University of Szczecin as publisher of the journal Acta Biologica takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously and we recognize our ethical and other responsibilities.
The following are the standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in publishing in the Acta Biologica journal: the author, the journal editor and editorial board, the peer reviewers and the publisher.
All the articles submitted for publication in Acta Biologica are peer reviewed for authenticity, ethical issues and usefulness
Publication decisions: The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the submitted articles should or should not be published. The decision to accept or reject a paper for publication is based on its importance, originality, clarity, and its relevance to the scope of the journal. The editor may be guided by the editorial policies of the Journal and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with the members of the Editorial Board or reviewers in making this decision.
Monitoring the ethical standards: The Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board is monitoring the ethical standards of scientific publications and takes all possible measures against any publication malpractices. The Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board is of the opinion that ghostwriting and guest authorship are examples of academic negligence. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Fair play: The Editor-in-Chief and the reviewers evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
Confidentiality: The Editor-in-Chief, the members of the Editorial Board, and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors of the manuscript, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Editors of the journal are responsible for explaining the details on the double-blind peer-review procedures to both the authors and the reviewers.
Disclosure and conflict of interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in the submitted manuscript must not be used by the Editor-in-Chief or the members of the Editorial Board in their own research without written consent of authors. Editors always precludes business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards.
Maintain the integrity of the academic record: The editors will guard the integrity of the published academic record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct. Plagiarism and fraudulent data is not acceptable.
Editorial board always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
In concern of high quality of published texts, editors are obliged to comply with a set of ethical principles and follow procedures recommended by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
The procedures recommended by COPE concern the following cases: suspicion of redundant publication; suspicion of plagiarism; suspicion of fabricated data; request for addition/removal of an extra author; suspicion of ghost, guest or gift authorship; when a reviewer suspects undisclosed conflict of interest in a submitted manuscript; when a reader suspects undisclosed conflict of interest in a published article; when an editor suspects an ethical problem with the submitted manuscript; and when an editor suspects that the reviewer has appropriated the author’s ideas or data.
Reporting standards: Author(s) of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. The paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. The fabrication of results and making of fraudulent or inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and may cause rejection or retraction of a manuscript or a published article.
Originality and plagiarism: Author(s) should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others they need to be cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from passing off anothers paper as the authors own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of anothers paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Data access and retention: Author(s) may be asked to provide the raw data for editorial review, should be prepared to provide public access to such data, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication of their paper.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: Author(s) should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g. translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Authorship of the manuscript: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the report study. All those who have made contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Acknowledgement of sources: The proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. The author(s) should cite publications that have been influential in determining the scope of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
Hazards and human, animal or plant subjects: If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author(s) must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of plant, animal or human subjects, the author(s) should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Author(s) should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.
Ghostwriting: The editors of Acta Biologica support the policy of prevention of ghostwriting and guest authorship as they constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Every incident will be reported to corresponding scientific institutions.
Fundamental errors in published works: When the author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
The Editorial Board suggests to potential contributors of the journal, reviewers and readers to dully follow this guidance in order to avoid misconceptions in academic writing. Editors will blind referee all manuscripts as will reviewers, to the guidelines explicitly highlighted by COPE.
Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer reviews assist the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author(s) may also assist the author(s) in improving the paper.
Promptness: Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its timely review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself/herself from the review process.
Confidentiality: All manuscript received for review must be treated as confidential documents (double blind peer review). They must not be shown to or discussed with others except those authorized by the editor.
Standards of objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources: Reviewers should attempt to identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that a result or argument has been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of Interest: Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used to personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.