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African Journal of Herpetology - Ethics

On behalf of the Herpetological Association of Africa, we present the following statement of ethics for editors, authors, and manuscript reviewers and referees of African Journal of Herpetology.

Editors: as editors of African Journal of Herpetology we make every reasonable effort to ensure the following criteria are considered for submitted manuscripts we deem worthy of consideration by peer review.

  • Unbiased consideration should be given to each manuscript, judging each on its merits without regard to the race, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author.
  • The peer review process must be confidential.
  • Manuscripts should be processed with reasonable speed and efficiency.
  • The editor has sole responsibility for the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript. While an editor may seek guidance via peer review, she or he may reject a manuscript without review if considered inappropriate for the journal.
  • Conflicts of interest must be declared.
  • If an editor receives a challenge to the authenticity of a published article, she or he will consult members of the African Journal of Herpetology editorial board in confidence. Where the editors and African Journal of Herpetology editorial board subsequently secure evidence that authenticity has been compromised, in any of the following ways:
    • the main substance of a published article is erroneous;
    • the article contains material which has not been properly acknowledged or cited;
    • the article's authorship is incorrect or incomplete;
    • the article contains a libel;

the editors will facilitate publication of an appropriate correction, a Statement of Retraction, or, in extremis, the withdrawal and removal of the article.

Authors: by submitting a manuscript (in any category) to African Journal of Herpetology, the corresponding author undertakes responsibility for all authors to ensure the following criteria:

  • Authors must present an accurate account of the research performed, and offer an objective discussion of its significance.
  • The article must contain sufficient detail and reference to public sources of information to permit the author's peers to repeat the work.
  • Authors must cite relevant references.
  • Authors must identify any hazards inherent in conducting the research.
  • Authors must declare conflicts of interest.
  • Authors must avoid fragmenting research to maximize the number of articles submitted.
  • Authors must not submit the same or similar articles to any other journal or publication medium.
  • Whilst an experimental or theoretical study may sometimes justify criticism of the work of another scientist, in no circumstances is personal criticism appropriate.
  • Authorship should be the outcome of participation in multiple levels of a research project including design, execution, analysis and writing.
  • Those individuals who only collected data or specimens, provided equipment, workspace and/or financial support should be listed in the acknowledgements.
  • By submitting a manuscript to African Journal of Herpetology, the corresponding author is stating that all authors have agreed to the submission of the submitted manuscript.
  • The authors jointly take responsibility for all permits, permission to use data and ethical clearance required to perform the work as and when appropriate.
  • When in doubt, editors are entitled to ask the authors for proof of permits prior to printing the manuscript, even if the manuscript is otherwise approved.

Referees and Peer Reviewers: are asked to make every reasonable effort to ensure the following criteria are employed for submitted manuscripts they have agreed to peer review:

  • Unbiased consideration should be given to each manuscript, judging each on its merits without regard to the race, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author.
  • Manuscripts should be processed with reasonable speed and efficiency.
  • The quality of the manuscript, and its experimental and theoretical work, its interpretations, and its exposition, will be judged objectively.
  • The peer review process will be kept confidential. The reviewer must protect the confidentiality of the manuscript's authors, data, ideas and creativity.
  • Referees must declare if they wish to remain anonymous.
  • Referees must declare any conflicts of interest.
  • Referees' judgments must be explained and supported in sufficient detail for accurate evaluation by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported must be accompanied by the relevant citation, and unsupported assertions must be avoided.
  • Whilst the review of a manuscript may justify criticism, even severe criticism, under no circumstances is personal or malicious criticism of the author appropriate or acceptable.

We are confident that unambiguous and consistent guidelines will enhance the quality of published research in African Journal of Herpetology, and ensure a process is in place to respond to a situation where ethics may have been transgressed. If you are unhappy or uncertain about any of these statements, please contact the editor.

This ethics statement is amended (with permission) from an original statement by Taylor Francis publishing: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ethics.asp