BRATISLAVA LAW REVIEW
CODE OF CONDUCT AND PUBLICATION ETHICS
The international scholarly journal Bratislava Law Review (hereinafter referred to as “the journal”) is an independent scholarly periodical.
The editorial board of the journal (hereinafter referred to as “the editorial board”) believes that its primary objective lies in serving the professional legal public through the publication of high quality contributions which have a great impact on constant and progressive expansion of legal theory and legal practice and thus contribute to the development of civil society.
The editorial board recognises the “power of language” and therefore places high demands on individual authors whose papers are published in the journal. The aim of such demands placed on authors is to develop critical thinking of the public and thus contribute to the development of professional and decent discussion held not solely in the field of legal scholarship. The work performed by individual authors shall thus be accurate, comprehensible, sensitive, professional, objective and appropriate. Special demands are imposed on the reviewers, editor-in-chief, and editorial board members.
In order to ensure that the set objectives are achieved the editorial board adopts the following Code of Conduct:
(1) This Code of Conduct sets forth the ethical duties imposed on individual authors, reviewers, editor-in-chief, and members of the editorial board, and shall be binding on all of them.
(2) This Code of Conduct shall ensure that the journal is of a high scholarly quality by specifying the ethical standards for publishing of contributions and by preventing these standards from being breached.
(3) All phases of editorial process and review process (hereinafter referred to as the “publication process”) are supervised by the editorial board which shall also ensure that all standards of ethical conduct are observed in all phases of the publication process and with respect to all persons concerned.
(1) Authors shall submit to the editorial board only their original manuscripts and they shall be able to prove this fact if requested. In the event that authors exploited sources created by other authors when preparing their manuscripts, they shall provide accurate and complete citations of these sources. Plagiarism, in any form, constitutes unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(2) Authors shall submit to the editorial board only yet unpublished manuscripts; parts of defended theses and dissertations are accepted for publication, however, the author is required to indicate this fact. By submitting their manuscripts to the journal, authors confirm that they are the only copyright holders; in the event that manuscripts are prepared by a group of authors, the main author shall also duly indicate who all the other co-authors are and he/she shall also demonstrate that all these co-authors have consented to submit the manuscript to the journal. Co-authors are those who contributed to the preparation of a manuscript to a substantial extent through their creative effort and their names must be provided in the manuscript. Infringement of copyright of other copyright holders constitutes unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(3) Authors shall employ argumentation built on objective foundations leading to objective findings of their scholarly research. Providing misleading or intentionally false statements constitutes unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(4) Authors shall notify the editor-in-chief of any conflict of interest related to the submission of their manuscripts. Failure to notify the editor-in-chief of any such conflict of interest constitutes unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(5) By submitting their manuscripts authors consent to the publication process and particularly to the submission of such manuscripts to a double-blind review process and to other assessment of manuscripts by the editorial board. In the event that authors discover, after they have already submitted their manuscripts, that a serious mistake has been made or that there are other serious inaccuracies in their papers, they shall notify the editor-in-chief thereof. Authors shall cooperate with the editor-in-chief in connection with the given matter and provide him/her with any necessary and expeditious assistance to ensure that such serious mistakes or inaccuracies are removed or that the manuscript is withdrawn from the publication process. These obligations shall apply to authors also when publishing the correction of the given mistake made in an already published paper. Failure to communicate the fact that a serious mistake has been made or that there are other serious inaccuracies or failure to provide assistance shall constitute unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(6) By submitting their manuscripts, authors grant the editorial board the right to publish these manuscripts (both to print them and to publish them electronically) without any remuneration for such publishing in return. Authors also consent to have their papers entered into all databases which the journal is or will be a part of. Authors also consent to have their first name, surname, place of work and e-mail address provided in the section of the paper titled “contact information”.
(1) A review is an essential and integral part of formal scholarly communication. Reviewers’ main task is to assist the editorial board and the editor-in-chief in deciding on whether a particular manuscript will be published or rejected. A review shall help the author of a manuscript to make changes to such manuscript and thus to refine it. Reviewers shall not review manuscripts in respect of which a conflict of interest could arise stemming either from competition or other relationship between a reviewer and author. Reviewers shall notify the editor-in-chief of any conflict of interest which may arise.
(2) Reviewers shall ensure that all information contained in manuscripts is kept confidential. The editorial board treats manuscripts as confidential and reviewers shall therefore neither disclose them, nor discuss them with anybody. An exemption from the foregoing obligation is granted by the editor-in-chief. Significant information and ideas obtained during the review process shall also be treated as confidential and shall thus not be used by reviewers to obtain any personal benefit.
(3) The editorial board is of the view that both authors whose papers have already been published in the journal as well as those who intend to submit their papers to the journal consider as a part of professional ethics to act as reviewers for other manuscripts. In the event that the designated reviewer believes that he/she does not have the necessary expertise or he/she assumes that he/she will not be able to prepare, for any reasons, such review within the designated deadline, such reviewer is obliged to notify the editor-in-chief thereof and shall be excused from the review process.
(4) The review process is anonymous on both sides (double-blind peer review). Reviewers shall prepare their reviews in an objective way. They shall adhere to the principle of equal treatment and shall not discriminate the authors of manuscripts on the grounds, whether real or alleged ones, of gender, religion or belief, race, nationality, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital or family status, colour, language, political or other views, national or social origin, property, family line or other status or on the grounds that the author of a manuscript has been reported for criminal or other antisocial conduct outside of publication process.. Reviewers prepare their reviews in person and to the best of their knowledge and belief.
(5) Reviewers shall notify the editor-in-chief without undue delay of any circumstances under which a particular manuscript should be rejected. The review itself shall be prepared in an objective and decent way, whereby the criticism of author as a person is inadmissible. Reviewers shall express their opinions in a professional, clear and comprehensible way and shall adequately support them with relevant arguments. Reviewers shall indicate which data or information is cited incorrectly or is not cited at all. Reviewers shall notify the editor-in-chief of any substantial similarity or overlap between the reviewed manuscript and any other paper or publication already published of which reviewers have learnt. Reviewers shall support such notice with relevant documents.
(6) In the event that a manuscript is rejected, the non-published information contained in the submitted manuscript shall not be used in reviewers’ own research without an express written consent given by the respective author. Reviewers shall use the information obtained during the preparation of a review neither to their nor to other person’s benefit, neither to put authors in disadvantage nor to discredit them.
(7) The editor-in-chief and the editorial board shall constantly check whether reviewers adhere to their obligations. Failure to adhere to their obligations referred to in subsection 1 through 6 shall constitute unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(1) The editor-in-chief shall ensure that no conflict of interest arises in connection with the publication process. The editor-in-chief is subject to statutory requirements arising out of relevant legislation in respect of defamation, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
(2) The editor-in-chief shall ensure that manuscripts are accepted on the basis of fully adhering to the principles of equal treatment and may therefore not reject a manuscript on the grounds of sex, religion or belief, race, nationality or ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital or family status, colour, language, political or other views, national or social origin, property, family line or other status or on the grounds that the author of a manuscript has been reported for criminal or other antisocial conduct outside of publication process.
(3) The editor-in-chief shall ensure that the information related to the submitted manuscript is kept confidential and shall protect the given manuscript from being destroyed, damaged, lost or stolen.
(4) The editor-in-chief shall ensure that the review of manuscripts is unbiased and impartial and that manuscripts are assessed solely on the basis of their content. The editor-in-chief may consult the members of the editorial board and reviewers, and cooperate with them. The editor-in-chief shall ensure that authors are provided with anonymous reviews and that they incorporate them into their manuscripts. The editor-in-chief has a right to accept or reject manuscripts or request that these are resubmitted. Furthermore, he/she has a right to temporarily suspend or stop the publication process in case there is a suspicion that a manuscript is a result of plagiarism or contains false data. The editor-in-chief shall ensure that manuscripts are checked through a system for detecting plagiarism.
(5) In order to ensure that manuscripts and their contents are of a respective scholarly quality, the editor-in-chief shall ensure that an initial internal assessment of manuscripts is carried out. Such initial internal assessment shall focus both on the formal requirements and on the fact whether manuscripts fall under the scope of the journal. In the event that such assessment is negative, the editor-in-chief shall notify the author of the given manuscript thereof without undue delay. Furthermore, the editor-in-chief checks whether the publication ethics is adhered to by the authors of manuscripts and by the reviewers.
(6) The editor-in-chief shall be held responsible for rendering the decision on the publication of manuscripts. The editor-in-chief shall have a right to temporarily suspend the publication process in the event that it turns out that a manuscript is a result of plagiarism, is untrue or otherwise substantially defective. The editorial board shall always debate whether publication process is suspended or not. The editor-in-chief shall be responsible for corrections, explanations or apologies related to the published paper.
(7) The editorial board checks that the editor-in-chief’s duties are adhered to. Failure to adhere to the duties set forth in sections 1 through 6 above by the editor-in-chief shall constitute unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable by the editorial board.
(1) The decision on whether a manuscript is published in the journal is rendered by the editorial board of the journal which, in this regard, takes into account the results of the review process, other documents obtained from the editor-in-chief or documents obtained while undertaking its own professional activities. The editorial board shall approve the publication of a manuscript in the journal if such manuscript is so significant that it contributes to further development of legal scholarship and legal practice, or in special instances, contributes to further development of other related disciplines.
(2) The editorial board shall ensure that the decision on publishing a manuscript is unbiased, impartial and that manuscript was assessed solely based on its content. The editorial board shall act in accordance with the principles of equal treatment and may not reject to publish a manuscript on grounds, whether real or alleged ones, of author’s sex, religion or belief, race, nationality or ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital or family status, colour, language, political or other views, national or social origin, property, family line or other status or on the grounds that author’s criminal or other antisocial conduct has been reported outside of the publication process.
(3) A member of the editorial board may not disclose any information regarding the submitted manuscript to any third parties other than authors, reviewers, prospective reviewers, other members of the editorial board and persons entrusted with technical aspects of publishing.
(4) In the event that the editorial board adopts a decision based on which a manuscript shall not be published, no member of the editorial board may use the non-published information contained in the submitted manuscript in his/her own research without obtaining an express written consent of its author first. Important information or ideas obtained during the publication process are treated as confidential and may not be used for obtaining any personal benefit by the editorial board members. The editorial board shall avoid assessing those papers in case of which a conflict of interest could arise stemming either from competition or other relationships, including the mutual cooperation with the authors. The editorial board hereby calls upon authors to provide a notice of any potential conflict of interest.
(5) The editorial board shall take particular steps in the event that any complaint of an ethical nature is received in respect of the submitted or published manuscript. Such measures usually encompass contacting the author of manuscript and due and sensitive assessment of the respective complaint or claims lodged. These measures shall also include further communication with the respective bodies and organisations, and in the event that such complaint turns out to be justified, correction shall be published or, if possible, the paper shall be withdrawn, etc. Every unethical conduct related to publishing in the journal which is reported shall be subject to investigation, even in cases when the manuscript was submitted or published a longer time ago.
(6) Individual members of the editorial board check each other on adhering to their obligations. Failure to adhere to the obligations set forth in sections 1 through 5 above shall constitute unethical conduct and are deemed unacceptable.
(1) The editorial board of the journal is aware of the need to ensure the contact with readers with specific needs and thus makes the website of the journal also accessible to visually impaired readers.
(2) The journal and all legal matters and legal acts related to it shall be governed by law of the Slovak Republic.
Bratislava, 5 March 2017