- Provide practical support to Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors so that they can follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors for the Journal for which they are responsible.
- Ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of age, race, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, sexual orientation, political orientation or social class in its publishing programs.
- Ensure the autonomy of editorial decisions.
- Protect intellectual property (IP) and copyright.
- Ensures that good practice is maintained to the standards defined above.
Editorial Appointments and Responsibilities
Appointments and protocol
Editors-in-Chief of journals published and owned by Old City Publishing are appointed by and are subject to the approval of the Publisher.
Editors of journals published by arrangement with other organizations such as scholarly societies, institutes, research centers, as well as special issues are suggested by the sponsoring organization or the journal Editor-in-Chief and are subject to the approval of the Publisher.
In either case, the editors of journals published by Old City Publishing are tasked with maintaining editorial principles and practices that conform to the conventions in their field. The composition of the Editorial Boards and Editorial Office contact information is available on each journal’s web page.
Responsibilities of Editors-in-Chief
- Deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal should be published. In making these decisions they are guided by the policies of the journal Guidelines for Submission and Publication of Manuscripts and by legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
- Providing guidance to Guest Editors, authors and reviewers on everything that is expected of them, and also a description of peer review processes.
- Providing new Editorial Board Members with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and keeping existing members updated on new policies and developments.
- Evaluating manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic and intellectual merit, without regard to the authors’ age, race, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, sexual orientation, political orientation or social class.
Ensuring a fair and unbiased single-blind peer review of the manuscripts, ensuring that both peer reviewers’ identities are protected.
- Ensuring that appropriate reviewers are selected.
- Developing and maintaining a database of suitable reviewers and updating it on the basis of reviewer performance.
- Not disclosing any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the Corresponding Author, Peer Reviewers, potential Peer Reviewers, other editorial advisers, and Old City Publishing, as appropriate.
- Ensuring that unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript are not used in an Editor-in-Chief’s or Guest Editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.
- Taking reasonable responsive measures when ethical complaints are presented concerning a submitted or published manuscript. In cases of suspected misconduct, they follow the COPE flowcharts.
Publishing corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies whenever needed.
Responsibilities of Guest Editors
- Defining the subject matter and role of every paper in a thematic issue.
- Providing clear guidelines to authors regarding the topic and boundaries of their contributions and the overall design of the issue.
- Ensuring, in collaboration with the executive editorial board, that appropriate reviewers are selected for all the papers (whether they have been commissioned or submitted as a result of a call for papers).
- Establishing a timeline for draft paper submission, peer review, revision and final paper submission with the executive editorial board, and ensuring that all deadlines are met.
Writing the preface to the issue.
Authorship and Responsibilities
Papers submitted to an Old City Publishing journal for consideration must be original works of research and scholarship and must not be subject to parallel submission in any form or version for publication elsewhere. Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Authors of papers published in all Old City Publishing journals must have contributed significantly to the research resulting in the publication of a paper and should be able to certify that they have contributed to the entire manuscript, where necessary attributing work to relevant co-authors or contributors. Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study. Each author must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project should be acknowledged or listed as contributors.
Authors are expected to engage in the peer review process and to respond to and address feedback as requested by journal Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor and/or Peer Reviewers.
Authors must have no conflicting or competing interests that would preclude them to presenting their research in an unbiased manner; consequently authors must disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript upon submission of their paper for publication. Authors should cite in the Acknowledgements section of their paper all sources of financial or in-kind support
- Authors must ensure that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere.
- Authors should not submit the same manuscript simultaneously to more than one publication at a time. This constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
- Authors must ensure that they have written original works and that any work or words of others authors, contributors or sources have been appropriately credited and referenced.
- Authors submitting their works to Old City Publishing journals for publication as original papers confirm that the submitted works represent their own contributions and have not been copied or plagiarized in whole or in part from other works without clearly citing the source. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
- The corresponding author with the journal should ensure that all appropriate co-authors are included in the author list of the manuscript, and that there is a full consensus of all co-authors in approving the final version of the paper and its submission for publication.
- Authors must clear the necessary reproduction rights for any images, photographs, figures, data or content credited to a third party that the Author wishes to use (including content found on the Internet), which fall outside of the fair use provisions described in U.S. copyright law.
- 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 paper.
- If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the Author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
- When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor and cooperate with them to retract or correct the manuscript.
Peer Review and Responsibilities
Peer Review policy
All submissions to Old City Publishing journals undergo rigorous formal peer review. Editorial decisions are made following a rigorous, fair, unbiased and timely peer review process.
The primary purpose of Old City Publishing’s peer review is to provide the Editor-in-Chief and Guest Editors with sufficient information to reach a fair, evidence-based decision that adheres to Old City Publishing’s editorial criteria. Peer review reports should also help Authors revise their papers such that it may be accepted for publication.
The peer review model adopted by Old City Publishing is blind peer review following the single-blind peer review process; that is, Author identities are known to Peer Reviewers, but Peer Reviewers identities are not revealed to the Authors.
In all cases, the Editor-in-Chief and Guest Editors are required to secure peer review from a minimum of two qualified outside Peer Reviewers of all original research papers reporting primary research or secondary analysis of primary research.
Peer reviewer selection is critical to the publication process. It is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations, conflict of interest and previous performance. Speed, thoroughness, sound reasoning and collegiality are highly desirable.
Old City Publishing is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and strives for diverse demographic representation of peer reviewers. Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors are, therefore, strongly encouraged to consider geographical regions, gender identities, racial/ethnic groups, and other groups when inviting Peer Reviewers.
Authors are allowed to suggest potential reviewers, and to request that some be excluded from consideration (usually a maximum of two people/research groups).
- Authors should not recommend recent collaborators or colleagues with whom they work either in the same institution as themselves or as external research collaborators.
- Information which will help the Editor-in-Chief and Guest Editors to verify the identity and expertise of the reviewer will be required. This includes the suggested Peer Reviewer’s institutional email address and ORCID or Scopus ID.
- Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors will consider these requests, but are not obliged to fulfil them. The Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors decision on the choice of peer reviewers is final.
- Each manuscript should be reviewed by at least one reviewer who was not suggested by the Author.
- Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors are expected to independently verify the contact details of reviewers suggested by authors or other third parties. Institutional email addresses should be used to invite peer reviewers wherever possible.
- Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors must ensure that there is no providing of false or misleading information (identity theft and suggesting fake Peer Reviewers). Such actions will result in rejection of the manuscript, further investigation in line with Old City Publishing’s misconduct policy and COPE Best Practice Guidelines, and notification to the Authors’ institutions/employers.
It is recognized that in some exceptional circumstances, particularly in niche and emerging fields, it may not be possible to obtain two independent peer reviewers. In such cases, Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors may act as a second reviewer (providing he/she has sufficient amount of knowledge in the area) or decide to publish based on one peer review report. When making a decision based on one report, Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors are expected to do so only if the Peer Reviewer is senior within the topic and has published recently on the subject, and the peer review report meets the required standards.
Where an Editor-in Chief or Guest Editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the journal’s Editorial Board will be assigned to oversee peer review.
Peer Reviewers are asked to assess submissions based on:
- Key results, summarizing the outstanding features of the work;
- The abstract introduction and conclusions being clear, accessible, accurate and appropriate;
- Validity of the paper, especially in terms of flaws that would prohibit its publication, along with details;
- Originality and significance, especially in terms of the discussion/analysis and conclusions;
- Data and methodology in terms of the validity of the approach, quality of the data and quality of presentation. Focus should be given to the reporting of data and methodology in sufficient detail and transparency to enable reproducing of the results;
- Appropriate use of statistics and treatment of uncertainties, ensuring that the accuracy of the description of any error bars and probability values is given in full and the appropriateness of any statistical tests is provided;
- Conclusions and data interpretation that are robust, valid and reliable;
- Inflammatory material, language that is inappropriate or potentially libellous in the paper is highlighted;
- Referencing of the previous literature is sufficient and appropriate and attempts at reviewer-coerced citation is avoided (this will be noted against a Peer Reviewer’s record);
- Indicating parts of the paper, data or analyses that lay outside the scope of the Peer Reviewer’s expertise and as such, were unable to be assessed fully.
The Editor-in Chief or Guest Editor will consider the peer-reviewed reports when making a decision, but they are not bound by the opinions or recommendations therein. A concern raised by a single peer reviewer, or the Editor-in Chief or Guest Editor themself may result in the manuscript being rejected.
Authors receive peer review reports with the editorial decision on their manuscript. Reports accompanied by a recommendation to reject the paper should explain the major weaknesses of the research in order to help the Authors prepare their manuscript for re-submission or submission to a different journal.
Peer Reviewers’ responsibilities
- Peer reviewers should adhere to the principles of COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.
- Any invited Peer Reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its timely review will be impossible should immediately notify the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
- Any invited Peer Reviewer who wants to pass a peer review invitation onto a colleague must contact the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor in the first instance.
- Any manuscripts received for review or communications from the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor must be treated by the Peer Reviewer as confidential documents. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage by the Peer Reviewer.
- Peer Reviewers must report to the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor if they are aware of copyright infringement and/or plagiarism on the Author’s part.
- Peer Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
- Peer reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments, so that Authors can use them for improving the paper.
- Peer Reviewers must evaluate papers
-Based on content, assessing papers exclusively against Old City Publishing’s criteria for publication, without regard to the Authors’ age, race, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, sexual orientation, political orientation or social class.
– Express their views clearly with supporting arguments and references.
– Without personal criticism of the Author(s) as this is inappropriate and may be defamatory or libellous. In such instances the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor will take action in accordance with COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
- Confidential comments to the Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor are welcomed but they must not contradict the main points in the report for the authors.
Corrections and Additions
Amendments to published papers will be made only if they affect the integrity and accuracy of the scholarly record. Formal notifications will be published on the website of the Old City Publishing journal in question, falling into one of three categories:
- Erratum: An error introduced by the Publisher that affects the integrity of the scholarly record, the reputation of the Authors’, or the reputation of the journal;
- Corrigendum: An error introduced by the Authors’ that affects the integrity of the scholarly record, the reputation of the Authors’, or the reputation of the journal; or
- Retraction: Withdrawal of a published paper due to invalid results or conclusions. All authors of a paper must sign a retraction request, indicating the error and describing how it affects the paper’s conclusions. If Authors’ are not in unanimous agreement in requesting a retraction, the pertinent Editor-in-Chief will consult Editorial Board Members and, as necessary, external reviewers and apply the category of amendment that appears most appropriate, indicating dissenting authors in the text of the published amendment.
Ethical Oversight and Procedures for Addressing Unethical Behavior
Authors, Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors of Old City Publishing journals must adhere at all times to the publishing ethics outlined herein. Unethical practices may include, but are not limited to, violations of any of the ethical expectations outlined above, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, authorship falsification, falsification or fabrication of research, redundant or duplicate publication, peer review manipulation, or failure to disclose conflicts of interest. We will follow the COPE flowcharts and may also seek outside advice. If we find conclusive evidence of misconduct we will take steps to correct the scholarly record, which may include issuing a correction or retraction.