Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The publication’s Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement is based, in large part, on the guidelines and standards developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The relevant duties and expectations of authors, reviewers, and editors of the publication are set out below.

Responsibilities of Authors

By submitting a publication to the ISTES Organization, the author(s) warrant that the publication is their own, original work and that it has neither been published previously nor is currently being considered for publication elsewhere. They also warrant that the sources of any ideas and/or words in the publication that are not their own have been properly attributed through appropriate citations and/or quotes.

Authors of publications reporting on original research should present an accurate account of the work performed, accompanied by an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the publication. The work should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. The fabrication of results and the making of fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and may be cause for rejection or retraction of a source.

Where the publication reports on commercial software, hardware, or other products, authors must include a declaration at the beginning of the work in which they must either state that no conflict of interest exists or describe the nature of any potential conflict. All sources of financial support for the research should also be disclosed in the publication.

The author(s) of a publication agree that if the work is accepted for publication by the ISTES Organization, the published work will be copyrighted using a Creative Commons “Attribution 4.0 International” license. This license allows others to freely copy, distribute, and display the copyrighted work, and derivative works based upon it, under certain specified conditions.

Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to include any images or artwork for which they do not hold copyright in their works, or to adapt any such images or artwork for inclusion in their works. The copyright holder must be made explicitly aware that the image(s) or artwork will be made freely available online as part of the publication under a Creative Commons “Attribution 4.0 International” license.

The authors’ names should be listed on the publication in order of their contribution to the work, and all authors take responsibility for their own contributions. Only those individuals who have made a substantive contribution should be listed as authors; those whose contributions are indirect or marginal (e.g., colleagues or supervisors who have reviewed drafts of the work or provided proofreading assistance, and heads of research institutes/centers/labs) should be named in an “Acknowledgments” section at the end of the work, immediately preceding the Reference List. The corresponding author must ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the publication, and that all listed co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the work and agreed to its publication.

Where an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in a work of his/hers that has been published by the ISTES Organzation, he/she has an obligation to promptly notify the editors and cooperate with them to correct the work or retract it as appropriate.

Responsibilities of Reviewers

The ISTES Organization’s reviewers perform work for the publication on a volunteer basis. Given that most of these individuals are in full-time employment, their reviewing activities for the ISTES Organization must, by necessity, not be their top priority. Reviewers are free to decline invitations to review particular publications at their discretion, for example, if their current employment workload and/or other commitments make it prohibitive for them to complete a review in a timely fashion and to do justice to the task in the available time frame. They should also not accept review assignments for which they feel unqualified.

Reviewers who have accepted assignments are normally expected to submit their reviews within one month. They should recuse themselves from the assignment if it becomes apparent to them at any stage that they do not possess the required expertise to perform the review, or that they may have a potential conflict of interest in performing the review (e.g., one resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, institutions, or companies associated with the publication).

Privileged information or ideas obtained by reviewers through the peer review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Any publications received for review must be treated as confidential documents, and must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the ISTES Organization.

When conducting their reviews, reviewers are asked to do so as objectively as possible, refraining from engaging in personal criticism of the author(s). They are encouraged to express their views clearly, explaining and justifying all recommendations made. They should always attempt to provide detailed and constructive feedback to assist the author(s) in improving their work, even if the work is, in their opinion, not publishable.

Reviewers should identify in their reviews relevant published work that has not been cited by the author(s), together with any instances in which proper attribution of sources has not been provided. They should call to the responsible editor’s attention any major resemblances between a work under consideration and other published works of which they are aware, as well as any concerns they might have in relation to the ethical acceptability of the research reported in the publication.

Responsibilities of Editors

The ISTES Organization has ultimate responsibility for deciding if a work submitted to the ISTES Organization should be published, and in doing so is guided by the publisher’s policies as determined by the ISTES Organization and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The Editor may consult with the Associate Editor and other members of the editorial team, as well as with reviewers, in making publication decisions.

The editors will evaluate works for their intellectual content without regard to the race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s). They will not disclose any information about a work under consideration to anyone other than the author(s), reviewers and potential reviewers, and in some instances the ISTES Organization, as appropriate. Additionally, the editors will make every effort to ensure the integrity of the blind review process by not revealing the identity of the author(s) of a work to the reviewers of that work, and vice versa.

When evaluating a work for publication, in addition to considering standard criteria pertaining to the rigor of the work, the quality of its presentation, and its contribution to humanity’s stock of knowledge, the editors will also seek evidence that ethical harms have been minimized in the conduct of the reported research. They will question whether the benefits outweigh the harms in the particular study’s case. Since the ISTES Organization welcomes the submission of works from any country, it is necessary to recognize that laws and regulations regarding research ethics and ethical approval vary worldwide. As such, the editors may need to seek clarification in this regard with the author(s) and request that they supply a letter from the relevant institutional ethics committee or board that approved the research.

The editors will be guided by CORE’s Guidelines when considering retracting, issuing an expression of concern about, and issuing corrections pertaining to works that have been published by the ISTES Organization. They are committed to working closely with research organizations and institutions in line with CORE’s advice on Cooperation between Research Institutions and Journals on Research Integrity Cases.


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