Regulations on Publication and Research Ethics
Chapter 1 General Rules
Article 1 (Purpose) The purpose of these Rules is to prescribe matters concerning the establishment and operation of the Research Ethics Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Committee”) to ensure the publication ethics, research ethics, and integrity of the Journal of Agriculture, Life, and Environment Sciences.
Article 2 (Subject of Application) These guidelines apply to papers submitted to this journal.
Article 3 (Ethical Obligations of the Editorial Staff)
① The editorial staff must evaluate the manuscript without consideration of the author’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, origin, and/or political orientation.
② The editorial staff and the editors must not disclose information about the submitted manuscript to anyone other than the author, the examiners, other editorial advisors, and the publisher.
③ Unpublished data disclosed in the submitted manuscript must not be used for the editor’s research without the author’s explicit written consent. Information or ideas obtained through peer-review should be kept confidential and not be used for personal interest.
④ Editorial responsibility for the manuscript written by an editor must be delegated to other editorial staff members. In addition, editors responsible for editing a manuscript must ensure that no conflicts of interest exist with authors, companies, or institutions.
⑤ If a false conclusion is found in a post-published paper, the chief editor must publish an appropriate report indicating the error as soon as possible.
⑥ When there is a valid reason, the author may file a recusal application for a particular examiner to the chief editor.
Article 4 (Ethical Obligations of the Author)
① The author is obligated to confirm that the study is original work. When other people’s works and phrases have been used, they must be cited according to the submission guidelines.
② The author must provide an accurate description of the work and an objective discussion of its significance.
③ A research paper must include sufficient details and references to allow others to reproduce the study. The author may be asked to provide raw data about the paper for editorial review.
④ The author must properly present the source of all information cited in the manuscript.
⑤ The author must inform the editor of potential conflicts of interest that may affect the interpretation of the author’s data. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include financial support from or relationships with companies, political pressure from interest groups, and academic issues. All sources of funding related to the study must be specified.
⑥ The author must not submit a manuscript describing essentially the same study to one or more journals, except in the case of resubmitting a manuscript that has been rejected or withdrawn from publication.
⑦ All forms of plagiarism are unacceptable. Plagiarism takes a variety of forms, from using another person’s paper as the author’s own, to copying a large portion of another person’s paper, or claiming the results of research conducted by another person.
⑧ Research on human beings requires approval and prior consent from the Committee, and the name of the Committee and the Institutional Approval Case Number must be documented in the manuscript.
⑨ Authorship: All authors must meet the following four conditions: i) substantial contribution to concept and design, data collection, and/or data analysis and interpretation; ii) writing articles or critically modifying important informational content; iii) final approval of the version to be published; and iv) responsible for all aspects of the work to ensure that questions relating to the accuracy or integrity of all parts of the work are properly investigated and resolved. Co-authors are limited to those who make significant scientific contributions to the work and share responsibility for the results. Other contributions are shown in footnotes or in the Acknowledgement. The corresponding author must accurately provide all the affiliations and positions of the authors. For the author’s affiliation, specify the affiliation at the time of conducting the study and indicate the change of affiliation in the footnote if it has changed at the time of submission. In the case of organizing and publishing a part of a dissertation, it is preferable for the students and instructors to be co-authors. If the author is a minor, his/her affiliation, position, and year of enrollment must be accurately provided.
Article 5 (Ethical Obligation of reviewers)
① The peer-review process helps the editorial staff decide on whether to publish the paper and/or for the author to improve the paper. The peer-review process is an essential component of academic communication and the core of the scientific method.
② Reviewer who feel unqualified to review the research specified in the submitted paper or think a prompt review is impossible should inform the editorial committee.
③ All manuscripts submitted for review must be treated as confidential. They must not be disclosed or discussed with others except as approved by the editorial committee.
④ The review must be objective. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate, and the reviewer should clearly express opinions using reason and arguments.
⑤ The reviewer must identify pre-published studies that are not cited by the author and provide relevant citations. In addition, the reviewer must immediately inform the editorial committee if any substantial similarity or overlap is found with previously published papers.
⑥ Unpublished data disclosed in the submitted manuscript must not be used for the reviewer’s own research without the author’s explicit written consent. Information or ideas obtained through peer-review must be kept confidential and not be used for personal interest. The reviewer should not proceed with an review if there are conflicts of interest with the author, company, or institution related to the submitted manuscript.
Article 6 (Originality, Plagiarism, and Duplicate Publication) The submitted manuscript must not have been previously published or be currently considered for publication elsewhere. No part of the accepted manuscript shall be duplicated in any other journal without the permission of the editorial committee. The submitted manuscript must be examined for the possibility of plagiarism or duplicate publication through a similarity examination. If plagiarism or duplicate publication is detected, measures including the rejection of manuscript, notification to the author’s affiliated institute, and additional disciplinary action may be taken. It is the author’s responsibility to request permission for all previously published materials, including text, figures, and tables.
Article 7 (Secondary Publication) The manuscript may be reposted, if it meets the secondary publication conditions of the ICMJE recommendations (http://www.icmje.org/urm_main.html).
Article 8 (Definition of Research Misconduct) The term “research misconduct” refers to the following acts conducted in the process of research proposal and performance and the report and presentation of research results.
1. False creation of non-existent data or research results
2. Distorting research contents or results by artificially manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or arbitrarily changing or deleting data
3. Plagiarism by stealing others’ original research content or results without valid approval or citation
4. Not entitling a person who has made scientific or technical contributions to the research content or results as an author of the paper, or wrongfully entitling a person who has made no contribution to the paper on the grounds of gratitude or courtesy
5. Other misconduct deemed necessary of independent investigation or verification by the Committee
Article 9 (Handling of Research Misconduct) If the paper is confirmed to be a result of misconduct prescribed in Article 8, the Society will investigate in accordance with the flow chart of COPE (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts) and disciplinary action may result, such as the deletion of the paper, prohibition of paper submission, and suspension or deprivation of membership. Notice of these measures may be provided to the subject’s affiliated institute or disclosed in an academic journal.
Article 10 (Definition of Terms)
① The term “informant” refers to the person who has recognized misconduct and notified the research institute (or Committee) of the relevant evidence.
② The term “examinee” refers to the person who is subject to investigation of misconduct by report or recognition of the Committee, or the person who is presumed to have participated in misconduct in the course of the investigation.
③ The term “preliminary investigation” refers to the preliminary procedure for determining the necessity to officially investigate the report or perceived misconduct.
④ The term “investigation” refers to the investigation process of the allegations of misconduct.
Chapter 2 Composition and Functions of the Committee
Article 11 (Composition) The Committee is comprised of not more than seven members, including the chairman, and the chairman is commissioned by the director of the Agriculture and Life Science Research Institute (hereinafter referred to as the “Director of Agriculture and Sciences”).
1. The chief editor of this journal must be an official member and concurrently serve as the vice -chairman.
2. The members are commissioned by the chairman.
3. The tenure of the chairman and the members is two years and may be renewed consecutively.
Article 12 (Chairman)
① The chairman represents the Committee and leads meetings.
② The vice chairman assists the chairman and acts on behalf of the chairman in his/her absence.
Article 13 (Executive Secretary) The Committee has one executive secretary to handle all administrative matters.
Article 14 (Meeting)
① The chairman convenes the Committee meeting and serves as its chair.
② The meeting is resolved with the majority attendance of the registered members and the approval of a majority of the members present.
③ In principle, Committee meetings are private; if necessary, relevant persons may be summoned to present their opinions.
Article 15 (Function) The Committee considers and decides on the following matters:
1. Matters concerning amendments to the regulations
2. Matters concerning the receipt and handling of misconduct reports
3. Matters concerning the launch of the investigation and the decision, approval, and reconsideration of the investigation results
4. Matters concerning the protection of informants and examinees
5. Matters concerning the processing and follow-up measures of verification results of the research integrity
6. Other matters concerning the operation of the Committee
Chapter 3 Reporting Fraud and Protection of Rights
Article 16 (Reporting and Receipt of Misconduct Allegations) The informant may report to the Committee in writing or via email, and the relevant evidence must be submitted in writing using one’s real name.
Article 17 (Protection of the Informant’s Rights)
① Unless necessary, the Committee must not disclose the informant’s personal information, for the protection of the informant.
② The Committee must take measures to protect the informant when they have been subjected to unfair pressure or threat for reporting misconduct.
Article 18 (Protection of Persons under Investigation) The Committee must take caution not to infringe on the honor or rights of the examinees until the investigation on misconduct is completed and an endeavor to recover the honor of the examinees must be made once they are found innocent.
Article 19 (Guarantee of the Right to Appeal and Defend) The Committee must guarantee equal right and opportunity to state opinions, plead, and defend, to the informant and the examinee, and inform them of the relevant procedures in advance.
Chapter 4 Preliminary Investigation
Article 20 (Committee Composition) The preliminary investigation committee comprises not more than three members, including the chairman. The preliminary investigation must be done within ten days from the date of receipt of the report.
Article 21 (Duration and Method of Preliminary Investigation)
① The decision to conduct the investigation must be made within 30 days after the formation of the preliminary investigation committee.
② In principle, if three years have elapsed between the date of the report’s receipt and the date of misconduct, the case will not go forward despite receipt of the report.
③ In the preliminary investigation, the following matters must be reviewed:
1. Whether the details of the report fall under misconduct described in Article 3
2. Whether it is necessary to conduct the investigation based on the specificity and clarity of the report
3. Whether three years have elapsed, counting backwards, from the date of report of the misconduct
Article 22 (Report and Notification of Preliminary Investigation Results)
① The results of the preliminary investigation must be provided in writing to the informant and the examinee within ten days after the Committee resolution, and reported to the Director of Agriculture and Sciences.
② The preliminary investigation report must include the following:
1. Details of the report
2. Alleged misconduct under investigation
3. Whether the investigation will be conducted, and the grounds for judgment
Chapter 5 Investigation
Article 23 (Launch and Duration of Investigation)
① The investigation must be commenced within 30 days after receiving the preliminary investigation report, and during this period, a committee must be formed to conduct the investigation (hereinafter referred to as the “Investigation Committee”).
② The investigation must be completed within 90 days from the commencement date.
③ If the Investigation Committee decides that the investigation cannot be completed within the given period, it may explain the reasons for the delay and request a single extension of 30 days.
Article 24 (Composition of the Investigation Committee)
① The Investigation Committee must be comprised of at least five members.
② The composition and appointment period of the Investigation Committee members must be determined through a committee resolution, and the chairman of the Investigation Committee must be one of the members.
③ The Investigation Committee must include at least two persons with professional knowledge and experience in the relevant field, and at least two external personnel who are not members of the Agriculture and Life Science Research Institute must be commissioned to maintain fairness and objectivity.
④ A person with any conflict of interest with the investigated case must not be a member of the Investigation Committee.
Article 25 (Request for Attendance and Data) The Investigation Committee may request informants, examinees, and reference witnesses to attend the committee to provide testimony.
Article 26 (Submission of Results Report)
① The Investigation Committee must submit the results report to the Committee before the deadline for the conclusion of the investigation.
② The results report must include the following matters:
1. Details of the report
2. Alleged misconduct under investigation
3. Relevant evidence, witnesses, and statements
4. Investigation results
5. Other data to support the decision
Chapter 6 Decision and Measures
Article 27 (Decision)
① Decisions must be made within six months from the launch of the preliminary investigation.
② The committee must review the report of the Investigation Committee and recommend, to the Director of Agriculture and Sciences, disciplinary measures depending on the severity of the misconduct, such as a warning, restrictions on paper submission, or suspension and cancellation of membership. The informant and examinee must be informed of the results.
Article 28 (Reconsideration)
① The Committee must decide whether to reconsider within ten days from the date of receiving the request for reconsideration.
② Procedures and methods for reconsideration must be determined by the Committee.
Article 29 (Measures) The Director of Agriculture and Sciences must notify the head of the examinee’s affiliated institute of the final decision.
Chapter 7 Record Keeping and Confidentiality
Article 30 (Record Keeping) All records related to the preliminary investigation and the investigation must be kept in the administrative office of the Agriculture and Life Science Research Institute for five years.
Article 31 (Confidentiality) All matters related to the research ethics and integrity investigation must be kept confidential, and all persons who participated in the investigation must not reveal any information acquired during the course of performing their duties. However, if there is a need for a reasonable disclosure, it may be disclosed after a resolution by the Committee.
The guidelines come into effect from November 21, 2019 (Revised November 21, 2019).
The guidelines come into effect from March 10, 2020 (Revised March 10, 2020).
The guidelines come into effect from March 17, 2021 (Revised March 17, 2021).
The guidelines come into effect from December 27, 2021 (Revised December 27, 2021).