Principles of Publishing Ethics

 

The Journal of Information Security and Cybercrimes Research (JISCR) is an open access (CC BY-NC 4.0), peer-reviewed free of charge journal published by Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS). The JISCR is committed to applying publication ethics based on the COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices. You can find the journal’s code of publication ethics here.

Introduction:

The Journal of Information Security and Cybercrimes Research (JISCR) aims to be a main channel for communicating data and sharing ideas and information with the scientific research community. It is mandatory for us to strictly follow a code of ethics, which will greatly enhance the quality of the published works in the journal. This current written code of ethics provides guidance on the proper behavior of editors, authors, and reviewers in the process of scientific publication.

Authors and Co-authors 

Authors

The Journal of Information Security and Cybercrimes Research (JISCR) is committed to following and applying the International Standards for Authors provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics, in designing and leading the journal’s reviewing and publishing processes and other related issues. You can view International Standards for Authors here. Authors should read the standards and apply them completely.

Authors submitting a paper confirm that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the journal.

It is a requirement that all authors have been accredited as appropriate upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under Acknowledgements. 

In addition, authors must strictly follow the code of ethics by only submitting manuscripts that are their own original work or work they are associated with during their tenure. 

Submitted manuscripts should contain original and new results, data, and ideas, which have not been submitted for publishing to other publications or published elsewhere. Fabrication of data and results, intellectual property theft, and plagiarism are highly unacceptable. Information obtained via various media should be provided in the manuscript only with prior permission from the owner of the source of information or data. 

Authors must properly cite the work they are referencing and are strongly advised to crosscheck the reference before submitting a manuscript. 

They may not promote their works in any form via any media to get them published. No article may have an author who is not directly involved in the work. 

Authors and co-authors are requested to review and ensure the accuracy and validity of all the results prior to submission. Any potential conflict of interest should be communicated to the editor in advance. Authors are bound by the Creative Commons licensing policy of publication. 

All authors are requested to submit the copyright transfer form without failure, once they receive the acceptance of their article for publication. 

Editors 

The Journal of Information Security and Cybercrimes Research (JISCR) is committed to following and applying the International Standards for Editors provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics, in designing and leading the journal’s reviewing and publishing processes and dealing with related issues.

The term editor is a commonly used to refer to the Chief Editor of any journal, its Content Editor, Subject Editor, and editorial board members. 

Editors of the JISCR are fully responsible for the editorial and technical decisions of the journal. Any editor or office bearer should not intervene or give comment on any editorial decisions taken on any manuscript by the concerned editor. Editors are requested to give unbiased considerations for the articles submitted. The JISCR aims for timely publication, and editors are therefore advised to process the manuscripts promptly and diligently. 

Editors are the persons solely responsible for the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript; it may be subjected to peer review, but the final decision is bound to the concerned editor. 

Any decision taken or matter of concern about a submitted article should not be revealed to anyone by an editor. If one of the editors is willing to publish an article, the article should be processed by another editor. 

Any editor should refrain from using the information, data, theories, or interpretations of any submitted manuscript in his/ her own work, until that manuscript is in press.

Reviewers 

Reviewers are the main element of the journal, as a peer reviewed (blind referee) journal. They are obligated not to disclose their identity in any form. 

A reviewer should immediately decline to review an article submitted if he/she feels that the article is technically unqualified or if the timely review cannot be done by him/her or if the article has a conflict of interest. 

All submissions should be treated as confidential; editorial approval may be given for any outside person’s advice received. 

No reviewer may pass on the article submitted to him/her for review to another reviewer. If that happens, it should be declined immediately. 

Reviewers must ensure that the articles published must be high quality and original. They may inform the editor if they find the article submitted to them for review is under consideration in any other publication. 

Analysis and evaluation of articles is done on a case-to-case basis, taking into consideration the worthiness, quality, and originality of the article submitted. 

In general, the following may be evaluated in a review: 

  • The structure of the article submitted and its relevance to authors’ guidelines. 
  • The purpose and objective of the article.
  • The method of using transitions in the article. 
  • The introduction and the conclusion.
  • The references provided to substantiate the content. 
  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Plagiarism issues.
  • Suitability of the article to the need 

The acceptance or rejection of an article is decided by reviewers; they are one major element in a peer review process. All our reviewers are requested to review the articles submitted to them in detail and provide their comments without any bias, which will increase the quality of the journal.

Plagiarism
JISCR defines plagiarism as the use of another’s ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and is considered a serious breach of professional conduct.

All submitted articles to JISCR are screened for plagiarism before publication.

Breach of Code 

All individuals must abide by the code of ethics. Being a non-profit body, JISCR does not enforce this: it is the internal responsibility of individuals to abide by it.

JISCR committee members are entitled to take action against an individual, if they are found to have violated the code.

COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts

The Journal of Information Security and Cybercrimes Research (JISCR) is committed to following and applying the guidelines and flowcharts of the Committee on Publication Ethics in its reviewing and publishing process and related issues.

COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices

  1. Editors

Chief Editors are accountable for everything published in the journal. This means the editors do the following:

1.1 Strive to meet the needs of readers and authors,

1.2 strive to constantly improve their journal,

1.3 have processes in place to ensure the quality of the material they publish,

1.4 champion freedom of expression,

1.5 maintain the integrity of the academic record,

1.6 preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and

1.7 always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies, when needed.

Best Practice for Editors would include the following:

  • 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, and
  • ensuring that any press releases issued by their journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context.
  1. Readers

Readers should be informed about who has funded research or other scholarly work and whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers, including statistical review,
  • ensuring that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are clearly identified,
  • 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), and
  • 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.
  1. Relations with authors

3.1 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.

3.2 Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.

3.3 New editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.

3.4 A description of peer review processes should be published, and editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes.

3.5 Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.

3.6 Editors should publish guidance for authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.

3.7 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 the following:

  • 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, and
  • publishing submission and acceptance dates for articles.
  1. Relations with reviewers

4.1 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.

4.2 Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.

4.3 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 the following:

  • 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 a 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,
  • ensuring that the reviewer database reflects the community for their journal and adding new reviewers as needed,
  • using a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g. author suggestions, bibliographic databases), and
  • following the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct.
  1. Relations with editorial board members

5.1 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 the following:

  • 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 commissions 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 challenges.
  1. Relations with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences as the Publisher

6.1 The relationship of editors with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences as the publisher and the owner is based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.

6.2 Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from Naif Arab University for Security Sciences as the publisher.

6.3 Editors have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences as the publisher.

6.4 The terms of this contract are in line with the COPE (Code of Conduct for Journal Editors).

Best practice for editors would include:

  • Communicating regularly with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences as the publisher
  1. Editorial and peer review processes

7.1 Editors should strive to ensure that peer review of their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.

7.2 Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains confidential while under review.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review and journal management,
  • keeping informed about research into peer review and technological advances,
  • adopting peer review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves,
  • reviewing peer review practices periodically to see if improvement is possible,
  • referring troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected, and
  • considering the appointment of an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally.
  1. Quality assurance

8.1 Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Having systems in place to detect falsified data (e.g. inappropriately manipulated photographic images or plagiarized text) either for routine use or when suspicions are raised, and
  • basing decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of reporting (e.g. adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance), rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference.
  1. Protecting individual data

9.1 Editors must obey laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction, regardless of local statutes. However, they should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions. It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from people who might recognize themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or photographs). It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, it is impossible to obtain consent, and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Publishing their policy on publishing individual data (e.g. identifiable personal details or images) and explaining this clearly to authors

Note that consent to take part in research or undergo treatment is not the same as consent to publish personal details, images or quotations.

  1. Dealing with possible misconduct

10.1 Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.

10.2 Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.

10.3 Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.

10.4 Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.

10.5 Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.

  1. Ensuring the integrity of the academic record

11.1 Errors, inaccurate, or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.

11.2 Editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Taking steps to reduce covert redundant publication,
  • ensuring that published material is securely archived (e.g. via online permanent repositories, such as PubMed Central), and
  • having systems in place to give authors the opportunity to make original research articles freely available.
  1. Intellectual property

12.1 Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with NAUSS Publishing House to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Adopting systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised),
  • supporting authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism, and
  • being prepared to work with NAUSS Publishing House to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g.  by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright.
  1. Encouraging debate

13.1 Editors should encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their journal.

13.2 Authors of criticized material should be given the opportunity to respond.

13.3 Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.

Best practice for editors would include:

  • Being open to research that challenges previous work published in the journal.
  1. Complaints

14.1 Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.

14.2 Editors should follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints.

  1. Commercial considerations

15.1 Journals should have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions (e.g. advertising departments should operate independently from editorial departments).

15.2 Editors should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and on processes for publishing sponsored supplements.

15.3 Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal, unless a correction needs to be included. In which case, it should be clearly identified.

Best practice for editors would include the following:

  • Publishing a general description of their journal’s income sources (e.g. the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, sponsored supplements, page charges, etc.),
  • ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal, and
  • ensuring that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and when decisions about such supplements are not influenced by commercial considerations.
  1. Conflicts of interest

The authors of the submitted manuscript have to mention financial or any other factors that may cause conflicts of interest, should be stated in the cover letter along with any other information the EIC may need in making a decision in such cases. Permission to include sensitive personal information about identifiable persons, or to name persons for their contributions must be included.