Publication ethics and malpractice

The Journal of Vietnamese Environment (JVE) follows the Core Practices issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), 2018. This code of guidelines aims at providing a set of minimum standards for the quality of the editorial process. By voluntarily adhering to the COPE code, the JVE Editorial Board strives to continuously improve the quality of editorial services offered to our readers, authors, reviewers and publisher. According to these guidelines and following also the Elsevier Ethical Guidelines for Journal Publication, JVE adopted the following Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement:

1. Responsibilities of Journal Editors

1.1. Fair and independent editorial process

1.1.1. The JVE Editorial Board consists of Journal Manager, Editor-in-Chief, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Guest Editors and Regular Members. The Editorial Board evaluates the submitted manuscripts and decides to accept or reject a paper for publication based on the paper’s scientific merit and relevance to the journal’s scope. The decision to accept or reject a paper (or after publication to retract it) can be based on legal or ethical reasons such as copyright infringement and plagiarism (including self-plagiarism and duplicate submissions).

1.1.2. During the editorial process, no decision is taken based on other criteria such as authors’ race, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, political colour or institutional affiliation.

1.2. Publication decisions and responsibilities

1.2.1. The Journal Manager coordinates all journal activities and is the main person behind the journal. The Journal Manager defines the aim and scope, the vision and the entire strategy of the journal. The Manager is also responsible for the functionality of the article submission and management platform, together with the Publisher and the Technical Support Team. Journal Manager works very closely with the Editorial Board to ensure consistency of all journal activities. The person assigned as Journal Manager can also undertake further responsibilities such as Editor-in-Chief or Reviewer.

1.2.2. The Editor-in-Chief receives notifications for each submission and does a brief check to ensure that the submission matches the journal’s scope. If the decision is positive, an Editor is assigned to start the editorial process and check the type of submission (in most cases, this is done by the Editor-in-Chief or by the Deputy Editor, except special issues which are usually managed by Guest Editors). The Editor-in-Chief develops and maintains a database of suitable peer Reviewers and takes steps to ensure the list is updated. The Editor takes the decision following suggestions from the Reviewers but has full decisional control upon papers’ acceptance or rejection.

1.2.3. The Deputy Editor-in-Chief assists the Editor-in-Chief in all publication decisions and contributes to the development of the journal. The Deputy Editor is responsible for coordinating the Journal’s activities and promoting new initiatives in Vietnam and is the main contact person for the publication of special issues.

1.2.4. The Guest Editors are responsible for editing a special issue. These are similar to regular issues with the exception that they contain either papers selected from workshops and symposia or papers that address a specific topic. The persons who aspire to become Guest Editors will contact the Editor-in-Chief and express their interest in organising a special issue. If the proposal is approved, they will be assigned full editorial rights and will be responsible for the entire editorial process. Detailed information about duties and responsibilities of Guest Editors will be available in the Guidelines for Guest Editors.

1.2.5. The Members of the Editorial Board are key experts in areas related to the Journal field. They can be selected based on existing contacts of the Journal Manager, at the recommendation of other members, or selected among authors and reviewers with outstanding expertise or commitment to journal’s activities. The invitation to join the Editorial Board can be regarded as a measure of respect and recognition for the expertise in the Journal’s field. The main duties of the Editorial Board members are: to advise on journal’s aims and scope, to assist the Journal Manager on the development of the journal, to review submitted manuscripts and help to recruit reviewers, to promote the Journal at national and international events, and to attract new authors and submissions. The Members of the Editorial Board can also submit manuscripts to be published in the regular or special Journal issues. In this case, the Editor-in-Chief will take all necessary measures to assure that the editorial and review process will be no different than for any other authors.

1.3. Confidentiality

1.3.1. During the editorial process, the JVE Editors do not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author and co-authors, reviewers, potential reviewers, technical support team and journal’s publisher.

1.4. Unethical publishing behaviour

1.4.1. The Editor-in-Chief, in consultations with the members of the Editorial Board and with reviewers, will investigate each case of unethical publishing behaviour associated with a submitted manuscript or published paper. The Editors will follow the COPE Flowcharts when investigating each suspected misconduct, before or after the publication.

1.4.2. By unethical publishing behaviour we understand following situations: redundant (duplicate) publication of a manuscript or significant parts of it, suspected plagiarism (unattributed use of portions of text and/or data, presented as if they were own work), suspected fabricated data, changes in authorship (addition of extra author or removal of co-author), presence of “ghost” authors (persons who have no contribution to the paper but are included on the list of authors), undisclosed conflict of interests or ethical problems.

1.4.3. The authors are strongly discouraged to submit several, separate manuscripts that are derived from a single research study with the same hypothesis, methodology and studied population. The technique is also known as 'salami publication' and implies splitting ('slicing') the results in as many manuscripts as possible and trying to publish them in the same or different journals. Although on short term the authors might benefit from a larger number of articles published, the strategy can be harmful in the long term since it diminishes the value of each paper. Also for our journal this is not helpful as it increases the number of articles but not necessarily the amount of knowledge. Read more about the 'salami publication' technique and why this is considered unethical:

2. Responsibilities of Reviewers

2.1. Contribution to editorial decision

2.1.1. The Journal has implemented a “blind” peer-review system that assists the Editors to accept or reject a manuscript for publication. All “Research articles”, “Policy papers” and “Review papers” undergo the blind peer-review process by at least two experts in the field selected by the Editor. The other article types such as “Short communication” and “Event report” are not peer-reviewed but undergo an editorial review by members of the Editorial Board.

2.1.2. The main objectives of the Reviewers are to contribute to the editorial decisions and help the authors improve their paper. With their voluntary commitment, the Reviewers bring thus a major contribution to promoting the environmental research in Vietnam. For their work, Reviewers receive guidance from the Editorial Board in form of Review Guidelines, which include detailed suggestions for the completion of their evaluation. Additionally, the Reviewers are also recommended to read the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

2.1.3. The reviews must be conducted objectively and the statements must be supported by clear, scientific arguments so that authors can use them to improve the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is not tolerated.

2.2. Promptness

2.2.1. Invited Reviewers receive per email a request to evaluate a submission and two deadlines: one for accepting or declining the invitation, and one for delivering their evaluation. If for some reasons they cannot conduct the review (no time available or lack of competences in the respective topic), they should inform the Editor as soon as possible so that alternative Reviewers can be contacted.

2.2.2. The Reviewers are also responsible to deliver their report by the requested deadline and receive a kind reminder if the review is overdue.

2.3. Confidentiality

2.3.1. All manuscripts received for review are confidential and the Reviewers are asked to respect this. The content of the submission and the evaluation reports shall not be disclosed to anyone unless specifically requested by the Editor for the purpose of improving the quality of the review process.

2.3.2. Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a Reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Typical for the “blind” review process, the identity of the Reviewers is not disclosed to Authors and the Reviewers are instructed how to protect their anonymity (i.e. when editing a manuscript in the “Track changes” mode activated).

2.4. Disclosure of conflicts of interest

2.4.1. Reviewers who have any form of conflicts of interest with the Authors (or they are somehow connected to the manuscript in a manner that could affect the objectivity of their evaluation) are requested to immediately inform the Editor of the nature of their conflict and reject the invitation for review so that alternative Reviewers can be contacted.

3. Responsibilities of Authors

3.1. Reporting standards

3.1.1. Authors should accurately present the work and the supporting data, providing sufficient evidence and level of details for a potential replication and verification of the results. The discussion should be done in “good faith” and in objective manner, without induced bias for one specific theory.

3.1.2. Fraudulent or fabricated data are unacceptable and might lead to immediate manuscript rejection or retraction of published article. The detailed guidelines for the manuscript preparation are provided in the Instructions for Authors.

3.2. Unethical publishing behaviour

3.2.1. As part of the submission process, the Authors are required to check off their submission’s compliance with several items, the first and most important being that the submission is original and it has not been previously published in this Journal of somewhere else, even partially. The Authors also warrant that, to the currently accepted scientific knowledge, the submission contains nothing that is unlawful or denigratory and that all statements contained in it purporting to be facts are true.

3.2.2. The Authors are discouraged from any type of unethical publishing behaviour such as: redundant (duplicate) publication of a manuscript or significant parts of it, plagiarism (copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper without attribution), making use of fabricated data, changes in authorship during or after submission, presence of “ghost” authors, undisclosed conflict of interests or ethical problems.

3.2.3. Any of the above constitute unethical publishing behaviour and will be investigated following the COPE Flowcharts, possibly leading to manuscript rejection or retraction of published paper if confirmed.

3.3. Authorship of the paper

3.3.1. The submitted manuscript should only include those authors who: i) made substantial contributions to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study; ii) contributed to drafting and critically revising the manuscript. These persons should be listed as co-authors in the order of the importance of their contribution and should collectively take responsibility for the work submitted. All other persons who do not meet these criteria should not be listed as co-authors; instead, they should be mentioned in the Acknowledgment section.

3.3.2. The corresponding author must have the authorisation of the other co-authors to manage the submission and must ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript before submission.


1. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2018). Core Practices
2. Elsevier (2017). Ethical Guidelines for Journal Publication

v1.1 January 2019