The integrity of our academic content and publishing process is paramount. This document outlines the best practice principles that we apply to our journal. We hope thіs guideline will be useful to many different groups, including authors, peer reviewers, editors.
We uphold high standards and expect research published in journal to abide by the principles, including:
- honesty in all aspects of research;
- scrupulous care, thoroughness and excellence in research practice;
- transparency and open communication;
- care and respect for all participants in and subjects of research.
We are committed to editorial independence, and strive in all cases to prevent this principle from being compromised through conflicts of interest, fear, or any other corporate, business, financial or political influence.
Study design and ethical approval
Conflicts of interest
Research with humans or animals
Duties of editors
Media relations and advertising
Dealing with misconduct
- Study design and ethical approval. Good research should be well justified, well planned, appropriately designed, and ethically approved. To conduct research to a lower standard may constitute misconduct.
- Laboratory and clinical research should be driven by protocol; pilot studies should have a written rationale.
- Research protocols should seek to answer specific questions, rather than just collect data.
- Protocols must be carefully agreed by all contributors and collaborators, including, if appropriate, the participants.
- The final protocol should form part of the research record.
- Early agreement on the precise roles of the contributors and collaborators, and on matters of authorship and publication, is advised.
- Statistical issues should be considered early in study design, including power calculations, to ensure there are neither too few nor too many participants.
- Formal and documented ethical approval from an appropriately constituted research ethics committee is required for all studies involving people, medical records, and anonymised human tissues.
- Use of human tissues in research should conform to the highest ethical standards, such as those recommended by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
- Fully informed consent should always be sought. It may not always be possible, however, and in such circumstances, an appropriately constituted research ethics committee should decide if this is ethically acceptable.
- When participants are unable to give fully informed consent, research should follow international guidelines, such as those of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS).
- Animal experiments require full compliance with local, national, ethical, and regulatory principles, and local licensing arrangements.
- Formal supervision, usually the responsibility of the principal investigator, should be provided for all research projects: this must include quality control, and the frequent review and long term retention (may be up to 15 years) of all records and primary outputs.
- Data analysis. Data should be appropriately analysed, but inappropriate analysis does not necessarily amount to misconduct. Fabrication and falsification of data do constitute misconduct.
- All sources and methods used to obtain and analyse data, including any electronic pre-processing, should be fully disclosed; detailed explanations should be provided for any exclusions.
- Methods of analysis must be explained in detail, and referenced, if they are not in common use.
- The post hoc analysis of subgroups is acceptable, as long as this is disclosed. Failure to disclose that the analysis was post hoc is unacceptable.
- The discussion section of a paper should mention any issues of bias which have been considered, and explain how they have been dealt with in the design and interpretation of the study.
- Authorship – division of responsibilities, the author’s responsibility for a particular section of the study.
- The award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work. If there is no task that can reasonably be attributed to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with authorship. The journal recommends including no more than 5 people in the team of authors.
- To avoid disputes over attribution of academic credit, it is helpful to decide early on in the planning of a research project who will be credited as authors, as contributors, and who will be acknowledged.
- All authors must take public responsibility for the content of their paper. Multidisciplinary articles should disclose each author’s contribution to the study.
- Careful reading of the journal’s “Authors’ guidelines” is advised, in the light of current uncertainties.
- We do not discriminate against authors, editors or peer reviewers based on personal characteristics or identity.
- Conflicts of interest comprise those which may not be fully apparent and which may influence the judgment of author, reviewers, and editors. These may be financial, non-financial, professional, contractual or personal in nature. “Financial” interests may include employment, research funding, stock or share ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies and company support for staff. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.
- Authors, editors and reviewers of journal are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest that could interfere with the objectivity or integrity of a publication.
- Editors should also disclose relevant conflicts of interest to their readers. If in doubt, disclose. Sometimes editors may need to withdraw from the review and selection process for the relevant submission.
- We also expect that anyone who suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest regarding a work published or under consideration should inform the relevant editor or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Peer review. Peer reviewers are external experts chosen by editors to provide written opinions, with the aim of improving the study. We encourage reviewers to adhere to COPE ethical standards. The journal Science in Olympic Sport uses double-blind peer-review when the name of the reviewer and the author are hidden from each other.
- Suggestions from authors as to who might act as reviewers are often useful, but there should be no obligation on editors to use those suggested.
- The duty of confidentiality in the assessment of a manuscript must be maintained by expert reviewers, and this extends to reviewers’ colleagues who may be asked (with the editor’s permission) to give opinions on specific sections.
- The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied.
- Reviewers and editors should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission.
- Reviewers should provide speedy, accurate, courteous, unbiased and justifiable reports.
- If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should write in confidence to the editor.
- Journal publishes accurate descriptions of peer review, selection, and appeals processes.
- The journal publishes information about the date of the article submission. The date of the article acceptance for publication is the date of approval by the University Council (information is given on the 2nd page of the journal).
- Redundant publication. Redundant publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions.
- Published studies do not need to be repeated unless further confirmation is required.
- Previous publication of an abstract during the proceedings of meetings does not preclude subsequent submission for publication, but full disclosure should be made at the time of submission.
- Re-publication of a paper in another language is acceptable, provided that there is full and prominent disclosure of its original source at the time of submission.
- At the time of submission, authors should disclose details of related papers, even if in a different language, and similar papers in press.
- Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others’ published and unpublished ideas, including research grant applications to submission under “new” authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language. It may occur at any stage of planning, research, writing, or publication: it applies to print and electronic versions.
- All sources should be disclosed
- If large amounts of other people’s written or illustrative material is to be used, permission must be sought.
- We do not tolerate plagiarism in any of our publications, and we reserve the right to check all submissions through appropriate plagiarism checking tools. Submissions containing suspected plagiarism, in whole or part, will be rejected. If plagiarism is discovered postpublication, we will follow our guidance outlined in the Retractions, corrections or expressions of concern section of these guidelines. We expect our readers, reviewers and editors to raise any suspicions of plagiarism, either by contacting the relevant editor or by emailing email@example.com.
- Research with humans or animals should be approved by relevant ethics committee(s) and should conform to international ethical and legal standards for research. We also expect authors to respect human participants’ right to privacy, and to gain any necessary consent to publish before submitting to us.
- Duties of editors. Editors are the stewards of journal, who form a professional editorial board of specialists in a particular sphere and control all processes from the submission of the article, communication with authors, reviewers, formation of the journal’s issues, control the processes of editing and printing of the journal and distribution of printed and electronic versions. They must consider and balance the interests of readers, authors, staff, owners, editorial board members.
- Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal.
- Studies that challenge previous work published in the journal should be given an especially sympathetic hearing.
- Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.
- All original studies should be peer reviewed before publication, taking into full account possible bias due to related or conflicting interests.
- Editors must treat all submitted papers as confidential.
- When a published paper is subsequently found to contain major flaws, editors must accept responsibility for correcting the record prominently and promptly.
- Media relations and advertising. The editors of the journal «Science in Olympic Sports» do not use the journal for advertising or non-scientific articles. The authors are also not recommended to use their research for advertising purposes (see paragraph 4). The journal may publish announcements of scientific events held with the support of the co-founders of the journal, as well as a description of scientific publications on the subject of the journal.
DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT
- The general principle confirming misconduct is intention to cause others to regard as true that which is not true.
- The examination of misconduct must therefore focus, not only on the particular act or omission, but also on the intention of the researcher, author, editor, reviewer or publisher involved.
- Deception may be by intention, by reckless disregard of possible consequences, or by negligence. It is implicit, therefore, that “best practice” requires complete honesty, with full disclosure.
- Codes of practice may raise awareness, but can never be exhaustive
- Investigating misconduct
- Editors should not simply reject papers that raise questions of misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue the case or to submit it for consideration to the ethics commission of the institution of the author’s employers.
- It is for the editor to decide what action to take.
- Serious misconduct
- Editors must take all allegations and suspicions of misconduct seriously, but they must recognise that they do not usually have either the legal legitimacy or the means to conduct investigations into serious cases.
- The editor must decide when to alert the employers of the accused author(s).
- Some evidence is required, but if employers have a process for investigating accusations — as they are increasingly required to do — then editors do not need to assemble a complete case.
- If editors are presented with convincing evidence — perhaps by reviewers — of serious misconduct, they should immediately pass this on to the employers, notifying the author(s) that they are doing so.
- If accusations of serious misconduct are not accompanied by convincing evidence, then editors should confidentially seek expert advice.
- If the experts raise serious questions about the research, then editors should notify the employers.
- If the experts find no evidence of misconduct, the editorial processes should proceed in the normal way.
- If, however, there is no organisation with the legitimacy and the means to conduct an investigation, then the editor may decide that the case is sufficiently important to warrant publishing something in the journal. Legal advice will then be essential.
- If editors are convinced that an employer has not conducted an adequate investigation of a serious accusation, they may feel that publication of a notice in the journal is warranted. Legal advice will be essential.
- Authors should be given the opportunity to respond to accusations of serious misconduct
- Less serious misconduct
- Editors may judge that it is not necessary to involve employers in less serious cases of misconduct, such as redundant publication, deception over authorship, or failure to declare conflict of interest. Sometimes the evidence may speak for itself, although it may be wise to appoint an independent
- Editors should remember that accusations of even minor misconduct may have serious implications for the author(s), and it may then be necessary to ask the employers to investigate.
- Authors should be given the opportunity to respond to any charge of minor misconduct.
- If convinced of wrongdoing, editors may wish to adopt some of the sanctions outlined below.
- Retractions, corrections or expressions of concern. Journal editors will consider retractions, corrections or expressions of concern in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. If an author is found to have made an error, the journal will issue a corrigendum. If the journal is found to have made an error, they will issue an erratum. Retractions are reserved for articles that are so seriously flawed that their findings or conclusions should not be relied upon. Journal may make minor changes such as those which would likely occur during typesetting or proofreading, but any substantive corrections will be carried out in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines.
- Image Manipulation, Falsification and Fabrication. Where research data are collected or presented as images, modifying these images can sometimes misrepresent the results obtained or their significance. We recognise that there can be legitimate reasons for modifying images, but we expect authors to avoid modifying images where this leads to the falsification, fabrication, or misrepresentation of their results.
- Sanctions may be applied separately or combined. The editorial board considers each case separately and, upon the decision of the editor-in-chief, may apply the following sanctions recommended by the COPE (ranked in approximate order of severity):
- A letter of explanation (and education) to the authors, where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
- A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct.
- A formal letter to the relevant head of institution or funding body.
- Publication of a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism.
- An editorial giving full details of the misconduct.
- Refusal to accept future submissions from the individual, unit, or institution responsible for the misconduct, for a stated period.
- Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, informing other editors and the indexing authorities.
- Reporting the case to the General Medical Council, or other such authority or organisation which can investigate and act with due process.
- Integrity of Record. We maintain a record of the existence of everything we publish with information (metadata) describing each publication. The archives of the issues of the magazine are stored in the editorial office of the journal, in the publishing house «Olympic Literature», on the website of the journal and in the scientometric databases in which the journal is included.