Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
for publishing a collection of scientific articles "Proceedings of the Technical University of Sofia"
The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher, and the society.
The Editorial Board of the PROCEEDINGS of the Technical University of Sofia fully shares and adopts as a guiding principle the position of the Elsevier concerning the publisher's ethics in reviewing, editing, and publishing of scientific papers reserving the copyrights, and preventing cases of plagiarism.
In its work, the Editorial Board fully complies with the rules of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) https://publicationethics.org/
Duties of the Editorial Board
The editor of a peer-reviewed journal the PROCEEDINGS of the Technical University of Sofia is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editor may be beguiled 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 editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
An editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
The editor and any editorial staff must 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
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the express written consent of the author.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. Editors should refuse themselves (i.e. should ask a co-editor, associate editor or another 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, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors 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.
Involvement and Cooperation in Investigations
An editor 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 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 behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
Duties of Reviewers
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor 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. Elsevier shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
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 editor and excuse himself from the review process.
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.
Standards of Objectivity
The reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgment of Sources
The 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 editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s 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. 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.
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Duties of Authors
The authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed 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 behavior and are unacceptable.
Data Access and Retention
The authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should, in any event, be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
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, this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
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 behavior and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper. Publication of some kinds of articles (e.g. clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided 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.
Acknowledgment 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.
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.
Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects
If the work involves chemicals, procedures, or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. The authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or another 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. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.
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. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the editor of the correctness of the original paper.
Code of Ethics
of the academic staff and administrative personnelof the academi
at the Technical University-SofiaI. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1. The Code determines the rules and norms of professional conduct of the academic staff and administrative personnel at the Technical University-Sofia referred to hereafter as employees.
Article 2. The aim of the Code is to create conditions for raising the reputation of the institution by means of developing an organizational culture which to facilitate the relations with the public and the students taught at the University.
Article 3. The employees at Technical University-Sofia fulfill their duties according to the requirements set out in their job descriptions, the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Regulations of the Technical University-Sofia, the Rector’s orders and the instructions of their immediate superiors. The norms of the Code of Ethics apply with the same degree of obligation to each employee’s conduct.
II. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND RELATIONS WITH STUDENTS,
DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND INTERNS
Article 4. The employees discharge their duties without any bias thus creating conditions for equal treatment and excluding any kind of discrimination of all students, doctoral students, and specializing students.
Article 5. The employees carry out their activities in good faith, competently and in accordance with the regulations and Rector’s orders.
Article 6. The employees inform their immediate superiors about the problems arising while discharging their duties.
Article 7. The employees do not allow for any conflict of interest in the discharge of their duties.
Article 8. The employees should resist any corruption deeds and wrongful acts which harm the University prestige.
Article 9. In their discharge of duty, the employees must respect the human rights and dignity of others and not allow for acts of discrimination.
Article 10. The employees are obliged not to divulge any data, facts, and circumstances whose making public could harm the University interests, its good name, or its relations with a third party.
Article 11. While discharging their duties the employees must safeguard the equipment and other property they are entrusted with, with the care of a good owner and not allow for its being used for purposes that are not subject to the TU-Sofia activities.
III. PERSONAL CONDUCT, RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEAGUES
Article 12. The conduct of employees should be such as to preclude the arising of conflict among members of the staff is especially inadmissible in the presence of visitors.
Article 13. At their workplace, the employees should behave with due respect and correctness and not allow for any violation of dignity and human rights of others.
Article 14. All personal conflicts among employees are solved with the assistance of the immediate superior, and in case of failure, the problem should be referred to as the next higher-ranking administrative officer.
Article 15. When an employee is assigned an official task whose performance could involve a conflict of interest, the employee must inform his/her superior.
IV. PUBLIC CONDUCT
Article 16. The main objective of the employees’ work at the university is to provide quality educational and administrative services which to ensure and facilitate the conduction of the instruction process and research activities of TU-Sofia.
Article 17. The employee must behave with all students, doctoral students and visitors of TU-Sofia in such a way as not to hurt their dignity, violate their rights, and discriminate them in any possible way.
Article 18. The employees must protect all personal data and other personal information belonging to students, doctoral students and visitors of TU-Sofia which they have had access to in the process of and in relation to the discharge of their official duties.
V. ACADEMIC ETHICS
Article 19. (1) Employees participating in the sittings of the TU-Sofia academic forums (Academic Council, Faculty Councils, Departmental Meetings, Scientific Committees, Work Groups and Committees in the structure of TU-Sofia, Scientific Juries and other public-professional forums of the TU-Sofia lecturers) must adhere to the standards of academic ethics.
(2) The chairman of the respective academic forum is obliged to reprimand every member who impedes the proceedings of the meeting and must clearly state the nature of the offense.
(3) Every participant in an academic forum has the right to ask the chairman to interfere when one of those present breaks the academic ethics regulations.
Article 20. The TU-Sofia academic staff shares the general anxiety in the scientific community concerning the academic moral. We adopt the principle that without adhering to that moral there cannot be efficient educational and research activities which to be in accordance with the human values recognized by the European and international scientific community. Moral as one of the main regulators of scientific activity will acquire an
ever-increasing role and significance in the European Union and in the countries members of the European Community. The TU-Sofia academic staff thinks that it is of significant importance for academic moral to adhere to ethical principles and standards in the following main areas and specific directions:
1. Science and objective truth. The principal aim of the scientist is the search for objective truth. In his/her research he/she must aim at a well-grounded proof of the hypotheses offered by him/her and reaching the corresponding conclusions and inferences. Unverified and unsubstantiated conclusions are inadmissible, nor are the interpretations and usage of the results for private or group interests to the detriment of the humane purpose of objective truth.
2. Efficiency in research activity. The scientist must carry out efficient scientific activities by conducting in-depth and comprehensive research to obtain the objective truth and to gain convincing and lasting new knowledge for renewing and enriching the information about the object under study, for the benefit of society. A value of paramount importance with contemporary science is for knowledge to be developed and enriched by original contributions. They are of exceptional value if they are implemented and useful for society. Special care should be taken of prestigious research which results in substantial contributions to the corresponding scientific field. Such research deserves high praise, the ensuring of opportunities for development and stimulus to work; incentive measures, and rewarding (both moral and cash); defense by the scientific community.
The scientist must give warning of negative acts in his/her professional sphere impeding the efficient research activities: these involve pseudo-scientific theories and assumptions in relation to unverified and questionable data, illegal usage of texts and results in property of another (plagiarism), which is one of the most serious legal as well as moral offenses.
3. The veracity of the scientific publications. One of the means for making public the obtained research results is their being published in scientific journals, magazines, and books. The authors have a direct professional and moral responsibility for the veracity of their research publications: - both for publications containing original contributions (announcing new scientific achievements) and for those devoted to refuting unacceptable theories and propositions, plagiarism allegations, etc. It is inadmissible to forge data and results in research activities.
4. An unbiased review of scientific publications. Reviews play an important role in the successful development of research activities. The review authors have the same responsibilities (professional and moral) as with scientific publications. The presence of the element of evaluation in reviews
implies great importance leading to increasing the author’s responsibility. The reviews must be competently written and well-grounded. They should be based solely on the values of the real objective qualities and results of the scientific works, clearly stating the positive qualities and results
as well as the shortcomings of the works. The reviews should not aim at discrediting the authors and the team to which they belong, they should not include prejudice or negative personal attitudes.
5. Interrelations among the scientists. The scientist must manifest respectability and tolerance in his/her relations with the other colleagues, including his competitors. He/she must respect the contributions of his predecessors who worked in the same scientific field. The appropriation of
scientific achievements, a property of another, is inadmissible in any form. The violation of the copyright of another (plagiarism), “stealing” of other people’s ideas, forging of the works of another, etc. are also inadmissible. The strife of the scientist to be ahead of his colleagues in obtaining new
scientific data and to receive recognition by the scientific community and the public must not antagonize him to the common interests based on the respectability of science and academic autonomy, which require cooperation and mutual respect.
6. Co-authorship in scientific activities. In joint research activities, it is ethical to determine the actual contribution of each researcher according to the amount of work performed by him/her. “Honorary” authorship is inadmissible. Only persons who have a real contribution to the conducting of the
research, to the obtaining, analysis, and application of the results or who have written the corresponding author’s text are cited as co-authors, and only on the condition that the other co-authors have stated their agreement and have agreed on the text to be published. Gratitude for other units
and persons’ support, including that of members of the management team of the corresponding research organization, may be expressed in the acknowledgments but that does not make them co-authors.
7. Scientific discussions. These play a significant role in research. Academic moral requires ideas, not personal qualities, to be discussed, to present arguments and theoretical explanations, not personal characteristics and qualifications. The significance of the ideas, theses, and results must not be judged by the scientific ranks and titles of the authors, by their age and position in the scientific community and society but on the strength of their scientific arguments. The universal evaluation criteria are established on the basis of consensus by the scientific community.
8. Objective scientific criticism. Academic ethics presupposes good-natured response and tolerance to critical opinion and doubt expressed by other scientists in relation to the methods used and results obtained. The unbiased and objective view is a permanent moral obligation of the scientific community. The manifestation of envy, evil, ill will, and corruption are incompatible with academic ethics.
9. Management of research institutions. Managers of research teams are obliged to monitor/observe the adherence to the standards of academic moral in them. They must ensure the proper organization for research activities and to be the embodiment of active moral research work and conduct. Special care should be paid to the training of young researchers and encouraging their future development if there are suitable conditions for that. Research institutions managers must create conditions for fruitful organization and function in several directions: treatment of researchers as professionals closely related to the forming of the gross national, European and world product; implementation of all types of mobility which will guarantee sustainable regime of growth, professional development and establishment of researchers; timely training of young quality research human resources potential at TU-Sofia; adhering to the requirements for the mandate and other civilization standards established as norms for the management of the higher educational establishment which is both a legal and moral problem of exceptional importance. The infringement of those principles is a gross violation of academic morals and in this sense can be considered as a serious violation of most important ethical norms and regulations. The formal, superficial discussion of the researchers’ works before being submitted for publication is a gross breach of both labour discipline and the standards of academic ethics. The moral responsibility for that lies mainly with the heads of research teams at TU-Sofia. In the research community of the higher educational establishment, there should be conditions which to guarantee the conscientious, scientifically objective participation of scientists in different calls for project proposals, distribution of funding, and receiving of academic ranks and academic posts. The unsubstantiated elimination of call participants is inadmissible.
Article 26. (1) Observation of the Code of Ethics and solving the cases, which have arisen as a result of its application, are matters referred to the Ethics Commission which has been appointed by the Rector.
(2) All established violations of the present Code are examined by the TU-Sofia Ethics Commission.
(3) The TU-Sofia Ethics Commission consists of five members and includes representatives of the academic staff and administrative personnel.
(4) In its work the Ethics Commission is guided by the present Code, the regulations in this country and the University, the rector’s orders, the commonly accepted moral and ethical standards and the established good practices in this field.
(5) At the end of each calendar year, the Commission presents a report for its activities. The report is discussed and approved by the Academic Council.
Article 27. In case of violation of the included in the Code of Ethics Standards of conduct, the employees are subject to disciplinary liability under the terms of the Labour Code.
Article 28. When appointed to the University the employee must be acquainted with the present Code regulations by his/her immediate superior.
VII. TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONS
Article 29. The Code of Ethics for the conduct of the employees and lecturers at TU-Sofia is in conformity with the Labour Code regulations and the internal regulations of TU-Sofia.
Article 30. This updated Code of Ethics has been prepared and discussed in the TU-Sofia Ethics Commission and approved by the TU-Sofia Academic Council at its sitting on 31.10.2012 with Record of the Proceedings No 8.
COPYRIGHT TRANSFERENCE AGREEMENT
We, the Publisher (The Technical University-Sofia) of the compilation of scientific publications TU-Sofia Annual, and the authors publishing in it, share a common interest in the protection of the copyright.
The authors, because they want their creative works to be protected from plagiarism and other unlawful deeds.
The publisher, because he must protect the authors’ works and investments when their research results and achievements
in the articles are being disseminated.
To achieve the above efficiently the Publisher asks with the present agreement official written transference of copyright from the author(s) for the article published by the Publisher.
Please complete this form in two copies when submitting the article to the Editorial Board of the compilation of scientific works
TU-Sofia Annual confirming that you wish
The article entitled ………………………………………………
Author (team of authors) of the publication ……………………
to be published (if the article has been approved for publication) in the compilation of scientific works TU-Sofia Annual. The copyright on this article (including all rights on it), (including the right to be photocopied and reproduced in all media, independently or as part of a journal or in another form) is transferred from the author(s) to the Publisher of the compilation of scientific works TU-Sofia Annual and takes effect on the date the article has been submitted for publication. This transference includes the right of the Publisher to change the form of presentation of the article in relation to its being used with computer systems and software, including reproduction and publishing on the Internet on the Publisher site.
Author(s) rights. This transference preserves the following author(s) rights:
1. Author(s)’ patents and trademarks, as well as the rights on every process, approach, method, algorithm, or procedure described in the article.
2. The right to a photocopy or single electronic copies of the article for personal use, including for own use by the author(s) in classrooms and offices, or for the personal use of colleagues, under the condition that the copies are not for sale and are not distributed systematically outside their usage (for example by e-mail).
3. Publishing the pre-print version of this article on an electronic public server is permitted.
4. The right, after publication, to use free of charge the article is a compilation of the author(s) works, such as: compiled written lecture notes, course books, and teaching materials or dissertations.
5. The author(s) is free (are free) to submit the article for publication to another publisher if, within three months of signing the present agreement for the transference of copyright and submitting of all documents to the Editorial Board of the compilation of scientific works TU-Sofia Annual in accordance with the requirements of the TU-Sofia Regulations for publishing the compilation of scientific works TU-Sofia Annual, he/she (they) has (have) not received a signed by the Publisher and stamped copy of the present agreement.
Authorship. If the article has been prepared in collaboration with another (other) author(s) the signing of the present agreement for the transference of copyright to the Publisher is effected and signed by one of the authors under the condition that he/she has informed the other co-authors about the conditions of the transference of copyright to the Publisher and assuming of the systematized below guarantees for publishing the present article, and signs on their behalf as their representative, declaring that he/she is the author (co-author) of the particular article.
The guarantees which are declared with the signature on the present agreement for the transference of copyright are:
‐ The author(s) guarantee(s) that he(they) are acquainted with the TU-Sofia Code of Ethics and fully agree with it.
‐ The author(s) guarantee that the article is an original work by the author(s) and the results have not been published before.
‐ The author(s) guarantee(s) that the article does not contain calumnious or other unlawful content and does not violate other people’s rights.
‐ If the present article includes extracts from other authors (s)’ works, in order not to violate the regulations for copyright protection, the present article author(s) have cited correctly and in compliance with the requirements the exact sources and works used as extracts in the present article.
Code of Ethics - full text in Bulgarian and English.