Ethics and Malpractice Policy
Ethics and Malpractice Policy
The names and email addresses entered in this 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.
FINANCING publishes all articles under the open-access model, defined under Budapest, Berlin and Bethesda open access declarations. The full content of the articles published by FINANCING is freely available for anyone to read, download, print, use, re-use and build upon. The published articles are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction, free of charge, in any medium, provided that the original author(s) and original publisher are given due credit. The copyright of the published work is retained by the authors. FINANCING will always provide free access to all the articles published without any obligations or restrictions, to all readers, in any part of the world.
Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Our publication ethics and publication malpractice statement is mainly based on the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011).
The editor is responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. The editor will evaluate manuscripts without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. The decision will be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the journal’s scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism should also be considered.
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Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted paper will not be used by the editor or the members of the editorial board for their own research purposes without the author’s explicit written consent.
Contribution to editorial decisions
The peer-reviewing process assists the editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions and may also serve the author in improving the paper.
Any selected referee 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 withdraw from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the 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.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify cases in which relevant published work referred to in the paper has not been cited in the reference section. They should point out whether observations or arguments derived from other publications are accompanied by the respective source. Reviewers will notify the editor of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
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 associated with the papers.
Authors of original research reports should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective 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.
Data access and retention
Authors could be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the paper for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.
Originality, plagiarism policy and acknowledgement of sources
Plagiarism can occur in two forms: 1) author(s) intentionally copy someone else work and claim it as their own, or 2) author(s) copy her or his own previously published material either in full or in part, without providing appropriate references – also called as “self-plagiarism” or “duplicate publication”.
FINANCING will judge any case of plagiarism on its own merits. If plagiarism is detected, either by the editors, peer reviewers or editorial staff at any stage before publication of a manuscript –before or after acceptance, during editing or at page proof stage, we will alert the author(s), asking her or him to either rewrite the text or quote the text exactly and to cite the original source. If the plagiarism is extensive-that is, if at least 25% of the original submission is plagiarized-the article may be rejected and the author’s institution/employer notified.
Every manuscript submitted for publication is checked for plagiarism after submission and before being sent to an editor for editorial review. FINANCING uses iThenticate to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in the submitted manuscript.
Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
In general, papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by the journal should not be resubmitted to copyrighted publications. However, by submitting a manuscript, the author(s) retain the rights to the published material. In case of publication, they permit the use of their work under a CC-BY license [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/], which allows others to copy, distribute and transmit the work as well as to adapt the work and to make commercial use of it.
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.
The corresponding author ensures that all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved persons are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should include a statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that may 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 or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum.
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2011, March 7). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from http://publicationethics.org/files/Code_of_conduct_for_journal_editors_Mar11.pdf
Research Involving Human Subjects
When reporting on research that involves human subjects, human material, human tissues, or human data, authors must declare that the investigations were carried out following the rules of the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975 (https://www.wma.net/what-we-do/medical-ethics/declaration-of-helsinki/), revised in 2013. According to point 23 of this declaration, approval from the local institutional review board (IRB) or other appropriate ethics committee must be obtained before undertaking the research to confirm the study meets national and international guidelines. As a minimum, a statement including the project identification code, date of approval, and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board must be stated in Section ‘Institutional Review Board Statement’ of the article.
Example of an ethical statement: “All subjects gave their informed consent for inclusion before they participated in the study. The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, and the protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of XXX (Project identification code).”
For non-interventional studies (e.g. surveys, questionnaires, social media research), all participants must be fully informed if anonymity is assured, why the research is being conducted, how their data will be used and if there are any risks associated. As with all research involving humans, ethical approval from an appropriate ethics committee must be obtained prior to conducting the study. If ethical approval is not required, authors must either provide an exemption from the ethics committee or are encouraged to cite the local or national legislation that indicates ethics approval is not required for this type of study. Where a study has been granted an exemption, the name of the ethics committee which provided this should be stated in Section ‘Institutional Review Board Statement’ with a full explanation regarding why ethical approval was not required.
Written informed consent for publication must be obtained from participating patients. Data relating to individual participants must be described in detail, but private information identifying participants need not be included unless the identifiable materials are of relevance to the research (for example, photographs of participants’ faces that show a particular symptom). Patients’ initials or other personal identifiers must not appear in any images. For manuscripts that include any case details, personal information, and/or images of patients, authors must obtain signed informed consent for publication from patients (or their relatives/guardians) before submitting to FINANCING. Patient details must be anonymized as far as possible, e.g., do not mention specific age, ethnicity, or occupation where they are not relevant to the conclusions. A template permission form is available to download. A blank version of the form used to obtain permission (without the patient names or signature) must be uploaded with your submission. Editors reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.
You may refer to our sample form and provide an appropriate form after consulting with your affiliated institution. For the purposes of publishing in FINANCING, a consent, permission, or release form should include unlimited permission for publication in all formats (including print, electronic, and online), in sublicensed and reprinted versions (including translations and derived works), and in other works and products under open access license. To respect patients’ and any other individual’s privacy, please do not send signed forms. The journal reserves the right to ask authors to provide signed forms if necessary.
If the study reports research involving vulnerable groups, an additional check may be performed. The submitted manuscript will be scrutinized by the editorial office and upon request; documentary evidence (blank consent forms and any related discussion documents from the ethics board) must be supplied. Additionally, when studies describe groups by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, disease, etc., an explanation regarding why such categorization was needed must be clearly stated in the article.
Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research
The editors will require that the benefits potentially derived from any research causing harm to animals are significant in relation to any cost endured by animals and that procedures followed are unlikely to cause offence to the majority of readers. Authors should particularly ensure that their research complies with the commonly-accepted ‘3Rs’ :
- Replacement of animals by alternatives wherever possible,
- Reduction in number of animals used, and
- Refinement of experimental conditions and procedures to minimize the harm to animals.
Authors must include details on housing, husbandry and pain management in their manuscript.
For further guidance authors should refer to the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures , American Association for Laboratory Animal Science  or European Animal Research Association .
If national legislation requires it, studies involving vertebrates or higher invertebrates must only be carried out after obtaining approval from the appropriate ethics committee. As a minimum, the project identification code, date of approval and name of the ethics committee or institutional review board should be stated in Section ‘Institutional Review Board Statement’. Research procedures must be carried out in accordance with national and institutional regulations. Statements on animal welfare should confirm that the study complied with all relevant legislation. Clinical studies involving animals and interventions outside of routine care require ethics committee oversight as per the American Veterinary Medical Association. If the study involved client-owned animals, informed client consent must be obtained and certified in the manuscript report of the research. Owners must be fully informed if there are any risks associated with the procedures and that the research will be published. If available, a high standard of veterinary care must be provided. Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript.
If ethical approval is not required by national laws, authors must provide an exemption from the ethics committee, if one is available. Where a study has been granted an exemption, the name of the ethics committee that provided this should be stated in Section ‘Institutional Review Board Statement’ with a full explanation on why the ethical approval was not required.
If no animal ethics committee is available to review applications, authors should be aware that the ethics of their research will be evaluated by reviewers and editors. Authors should provide a statement justifying the work from an ethical perspective, using the same utilitarian framework that is used by ethics committees. Authors may be asked to provide this even if they have received ethical approval.
FINANCING endorses the ARRIVE guidelines (arriveguidelines.org/) for reporting experiments using live animals. Authors and reviewers must use the ARRIVE guidelines as a checklist, which can be found at https://arriveguidelines.org/sites/arrive/files/documents/ARRIVE%20Compliance%20Questionnaire.pdf.
Editors reserve the right to ask for the checklist and to reject submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines, to reject submissions based on ethical or animal welfare concerns or if the procedure described does not appear to be justified by the value of the work presented.
NSW Department of Primary Industries and Animal Research Review Panel. Three Rs. Available online: https://www.animalethics.org.au/three-rs
Home Office. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Bred, Supplied or Used for Scientific Purposes. Available online: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/388535/CoPanimalsWeb.pdf
American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. The Scientific Basis for Regulation of Animal Care and Use. Available online:
European Animal Research Association. EU regulations on animal research. Available online: https://www.eara.eu/animal-research-law
Research Involving Cell Lines
Methods sections for submissions reporting on research with cell lines should state the origin of any cell lines. For established cell lines, the provenance should be stated and references must also be given to either a published paper or to a commercial source. If previously unpublished de novo cell lines were used, including those gifted from another laboratory, details of institutional review board or ethics committee approval must be given, and confirmation of written informed consent must be provided if the line is of human origin. Editors reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.
An example of an ethical statement:
The HCT116 cell line was obtained from XXXX. The MLH1+ cell line was provided by XXXXX, Ltd. The DLD-1 cell line was obtained from Dr XXXX. The DR-GFP and SA-GFP reporter plasmids were obtained from Dr XXX and the Rad51K133A expression vector was obtained from Dr XXXX.
Research Involving Plants
Experimental research on plants (either cultivated or wild) including a collection of plant material, must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines. We recommend that authors comply with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
For each submitted manuscript supporting genetic information and origin must be provided. For research manuscripts involving rare and non-model plants (other than, e.g., Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, Oriza Sativa, or many other typical model plants), voucher specimens must be deposited in an accessible herbarium or museum. Vouchers may be requested for review by future investigators to verify the identity of the material used in the study (especially if taxonomic rearrangements occur in the future). They should include details of the populations sampled on the site of collection (GPS coordinates), date of collection, and document the part(s) used in the study where appropriate. For rare, threatened or endangered species this can be waived but it is necessary for the author to describe this in the cover letter.
Editors reserve the right to reject any submission that does not meet these requirements.
An example of Ethical Statements:
Torenia fournieri plants were used in this study. White-flowered Crown White (CrW) and violet-flowered Crown Violet (CrV) cultivars selected from ‘Crown Mix’ (XXX Company, City, Country) were kindly provided by Dr XXX (XXX Institute, City, Country).
Arabidopsis mutant lines (SALKxxxx, SAILxxxx,…) were kindly provided by Dr XXX , institute, city, country).
Clinical Trials Registration
FINANCING follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines which require and recommend registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment as a condition of consideration for publication.
Purely observational studies do not require registration. A clinical trial not only refers to studies that take place in a hospital or involve pharmaceuticals but also refer to all studies which involve participant randomization and group classification in the context of the intervention under assessment.
Authors are strongly encouraged to pre-register clinical trials with an international clinical trial register and cite a reference to the registration in the Abstract and Methods section. Suitable databases include clinicaltrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register and those listed by the World Health Organisation International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.
Approval to conduct a study from an independent local, regional, or national review body is not equivalent to prospective clinical trial registration. FINANCING reserves the right to decline any paper without trial registration for further peer-review. However, if the study protocol has been published before the enrolment, the registration can be waived with the correct citation of the published protocol.
FINANCING requires a completed CONSORT 2010 checklist and flow diagram as a condition of submission when reporting the results of a randomized trial. Templates for these can be found here or on the CONSORT website (http://www.consort-statement.org) which also describes several CONSORT checklist extensions for different designs and types of data beyond two group parallel trials. At a minimum, your article should report the content addressed by each item of the checklist.
Sex and Gender in Research
We encourage our authors to follow the ‘Sex and Gender Equity in Research – SAGER – guidelines’ and to include sex and gender considerations where relevant. Authors should use the terms sex (biological attribute) and gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances) carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Article titles and/or abstracts should indicate clearly what sex(es) the study applies to. Authors should also describe in the background, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected; report how sex and/or gender were accounted for in the design of the study; provide disaggregated data by sex and/or gender, where appropriate; and discuss respective results. If sex and/or gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given in the Discussion. We suggest that our authors consult the full guidelines before submission.
Borders and Territories
Potential disputes over borders and territories may have particular relevance for authors in describing their research or in an author or editor correspondence address and should be respected. Content decisions are an editorial matter and where there is a potential or perceived dispute or complaint; the editorial team will attempt to find a resolution that satisfies the parties involved.
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