Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Biogeographia - The Integrative Journal of Biogeography is an academic journal published by the Italian Society of Biogeography (SIB) through eScholarship. The integrity of the content published is an essential point and should be ensured during the editorial processes and when publishing papers. The journal fully adheres to the code of conduct and the best practice guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, https://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct). To that purpose, authors, reviewers, members of the editorial team, and any other actor involved in the publication of a paper in Biogeographia, are expected to fully adhere to our policy regarding publication ethics and malpractice, and respect the following statements:
Manuscripts submitted to Biogeographia must be original and adhere to a high scientific (content) and technical (language, artwork, etc.) standard.
The International Codes of Nomenclature for living and fossil animals, algae, fungi, plants, and prokaryotes should be followed rigorously.
The authors must ensure that all necessary permits have been obtained prior to collecting. The authors are encouraged to deposit all type and relevant voucher materials in a public natural history collection or in a traceable collection as registered in the Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (GRBio). To prevent taxon extinction and to respect biodiversity resources of the country where specimens are collected, it is strongly recommended that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Additionally, when data collection involves the killing of an organism, the number of specimens collected should be limited to the minimum necessary to conduct the research; and techniques used to capture or handle animals should conform to the highest standards of animal welfare. In case of the use of genetic information, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) of the Convention on Biological Diversity should be followed.
Biogeographia is a free open access journal licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Authors who publish with this journal accept the following conditions:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of its authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Readers are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in Biogeographia (CC BY 4.0).
To ensure that papers are original contributions, and to avoid copyright issues, authors must follow some rules:
- When a paper is submitted in Biogeographia, the cover letter should include the disclaimer “The present paper has not been submitted to another journal, nor will it be in the six months after initial submission to Biogeographia. All co-authors are aware of the present submission.”
- All co-authors must be aware of and agree to the contents of the submission.
- All co-authors agree with the copyright policy and the Open Access policy of the journal.
- The corresponding author declares that the manuscript and the illustrations within are original, or that he/she has taken all the necessary steps to avoid breach of copyright.
Biogeographia applies single-blind peer review. Authors can draw our attention to potential conflicts of interest by indicating the name of “opposed reviewers” during submission. Authors are required to explain (in detail) why they do not want this person to be invited. However, editors should decide for themselves who they want to invite, and cannot guarantee that “opposed reviewers” will not be invited.
To help ensure that publishing scientists also act as reviewers, Biogeographia considers it a gentlemen’s agreement that its authors, whose papers were accepted, also act as potential reviewers for other manuscripts submitted to the journal.
Authors are expected to contribute to their research field by publishing original and relevant results and data. The following elements are considered essential for an ethical publication: data integrity; sound presentation of methodologies, sources and techniques used; reproducibility of results; acknowledgement of contributors to data collection and research; acknowledgements of funding agencies and/or previous institutions where (part of) the work was carried out.
As a consequence, authors must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the results presented in their manuscript. Authors who already published papers on the same topic are expected to include citation of these papers when relevant, but at the same time to avoid excessive and inappropriate self-citation.
Plagiarism is unacceptable; any suspicion of plagiarism will be investigated by the editorial team.
Self-plagiarism (also known as text recycling) should be avoided as much as possible; however, when text duplication from previous works is necessary, it should be reported transparently and these previous works should be fully cited in the publication itself.
Invention of data and malicious manipulation of data (or of data images) are not acceptable. Authors are expected to keep accurate records of the data and to have a proactive and ethical attitude on data management (data availability, quality checks). Data omission or intentional manipulation of parts of the dataset to fit the desired study’s hypotheses will be considered as fraud.
Illustrations used to present data should not be manipulated, except for clarity purposes (e.g. adjustment of the contrast, colours…). When doing so, the author must ensure that the manipulation does not lead to loss or misinterpretation of data. Methods or techniques used to enhance images must be described in the Material and Methods section of the paper, or at least in the caption accompanying the illustration.
Reproducibility of results
We strongly encourage authors to submit the datasets used in the study, alongside the manuscript. Datasets can be published in Biogeographia as supplementary data files of Data Papers.
Conflicts of interest
There is a conflict of interest when someone is influenced in his/her choices or actions by a personal or financial interest. In the context of a publication, several elements could seem questionable if the objectivity of the different actors of a publication is uncertain: from the interpretation of a result by an author, to the recommendation of a reviewer and the decision of an editor. This is why every suspicion of a conflict of interest should be reported to the editorial team of Biogeographia.
The review process of Biogeographia
Papers that conform to journal scope and style will be sent to at least two reviewers by a member of the editorial team, who will then act as the coordinating editor. The editor in chief assigns the appropriate editor for each submitted paper.
Biogeographia applies single-blind peer review, which means that reviewers remain anonymous by default. However, if reviewers want their names to be communicated to the author, the journal will allow this.
Responsibilities of reviewers
Reviewers are expected to objectively evaluate papers and inform the editors of any potential conflict of interest.
Confidentiality of the manuscripts they are reviewing should be maintained.
Potential reviewers who decline to review a paper are encouraged to state the reason why.
Any study on the distribution of organisms can be considered for publication.
Dissemination of original research, as well as the ability to use and reuse data as freely as possible, is the key to innovation and further advancement of science.
At the end of the review process, each editor makes the final decision of acceptance or rejection, based on the reviewers’ reports and potentially in consultation with the editor in chief.
If there is any conflict of interest between an editor and an author, the editor in question will not be involved in the review and the decision processes.
Respect of reviewer anonymity
The editorial system that is used for manuscript submission in Biogeographia will maintain anonymity of the reviewers. Reviewers can also send attached files (review report, commented manuscript) that can be communicated to the author; in this case the editor will take care of anonymizing such files (the author of the comments cannot be identified). However, reviewers should not enter their names or initials in the file name or inside the document, if they wish to remain anonymous.
Distribution of Biogeographia publications
All publications in the journal are freely available at no charge on our website, at https://escholarship.org/uc/biogeographia.
Authors are encouraged to disseminate their work: they can directly download the pdf files of their articles from the website and distribute electronic or printed copies to their colleagues, or distribute the URL from which PDF files can be downloaded.
The names, affiliations and email addresses entered in our journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
Ethical issues: Action of the Editorial Team
We do our best to avoid ethical issues before publication, but anyone who suspects an ethical issue is encouraged to contact us. The editorial team of Biogeographia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every suspicion of ethical issues, misconduct or conflict of interest will be investigated by the journal.
The editor-in-chief will conduct the investigation.
All members of the editorial team of the journal, as well as reviewers and authors, are encouraged to provide their feedback and suggestions to improve communication during the treatment of ethical issues.
The editor-in-chief will contact both parties in any conflict and study their responses. No repressive action will be decided without sufficient evidence of misconduct.
If the case involves another journal, its editor-in-chief will be contacted and both editorial teams will investigate and, if possible, make a common decision.
Resolution of ethical problems
If the paper incriminated has not yet been published, publication will be delayed until the problem is resolved. The manuscript may be rejected if there is any evidence that the author(s) has (have) not respected the present code of conduct.
If the paper incriminated has already been published, the decision of the editor-in-chief will depend on the nature and severity of the problem:
If it is proven that the dispute is only due to a difference of scientific point of view between the author and the complainant, the journal must encourage debate. The complainant can publish a paper in Biogeographia and the author of the first paper has a right to reply. These papers, as all the others submitted to Biogeographia, will follow our evaluation process and will be reviewed before any editorial decision.
For minor issues, all the people involved in the decision and publication process of the article are informed. If all parties agree, the publication of a corrigendum or addendum in Biogeographia will be the solution to solve minor problems.
In very serious cases (plagiarism for example), the retraction of a publication can be decided. The readers and all people involved in the decision and publication process of the article will be informed. The head of the department where the incriminated author (or reviewer) works will be informed.
The solution to a problem can vary considerably depending on the case. The editorial team of Biogeographia will always try to find the most appropriate solution and will involve every person or institution concerned by the problem in the investigation.
If a potential nomenclatural problem is raised, the appropriate nomenclatural code is consulted and the problem is discussed with both parties and with members of the editorial team of Biogeographia. If no answer is found, experts in nomenclature will be consulted to help the editors finding a solution.