Publication Ethics & Malpractice Statement

Indonesian Journal of Chemical Studies (IJCS) clarifies the ethical behavior of all parties involved in the act of publishing an article in this journal, including the author, the chief editor, the Editorial Board, the peer-reviewer, and the publisher (Indonesian Scholar Society). This statement is based on COPE’s Code of Conduct

1. Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors
2. Code of Conduct for Reviewers
3. Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers

it is expected of authors, reviewers, and editors that they follow the best-practice guidelines on ethical behavior contained therein.



The COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors is designed to provide a set of minimum standards to which all COPE members are expected to adhere. The Best Practice Guidelines are more aspirational and were developed in response to requests from editors for guidance about a wide range of increasingly complex ethical issues. While COPE expects all members to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors (and will consider complaints against members who have not followed it), we realise that editors may not be able to implement all the Best Practice recommendations (which are therefore voluntary), but we hope that our suggestions will identify aspects of journal policy and practice that should be reviewed and discussed.

In this combined version of the documents, the mandatory Code of Conduct for Journal Editors standards are shown in regular script and with numbered clauses

1. General duties and responsibilities of editors
1.1. Editors should be accountable for everything published in their journals
This means the editors should
1.2. strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;
1.3. strive to constantly improve their journal;
1.4. have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;
1.5. champion freedom of expression;
1.6. maintain the integrity of the academic record;
1.7. preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
1.8. always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

Best practice for editors would include

• actively seeking the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes
• encouraging and being aware of research into peer review and publishing and reassessing their journal’s processes in the light of new findings
• working to persuade their publisher to provide appropriate resources, guidance from experts (e.g. designers, lawyers)
• supporting initiatives designed to reduce research and publication misconduct
• supporting initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
• assessing the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revising policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct
• ensuring that any press releases issued by their journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context

2. Relations with readers
2.1. Readers should be informed about who has funded research or other scholarly work whether the funders had any role in the research and its publication and, if so, what this was.

Best practices for editors would include:
• ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers (including statistical review where appropriate)
• ensuring that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are clearly identified
• adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting including technical
• editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists
• considering developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles
• adopting authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e. so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g. ghost and guest authors)
• informing readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation

3. Relations with authors
3.1. Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal.
3.2. Editors should not reverse decisions to accept submissions unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
3.3. New editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.
3.4. A description of peer review processes should be published, and editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described processes.
3.5. Journals should have a declared mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions.
3.6. Editors should publish guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
3.7. Editors should provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor following the standards within the relevant field.

Best practices for editors would include:
• reviewing author instructions regularly and providing links to relevant guidelines (e.g. ICMJE5, Responsible research publication: international standards for authors6)
• publishing relevant competing interests for all contributors and publishing corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication
• ensuring that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)
• respecting requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned and practicable
• being guided by the COPE flowcharts ( in cases of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship
• publishing details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct (e.g. with links to the COPE flowcharts)
• publishing submission and acceptance dates for articles

4. Relations with editors
4.1. Editors should provide guidance to reviewers on everything that is expected of them including the need to handle submitted material in confidence. This guidance should be regularly updated and should refer or link to this code.
4.2. Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.
4.3. Editors should have systems to ensure that peer reviewers’ identities are protected unless they use an open review system that is declared to authors and reviewers.

Best practices for editors would include:
• encouraging reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects (including animals), inappropriate data manipulation and presentation)
• encouraging reviewers to comment on the originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism
• considering providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications( e.g. links to cited references and bibliographic searches)
• sending reviewers’ comments to authors in their entirety unless they contain offensive or libellous remarks
• seeking to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal
• encouraging academic institutions to recognise peer review activities as part of the scholarly process
• monitoring the performance of peer reviewers and taking steps to ensure this is of high standard
• developing and maintaining a database of suitable reviewers and updating this on the basis of reviewer performance
• ceasing to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews
• ensuring that the reviewer database reflects the community for their journal and adding new reviewers as needed
• using a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g. author suggestions, bibliographic databases)
• following the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct

5. Relations with editorial board members
5.1. Editors should provide new editorial board members with guidelines on everything that is expected of them and should keep existing members updated on new policies and developments.

Best practices for editors would include:
• having policies in place for handling submissions from editorial board members to ensure unbiased review identifying suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal
• regularly reviewing the composition of the editorial board
• providing clear guidance to editorial board members about their expected functions and duties, which might include:
– acting as ambassadors for the journal
– supporting and promoting the journal
– seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g. from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions
– reviewing submissions to the journal
– accepting commissions to write editorials, reviews and commentaries on papers in their specialist area
– attending and contributing to editorial board meetings

• consulting editorial board members periodically (e.g. once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, informing them of any changes to journal policies and identifying future challenges.

6. Relations with journal owners and publishers
6.1. The relationship of editors to publishers and owners is often complex but should be based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.
6.2. Editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for the journal and without interference from the journal owner/ the journal owner/publisher.
6.3. Editors should have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with the journal’s owner and/or publisher.
6.4. The terms of this contract should be in line with the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

Best practices for editors would include:
• establishing mechanisms to handle disagreements between themselves and the journal owner/publisher with due process
• communicating regularly with their journal’s owner and publisher

7. Editorial and peer review processes
7.1. Editors should strive to ensure that peer review of their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.
7.2. Editors should have systems to ensure that material submitted to their journal remains confidential while under review.

Best practices for editors would include:
• ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review and journal management
• keeping informed about research into peer review and technological advances
• adopting peer review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves
• reviewing peer review practices periodically to see if improvement is possible
• referring troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flow charts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected
• considering the appointment of an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally

8. Editorial and peer review processes
8.1. Editors should take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material they publish, recognizing that journals and sections within journals will have different aims and standards.

Best practices for editors would include:
• having systems in place to detect falsified data (e.g. inappropriately manipulated photographic images or plagiarised text) either for routine use or when suspicions are raised
• basing decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that raise the quality of reporting (e.g. adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance such as CONSORT2) rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference

9. Protecting individual data
9.1. Editors must obey laws on confidentiality in their own jurisdiction. Regardless of local statutes, however, they should always protect the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research or professional interactions (e.g. between doctors and patients). It is therefore almost always necessary to obtain written informed consent for publication from people who might recognise themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports or photographs). It may be possible to publish individual information without explicit consent if public interest considerations outweigh possible harms, it is impossible to obtain consent and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication.

Best practice for editors would include:
• publishing their policy on publishing individual data (e.g. identifiable personal details or images) and explaining this clearly to authors

Note that consent to take part in research or undergo treatment is not the same as consent to publish personal details, images or quotations.

10. Encouraging ethical research (e.g. research involving humans or animals)
10.1. Editors should endeavor to ensure that the research they publish is carried out according to the relevant internationally accepted guidelines (e.g. the Declaration of Helsinki8 for clinical research, the AERA and BERA guidelines for educational research).
10.2. Editors should seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board) where one exists. However, editors should recognize that such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical.

Best practices for editors would include:
• being prepared to request evidence of ethical research approval and to question authors about ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed
• ensuring that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki8, Good Clinical Practice11, and other relevant guidelines to safeguard participants
• ensuring that reports of experiments on, or studies of, animals cite compliance with the US Department of Health and Human Services Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals or other relevant guidelines
• appointing a journal ethics advisor or panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies periodically

11. Dealing with possible misconduct
11.1. Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers.
11.2. Editors should not simply reject papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct. They are ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases.
11.3. Editors should follow the COPE flowcharts where applicable.
11.4. Editors should first seek a response from those suspected of misconduct. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the relevant employers, or institution, or some appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body or national research integrity organization) to investigate.
11.5. Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted; if this does not happen, editors should make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. This is an onerous but important duty.

12. Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
12.1. Errors, and inaccurate or misleading statements must be corrected promptly and with due prominence.
12.2. Editors should follow the COPE guidelines on retractions.

Best practice for editors would include:
• taking steps to reduce covert redundant publication (e.g. by requiring all clinical trials to be registered)
• ensuring that published material is securely archived (e.g. via online permanent repositories, such as PubMed Central)
• having systems in place to give authors the opportunity to make original research articles freely available

13. Intellectual property
Editors should be alert to intellectual property issues and work with their publisher to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.

Best practices for editors would include:
• adopting systems for detecting plagiarism (e.g. software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised)
• supporting authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism
• being prepared to work with their publisher to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g. by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright

14. Encouraging debate
14.1. Editors should encourage and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their journal.
14.2. Authors of criticized material should be given the opportunity to respond.
14.3. Studies reporting negative results should not be excluded.

Best practices for editors would include:
• being open to research that challenges previous work published in the journal

15. Complaints
15.1. Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.
15.2. Editors should follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints

16. Commercial considerations
16.1. Journals should have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions (e.g. advertising departments should operate independently from editorial departments).
16.2. Editors should have declared policies on advertising in relation to the content of the journal and on processes for publishing sponsored supplements.
16.3. Reprints should be published as they appear in the journal unless a correction needs to be included in which case it should be clearly identified.

Best practices for editors would include:
• publishing a general description of their journal’s income sources (e.g. the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, sponsored supplements, page charges, etc.)
• ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal
• ensuring that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to
• readers and decisions about such supplements are not influenced by commercial considerations

17. Conflicts of interest
17.1. Editors should have systems for managing their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their staff, authors, reviewers and editorial board members.
17.2. Journals should have a declared process for handling submissions from the editors, employees or members of the editorial board to ensure unbiased review.

Best practice for editors would include:
• publishing lists of relevant interests (financial, academic and other kinds) of all editorial staff and members of editorial boards (which should be updated at least annually)

Professional responsibility

Authors who have benefited from the peer review process should consider becoming peer reviewers as a part of their professional responsibilities. Some journals require a formal process of appointment to the review panel, and some require specific expertise; anyone interested in becoming a reviewer should look for the journal guidelines on peer review and follow any requirements posted. In order to assign appropriate reviewers, editors must match reviewers with the scope of the content in a manuscript to get the best reviews possible. Potential reviewers should provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a fair representation of their expertise, including verifiable and accurate contact information. It is important to recognise that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct (eg, see COPE Case 12-12: Compromised peer review system in published papers) ( When approached to review, agree to review only if you have the necessary expertise to assess the manuscript and can be unbiased in your assessment. It is better to identify clearly any gaps in your expertise when asked to review.

Competing interests

Ensure you declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests. If you are unsure about a potential competing interest that may prevent you from reviewing, do raise this. Competing interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. If you are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been recent (eg, within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders, you should not agree to review. In addition, you should not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one you have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.


It is courteous to respond to an invitation to peer review within a reasonable time frame, even if you cannot undertake the review. If you feel qualified to judge a particular manuscript, you should agree to review only if you are able to return a review within the proposed or mutually agreed time frame. Always inform the journal promptly if your circumstances change and you cannot fulfil your original agreement or if you require an extension. If you cannot review, it is helpful to make suggestions for alternative reviewers if relevant, based on their expertise and without any influence of personal considerations or any intention of the manuscript receiving a specific outcome (either positive or negative).

Initial steps

Read the manuscript, supplementary data files and ancillary material thoroughly (eg, reviewer instructions, required ethics and policy statements), getting back to the journal if anything is not clear and requesting any missing or incomplete items you need. Do not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal. It is important to understand the scope of the review before commencing (ie, is a review of raw data expected?).


Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for your own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others (eg, see COPE Case 14-06: Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality) ( Do not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript (including early career researchers you are mentoring), without first obtaining permission from the journal (eg, see COPE Case 11-29: Reviewer asks trainee to review manuscript) ( The names of any individuals who have helped with the review should be included so that they are associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and can also receive due recognition for their efforts.

Bias and competing interests

It is important to remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations. If you discover a competing interest that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review, notify the journal and seek advice (eg, see COPE Case 15-05: Reviewer requests to be added as an author after publication) ( While waiting for a response, refrain from looking at the manuscript and associated material in case the request to review is rescinded. Similarly, notify the journal as soon as possible if you find you do not have the necessary expertise to assess the relevant aspects of a manuscript so as not to unduly delay the review process. In the case of double-anonymous review, if you suspect the identity of the author(s) notify the journal if this knowledge raises any potential competing or conflict of interest.

Suspicion of ethics violations

If you come across any irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics do let the journal know (eg, see COPE Case 02-11: Contacting research ethics committees with concerns over studies) ( For example, you may have concerns that misconduct occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript, or you may notice substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article. In the case of these or any other ethical concerns, contact the editor directly and do not attempt to investigate on your own. It is appropriate to cooperate, in confidence, with the journal, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.

Transferability of peer review

Publishers may have policies related to transferring peer reviews to other journals in the publisher’s portfolio (sometimes referred to as portable or cascading peer review). Reviewers may be asked to give permission for the transfer of their reviews if that is journal policy. If a manuscript is rejected from one journal and submitted to another, and you are asked to review that same manuscript, you should be prepared to review the manuscript afresh as it may have changed between the two submissions and the journal’s criteria for evaluation and acceptance may be different. In the interests of transparency and efficiency it may be appropriate to provide your original review for the new journal (with permission to do so from the original journal), explaining that you had reviewed the submission previously and noting any changes.


Follow journal’s instructions for writing and posting the review. If a particular format or scoring rubric is required, use the tools supplied by the journal. Be objective and constructive in your review, providing feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript. For example, be specific in your critique, and provide supporting evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements, to help editors in their evaluation. Be professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations (eg, see COPE Case 08-13: Personal remarks within a post-publication literature forum) (

Appropriate feedback

Bear in mind that the editor requires a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Most journals allow reviewers to provide confidential comments to the editor as well as comments to be read by the authors. The journal may also ask for a recommendation to accept/revise/reject; any recommendation should be congruent with the comments provided in the review. If you have not reviewed the whole manuscript, do indicate which aspects of the manuscript you have assessed. Ensure your comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with your report for the authors; most feedback should be put in the report that the authors will see. Confidential comments to the editor should not be a place for denigration or false accusation, done in the knowledge that the authors will not see your comments.

Language and style

Remember it is the authors’ paper, so do not attempt to rewrite it to your own preferred style if it is basically sound and clear; suggestions for changes that improve clarity are, however, important. In addition, be aware of the sensitivities surrounding language issues that are due to the authors writing in a language that is not their first or most proficient language, and phrase the feedback appropriately and with due respect.

Suggestions for further work

It is the job of the peer reviewer to comment on the quality and rigour of the work they receive. If the work is not clear because of missing analyses, the reviewer should comment and explain what additional analyses would clarify the work submitted. It is not the job of the reviewer to extend the work beyond its current scope. Be clear which (if any) suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work


Prepare the report by yourself, unless you have permission from the journal to involve another person. Refrain from making unfair negative comments or including unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work that is mentioned in the manuscript. Refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to your (or an associate’s) work merely to increase citation counts or to enhance the visibility of your or your associate’s work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons. Do not intentionally prolong the review process, either by delaying the submission of your review or by requesting unnecessary additional information from the journal or author. If you are the editor handling a manuscript and decide to provide a review of that manuscript yourself (perhaps if another reviewer could not return a report), do this transparently and not under the guise of an anonymous additional reviewer.


If possible, try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts you have reviewed previously. It is helpful to respond promptly if contacted by a journal about matters related to your review and to provide the information required. Similarly, contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after you have submitted your review that might affect your original feedback and recommendations. Continue to respect the confidential nature of the review process and do not reveal details of the manuscript after peer review unless you have permission from the author and the journal (eg, see COPE Case 13-15: Online posting of confidential draft by peer reviewer) ( See the COPE discussion document Who ‘owns’ peer reviews?1 for a fuller discussion of the issues) (


Take advantage of opportunities to enrol in mentorship or training programmes to improve your peer review skills. Offer to mentor early career researchers as they learn the peer review process. Supervisors who wish to involve their students or junior researchers in peer review must request permission from the editor and abide by the editor’s decision. In cases where a student performs the review under the guidance of the supervisor, that should be noted and the student should be acknowledged as the reviewer of record. It may also be helpful to read the reviews from the other reviewers, if these are provided by the journal, to improve your own understanding of the topic and the reason for the editorial decision. Sense about Science have a helpful guide for peer review written for early career researchers. There are also training courses available for those starting out in peer review, for example, Publons provide a free online training course.


The Core Practices were developed in 2017, replacing the Code of Conduct. They are applicable to all involved in publishing scholarly literature: editors and their journals, publishers, and institutions. The Core Practices should be considered alongside specific national and international codes of conduct for research and are not intended to replace these.

Journals and publishers should have robust and well described, publicly documented practices in all of the following areas for their journals:

Allegations of misconduct

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the journal's or publisher’s attention. Journals must take seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. Policies should include how to handle allegations from whistleblowers.

Authorship and contributorship

Clear policies (that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity) should be in place for requirements for authorship and contributorship as well as processes for managing potential disputes

Complaints and appeals

Journals should have a clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher

Conflicts of interest / Competing interests

There must be clear definitions of conflicts of interest and processes for handling conflicts of interest of authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers, whether identified before or after publication

Data and reproducibility

Journals should include policies on data availability and encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of clinical trials and other study designs according to standard practice in their discipline

Ethical oversight

Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and ethical business/marketing practices

Intellectual property

All policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, should be clearly described. In addition, any costs associated with publishing should be obvious to authors and readers. Policies should be clear on what counts as prepublication that will preclude consideration. What constitutes plagiarism and redundant/overlapping publication should be specified

Journal management

A well-described and implemented infrastructure is essential, including the business model, policies, processes and software for efficient running of an editorially independent journal, as well as the efficient management and training of editorial boards and editorial and publishing staff

Peer review processes

All peer review processes must be transparently described and well managed. Journals should provide training for editors and reviewers and have policies on diverse aspects of peer review, especially with respect to adoption of appropriate models of review and processes for handling conflicts of interest, appeals and disputes that may arise in peer review

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Journals must allow debate post publication either on their site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubPeer. They must have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication.