Ethical guidelines for publication
The Italian Sociological Review is as an academic journal for the dissemination of theoretical reflections and results of empirical research on social science, conducted with scientific methodologies and made available to a wider audience. The research results may have an impact on policy-makers, on the processes of formation of the students and the development and integration of theories and paradigms. It is therefore important that the journal maintains a high level of quality and transparency in the process of publication. This responsibility lies with all those involved in the publishing process: Chairman, Board of Editors, Reviewers.
Duties of the Director
The tasks of the Director:
- Direct the journal with the support and guidance of all members of the Editorial Board;
- Encourage the members of the Editorial Board to promote the journal as a vehicle for the dissemination of research results;
- Consult and seek the support and assistance of the publisher to play its role and improve the quality of the journal;
- Indicate, with the support of the Editorial Board, the reviewers to be involved in the process of evaluation of each article;
- Indicate, in consultation with the Editorial Board, the guidelines for the reviewers, with clear and precise criteria;
- Periodically, the Director verifies the review process, to improve it and make it more efficient;
- Assess promptly and impartially all the manuscripts submitted for publication and re-judge the merits of each individual, respecting the intellectual independence of the authors, without distinction of sex, religious belief, ethnic origin or nationality, or concerning theoretical approaches and political orientation of the authors. The Director shall have sole responsibility for the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript. The Director may reject contributions only for specific reasons (inadequate content for the journal, clearly poor quality, content previously published elsewhere, etc.). In this decision, the Director may ask the advice of the editorial staff;
- Promote the publication of a correction or denial, in the case of evidence that the substance or conclusions of a published article are incorrect;
- Do not accept articles that present data, comments, interpretations and conclusions influenced by the Coordinator of the research;
- Ensure that all articles evaluated 'publishable' are subject to a double-blind revision, even those written by staff members or members or the Scientific Committee;
- Verify that the reviewers do not have family relationship or scientific collaboration with the author of the article;
- Allow the author, whose contribution in the journal has been copied or plagiarized from another author, to publish a note on the journal;
- Allow or invite an author, which has published voluntarily or involuntarily incorrect data on the journal (data processing, data evaluation), not detected either by the Director or by the Reviewers, to make appropriate adjustment;
- Ensure that all communications and conversations that occur within the members of the Editorial Board , the Authors, the Reviewers and any other person involved in the process of revision, before and after publication, remain private;
- Ensure that none of the editorial staff and reviewers may use the information, data, theories, or interpretations of the article submitted to the journal, until the manuscript is published, unless the author gives permission to do it.
The tasks of the Author/s
- Send manuscripts containing original material, new results, data processing, ideas and/or interpretations not previously published or being published elsewhere (including databases);
- Identify and specify clearly the subject, reference literature, methodology, hypothesis, assumptions, interpretations and evaluations of the research;
- Specify who is responsible for the research and the director of the team that carried out the research work;
- Communicate the main sources of financing (e.g., government agencies, foundations, private companies, universities) for the research presented in the article;
- If the article is written by multiple authors, compile a list of the other authors, indicating precisely name, surname and affiliation of co-authors, after agreeing to a list of names with the parties concerned. Ownership of the manuscript should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the research, with a simple recognition of other contributions (layout, graphics, etc.).
- Ensure that all co-authors have read the manuscript in its final version before sending it to the journal;
- Communicate changes in ownership and/or changes in the list of co-authors to the Director, before the manuscript is published, in a letter signed by all the interested parties;
- After receiving the revision, inform all the co-authors of the results of the revision and re-editing the article involving all co-authors;
- Properly cite works of other authors, especially the publications related to the original hypothesis, ideas, and/or data on which the manuscript is based;
- Avoid any form of plagiarism: both plagiarism of other authors and self-plagiarism. Copying from others, not explicitly stating the ownership of ideas, data, interpretations and evaluations behaviour is ethically wrong and punishable by law. The insertion in the manuscript of 'pieces' already published by the author/s without mentioning the source, impoverishes the originality and the novelty the article;
- Notify to the Director of any potential conflict of interest with corporations and other entities (e.g., a consulting firm or financial interest in a company), which could benefit from the publication of the results contained in the manuscript;
- Ensure the absence of contractual or property rights, such as to influence the publication of the data and information contained in the manuscript;
- Ask, with accurate and valid reasons that the manuscript is not subject to the Reviewers, which are not expected to be neutral towards the Author/s, Co-Authors, research and/or the Coordinator;
- Follow the editorial notes indicated by the journal.
Responsibilities of Reviewers
The review by independent researchers and scholars of manuscripts submitted to scientific journals is an essential component of the scientific practice. All scientists have the obligation to participate in the process.
The Italian Sociological Review, use the double-blind method: each article, without the name of the author, is sent to two reviewers. The two revisions, anonymous, are sent to the Author for the final review. In case of conflicting judgments, the article is sent to a third reviewer: the prevailing choice (acceptance or rejection) is the majority.
The tasks of the reviewers
- Objectively assess the quality of research reported and respect the intellectual independence of authors. Personal criticism is not acceptable;
- Refuse the review of manuscripts that addresses topics not in its specific competence;
- To disclose conflict of interest arising from relationships of direct competition, collaboration, with any of the authors and to avoid cases where such conflicts do not allow an objective assessment;
- Ask the Director for permission to discuss the document with other scholars for specific consultation, giving names and the reasons for such consultation;
- To avoid passing the manuscript to another to perform the review without the expressed permission of the Director;
- Explain and support their decisions so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments;
- Indicate theoretical and methodological deficiencies, errors in calculation and evaluation of the data included in the manuscript;
- Report the existence of relevant scientific papers published, but not cited by the authors;
- Emphasize the lack of citations and explicit references to authors and works that the author/s omit;
- Draw the attention of the Director of any substantial similarity between the manuscript under examination and every article or manuscript submitted simultaneously to another journal;
- Treat the manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. Refrain from discussing it with others, except in special cases. The identity of the persons consulted must be communicated to the Director;
- Do not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author.
For the preparation of these ethical guidelines, the sources consulted were the ethical guidelines of the following journals:
- Nature Journals' on Publication Ethics
- COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors
- Ethical Guidelines for Publication of Geosociety
- American Institute of Physics