The Agriculture and Food Sciences Research (e-ISSN: 2411-6653/p-ISSN: 2518-0193) considers integrity, transparency, and academic quality to be the paramount principles that we expect our employees, authors, reviewers, and editors. In this document, we outline and detail the ethics and methods that we hold in place to ensure that these principles are maintained.
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) provides guidelines meant particularly for those in the journalist sector (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011 and 2018). It is these guidelines that AFSR follow to allow our editors and publishers to maintain the highest of publishing ethical standards.
Committee on Publication Ethics (2011, March). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. [The file can be downloaded locally here]
Committee on Publication Ethics (2018, January). Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. [The file can be downloaded locally here]
Standards are further followed through those set by relevant industry associations, such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).
Our practices as a publication are conducted with the intent to maintain the highest of academy standards, regarding the principles of honesty, transparency, academic excellence in the practices of research, and respect for all subject participants. Additionally, the Agriculture and Food Sciences Research editorial teams are expected to provide guidelines and policies for authors in the assistance of research integrity and ethics appropriate to their subject matter and/or discipline.
Anyone who may be concerned that research published by the Agriculture and Food Sciences Research has not been carried out in line with these Research Publishing Ethics Guidelines, or the above principles, should raise their concerns with the relevant editor or email email@example.com. Concerns will be addressed following appropriate COPE guidelines by escalating each matter with our Publishing Ethics Committee if necessary.
- Publication decisions: Editors have complete responsibility and authority to accept or reject an article. Such responsibilities should be exercised taking only into consideration the relevance of the work to AFSR’s scope and the quality of the content. The latter consideration will take into account the quality of the methods, validity of the experiments, and the quality of the conclusions.
- Confidentiality: Confidentiality of all submitted papers must be regarded as of paramount importance to the editors and editorial teams, and the guarantees of such must be assured to the authors, reviewers, the AFSR editorial committee, and the publisher.
- Editors should have no conflict of interest with respect to the articles they accept or reject.
- A double-blind review must be adhered to during the peer review process.
- The anonymity of reviewers must be preserved.
- In instances where errors are found, articles must be either corrected or retracted.
Peer review is critical to maintaining the standards of our publications. We expect the following from reviewers:
- Judgments should be evidential, informed, and unbiased.
- If the selected reviewer feels unable to review the paper thoroughly, or cannot promptly review the paper, the reviewer should inform the editor and withdraw from the peer review process of the paper.
- Reviewers should have no conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors, and/or the research funders. This includes exercising confidentiality with respect to all reviewed articles.
- Reviewers should point out relevant published work which has not been cited.
Authorship and Contributorship
We acknowledge that different disciplines and publication formats have different norms for who is listed as an author. In instances guidance are not provided or specified, we recommend adhering to the following examples:
- List anyone who has made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work, or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work.
- All works shall have final approval before publication.
- Agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work and ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
In the interest of best practice, the corresponding author(s) of each work is to handle the development of the manuscript(s), as well as correspondence during the publication process and confirms their authority to act on behalf of all co-authors in matters relating to the publication and development of the manuscript and to act as a point of contact for all enquiries post-publication. This also applies to the publication of all supplementary material. The corresponding author is also responsible for obtaining such agreements and for informing the co-authors of the manuscript’s status throughout the submission, review, and publication process.
For contributors who do not meet the requirements for authorship, we advise that publications credit the relevant colleagues in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section.
COPE also provides extensive resources on authorship and authorship disputes. We support our editors in dealing with any authorship disputes, including escalating or seeking advice on cases with COPE. We work with established and emerging industry standards to increase transparency in authorship (e.g., ORCID). We also support initiatives that enable transparency in authorship and contributorship, such as CRediT taxonomy.
The similarity/plagiarism rates of all published works and works in development is carried out using CrossCheck, powered by iThenticate.
Plagiarism, the act of using another’s words, data, ideas, and materials without their expressed acknowledgement and permission, can occur in respect to all types of sources and media, including:
- text, illustrations, musical quotations, extended mathematical derivations, computer code, etc.,
- material downloaded from websites or drawn from manuscripts or other media,
- published and unpublished material, including lectures, presentations, and grey literature.
We reserve the right to check all submissions through appropriate plagiarism checking tools, and AFSR exercising a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism in respect of any and all publications. Submissions containing suspected plagiarism, in whole or in part, will be rejected. Any articles discovered to have plagiarized post-publication will be retracted.
Duplicate and Redundant Publication
Duplicate or redundant publication, as defined by COPE , occurs when work, or substantial parts of such , is published more than once by the author(s) without appropriate cross-referencing or justification for the overlap. This can be in the same language or a different language.
We do not support substantial overlap between publications, unless:
- it is felt that, editorially, this will strengthen the academic discourse.
- Approval from the original publication is clearly provided.
- the source material is adequately cited.
Our readers, reviewers, and editors can raise any suspicions of plagiarism, duplicate or otherwise of another person’s work, by contacting the relevant editor or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Furthermore, any works pending submission or publication must not be under consideration with any other publication, be it journal, book, or other forms of press.
The above definition of redundant publication is available at: https://publicationethics.org/category/keywords/redundant-publication.
Conflicts of Interest and Funding
We aim to ensure that any Agriculture and Food Sciences Research publication is developed with academic integrity and representative of unbiased study. Authors submitting a manuscript to the AFSR are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest that could interfere with the objectivity or integrity of their work or that of another’s, or be perceived to influence the development and publication of a piece that is deemed unbiased or otherwise unobjective be it financial, non-financial, professional, contractual, or personal in nature. We also advise that anyone who suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest regarding any work published or under consideration by the AFSR can inform the relevant editor or email email@example.com.
Libel, Defamation, and Freedom of Expression
Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of our efforts as academic publishers, and as such we will never support the publication of false statements or any works that seek to harm the reputation of individuals, groups, or organizations. Any allegations of libel made against our publication are dealt with by our legal team, and our contributors can seek their advice on any pre-publication libel reviews.
Retractions, Corrections, and Expressions of Concern
Our journal editors will consider retractions, corrections, or expressions of concern in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. If an author is found to have made an error, the journal will issue a corrigendum. If the journal is found to have made an error, they will issue an erratum. Retractions are usually reserved for particular articles with such egregious flaws or misalignment with the editorial principles of AFSR that their findings and/or conclusions should not be relied upon. Accepted manuscripts may have minor changes that address superficial issues such as typesetting or proofreading, however, any substantive corrections will be carried out in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines.
COPE (2019) COPE Retraction guidelines — English. https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.4 Version 2: November 2019.
Image Manipulation, Falsification, and Fabrication
Where research data and findings are presented in image formats, modifying these images can sometimes misrepresent the results or their significance as such. While there can be legitimate reasons for modifying images, we advise authors against this in order to mitigate the risk of misrepresentation of the acquired data.
Fraudulent Research and Research Misconduct
Where we are made aware of misconduct of any kind by our authors, our primary concern is the integrity of the content we have published. Working with the editors and contributors to the work, COPE, and any necessary third-party organisations, any publication conclusively found to be fraudulent in any instance will be either retracted or corrected where appropriate.
We strive to follow COPE’s Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.
Data and Supporting Evidence
We support and encourage transparency and openness regarding the data, code, and any other materials obtained and observed in the conduct of research. To maintain this, authors are expected to maintain records of the supporting evidence necessary to allow readers and other contributors to understand, verify, and replicate new findings, and to supply access to the supporting evidence on reasonable request. Where appropriate, and where allowed by an employer, funding body, or others who may have an interest, we advise authors to:
- deposit data in a suitable repository or storage location for sharing and further use by others,
- describe where the data may be found in a Data Availability Statement within the publication .
Integrity of Record
We maintain a record of all works published by AFSR with accompanying metadata describing each publication. If our content is deemed to be in breach of the laws of a sovereign nation, we exercise due diligence to ensure the metadata remain accessible within that jurisdiction. Instances where the publication record requires modification, such as in the case of research misconduct leading to the retraction of a publication, the academic record as far possible. See the Retractions, Corrections and Expressions of Concern guidelines for information about how we do this.
Social media and email communication are powerful tools for sharing our publications with new and existing readers as part of our efforts to maintain engagement. However, our social media teams are expected to uphold the responsibilities that maintain the integrity of our publications and reputation by regarding and adhering to all Agriculture and Food Sciences Research social media policies and best practices in media use, and following the Advertising Standards Authority’s guidance on the marketing of publications (or equivalent bodies applicable to our global offices).
As well as advertising our own products to our readers, we allow third-party advertisements (targeted or otherwise) on our online academic platforms and some of our print publications, each within limited spaces. Our advertisements are in accordance with our data protection regulations, the Advertising Standards Authority’s guidance on the marketing of publications, and our internal compliance procedures. Where present, all advertising must:
- be independent of editorial decisions on what we publish,
- be categorically distinct from content.
We reserve the right to reject and/or remove any advertising if we suspect that it contravenes the Research Publishing Ethics Guidelines or our Code of Ethics.
PR / Media
We recommend that academic colleagues who are involved in media or publicity inform themselves of, and follow, the standards of the International Public Relations Association’s (IPRA) Code of Conduct when conducting any media communications such as press releases, public statements, or otherwise. Where we solicit or encourage media activities concerning one of our authors, editors, or publishing partners, we strive to keep them informed.
Metrics, Usage, and Reporting
We partner with a number of third parties to provide our users with metrics to illustrate the impact and reception of our content. We support the work of third parties, such as Crossref, and, where required, actively facilitate the work of such organizations (through the provision of data, access, or fees). We do not seek to control or influence any third party and we are not responsible for the metrics and rankings they produce.
The Agriculture and Food Sciences Research is also a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).