The Spanish Journal of Palaeontology’s Ethical Statements

Spanish Journal of Palaeontology is committed to the highest standards of both critical scholarly review and professional publishing judgment. By insisting on thorough peer review procedures in combination with careful editorial judgment, the Journal guarantees that only quality contributions receive the final acceptance.

We would like to point out that although the information in this journal are believed to be true and accurate, neither the editors, nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made.

Obligations of the editors

All of the contributions received are evaluated under the criteria of our independent editor and associate editors. They are who make the publication decisions; ensuring the accuracy, completeness, and originality of every published article. The editors can share the decision with other members of the Editorial Board or with reviewers. In the event of an appeal of the decision of the editorial team, the editors may solicit the opinion of new reviewers.

The intellectual content of submitted manuscripts will be evaluated regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, ethnicity or political philosophy of the authors.

All manuscripts are treated as confidential documents, that cannot be shown to anyone without the permission of the editors. The editorial staff should not disclose information about the manuscript submitted to anyone except the author, reviewers and potential reviewers. In this sense, unpublished data contained in the submitted manuscript cannot be used by editors or reviewers in their own research without the explicit consent of the author.

We support our journal editors in their efforts to manage the journal ethically and transparently, while adhering to the established editorial principles and practices in our field.

Obligations of the reviewers

Conflicts of Interest

To uphold impartiality, reviewers should consider any potential conflict of interest before agreeing to review and should contact the editorial team in the following instances:

  • You are in direct competition with the authors
  • You are a co-worker or collaborator with one of the authors
  • You are in a position to exploit the authors’ work (commercially or otherwise)
  • You may be legally prohibited due to national sanctions
  • You are in a position which prevents you from giving an objective opinion of the work.

Minor conflicts do not disqualify a potential reviewer from reporting on an article but will be taken into account when considering the reviewers’ recommendations. Major conflicts of interest (especially relating to a financial commercial interest) could disqualify a potential reviewer. 

If you suspect there may be a reason you should not act as a reviewer, please contact the editorial team (editor @ sepaleontologia.es) who will be able to investigate and advise. Therefore, if you are unable to act as a reviewer due to a conflict of interest, or do not feel competent enough to evaluate the research presented in the manuscript, you must inform the editor without delay in order to select an alternative reviewer.

Anonymity and confidentiality

Reviewers’ names are kept strictly confidential. Reviewers’ identities may only be disclosed to journal Editorial Board members, who are also instructed to maintain confidentiality, and finially to the authors with the reviewers consent. In any case, reviewers should disclose their identity to the authors, including sending reports directly to them.

Information and ideas obtained whilst acting as a reviewer must be kept confidential and not used for the personal benefit of the reviewer nor competitive advantage.

We also ask that you do not discuss the papers you have reviewed with colleagues unless they have been published.

Objectivity

Reviewers should judge objectively the quality of the research reported, give fair, frank and constructive criticism and refrain from personal criticism of the authors. Personal remarks and criticisms directed at the author or hurtful remarks directed at the text content are not eligible. Reviewers’ judgements  must be clear, well-argued and respectful, so the authors can understand the basis of the comments and judgements. 

Timeliness

Reviewers should inform the journal if they are unable to review a paper or can only do so with some delay. Reviewers should not delay the peer review process unnecessarily, either deliberately or inadvertently.

Citations

Reviewers are expected to point out relevant work that has not been cited, and use citations to explain where elements of the work have been previously reported. When writing a report reviewers should justify any literature references suggested for inclusion in the work. Please note that the Editor reserves the right to challenge excessive citation suggestions, especially to the reviewer’s own work. The Editor also reserves the right to exclude citation suggestions from reports to protect reviewers’ anonymity.

Suspected author misconduct

If a reviewer believes the work is substantially similar to a manuscript, any overlap between the manuscript and previously published data, or any paper published or submitted to any other journal, they should report this to the editorial board (editor @ sepaleontologia.es) for investigation. 

We would like to highlight that submitted articles must be the authors’ own work, with novel and original contributions. Unethical scientific behaviour, such us Plagiarism, including unreferenced use of others’ ideas, replication without attribution of sections of text from other publications, the submission of a complete paper under ‘new’ authorship, or duplicate publication, understood as the production of multiple papers with the same, or essentially the same, content by the same authors, are never acceptable.

Obligations for the authors

When determining the credit for a piece of work, authors should ensure that all those who have made a significant contribution are cited as co-authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study in a lesser capacity should be acknowledged, but not cited as authors. 

We encourage authors to make specific attributions of contribution and responsibility in the acknowledgements of the article, otherwise all co-authors will be taken to share full responsibility for all of the paper. Authors are expected to reach agreement between themselves regarding credit for authorship, and the order in which author names are presented.

Pre-submission considerations

Before you submit your manuscript to the journal, you need to take into consideration some important aspects of authorship listed below: 

  • Ensure that all the authors mentioned in the manuscript have agreed for authorship, read and approved the manuscript, and given consent for submission and subsequent publication of the manuscript. 
  • The order of authorship must be agreed by all named authors prior to submission.
  • Full names, institutional affiliations, highest degree obtained by the authors, e-mail address (including ORCiD ID when available) need to be clearly mentioned on manuscript.
  • The corresponding author, will take full ownership for all the communication related to the manuscript, should be designated and his/her detailed institutional affiliation (including the postal address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address) should be provided. 

Manuscript submission

When submitting your manuscript, you need to follow the policies and guidelines of the journal. We expect authors to declare the following: 

  • The manuscript in part or in full has not been submitted or published anywhere. In other words, the authors should ensure that the manuscript is not a duplicate publication.
  • The manuscript will not be submitted elsewhere until the editorial process is completed.
  • If any part of the manuscript contains previously published content (figures/tables), authors should submit a statement of permission to reproduce the material signed by the author(s) and publishers concerned.
  • If the manuscript is based on a dataset that has been the basis of another manuscript, authors should maintain transparency in such cases. They should declare that by referencing previously published article in the manuscript.

If there is a data set associated with the manuscript, provide information about where the data supporting the results or analyses presented in the paper can be accessed. Where applicable, this should include the hyperlink to publicly archived datasets, DOI, or other persistent identifier associated with the data set(s). Always check the journal’s guidelines for specific templates or style in which this information should be presented.


Editorial Board of the Spanish Journal of Palaeontology