About misconduct

The journal is a member of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and takes seriously all cases of publication misconduct. Any suspected cases of covert duplicate manuscript submission will be handled as outlined in the COPE guidelines and the Editor may contact the authors’ institution (see detailed policy below).


Authors must not use the words, figures, or ideas of others without attribution. All sources must be cited at the point they are used, and reuse of wording must be limited and be attributed or quoted in the text.

The journal uses Crossref Similarity Check (iThenticate) to detect submissions that overlap with published and submitted manuscripts.

Manuscripts that are found to have been plagiarized from a manuscript by other authors, whether published or unpublished, will be rejected and the authors may incur sanctions. Any published articles may need to be corrected or retracted.

Duplicate submission and redundant publication

The journal considers only original content, i.e. articles that have not been previously published. Articles based on content previously made public only on a preprint server, institutional repository, or in a thesis will be considered.

Manuscripts submitted to the journal must not be submitted elsewhere while under consideration and must be withdrawn before being submitted elsewhere. Authors whose articles are found to have been simultaneously submitted elsewhere may incur sanctions.

If authors have used their own previously published work, or work that is currently under review, as the basis for a submitted manuscript, they must cite the previous articles and indicate how their submitted manuscript differs from their previous work. Reuse of the authors’ own words outside the Methods should be attributed or quoted in the text. Reuse of the authors’ own figures or substantial amounts of wording may require permission from the copyright holder and the authors are responsible for obtaining this.

The journal will consider extended versions of articles published at conferences provided this is declared in the cover letter, the previous version is clearly cited and discussed, there is significant new content, and any necessary permissions are obtained.

Redundant publication, the inappropriate division of study outcomes into more than one article (also known as salami slicing), may result in rejection or a request to merge submitted manuscripts, and the correction of published articles. Duplicate publication of the same, or a very similar, article may result in the retraction of the later article and the authors may incur sanctions.

Citation manipulation

Authors whose submitted manuscripts are found to include citations whose primary purpose is to increase the number of citations to a given author’s work, or to articles published in a particular journal, may incur sanctions.

Editors and reviewers must not ask authors to include references merely to increase citations to their own or an associate’s work, to the journal, or to another journal they are associated with.

Fabrication and falsification

The authors of submitted manuscripts or published articles that are found to have fabricated or falsified the results, including the manipulation of images, may incur sanctions, and published articles may be retracted.

Corrections and retractions

In line with the journal’s policy, corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing a Correction or a Retraction note bidirectionally linked to the original article.

Changes to published articles that affect the interpretation and conclusion of the article, but do not fully invalidate the article, will, at the Editor(s)’ discretion, be corrected via publication of a Correction that is indexed and bidirectionally linked to the original article.

On rare occasions, when the interpretation or conclusion of an article is substantially undermined, it may be necessary for published articles to be retracted. The journal will follow the COPE guidelines in such cases. Retraction notices are indexed and bidirectionally linked to the original article. The original article is watermarked as retracted and the title is amended with the prefix “Retracted article:”