Ethical Guidelines for Publication in JCSB

The ethical guidelines in this document were revised by the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Crop Science & Biotechnology, a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Korean Society of Crop Science and distributed by Springer.

Journal of Crop Science & Biotechnology 

The Korean Crop Science Society serves the crop science, related agricultural industry and society in many ways, among them by publishing Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology. Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology (JCSB) is a peer-reviewed international journal published by the Korean Society of Crop Science and distributed by Springer four times a year. JCSB publishes novel and advanced original research articles on topics related to the production science of field crops and resource plants, including cropping systems, sustainable agriculture, environmental change, post-harvest management, biodiversity, crop improvement, and recent advances in physiology and molecular biology. Also, the covered are related subjects in a wide range of sciences such as the ecological and physiological aspects of crop production and genetic, breeding, and biotechnological approaches of crop improvement. Articles on soil science, meteorology, biometry, and plant protection will also be considered as long as they are significantly related to crop production. The objective of this journal is to offer unique features of structural and molecular biology of crop science with biotechnology, as well as a broad scope of new scientific knowledge covering all aspects of crop sciences.

Ethical Guidelines 

A. Responsibilities of JCSB Editors (including Editorial Board Members)

JCSB Editors have the following responsibilities

  1. An editor should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts submitted to JCSB for publication, by judging each manuscript on its merits regardless of race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s). However, if there are other manuscripts previously or concurrently submitted by the same author(s), an editor may take into account relationships of a manuscript immediately under consideration to them. 
  2. An editor should acknowledge receipt of a submitted manuscript within a few days of receipt and make sure review process of a submitted manuscript efficient, fair and timely. 
  3. An editor should make sure that a submitted manuscript is handled in a confidential manner, with no disclosure of details to anyone with the exception of the reviewers, without the permission of the author(s), until a decision has been made as to whether the submitted manuscript is to be published in JCSB. 
  4. An editor has the sole responsibility for decision of either acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript for publication in JCSB with reference based on the importance, originality and clarity of the manuscript, and its relevance to JCSB. For this decision, the editor should seek advice from reviewers, selected for their expertise and good judgment, as to the quality and reliability of the submitted manuscript for publication. The manuscript may, however, be rejected without external review if considered by the editor to be inappropriate for JCSB. Such rejection may be made if the manuscript fails to fit the scope of JCSB, to provide adequate depth of new information, to be written in acceptable English, to satisfy the format and guideline of manuscript preparation for JCSB, or other reasons. 
  5. An editor should make known any conflicts of interest that might arise from a submitted manuscript. Particularly, in cases where an editor is an author of a submitted manuscript, the submitted manuscript must be passed to another editor for independent peer review. 
  6. An editor should respect the intellectual independence of authors. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a submitted manuscript should not be used by the editor for his/her own research without the consent of the author. 
  7. An editor should consider the use of an author's suggested reviewers for a submitted manuscript, but to make sure that the suggestions do not lead to a positive bias (e.g. co-authors of previous publications, colleague, supervisor, etc.). However, the editor maintains the right to use reviewers of his/her own choice. 
  8. An editor should not use reviewers who an author has requested not to be considered to review a submitted manuscript. However, the editor may decide to use one or more of these reviewers, particularly if the editor feels their opinions are important in the fair consideration of the submitted manuscript. 
  9. An editor should ensure the confidentiality of the names and other details of reviewers. 
  10. An editor should respond to any suggestions of scientific misconduct, usually through consultation with the author. This may require the publication of a formal 'retraction' or correction. 
  11. An editor should deal fairly with an author's appeal against the rejection of a submitted manuscript.

B. Responsibilities of Authors

Authors who submit their manuscripts to JCSB for publication have the following responsibilities. 

  1. All authors must take public responsibility for the content of their manuscripts submitted for publication in JCSB. 
  2. An author should present a concise and accurate report of their research and a discussion of its significance in recognition that journal space is a precious resource created at considerable cost. 
  3. A research paper should contain sufficient detail and reference to public sources of information to permit the author’s peers to repeat the work. When requested, the authors should make a reasonable effort to provide samples of unusual materials unavailable elsewhere to other researchers, with appropriate material transfer agreements to restrict the field of use of the materials so as to protect the legitimate interests of the authors. 
  4. An author should not breach any copyright. An author should gather and interpret data in an honest way. Editors, reviewers, readers and publishers have the right to assume that a submitted manuscript does not contain scientific dishonesty and/or fraud comprising among others fictitious data, plagiarised material, reference omissions, false priority statements, redundant publication of the same data and incorrect authorship. 
  5. An author should give fair recognition to published work relating to the submitted manuscript by citation of such related references. An author should perform a literature search to find, and then cite, the original publications that describe closely related work. 
  6. An author should disclose all sources. If a significant amount of other people's material or data is to be used, permission must be obtained by the author prior to submission to JCSB in accordance with copyright law. 
  7. An author should avoid fragmentation of his/her work into multiple manuscripts. Editors have the right to reject submitted manuscripts on the grounds of undue fragmentation. Particularly, a piece of work should not be split into a number of manuscripts for publication. 
  8. An author should not engage in redundant publication, which occurs when two or more papers share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions without full cross reference. Previous publication of an abstract or preprint of the proceedings of meetings does not preclude subsequent submission for publication in JCSB, but this fact should be disclosed fully at the time of submission. 
  9. An author should inform the editor of related manuscripts under consideration of publication by the same author in any journal. The author may be requested to supply copies of these related manuscripts the editor, and details of their present status. 
  10. An author should ensure that a manuscript is submitted for publication in only one journal at a time. It is not acceptable for an author to submit manuscripts describing essentially the same research to more than one journal at a time, unless it is a resubmission of a manuscript rejected for or withdrawn from publication. It is generally acceptable to submit a manuscript for a full paper expanding on a previously published communication or letter of the same work. However, an author should inform the editor of the earlier communication or letter, and this communication or letter should be cited in the submitted manuscript. 
  11. An author should ensure that a submitted manuscript contains no personal criticism of other scientists. Criticism of the work of another scientist may, however, be justified in an appropriate manner. However, in no case is personal criticism considered to be appropriate. 
  12. Those who have made significant scientific contributions to the work reported and who share responsibility for the results should be listed as co-authors of the submitted manuscript. Other contributions should be indicated in an “Acknowledgments” section. 
  13. The corresponding author who submits a manuscript for publication and corresponds to editors during the process of review should attest to the fact that those named as co-authors have agreed to its submission for publication and accepts the responsibility for having properly included all (and only) co-authors. The corresponding author signs a copyright license on behalf of all the authors. 
  14. An author should declare all sources of funding for the work in the manuscript, which can be acknowledge in an “Acknowledgments” and also to declare any conflict of interest. 
  15. An author should identify clearly in a submitted manuscript any unusual hazards inherent in the use of chemicals, procedures or equipment in the work. 
  16. An author should include a statement that all experiments involving animals or human subjects were performed in compliance with the relevant laws and institutional guidelines and state the institutional committee(s) that has approved the experiments. 
  17. An author should not suggest reviewers with whom the author has current collaborations to avoid any positive bias. 
  18. An author should avoid any plagiarism and redundant publications. Copying text directly from the work of other authors without setting it out as quotations and providing appropriate referencing constitutes plagiarism. Publishing work which is identical to, or has major overlap with previous work by the same author(s) constitutes redundant publication. JCSB follows the COPE guidelines concerning the handling of plagiarism and redundant publication.

C. Responsibilities of Reviewers

Reviewers have the following responsibilities.

  1. A reviewer has a responsibility to do a fair share of reviewing. 
  2. A reviewer should treat an assigned manuscript as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought. The reviewer should inform the editor if the reviewer consults about the manuscript. 
  3. A reviewer who feels inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in an assigned manuscript or lacks the time to review the manuscript, should return it promptly to the editor, without undue delay. 
  4. A reviewer should judge an assigned manuscript objectively, particularly its quality, experimental and theoretical work, interpretations, and in a timely fashion. A reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the authors and should not make personal criticism in his/her review. 
  5. A reviewer should return an assigned manuscript without review to the editor in case of a conflict of interest. Particularly, a reviewer should not review manuscripts authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviwer has a close personal or professional relationship and if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript. 
  6. A reviewer should explain and support their judgments appropriately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments and judgments. A reviewer should provide references related with any statement that an observation or argument had been previously reported and should avoid unsupported assertions. 
  7. A reviewer should check failure of authors to cite relevant work by other scientists. A reviewer should inform the editor any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or any manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal to the best of his/her knowledge. 
  8. A reviewer should alert the editor if an assigned manuscript contains plagiarised materials or falsified data to the best of his/her knowledge. 
  9. A reviewer should act promptly, submitting a report in a timely manner. Should a reviewer receive a manuscript at a time when circumstances preclude prompt attention to it, the un-reviewed manuscript should be returned immediately to the editor. Alternatively, the reviewer might notify the editor of probable delays and propose a revised review date. 
  10. A reviewer should maintain that all unpublished data, information, interpretation and discussion in an assigned manuscript remain confidential and should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in the assigned manuscript under consideration. 
  11. A reviewer should avoid personal criticism of the author(s).

D. Dealing with Scientific Misconduct

  1. Scientific misconduct: Scientific misconduct in publishing includes but is not limited to
    (1) Fraud: fabricating a report of research or suppressing or altering data
    (2) Multiple submission: submission of the same article to two or more separate journals before a final decision has been taken on the paper by the editor of the journal to which the paper was first submitted.
    (3) Duplicate (Redundant) publication: publication of the same manuscript first in one journal and subsequently again in another journal without proper reference and permission.
    (4) Inadequate citing: Failure to adequately cite related work of others.
    (5) Plagiarism: taking material from another's work and submitting it as one's own.
    (6) Self-plagiarism: republishing one's own material that has previously been published elsewhere in the primary literature without citing the earlier publication. 
  2. Dealing with misconduct:
    (1) If such acts of scientific misconduct are revealed, the editors of JCSB may impose sanctions on the authors.
    (2) Such sanctions could range from an immediate rejection of the manuscript in question, a severe warning to the author as regards his/her future conduct up to a ban from submitting manuscripts for a certain period.
    (3) The editors may alert editors of similar journals – also by other publishers - and communicate the type of ethical violation, the names of the authors and the sanctions applied.
    (4) All the correspondence referring to a particular case should be archived for 10 years.
    (5) Decisions as to what sanctions to take are in the hands of the Editors. In the most difficult cases, members of the respective editorial boards may be called as advisors ensuring that the process does not become too time-consuming and drawn out.

References Cited

  1. Editorials of Journal of Soils Sediments. 2006. Ethical guideline for publication in journals. J. Soils Sediments 6: 125-127. 
  2. American Chemical Society. 2010. Ethical guideline to publication of chemical research. 
  3. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 1999. COPE guidelines on good publication practice. The COPE Report 1999: 43-47. 
  4. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE):