Updated August 2017.
Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
(Based on Elsevier recommendations and COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors)
Duties of Authors
Data access and retention
The authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and plagiarism
The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that these have been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. JMRD editors will make use of specific software for plagiarism detection.
Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication
The author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. In general, the author should not submit a previously published paper for consideration in another journal.
Acknowledgement of sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. The authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, for example in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
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 co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
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 they have been approved by the appropriate institutional committee(s). 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.
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 at the earliest stage possible.
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 provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
Duties of editors of JMRD
The editors of JMRD are responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. The decision will be based on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the journal’s scope. The publishing decision is based on the recommendation of the journal’s reviewers. Current legal requirements regarding copyright infringement, and plagiarism should also be considered.
The editors of JMRD will evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the author’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy.
The editors of JMRD and any editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers or the publisher, as appropriate.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript will 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 will be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or other member of the editorial board to review and consider instead) 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 (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors will require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate action should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern. Non-peer reviewed section of the journal is clearly identified.
Involvement and cooperation in investigations
The editors of JMRD will take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
Duties of reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method. JMRD shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse him/herself from the review process.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorised by the editor.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of sources
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’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. Reviewers should not consider 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.
Misconduct in the article
Misconduct in the article itself comes in two forms:
Reviewer Misconduct: This might include such issues as fabricating data, unethical experiments on animals or humans, and failure to protect the confidentiality of subjects. Reviewer misconduct can range from minor issues, such as rude or unconstructive reviews, to major issues, such as the appropriation of author’s ideas or data. As an editor, you entrust reviewers with a high level of responsibility. They are given access to privileged information (i.e. unpublished research) and their recommendations can sway the publication outcome. Unfortunately, there are rare occasions when that trust is misplaced.Minor problems are relatively easy to respond to. Delete rude comments, and don’t invite reviewers again if they supply poor quality, late, or unconstructive reviews. There may be other instances where editors receive complaints from authors about reviewer misconduct. We outline approaches to these instances below.
Author Misconduct: might include such issues as plagiarism, redundant publication, undisclosed conflicts of interests, and guest authorship.Complaints should be made in confidence to the editor or editorial office, rather than directly to the author or in the public domain, and should be managed in confidence until they are resolved.
Prior to Publication
review may raise a concern about a submitted manuscript during the course of the review process:
- Where appropriate, the reviewer should be asked for information to substantiate their concern (e.g. suspicious data in the paper).
- Contact the author should to raise the concern and, if appropriate, ask for clarification. Avoid accusatory or defamatory language; stick to factual statements, presenting any available evidence.
- The review process should be put on hold until the matter is resolved.
- If the author provides a satisfactory explanation then the review process can proceed, perhaps following changes by the author.
- If the author acknowledges misconduct or is unable to provide a satisfactory explanation then the submission should be rejected.
- The reviewer who raised the complaint should be told of the outcome once the matter is resolved.
A reader may raise a concern about a published manuscript. As above, the reader should be asked for substantiating information and then the author should be contacted to raise the concern. If the complaint proves to be unfounded no further action may be required. If action is required, there are three main options.
- You can publish a correction statement to include information that was missing from the published version (e.g. undisclosed conflict of interests).
- Publish an expression of concern, alongside the article, if there are well-founded suspicions of misconduct, though this is a halfway house and it is usually preferable to fully resolve the issue.
- You can retract the published article. This may be appropriate for more serious concerns, such as fabricated data or plagiarized material. See below for more details.
As before, you should inform the reader who raised the complaint of the outcome once the matter is resolved.
Procedures for dealing with misconduct
a Identification and investigation:
i. Misconduct and unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone.
ii. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of misconduct must provide sufficient evidence or documentation for an investigation to be initiated.
iii. Journal editors have primary authority and responsibility for investigations into misconduct, and they should consult with or seek advice from the publisher as appropriate.
iv. Investigations should be undertaken discreetly, with all caution necessary to avoid spreading rumor or allegations beyond those individuals who need to know.
b. Misconduct and possible outcomes:
The editor, in consultation with the publisher, is responsible for the final decision regarding actions for any identified misconduct, including whether the employers of the accused be notified of the breach. The following outcomes are ordered by increasing severity:
i. Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of standards.
ii. Strongly worded written communication to the author or reviewer as a warning against future behavior.
iii. Publication of a formal notice or editorial detailing the misconduct.
iv. A formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
v. Formal retraction of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing appropriate department heads, abstracting and indexing services, and the readership of the publication.
vi. Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
vii. Formal report of the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.
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 Chief Editor/Editor or publisher and cooperate to retract or correct the paper.
If the Chief Editor/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 provide evidence to the Chief Editor/Editor of the correctness of the original paper.
Journal editors should consider retracting a publication if:
• they have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (eg, data fabrication) or honest error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error)
• the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication)
• it constitutes plagiarism
• it reports unethical research
Authors of ‘Journal of Maize Research and Development’ retain rights of self-archiving. Authors are allowed deposition of such articles on institutional, non-commercial repositories and personal websites immediately after publication on the journal website.
The contributions that are not specifically related to your research, including personal encouragement (e.g., by your friends or parents) and very general help (e.g., from a laboratory manager who purchases all supplies for your research group), should not be cited. Additionally, anonymous editors and peer reviewers are usually not thanked in the acknowledgments section.
Note that acknowledging grants and fellowships is in fact required by many funding agencies and research institutions. Therefore, All research articles should have a funding acknowledgement statement included in the manuscript.Whether the funding was partial or full, relevant grant numbers, if applicable, should be detailed as well.
If the research is funded by a corporation, the author should issue a public statement that the research is free of bias. The funding agency should be written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets, see following example:
- This work was supported by Name of Funding Agency [grant number xxxx].
Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Thus:
- This work was supported by the ICRISAT India [grant numbers xxxx]; CIMMYT Nepal [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].
In some cases, research is not funded by a specific project grant, but rather from the block grant and other resources available to a university, college or other research institution. Where no specific funding has been provided for the research we ask that corresponding authors use the following sentence:
- This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
The contributions of all authors must be described. The author must address below questions;
- Who did conceive and design the experiments??
- Who did collect data ??
- Who did analyze the data and write the paper??
- Who did revise the article for the final approval of the version to be published??
- S.H.C. designed and performed experiments, analysed data and wrote the paper; N.C., M.T. and J.M.G. designed and performed experiments; D.R. and M.B.G. developed analytical tools; and C.I.B. designed experiments, analysed data and wrote the paper.
- A.B. designed and performed the experiments, derived the models and analysed the data. B.C. assisted with XYZ measurements and C.D. helped carry out the XYZ simulations. A.B. and D.E. wrote the manuscript in consultation with C.D., B.C. and E.F..
Conflict of Interest
From 2017, This journal requires declaration of any Conflict of Interest upon submission. This information will be available to the Editors. If your manuscript is published, this information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.
A Conflict of Interest is actual if a relationship exists, or apparent if the possibility for a relationship could be inferred. In either case, it is the responsibility of journal Editors, Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, authors and reviewers to declare Conflicts of Interest, actual or apparent.
Full disclosure is required when you submit your paper to this journal. This journal requests the author to add a statement in the end before references. The author(s) may write(s) his/her/their conflicts of interest as any of below sentences;
- The author(s) declare(s) that there is(are) no conflict(s) of interest.
- The author(s) declare (s) that he/she (they) has (have) no conflict(s) of interest.
- The author(s) declare(s) that there is (are) no conflict(s) of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
This is the author’s declaration that guarantees objective and fair research. It implies the research results are not influenced by external factors or misconduct, such as the trade of financial incentives for positive results.
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2011, March 7). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from