PUBLICATION ETHICS

A&R is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. A&R will not accept manuscripts misrepresenting research results and expects its authors to conduct research with the professionalism of scientific ethics. 

A&R follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors to promote high ethical standards including rigour, honesty, integrity and respect for life, the law and the public good,  and will act upon any infringement of such practices.

Adherence to the ethical guidelines noted below ensures the integrity and credibility of the publication process in A&R. Violations may result in appropriate actions, including rejection of manuscripts, retractions, or reporting to relevant authorities.

1. A&R Editorial Team Responsibilities

1.1 Fair Play

Submitted manuscripts are evaluated exclusively on the basis of their academic merit and their relevance to the Journal's scope. A&R does not reach publication decisions based on the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.

1.2 Anonymity and Confidentiality

The A&R Editorial Team ensures that anonymity is upheld during the review process, safeguarding the personal details of the author(s) and the reviewer(s). No information about submitted manuscripts and/or personal data (partial or complete) are disclosed to third parties except for potential reviewers and editorial advisers, as appropriate.

Unpublished material and data under no circumstances will be used in the personal research and/or publications of the A&R Editorial Team, except if approved by the author's explicit written consent.

1.3 Conflicts of Interest

Members of the A&R Editorial Team will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts that result in a conflict of interest based on collaborative, competitive or other connections with the author(s), companies, and/or institutions. In such cases, available members of the Editorial Board will oversee the manuscript review process.

1.4 Publication Decisions

The A&R Editorial Team and the Editor-in-Chief ensure that all submitted manuscripts considered for publication undergo double-blind peer-review by experts in the fields of the scope of the Journal. The final decision on the manuscripts’ publication rests upon the Editor-in-Chief following the reviewers’ guidance, the Journal’s and the Editorial Boards’ policies and current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism.

2. Peer Reviewers' Responsibilities

2.1 Contribution to Editorial Decisions

A robust, double-blind peer review process assists the Editor-in-Chief in making editorial decisions. The process also assists the author in improving the manuscript before publication.

2.2 Promptness

Invited referees who either feel unqualified to review the manuscript or think that a timely review is impossible should decline the invitation and notify the Editor-in-Chief so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

2.3 Confidentiality

All manuscripts received are confidential, irrespective of the review outcome. Manuscripts are not to be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief in cases that warrant such a course of action.

2.4 Standards of Objectivity

The A&R Editorial Team asks for reviews to conduct their evaluations objectively and constructively engage with papers. No personal criticism and/or attack on the author is acceptable and such reviewers will be removed from the Journal’s database. Observations on the manuscripts should be clearly formulated and supported with appropriate arguments.

2.5 Acknowledgement of Sources

Reviewers should search and identify relevant published work not cited by the author(s). Previously reported statements, observations, derivations, or arguments should be accompanied by relevant citations. Reviewers should inform the A&R Editorial Team and the Editor-in-Chief regarding any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published data they have personal knowledge.

2.6 Disclosure and Conflict of Interest

Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should declare and not consider evaluating manuscripts with conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any authors, companies, or institutions connected to the submission.

3. Authors' Duties

3.1 Reporting Standards

Authors reporting results of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and an objective discussion of its significance. Equally, underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. Manuscripts submitted for consideration should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Unethical behaviour, such as fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements, will not be accepted or tolerated and will result in the barring of authors from future consideration.

3.2 Originality and Plagiarism

Authors submitting their manuscripts for consideration ensure that their work is original, free of plagiarized material, and properly cited and referenced. A&R will not consider works submitted elsewhere for consideration or undergoing evaluation. Multiple, redundant, and/or concurrent publications are considered research/academic malpractice and will not be tolerated.

As a member of CrossRef, A&R may use plagiarism detection software to screen the submissions. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

3.3 Acknowledgement of Sources

Proper acknowledgement of the work of others must always be provided. Authors should also cite publications that have influenced the nature of the reported work.

3.4 Authorship of Manuscripts

Authorship should be limited to those who have contributed significantly to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. Those who made significant contributions to the study should be listed as co-authors. In cases that other participated in certain, substantive aspects of the research, they should be named in the ‘Acknowledgements’ Section.

The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the author list of the manuscript and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission to the Journal for publication. Any changes to the authorship list post-submission require the consent of all study authors.

According to the COPE position statement on Al tools, Generative AI (ChatGTP, Bard, etc.) cannot perform the role of authors and cannot be listed as authors. The use of AIGC should be fully and accurately disclosed and stated in the ‘Methods’ or ‘Acknowledgments’ section in an open, transparent, and detailed manner.

3.5 Fundamental Errors in Published Works

Authors have scientific and ethical obligations to promptly notify the A&R Editorial Team and its Editor-in-Chief in case of significant errors or inaccuracies in their published article. Moreover, they should cooperate with them to either retract the paper or publish an appropriate erratum after explaining how the error impacts the article. Editorial decisions on best conduct are subject to the nature of the error and include: (1) a formal note or correction or (2) full retraction. In both cases, there should be an explicit note on the affected parts of the article.

3.6 Citation Policy

Authors should ensure that material from other sources (including their own published work) is appropriately cited and appropriate permissions are obtained where relevant.

Authors should not excessively self-cite, cite advertisements or advertorial material, or copy references from works they have not read.

Similarly, authors should not preferentially cite their or their friends' peers' or institutions' publications.

Under COPE guidelines, we expect that "original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations." This condition also applies to an author's own work. COPE have produced a discussion document on citation manipulation with recommendations for best practice.

4. Updating Published Papers

A&R will be responsible for correcting discovered scientific errors or ethical issues. To provide transparency to authors and readers of any changes, A&R has established the following standardized criteria for updates to any published paper.

4.1 Minor Errors

Minor errors (such as spelling, grammar, spacing errors) that do not affect readability or meaning do not qualify as updates, regardless of when or by whom the error was introduced.

4.2 Metadata Errors

If A&R Editorial Office considers it a reasonable request, it may complete a request to correct a paper metadata error (such as title, author name, abstract). Once approved, the paper will be updated and re-published on A&R website. After that, all relevant index databases are notified to ensure that the database version has also been revised.

4.3 Corrections

In the following situations, a request to correct errors can be completed, but it must also include issuing an appropriate erratum:

  • Errors that may affect scientific interpretation. For examples: error in a misleading section of an otherwise reliable publication; data or interpretation errors (which do not affect the final conclusion).
  • Scientifically relevant formatting changes. For example: missing or unclear figures/tables.
  • Addition or removal of an author from authorship list (including addition or removal of entire affiliations).
  • Addition or removal of an entire reference.
  • Addition or removal of a significant amount of text within the back matter. For example: funding, author contributions, acknowledgements.

Once the update request is approved, the paper will be updated and re-published on A&R website, along with the publication of a Correction. This erratum is a separate publication, linked to an updated paper, but published in the latest issue of the journal. The aim of the correction is to inform all readers that there have been significant changes to the paper and that a revised version is now available on the website. After these updates, all relevant index databases are notified to ensure that the database version has also been revised.

4.4 Retractions

A&R is committed to maintaining the integrity of the academic record and therefore may retract a manuscript if necessary. A&R always follows the recommendations of the COPE for retraction.

A&R has always adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards any academic misconduct that violates academic morals and ethics, such as inadvertent errors in the research process, serious ethical violations, falsification of data, massive plagiarism, etc. Any manuscript containing the aforementioned academic misconduct will be retracted by A&R as soon as it is discovered.

If a Retraction is published, the original publication is amended with a “RETRACTED” watermark but will still be available on A&R’s website for future reference. However, retracted articles should not be cited and used for further research, as they cannot be relied upon. Retractions are published using the same authorship and affiliation as the paper being retracted, so that the notice and the original retracted paper can be properly found by readers within indexing databases. The Retraction notice will also be published in the current Issue of A&R. Partial Retractions might be published in cases where results are only partially wrong.

A paper will only be completely removed from A&R’s website and relevant indexing databases in very exceptional circumstances, where leaving it online would constitute an illegal act or be likely to lead to significant harm.