The publisher and the editors will take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. Formazione & insegnamento condemns all misconduct and will act accordingly in case misconduct is proven. In the event that the journal’s publisher and editors are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in their journal, they will follow COPE’s guidelines in dealing with allegations.
Formazione & insegnamento holds its contributors to the highest research ethics standards. This means all published research must have been carried out according to the existing laws concerning research ethics. When research is undertaken in a given country, the law of such country shall be abided by. Additionally, all investigators shall abide by the regulations of their respective institutions. This might include abidance by the ethical standards of reputed scientific societies. When submitting their manuscript, Authors must disclose ethical approval details (if required by the type of research they conducted).
Research ethics concerns also the publication of data concerning human (and animal) participants. This means that, even if due ethical procedures have been followed in the countries where the investigation (or experiment, etc.) took place, the Authors must still ensure that the content of the published article respects the law enforced by the country in which the journal is published (Italy).
As of 2022, Formazione & insegnamento is published in Italy. Italy enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR or EU Regulation 2016/679), which led to an amendment of the Italian Law Legge 196/2003. The Garante Privacy is the leading authority in the country for privacy breaches.
Formazione & insegnamento condemns all sort of plagiarism and takes swift action to retract plagiarized articles.
Recycling is usually not approved since Formazione & insegnamento aims to publish original research. To address allegations of recycling, the Editors shall review previously published research by the same Authors and consider:
- How much text is recycled.
- Where in the paper recycling occurs.
- Whether the recycled source has been acknowledged.
- Whether the article involves empirical research (e.g., a novel interpretation of previously gathered data could be accepted if referencing is appropriate and if it adds substantial value to the scientific debate).
- Whether there is breach of copyright.
- Cultural norms at the time and place of publication (e.g., in the early post-war period and up until the Nineties, in Italy, recycling was commonly accepted as a form of dissemination through publication in different outlets).
As a rule of thumb, recycling is never accepted when it appears in a research paper’s result, in the discussion section, in the conclusions, and in extensive parts of the introduction.
Conflicts of Interest
All conflicts of interest shall be declared when submitting a manuscript paper. In the final published article, conflicts of interest will be detailed in a footnote that references the name of the disclosing Author.
Editors can publish original articles in their own journal. However, if that is the case, they cannot be involved in the peer review and in the editorial decisions concerning their own articles.
All submitted articles must be completely anonymized to avoid further conflicts of interest. When a submission is made, conflicts of interest might not be fully disclosed. If the issue arises, the Editor shall liaise with the Corresponding author in order to clarify such elements. If the issue is raised after publication, the Editor shall communicate with the reader in order to collect appropriate evidence of misconduct. This could result in a correction or retraction of the article.
Handling of critiques
This section refers to the relevant COPE Guidelines on this subject: Handling of post publication critiques.
Occasionally, an article might trigger post-publication discussion. However, the Editorial Board will reject critiques that display the following characteristics:
- The critique is libellous (result: the critique is rejected by the Editorial board).
- The critique is defamatory (result: the critique is rejected by the Editorial board and the authors of the published paper are alerted in case there is a breach of the Italian defamation law: 595 C.P.).
- The critique lacks appropriate referencing (result: the critique is rejected by the Editorial board).
- The critique does not add value to the scientific discussion (result: the critique is rejected by the Editorial board).
- The authors of the critique do not agree with its publication (result: the critique is rejected by the Editorial board). Exception: the critique raises important ethical and legal issues that require further investigations and publication of said critique might damage the privacy of its proponents.
Once the critique is accepted by the Editorial Board, the Authors of the original articles are reached out to collect a reply. The Editorial Board assesses whether the reply is appropriate and should be published—on some occasions, the Editorial Board might invite the proponents of the critique and the authors of the original article to draft a co-authored follow-up paper addressing the issue.
The entire procedure shall be completed within the finalization of the following issue of the journal, unless the finalization is expected within less than 30 days; in that case, 60 days are given to complete the process. If the authors of the original paper do not respond the Editorial Board will publish a reply, eventually acknowledging the received critiques on behalf of the journal and will clarify that the authors “declined to reply”.
Moreover, some critiques might raise not just scientific concerns but also ethical concerns. In that case, action is taken according to the Ethical Statement of the Journal.
Formazione & insegnamento believes in the need for clear and error-free information distribution. Published articles are final, definitive, and citable. As maintained by the STM Guidelines on Preservation of the Objective Record of Science, “Articles that have been published should remain extant, exact, and unaltered to the maximum extent possible”.
In exceptional circumstances, it might be necessary to amend a published article; such operation is carefully considered by the Editor-in-chief and her staff. Normally, corrections are published as a separate, short paper. In the latter case, corrections will be titled: “Corrigendum: Title of the original article”. To save space and to make the process smoother, if the original authors’ reply to a critique is equivalent to a correction, their reply shall be titled as above.
Please note that the update of metadata does not involve a Corrigendum.
These guidelines draw on COPE’s Retraction Guidelines.
A published article is retracted if one of the following applies:
- There is undisputable evidence that the findings are unreliable or are the result of an error (e.g., of calculus or experimental).
- The content of the article is a fabrication (e.g., made-up data) or falsification (e.g., image manipulation).
- The findings have been previously published elsewhere (e.g., by other authors) and no reference is made to such work.
- It contains material or data without authorisation for use.
- It contains copyright infringement.
- The reported research is unethical.
- There is evidence of a manipulated peer review process.
- It is the result of a conflict of interest.
When a retraction occurs, a Notice of retraction is published. The notice of retraction must contain:
- Link to the original article (URL, DOI, and anything else that applies).
- Clear identification of the retracted article (including title and authors).
- Clear indication that the notice is a retraction (usually through the title “Notice of retraction”).
- Statement describing who is retracting the article and why.
- No unfounded allegations and inappropriate language.
Notices of retraction will be published promptly and will be freely available to all readers.
Retractions will not be done in the following cases:
- Authorship disputes but no doubt on the validity of the scientific content.
- A published Corrigendum is sufficient to address all raised concerns.
- Evidence of the infringement is inconclusive.
- Conflicts of interest that are raised after publication but which do not constitute an breach of Law nor affect the scientific quality and conclusions of the article’s content.