Code of Ethics
AFSJ Code of Ethics for Authors
- The manuscript must be the original work of the author(s). Author(s) must not submit a manuscript which is under review with another journal for possible publication in AFSJ nor must they submit a manuscript already submitted to AFSJ to another journal.
- The manuscript must not have been published or accepted for publication in another journal.
- Authors must not submit a manuscript to AFSJ which was previously submitted to AFSJ, sent out for review and rejected, unless the author(s) have done major revision of or extension to the paper.
- The manuscript must be free of plagiarism, falsification or fabrication. Plagiarism of the authors’ own work is also not acceptable unless there is some strong justification. Work of other authors must be cited appropriately.
- Authors should declare all conflicts of interest relevant to the work under consideration (e.g. financial and personal relationships that might interfere with the interpretation of the work) to avoid any potential for bias.
- The AFSJ implements a double-blind review process where authors do not know the reviewers and vice versa. Authors should not do anything to compromise the confidentiality of the review process by, for example, revealing their names and/or affiliations in the documents meant for review.
- All co-authors listed should have contributed significantly to the work, have their consent to the manuscript publication and must share accountability for the results.
- The corresponding author should keep all co-authors informed of the submission and progress of the review process and its results.
- Authors should be prompt with their manuscript revisions.
- When an author discovers a major error or inaccuracy in his/her published work, it is the author’s obligation to notify the journal editor to retract or correct the paper.
- If live animals are used in experiments, authors must include a statement that the animals were handled or treated in compliance with relevant laws and guidelines, and must mention the institutional committee that has approved the experiments.
AFSJ Code of Ethics for Reviewers
- Reviewers should read all articles objectively, without any bias based on origin of the article; gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, or age of the authors; or commercial considerations.
- Reviewers should agree to review articles only in subject areas in which they have proven expertise.
- Before agreeing to review an article, a reviewer must ensure he/she has sufficient time and other resources to complete a comprehensive assessment of the article in the time frame given.
- Reviewers should turn down invitations to review articles that create a conflict of interest (resulting from collaborative, financial, institutional, personal, or other relationships or connections with any of the companies, institutions, or people connected to the papers) or the appearance of it. In the event of uncertainty, reviewers should disclose the potential conflict of interest to the editors and seek advice before proceeding further.
- Reviews provided should be constructive and impartial, and free of any hostile, inflammatory, libellous, unfair or unnecessarily derogatory comments.
- During and after the peer review process, reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of unpublished articles, including by refraining from discussing them with others.
- Reviewers must refrain from using research or information contained in unpublished articles for any purpose, including for personal gain or for the advantage or disadvantage of any other person or organisation.
- Reviewers must disclose to the editors if an article under review has not properly cited sources, or contains errors or material omissions.
AFSJ Code of Ethics for Editors
- Editors must make decisions to accept or reject articles based solely on their scholarly or journalistic merit, including their importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the journal’s mission and purview.
- Editors should accept manuscripts from all authors and must at all times maintain objectivity and balance in the review of all articles, acting without bias or favouritism based on the origin of an article; an author’s gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation or age; or commercial considerations.
- Editors must follow strictly the same rules governing conflict of interest and improper use of unpublished articles as peer reviewers.
- Editors must provide guidance to authors and peer reviewers on their responsibilities, and oversee their performance, ensuring that they understand what is expected of them.
- Editors should take steps to ensure the timely review of all manuscripts. He should also respond promptly to inquiries from authors about the status of their manuscript.
- Editors should provide authors with an explanation of the editorial decision on a manuscript by writing editorial letters that integrate reviewer comments and offer additional suggestions to the author.
- Editors must adopt editorial policies that promote comprehensive, honest and ethical reporting.
- Editors must seek assurances that research has been in conformity with the rules or guidelines of applicable regulatory or industry bodies, while appreciating that such approval is not a guarantee of ethical conduct.
- Editors must protect the anonymity of authors, peer reviewers and the confidentiality of unpublished articles.
- Editors must pursue suspected and alleged misconduct in the research, writing, submission, acceptance and/or rejection, review, and publication process, to protect the integrity of the journal. They must make reasonable efforts to ensure a proper investigation is conducted and the issue resolved fairly.
- Upon identifying errors or material omissions in an article, editors must promptly communicate corrections, retractions and/or revisions, as applicable, to the Editor in Chief and, in the case of an unpublished article, to the author.