Editorial Policy

  1. Editorial Board

The Editorial Board is the main body that determines the policy of the journal, prepares and makes editorial and publishing decisions.

Members of the Editorial Board are recognized specialists in the subject areas of the journal's competence from Ukrainian and foreign universities and academies.

The Editorial Board is functionally divided into two components: management and expert.

The management unit includes members of the editorial board who perform management functions: Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editor, Senior Editors of the journal.

The expert unit includes members of the editorial board who perform advisory functions and are experts in all subject areas of the journal's competence.

The Editor-in-Chief is directly responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal will be published and which will not. The bases for such decisions are the results of an internal and external examination of manuscripts. 

The editorial board follows COPE Core Practices in its work:

1) the manuscript is evaluated regardless of the author nature, including his position, academic degree, academic title, institution, country, race, gender, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, political views;

2) members of the editorial board should not disclose any information about the submitted manuscript to anyone other than the authors of the article, reviewers, potential reviewers;

3) unpublished materials disclosed in the submitted manuscript should not be used for the own research of members of the editorial board.

Responsibilities of the Editorial Board Members:

- evaluate submitted manuscripts (internal examination) and involve independent reviewers for external examination;

- transfer their experience in a specific subject area of research;

- consult according to the journal’s policy and participate in its improvement;

- advertise the journal at conferences, seminars, round tables, and other scientific events;

- attract new potential editors and authors from different continents and countries.

Violation of the publishing ethics rules by the editor may be grounds for cooperation termination by the journal. 

The editorial board does not guarantee the obligatory acceptance of manuscripts or a very short time for their review.  

  1. Editorial independence

According to the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers, editorial independence means the full freedom of the journal's editorial board (editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, executive editor, senior section editors, experts in the subject areas of the magazine's competence) when deciding to publish articles, as well as making corrections to the article, only based on their scientific value and without the intervention of the owner of the journal, authors, sponsors, any other persons, and institutions. No interests can take precedence over the policy of creating a high-quality journal.

The conduct of an independent editorial policy by the editor-in-chief, his deputy, the executive editor, and other members of the editorial board may not be a reason for their dismissal or replacement.    

The owner of the journal has no right to comment on the decision of the editor-in-chief and the editorial board anywhere and under any circumstances.  

All decisions are made by the editor-in-chief and the editorial board of the journal independently, without any external pressure and influence, completely independent of the publisher-owner and any other institutions and individuals.

  1. Reviewers

Reviewers are recognized experts in the subject areas of the journal's competence from Ukrainian and foreign universities and academies.

Members of the editorial board cannot be reviewers.

Potential reviewers must provide personal and professional information that confirms their knowledge in a particular subject area of the journal's area of competence, as well as accurate contact information.

The editorial board of the journal recommends reviewers to strictly follow the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. During the peer review process, the editors expect the following from the reviewers:  

1) reviewers must be objective during the expert examination of manuscripts; all comments and recommendations must be supported by appropriate arguments;

2) remain impartial about considerations related to nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender, other characteristics of the authors and the manuscript;

3) do not discuss the peer-reviewed manuscript with anyone without the written permission of the editor-in-chief;

4) not to copy, not to distribute, not to share information concerning the manuscript;

5) immediately notify the editors of any competing interest that may interfere with the review of the submitted manuscript and refuse to review it;

6) expert review must be prepared promptly (the duration of the review is not more than 2 months); 

7) if there are difficulties that may prevent the timely preparation of the review, the reviewer must immediately notify the editors.

The rules violation of publishing ethics by the reviewer may be grounds for termination of cooperation by the journal.

  1. Expert peer review process

The author (correspondent author) submits the manuscript and the signed Author Agreement to the journal editors to the e-mail address biguss@meta.ua. The editors notify the author of the receipt of materials and begin an expert examination of the manuscript.

Internal examination of the manuscript:   

At the initial stage, the executive editor checks the structure, spelling, compliance of the profile manuscript, and the journal requirements in terms of design, scope, submission, plagiarism. If the manuscript does not meet the above, it should be rejected. 

At the next stage, the editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, executive editor, senior editor of the relevant section, and one (usually) or more (if necessary) internal experts of the journal determine the potential interest of the submitted manuscript for readers, importance and relevance for scholars. Manuscripts that do not meet these criteria, as well as scientifically poor manuscripts, should be rejected without further external peer review. 

External examination of the manuscript:  

If the manuscript meets the requirements of the journal, then the editor-in-chief appoints two (usually) or more (if necessary) external reviewers, and the manuscript is sent for double-blind (secret, anonymous) peer review. The selection of reviewers is based on their knowledge, reputation, recommendations, and experience.    

Invited reviewers should reread the journal policy, ensure that there is no conflict of interest, confirm their competence in the content of the manuscript, and decide whether to accept or decline the invitation. In case of refusal, they may recommend alternative reviewers. If accepted, they should prepare a Review Form

The object of review is the results of the study. The expert opinion should be unbiased: the discrepancy between the scientific positions of the author and the reviewer is the basis for scientific discussion, but in itself cannot serve as a sufficient basis for refusing to publish the article. 

All manuscripts are double-blindly reviewed, which means that reviewers do not have any information about the authors' identity and vice versa. Also, at this stage, the author (correspondent author) should be informed that the manuscript has been sent for double-blind peer review.

The reviewer, after reviewing the materials, may make one of these decisions:

1) the manuscript is recommended for publication;

2) the manuscript can be published, but after the author corrects the reviewer's comments (with or without re-review);

3) the manuscript is not recommended for publication if the material has fundamental shortcomings.

The decision of the editors to accept the manuscript for publication or reject it:

After peer review, the editor-in-chief reviews the reviews and in some cases may invite an additional reviewer to get an additional opinion.

Authors are provided with copies of reviews (anonymously). Subject to comments, the authors eliminate deficiencies in the manuscripts. Authors can also challenge reviewers' comments by providing their own arguments and explanations.

The editor-in-chief, taking into account the results of the peer review, decides whether to accept the manuscript for publication or reject the manuscript. The corresponding message is sent to the author (correspondent author). 

  1. The process of detecting illegal authors’ behavior

The editorial board of the journal takes reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of articles where research misconduct has occurred, including, inter alia, plagiarism, citation manipulation and data falsification.    

Plagiarism involves the use of another author's work without permission or confirmation. Plagiarism can take the following forms:  

1) literal copying. Copying a work word for word, in whole or in part, without the permission or confirmation of the source. Literal copying is clearly plagiarism and is easily detected by plagiarism software;

2) essential copying. Copying the essential part of the work without permission and confirmation of the source. Where the essence of the work has been copied, not even a large part of it is plagiarism;

3) paraphrasing. Copying the text by processing it without permission and confirmation of the source. This type of copying is the most difficult to detect. 

All manuscripts sent to the editors are checked for originality. By submitting their manuscripts to the journal, the authors automatically agree to any necessary originality checks that will have to pass in the process of publication.

Authentication is carried out using an online service Unicheck.

Plagiarism in all its forms is unacceptable and leads to the rejection of the manuscript.

Manipulation of citations. Manuscripts should refer only to those sources that are directly relevant to the study. References must be accurate and citations complete, without arbitrary reduction of the author's text and distortion of the author's opinions. Manuscripts that contain references and citations are immediately rejected.

Data falsification. If falsified or fabricated empirical research data is found in the submitted work, it will lead to an immediate rejection of the manuscript.    

Incorrect composition of authors. If the authors include persons who do not meet the authorship criteria or no one is worthy to be the author, also leads to the rejection of the manuscript.

Re-submission. The editors of the journal follow a policy that prohibits the publication of several articles based on one study. Authors must submit unique manuscripts that should not be submitted to any other journal. 

Sometimes authors ignore this requirement by submitting the same document to several journals or by submitting several documents based on the same study.   

As with plagiarism, re-submission can take many forms: literal copying, substantive copying, and paraphrased copying of a study. Such violations lead to the immediate rejection of the manuscript.

  1. Conflict of interest

The editorial board, authors, and reviewers are constantly interacting at different stages of writing, editing, reviewing, and publishing the manuscript, and their relationship is not always easy, during which different situations may arise where a person has competing interests or loyalty.

Conflicts of interest can be based on financial relations, ideological, religious, and intellectual differences, academic gain, competition, and rivalry.

Authors. When submitting a manuscript, authors should exclude possible conflicts of interest and certify this when submitting the manuscript. The authors are solely responsible for disclosing all relationships, facts, actions, and influences of third parties that may affect the consideration of their research.

Reviewers. Before reviewing a manuscript, reviewers should read the journal's policy and the journal itself. If there are circumstances, facts or actions that may affect the transparency of the manuscript evaluation, the reviewer should refuse to review the manuscript. If there is a potential conflict of interest, the reviewer should notify the Editor-in-Chief and consult with him. Reviewers should not use the manuscript for personal purposes and should not involve third parties without the permission of the Editor-in-Chief.  After viewing the manuscript, the paper version of the manuscript should be deleted and the electronic version removed from the electronic media.

Members of the editorial board should act only in the interests of the journal, make decisions based on the reliability of the manuscript and its importance to readers; they must also protect the confidentiality of authors and reviewers (keep manuscripts, relevant materials and information in strict confidence). Members of the editorial board should not discuss the manuscript with third parties without the permission of the Editor-in-Chief, and should not use the materials and ideas of the manuscript for personal purposes. Members of the Editorial Board who make final decisions on manuscripts should not participate in their adoption if they have a conflict of interest related to the manuscripts under consideration. If a member of the editorial board is the author of a manuscript submitted to the journal, he may not participate in the decision-making process regarding his own work.  

If the editor-in-chief has a conflict of interest over a particular manuscript, this function may be performed by the deputy editor-in-chief or the executive editor of the journal.     

If the executive editor has a conflict of interest regarding a particular manuscript, this function may be performed by the deputy editor-in-chief, the senior section editor, or any other member of the editorial board.  

  1. Correction and withdrawal of articles after publication

Correction of the article. The editors of the journal may consider making corrections to the published material in the following cases, if:

1) due to an honest mistake of the authors, a small part of the article is misleading but does not change the main general results and conclusions of the published article;

2) the list of authors is incorrect, i.e. the author who deserves authorship has been omitted, or someone who does not meet the authorship criteria has been included;

3) a significant error was introduced by the editors in the process of producing the journal article.

In these cases, the original article may be corrected through an Appendix informing of these omissions and corresponding changes. The appendix will be published in the current issue of the journal. A hyperlink to the Appendix will be added to the original publication. 

No one can make any corrections to the article after its final publication on the journal's website. Each individual situation should be discussed with the Chief Editor (Editor-in-Chief) of the journal, and the corresponding corrections are carried out only based on its decision.

The article withdrawal is a mechanism for correcting published information in the journal and alert the readers that the published article contains content that cannot be trusted.

The withdrawal may be initiated by the author, the reader and the editorial board of the journal.

The editorial board of the journal may initiate an investigation into the withdrawal of a published article if:

- receive convincing evidence that the results of the article are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (plagiarism, citations manipulation, data falsification, incorrect authors composition, re-submission), or due to an honest mistake of the authors;

- the review process has been compromised, and the scientific integrity of the article cannot be guaranteed;

- the conflict of the authors’ interests was revealed after the publication, and the disclosure is significant enough to potentially change the conclusions.

The procedure for withdrawing an article:

By the decision of the journal Editor-in-Chief, an expert commission is created to consider the issue of revoking the article. The commission is formed from among the members of the editorial board, competent experts on the subject of the article. The conclusion of the expert commission should be objective, based on facts, and should not contain statements concerning the author personally. A copy of the commission conclusion is sent to the author (correspondent author) of the article.

The decision to withdraw the article is made by the editorial board of the journal based on the expert commission opinion. The opinion should contain information on the presence or absence of grounds for withdrawal of the article. The decision to withdraw the article is made, taking into account the author’s (correspondent author) answer of the article, which substantiates his position on the issue of the article withdrawal (subject to the receipt of this answer).

If the editorial board decides to withdraw the article, the author (correspondent author) is informed about it, and the author is expected to give his opinion on the validity of the expert commission conclusion on the withdrawal of the article. If the author ignores the editors' request, the editors have the right to withdraw the publication without taking into account the opinion of the author.

The decision to withdraw the article is made in the minutes of the meeting of the journal editorial board.

Having decided to withdraw the article, the article and the description of the article remain on the website as part of the relevant issue of the journal, but the electronic version of the text is marked “Withdrawn” and the date of withdrawal. The same mark is placed in the contents of the issue of the journal.

In extremely limited cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from an online publication, for example, when the article is defamatory, violates privacy, or may pose a serious risk to public health.

The author (correspondent author) is sent the minutes of the meeting of the journal editorial board with the wording, which justifies the reason for the article withdrawal.

The editorial board of the journal, at the same time with the decision to withdraw the article, may decide to impose a ban on the acceptance for publication of articles from the authors of the withdrawn article for a certain period.

Information about the withdrawal of the article is posted on the website of the journal in the “Announcements” column.

  1. Consideration of complaints

This procedure applies to complaints about the journal, office, reviewers, policy, procedures, or editorial actions. 

We welcome complaints as they provide an opportunity for improvement, and we will provide a prompt and constructive response.

The complaint must be addressed to the person to whom it relates. However, if this person is unavailable (such as a reviewer) or unable to resolve the complaint, email them at biguss@meta.ua with a clear indication of the nature of the complaint and the source of the address.

We suggest that complaints should be based on a failed process (serious misjudgment, prolonged delay, or gross reaction) and not on a simple disagreement with the editorial decision.

Simple complaints will be considered within three weeks.

If the complaint contains a complex problem, the solution of which requires the establishment of an expert commission and a special investigation, the term of consideration of such complaints may last up to three months. However, the complainant will be given an interim notice within three weeks.