Guide to good scientific practices

Guide to good scientific practices of the Boletín de la Asociación española de Entomología


This Guide includes a series of basic principles of conduct for managers, editors, reviewers, and authors of articles that appear in the Boletín de la Asociación española de Entomología (hereafter "Boletín"). 

The Boletín adheres to the ethical principles and procedures set forth in the Code of Good Scientific Practice of the Superior Council of Scientific Research of Spain (http://www.csic.es/etica-en-la-investigacion) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/). The Boletín also reserves the right to withdraw and remove any article that violates the Code of Good Scientific Practice.

1. Course of action of the editorial team

The Editorial Committee and the Scientific Committee (hereafter the "Editorial Team") are responsible for the published matter and will seek scientific quality regarding the methods used for reaching results and their relationship to the conclusions drawn.  Furthermore, the Editorial Team will strive to maintain a reasonable handling period for the manuscripts so as not to compromise the interests of the authors and readers.

The principles on which the actions of the Editorial Team are based are the following:

1.1 Impartiality

The Editorial Board is committed to being impartial in treating the manuscripts submitted for publication. It will respect the intellectual independence of the authors by providing means to present rebuttals to the objections raised in the review process.

1.2 Confidentiality

All the members of the Editorial Team are committed to guaranteeing confidentiality regarding the manuscripts received and their content until they have been accepted for publication or permanently if they are rejected.  At the same time, the Editorial Team cannot in any way use the data, results, or conclusions presented in the manuscripts until after publication, except with the express consent of the authors. 

1.3 Review of manuscripts 

The Editorial Committee of this Boletín reserves the right to anonymity of the reviewers, except under the express authorization of the reviewer for name disclosure.  The evaluation will be made by two reviewers with expertise in the field and with full knowledge of the language in which the manuscript is written.  If the evaluation is negative, i.e. with an express recommendation not to publish, the Editorial Committee will admit a rebuttal by the main author and may request, if deemed necessary, the participation of a new reviewer.  After reading the arguments of both sides, the Editorial Committee will make a final decision, thereby concluding the review process. 

Those who submit a manuscript for evaluation may propose the names of three experts in the field for this evaluation.  The Editorial Committee will be free to request or not the evaluation of the experts recommended by the authors.  If the authors explicitly convey their refusal to be evaluated by a particular specialist, the Editorial Committee will take this refusal into consideration if the allegations are deemed reasonable.

The absence of plagiarism and the authenticity of the data are the basic criteria for the acceptance of manuscripts. 

The Editorial Committee will ensure that the manuscripts submitted receive a fair and impartial review and are always willing to justify their opinions and explain their decisions in any controversy that emerges during the evaluation process.

1.4 Acceptance or rejection of manuscripts 

The responsibility of accepting or rejecting a manuscript for publication falls first and foremost on the Editorial Committee, which will consider whether the manuscript lacks the required scientific quality, fails to fit the objectives of the Boletín or shows evidence of scientific misconduct, including plagiarism or submission of the manuscript to two journals without acknowledging doing so. 

Passing this screening, the manuscripts will be accepted according to the reports received by the reviewers chosen. The final decision on the acceptance or rejection of the manuscripts is up to the Editorial Committee.

1.5 Deauthorization and notification of irregularity

The Editorial Team reserves the right to deauthorize any manuscripts already published that are subsequently found to lack reliability, whether from involuntary errors or misconduct such as:  manipulation or copying of data, plagiarism, inclusion of redundant or duplicated data, omission of decisive references, using resources without permission or justification.  Deauthorization is meant to correct as necessary scientific production already published in order to guarantee its ongoing integrity.  

A manuscript will be deauthorized as soon as possible, with the decision being published both in the printed version of the Boletín as well as the digital, citing the reasons behind this measure in order to announce the bad practice and to prevent the paper from being cited in its field of research.  The Editorial Committee will inform the institution of the author(s) concerning this deauthorization. 

Deauthorized works will be preserved in the electronic edition as a clear and unequivocal warning that the article has been deauthorized.  In the printed edition, this deauthorization will be announced as briefly as possible by way of an editorial or communication, in the same terms as in the electronic version.

Involuntarily publication of the manuscript in more than one journal can be resolved by determining the date of reception and acceptance of each of the manuscripts in the journals involved. 

The presence of some major involuntary errors in an already published paper can be resolved by publishing an editorial note or erratum.

1.6 Guidelines for authors

The Boletín has displayed on its webpage, as well as in each of its volumes, the publication guidelines for authors for presenting original manuscripts, covering aspects such as length, sections, citations, bibliography, tables, figures, and images.  All of these guidelines must be followed by the authors.

1.7 Conflict of interests

When the list of authors includes a member of the Editorial team, this member must abstain from the evaluation process of the manuscript submitted.

2 The authorship of the manuscripts

2.1 Publication guidelines

The texts presented must be the result of original, unpublished research, providing sufficient information for any specialist to repeat the research or to evaluate the conclusions.

The author is required to provide appropriate mention of the origin of the ideas in the text, or cite information taken from other already published sources, in accordance with the universal ethics and the publication guidelines of the Boletín.

Images and figures that are not original can only be included with the explicit permission for reproduction by the author or the representative of the rights of the author.

2.2 Originality and plagiarism

Plagiarism in any form, multiple or redundant publication, and the invention or manipulation of data constitute grave breaches of ethics and are considered scientific misconduct.  Therefore, authors must guarantee that their manuscripts are the result of their original work, that the data were gathered in an ethical manner, and that they were not previously published nor under review by any other journal.  The Boletín will reject any manuscript that fails to fulfil these conditions. 

2.3 Authorship of the manuscript

In the case of multiple authors, the main author must acknowledge all the co-authors and ensure that they have reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript and that they share the responsibility for the manuscript presented.  Unless otherwise stipulated, the first author will be considered the contact person and the one responsible for the manuscript

2.4 Sources of information

In the text of the manuscript the author(s) should acknowledge the original sources on which the information of the study was based, but it is not necessary to mention aspects of generally established scientific knowledge.

References to personal communications should be reduced to a minimum and when necessary, the author(s) should have explicit permission from the person referred to.  The text should clearly reflect the origin of such a commentary or reference.

2.5 Significant errors in published works 

When the authors discover a serious error in their work, they must inform the journal as soon as possible and make a rectification, if possible, or retraction of the manuscript.  If it has already been published, it should be retracted or an erratum should be published.

2.6 Conflict of interests

All sources of funding or support to carry out the research must be explicitly acknowledged as well as any commercial, financial, or personal link related to the study.

3 Manuscript evaluation

3.1 The participation of specialists in the evaluation process

The Boletín considers that persons who participate in the evaluation offer a service that is essential to the quality of the publication and therefore of the journal itself.  Therefore, the Boletín publishes a list of specialists that have been involved in the review process and have signed the review of manuscripts and furthermore have authorized the publication of their names in each volume.  A list is also provided of the number of reviewers who have requested anonymity. 

3.2 Confidentiality

The manuscripts received are confidential documents with content that cannot be divulged or used personally until their final acceptance.  The rejection of a manuscript does not alter its confidential nature.

3.3 Objectivity

The reviewers should appropriately argue their criticisms and should be objective and constructive in their comments without hostility or personal offence against the authors, respecting the intellectual independence of the authors.

In addition to the scientific and literary quality of the manuscript, it is also the duty of the reviewer to call attention to any substantial similarity between the manuscript under review and any other published research, or a manuscript in process of evaluation in another journal, as well as the existence of plagiarism, falsification or invention of data.

3.4 Promptness of the response

The revision should be a rapid process, and therefore the reviewer should notify the Editorial Committee of any delay or failure to meet the deadline agreed upon.

3.5 Acknowledgement of sources of information

The reviewer should confirm that relevant literature on the subject has been correctly cited and should suggest any pertinent references that may be missing.  The reviewer should also suggest the elimination of superfluous or redundant citations.

3.6 Conflict of interests

If the reviewer maintains a professional or personal relationship with any of the authors of the research under review in any manner that could affect the decision to accept or reject the work, the reviewer should decline to submit a report.

Similarly, if the manuscript is closely related to one that the reviewer is currently working on, or to one pending publication, and these circumstances could influence the decision of the reviewer, then the task of reviewing should likewise be declined.

Final note: In this text, as in all those published in the Boletín, an effort is made to follow academic rules of expression and correct use of language, including spelling, grammar, and syntax.