Publication of an article in an academic peer-reviewed open-access journal such as Philosophical Problems in Science (Polish: Zagadnienia Filozoficzne w Nauce, abbrev. ZFN) serves an essential role in advancing learning, knowledge and research. It reflects the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-review process supports and embodies the scientific method and open-access model fosters a worldwide exchange of ideas and knowledge as well as verifiability of results. Therefore, we recognize a great importance of securing that all publications issued in our journal are accurate and trustworthy. The act of publishing involves many parties, each of which has responsibilities to meet expected ethical standards at all stages in their involvement – from submission to publication of an article. Below our key expectations and guidelines for editors, peer-reviewers, publisher and authors are listed.

These guidelines were composed in compliance with Elsevier recommendations and are fully consistent with the COPE Principles of Transparency and Best Practice Guidelines and the COPE Code of Conduct as well as the Best Practice of Reviewing Procedures in Science (in Polish) issued by Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland. The Editorial Board as well as the Publisher of ZFN are committed to meeting and upholding these standards and take all possible measures against publication malpractices. Moreover, they take their duties of guardianship over all stages of the publication process extremely seriously and undertake to deal with any form of publishing ethics abuse.

Ethical expectations

Duties and responsibilities of editors

To solely and independently decide which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published or rejected. Such decisions 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. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making these decisions.

To act in a balanced, objective and fair way while carrying out their expected duties. The editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors as well as without interference from the journal publisher or sponsor.

To ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary the editor should seek additional opinions. The editor shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field and shall follow best practice in avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. The editor shall require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.

To protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers, unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. In exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the publisher, the editor may share limited information with editors of other journals where deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct.

To ensure digital preservation of the journal content and seek for additional possibilities of such preservation.

To handle submissions for special issues in the same way as other submissions, so that articles are considered and accepted solely on their academic merit and without any influence.

To adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, in accordance with the policies and procedures of the editorial board. To give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. All complaints should be investigated no matter when the original publication was approved. Documentation associated with any such complaints should be retained.

Duties and responsibilities of authors

To assure that all the work in the submitted manuscript is original, to acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources and to provide sufficient list of references at the end of the article.

To obtain permission to reproduce any content from other sources.

To confirm that the manuscript as submitted is not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere. Where portions of the content overlap with published or submitted content, to acknowledge and cite those sources. Additionally, to provide the editor with a copy of any submitted manuscript that might contain overlapping or closely related content.

To declare any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other competing interest – real or apparent – that could be considered or viewed as exerting an undue influence on her or his duties at any stage during the publication process).

To disclose all actual contributors to the metadata of the submission (indicating affiliations of authors and descriptions of their contribution(s) to the work, identification of the author of the concept, assumptions, methods, specific studies, etc.) and to limit authorship to those who have made a significant contribution to the paper or reported study.

To grant to the publisher of ZFN a non-exclusive, charge-free, worldwide license to reproduce submitted materials in any medium for all purposes relating to the journal activities The non-exclusive license allows the Authors to hold their respective copyrights and to retain publishing rights without restrictions.

To notify promptly the journal editor or publisher if a significant error in their publication is identified. To cooperate with the editor and publisher to publish an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper, where this is deemed necessary.

Duties and responsibilities of reviewers

To assist the editor in the decision-making process, and to contribute to the improvement of the quality of the submitted paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively and in a timely manner. Reviewer could point out relevant published work which is not yet cited. Reviewer’s own works shall not be suggested beyond necessary.

To treat any manuscript and material submitted to ZFN as confidential documents. To maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author.

To alert the editor to any potential ethical issues in the reviewed paper.

To be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and to alert the editor to these, if necessary withdrawing their services for that manuscript.

Duties and responsibilities of publisher and sponsor

To protect intellectual property and copyright and to assist the parties (for example, institutions, grant funders, governing bodies) responsible for the investigation of suspected research and publication misconduct and, where possible, facilitate in the resolution of these cases.

To maintain the integrity of the academic record. To publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions where this is deemed necessary.

To foster editorial independence.

To publish journal content on a timely basis.

To publish journal content in electronic format on the journal platform located at and in printed format under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License basing on the suitable non-exclusive licenses granted by authors of respective materials. The non-exclusive license allows the Authors to hold their respective copyrights and to retain publishing rights without restrictions.

Not to charge any fee or charges (neither APC, submission charges, page charges nor any publication fees) to the authors.

To work with journal editors in making choices of typesetting company as well as cover and typographic design of the journal.

To support and assist the editors in the process of applying to indexing services.

To execute the provisions of the agreements between publisher and indexing services.

Procedures for dealing with unethical behaviour

Misconduct and unethical behaviour may include, but need not be limited to, these examples:

  • • ghostwriting (failure to disclose significant participation of another person in the development of a work),
  • • guest authorship (the co-author designation being awarded to a person having a negligible part in the creation of a work),
  • • plagiarism and self-plagiarism,
  • • misusing materials submitted to the journal.

Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor or publisher by anyone at any time, even if it is discovered years after publication.

In the event that the publisher or editors of ZFN are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct the publisher or editor shall deal with allegations appropriately.

  • • Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct shall be asked to provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. Evidence should be gathered, while avoiding spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know.
  • • The editor or publisher shall contact the author of the manuscript or paper giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made. The editor or publisher shall give the author a reasonable opportunity to respond to those complaints.
  • • In case of serious misconduct application of additional measures might be required (reporting the issue to the institution affiliated with the author or to the author's funding agency, publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct, retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal).

The editors and publisher of ZFN shall support authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism.