Publication Ethics


Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) 

Institute for Population and Human Studies, Psychology Department

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

The major building element in the development of science worldwide is the publication of an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society. The Institute for Population and Human Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as publisher of the Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing extremely seriously including ethical and other responsibilities. Both IPHS-BAS and Editorial Board take fully into consideration the rules of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), presented on:


The editors and editor-in-chief have to decide the manuscript's appropriativeness to the journal`s scope and aims. Editor-in-chief checks the manuscript for any similarities with other works or plagiarism of research using StrikePlagiarism. If any similarities emerged, the Authors are asked to make changes in order to proceed further with the double-blind peer-review process.

Editors and editor-in-chief assign manuscripts to independent and anonymous reviewers.

Editor-in-chief reads the reviewer's evaluations, comments, and suggestions and decides whether or not to publish the manuscript.

Editor-in-chief is responsible when considering a manuscript for publication or not to ensure that there is no discrimination based on race, gender, nationality, religion, sexual or ideological prejudice.

As authors or when contributed to a scholarly work, editors and journal staff have to declare their competing interest and their works undergo a fairly peer-reviewed process as it is for all other manuscript submitters.  

Fair play
Editors should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.

The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in members of the Editorial Board’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Members of the Editorial Board should recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations
The IPHS-BAS should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the Editorial Board and the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, or other relevant measures, as may be relevant. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.

Any manuscript is assigned to at least two blind-reviewers, often to more if the previous two have opposite opinions. If any impairs to the Author`s anonymity emerge, the reviewers must immediately notify the editors to take measures accordingly. Reviewers check the clarity of language and stylistic used in information and data description. They evaluate and fill in a review form where assess the paper structure, clarity, and depth of the discussed topic and referenced literature, as well as the appropriativeness of the methodology used, contribution of the author`s research questions to the specific field, conclusion, and the practical implications of the carried study. Reviewers could send additional comments and suggestions to the authors using the OJS of Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) without revealing their personality.

Reviewers are anonymous for the authors and are not allowed to contact the authors and introduce themselves.

Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the Editorial Board and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.

Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the Editorial Board of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in reviewers own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

All Authors have to ensure a draft of their manuscript is prepared for the blind-review process; additionally, they have to upload to the OJS of Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) a cover letter and other materials considered relevant to the current manuscript. 

Authors have to submit only works that are entirely original and reflect their own scientific approach to the discussed topic. Some raw data from the reported research have to be available. All the information in the submitted material must be accurately described and reflect the collected data. All mentioned works from other Authors have to be properly quoted and cited as it could be perceived as a case of plagiarism or similarity that is not accepted in Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) . Manuscripts that describe the same research results in more than one journal are not considered for publication in the journal.

Authors are expected to disclose their financial conflict of interest and declare their competing interests and grants.

Data access and retention
Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality and plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and, if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming as own results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication
As a rule, papers describing essentially the same research should not be submitted or published in more than one journal or primary publication. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. The Editorial Board of Psychological Research (in the Balkans) (PsyRB) must have given explicitly their approval to the author in case of secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Acknowledgement of sources
Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

Authorship of the manuscript
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.

Peer review
Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, proof of ethics approval, and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of “revisions necessary”, authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and resubmitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Fundamental errors in published works
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal Editorial Board or publisher and cooperate with them to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.