Publication ethics and malpractice statement
In order to reach the highest standards in publication ethics, Problemy Kolejnictwa (Railway Reports) applies the guidelines of publication recommended by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Elsevier policies.
The publication of an article in the peer-reviewed journal Problemy Kolejnictwa (Railway Reports) a directly results from the quality of work of the authors and the institutions supporting them. It is therefore important to comply with standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the act of publishing: Author, journal Editor, Reviewer, Publisher and the public.
Instytut Kolejnictwa, as publisher of the journal Railway Reports, takes its support obligations seriously at all stages of publishing and we recognise our ethical and all other responsibilities.
The Publisher and Editorial Board assist in communicating with other journals and/or publishers if helpful or necessary.
The Publisher makes every effort to ensure that advertising or other commercial considerations do not impact editorial decisions.
(These guidelines are based on existing Elsevier policies).
Authors reporting original research are obliged to provide a thorough description of the work and an objective discussion of its significance. Source data must be accurately presented in the article. The article must contain sufficient detail and references to allow others to replicate the research. False or deliberately inaccurate data constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.
Review articles and specialist publications must also be accurate and objective, and editorials must be clearly labelled as such.
Access and data retention
Authors may be asked to provide raw data in relation to an article for editorial review and are obliged to be prepared to provide public access to such data (if feasible), and in any case must be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
Originality and plagiarism
Authors must make certain that they have written entirely original work and, if Authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or mentioned. Plagiarism takes many forms, from passing off another paper as the author's own work, to copying or paraphrasing significant parts of another paper (without attribution), to attributing to oneself the results of research carried out by others. Plagiarism in all of these forms is regarded as unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
Multiple, redundant or parallel publications
The Author, in principle, must not publish manuscripts describing the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal simultaneously constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. The author must also not submit previously published work for consideration in another journal. Publication of certain types of articles (e.g. clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justified, 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 paper. The original bibliographic reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
Recognition of sources
Recognition of the work of others must be followed at all times. Authors must cite publications that were influential in determining the nature of the article being reported. Information obtained privately (e.g. in conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without the express written permission of the source of the information. Information obtained through confidential services (such as manuscript reviewing or grant applications) must not be used without the express written consent of the author of the work associated with those services.
Authorship must be limited to those who made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made a significant contribution must be listed as co-authors. Were there are any substantive contributors to certain aspects of the research project, they must be listed or named as co-authors. The Author responsible for correspondence between authors must ensure that all co-authors are included in the paper and that no inappropriate co-authors are listed, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and consented to its submission for publication.
Risks to humans or animals
If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that involve any specific hazards connected with their use, the author must clearly indicate these hazards in the submitted manuscript. Should the work involve animal or human tests or examinations, the author must ensure that the manuscript includes a statement that all procedures were carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All Authors must disclose in their manuscript any financial or other relevant conflicts of interest that could be interpreted as affecting the results or evaluation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project must be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest to be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony and studies, patent applications/registrations and grants or other sources of funding. Potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed at the earliest possible stage.
Fundamental errors in published work
Should an author discover an essential error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the journal Editor or Publisher and to cooperate with the Editor to withdraw or correct the article. If the Editor or Publisher are informed by a third party that a published paper contains an essential error, it is the Author's obligation to immediately withdraw, correct the paper or provide the Editor with proof of the correctness of the original paper.
These guidelines are based on existing Elsevier policies and COPE best practices recommendations for journal editors.
Decisions pertaining to publication
The Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Problemy Kolejnictwa (Railway Reports) decides which articles submitted to the journal are to be published. This is based on the validation of the paper in question and its relevance to researchers and readers. The Editor may be guided by the journal's editorial policy and take into account legislation on defamation, copyright infringement and plagiarism. Should the need arises, prior making this decision, the Editor may consult with other editors or reviewers.
The Editor is obliged to assess manuscripts for intellectual and relevant substance content regardless off the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, citizenship or political views of the Authors.
The Editor and the entire Editorial Board are not allowed to disclose any information about the submitted manuscript to anyone other than the author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial experts and the publisher (where applicable).
Disclosure and conflict of interest
The unpublished material contained in a submitted manuscript must not be used in the Editor's own research without the express written consent of the Author. Sensitive information or ideas obtained through peer review must be treated as confidential and, in any case, must not be used to gain personal advantage. Editors must deny (i.e. they must instead ask a co-editor, associate editor or other member of the Editorial Board to review and consider) manuscripts under consideration in which there is a conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or connections with any of the Authors , companies or (possibly) institutions associated with the paper. Editors are obliged to require all contributors to disclose relevant conflicting interests and publish corrections if conflicting interests are disclosed after publication (if necessary).
Commitment and cooperation in case of unethical behaviour
The Editor is obliged to take appropriate responsive measures to address ethical complaints about a submitted manuscript or published paper. Such measures generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further contact with relevant institutions and research bodies and, if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, withdrawal, expression of concern or other consideration (if relevant). Any reported act of unethical publishing behaviour must be investigated, even if it is discovered many years after publication.
(These guidelines are based on existing Elsevier policies and COPE best practice guidelines for journal editors).
Contribution to editorial decisions
Peer-review supports the Editor to make editorial decisions and, through editorial communication with the Author, can also help the author to improve the article. Peer-review is an essential part of formal scientific communication and lies at the heart of the scientific method. Elsevier shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to a publication have an obligation to participate fairly in peer review.
Any selected reviewer who feels incompetent to review the research presented in the manuscript or knows that a prompt review will be impossible must notify the Editor and decline to participate in the review process.
All manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown or discussed with others except with the permission of the Editor.
Standards of objectivity
Reviews must be done objectively. Personal criticism of the Author is inappropriate. Reviewers must clearly express their opinions with supporting arguments.
Recognition of sources
Reviewers must identify relevant work already published that has not been cited by the Authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation or argument has been previously reported must be accompanied by an appropriate citation. The Reviewer must also draw the Editor's attention to any relevant similarities or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other already published article of which they have knowledge.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in the Reviewer's own research without the express written permission of the Author. Sensitive information or ideas obtained through peer review must be treated as confidential and, in any case, must not be used to gain personal advantage. Editors must deny manuscripts under consideration in which there is a conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or connections with any of the Authors, companies or institutions associated with the paper.