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General Publication Requirements

Manuscripts submitted to ScienceOpen are evaluated by our editorial staff to ensure that they satisfy our General Publication Requirements. These include ethical research methods, integrity in the presentation of research results, originality and technical standards. 

Our General Publication Requirements are outlined in detail below. When a manuscript is submitted, it is initially checked only in terms of integrity, as well as formal and ethical criteria. The public peer review process starts after the manuscript has been approved by the editorial office and made public. Here, the work is evaluated by the ScienceOpen Network in terms of methodological quality, comprehensible argumentation and compliance with scientific standards. See our Peer Review Guidelines for further details.

Publication ethics

The submitted manuscript must generally comply with international standards for publication ethics (COPE), which can be briefly summarized as follows:

  • The research being reported should have been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and should comply with all relevant legislation, especially when involving humans or animals.
  • Researchers should present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation.
  • Researchers should strive to describe their methods clearly and unambiguously so that their findings can be confirmed by others.
  • Researchers should adhere to publication requirements that submitted work is original, is not plagiarized, and has not been published elsewhere.
  • Authors should take collective responsibility for submitted and published work.
  • The authorship of research publications should accurately reflect individual contributions to the work and its reporting.
  • Funding sources and relevant conflicts of interest should be disclosed.
    [Summary adapted from: Wager E & Kleinert S (2011) Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 50 in: Mayer T & Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press /World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 309-16).]

Originality: The same manuscript (preprint or poster) should not have been published elsewhere to avoid DOI duplication.

Authorship: All and only those persons that substantially contributed to the preparation of the manuscript in the following ways should be indicated as author:

  • conception or design of the work
  • acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data
  • drafting or critical revision of the manuscript

Technical standards

The general standards for manuscript preparation are the same the world over – consistency, intelligibility, completeness and attention to detail. Do not spend time formatting your article since our technical editors take care of that.

  • Completeness: The article (preprint or poster) must be uploaded as a single PDF file with figures, tables and references embedded and include all figures and tables mentioned in the text. Please keep in mind that the provisional PDF should already enable reviewers to efficiently evaluate your work.
  • Article structure: While a wide range of article structures is acceptable, for Research Papers we recommend the following sections (or similar): Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results & Discussion, Acknowledgements, References.
  • References: Format references in the standard format for your discipline, using a DOI (Crossref or Datacite) link where ever possible.
  • Data: Data should be cited in the references, according to the Amsterdam Manifesto on Data Citation Principles. Authors are further encouraged to provide a link to external data repositories as part of their article metadata.
  • Language: Articles must be written in clear and concise English for an international audience. We strongly recommend that authors whose first language is not English have their manuscript read by a native English speaker before submission.
  • Units and Standards: Use SI units whenever possible and appropriate, use the International System of Units.

Rejection before publication, expressing Editorial concern and retraction after publication

ScienceOpen believes that the evaluation of results should be carried out by researchers, not editors, providing maximum transparency to the publishing process. Nevertheless, ScienceOpen will reserve the right to reject a submission before publication on scientific, technical or ethical grounds if it is regarded as non-appropriate by the Editors, the Editorial or Advisory Board.

ScienceOpen is committed to publishing bonafide research from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. Thus we believe that it is our responsibility to exclude those topics from our publishing program which do not meet acceptable research standards. If the Editors find clear evidence of Pseudoscience or other questionable content, they may ask members of the Editorial Board for a pre-publication review of the article. If the Editorial Board recommends rejection, that will occur. If the Editorial Board member approves the topic of the paper, the submission will be accepted for publication and then undergo the same public post-publication peer review process as all other ScienceOpen publications.

After publication, the Editors reserve the right to issue an Editorial Note (in the first instance), escalating to an Editorial Concern (for more complex/serious issues) and attach it to any online article which has caused concern and requires re-examination. The Editorial Note and/or Concern will not give all the specifics of a case under investigation but will provide users with the broad reasons why they should, as is always the case, exercise the appropriate level of caution when reading the article. This is particularly important in open post-publication peer-review where the history of the article should be visible. While the attachments remain in place, additional manuscripts submitted by the author/s will not be considered and their user privileges on the platform will be suspended. These restrictions will be lifted once the investigation is complete and the issues resolved.

Finally, we reserve the right to retract a publication if severe ethical or scientific irregularities are discovered during the Editors re-examination under a Statement of Concern or during post-publication peer review.