Publication Ethics

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

Relationships between authors, editors and reviewers in our journal are based on academic benevolence, objectivity of ratings and priority of scholarly quality. We are following the principles of Code of Conduct for Editors as defined by the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE), in particular

  1. DUTIES OF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ISSUE EDITOR AND EDITORIAL BOARD

1.1. Publication decisions

The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision concerning which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published without regard to race, gender, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The Editor-in-Chief may be guided by the policies of the journal's Editorial Board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The Issue Editor, reviewers, or members of the Editorial Board can assist in making this decision. 

1.2. Confidentiality

The Editor-in-Chief, Issue Editor, or Editorial Board must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, and other editorial advisers, as appropriate.

1.3. Disclosure and conflicts of interest

The Editor-in-chief, Issue Editor, members of the Editorial Board, or reviewers must not use the unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript in their own research without the express written consent of the author.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. Members of the Editorial Board should recuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor, or other member of the editorial board instead to review and consider) from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships, or connections with any of the authors or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Members of the Editorial Board should 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.

1.4. Involvement and cooperation in investigations

The Editor-in-Chief should 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 delay of the publication until any doubt is clarified, 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. 

  1. DUTIES OF REVIEWERS

2.1. Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists the Editorial Board 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.

2.2. Promptness

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 Issue Editor and excuse himself or herself from the review process.

2.3. Confidentiality

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the Editor-in-Chief.

2.4. Standards of Objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

2.5. 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 Editorial Board's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

2.6. Disclosure and Conflict of Interest

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. 

  1. DUTIES OF AUTHORS

3.1. Reporting standards

Authors should present original research as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

3.2. 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 this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

3.4. Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication

An 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, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.

3.5. Acknowledgement of Sources

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as 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.

3.6. 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 appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.

3.7. 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. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.

3.8. 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.

Issue Editor’s Checklist

The editor is required to check off the submission's compliance with all of the following items before sending it to the reviewers. Submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

The submission includes the text of the article (introduction, main text, and conclusion), key words, abstract, reference list, and information about the author in the original language. Besides that, it includes an English translation of the abstract, key words, reference list, and information about the author and the author’s affiliation. 

The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format. 

The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points rather than at the end. 

The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in “About the Journal.”

Financial policy of the journal

"Theological Reflections" journal provides services to authors free of charge. Publication and other fees are not levied from authors, readers or organizations with which they are affiliated.

Editorial Procedures

What happens to the paper after submission.

Step 1: When an article is submitted, within three days the Issue Editor checks the article against the Editorial Check-List and sends it to the Editorial Board or returns it to the author with recommendations. The author then needs to revise the article and resubmit it within two weeks.

Step 2: Members of the Editorial Board check the article against the philosophy of the journal and the subject matter of the next issue and send their recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief (accept, reject, or suggest minor/major revisions) and suggest potential reviewers. The Editorial Board reaches all decisions by consensus, or in controversial cases by a simple majority.

Step 3: The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision on reviewers and the Issue Editor sends a request. When the answer is positive, the Issue Editor sends materials and sets the deadline. The author receives notice on the decision.

Step 4: Reviewers return their conclusion (approve, reject, or approve with minor/major revisions) and detailed recommendations within 30-40 days.

Step 5: The Editorial Board makes a decision about the article. The Issue Editor informs the author about the decision and sets the dates for revision: minor revision—7-10 days; major revisions—10-30 days. The Issue Editor sends the accepted articles to a translator. The author should approve the translation of the article into English within three days. In case of major revisions, the Editorial Board selects one of its members to guide the author in the process of revision according to recommendations. All correspondence is copied to the Issue Editor.

Step 6: Approved articles are combined into a package and the Issue Editor sends them to the Advisory Board which may then veto any article within 1-14 days. The Editor-in-Chief organises the issue and sends it to the Issue Editor. 

Step 7: The Issue Editor sends the package of English versions to the copy-editor and then to layout. Russian/Ukrainian versions are sent to layout and then to the proofreader. The technical assistant corrects the galleys and sends them to the Issue Editor and the Editor-in-Chief. 

Step 8: The Editor-in-Chief reads the issue and makes a decision to send it to print. The technical assistant submits the issue to the printer. 

Step 9: When the issue is printed, the technical assistant sends it to authors, member-schools, subscribers, and sellers. Electronic versions of articles, abstracts of articles and the content of the current issue are posted on the journal's website. Access to electronic versions of articles is provided immediately after the publication of the printed version of the journal.

Check out Theological Reflections Journal Workflow Diagram

Organizational Structure and Job Descriptions

Advisory Board/Editorial Council

The Advisory Board consists of ten respected members of the E-AAA and functions as a controlling organ. The E-AAA Council submits biannually the list of prospective members to the General Meeting of E-AAA Members for approval.

The Advisory Board may veto certain publications if they contradict the E-AAA Statement of Faith, are suspected of plagiarism or of breaking moral principles typical of member schools of the E-AAA. In controversial situations the E-AAA Council can overcome the Advisory Board veto by a three-fourths vote.

Editor-in-Chief

The Editor-in-Chief organises the work of the Editorial Board and initiates meetings. He directs the Board in developing and updating the journal’s philosophy and synchronising it with the strategic vision of the E-AAA. The Editor-in-Chief coordinates the work of the Issue Editor and controls the final quality of the journal.

Editorial Board

Editorial Board consists of 13 members and functions as a collective editor. The E-AAA Council submits biannually a list of prospective members of the Editorial Board to the General Meeting of the E-AAA Membersfor approval.The Editorial Board makes its decision by consensus. In controversial situations it resolves issues by a simple majority.

The Editorial Board is responsible for

Improving the academic quality and respectability of the journal;

Promotion of the journal among academic institutions;

Selection of articles, assigning of peer-reviewers, and approval for publication of all peer-reviewed articles;

Planning of topical issues and conference compendia;

Enlisting new authors and reviewers.

Issuing Editor

The Issuing Editor is responsible for

Controlling the production process of the journal;

Coordinating the journal’s technical support group (website, distribution, advertisement);

Keeping all correspondence with authors, reviewers, the Editorial Board and the Advisory Board.

Reviewers

Reviewers are scholars and experts in their respective fields. They are included in the list by a personal invitation from the Editorial Board. Their responsibilities are explained in the document “Information for Reviewers.”

Technical Assistant(s)

The Editorial Board also has a technical assistant whose responsibilities are restricted to technical matters of pre-production and post-production publishing process.

Sponsors

Eastern European Institute of Theology (EEIT)