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PUBLICATION BEST PRACTICES AND PUBLICATION ETHICS


Ceylon Journal of Science policy on Publication Best Practices and Publication Ethics cover the three sections listed below, based on the responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the Editorial Board, authors of the submitted manuscripts and the reviewers of manuscripts.

I. Responsibilities of the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the Editorial Board

1. The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the Editorial Board will
  (a) Maintain the quality and the standards of the manuscripts published in the journal.
  (b) Maintain transparency, competency and fairness in all matters pertaining to selection and publication of submitted manuscripts.
  (c) The manuscripts will be evaluated impartially and without discrimination of any sort. The evaluations will be based solely on the relevance of the manuscript to the scope of the Journal, originality, scientific merit, current legal aspects regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.

2. As appropriate information about a submitted manuscript will be disclosed only to the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, editorial advisors and the publisher by the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the Editorial Board.

3. The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and the Editorial Board will consider retractions of manuscripts, if any, from the Journal only when there is firm evidence of unreliable, falsified or incorrect data, plagiarism, duplicate publication or unethical research practices.

II. Responsibilities of authors of manuscripts submitted for publication


1. All authors must conform to the journal guidelines for publication.

2. Authors must ensure that all research methodologies and results presented in their manuscripts are in accordance with national and international ethical guidelines governing research.

3. Authors must report only the original research findings with significant scientific merit.

4. Authorship of manuscripts should be confined only to those who have made significant contributions in terms of concept, design, methodology, data analysis, interpretation and preparation of the manuscript.

5. The corresponding author must ensure that all contributing co-authors included in the authors list have approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication.

6. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure adherence to timelines and respond to any requests, queries and recommendations of reviewers that are conveyed by the Managing Editor on behalf of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board.

7. If a significant error or inaccuracy in an already published manuscript is detected by the relevant author, he/she is obliged to promptly notify the journal editor and co-operate to a retraction or correction of the manuscript in the form of an erratum.

III. Responsibilities of reviewers of manuscripts

Double blind peer review
Ceylon Journal of Science uses a double-blind peer review option for manuscript reviewing. Authors remain anonymous to the referees throughout the reviewing process. The authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript accordingly;

The peer review process ensures the transparency and integrity of a research publication. Reviewers are therefore expected to be responsible both ethically and professionally.
1. All reviewers must provide assistance to the Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Editorial Board to make editorial decisions and also provide feedback to the authors to improve the quality and standard of the manuscript.
2. All reviews must be conducted objectively. Personal comments, references and criticisms of authors are not accepted.
3. Constructive and clear comments relevant to manuscript must be made by the reviewers and they should be supported by appropriate arguments.
4. The reviewers must keep all knowledge gained from the review completely confidential.
5. The reviewer must declare conflict of interest if any, that may arise from competitive, collaborative or other connections with any of the authors or institutions associated with the manuscript.

References
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (2013). COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. March 2013, version 1. Available at: publicationethics.org

CONFIDENTIALITY

Editors, authors and reviewers are required to keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts. The peer review process is confidential and conducted anonymously; identities of reviewers are not released. Reviewers must maintain confidentiality of manuscripts. If a reviewer wishes to seek advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, the reviewer must consult with the editor and should ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report. Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with the journal, referees' reports and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed or otherwise publicised without prior written consent. Reviewers should be aware that it is the journal policy to keep their names confidential and that the Editorial Staff will do their utmost to ensure this confidentiality. We cannot, however, guarantee to maintain this confidentiality in the face of a successful legal action to disclose identity.



PLAGIARISM AND FABRICATION

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is unacknowledged copying or an attempt to misattribute original authorship, whether of ideas, text or results. Plagiarism can include, "theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another's work". Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and- pasted without appropriate and unambiguous attribution. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in Ceylon Journal of Science.
We believe that Ceylon Journal of Science has a responsibility to investigate any instances of plagiarism that it detects.
We achieve this by routinely using the Crossref Similarity Check powered by iThenticate on submitted manuscripts, and having clear guidelines in place for editors. Where a paper is suspected or discovered to be based on plagiarism, the editor must take prompt steps to investigate and to notify readers. The paper will be corrected or retracted depending on the severity of the case.
Aside from wholesale verbatim reuse of text, due care must be taken to ensure appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarising the work of others. "Text recycling" or reuse of parts of text from an author's previous research publication is a form of self-plagiarism. Here too, due caution must be exercised. When reusing text, whether from the author's own publication or that of others, appropriate attribution and citation is necessary to avoid creating a misleading perception of unique contribution for the reader. Duplicate publication occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from publishing an identical paper in multiple journals, to only adding a small amount of new data to a previously published paper.
When plagiarism becomes evident post-publication, the Editors may correct or retract the original publication depending on the degree of plagiarism, context within the published article and its impact on the overall integrity of the published study. Ceylon Journal of Science uses software tools to screen submitted manuscripts for text overlap.

FRAUD AND MALPRACTICE

We believe that Ceylon Journal of Science has a responsibility to investigate any instances of fraud or malpractice that it detects.
We achieve this by working closely with the Committee on Publication Ethics and having clear guidelines in place for editors. Where a paper is suspected or discovered to be based on fraudulent results or to contain images that have been inappropriately manipulated, the Managing Editor, under the instructions of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board will take prompt steps to investigate and to notify readers. The paper will be retracted if fraud is confirmed.