Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

Borders and Regional Studies (BRS) follows ethical guidelines set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) described in the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. All stages of the publishing process are handled according to the above-mentioned standards. Below a selection of key points regulating the ethics of the journal has been presented, but one should always refer to the documents linked in the text for full details.

Ethics for editors
The editors of the journal are committed to the following guidelines:
- decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication are based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal,
- editorial policies are transparent and all important information concerning the publishing process (including peer-review process) are provided to the general public,
- the material provided to the journal remains confidential while under review,
- all suspicions of misconduct are taken seriously and it is obliged for editors to pursue alleged cases according to a clearly established procedure (see below),
- conflict of interest among members of the editorial board is handled by appropriate policies,
- whenever it is recognized that significant inaccuracy or misleading information has been published it will be corrected or retracted depending on the nature of the distortion.

For more details see A short guide to ethical editing for new editors

Ethics for peer-reviewers
- a reviewer should decline to review manuscripts in which he/she has a competing interest resulting from
competitive, collaborative or other relationships, or connections with any of the authors, companies or
institutions connected to the manuscripts, 
- a reviewer should accept an assignment only if he/she has the proper expertise to assess the manuscript and it is possible to return a review within the proposed time-frame,
- reviews should be conducted objectively, according to the scientific value of the work and any personal criticism of the author is inappropriate,
- a reviewer who suspects any irregularities concerning research and publication ethics should inform the journal about the alleged misconduct, 
- a reviewer should respect the confidentiality of material supplied to him/her and may not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in his own work.

For more details see Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers

Ethics for authors
- authorship should be attributed to those who have contributed significantly to the conception, design, conducting and writing of the submitted paper (if there is no task that can be attributed to a particular individual, then that person should not be credited with authorship),
- author and co-authors share responsibility for the content of their article,
- authors are expected to declare to the editors' possible conflict of interests (personal, commercial, political, academic or financial), including sources of financing their research (if applied),
- authors who were asked for revising and resubmitting their paper are expected to do so in the time frame provided by the editors.


In order to ensure the best standards of publishing all authors have to provide a statement in which they confirm that:
- the manuscript is a result of individual research conducted in an ethical and responsible manner that complies with the relevant legislation and that acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources
- the results are presented honestly and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation,
- the manuscript has not been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.

Procedures for responding to possible misconduct

According to the COPE’s definition misconduct is an intention to cause others to regard as true that which is not true. All allegations and suspicions of misconduct are taken seriously and approached on an individual basis, both towards unpublished and published papers. In a case of suspected misconduct, the editor-in-chief gives an opportunity to the author to respond to the allegations and provide explanations. If the response is satisfactory the case is closed and the reviewing process is continued. If the response is unsatisfactory a special commission is established to examine seriousness of misconduct. The commission includes editor-in-chief, the reviewers of the article under consideration, one member of the advisory board of the journal, and one representative of the publisher (University of Opole). The body decides about the seriousness of misconduct and resulting sanctions. Plagiarism, data fabrication and authorship fraud are considered as serious forms of misconduct. The following sanctions might be applied (ranked in order of severity):
1. A letter of explanation (and education) to the authors, where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
2. A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct.
3. A formal letter to the relevant head of institution where the author is employed or funding body providing grant for research.
4. Publication of a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism.
5. Refusal to accept future submissions from the individual, unit, or institution responsible for the misconduct, for a stated period.
6. Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, informing other editors
and the indexing authorities.

The editorial board is aware that accusations of even minor misconduct might have serious implications for the authors, therefore it will be handled with the utmost care and due diligence in order to ensure the integrity of publishing outcome.