Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Journal of Environmental Informatics Letters (JEIL) is a peer-reviewed journal committed to ensuring the highest standards of publication ethics. It is recognized that the scholarly publishing ecosystem is complex and includes editors, authors, reviewers, and publishers. It is expected that all parties involved have a shared understanding and acceptance of JEIL’s standards on publication ethics and malpractice. The statements below are closely aligned with COPE’s (Committee on Publication Ethics) Core Practices, which can be accessed at:

Responsibility of Editors

The editors’ chief responsibility is to determine without bias which submissions to the journal will be published. They must evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the author(s).


JEIL’s editorial staff will maintain strict confidentiality of manuscripts under consideration for publication. They should not disclose any information about a manuscript to anyone other than reviewers and potential reviewers.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s own research without the express written consent of the author.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.

Editors must 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 institutions connected to the papers.

Editors require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.

Responsibility of Authors

An author’s central obligation is to present a concise, accurate account of the research performed and an objective discussion of its results and their significance. A paper should contain enough detail and references to public information to allow an author’s peers to evaluate and build on the work. An author should cite publications that have been influential in the reported work and guide the reader quickly to earlier work that is essential for understanding their investigation. Data and software referenced in the work should be represented accurately in the paper. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Multiple, redundant, or concurrent publication

In general, papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal. Submitting the same paper to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by one journal should not be submitted to other publications while the manuscript is under review.

Authorship of the paper

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 on 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 to the editor at the earliest stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.

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 editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor 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 to provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.

Data access and retention

Authors could be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the paper for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Hazards and human or animal subjects

If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript.

If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) have approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Suggested reviewers

Authors are required to suggest at least three (up to six) individuals who could serve as reviewers and supply their contact information (e.g., names, institutions, email and mailing addresses). The suggested reviewers should be experts in relevant fields. The editors will try to use at least one reviewer from the list. See Selection of Reviewers in JEIL’s Operating Procedure.


The copyright of papers accepted for publication becomes the property of the International Society for Environmental Information Sciences. Authors are required to sign a copyright assignment form prior to publication.

Article processing charges

There are no article processing charges to publish with this journal.

Responsibility of Reviewers

Reviewing manuscripts is an essential step in the publication process and all scientists have an obligation to do their fair share of reviewing as part of their service to the scientific community. All papers submitted to JEIL are subject to strict peer-review process by at least two international reviewers that are experts in the area of the particular paper. Reviewers are being selected by the editors.

A chosen reviewer who feels inadequately qualified or lacks the time to judge the research reported in a manuscript should return it promptly to the editor. In this case, our editors welcome recommendations for alternate reviewers.

Reviewers should judge objectively the quality of the manuscript and respect the intellectual independence of the authors. A criticism of a published paper may be justified; however, in no case is personal criticism considered acceptable.

Reviewers should explain and support their judgments adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument in a manuscript was previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.


A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. The reviewer should not share or discuss the manuscript with others. Reviewers should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author. These guidelines regarding unpublished information do not include an author’s own preprints.

Conflicts of interest

A reviewer should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the reviewer’s work in progress or in a published work. When in doubt, the reviewer should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias. A reviewer should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.

Alertness to ethical issues

A reviewer should be on the alert to the failure of authors to cite relevant work by other scientists. A reviewer should call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal.


Plagiarism is unacknowledged copying or an attempt to misattribute original authorship, whether of ideas, text, or results. As defined by the Office of Research Integrity, plagiarism can include, “theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s work”. Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted without appropriate and unambiguous attribution. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in JEIL. Aside from wholesale verbatim reuse of text, due care must be taken to ensure appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarizing the work of others. “Text recycling” or reuse of parts of text from an author’s previous research publication is a form of self-plagiarism. Here too, due caution must be exercised. When reusing text, whether from the author’s own publication or that of others, appropriate attribution and citation is necessary to avoid creating a misleading perception of unique contribution for the reader.

Policy and action for plagiarism

Any allegations of plagiarism or self-plagiarism/text-recycling made to a journal will be investigated by the editors of JEIL, following COPE guidelines. If the allegations appear to be founded, we will then contact all named authors of the paper and request an explanation of the overlapping material. We may ask Editorial Board members and the author’s institution to assist in further evaluation of the paper and allegations.

The plagiarism of ideas can be the most difficult for a journal editor or publisher to be able to detect and validate. Investigations into this type of plagiarism will usually require the involvement of other parties, such as independent expert reviewers and/or institutions where the work was carried out.

Based on the investigation and reply from the author(s), the journal will decide how to proceed, using COPE flowcharts where applicable. This may result in the following actions being taken, depending on the nature and severity of the case:

• If a paper is still in peer review, it may be returned to the author with a request that they address the issues through appropriate citation, use of quote marks to identify direct quotes, or re-writing.
• If the similarity between the manuscripts is too extensive for revision, it may be rejected.
• If the paper is already published online, a correction, expression of concern, or retraction may be published.
• The author’s institution may also be informed.

Allegations of Misconduct

JEIL’s policy for managing allegations of research misconduct is based on the guidelines of COPE, available at

Authors are required to read the journal’s author instruction and ethical policies carefully and to adhere to the terms before submission. While authors are given the option to suggest potential reviewers for the peer-review process, the qualifications and potential conflicts of interest of all reviewers will be carefully checked before they are invited to review.

Report of research misconduct may be related to a published article or a manuscript under peer-review process. The procedure for the application and management of complaints of author misconduct should proceed with sensitivity, tact, in confidence, and in the following manner:

• The JEIL editorial office receives a complaint that an article submitted to or published in the journal is suspected of containing research misconduct.
• The complainant needs to clearly indicate the specific manner and detail of misconduct; for example, in a case of plagiarism, the plagiarized paragraph should be clearly highlighted, and the original and suspected articles should be referred to clearly.
• The editorial office will conduct an investigation, during which time the editor of the journal and the corresponding author(s) of the suspected article will be in contact.
• The corresponding author(s) will be asked to provide an explanation with factual statements and any available evidence.
• If the author(s) of the suspected article accepts the misconduct complaint, the editorial office will take the following actions depending on the situation:
 o If the article has been published, an erratum or retraction may be necessary to remedy the situation. However, there may still be disagreement concerning the appropriate wording of the description.
 o If the misconduct is reported during the review process, the review process may continue, with the author(s) making the relevant changes.
• In the case of nonresponse in the stipulated time or an unsatisfactory explanation, the article may be permanently retracted or rejected. Before making a decision, confirmation will be sought from the experts of the relevant institution or other authorities as required.
• The complainant will be informed of the outcome once the issue is resolved.
• The complaint case will thereupon be considered concluded.

Appeals and Complaints

The below procedure applies to appeals to editorial decisions, complaints about failure of processes such as long delays in handling papers and complaints about publication ethics. The complaint should in first instance be handled by the Editor-in-Chief and/or the Editor who handled the paper.

Complaint about scientific content (e.g., an appeal against rejection)

The Editor-in-Chief or the handling Editor considers the authors’ argument, the reviewer reports and decides whether
- the decision to reject should stand,
- another independent opinion is required, or
- the appeal should be considered.
The complainant is informed of the decision with an explanation if appropriate. Decisions on appeals are final and new submissions take priority over appeals.

Complaint about processes (e.g., time taken to review)

The Editor-in-Chief together with the handling Editor (where appropriate) will investigate the matter. The complainant will be given appropriate feedback.

Complaint about publication ethics (e.g., researcher’s author’s, or reviewer’s conduct)

The Editor-in-Chief or the handling Editor follows guidelines published by COPE. The Editor-in-Chief or the handling Editor decides on a course of action and provides feedback to the complainant. If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the handling of their complaint, he or she can submit the complaint to COPE.