Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Peer-reviewed studies are those that embody and comply with the scientific method, and thus ensure quality standards, improvement of performance, and credibility in science. Consequently, it is important that all stakeholders (authors, readers, researchers, publishers, referees and editors) comply with the ethical principles and standards. Within this framework, Soil Studies expects all stakeholders to have the following ethical responsibilities as a part of its publication ethics.
Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
1. The manuscript has not been published and is not being submitted or considered for publication elsewhere.
2. The authors are required to make a full and correct reference to other studies. APA 6 guidelines for citation and bibliography should be taken into account.
3. Submission of an article implies that the presented work and results have not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, and that its publication is approved by all authors. All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest.
4. Authors have to be prepared to share raw data assessed in the manuscript and any related information if so requested by the editorial board within the framework of the evaluation process.
5. The text, illustrations, and any other material included in the manuscript do not infringe upon any existing copyright or other rights.
6. All authors participated in the work in a substantial way and are prepared to take public responsibility for the work and manuscript contents.
7. In case of plagiarism detected by the editorial board in a submitted or accepted manuscript, the full responsibility lies with the authors. The publisher has the right to reject and/or retract the manuscript in case of plagiarism, even it is was previously accepted. The authors are not able to object to the decision made by the journal.
8. Authors of published articles (and/or their employers or institutions) are not allowed to reuse published works without permisson.
9. Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in authors' list and (b) written confirmation from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
10. All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence their work.
11. Authors are requested to fully declare all sources of funding received for the research submitted to the Journal.
Ethical Responsibilities of Editors
1. All manuscripts are judged based on the intellectual contents, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship or political values of the authors.
2. Personal information related to the articles shall be kept confidential.
3. All identified conflicts of interest of Editorial Board members, and the observed conflicts of interest and plagiarism identified in manuscripts and published articles
must be disclosed.
4. The Editorial Board shall assume responsibility for making publication decisions for the manuscripts submitted, based on the evaluation of the candidate article, the policies of the editorial board and the copyright infringement rules.
5. Double-blind review system with at least two reviewers is used to evaluate manuscripts for publication.
6. Editors have the right to reject the manuscripts without peer-review when the manuscript:
a) is on a topic outside the scope of the Journal,
b) lacks technical merit,
c) exhibits narrow regional scope and significance,
d) presents conflicting results,
e) is poorly written,
f) represents a case of scientific misconduct.
g) When the journal is overburdened with too many submissions, editors have the
right to reject manuscripts without peer review based on their perceived merit.
Editors are responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of
Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers
Before accepting to review the manuscript:
1. Reviewers should treat manuscripts as confidential documents. This means that they cannot be shared without prior authorization from the editor and authors.
2. Reviewers should keep the ideas obtained through peer review confidential, and not use them for personal advantage.
3. Reviewers should provide objective peer review, with clear and well-founded comments and submitted in a timely manner
4. Reviewers should decline the invitation for peer review if they feel unqualified to provide a relevant report, have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the reviewed manuscript.
5. Assessment of the manuscript should be made in an objective manner, and be based exclusively on the contents of the study. It should not allow nationality, gender,religious beliefs, political beliefs and commercial concerns to influence the assessment.
Once the invitation to review the manuscript is accepted, reviewers should first check if the manuscript is reporting original research, and if so, first step of the review should be to check the methodology:
1. If the methodology is unreliable or invalid;
2. If there is any relevant part of the methods missing;
3. If there are any contradictions between conclusions and statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript.
For a general review, please use our checklist for reviewers in Soil Studies:
1. Summarize the article in a short paragraph. This shows the editor that you have read and understood the research.
2. Provide your main impressions of the article, including whether it is novel and interesting,
3. Assess whether the article conforms to the journal-specific instructions (i.e., the guidelines for authors).
4. Give specific comments and suggestions about all the elements of the manuscript, e.g. title and the abstract: Does the title accurately reflect the content? Is the abstract complete and sufficiently informative?
5. Carefully review the methodology, statistical errors, results, discussion / conclusions, and references.
6. Inform the editor if you suspect plagiarism, fraud or have other ethical concerns, providing as much detail as possible.
7. Be aware of the possibility for bias in your review. Unconscious bias can lead reviewers to make questionable decisions which can negatively impact academic publishing process
8. Do not make ad hominem comments.
9. Do not suggest to the authors to include citations to your own or your associates’ publications, unless for genuine scientific reasons.
Rights granted to Soil Studies
Soil Studies reserves the right to reject a paper even after it has been accepted, if it becomes apparent that there are serious problems with its scientific content, or the publishing policies of journal have been violated.
The Journal reserves the right to provide the article in all forms and media, so the article can be used by the latest technology even after its publication.
Article transfer service
This journal is included in our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor considers an article to be more suitable for one of the other participating journals, authors may be asked to consider transferring the article to another journal, in which case it willbe transferred automatically on behalf of the authors with no need for reformatting. Please note that the article will be reviewed again by the new journal.
Open Access Policy
All research articles published in Soil Studies are fully open access: immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.