Editorial policy

The journal supports the principles of ethical publishing and follows guidance from the Commission on Publication Ethics (COPE). Its guidelines are applied to the journal editors, authors, and peer-reviewers. The journal will follow the COPE flowcharts regarding any potential acts of misconduct.

Editors and the Editorial Board shall:

  • make a decision to accept or reject a publication based on the relevance, originality and clarity of the article, the validity of the research and the relevance to the journal.
  • ensure the confidentiality of the material submitted and not pass manuscripts to persons who are not involved in the review and publishing process.
  • ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for the review.
  • ensure that the journal uses double-blind peer review and appoints peer-recognized scholars in the field following the principles of professionalism, academic integrity and ethics.
  • take reasonable responses to ethical complaints about a submitted manuscript or published article.
  • support and promote plagiarism screening policies.

Reviewers shall:

  • agree to review works whose subject matter corresponds to his / her competence and with the authors of which there is no conflict of interest.
  • treat the received peer-reviewed manuscripts as confidential documents.
  • submit a written review within the deadline set by the editor.
  • inform the Editorial Board about suspected cases of unfair citation, use of previously published texts, the authors of which have not been named, plagiarism, falsification of research, and evaluate the accuracy and relevance of the sources indicated by the authors.
  • adhere to the basic norms of academic ethics: non-abuse of one's influence in decision-making, norms and rules of academic communication, and the principle of equal opportunities.

Authors shall:

  • provide an original, previously unpublished work of scientific value.
  • sign the authors' letter of guarantee for the work submitted to the press; all co-authors shall approve the final version of the article before submitting it for publication.
  • edit the work within the time allotted by the editor, taking into account reasonable comments of the reviewers or explaining in a reasoned manner why the comments have not been taken into account.
  • understand that any form of plagiarism is unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

Conflicts of interest. At the submission stage, authors shall report any potential interest and explain why a conflict of interest may arise. Authors submitting articles are responsible for having their co-authors indicate their interest. In any case of a conflict of interest, editors and reviewers shall notify the journal and withdraw from the submitted article. If authors have no interests to declare, then this should be stated, as: Disclosure of interest: none.

Authorship and artificial intelligence tools. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools cannot meet the requirements for authorship as they cannot take responsibility for the work submitted. As non-legal entities, they cannot assert the presence or absence of conflicts of interest, nor can they manage copyright and licensing agreements. Authors who use AI tools in the writing of a manuscript, production of images or graphical elements of the paper, or in the collection and analysis of data, must transparently disclose in the Materials and Methods (or a similar section) of the paper how the AI tool was used and which tool was used. Authors are fully responsible for the content of their manuscript, even those parts generated using an AI tool, and are thus liable for any breach of publishing ethics. COPE position statement, 13 February 2023, https://publicationethics.org/cope-position-statements/ai-author

Plagiarism check. The Editorial Board is actively working to prevent scientific and professional plagiarism, so the iThenticate program is used before the process of reviewing.

Misconduct. Misconduct includes falsifying data, plagiarising others' works, and breach of confidentiality. Each case will be considered, and in all cases the author (or reviewer) will be contacted directly. If misconduct is confirmed during the review process the manuscript will be immediately rejected. If misconduct is proved after publication then the article will be retracted.

Post-publication corrections.  We provide a corrigendum when there is an error made by the author. The erratum will be issued if the journal is found to have made an error. Authors and readers are encouraged to inform Editor-in-Chief if they notice anything that should be corrected.

Author appeals. If an author considers that a decision of rejection was incorrectly made, they may appeal the decision. To appeal a decision the author must email the Editor-in-Chief, giving reasons why they think the decision was wrong. The appeal will be considered by a member of the Editorial Board who was not involved in the original decision.

Archiving. Authors may archive the final published version of their articles in personal, institutional or other repositories without embargo. The electronic versions of all articles affilated to Lithuanian research and higher education institutions also are stored at Lithuanian Academic Electronic Library (eLABa), as a national aggregated open access (OA) repository (https://www.elaba.lt).

Data sharing. We encourage all researchers to archive and share their data.We believe that it benefits research by enabling other researchers to reuse and reinterpret data for the benefit of all. We encourage all authors to make their data available in suitable repositories where the item will be safely archived and given a unique reference number (DOI or similar), so that it can be cited in the authors’ articles.