations. They must also share the results of the investigation.
Ensuring Academic Integrity: Editors must make sure that the mistakes, inconsistencies or misdirections in studies are corrected quickly.
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: Editors are responsible for protecting the intellectual property rights of all the articles published in the journal and the rights of the journal and author(s) in cases where these rights are violated. Also, editors must take the necessary precautions in order to prevent the content of all published articles from violating the intellectual property rights of other publications.
Constructiveness and Openness to Discussion: Editors must
• pay attention to the convincing criticism about studies published in the journal and must have a constructive attitude towards such criticism.
• grant the right of reply to the author(s) of the criticized study.
• not ignore or exclude the study that includes negative results.
Complaints: Editors must examine the complaints from authors, reviewers or readers and respond to them in an explanatory and enlightening manner.
Conflicting Interests: Editors, acknowledging that there may be conflicting interests between reviewers and other editors, guarantee that the publication process of the manuscripts will be completed in an independent and unbiased manner
Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers: The fact that all manuscripts are reviewed through “Blind Review” has a direct influence on the publication quality. This process ensures confidentiality by an objective and independent review. The review process at Bulletin of Biotechnology is carried out on the principle of double-blind review. Reviewers do not contact the authors directly, and the reviews and comments are conveyed through the journal management system. In this process, the reviewer views on the evaluation forms and full texts are assigned to the author(s) by the editor. Therefore, the reviewers doing review work for Bulletin of Biotechnology are supposed to bear the following ethical responsibilities:
• agree to review only in their subject of expertise.
• review in an unbiased and confidential manner.
• inform the editor of the journal if they think that they encounter a conflict of interests and decline to review the manuscript during the review process.
• dispose of the manuscripts they have reviewed in accordance with the principle of confidentiality after the review process. Reviewers can use the final versions of the manuscripts they have reviewed only after publication.
• review the manuscript objectively and only in terms of its content and ensure that nationality, gender, religious and political beliefs, and economic apprehension do not influence the review.
• review the manuscript in a constructive and kind tone, avoid making personal comments including hostility, slander and insult.
• review the manuscript they have agreed to review on time and in accordance with the ethical rules stated above.
Unethical Behaviour: Should you encounter any unethical act or content in Bulletin of Biotechnology apart from the ethical responsibilities listed above, please notify the journal.