Our Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement is based on the Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, the International Standards for Editors and Authors, Ethical Guidelines of the AMS and the Code of Practice of European Mathematical Society Ethics Committee.
The editor is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision. The editor should maintain the integrity of the academic record, preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.
The editor evaluates manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s).
The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. The editor should seek so ensure a fair and appropriate peer-review process. The editor should recuse oneself from handling manuscripts (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor, or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers.
1. The journal takes plagiarism very seriously and will not tolerate any form of plagiarism.
2. All submissions will be checked for plagiarism. If plagiarism is detected, the editorial team will reject the submission and notify the authors.
3. If plagiarism is discovered after an article has been published, the journal will publish a retraction notice in the next available issue. The retraction notice will include the title of the article, the authors, and a brief explanation of the plagiarism.
4. The authors may also face further disciplinary action, such as being banned from submitting to the journal in the future.
5. It is the responsibility of the authors to properly cite all sources used in their work. The journal recommends using a citation management tool to ensure that all sources are properly cited.
Citation manipulation refers to the practice of manipulating the number or nature of citations in a published work in order to artificially inflate the impact or importance of the work. This can be done through a variety of means, such as self-citation (excessively citing one's own previous work), citation cartels (arranging with colleagues to excessively cite each other's work), or citation fraud (fabricating citations to non-existent or irrelevant sources).
Citation manipulation is considered unethical in the research community because it undermines the integrity of the publication process and can lead to the dissemination of false or misleading information. It can also unfairly influence the perceived impact or importance of a particular piece of work, leading to a distorted view of the state of the field.
To avoid engaging in citation manipulation, it is important to accurately and honestly cite relevant sources in your work. This includes properly citing your own previous work, as well as the work of others. It is also important to be aware of any potential conflicts of interest and to disclose them when submitting your work for publication. Finally, it is essential to follow the guidelines and best practices of the journal or conference to which you are submitting your work, as these will often include specific requirements for citation and acknowledgement.
Fabrication and falsification
Fabrication refers to the act of making up or inventing data or results that did not actually occur. This can include creating data or results out of thin air, manipulating or altering existing data or results, or selectively reporting only certain results while leaving out others.
Falsification refers to the act of altering or manipulating data or results in order to make them appear different from what was actually observed or measured. This can include changing, omitting, or adding data or results, or manipulating the methods used to collect or analyze the data.
Both fabrication and falsification are considered unethical practices in the research community because they undermine the integrity of the research process and can lead to the dissemination of false or misleading information. These practices can also have serious consequences, including the retraction of published work and damage to the reputation of the researchers involved.
To avoid engaging in fabrication or falsification, it is important to accurately and honestly report all data and results, and to use sound and appropriate methods to collect and analyze the data. Researchers should also be transparent about any potential conflicts of interest and disclose them when submitting their work for publication.
Authorship and acknowledgements
Authorship refers to the process of determining who is responsible for the intellectual content of a published work. In general, authorship should be based on a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the research study.
Proper authorship is an important aspect of publication ethics because it allows readers to understand who is responsible for the work and how it was conducted. It is also important because authorship often carries certain rights and responsibilities, such as the right to be cited as the source of the work and the responsibility to ensure that the work is accurate and ethical.
In addition to determining authorship, it is also important to properly acknowledge the contributions of others who may have assisted with the research or provided support in other ways. This can include acknowledging the contributions of research assistants, funding agencies, or organizations that provided resources or facilities for the research.
1. The journal encourages authors to notify the editorial team of any errors or inaccuracies in their published articles as soon as possible.
2. Authors should provide a detailed explanation of the error and how it should be corrected.
3. The editorial team will review the request and, if approved, will publish a correction notice in the next available issue of the journal.
4. The correction notice will include the title of the article, the authors, and a brief description of the error and how it was corrected.
A retraction is the act of formally withdrawing a published work due to serious errors or misconduct. Retractions can occur for a variety of reasons, including the discovery of significant errors or inaccuracies in the work, plagiarism, or research misconduct such as fabrication or falsification of data.
Retractions are a serious matter in the research community because they can undermine the integrity of the scientific record and can lead to the dissemination of false or misleading information. They can also damage the reputation of the researchers involved and can have negative consequences for the funding and support of their work.
A retractions is issued with a statement explaining the reason for the retraction.
Responsibilities of authors
1. Individual researchers and authors should understand and uphold high standards of ethical behaviour, particularly in relation to the publication and dissemination of their research. An aspect of good practice is the granting of proper credit, and the referencing of the work of others, with appropriate bibliographic references.
It is important to note that it is not unethical to be mistaken in the attribution, or lack of attribution, of results, provided that authors have carefully sought to determine whether their claimed results are new, and provided that errors of attribution are corrected in a timely and appropriate manner, as they are discovered or pointed out.
Publication of mathematical results as one’s own when the author has learned of the results from others, for example through published material, lectures, conversation, or earlier informal publication, constitutes plagiarism: this is a form of theft, is unethical, and constitutes serious misconduct.
2. Each co-author should have contributed signiﬁcantly to the research reported in any published work, and each person who contributed signiﬁcantly to the relevant research should be named as a co-author. Further, all named authors should accept joint responsibility for any submitted manuscript and ﬁnal publication. It is misconduct for one author to submit and to publish joint research without the consent of his or her named co-authors.
3. Most mathematics is published by the submission of manuscripts to journals or conference proceedings (including those that will appear only online), or by the writing of books. Our guiding principle is that an author or authors who submit a work to editors or publishers take responsibility for the integrity of what they have written, seeking carefully to ensure that the mathematics presented is correct and that the work of others is appropriately acknowledged.
4. In mathematics simultaneous or concurrent submission of a manuscript describing the same research to more than one publication constitutes misconduct. Similarly, in mathematics the publication of the same research in more than one journal or outlet without appropriate acknowledgement and citation constitutes misconduct.
5. Translations of published or unpublished works should always fully acknowledge the source of the work.
Mathematicians should not make public claims of potential new theorems or the resolution of particular mathematical problems unless they are able to provide full details in a timely manner.
Responsibilities of editors and publishers
1. It is recommended that journals publishing mathematics should establish and conspicuously present their standards for ethical behaviour in publishing, and specify their responsibilities and the steps to be taken to investigate and respond to suspicions or accusations of misconduct. Journals should respond to an author’s complaints with respect and due process.
2. Editors should adhere to high standards of ethical treatment of all authors in arriving at a responsible and objective decision about publication. An editor should withdraw from any editorial duties that would involve a personal, commercial, or professional conﬂict of interest. An editor should also avoid any misuse of their privileged position or of information received as part of their editorial duties to inﬂuence the handling of their own papers, or those of colleagues, students, or personal acquaintances. Certainly no information received in conﬁdence should ever be used in the editor’s own work.
3. It is recommended that journals publishing mathematics should make clear their policy and practices for handling submissions. In particular, an editor or publisher should acknowledge receipt of a manuscript. A publisher should ensure that the progress of consideration of a submitted manuscript is monitored, and seek diligently to avoid excessive delays in either the refereeing of a paper or the decision process. The publisher must obtain consent to publish either from one author acting on behalf of all authors, or from all authors.
The date of submission of, and the date of any signiﬁcant changes to, a manuscript should be published; this is important, in particular, in cases of disputes concerning priority.
4. Publishers have an obligation to present mathematical papers and books in a clear and precise format, and they should ensure that the mathematical symbols, words, and sentences that are used in the published work are clear and are not a barrier to understanding. It is misconduct on the part of publishers merely to reproduce without improvement submitted manuscripts that are badly written or presented.
5. Editors and publishers should consider carefully and make objective judgements about the acceptance of submitted manuscripts. Normally this will be on the basis of reports from appropriate referees, but the Committee recognises that it will sometimes be clear to editors that a submitted manuscript is considerably below the standards of the journal, or not in an appropriate subject area, and can therefore be rejected without submission to referees; in this case, the authors should be courteously informed of this rejection in a timely and reasoned manner.
6. The editors should inform potential authors of decisions taken in a courteous and timely manner, always passing on constructive criticism and information provided by the referees. Editors may decide that it is appropriate that certain comments provided by the referees should be conﬁdential to the Editorial Board, and not passed on verbatim to the authors.
7. An author may communicate to the editors the information that a mathematical statement or an attribution in his or her published article is incorrect. In the case where
this information is signiﬁcant, it is recommended that the editors publish a correction or retraction, preferably written by the original author.
8. In some cases, it may be pointed out to the editors by another person that certain statements or attributions in an article appear to be incorrect. In these cases, the editors should consider the comments carefully and react in a proportionate manner; when appropriate, they should insist that the authors write a correction or retraction.
9. In rare cases, the editors may become convinced that parts of a work that they have published have been plagiarised from another source. In these cases, the editors should request the authors to submit for publication a substantial retraction; if this is not forthcoming, the editors themselves should publish a statement giving details of the plagiarism involved.
10. Many articles are ﬁrst published on the journal web site. It may become apparent that an article so published contains mathematical errors, incorrect attributions, or has been plagiarised in whole or in part. It is recommended that publishers retain the original article for the historical record, but that they indicate by addition at a later speciﬁc date appropriate corrections, as they would for a printed article. In extreme cases, it may be that the publishers should indicate that the article has been ‘withdrawn’ either at the request of the authors or by a decision of the publishers; in this case, any subsequent printed version should reﬂect this decision.
11. A publisher of journals or books should not list on any of its publications a person as ‘editor’ or ‘editorial advisor’ or similar without full disclosure of this to the person concerned and receipt of his or her explicit agreement. The name of any person who resigns from such a position must quickly be removed from the displayed list.
12. Any person listed as editor or editorial advisor should be aware of, and content with, the standards and editorial procedures and policies of the journal, and be willing to act in extreme cases when it is clear that the publishers are not following this Code.
Responsibilities of referees
1. Referees should adhere to high standards of ethical treatment of all authors in arriving at responsible and objective recommendations about the publication of material that they assess. Referees should seek to validate the correctness, signiﬁcance, novelty, and clarity of a manuscript under consideration, and then report their ﬁndings to the editor in a careful and constructive manner. Nevertheless, ﬁnal responsibility for the published work lies with the authors.
2. A person asked to accept the task of refereeing a paper may feel that there is a potential personal or professional conﬂict of interest, for example, when he or she is asked to referee a manuscript from a recent student, collaborator, or colleague. In such cases, the potential referee should discuss with the editor any possible conﬂicts of interest, and continue to act only with the agreement of the editor.
3. Once they have accepted the task of refereeing a manuscript, referees should seek to report in a timely manner, taking into account the length of the manuscript and the requests of the editors.
4. A referee should eschew the use of privileged information gleaned from a manuscript under review.
5. A referee who suspects any element of plagiarism in a manuscript under consideration, or any other unethical behaviour, should quickly report these concerns to the editor.
Responsibilities of users of bibliometric data
1. Whilst accepting that mathematical research is and should be evaluated by appropriate authorities, and especially by those that fund mathematical research, the Committee sees grave danger in the routine use of bibliometric and other related measures to assess the alleged quality of mathematical research and the performance of individuals or small groups of people.
2. It is irresponsible for institutions or committees assessing individuals for possible promotion or the award of a grant or distinction to base their decisions on automatic responses to bibliometric data.
3. It is unethical to manipulate references within an article or to arrange the publication of articles for the purpose of artiﬁcially inﬂuencing the bibliometric data, impact factors, and citation counts that are generated.
4. It is unethical to include inappropriate citations of one’s own work or of the work of particular colleagues or of articles in journals with which the author has a connection.
5. It is misconduct for publishers to advertise their own journals by the quotation of insecure or partial or tendentious bibliometric data.
Reporting ethical violations
If any party involved in the publication process becomes aware of an ethical violation, they should report it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will conduct an investigation and take appropriate action.
In cases where a researcher or author is found to have violated publication ethics, the following sanctions may be imposed:
A formal letter of warning;
Issuing a correction or retraction;
Imposing a ban on the researcher or author submitting work to the journal for a specified period of time;
Notifying the researcher or author's institution or funding agency of the breach of publication ethics;
Revoking the researcher or author's publishing privileges with the journal permanently.
The severity of the sanction will depend on the nature and severity of the violation. The journal reserves the right to impose any of the above sanctions, or a combination of them, as it sees fit.
By adhering to these principles, we strive to maintain the integrity and credibility of the scientific record and to support the ethical conduct of research.