Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Microbiology, Metabolites and Biotechnology (MMB), with the respect accorded to the rules of ethics in publishing, follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. Editorial Board Members, editor-in-chief, readers, authors, reviewers, and editors should follow these ethical policies once working with WMR. For information on publishing and ethical guidelines, please visit http://publicationethics.org
- Publisher should ensure that editorial decisions on manuscript submissions are final and are only made based on professional judgment and will not be affected by any commercial interests.
- Publisher should monitor the ethics of Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Editorial Board Members, Reviewers, Authors, and Readers.
- Publisher is always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions involving its publications as and when needed.
- The editorial team should have the full authority to reject/accept a manuscript.
- The editorial team should maintain the confidentiality of submitted manuscripts under review or until they are published.
- The editorial team should preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
- The editorial team should disclose and try to avoid any conflict of interest.
- The editorial team should be willing to investigate plagiarism and fraudulent data issues and willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.
- The editorial team (editor, managing director and editorial board) has full authority to reject or accept any article.
- The editorial team must maintain the confidentiality of the content of the submitted articles until their publication.
- The editor makes the final decision on whether or not to accept articles based on the opinions of the judges and editorial board members.
- Due to the journal's review policy (Double-Blind), the anonymity of the reviewers and authors should be maintained.
- The editorial team should report any conflict of interest and prevent it from occurring.
- The editorial team should always monitor the issues of ethics in publishing, plagiarism and scientific violations and provide the necessary explanations if necessary.
- The editorial team should not disclose the information and content of the articles to anyone other than the lead author, the reviewers and, if necessary, other editorial staff.
- Confidentiality of article information must be observed in all areas. The article review process is to be done anonymously.
- Reviewers should judge articles at the appropriate time and assist the editorial team in deciding whether or not to accept the article.
- The referees' suggestions regarding the published articles should be submitted in the form of judging forms and in the comment section for the author and editor.
- Reviewers should refrain from judging articles with conflict of interest and report any conflict of interest as soon as possible.
- Reviewers' judgments about the quality and content of articles should be based on professional and objective opinions.
Authorship Criteria and Authors’ Responsibilities
To ensure authorship for the submitted manuscripts, the contributors should meet the following three conditions:
- Conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data has been done by the author.
- Either drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content has been done by the author.
- The final approval of the version to be published has been given by the author. Each contributor should have participated sufficiently in the work to be allowed to take public responsibility for suitable portions of the content.
- It is necessary to observe the basic principles of writing and research in writing articles, and articles should be written and arranged according to the format of the journal.
- Before submitting an article, all authors should read the authors' guide and the terms and conditions of submitting an article in this journal.
- The corresponding author must confirm and submit the consent and knowledge of other co-authors of the article in this publication through the authors' commitment form.
- All authors whose names are mentioned in the article and in the letter of commitment form must participate in writing and compiling the article.
- Appreciation and organizational affiliation of authors should be mentioned in the article and any conflicts of interest between authors or organizations should be mentioned.
- For the sustainability and development of the specialized review process, qualified authors are invited to participate in the review process of other articles in this journal.
- Authors should clearly report the sponsor of the research (if any).
- Authors have a duty to notify the editor as soon as possible if they find a mistake or incorrection in their published article to correct or revoke the article.
- All authors should be aware that articles submitted to this journal are reviewed by a similarity check software to prevent scientific misconduct.
- Authors should cite correctly and appropriately all the sources they have used, both directly and indirectly.
Changes of Authorship
All authors must approve the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscripts. Any addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made and explained by reasons given by the corresponding author and confirmed by all other authors before reviewing the process of the manuscript and only if approved by the editor-in-chief.
- Data Fabrication and Falsification
Data fabrication and falsification mean the researcher did not really carry out the study, but made-up data or results and had recorded or reported the fabricated information. Data falsification means the researcher did the experiment, but manipulated, changed, or omitted data or results from the research findings.
Duplicate publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross-referencing, share essentially the same hypotheses, data, discussion points, and conclusions.
Excessive citations in a submitted manuscript that do not contribute to the scholarly content of the article and were included solely to increase citations to a given author's work or articles published in a particular journal are referred to as citation manipulation. This is a form of scientific misconduct since it misrepresents the importance of the specific work and publication in which it appears.
Simultaneous submission occurs when a manuscript (or substantial sections from a manuscript) is submitted to a journal when it is already under consideration by another journal.
Redundant publications involve the inappropriate division of study outcomes into several articles, most often consequent to the desire to plump academic vitae.
- Improper Author Contribution or Attribution:
All listed authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to the research in the manuscript and approved all its claims. Don’t forget to list everyone who made a significant scientific contribution, including students and laboratory technicians.
Plagiarism is intentionally using someone else’s ideas or other original material as if they are one's own. Copying even one sentence from someone else’s manuscript, or even one of your own that has previously been published, without proper citation, is considered by MMB as plagiarism.
All manuscripts under review or published with MMB are subject to screening using plagiarism prevention software. Thus, plagiarism is a serious violation of publication ethics. The authors are expected to check their manuscripts for plagiarism before submission.
If plagiarism is detected during peer review, the submission can be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication we reserve the right, as necessary, to issue a correction or retract the article. We reserve the right to notify the institutions of authors about the plagiarism that was found before or after publication.
The Principles of Transparency
- Study design and ethical approval
Good research should be well justified, well planned, appropriately designed, and ethically approved. To conduct research to a lower standard may constitute misconduct. The authors are responsible for the whole scientific content as well as the accuracy of the bibliographic information.
Data should be appropriately analyzed, but the inappropriate analysis does not necessarily amount to misconduct. Fabrication and falsification of data do constitute misconduct.
Data availability statements should describe how readers can access the data supporting the study's conclusions and clearly outline why unavailable data cannot be released. The data used to support the study findings should be available from the corresponding author upon request.
Conflicts of interest comprise those which may not be fully apparent and which may influence the judgment of authors, reviewers, and editors. They have been described as those that, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial. “Financial” interests may include employment, research funding, stock or share ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, and company support for staff.
A statement verifying that each subject or the subject's guardian gave their informed consent should be included in all articles describing the findings of experimental investigations involving human subjects. Any study involving humans or animals should only be conducted once the experimental protocol has been approved by the local ethics commission.
This journal uses Double-blind peer review, which means that the reviewer and authors identities are concealed from the authors and vice versa, throughout the review process. To facilitate this, authors need to ensure that their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not give away their identity. Authors have the right to communicate to the editor if they do not wish their manuscript to be reviewed by a particular reviewer because of potential conflicts of interest. No article is rejected unless negative comments are received from at least two reviewers. This process, as well as any policies related to the journal’s peer review procedures, is clearly described on the journal’s Web site (https://armmt.irost.ir/journal/process).
- The plan for electronic backup and preservation of access to journal's content (https://armmt.irost.ir) is clearly indicated. This policy sets out the ways in which the authors of MBB can archive copies of their work on their own web pages, corporate web pages, and various other subject repositories.
- MBB is an open access license, articles can be made available immediately according to the terms of their specific Creative Common license. If an author has published an article under an Open Access license, MBB would encourage author to share the Version of Record on publication as opposed to the Accepted Manuscript.
- Authors may also reuse the Abstract and Citation information (e.g., Title, Author name, Publication dates) of their article anywhere at any time including social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs and Twitter, providing that where possible a link is included back to the article on the MBB site. Preferably the link should be, or include, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which can be found in the Citation information about the article online. The accepted version may be placed on: the author's personal website and/or the author's company/institutional repository or archive. Self-archiving of the submitted version is not subject to an embargo period.
MBB is published two issues per year. All the content from the beginning to the end will be available for ever on MBB exclusive website ( https://armmt.irost.ir/).
- Privacy and Confidentiality
Reviewing all papers requires the highest consideration for the privacy of the writers. When authors send in manuscripts for review, they entrust editors with the fruits of their scholarly labor and artistic endeavors, and there could be consequences for their careers and reputations. A writer's rights may be violated if private information is revealed while the author's manuscript is being reviewed. Editors are required to respect reviewers' right to confidentially. Confidentiality may need to be violated if there is a suspicion of fraud or dishonesty, but it must be appreciated otherwise. Editors cannot reveal any information regarding manuscripts—including their receipt, substance, reviewing status, reviewer critique, or final destination—to anybody other than the authors and reviewers.
Before the manuscript is published, reviewers and editorial staff must respect the authors' rights by not publicly discussing or using their work. Reviewers should only be permitted to share the manuscript with other people with permission from the editor, and they should not be allowed to copy it for their records. Reviewers ought to return or destroy copies of the manuscripts after submitting their reviews. The only manuscripts that editors should retain are those that have been accepted. Reviews should not be published or otherwise made public without the consent of the reviewer, author, and editor.
Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST)
Microbiology, Metabolites and Biotechnology (MMB), has professional editorial board, whose members are recognized experts in the subject areas included within the journal’s scope. The full names, specifications, the contact information and affiliations of the journal’s editors is provided on the journal’s Web site (https://armmt.irost.ir/journal/editorial.board).
On the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge, this journal provides immediate open access to its content.
All journal papers are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits use, sharing, adaption, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as the original author(s) and source are properly credited. Under open access license, in this journal, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their content without restrictions.
The policy of the journal is not to have advertising.
- Corrections and retractions
Journals may need to issue corrections or retractions of published papers to preserve the integrity of the academic record. In compliance with established academic community guidelines, published publications should be corrected by publishing an erratum or retraction article. The original article should be kept the same by linking to the erratum or retraction article. The original article is still available to the public and should be regularly indexed to the following retraction or erratum. If the content violates those rights or is libelous, we might have to remove it from our website and archive sites.
Changes to published articles that affect the article's meaning and conclusion but do not invalidate the article in its entirety may be corrected, at the discretion of the editor(s), by publishing an Erratum indexed and linked to the original article. Changes in authorship of published articles are corrected through an Erratum.
If the scientific information in an article is significantly compromised on rare occasions it may be appropriate to retract published articles. In these cases, Journal must comply with the COPE guidelines. Retracted papers are indexed and the original article is referred to.
Identification of and Dealing with Allegations of Research Misconduct
Editor-in-Chief takes reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others.
- The journal editor's first step of action is to notify the Editorial Office of Microbiology, Metabolites and Biotechnology (MMB) by sending copies of the relevant papers and a draft letter requesting an explanation from the corresponding author in a nonjudgmental way.
- The problem is referred to the Publication Committee via the Editorial Office if the author's answer is deemed inadequate and it appears that significant unethical behavior has occurred.
- The Committee will determine if the case is severe enough to prevent further submissions.
- If the offense is less severe, the Editor may, based on the Publication Committee's recommendation, send the author a letter of reprimand and remind them of MMB's publication policies; if the manuscript has already been published, the Editor may also ask the author to correct the record by publishing an apology in the journal.
- Notification will be made to the relevant author, and any work that these authors coauthored or is currently being reviewed by MMB will be rejected immediately if it contains any content that violates the agreement.
- Serving on the editorial board of Microbiology, Metabolites and Biotechnology (MMB) and reviewing articles for the journal is forbidden for the authors. MMB maintains the right to take additional measures.
- A retraction notice will be published in the journal and linked to the article in the online edition in cases of substantial fraud that lead to the retraction of the work. Along with the retraction date, the online version will be noted as "retracted."
How Appeals and Complaints Are Handled
We accept reasonable challenges to the editor's decision. However, to address the problems raised by the editor and reviewers, you must offer strong backing or relevant data/information. Editors rarely change their decisions after making a choice and don't anticipate many appeals. Therefore, submitting your work to another journal is highly recommended if it is refused. Final decisions made by the Editorial Board are usually final and cannot be changed because they are based on the objective opinions of the reviewers. However, if you think you have an excellent basis to appeal and you disagree with the publication's decision, do the following actions:
- Explain your legitimate concerns and the reasons you think the decision was incorrect. Please forward any further information or documents you want the journal editors to consider when conducting the review.
- If you believe the reviewers made a mistake in evaluating your paper, please explain and include the relevant documentation.
- Provide proof that there was an interest conflict throughout the arbitration procedure.
- For every piece, the editors consider only one appeal. After receiving the appeal, the editors may consult with the referees and other editors who read the work.
- The editors and editorial board's decisions are final. They can result in the rejection of the article, a request for more peer review, or the need for the manuscript to be submitted in a changed version.
COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts
Microbiology, Metabolites and Biotechnology, MMB is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of in its reviewing and publishing process and issues. For more information on COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts please see: (https://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts-new/translations).
COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices for Editors
Everything published in the journal is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief. This means that the editors must:
- Strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;
- Strive to constantly improve their journal;
- Have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;
- Champion freedom of expression;
- Maintain the integrity of the academic record;
- Preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
- Always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
- Actively seeking the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes.
- Encouraging and being aware of research into peer review and publishing and reassessing their journal’s processes in the light of new findings.
- Supporting initiatives designed to reduce research and publication misconduct.
- Supporting initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics.
- Assessing the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revising policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct.
- Ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers including statistical review.
- Adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists.
- Considering developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles.
- Adopting authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e. so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g. ghost and guest authors).
- Informing readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation.
Relations with authors
- Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal.
- Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
- New editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.
- Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.
- Editors should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
- Editors should provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor following the standards within the relevant field.
Best practice for editors would include
- Reviewing author instructions regularly and providing links to relevant guidelines.
- Publishing relevant competing interests for all contributors and publishing corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.
- Ensuring that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests).
- Respecting requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned and practicable.
- Publishing details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct.
- Publishing submission and acceptance dates for articles.
Relations with reviewers
- Editors should provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
- Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.
- Editors should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected unless they use an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.
Best practice for editors would include
- Encouraging reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects (including animals), inappropriate data manipulation and presentation)
- Encouraging reviewers to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism
- Considering providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications (e.g. links to cited references and bibliographic searches)
- Sending reviewers’ comments to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libelous remarks
- Seeking to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal
- Encouraging academic institutions to recognize peer review activities as part of the scholarly process.
- Monitoring the performance of peer reviewers and taking steps to ensure this is of high standard.
- Developing and maintaining a database of suitable reviewers and updating this on the basis of reviewer performance.
- Ceasing to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews.
- Using a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g., author suggestions, bibliographic databases).
- Following the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct.
Relations with editorial board members
- Editors should provide new editorial board members with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and should keep existing members updated on new policies and developments.
Best practice for editors would include
- Having policies in place for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review
- Identifying suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal regularly reviewing the composition of the editorial board.
- Providing clear guidance to editorial board members about their expected functions and duties, which might include:
- Acting as ambassadors for the journal.
- Supporting and promoting the journal.
- Seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g., from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions.
- Reviewing submissions to the journal
- Accepting to write editorials, reviews and commentaries on papers in their specialist area
- Attending and contributing to editorial board meetings
- Consulting editorial board members periodically (e.g., once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenge.