JoSS Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement (PEMS)

JoSS standards require Technical Area Editors (TAEs), other Editors, Reviewers, Authors, and the Publisher to follow best practice guidelines for ethical publishing, summarized in this Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement (PEMS) here and elsewhere on the website. JoSS Response to Discovery or Allegation of Unethical Publishing Conduct describes the steps JoSS will take to address discovered alleged or possible breaches of these and other publishing standards.

Duties of the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), Associate Editors (AEs), and Technical Area Editors (TAEs)

Fair Play and Editorial Independence

In their respective roles, the Members of the Editorial Board (the EiC and AEs) and JoSS TAEs are all responsible for making publishing decisions related to article submissions to JoSS. These Editors are expected to evaluate submitted manuscripts in a fair and neutral manner, without bias or conflict of interest. Their analysis and decision-making should be on the basis of the submissions’ academic merit and presentation, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Preliminary publishing decisions are based on such factors as: relevance to the Journal’s scope; importance to the field of study; originality and integrity of the manuscript; accurateness of the reference cites; and clarity of the presentation of the subject. Decisions to edit and publish are not to be determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself.


Members of the Editorial Board (the EiC and AEs) and TAEs 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 or publisher’s staff, as appropriate.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

TAEs and Editorial Board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the Authors’ explicit written consent.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. TAEs and other 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. In such cases, the EiC will identify another Editor to handle the manuscript.

Publication Decisions

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

Involvement and Cooperation in Investigations

As the final arbiter over Journal content, the EiC has full authority over the entire article content of the journal, including the vetting and reviewing of articles submitted by authors. From time to time, ethical issues may arise, either during the vetting and reviewing process or after publication when a complaint is made. Such ethical problems may include: plagiarism; research results not being original to the purported author; allegations about authorship of contributions; or double or previously-published submission. It is the responsibility of the EiC, in conjunction with the Publisher, to respond and communicate appropriately and in a timely manner to every reported act of unethical publishing behavior, even if it is discovered years after its occurrence, aiming to resolve such issues, as set out in our JoSS Response to Discovery or Allegation of Unethical Publishing Conduct statement.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions

Peer review assists the TAEs and other Editors in making their publishing 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 endeavor. JoSS shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to the scientific process have an obligation to conduct 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 JoSS Production Manager (by whom the invitation to review was transmitted) and decline the invitation to review so that an alternative Reviewer 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 inappropriate. 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 (and accurate) citation. A Reviewer should also notify the TAEs 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 Reviewer 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 through the Production Manager (by whom the invitation to review was sent) to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that an alternative Reviewer can be identified, contacted, and secured. 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 invitation to provide a peer review.

Duties of Authors

Reporting Standards

Articles published in JoSS are expected to consist of original research; Authors should present an accurate account of their work and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work and thorough, complete references to any relevant studies or sources, consistent with the reference format and instructions provided in the Initial Submission Template. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior 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 ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), 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 submitted what can be considered 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 behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, Duplicate, Redundant or Concurrent Submissions/Publication

Generally, papers describing essentially the same research should not be submitted for publication, or published, in more than one place, whether that place is a journal, a website, an archive, or elsewhere. Hence, authors should not submit to JoSS for consideration a manuscript that is under consideration for publication, or has already been published, elsewhere. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and unacceptable.

This being said, the publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one place is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. In such a case, 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 the following authorship criteria should be listed as Authors in the manuscript, as they must each have the ability and responsibility to publicly defend the content: (i) they have made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; (ii) they have drafted at least portions of the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (iii) they have 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, perhaps as a “Contributor,” after their written permission to be named as been obtained. The Corresponding Author should ensure that all appropriate Co-Authors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate Co-Authors are included in the Author list, and verify that all Co-Authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.

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 ID, if any).

Acknowledgement of Sources

Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also accurately 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.

Peer Review

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to TAE or other Editors’ requests (such as for raw data, clarifications, or copyright permissions). In the case of a preliminary publishing decision of “conditional acceptance,” Authors should respond to the Reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and returning their manuscript to the Journal by the deadline given.

Fundamental Errors in Published Works

If Authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the Editors or Publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or corrigendum, or to retract the paper. If the Editors or Publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the Authors’ obligation after notification from JoSS 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 Allegations of Unethical Publishing Behavior

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the Publisher, in close collaboration with the EiC, AEs, and TAEs, 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 EiC, AEs, and TAEs, 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. For details on steps to be taken in the event of alleged breaches of ethical publishing standards, please see the JoSS Response to Discovery or Allegation of Unethical Publishing Conduct.

Access to Journal Content

The Publisher is committed to the availability and preservation of scholarly research published in the Journal. To this end, the Publisher maintains current storage of Journal issue archives at, and is striving to ensure future accessibility to its published articles through third-party online archival institutions.