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Publication ethics and malpractice statement


The publication ethics and malpractice principles comply with the COPE, DOAJ, OASPA, and WAME Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing and NISO Recommended Practices for the Presentation and Identification of E-Journals.

Submission, peer review, editorial process

The process is facilitated by our own electronic manuscript management system, generating e-mail messages, which include step-by-step description and list all the necessary instructions and links. Please note that personal information stored on Historia naturalis bulgarica’s site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the journal and will not be made available to any other party.

— Publication and authorship

The manuscripts will be subjected to peer review before acceptance by at least two peers qualified to evaluate them. The factors considered in review are: originality, significance, relevance, readability, language. The last word for decisions lies with the corresponding editor. Any appeals should be directed to the editor-in-chief. The possible decisions are: [1] accept, [2] accept with minor revision, [3] major revision (not acceptable in its current state) and [4] reject.

— Author’s responsibility

The authors must agree that their article will be published in open access and under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). They must confirm that the manuscripts are their original work, that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere, and that it is not currently being considered for publication in another journal. They must submit the manuscript in English and following the Author guidelines. It is expected that all authors indicated have contributed to the study. They must notify the corresponding editor of any conflicts of interest. The corresponding author should provide the declaration of any conflicts of interest on behalf of all authors. They must indicate all sources used in the manuscript’s creation. They should acknowledge all funders of the study and list all competing interests. Other sources of support (e.g. language editing, editorial assistance) should also be clearly mentioned, normally in an acknowledgement.

— Reviewer’s responsibility

The manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two experts. Reviewers may remain anonymous. They should check whether the manuscript is scientifically coherent, how interesting it is, and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable. They are not expected to edit the manuscript linguistically, but to pay attention to its scientific base. If reviewers recognise that a manuscript needs linguistic editing, they must inform both the authors and the editor. In case of disagreement between the reviews, the editors can ask for a third reviewer. They must be polite and constructive; reviews that may be insulting will be revoked. They must keep all information about the articles confidential. They should also report any substantial likeness between the manuscript and any other already published article.

— Editor’s responsibility

Editors have the main responsibility for the scientific quality of the articles and base their decisions entirely on the article’s importance, originality, and relevance to the journal’s scope. The editor makes the final decision to accept the manuscript or not and his/her name is printed as ‘Editor’ in the footer of each paper. Editors should ensure that all research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. They are expected to correct small errors during the editing process. They are not expected to edit the manuscript linguistically, but to pay attention to its scientific base. They should consider the help of consultants and authors when trying to improve the manuscript. They must act if they suspect misconduct and try to do anything to resolve the problem. They should preserve the anonymity of reviewers, unless the later decide to disclose their identities.

Informed consent

Research participants have the right to decide what will happen to their personal data collected. The participants’ identifying details should not be published unless this is essential for scientific purposes and the participant gave written consent for publication. If applicable, the following statement must be included in the text: ‘Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the research.’

Conflicts of interest

Throughout the duration of the editorial process, the following relations between authors and editors are regarded conflict of interest: present colleagues, coauthors, and students for whom the editor was chairman of a committee. In the course of the submission, the authors are advised to identify all possible conflicts of interest with editors of Historia naturalis bulgarica. After the manuscripts are attached to an editor, particular editors are required to notify the editor-in-chief for all potential conflicts of interest with the authors. Once the manuscripts are submitted for review, reviewers are advised to notify the editor of eventual conflicts which may exist.

Appeal and open debate

The journal encourages academical debate and constructive criticism. Authors should respond to any correspondence from the editors prior to publication. They are not allowed to ignore unfavourable remarks about their manuscript and choose not to reply to critical comments. No reviewer’s note may contain a personal attack against any of the authors. Editors should edit or delete personal or insulting allegations. Authors must file their appeal for editorial decisions addressed to the editor-in-chief. Authors are not recommended to contact members of the editorial board and editors directly with appeals. The editors will act as mediators in all discussions between reviewers and authors and the editor-in-chief will do the same in all discussions between editors and authors.

Misconduct

Misconduct by researchers may involve: (1) manipulation of research materials, equipment, and/or processes; (2) change or omit data or results so that the study is not precisely presented in the manuscript; (3) plagiarism. The misconduct does not include the so-called honest error (which can be a result of miscalculation or experimental error) or differences of opinion. In case of suspicion of misconduct, the editors must act following the COPE guidelines.

— Plagiarism, duplicate publication

Plagiarism is a case of misconduct, which is the appropriation of other person’s ideas, results or words without giving proper citation. Because plagiarism is a theft of intellectual property all manuscripts submitted to Historia naturalis bulgarica which contain significant non-attributed texts copied from other articles will be rejected. The editors can check the manuscripts for possible plagiarism using ‘Antiplagiat’ or similar service. Cases where authors reuse large parts of their own publications without giving a clear reference to the original source are duplication of work. It is also not an acceptable practice for slightly modified published works to be sent to multiple journals.

When there is a case of plagiarism in an already published article or case of duplicate publication, a report will be made in the journal and a retraction procedure will start.

Responses to eventual misconduct

All claims of misconduct must be reported to the editor-in-chief. After an examination, the editor-in-chief and editors should give a conclusion if the case presents a possibility of misconduct. All statements must be confidential and written references to the question must be anonymous. If comments on possible misconduct are submitted by editors or reviewers, an explanation will be sought personally from the authors. If the issue is not a result of either an error or misunderstanding, the article must be rejected or retracted and the editorial board can impose a ban on that author’s publication in Historia naturalis bulgarica for a definite period of time. In case of published plagiarism or duplicate publication, a notification will be published in both journals. When the allegations refer to authors, the editorial process for their manuscripts will be stopped, an investigation will be done even if they withdraw the manuscript, and application of responses, mentioned below will be considered. When claims concern editors or reviewers, they will be immediately replaced. Reviewers or editors found to have participated in scientific misconduct will be removed from any further affiliation with Historia naturalis bulgarica.

— Article retraction

An article may be retracted for the following reasons: (1) unreliable data based on clear evidence of a misconduct (deceptive use of the data for example) or honest error; (2) unnecessary publication, such as findings that have previously been published somewhere else without proper cross-referencing, authorisation or justification; (3) plagiarism or any other type of unethical research. Retraction should only occur after a very careful consideration by the editors of statements coming from the readers, authors, or editors. The PDF document of the retracted article will remain on the site, clearly marked ‘Retracted’. In some cases, especially for legal reasons, the retracted article might be replaced with a corrected version with a link to the original and a retraction notice.

— Expression of concern

Otherwise, the editors must consider publishing an expression of concern, if there is evidence of: (1) unconvincing evidence of research misconduct by the authors; (2) unreliable findings, which are unreliable but the institution of the authors is not going to investigate the case; (3) conviction that the investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication has either not been, or will not be, fair or persuasive; (4) an investigation is ongoing but a decision will not be available soon.

Errata and corrigenda

Minor errors in a published article that do not affect its content can be corrected by publishing of an erratum. This is done by replacing the original PDF document with a corrected one, with detailed description of errors and implemented changes. The original PDF document will be archived and made accessible through a link in this exact section. When significant errors are found in a published article, a corrigenda should be published. Reasons may comprise changes in authorship, inadvertent errors in published research findings, mistakes in labelling of tables or figures, cases where the mistakes affect nomenclatural acts, and others. These must be published as a separate publication.