Publication ethics and publication malpractice statement


Družboslovne razprave (“the journal”) is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical behaviour at all stages of the publication process. We closely follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) that sets standards to provide guidelines for best practices to meet these requirements. The following are the standards and expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the publishing process at the journal, namely: editors, editorial staff (editor and technical editor), editorial board, peer reviewers, authors, and the Slovenian Sociological Association as the publisher.




1.     Responsibilities of the Editor, Editorial Staff, and Editorial Board


-       To act in a balanced, objective and fair way while carrying out their expected duties, without discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors.

-       To handle submissions so that articles are considered and accepted solely on their academic merit and without commercial influence.

-       To be responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal should be published. The Editorial Board makes the final decision on articles to be published. The editor is guided by the policies of the journal's Editorial Board and constrained by legal requirements currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may consult the Editorial Board or reviewers when making decisions.

-       To ensure confidentiality, the editor and the technical editor must be the only persons who know the identity of an author and may not disclose any such information to anyone. The editor selects two reviewers who are engaged in a double-blind, peer-review process. The Editorial Board may also not disclose information obtained from manuscripts to third parties.

-       To adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the publisher where appropriate.

-       To give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. All complaints should be investigated no matter when the original publication was approved. Documentation associated with any such complaints should be retained.



2.     Reviewers' responsibilities


-       To contribute to the decision-making process, and to assist in improving the quality of the published paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively, in a timely manner.

-       To avoid personal criticism of the author and clearly express their views with supporting arguments.

-       To promptly notify the editor and excuse himself/herself from the review process if the reviewer feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible.

-       To maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author and treat all manuscripts under review as confidential documents. They must not be shown or discussed with third parties. The reviewers are engaged in a double-blind, peer-review process.

-       To not retain or copy the manuscript.

-       To keep confidential any information or ideas obtained from the peer review and to not use any information or ideas obtained from the peer review for personal advantage.

-       To alert the editor about any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review.

-       To be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and to alert the editor of these, if necessary withdrawing their services for that manuscript.



3.     Authors' responsibilities


-       To maintain accurate records of data associated with their submitted manuscript, and to supply or provide access to these data upon reasonable request. Where appropriate and allowed by the employer, funding body and others who might have an interest, to deposit data in a suitable repository or storage location (ADP – Arhiv družboslovnih podatkov aka Social Science Data Archives), for sharing and further use by others.

-       To present an accurate account of the original research work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be accurately represented in the manuscript. A manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

-       To confirm and assert that the manuscript as submitted is not under consideration or has been accepted for publication elsewhere. Where portions of the content overlap with published or submitted content, to acknowledge and cite those sources.

-       An author should not generally 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.

-       To ensure authors have written entirely original works, and where the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

-       To obtain permission to reproduce any content from other sources.

-       To properly acknowledge of the work of others. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, such 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 those services.

-       To limit the authorship to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study. Everyone who made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where others 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 agreed to its submission for publication.

-       Authors should ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements (e.g. WMA Declaration of Helsinki, NIH Policy on Use of Laboratory Animals, EU Directive on Use of Animals) and confirm that approval has been sought and obtained where appropriate. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.

-       To declare any potential conflicts of interest (e.g. where the author has a competing interest (real or apparent) that could be considered or viewed as exerting an undue influence on his or her duties at any stage during the publication process).

-       To notify promptly the journal editor when a significant error in their publication is identified. To cooperate with the editor and publisher to publish an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper where this is deemed necessary.



4.     Responsibilities of the publisher and the journal


The publisher – the Slovenian Sociological Association – and the journal shall ensure that good practice is maintained in line with the standards outlined above.





1.     Identification of unethical behaviour


-       Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone.

-       Misconduct and unethical behaviour may include, but need not be limited to, the examples outlined above.

-       Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations are to be taken seriously and treated in the same way until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.


2.     Investigation


-       An initial decision should be taken by the editor, who should consult with the Editorial Board.

-       Evidence should be gathered, while avoiding the spread of any allegations beyond those who need to know.



3.     Minor breaches


-       Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely.

-       In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.



4.     Serious breaches


-       Serious misconduct might require that the employers of the accused be notified. The editor, in consultation with the Editorial Board, should make the decision whether or not to involve the employers by either examining the available evidence themselves or through further consultation with a limited number of experts.



5.     Outcomes (in increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction)


-       Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.

-       A more strongly worded letter to the author or reviewer covering the misconduct and as a warning regarding future behaviour.

-       Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.

-       Publication of an editorial detailing the misconduct.

-       A formal letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.

-       Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer's department, Abstracting & Indexing services and the readership of the journal.

-       Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.

-       Reporting the case and outcome to a professional organisation or higher authority for further investigation and action.