- Allegations of misconduct
- Authorship and contributorship
- Conflicts of interest/competing interests
- Ethical oversight
- Peer review processes
- Post-publications and corrections and retractions
Allegations of misconduct
Austral Journal of Veterinary Sciences will follow the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of potential publication misconduct.
In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for the Editor to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, for example, author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).
A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.
Data falsification and fabrication
Data falsification is manipulating research data with the intention of giving a false impression. This includes manipulating images, removing outliers or “inconvenient” results, changing, adding or omitting data points, etc. Data fabrication means the making up of research findings.
Any questions regarding data integrity raised during or after the peer review process will be referred to the Editor. The Editor may request (anonymised) underlying study data from the author(s) for inspection or verification. If the original data cannot be produced, the manuscript may be rejected or, in the case of a published article, retracted. Cases of suspected misconduct will be reported to the author(s)’ institution(s).
Austral Journal of Veterinary Sciences is a member of CrossCheck’s plagiarism detection initiative and uses plagiarism detection software. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.
Authorship and contributorship
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations 2018) recommends that authorship be based on the following four criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
- Final approval of the version to be published;
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
We recognise only natural persons as authors. These authorship criteria are intended to reserve the status of authorship for those who deserve credit and can take responsibility for the work. The criteria are not intended for use as a means to disqualify colleagues from authorship who otherwise meet authorship criteria by denying them the opportunity to meet all criteria. Therefore, all individuals who meet the first criterion should have the opportunity to participate in the review, drafting, and final approval of the manuscript.
Contributing to research can broadly be classified into the following categories:
- Intellectual (ideas, writing)
- Practical (conducting research, data analysis)
- Financial (funds, experimental material)
Any researcher, who does not meet all four criteria for authorship discussed above should be listed as a contributor.
Alteration to authorship or contributorship
Any change in authors and/or contributors after initial submission must be approved by all authors. This applies to additions, deletions, change of order to the authors, or contributions being attributed differently. Any alterations must be explained to the editor. The editor may contact any of the authors and/or contributors to ascertain whether they have agreed to any alteration.
Conflicts of interest/competing interests
Austral Journal of Veterinary Sciences requires authors to declare all competing interests in relation to their work. All submitted manuscripts must include a ‘competing interests’ section at the end of the manuscript listing all competing interests (financial and non-financial). Where authors have no competing interests, the statement should read “The author(s) declare(s) that they have no competing interests”. The Editor may ask for further information relating to competing interests.
Editors and reviewers are also required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists.
What constitutes a competing interest?
Competing interests may be financial or non-financial. A competing interest exists when the authors’ interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by, or may be perceived to be influenced by, their personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment if they were to become public after the publication of the manuscript.
Financial competing interests
Financial competing interests include (but are not limited to):
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the manuscript, either now or in the future.
- Holding, or currently applying for, patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
- Receiving reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.
Non-financial competing interests
Non-financial competing interests include (but are not limited to) political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, and intellectual competing interests.
Data and reproducibility
The data underlying the findings of research published in AJVS must be made publicly available. Rare exceptions may apply and must be agreed to with the Editorial board.
Experimental research on vertebrates or any regulated invertebrates must comply with institutional, national, or international guidelines, and where available should have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing compliance with relevant guidelines and/or ethical approval (including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate) must be included in the manuscript. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption). The Editor will take account of animal welfare issues and reserves the right to reject a manuscript, especially if the research involves protocols that are inconsistent with commonly accepted norms of animal research. In rare cases, the Editor may contact the ethics committee for further information.
Does your research involve animals?
Manuscripts describing research involving live vertebrates and higher invertebrates, either domestic or wild, must include appropriate details and approval from the Institutional or National Animal Care and Use Committees. For describing the methods used we recommend following the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting experiments with animals.
Clinical studies involving animals and interventions outside of routine care involving client-owned animals (pets or livestock) also require ethics committee oversight and the owners informed consent.
Studies involving wild animals should follow national and international regulations related to capturing and working in protected areas. If the study is exempt from ethics approval, the authors need to state the reason for the exemption. We recommend that authors comply with the IUCN Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Does your research involve humans?
Manuscripts describing research involving humans (i.e. questionnaires, interventions, sampling) must be in accordance with the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki. An appropriate institutional ethics committee and informed consent from all human subjects must be presented. In relation to the protection of research participants we remind you that people have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent, please avoid nonessential identifiable details in the manuscript. Informed consent should be made available upon request from the Editor.
Peer review process
All articles published in AJVS undergo thorough peer review. This usually involves review by at least two independent peer reviewers and follows a double-blind peer-review process.
All submissions to AJVS are assessed by the Editorial board. Where an Editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, the other members of the Editorial board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review by appropriate independent experts identified by the Editorial board. Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ reports and authors are sent these reports along with the editorial decision on their manuscript. Authors should note that even in light of one positive report, concerns raised by another reviewer may fundamentally undermine the study and result in the manuscript being rejected.
Post-publications and corrections and retractions
We at AJVS understand that despite the efforts of editors and authors, errors can occur in published articles. We do not set a time limit for reporting errors or posting corrections. We always try to contact the author of the original article unless the error is very obvious, and we publish all the corrections as soon as possible.
If you publish an article in AJVS and discover an error in the final version of your article, we will publish a corrected version indicating its correction on our website.
Retractions are considered by journal editors in cases of evidence of unreliable data or findings, plagiarism, duplicate publication, and unethical research. We may consider an expression of concern notice if an article is under investigation.
A replacement version of the article is posted containing just the metadata, with a retraction note replacing the original text. The PDF may be removed or replaced with a version watermarked with “Retracted.”
Appeals and complaints
Authors who wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact the Editorial Assistant who will provide details of the journal's complaints procedure.
Letters to the Editor
A letter judged suitable for publication will be printed in a “Letters to the Editor” section of AJVS. The purpose of this section is to provide a forum for scientific exchange relating to articles published in AJVS. To be acceptable for publication, a letter must adhere to the following guidelines.
- Only a letter that addresses matters of science and relates to information published in AJVS during the last year will be considered. In general, a letter should not exceed 500 words and should contain no more than 5 citations.
- A letter should provide supporting evidence based on published data for the points made or must develop logical scientific hypotheses. A letter based on conjecture or unsubstantiated claims will not be published. No new data may be presented in a letter.
- The Editorial Committee will evaluate each letter and determine whether a letter is appropriate for publication. If a letter is considered appropriate, the author(s) of original AJVS article(s) will be invited to write a letter of response. Normally both letters will be published together.
- All letters will be subject to acceptance and editing by the Editorial committee and editing by a technical editor.