Publication Ethics & Malpractice State

Publication Ethics & Malpractice State

Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH) is a peer-review online international journal. The PEMS clarifies ethical behaviour of all parties involved in the act of publishing an article in this journal, including the Editor, the Reviewers­­­­­, the Authors and the publisher (Secholian Publication PLT). This statement prepared based on COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines by Elsevier for Journal Editors.

The publication of an article in MJSSH is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society.  

Secholian Publication PLT as the publisher of MJSSH  takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously and we recognize our ethical and other responsibilities. We are committed to ensuring that advertising, reprint or other commercial revenue has no impact or influence on editorial decisions. In addition, MJSSH Editorial Board will assist in communications with other journals and/or publishers where this is useful and necessary.

Duties of Editor

 Fair play  

Editor of MJSSH evaluates submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (quality, originality, research validity, clarity) as well as its relevancy to the journal’s aim and scope, regardless of the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.

Editorial independence

Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. Editor has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. 

Confidentiality

The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. 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.

Publication decisions

The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation and quality of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to Editorial Decisions

Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author also assist the author in improving the paper and revised it based on the given comments .

Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the Journal’s editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice.  The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which decision should be based.  Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.

Promptness

Abstract of the submitted papers’ must be send to the selected Reviewers while inviting them to Review. This is to inform the Reviewers on the area of the research and the content of the submitted paper. Reviewers should be prompt with their reviews. Any selected Reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself/herself from the review process. The initial given time to the Reviewers for their review is 3 weeks. This can be extended based on the Reviewers’ requirement due to Editor’s decision.

Confidentiality

MJSSH follows a double-blind peer-review process, whereby authors do not know reviewers and vice versa. Peer review is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science.

The manuscript must be send to the Reviewers in anonymous status (without name or any sign of the Author’s identity). Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor. The submitted manuscript is a privileged communication; reviewers must treat it as confidential. It should not be retained or copied. Also, reviewers must not share the manuscript with any colleagues without the explicit permission of the Executive Editor.

Standards of Objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Reviewers will be asked to fill in the MJSSH Evaluation Form to give their complete comments on the paper for its originality, quality, and research validity. Moreover, reviewers required stating in their review report using "Manuscript Evaluation Form" if the article fulfils the criteria below which are based on MJSSH archiving policy on Review criteria:

i)Theoretical/Conceptual Soundness:  The article should make reference to previous research or theories in the reported study. The theory, if any, behind the research should be logically applied and thoroughly justified.  It should correctly interpret and appropriately synthesize relevant prior research. And finally, are the hypotheses, if any, derived from the theory to be tested, clearly stated, and are they actually tested.

ii) Methodological Soundness: Qualitative or quantitative empirical studies reported on should have a systematic and coherent method of study. The article should include a clear account of the study's project background, objectives, subjects, methodology (methods should be the most recent, if not, the relevancy/ appropriateness should be questioned), data analysis, and conclusions. The reviewer should comment accurately and constructively upon the quality of the author's interpretation of the data, including acknowledgment of its limitations. Are the appropriate analytical techniques applied to the data collected, and the results correctly interpreted? Are the conclusions and/or implications correctly derived from the research findings?

iii) Contribution:  Does the article advance knowledge in/of the discipline? Are the findings and their implications noteworthy? Is the paper of interest to many people in the field or at least one segment of it (e.g., academics, practitioners, public policy makers, consumers etc.)? The article should also discuss the implications of the reported project, and/or report on any conclusions or products which may be of relevance to future research, development or practice.

iv) Communication: The article should be of an acceptable quality in terms of linguistic accuracy, clarity and coherence. Is the article clearly written and the major points easily grasped? Is the article laid out in a logical format? Data presentation/ tabulation: Any irrelevant tables/ figures should be checked. The reviewer should comment on major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as a written communication, independent of the design, methodology, results, and interpretation of the study.

Apart from above criteria , reviewers are also requested to complete rating section of the Manuscript Evaluation Form by selecting appropriate rate in terms of ; Clarity of formal structure, Suitability of title to the contents, Abstract sufficiently informative, Originality/Novelty, Methodology sufficiently described, Methodology appropriate to study, Results / Conclusions supported by data analysis, Clarity in the presentation of findings, Scientific soundness, Bibliography adequate and relevant.

Moreover, reviewers are asked for their detailed comments to the Author. The reviewer's comments should be constructive, professional and be sufficiently specific in order to help the author improve the article when revising it for publication or re-submission to MJSSH journal (in the event that it is rejected by MJSSH). If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should notify the Editor in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties unless officially notified by the journal that they may do so. Reviewers also give their recommendation on decision to the manuscript’s  publication to the Editor.

Review Quality

MJSSH selects its reviewers as experts in the scientific topics addressed in the articles they review. They provide written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of written research with the aims to improve the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for the journal. Individuals who do not have such expertise will not be selected as reviewers.

Ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics is periodically assessed by the Executive Editor to assure optimal journal performance. These ratings also contribute to decisions on reappointment to the MJSSH Editorial Board and to ongoing review requests. Individual performance data on Reviewers are available to the Editors but otherwise kept confidential. Reviews are expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive.

Publication Ethics & Acknowledgement of Sources

Plagiarism is scientific misconduct and is an unacceptable violation of publication ethics. It should be dealt with promptly. The journal’s editors and reviewers are the primary means of detecting plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to MJSSH. Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should notify the Editor in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties unless officially notified by the journal that they may do so.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest

Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as the objective/s discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

Authorship of the Paper

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Originality and plagiarism

Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely 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 behaviour and is unacceptable.  The accepted similarity of the submitted articles for publication consideration in MJSSH is less than 10% . The corresponding Authors should clearly confirm and acknowledge the originality of their submitted manuscript in the cover letter to the Editor while they are submitting a paper.

Data Access and Retention

If necessary, authors will be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data . Also, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.

Peer review

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions necessary", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication

An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. Authors must clearly acknowledge in the cover letter that the paper was not published before and is not under  revision for any journal’s publication.

Acknowledgement of Sources

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given through the Cover Letter. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

All authors should acknowledge in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.

Fundamental errors in published works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.

Duties of the Publisher

Handling of unethical publishing behaviour

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, 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 editors, 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.

Access to journal content

The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive. Secholian Publication PLT is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and to ensure accessibility by converting and upgrading digital file formats to comply with new technology standards.