Ethical standards of publishing in the scientific journal Dilemmas govern the expected ethical conduct of all stakeholders (publisher, editorial board, reviewers and authors of papers) in the publication process of the journal. The reviewing and publishing of papers in the journal aspires to respect the highest publication and academic ethical standards. As a scientific historiography journal, Dilemmas forms part of the international academic environment and, thus, advocates respect for international publication and academic ethical standards. The ethical standards of publishing in the Dilemmas journal were therefore developed on the basis of the recommended editorial policy instructions prepared by the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).
DUTIES OF THE EDITORIAL BOARD
Fair-play and editorial independence
Members of the editorial board assess the submitted manuscripts solely on the basis of their academic value (relevance, originality, clarity), irrespective of race, gender, ethnic origin, nationality, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, philosophical or institutional affiliation of authors. Publication decisions are not subject to political pressures or other non-academic factors.
The editorial board is bound by confidentiality of information. Editors therefore must not disclose information about the submitted manuscripts to anyone apart from the reviewers, potential reviewers, other members of the editorial board and the publisher.
Conflicts of interest
Members of the editorial board must not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the express written consent of the authors. The editors are also obliged to not consider manuscripts related to a conflict of interest (as a result of competitive, friendly or other relations/links with the author of the manuscript); in this case, the manuscript is dealt with by another member of the editorial board.
Decision on publication
The editorial board ensures that all the received manuscripts are reviewed by at least two reviewers who are experts in the relevant field. The editor-in-chief is responsible for deciding on whether to publish a manuscript, and grounds this decision in the reviewers’ assessment and applicable legal regulations (e.g., on copyright infringement). In making this decision, the editor-in-chief may consult other members of the editorial board.
Taking part in investigations
The editorial board is, in collaboration with the publisher, obliged to take appropriate measures in the event of ethical concerns regarding any of the submitted manuscripts or published papers. The board is obliged to deal with any reported unethical publication conduct, even if this is only discovered a long time after the publication. When dealing with suspected cases of infringement, the editors comply with the guidelines prepared by the COPE. If ethical infringement proves to be justified in the investigation, a correction, an apology or other retraction of the paper will be published in the journal.
OBLIGATIONS OF REVIEWERS
Contribution to editorial decisions
The review process helps editors make editorial decisions and, through communication with the authors, helps them improve their manuscripts. The review process is therefore an essential part of formal scientific communication. Thus, scientists wishing to contribute to the scientific process are ethically committed to accepting a reviewer function if they are adequately qualified and the conditions so permit.
Any invited reviewer who feels unqualified to review the manuscript or knows that an immediate review will be impossible has to immediately inform the editors of this and reject the invitation to review in order for the editors to contact alternative reviewers.
All manuscripts received to be reviewed are confidential documents and have to be treated as such; reviewers must not show them to others or discuss them with others, unless authorized to do so by the editor-in-chief (only in exceptional circumstances). This also applies to those reviewers who do not accept the invitation to review.
Reviews have to be objective and observations clearly supported by arguments so that authors can improve their manuscripts based on this information. Subjective criticism of authors is inappropriate.
Recognition of sources
Reviewers have to list the relevant published works that have not been cited by the authors in the manuscript. Reviewers also have to inform the editors of any significant similarity or overlap between the concerned manuscript and other manuscripts (published or unpublished) that are known to them.
Conflicts of interest
Any invited reviewer who has a conflict of interest due to competitive, cooperative or other relations or links with the authors, companies or institutions related to the manuscript has to immediately inform the editorial board of this in order for the editors to contact alternative reviewers.
Data disclosed in submitted manuscripts must not be used by reviewers in their own research without the express written consent of the authors. Information or ideas obtained in the review process are considered confidential, which means that reviewers must not use them for personal benefit. This also applies to reviewers who refuse to collaborate.
OBLIGATIONS OF AUTHORS
Authors of the original research have to present the performed work and results in detail, which is then followed by an objective debate on the importance of the work. Submissions for review have to be precise, objective and comprehensive, while controversial submissions have to be clearly set out as such. Knowingly inaccurate statements mean unethical conduct and are unacceptable.
Originality and plagiarism
Authors of the papers are obliged to ensure the originality of their work. They have to properly cite or quote the findings and summaries of the findings of the works by other authors (see Instructions to Authors for details). In addition, they need to obtain appropriate permissions for the publication of copyright material (e.g., photographs).
Plagiarism in all its forms represents an ethically unacceptable conduct. The concept of plagiarism is understood not only as direct quotes or summaries of other copyrighted works without proper indication of the source, but also as such summaries of the findings of other research.
Multiple, duplicate, or simultaneous submission/publication
Papers describing the same research or presenting the same findings must not be published in more than one journal or other publication. Therefore, the authors must not submit for review a manuscript which has already been published in another journal. Such conduct is unethical and unacceptable.
Only the persons fulfilling the criteria for authorship may be listed as authors of a manuscript. These have to be able to take public responsibility for the content, as they have significantly contributed to its conception, design, the acquisition of data, its analysis or interpretation. We consider as authors also those who have composed the manuscript or have critically reviewed it. Finally, the authors have to see and approve the final version of the paper and agree to its submission for publication.
All persons who contributed to the work (e.g., technical assistance, help with writing and editing) but do not meet the authorship criteria should not be listed as authors. Their contribution has to be properly acknowledged or thanked for (with their consent). The author with whom the editorial communication takes place has to ensure that all relevant co-authors are included in the list of authors (in accordance with the above definition) and that it does not contain those who do not meet the authorship criteria. This author is also obliged to verify that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have to disclose, at the earliest possible stage, any possible conflict of interest which could affect the results or their interpretation in the manuscript. Examples of potential conflicts of interest to be disclosed include financial conflicts (fees, study or other funding grants, recruitment, counselling, ownership interests) as well as non-financial conflicts such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations or beliefs relating to the topic treated in the manuscript. All sources of financial support to the work have to be disclosed (including donation number or other reference number, if any).
The authors are obliged to participate in the review process. They are obliged to promptly respond to the editors’ requests for additional explanations and supporting documents on copyright, etc. In case of a decision on the need for further revision of the paper, the authors have to systematically and timely respond to the reviewers’ comments, make corrections and then resubmit their manuscript by a specified deadline.
Fundamental errors in published works
If authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their published work, they have to immediately inform the editorial board of the journal of this and collaborate with them in the correction or withdrawal of the paper. If the editorial board learns from a third party that a published paper contains a material error or inaccuracy, it is the responsibility of the authors to correct or withdraw the paper or provide the editors of the journal with means of proof of the accuracy of the paper.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PUBLISHER
As the publisher of the Dilemmas journal, the Study Centre for National Reconciliation encourages the editorial board to follow the modern scientific editorial policies and publication ethics. The publisher defines the relationship between the publisher, editor-in-chief, editorial board, reviewers and authors, protects intellectual property and copyrights and promotes editorial independence. The publisher collaborates with the editorial board in determining the orientation of the journal, in particular regarding the editorial independence, research ethics, authorship, integrity standards (conflicts of interest, research funding, reporting), review process and the role of the editorial board which goes beyond the role of the journal’s editor-in-chief (complaints). The publisher collaborates with the editorial board of the journal in communicating the journal’s rules (to the authors, reviewers, readers). In addition, it regularly reviews the orientation of the journal, helps it to maintain academic integrity and investigate alleged publication ethics infringements.