Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

The ACTA BOTANİCA CAUCASİCA JOURNAL are members of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). As such, this
journal follows the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers.

In addition, as a journal that follows the ICMJE’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals,
it is expected of authors, reviewers and editors that they follow the
best-practice guidelines on ethical behaviour contained therein.

A selection of key points is included below, but you should always refer to the three documents listed above for full details.

Duties of Editors

Fair play and editorial independence

Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of
their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity,
clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the
authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship,
religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.
Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of
governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The
Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of
the journal and the timing of publication of that content. 


Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a
submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author,
reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the
publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished
information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research
purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged
information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the
manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal
advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts
in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive,
collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the
authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead,
they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the

Publication decisions

The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for
publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert
in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of
the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the
validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and
readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are
currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and
plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or
reviewers in making this decision.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations

Editors (in conjunction with the publisher and/or society) will take
responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a
submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical
publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered
years after publication. AP-SMART editors follow the COPE Flowcharts
when dealing with cases of suspected misconduct. If, on investigation,
the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction,
expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be
published in the journal.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists editors in making editorial decisions and, through
editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving
their manuscripts. Peer review is an essential component of formal
scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour.
AP-SMART shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to
contribute to the scientific process have an obligation to do a fair
share of reviewing.


Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research
reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be
impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the
invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.


Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must
be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others
except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do so under
exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited
reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated
clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for
improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is

Acknowledgement of sources

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been
cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation
or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be
accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the
editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript
under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished)
of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Any invited referee who has conflicts of interest resulting from
competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with
any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the
manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the
editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the
invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be
used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of
the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer
review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s
personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline
the review invitation.

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the
work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of
the significance of the work. The manuscript should contain sufficient
detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review
articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while
editorial ‘opinion’ or perspective pieces should be clearly identified
as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute
unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together
with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make
the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should
ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for
at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or
subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the
confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights
concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality and plagiarism

Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely
original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others,
that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been
influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the
manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from
“passing off” another’s paper as the author’s own, 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

Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication

Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published
in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should
not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been
published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to
more than one journal is unethical publishing behaviour and

The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines,
translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable,
provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the
journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must
reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The
primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Authorship of the manuscript

Only persons who meet these authorship criteria should be listed as
authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public
responsibility for the content: (i) made significant contributions to
the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or
analysis/interpretation of the study; and (ii) drafted the manuscript or
revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (iii)
have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its
submission for publication. All persons who made substantial
contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical
help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not
meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but
should be acknowledged in the “Acknowledgements” section after their
written permission to be named as been obtained. The corresponding
author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the
above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the
author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the
final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Authors should—at the earliest stage possible (generally by submitting a
disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in
the manuscript)—disclose any conflicts of interest that might be
construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the
manuscript. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be
disclosed include financial ones such as honoraria, educational grants
or other funding, participation in speakers’ bureaus, membership,
employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest,
and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, as well as
non-financial ones such as personal or professional relationships,
affiliations, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials
discussed in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the
work should be disclosed (including the grant number or other reference
number if any).

Acknowledgement of sources

Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of
others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in
determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained
privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third
parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written
permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained
in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing
manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the
explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in
these services.

Hazards and human or animal subjects

If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any
unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify
these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animals or
human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were
performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines
and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them;
the manuscript should contain a statement to this effect. Authors should
also include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was
obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights
of human participants must always be observed.

Peer review

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and
cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw
data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and
copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of “revisions
necessary”, authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments
systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and
re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Fundamental errors in published works

When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own
published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s
editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper
in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the editors or
publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a
significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to
promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal
editors of the correctness of the paper. For guidelines on retracting
or correcting articles, please click here:

Duties of the Publisher

Handling of unethical publishing behaviour

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent
publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with
the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation
and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt
publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case,
the retraction of the affected work.  The publisher, together with the
editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the
publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under
no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such
misconduct to take place.

Access to journal content

The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and
preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by
partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.
For details on Elsevier’s archiving policy, please click here:

Elsevier policies on key issues ranging from accessibility to text and data mining can be found here: