26th March 2020

The Journal’s Ethics refer to the duties and rules underlying any decision made by the members of the Editorial Team in consultation, when appropriate, with the Editorial Board. The set of duties, rules and values aim to guarantee the honesty and scientifically rigorous character of the manuscripts published. General duties and rules are presented below but the list is not exhaustive; the editor holds the right of decision on situations not specified in this document. The Journal follows in principle the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) with regard to ethical and professional scientific publication.

Duties of the editor

All editorial decisions are independently made and follow in principle COPE’s “Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors”.

  • Confidentiality, Personal Use

Contents of submitted manuscripts are confidential and are not shared except within the limitations of peer-review. The privileged information must never be used for personal benefit.

  • Conflicts of Interest

When conflicts of interest arise (i.e. when secondary interests for personal, institutional, a company’s financial gain, promotion, favor or return of favor prevail over the primary interests which must be research integrity) that could induce a bias in the evaluation of a manuscript, including a manuscript written by the editor, a coeditor is assigned to handle independently the manuscript. In addition, the mention “This manuscript was independently processed by a co-editor” is added to the published article of the editor.

  • Peer Review

The Journal employs single-blind review: reviewers are anonymous to the authors. Two external reviewers, specialists of the authors’ field are selected, but in the case of divergent opinions, additional reviewers will be asked to contribute. The editor ensures that the process is fair, unbiased, and timely. The evaluation of manuscripts is based solely upon its contents, excluding all types of discrimination (e.g. gender, citizenship).

Following peer-review recommendations and after having appraised the importance of the work to researchers and readers of the studied field, the editor solely decides whether to accept a manuscript for publication. When appropriate, members of the Editorial Board may provide guidance on specific issues.

  • Good Citation Practices

Citations must be relevant to the subject matter. Their selection must not only focus on the importance of the results presented but also on the quality of the method used. Referenced and peer-reviewed articles should be preferred. They should cover the state of the literature, even when results contradict those of the authors. Overuse of citations is unnecessary; authors should instead focus on enhancing the originality of their manuscript. Preference is given, when possible, to quoting other authors rather than multiplying self-quoting. References should be retrievable. The original article should be cited, not the article of other authors who cite the original article. The editor can request the deletion of references that are misquoted or come from unreliable sources (including predatory publishers; see CoopIST information sheet from CIRAD).

  • Plagiarism

Plagiarism is not tolerated. A manuscript must respect intellectual property rules and ownership of results, in particular with regard quoting excerpts from already published contents.

The Journal uses iThenticate from CrossRef Similarity Check for the detection of similarities.

Exceptionally, an agreement may be passed with another journal to publish a translation or an adaptation in English or in French of an already published article in order to extend its readership given the relevance for some regions of the world. The secondary publication then fully cites the original work.

  • Article Retraction

Articles inadvertently published previously, or with errors invalidating the study, or misappropriating research results, or displaying misconduct, or with any other type of fraudulent content will be removed from the Journal’s site. Information on the reason for retraction will be provided in place of the article. In the case of misappropriating research results, all necessary measures will also be taken to rectify the situation with the original author, the author under allegation of misappropriation and, if needed, the institution of the latter.

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Duties of reviewers

  • Confidentiality, Personal Use

Contents of submitted manuscripts are confidential and are not shared except within the limitations of peer-review. The privileged information must never be used for personal benefit.

  • Conflicts of Interest

Any relationship with people, organizations, companies, or any type of conflicting interest with regard to collaborative or competitive issues, which could induce a bias in the evaluation of a manuscript must be disclosed to the editor prior to the evaluation so that the reviewer may be replaced.

  • Objectivity, Competence, Availability

The evaluation of manuscripts is based solely upon its contents, excluding all types of discrimination (e.g. gender, citizenship). No other personal bias may interfere with the evaluation. Remarks should be clear and detailed. Reviewers assist the editor in reaching an editorial decision and the authors in improving their manuscripts through recommendations and suggestions. They should readily decline their contribution to reviewing if they cannot perform it in a timely manner or if they feel insufficiently competent.

  • Good Citation Practices

Citations must be relevant to the subject matter. Referenced and peer-reviewed articles should be preferred. They should cover the state of the literature, even when results contradict those of the authors. Reviewers are entitled to request the deletion of references that are misquoted, or come from unreliable sources (including predatory publishers; see CoopIST information sheet from CIRAD).

  • Plagiarism

When detecting any noteworthy similarity or overlap between the reviewed manuscript and another published paper, the reviewer must inform the editor about it.

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Duties of authors

  • Originality, Peer-Review

The manuscript must not have been already published in whole or in part. However, the preliminary results of the study described may have been presented at scientific meetings. The manuscript submitted to the Journal or a text presenting the same results must not be under evaluation in another journal. Likewise, the manuscript will not be submitted elsewhere throughout the review process.

The authors agree to participate in the peer-review process and to receive advice on their manuscript from reviewers expert in their field. They acknowledge that solely the editor makes the final decision on whether or not to publish their manuscript.

The authors are asked to suggest one or several reviewers for their manuscript. However, the suggested reviewers will not be systematically selected, and at least one reviewer will not be part of the authors’ suggestions. Authors can also name reviewers who should not evaluate their article because of competition stakes or another specified reason. The reviewers must not belong to the same institution as that of the authors and should not have coauthored publications with them in the past three years.

  • Authorship

All coauthors have contributed to at least one stage of the manuscript: conception or design of the work, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, drafting the article, critical revision of the article. Each author’s contribution is specified in the manuscript. All the authors have read and approved the submitted text. All other types of contributors (through technical advice, language editing…) may be cited in the acknowledgments section.

Authors are expected to have considered the order of the authors before manuscript submission. Only exceptionally will the editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors. All authors must have agreed with any such changes.

  • Conflicts of Interest

The authors must state any relationship with people, organizations, companies or others that could induce a bias in their work. A paragraph at the end of the manuscript must state either “there are no conflicts of interests”, or list clearly all potential conflicts of interest, which may concern, among others, employment, consultancies, grants or other funding. Corrections will be published if conflicts of interest arise after publication; depending on the seriousness of the issue, article retraction may be necessary.

  • Research Data, Reproducibility

Data sharing means transparency and contributes to reproducibility of experiments. The manuscript should contain developed details and references to enable others to replicate the work. Presenting knowingly inaccurate or fraudulent data will not be tolerated.

Where possible, the Journal recommends that datasets be deposited in a relevant public data repository.

  • Errors in Published Articles

The author rapidly notifies the Journal’s editor when finding a significant error in an already published work, and agrees that the editor will take the final decision to accept amendments or to retract the publication. Articles published twice inadvertently or containing errors invalidating the study might be removed from the Journal’s site. Information on the reason for retraction will be provided in place of the article.

  • Misconduct

The manuscript must respect intellectual property rules and ownership of results, in particular with regard to quoting excerpts from already published contents. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It includes, but is not limited to, self-plagiarism (reusing the author’s own work and presenting it as new), pretending another’s paper is one’s own, copying without using quotation marks, or paraphrasing significant parts of another’s paper without citing the original author.

The Journal uses iThenticate from CrossRef Similarity Check for the detection of similarities.

Articles containing any type of fraudulent content, or displaying any type of misconduct will be removed from the Journal’s site. Information on the reason for retraction will be provided in place of the article. In the case of misappropriating research results, all necessary measures will also be taken to rectify the situation with the original author, the author under allegation of misappropriation and, if needed, the institution of the latter.

  • Good Citation Practices

Citations must be relevant to the subject matter. Their selection must not only focus on the importance of the results presented but also on the quality of the method used. Referenced and peer-reviewed articles should be preferred. They should cover the state of the literature, even when results contradict those of the authors. Overuse of citations is unnecessary; authors should instead focus on enhancing the originality of their manuscript. Preference is given, when possible, to quoting other authors rather than multiplying self-quoting. References should be retrievable. The original article should be cited, not the article of other authors who cite the original article. Reviewers and/or editors reserve the right to request the deletion of references that are misquoted, or come from unreliable sources (including predatory publishers; see CoopIST information sheet from CIRAD).

  • Studies Involving Animals

Manuscripts involving animals must state, in the Materials and Methods section, or in a separate paragraph at the end of the text, that the study complied with experimentation regulations in the country where the experiment was conducted, and/or have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee, and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Manuscripts that do not comply with these requirements will be rejected.

All the authors should also have complied with the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

  • Human Participation

When the study involves human participation (in the Journal’s scope, mostly population survey or persons’ inquiry), manuscripts clearly state, in the Materials and Methods section, or in a separate paragraph at the end of the text, that all the participating persons have accepted of their own free will to be included in the study. They remain anonymous. In exceptional situations other that those of population survey or persons’ inquiry, manuscripts must have complied with experimentation regulations in the country where the experiment was conducted, and/or have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee, and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Manuscripts that do not comply with these requirements will be rejected.

  • Hazards

The use of chemicals, equipment or any source that contain unusual hazards must be specified in the manuscript.