This section provides a guide on UBJ editorial, publishing and peer review policies. It includes ethical guidelines and code of conduct for authors, reviewers and editors. In addition to ethical publication practice, our open access policy is described and a copyright notice is provided.
Our journal policies have been developed to ensure that publication process for all articles in UBJ meets high ethical standards on every stage, from initial submission through peer reviews and revisions to acceptance and publication.
UBJ is an entirely open access journal. All articles immediately upon publication are freely available on the journal website for everyone to read and permanently use them for any lawful purpose. There is no open access fee (or article publishing charge, APC) for the authors. The readers at no cost can access, download, print, copy, distribute and transmit or remix (adapt) the article under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), provided that use and distribution are fully attributed to the author(s) and source of publication.
Copyright on the article is retained by the author(s). The author/corresponding author signs an Author Agreement where the authors retain copyright but grant broad publishing and distribution rights to the publisher, including the right to publish the article and to make it available online. Authors also permit the publisher to apply a DOI to their articles and to archive them in appropriate databases and indexes.
In signing the Agreement, the authors certify that: submitted manuscript is their original work; the manuscript has not been published before and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; the article and any associated published material are distributed freely under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) which allows for maximum dissemination and re-use of open access materials, with full original author attribution. The journal is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work.
Following an initial quality check, each new submission is assigned to an Editor with relevant expertise. Having assessed the manuscript for suitability, the Editor determines which experts are needed to evaluate the manuscript, based on their qualifications and level of expertise. The author/corresponding author can submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. However, the Editor retains the sole right to decide whether the suggested reviewers are selected.
UBJ operates a single blind peer review process. All contributions are typically sent to two independent, anonymous expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the manuscript. Usually external peer reviewers have up to 3-4 weeks to submit their review. Reviewers remain anonymous unless they choose to identify themselves in the Peer Review Form.
The Editor considers the feedback from peer reviewer and makes a preliminary decision on each manuscript (Reject; Major revision; Minor revision; Accept). This decision is communicated to the corresponding author, along with the reviewer feedback and other requirements from the UBJ office. If the manuscript can be published after revision, the author is invited to revise it and to resubmit the revised version of the manuscript. After resubmission, the Editor takes an overall decision based on evaluation of the revised manuscript and author response to reviewers, or, if necessary, requests additional comments from external peer reviewers.
If the Editor is finally satisfied with scientific aspects of the manuscript, he recommends to the Editor-in-Chief to accept the manuscript for publication. Once the final formatting and technical requirements are completed, the UBJ office sends a formal decision on acceptance of the manuscript. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of the manuscripts. The Editor-in-Chief 's decision is ultimate and binding.
UBJ provides fast publication of taxonomic and nomenclatural novelties in order to ensure priority of the proposed changes. These manuscripts are also peer reviewed by two external referees but undergo shorter publication process in order to accelerate valid publication of taxonomic or nomenclature proposals. For these submissions, UBJ offers quick turn-around time ranging between 2–3 weeks for review process and 2 weeks for publication after manuscript acceptance.
UBJ endorses guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (falsification, plagiarism, data fabrication, citation manipulation, redundant publication, etc.). The Journal also follows the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA) as well as COPE quidelines on Cooperation between research institutions and journals on research integrity cases. The Editorial Board upholds the internationally approved standards of ethical behavior with all parties involved in publishing – authors, reviewers, editors and publisher.
All members of the publication process are committed to maintain high ethical standards. The guidelines below provide major ethical issues in publishing and outline obligations of the authors, reviewers and editors.
Authorship is limited to those who have significantly contributed to the research. The corresponding author must ensure that all appropriate co-authors are listed in the article and inappropriate ones are not included in the list. All authors must be named in the manuscript at the time of its submission. Those who have participated in certain aspects of the research should be named in Acknowledgements.
Authors reporting results of the original research are expected to present an accurate account of the performed study and objective discussion of its significance. All underlying data should be accurately represented. Intentionally inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable. Authors should not submit the same manuscript for consideration to more than one journal concurrently and publish the same, or essentially unchanged, material in more than one (duplicate or multiple) publication.
Authors should ensure to submit entirely original work and should properly cite or quote whenever they use the data and/or statements of others. Any statement reported in previous publications should be accompanied by reference. If the manuscript contains material that is someone else's copyright, a permission of the copyright owner to use the material must be obtained and the material should be clearly identified and acknowledged in the text. All sources of financial support for the research should be disclosed.
Plagiarism (copying text, ideas, images, or data from other sources without attribution; paraphrasing substantial parts of other authors' articles without attribution) or self-plagiarism (reusing text from the author's own previous publications without attribution) constitute unethical publishing behavior and are not acceptable in submissions to UBJ. If plagiarism is detected, the manuscript will not be considered for publication.
Authors must notify the editors of any conflicts of interest with other people or organizations (associated with employment, sources of funding, personal financial interests, relationships, membership of relevant organisations, etc.). All potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed at the earliest possible stage.
Authors should treat communication with UBJ as confidential. Correspondence with the Journal, reviewer reports and other confidential materials must not be posted on any website or otherwise publicized without prior permission from the editors.
Authors must report any significant errors or inaccuracies in their published article to the editors and cooperate with them to make corrections as soon as possible, or if necessary, to retract the paper.
Peer reviewers should conduct their reviews in an ethical and accountable manner. They are expected to follow The COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers to uphold the quality and validity of individual manuscripts through the peer review process.
Peer reviewers are asked to focus on scientific value, quality and overall style of the manuscript. They should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Personal criticism of the author is not acceptable. Reviewers are supposed to decline reviewing if they feel unable to provide a fair and unbiased review in a reasonable time-frame.
All information regarding submitted manuscript and all aspects of its review should be kept strictly confidential and not allowed to be shown to or discussed with anyone other than the Editors. Reviewers are expected not to make use of any material or take advantage of any information they gain through the peer review process.
Reviewers should declare any cases of plagiarism and notify the editors of any substantial similarity between the reviewed manuscript and any other published article of which they have personal knowledge. They should alert the editors if a manuscript contains or appears to contain any falsified or manipulated data and any published material without appropriate attribution.
Reviewers are asked to declare any potential competing interests related to the research (of financial, non-financial, professional or personal nature). Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships and/or connections with any of the authors, or their institutions. After manuscripts are assigned for review, referees are asked to inform the Editor of any conflicts of interest that may exist.
Editors have the main responsibility for scientific quality of the published articles and should base their publication decisions solely on the manuscript quality, importance, originality, clarity and relevance to UBJ scope.
Editors follow the internationally approved standards of ethical behavior with all parties involved in publishing process. They should ensure that all research material they recommend to publish conforms to the accepted ethical guidelines. The Editor-in-Chief should take reasonably responsive measures in case of ethical complaints concerning submitted manuscript or published article and appeals against editorial decisions.
Editors should not disclose information about a submitted proposal to anyone other than reviewers or Editorial Board members. Any information or ideas obtained through peer review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Unpublished materials disclosed in the submitted manuscript must not be used in anyone's own research without a written consent of the author(s). Editors are committed to preserve the anonymity of reviewers, unless the latter decide to disclose their identities. All allegations of misconduct must be referred to the Editor-in-Chief and kept confidential until thorough examination.
Editors must take into account any financial, non-financial, professional or personal relationships between authors and reviewers. They are also required to declare their own competing interests. Editors should take action in accordance with the COPE guidelines to disclose any potential conflict of interests. In case of disclosing the competing interests after publication, the appropriate corrections should be made. A retraction notice may be published if needed.
Plagiarism and other forms of misconduct are not acceptable in submissions to UBJ. Editors should not take a decision to publish submitted manuscript, if there are any reasons to suspect any malpractice or plagiarism. During the investigative process, the editors follow the guidelines and requirements outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to identify, assess and handle all individual misconduct cases. The submitted manuscripts may be screened for textual overlaps with previous publications using free online plagiarism checking tools (https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/, http://www.articlechecker.com).
If any scientific fraud (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism) or other kinds of misconduct have been revealed after publication, the Editor should consider the possibility of publication retraction. Retracted papers may be retained online, but conspicuously marked as a retraction to minimize harmful effects. A retraction notice containing the reason(s) for the retraction should be quickly published for the reader's benefit.