- Editorial board responsibilities
- Reviewers’ responsibilities
- Authors’ responsibilities and authorship
Whatever is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal.Whatever’s ethics statements is based on the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors developed by the COPE - Committee on Publication Ethics.
It is necessary that all the different parties involved in the publishing of each article (authors, editorial board, editors of single issues, reviewers) agree upon the following standards of ethical behavior.
Part A. Editorial board responsibilities [back to top]
A.1. Publication decisions
Publication decisions are the responsibility of the Editorial board. Editors and reviewers treat all manuscripts as confidential.
The Editorial board evaluates manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the identity of the authors (including race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy) or to their host institution.
The editors and editorial staff must not disclose any information about manuscripts to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, and other editorial advisers. In the case of a misconduct investigation, the editorial board may disclose material to third parties (e.g., an institutional investigation committee or other editors).
The material contained in unpublished manuscripts submitted to the journal cannot be used by the Editorial board, by the external reviewers, or by anyone involved with the publication process for their own research without the written consent of the author(s).
Should errors in published work be pointed out by readers, authors, or editors, a correction will be published as soon as possible.
When an author discovers an error or inaccuracy in their own published article, they must notify the journal editors or the editorial board promptly and cooperate with them in order to correct it.
Typos and errata corriges are dealt with as “updates”. A note will be added to the changed text in order to highlight the change.
Major corrections are published as announcements on the journal websites and included in the next published issue.
A.5. Ensuring the integrity of the published record
If error(s) in a published paper or in substantial parts of it render(s) it invalid (such as grave errors or inaccuracies, conflicts of interest or plagiarism), the paper should be retracted with an explanation as to the reason for retraction.
If serious concerns are raised by readers, reviewers, or others, about the conduct, validity, or reporting of academic work, the Editorial board will initially contact the authors and allow them to respond to the concerns.
If the authors’ response is unsatisfactory, the journal will take this to the institutional level. In cases when concerns are very serious and the published work is likely to influence public health, the journal may consider informing readers about these concerns, while the investigation is ongoing. Once an investigation is concluded the journal will publish a comment that explains the findings of the investigation. The Editorial Board may decide to retract a paper if a serious misconduct has occurred even in the absence of a recommendation by an institution or national body.
The results of the peer-review process for each submission are documented in the journal archive
Whatever’s editorial board verifies the review process on a yearly basis in order to improve its results.
A.7 Ensuring anonymity
The workflow in use vouches for equal and fair treatment of submissions from members of the Editorial board. All submissions are rendered anonymous before undergoing the double-blind peer-review process.
In order to ensure durable anonymity, the Managing Editor is forbidden to submitting or publishing for ten years after the last time they last held this role. Whoever has published an article onWhatever shall not be given the role of Managing Editor for ten years after her/his last publication.
Part B. Reviewers’ responsibilities [back to top]
B.1. Contribution to editorial decisions
The double-blind peer review process assists the Editorial board in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communications with the authors, may also assist authors in improving their papers. Reviewers are expected to provide constructive comments on the manuscript that help the authors revise their manuscripts to achieve higher standards of quality. A detailed explanation on the aims and ethics of the review process, to which reviewers are required to agree, accompanies every review request.
Reviewers who feel unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or know that they shall not be able to submit a review promptly are reqiuired notify the editor.
The reviewers must not disclose any information about manuscripts to anyone other than the Managing Editor.
The material contained in unpublished manuscripts submitted to the journal cannot be used by the reviewers for their research.
B.4. Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively.
An evaluation grid is provided as a template to support reviewers in the review process, but they should feel free to integrate the form with any other information or suggestion that may be relevant.
Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate and unacceptable. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments through the review form provided; when necessary, the review form can be supplemented using the discussion tools within theWhatever website.
B.5. Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement by the reviewers that an observation, inference, or argument is not original to the article should be accompanied by a citation of the relevant evidence. Reviewers are also required to bring to the Managing editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
B.6. Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All information acquired by the referees during the peer-review process must be considered as confidential and is not to be used for personal purposes. Reviewers must not accept any manuscript for which a potential conflict of interest exists.
If a reviewer recommends changes to an article as a precondition for publication, and the Editorial Board agrees with their request, the reviewer will have the opportunity to verify that the changes they required were made by the author of the reviewed article before giving their final approval.
Whatever will take reviewer misconduct seriously and pursue an investigation of any allegation of breach of confidentiality, non-declaration of conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), inappropriate use of confidential material, or delay of peer review for competitive advantage.
Part C. Authors’ responsibilities and authorship [back to top]
C.1. Reporting standards
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed, as well as an unbiased discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
C.2. Data access and retention
Raw data in connection with a paper may be requested for editorial review. Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publicationor upload them as supplementary files to be published along the article.
C.3. Originality and plagiarism
Authors should ensure that submitted work is original and has not been published elsewhere in any language. If the authors have used the work and/or words of others, they must ensure that this has been appropriately acknowledged, cited or quoted. Applicable copyright laws and conventions should be followed. Copyrighted material (e.g. tables, figures or extensive quotations) should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement.
Any attempt to plagiarize will lead to rejection of the submitted manuscript; if it had not been detected prior to publication, to exclusion from the journal and replacement of the reference by “removed for plagiarism”.
C.4. Multiple, redundant or concurrent publications
Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical behavior on the part of the authors and is unacceptable.
C.5. Right to reuse
Whatever may decide, under scientifically relevant motivation, to republish texts previously published elsewhere, providing a clear reference to the original publication.
Contributors toWhatever retain their copyright, and therefore the right to republish their contributions in other venues.
C.6. Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgment of the research, contribution, and work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have influenced their work. Authors should cite relevant references and corresponding citation if any statement in the submitted paper had been previously published or reported elsewhere.
C.7. Authorship of the paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant 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 in 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.
All of the individuals or organizations that made a contribution to the work, but do not meet the criteria for authorship, should be acknowledged in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript. The corresponding author should not acknowledge any individual or organization without permission.
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.
C.9. Reporting of research involving humans or animals
Submissions involving non-human animal experiments will not be accepted.
Submissions whose results derive from observations can be considered for publication.
Researchers should not generally publish or share identifiable individual data collected in the course of research without specific consent from the individual concerned (or from their representative).
C.10. 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 potentially influence the results or interpretations reported in their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
C.11. Fundamental errors in published works
When an 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.