The actual Code of Ethics is composed on the basis of internationally recognized norms and standards of ethics, including those recommended by Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/), the practices and policies adopted by the Editorial Board and established by Owner / Publisher, and the legislation of Russian Federation.
The actual Code of Ethics consists of Preamble, 14 consecutive paragraphs, and Conclusion. The actual Code of Ethics is put into action from 15 November, 2013, to ensure the high quality standards of the journal and to provide fulfillment of journal’s goals and purposes. In every issue described in the actual Code, the international legislation is the first priority, and the legislation of Russian Federation is the second priority, so the paragraphs of the actual Code are relevant to the extent they do not violate these legal norms.
1.General duties and responsibilities of editors
1.1. Editors are accountable for everything published in Quaestio Rossica research journal.
1.2. Editors are striving to meet the needs of readers and authors in the most effective way, by implementing the set of procedures to assure the high quality of published material, and by constantly improving every aspect of the journal;
1.3. Editors champion freedom of expression;
1.4. Editors maintain the integrity of the academic record;
1.5. Editors preclude business and commercial needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
1.6. Editors publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
2. Relations with readers
2.1. Readers should be informed about who has funded research or other scholarly work.
2.2. The information about the fields of journal activity, the editors and the plans, is published on journal’s official web site. The editors have to fix the changes in that information in due course.
3. Relations with authors
3.1. Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication are based solely on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal.
3.2. Editors should never reverse decisions to accept submissions unless problems are identified with the academic integrity of submission. Should any changes in persons of journal editors follow, the new editors have no right to overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified with the academic integrity of submission.
3.3. Editors should ensure that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely. A description of peer review processes is published at the journal’s official web site. The editors should be ready to justify and explain any important deviation from the described processes, should such a demand will be made by a particular author or reader. The editors are responsible to keep such description updated. The confidential issues of peer review should always be kept undisclosed, as stated in paragraph 4.3.
3.4. A description of submission process, including the standards and demands for submitted papers, are published at the journal’s official web site. The editors are responsible to keep such description updated.
3.5. Editors are not denied the ability to publish in their own journal. However, they must not exploit their position. A special procedure has to be implemented to make sure that the author-editor cannot influence the acceptance / rejection of a submission, whether consciously or unconsciously.
3.6. Editors are responsible for support the communication with the authors, including the sending of response letters within due period of time. Also, editors should encourage the authors to share their views about the ways of improving the processes of journal.
3.7. Editors have to respect the requests from the authors that an individual should not review their submission. The Editorial Board must be informed of that, and the author should receive a proper and timely response about whether his demand is satisfied or not.
4. Relations with reviewers
4.1. A description of peer review processes, including the obligation to handle submitted material (as well as the data about author and reviewer) in confidence, is published at the journal’s official web site. The editors are responsible to keep such description updated. Editors are responsible to take necessary measures to provide confidential status of the reviewed materials during the process of review.
4.2. Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.
4.3. Editors are responsible to keep the reviewers’ identities protected. Should any system or policy of an open review be used, a clear notification should be made both to authors and reviewers in advance.
4.4. Editors should encourage reviewers to make comments on ethical questions in relation to the reviewed material (see also paragraph 9.3.).
4.5. Editors are responsible to maintain the reviewer database permanently updated to make sure that the reviewers database reflects the academic community, and to monitor the results of reviewers. In case that certain reviewer is permanently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews, editor has the right to cease the use of such reviewer, and to inform the other editors and the Editorial Board of that.
5. Relations with Editorial Board members
5.1. Editors should provide Editorial Board members fully and properly informed of all the current issues of journal’s functioning, both on particular members’ demand, and during the regular meetings of the Board.
5.2. Editorial Board is holding meetings (in person and distantly) 3 times a year, and discusses the questions of journal quality and development.
6. Relations with journal Owner and Publisher
6.1. The owner and publisher of journal is Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin (further referred to as ‘University’).
6.2. The relationship between editors and University are based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.
6.3. Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based solely on quality and suitability for the journal and without any interference from the University. The position of University cannot be treated as a basis for interference into any of the duties and responsibilities of editors and the Editorial Board, either on behalf of University as a whole, or from the position of particular unit within the University.
6.4. The status of editors is established by a contract, agreement or any other kind of regulating document which describes their relations with the University.
7. Quality assurance
7.1. Editors should take all possible steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish. The basic demands for quality, along with the journal’s goals and policies, have to be formulated clearly and be available for broad audience on the official web-site of the journal. Since the particular sections within journal might have different aims and standards, authors and readers have to be informed of these in a proper way.
7.2. Errors, inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
7.3. There is a list of required elements of a submission available at official web-site of the journal. Editors are obliged to check the presence of all the necessary elements of submission. In order to maintain the quality of publications, the incomplete character of a submission may lead to rejection. The reviewers have the right to reject to review the incomplete submissions.
8. Protecting individual data
8.1. Editors must obey the legislation of Russian Federation connected with the issues of confidentiality, including the Federal Law № 152-ФЗ «О персональных данных» [«On Individual Data»] from 27 July, 2006, and the Federal Law № 149-ФЗ «Об информации, информационных технологиях и о защите информации» [«On Information, Information Technologies, and Data Protection»] from 27 July, 2006, with all the respective amendments to these acts. Regardless of such legislation, however, they should always protect the confidentiality of personal information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions. If it is needed, the editors have the right to ask for a written informed consent for publication from people who might recognize themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or photographs).
9. Encouraging ethical research and dealing with academic dishonesty
9.1. Editors should endeavor to ensure that research, the results of which they publish, was carried out according to the relevant internationally accepted guidelines. If needed, editors should demand the official approvals of the ethical status of research from an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. However, editors should recognize that even such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical, and cannot substitute the compliance with the relevant internationally accepted guidelines.
9.2. Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of academic dishonesty is brought to them. This duty emerges after the receiving of a submission, regardless of whether it’s accepted or rejected.
9.3. Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible academic dishonesty (including possible plagiarism, data fabrication, or authorship dispute). They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases. Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of academic dishonesty. Should the response be not satisfying, editor should to address to the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate public body (including a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to inform them of the case. All the process of pursuing of such issues should be kept confidential to avoid possible misinformation and reputational harm to the authors. Until the pursue is finalized, the editors do not have the right to do definite statements characterizing the suspected papers as academic dishonesty. However, editors have to inform the Editorial Board and the University of the results of investigation and provide all the information gathered to the members of the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board and the University have to make the final decision jointly, up to making a public statement about the discovery of academic dishonesty facts, on the basis of actual legislation and legal norms.
10. Intellectual property
10.1. The intellectual property issues are regulated by legislation of Russian Federation and relevant international norms and agreements. Editors should be sensitive to intellectual property issues and have to collaborate with the juridical department of University to avoid any violence of intellectual property laws and conventions.
11. Encouraging debate
11.1. As the declared purpose of Quaestio Rossica is to provide the space for broad academic debates in the relevant research fields, the editors should encourage debate and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in the journal.
11.2. Authors of criticized material should be given the opportunity to respond in the journal.
11.3. Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded from acceptance.
12. Complaints and Appeals
12.1. Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to appeal to the Editorial Board directly.
13. Commercial considerations
13.1. Quaestio Rossica is not a commercial enterprise by its nature. It has the source of its maintenance is the special support programs run by University. Therefore, any commercial, marketing, or advertising issues have to be excluded from the policies and practices implemented by editors. Still, both editors and University are obliged to take necessary steps to help better promotion of journal within the academic community, and to ensure the broader circulation of the research materials published.
13.2. Should any advertising policy be adopted by the journal in future, it has to be properly declared to authors and readers.
13.3. Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction needs to be included in which case it should be clearly identified.
14. Conflicts of interest
14.1. Editors should have systems for managing their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their staff, authors, reviewers and Editorial Board members. Each action connected to the processes of submission, reviewing, and acceptance/rejection, should be checked for the possibility of a conflict of interest in the preventive way. Any unresolved conflict of interest should be reviewed by the special commission, which has to include the 2 representative of the Editorial Board who are not connected with the conflicting sides, and 3 independent persons not connected with the journal by any means.
14.2. Journals should have a declared process for handling submissions from the editors, employees or members of the Editorial Board to ensure unbiased review.
The changes made into the actual Code of Ethics are considered to be out into action after the approval of such changes by the Editorial Board. Should more than half of the paragraphs of the actual Code be changed, than the new Code of Ethics has to be approved and put into action, of which the readers, the authors, and University must be informed properly and in due time.