Ethics and Malpractice Statement

PP is committed to keeping the highest standards in publication ethics. We base on the COPE Core Practices for journal editors elaborated by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the White Paper on Publication Ethics elaborated by the Council of Science Editors. Below we present the list of main responsibilities of the parties involved in the publication process. Please consult our Peer Review Policy section for complementary details.       



Originality and plagiarism

All manuscripts must be the original work of authors and not evidence plagiarism. If the authors have used the work and/or words of others, this should be appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work.

Authors should ensure that every manuscript submitted to the journal has been read and corrected for English clarity, grammar and spelling; this applies particularly to authors whose first language is not English.

On acceptance, the authors may be obliged to sign a legally binding form confirming that the above standards have been met which will make them personally liable for any breaches for which civil or criminal charges can be brought.

Authorship of the manuscript

Authorship of a manuscript should be limited to authors who have made significant contributions (conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; drafting/revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; etc.). All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section after their written permission to be named as been obtained. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication

Authors must not submit the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently.

Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behaviour and unacceptable.

The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Acknowledgement of sources

Authors must properly and accurately acknowledge the work of others.

Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest and financial support

Authors should disclose any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript and acknowledge individuals or organisations that have provided financial support for research.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with manuscripts for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data if possible, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Fundamental errors in published works

When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper.

Hazards and human or animal subjects

It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that no participants are harmed, physically or mentally, during the research which results in the article, and that personal details of the participants, who have not agreed for to be released or where the release of personal details could endanger a participant, are fully anonymized. This applies both to textual citations and to images and any supplementary audio or visual material.


The editors are accountable for everything published in this journal. The editors strive to:

  • Meet the needs of readers and authors
  • Constantly improve the journal
  • Champion freedom of expression
  • Maintain the integrity of the academic record
  • Preclude business needs from comprising intellectual and ethical standards
  • Be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

Fair play and editorial independence

Editors should ensure the integrity of the publication review process. As such, editors should not reveal either the identity of authors of manuscripts to the reviewers, or the identity of reviewers to authors. Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.


Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and any editorial staff must not use materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript (published or unpublished) for their own research without the author’s written authorisation. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.

Publication decisions

Please consult our Peer Review Policy section for complete details.


Editors shall conduct proper and fair investigation into ethical complaints. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.

Retracting articles

Editors should consider retracting a publication if they have clear evidence that the papers findings are inaccurate, either as a result of misproperty (e.g. data statistics) or plagiarism, fraudulent data or honest error (e.g. data miscalculation or experimental error), unethical research or if the paper research findings have previously been published elsewhere without correct cross-referencing, rights and permissions.


Access to journal content

The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research – currently using the PKP system, as well as the Legal Repository of the National Library of Romania – and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.

Action the editors will take in event of malpractice

When suspicion or allegations arise regarding any of misstatement or malpractice (unethical publishing behaviour), the editors will ideally, address such issues after submission and prior to publication. Editors will investigate suspicions and any allegations made and reach a conclusion on the basis of those investigations.

The editors will take the following steps:

  1. Editors, as a matter of due process, will raise the issue with the corresponding author and in some cases with a specific co-author whose actions are complained about— in some circumstances all co-authors of the article in question may need to be contacted. Editors will seek an explanation and, where necessary, the provision of evidence supporting that explanation.
  2. Editors will also seek an explanation from, and the views of, any complainant together, where necessary, with evidence supporting that explanation.
  3. Editors will seek the complainant’s views on any explanation and evidence provided by the author. Similarly, editors will seek the views of the author on any explanation and evidence provided by the complainant. At this point in the investigation, Editors may be satisfied that there has been no ethical violation. If not, however, editors will continue to investigate the matter.
  4. If the authors are unable to satisfy editors on a balance of probabilities that there has been no violation, then the editors will carry out further investigation. The depth of the investigation will vary from case to case, but may include the following steps:
  • Further investigating any allegations made by third parties
  • Speaking to colleagues of any author
  • Speaking to officials at any institutions where the research in question was carried out
  • Speaking to officials at any professional body or institution of which any author is a member
  • Speaking to other leading experts in the field of research in question
  • Speaking to members of the editorial advisory board of the journal

Caution regarding defamation claims

In carrying out any investigation, editors will take great care to act fairly and objectively and not to defame any author (or complainant) in any way, which could give rise to legal liabilities, including damages. To avoid defamation claims by authors, editors will bear in mind the following guidelines in investigation:

  • Any inquiries of an author’s institution will be made in terms of an “alleged” or “apparent” violation. The inquiries should clearly state the facts and the allegation without premature judgment of the author’s culpability.
  • Care will be taken to gather information while imparting as little information as possible about the suspicion or accusation.

Practical consequences of findings

If editors decide that, prima facie, there is no issue, publication may take place or continue (as the case may be) in the normal way.

If editors decide that there has been unethical practice, editors may reject the paper. If unethical practice is discovered after the article has been published, editors will consider whether retraction of the article or, in very exceptional cases, removal is appropriate.

Legal consequences of findings

In the case of plagiarism, there may be an infringement of copyright and, possibly, also moral rights. Moral rights include the right of an author of a work to be identified as such, as well as the right of an author to prevent changes to his or her work that are of a derogatory nature.

In the case of research results not being original to the purported author and allegations about authorship of contributions, there may be an infringement of the moral rights outlined above, but also infringement of a person’s moral right not to have a work attributed to him or her when not the author.

In all cases of ethical misconduct, there is likely to be a breach of contract by the author, who will have contravened the terms of his or her publishing agreement with the publisher or the relevant instructions to authors.

Other journals/publications

When a paper has been published in another journal or other publication and it appears that this paper (1) plagiarises a paper published in PP, (2) contains research results that are not original to its author but are original to the author of a paper published in PP, or (3) has already been published in whole or in part in the PP, editors will observe the following procedure.

As a first step, editors will contact the editor of the publication in which the offending paper appears, seeking a full explanation. It is to be hoped that the editor of that publication will take steps similar to those recommended by these guidelines in relation to our publications.

If that editor fails to investigate the matter properly or is not able to satisfy you on a balance of probabilities that there is no issue, then PP editors will follow the steps recommended when the suspected offending paper appears in the PP. That is, editors will investigate the suspicion or allegation by initially contacting the author(s) of the offending publication for an explanation, and continuing the investigation to its necessary conclusion.


Please consult our Peer Review Policy section for complete details.