Policies and ethics
Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
JvS is an academic journal published by the Syrphidae Foundation; one of the priorities of the editorial team is to publish fully peer-reviewed quality papers. The integrity of the content published is an essential point which should be ensured by the review and editorial processes. Besides peer-reviewed papers, in a separate section of JvS faunistic notes and opinion may be published. To that purpose, all the stakeholders of a JvS publication (authors, reviewers, and members of the editorial team and of the Syrphidae Foundation) are expected to adhere fully to our policy regarding publication ethics and malpractice, and respect the following statements:
JvS papers must be original and adhere to a good scientific (content) and technical (language, artwork, etc.) standard.
The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (living and fossil animals) should be followed rigorously (https://www.iczn.org/the-code/the-code-online/).
When new material has been collected for the purposes of the study, the authors must ensure that all necessary permits have been obtained prior to collecting and this should be stated in the material and methods section and/or in the acknowledgments. The authors are required to deposit holotype material in a public natural history collection.
To prevent taxon extinction and to respect the 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. 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.
JvS is a free open-access journal licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). Authors who publish with this journal accept the following conditions:
● Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication and permanent storage on the JvS website and other open-access directories or libraries; they also simultaneously allow others to share the work as long as the latter acknowledge the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
● Authors 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 JvS (CC BY 4.0).
● Authors should not post their submitted work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on personal websites) prior to or during the submission process until formal decision on acceptance and/ or first publication in JvS, as this may cause nomenclatural problems.
To ensure that papers are original contributions, and to avoid copyright issues, authors must adhere to the following rules:
● When a paper is submitted to JvS, the title page should include the disclaimer “The present paper has not been submitted to another journal. 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 are original, or that he/she has taken all the necessary steps to avoid breach of copyright and that JvS is not responsible for any problems of copyright.
JvS applies single-blind peer review, i.e. the reviewers are anonymous to the authors. 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 to review. However, JvS 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, JvS considers it a gentlemen’s agreement that authors whose papers are accepted will also act as potential reviewers for other manuscripts submitted to the journal.
Plagiarism, text recycling and smallest publishable units
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 in experimental studies; 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 citations 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 is then reported transparently and these previous works are fully cited in the publication itself.
Whenever possible, data and results gathered in the same framework (e.g. a single research project) should not be broken up into smaller publishable units. This behaviour must be strictly avoided when the data and results share common hypotheses, methods and material. “Salami slicing” not only distorts the way a reader sees the paper (considered as a single original unit when it is only a subset of a more substantial study), it also causes cross-referencing issues. JvS encourages authors to publish their data and results obtained in a single framework as a unique and original publication. As long as a manuscript is concise, there is no page limit in JvS; substantial taxonomic revisions, monographs and checklists are fully within the journal’s scope, and preferred to numerous smaller publications resulting from the same framework.
Invention of data and malicious manipulation of data (or of data images) are clearly unacceptable. Authors are expected to keep accurate records of their data and to have a proactive and ethical attitude to 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, photo stacking, equalizing background colour…). 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.
Reproducibility of results
We strongly encourage authors to submit the datasets used in the study, alongside the manuscript. Datasets can be published in JvS as supplementary data files, referenced along with the paper and made available for download. To facilitate data reuse, datasets can also be hosted on the authors’ personal/institutional website(s), or added to relevant databases and repositories (e.g. GBIF, Dryad…).
Conflicts of interest
There is a conflict of interest when someone is influenced in his/her choices or actions by a personal, commercial 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:
● interpretation of a result by an author
● recommendation of a reviewer
● decision of an editor
This is why every suspicion of a conflict of interest should be reported to the JvS editorial team.
The JvS review process
Papers which conform to journal scope and style will be sent to two reviewers by a member of the editorial team, who will then act as the handling editor.
JvS 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, JvS will allow this.
Responsibilities of reviewers
Reviewers are expected to evaluate papers objectively in due time and inform JvS 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 and if possible indicate potential new reviewers.
The Syrphidae Foundation that publish JvS has the following principles:
● Descriptive taxonomic research is essential to safeguard our planet’s biodiversity and remains one of the core missions of the Syrphidae Foundation.
● 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.
● Publishing is part of the research process, and the Syrphidae Foundation furthers this publishing expertise.
● Scholarly publications should be made accessible to all, at no charge (diamond open access).
At the end of the review process, the editor-in-chief makes the final decision of acceptance or rejection, based on the reviewer reports and the recommendation of the handling editor in charge of the review process.
If there is any conflict of interest between an editor and an author, this editor will not be involved in the review and decision processes.
Respect of reviewer anonymity
The “Editorial Manager” system, will anonymize the reviewer comments to authors. Reviewers can also send attached files (review report, commented manuscript) that can be communicated to the author; in this case the version sent to the author is also anonymized (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 JvS publications
JvS publications are freely available at no charge on the website, at https://www.syrphidaeintrees.com/jvs/the-journal/pdf/
Printed versions of JvS papers are made available at the authors own request at cost price.
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 and PDF/A files can be downloaded.
Compliance with Nomenclatural Codes
The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (living and fossil animals) are rigorously followed by our editors.
To be compliant with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, our zoology papers are recorded in Zoobank before publication and an LSID (Life Science Identifier) assigned and inserted on the first page of each publication. A PDF/A version of each article is also available on our website.
We also follow other recommendations of these codes: the articles published are deposited in a trusted digital repository (LOCKSS).
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 JvS 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 JvS editorial team, 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 should encourage debate. The complainant can submit a paper to JvS and the author of the first paper has a right to submit a reply. These papers, as all the others submitted to JvS, will follow our evaluation process and will be reviewed before any editorial decision.
For minor issues, all the persons involved in the decision and publication process of the article are informed. If all parties agree, the publication of a corrigendum or addendum in JvS 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 persons 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 JvS editorial team will always try to find the most appropriate solution and will involve every person or institution concerned by the problem in the investigation.
Additionally, the editorial board fully adheres to the code of conduct and the best practice guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). To ensure the integrity of the content published in JvS, editors are strongly encouraged to use COPE’s flowcharts whenever they suspect an ethical issue may be present.
If a potential nomenclatural problem is raised, the appropriate nomenclatural code will be consulted and the problem discussed with both parties and with members of the JvS editorial team. If no answer is found, members of the ICZN will be consulted to help the JvS editors find a solution.