The Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas (KKP) publishes KIMIKA – the professional journal of the KKP, presenting the results of scientific research to serve and promote the chemistry profession. The KKP realizes that the observance of high ethical standards is very important to the whole scientific process that a guideline is set. As a peer-reviewed journal, the rigor of scientific publication and ethical behavior is expected to be observed. The following are the set of ethical guidelines for authors, reviewers and editors to be observed in the publication of quality chemical research.
- Ethical Obligations of Authors
Authors are expected to adhere to the following ethical guidelines:
- Authors should not proclaim any discoveries unless the experimental, statistical, or theoretical pieces of evidence are strong enough to warrant publication in the scientific literature.
- In writing a manuscript, authors are expected to present a truthful and complete account of the research, avoiding deception in the data presented. The research write-up should contain sufficient detail to allow a peer to reproduce the experimental observations.
- Authors should organize the manuscript to give a well-rounded account of a particular aspect of the study. Fragmentation of research results is highly discouraged.
- When submitting a manuscript, the author should inform the editor of related manuscripts that are under consideration in other journals. If requested, the author should provide copies of the manuscripts to the editor pointing out the differences between the manuscripts.
- It is very unethical to submit manuscripts reporting the same research to more than one journal, unless it is a resubmission of a rejected or withdrawn manuscript. It is however generally acceptable to submit a manuscript for a full paper expanding on a previously published brief preliminary report/communication/letter of the same work. In this case, the editor should be informed of the earlier preliminary publication, and that it should be cited in the full paper manuscript.
- Authors should cite only publications that have direct influence to the reported work preferably citing the original publication. All references should be cited in the reported research.
- Except for common knowledge, authors should provide details of verifiable sources for quoted information in the manuscript. Those that were obtained through conversation, correspondence, refereeing or third-party discussion should not be used.
- Authors should specify in appropriate sections in the manuscript any unusual hazards inherent to the experiment to prevent a potential threat to the public, plants, animals, and the environment.
- Criticism of previous works’ experiments or theories of other researchers may be offered in the manuscript but personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
- The allowed co-authors of a paper are only those who made significant scientific contributions to the research and who share responsibility and accountability for the report. A mere administrative association to the research does not qualify a person for co-authorship. Deceased persons who are legitimate co-authors should be included and a footnote reporting date of death should be provided. All listed co-authors should be aware of the manuscript and have signified their co-authorship. Other contributors may be listed in the acknowledgement section.
- Authors should reveal to the editor potential conflict of interests (such as financial, commercial) that might be affected by publication of the paper. Sources of research funding must be included in the manuscript.
- Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, is not acceptable. Plagiarism is defined as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit” (U.S. National Science Foundation Code of Federal Regulations, Section 689.1 and R.A. 8293 - Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines). Plagiarism includes verbatim copying or very close paraphrasing of another’s work. Self-plagiarism include significant verbatim portions of previous own work or reporting previous own published results as new without acknowledging the source.
- Ethical practice in the conduct of experiments especially involving human or animal subjects should be provided. The following are useful bioethics and animal welfare guidelines:
Studies involving human or animal subjects should present evidence of local institutional review assessing the safety and humane usage of the subjects. In the absence of an institutional review, authors must provide pieces of evidence of informed consent for those involving human subjects or appropriate animal clearances for those involving animal subjects.
- Authors are obliged to follow the above ethical guidelines. Major violations may result in the suspension or revocation of publishing privileges.
- Ethical Obligations of Manuscript Reviewers
- KKP recognizes that reviewing of manuscripts is an essential step in the scientific method and in the publication process. Scientists of good standing are enjoined to do a fair share of reviewing.
- KIMIKA subscribes to the double-blind review process where the identity of the authors and its affiliations are not known by the reviewer. Likewise, the authors are not informed of the identity of the reviewers. Confidentiality and anonymity of the peer review process are essential to ensure objective evaluation of the manuscript.
- A reviewer is chosen because the editor feels he/she is qualified to review a paper. Thus a reviewer should judge the quality and reliability of the whole manuscript as objectively as possible with due regard to the maintenance of high scientific standards.
- A reviewer should be aware of a potential conflict of interest when the manuscript being reviewed is very closely related to one’s work. When the reviewer feels he/she might be biased against the manuscript because of conflict of interest, he/she should return the manuscript immediately without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.
- If by any chance a reviewer is familiar with the manuscript and its author, he/she should politely decline to evaluate a manuscript if one of the authors has a personal or professional relationship with the reviewer so that bias judgment of the manuscript is prevented.
- If a reviewer feels unqualified to provide a judgment on a paper, he/she may decline to review and should return the manuscript promptly to the editor.
- A reviewer is expected to treat the submitted manuscript and the data therein with utmost confidentiality including his/her reviewer’s report and related correspondences. These should be treated as confidential documents and should not be disclosed or discussed with others. It may be allowed to be disclosed in special cases when expert advice is sought. In such case the identity of those to be consulted should be disclosed to the editor.
- Reviewers may disclose publicly that they have served as an invited reviewer for KIMIKA. However, the specific manuscript he/she reviewed as well as his judgment on the paper should not be disclosed. This expectation of peer review confidentiality and anonymity extends even after the publication or rejection of the submitted manuscript.
- When submitting the referee’s report, reviewers should provide adequate explanation or support on his/her judgments so that editors and authors may understand the basis of the comments. Statements related to previous reports should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Unsupported assertions by reviewers are of little value and should be avoided.
- A reviewer should point out relevant work by other scientists that were not cited by the author. Likewise, a reviewer should call the editor’s attention of any substantial similarity between the manuscript under review and any published papers.
- A reviewer is expected to evaluate a paper promptly and submit the report on time. If prompt review cannot be done due to circumstances, the manuscript should be returned immediately to the editor or the reviewer may propose a new review date in case of delays.
- The reviewer may provide objective criticism on the manuscript. Personal criticism directed to the author is inappropriate.
- Ethical Obligations of Editors
- Every editor is responsible for maintaining the quality of the published papers following the scope of the journal and the editor’s quality standards for scientific work.
- Editors should give objective consideration to all submitted manuscripts based on merits without regard to race/ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, or institutional affiliation of the author(s). However, editors should take into serious consideration similarities of the submitted manuscript with previously or concurrently offered by the same author(s).
- Editors should take immediate action to start the review process upon receipt of the submitted manuscript.
- The editor makes the sole decision to accept or reject a manuscript. In the prudent exercise of this duty, editors seek advice from a minimum of two qualified reviewers who evaluate the manuscript as to its quality and reliability. Manuscripts may be rejected by the editor without external review if found to be inappropriate in terms of its scope, interest, depth, etc., for the journal.
- Editors should communicate openly with authors and are discouraged from giving harsh comments.
- Editors including the editorial staff should not disclose any information about a manuscript during the review process.
- Editors should respect the intellectual independence of authors.
- If an editor submits a paper to KIMIKA he/she should inhibit from handling and deciding on the manuscript. All editorial responsibility and decision should be delegated to other KIMIKA editors or a member of its Editorial Advisory Board. Editors should also delegate manuscripts submitted by collaborators to other editors.
- Unpublished data and information in a submitted manuscript should not be used in the editor’s own research. Author’s consent is required in such case.
- Editors should facilitate publication of an erratum if errors were committed or discovered after the publication of a paper.
- Authors may request to the editor to exclude certain reviewers from evaluating his/her manuscript. However, the editor may still consider these reviewers if their opinions are deemed important in the fair review of the manuscript.
The guidelines listed herein were reviewed and adopted by the Editorial Board of KIMIKA in November 2017.
Drexel H. Camacho, PhD