1. Accountability and responsibility for journal content
The journal’s editors take responsibility for all works published on Sound Stage Screen (SSS). They are committed to guaranteeing both scientific and editorial quality through double-blind peer review and careful editing. The journal preserves the entirety of the published articles and guarantees long-time preservation of all published content by using the LOCKKS Program.
2. Editorial independence and integrity
2.1 Independence of editorial decisions from commercial interests
SSS editors make their decisions about proposals submitted to the journal on the basis of academic merit alone, and take full responsibility for their decisions.
SSS embraces an open access policy and has no commercial interests. The journal’s editorial processes and the editors’ decisions are independent of any commercial consideration.
2.2 Editors’ relationship to the journal publisher
The editors of SSS work on a volunteer basis. The journal’s website is hosted by the Università degli Studi di Milano, a research public institution which does not interfere with SSS editors’ freedom of choice and activities, as long as their work is coherent with the scholarly mission of the journal.
2.3 Journal metrics and decision-making
SSS editors do not attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric. In particular, they strive to ensure that submitted papers are reviewed on purely scholarly grounds and that authors are not pressured to cite specific publications for non- scholarly reasons.
3. Editorial confidentiality
3.1 Authors’ material
SSS selects papers to be published through double-blind peer review. Peer reviewers are chosen by the editors, who strive to protect the confidentiality of the authors’ material. Submitted papers are never shared with editors of other journals, unless with the authors’ agreement or in cases of alleged misconduct (see below). Editors do not give any indication of a paper’s status with the journal to anyone other than the authors. SSS web-based submission system prevents unauthorized access. In the case of a misconduct investigation, it may be necessary to disclose material to third parties (e.g., an institutional investigation committee or other editors).
SSS selection process through double-blind peer review. Reviewers’ identities are always protected, unless an alleged or suspected reviewer’s misconduct compels the journal to disclose the reviewer’s name to a third party.
4. General editorial policies
SSS aims at granting authors, readers, reviewers, and all other parties involved maximum transparency and complete and honest reporting about its work.
4.1 Authorship and responsibility
All signing authors of works published on SSS take responsibility for the conduct and validity of their research and for what is written in their contributions. Authors acknowledge that all contents are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international – CC-BY).
Should any authorship dispute arise, it will be resolved at the appropriate institutional level or through other appropriate independent bodies. SSS editors will then act on the findings, for example by correcting authorship in published works.
4.2 Conflicts of interest
Authors are required to declare any relevant financial or non-financial conflict of interest at the moment they submit their papers for publication on SSS. Declarations of conflicting interests are published alongside the paper so that readers are informed about them.
5. Academic debate
SSS welcomes and encourages criticism and debate.
5.1 Ensuring integrity of the published record: corrections
When genuine errors in works published on SSSare pointed out by readers, authors, or editors, which do not render the work invalid, a correction (or erratum) will be published as soon as possible. The paper will be corrected with a date of correction. If the error renders the work or substantial parts of it invalid, the paper will be retracted with an explanation as to the reason for retraction (i.e., honest error). Retracted papers will be retained online, and they will be prominently marked as a retraction in all online versions, including the PDF, for the benefit of future readers.
5.2 Ensuring the integrity of the published record: suspect of research or publication misconduct
If serious concerns are raised by readers, reviewers, or others, about the conduct, validity, or reporting of works published on SSS, the editors of the journal will initially contact the authors and allow them to respond to the concerns. If the response is considered unsatisfactory, editors will take the matter to the appropriate institutional level. Editors can themselves decide to retract a paper if they are convinced that serious misconduct has happened even if an investigation by an institution or national body does not recommend it. Editors will respond to all allegations or suspicions of research or publication misconduct raised by readers, reviewers, or other editors. In general, they acknowledge collective responsibility for the research record of the journal and will act every time they become aware of potential misconduct, where possible.
5.3 Encouragement of scholarly debate
SSS welcomes readers’ criticisms to works published by the journal and will consider publishing them to foster scientific debate, as long as they are proposed in a timely manner. The authors of the original works will be given the opportunity to reply to further promote the debate. Any criticisms that raise the possibility of misconduct will be further investigated even if they are received a long time after publication.
6. Ensuring a fair and appropriate peer review process
SSS editors organize and use peer review fairly and wisely. The peer review process is clearly explained in the information for authors’ page on the journal’s website, where it is also indicated which parts of the journal are peer reviewed.
6.1 Decision whether to review
SSS editors may reject a paper without peer review when it is deemed unsuitable for the journal’s readers or is of poor quality. This decision is made in a fair and unbiased way and the criteria used to make this decision are made explicit to the author. The decision not to send a paper for peer review is only based on the academic content of the paper, and it is not influenced by the nature of the authors or their host institution.
6.2 Interaction with peer reviewers
SSS editors use appropriate peer reviewers for papers that are considered for publication by selecting people with expertise and avoiding those with conflicts of interest. SSS editors ensure that reviews are received in a timely manner. Peer reviewers are told what is expected of them and are informed about any changes in editorial policies. Peer reviewers are asked to assess research and publication ethics issues (i.e., whether they think the research was done and reported ethically, or if they have any suspicions of plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or redundant publication). SSS editors have a policy to request a formal conflict of interest declaration from peer reviewers and ask peer reviewers to inform them about any such conflict of interest at the earliest opportunity so that they can make a decision on whether an unbiased review is possible. Certain conflicts of interest may disqualify a peer reviewer.
SSS editors stress confidentiality of the material to peer reviewers.
6.3 Reviewer misconduct
SSS editors take reviewer misconduct seriously and pursue any allegation of breach of confidentiality, non-declaration of conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), inappropriate use of confidential material, or delay of peer review for competitive advantage. Allegations of serious reviewer misconduct, such as plagiarism, are taken to the institutional level.
6.4 Interaction with authors
SSS editors make it clear to authors that the role of the peer reviewer is to provide recommendations on acceptance or rejection. Correspondence from editors is usually with the corresponding author, who have the responsibility to involve co-authors at all stages. SSS editors communicate with all authors at first submission and at final acceptance stage to ensure all authors are aware of the submission and have approved the publication. Normally, the editors pass on all peer reviewers’ comments in their entirety. However, in exceptional cases, it may be necessary to exclude parts of a review, if, for example, it contains libellous or offensive remarks.
SSS editors guarantee that such editorial discretion is not inappropriately used to suppress inconvenient comments. Should there be good reasons to involve additional reviewers at a late stage in the process, it is clearly communicated to authors. The final editorial decision and reasons for this are clearly communicated to authors and reviewers. If a paper is rejected, the editors welcome appeals from authors. Editors, however, are not obliged to overturn their decision.
7. Editorial decision-making
SSS editors guarantee that decisions on publications are as fair and unbiased as possible.
7.1 Editorial and journal processes
All editorial processes are made clear in the information for authors on the journal’s webpage, where it is stated what is expected of authors, which types of papers are published, and how papers are handled by the journal. All editors are fully familiar with the journal policies, vision, and scope. The final responsibility for all decisions rests with the main editors.
[adapted from Sabine Kleinert and Elizabeth Wager, "Responsible Research Publication: International Standards for Editors," in Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment, eds. Tony Mayer and Nicholas Steneck (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2011), 317-328]