Editorial and Publishing Policies

Open Access Policy

Asia Pacific Academy of Science Pte. Ltd. (APASCI) publishes its journals in the Gold Open Access format under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) or Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. The benefits of this publishing model are as follows:

Authors retain their copyright without restriction.

Articles are immediately published online and available for free reading and download.

No special permission to share or adapt the material in the published articles (commercial purposes are not allowed if under CC BY-NC 4.0).

Regarding the default license used, authors should carefully check the policies of the journal to which they would like to submit their manuscript. Authors with no special requests will be deemed to agree to the default license.

Peer Review Process

To ensure high-quality publication, APASCI conducts a stringent double-blind peer review process for all manuscripts submitted to its journals:

1. Upon submission, a manuscript is reviewed by the in-house editor of the journal to assess for integrality and similarity. Once the manuscript has passed this pre-screening check, it will be passed to one of the academic editors (the Editor-in-Chief for a regular submission, the Guest Editor for a Special Issue submission or Section Collection submission, or Editorial Board members if the above-mentioned roles have conflicts of interest).

2. The academic editor carefully evaluates the manuscript to determine if its topic and content are suitable for consideration.

3. The manuscript is then assigned by the academic editor to a senior editor.

4. The senior editor selects at least two reviewers who are suitably qualified to assess the paper. Authors can recommend reviewers or provide an avoidance list, and basic information for identifying and contacting the reviewers should be given. The recommended reviewers may not be invited upon the decision of the senior editor.

5. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the manuscript’s originality, methodology, contribution to the literature, presentation of results and support for the conclusion, and appropriate referencing of previous relevant studies.

6. According to the evaluation by the reviewers, the senior editor makes one of the following recommendations: accept the submission, accept with minor revisions, accept with revisions required (major revisions), require resubmission for review, or decline the submission.

7. The manuscript is then passed to the Editor-in-Chief for a final decision.

8. If the Editor-in-Chief suggests minor revisions, authors are given a maximum of 5 days to revise and resubmit the manuscript.

9. If the Editor-in-Chief suggests major revisions, authors are given a maximum of 14 days to revise and resubmit the manuscript.

10. After the re-submission of the revised manuscript, the above steps are repeated before the manuscript is accepted for publication.

11. Authors of rejected submissions have the right to make an appeal in writing to the editorial office of the specific journal within 4 weeks of receiving the decision. The written appeal should include specific reasons for the appeal and point-by-point responses to the reviewers’ comments.

12. Decisions made on appeals by the Editor-in-Chief are final and no further considerations will be made.

Authorship

Based on the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), authorship should be limited to those who meet the following four criteria:

1. Contributed substantially to the conception or design of the manuscript or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the manuscript; AND

2. Drafted the manuscript or reviewed it critically for significant intellectual content; AND

3. Have final approval of the version to be published; AND

4. Agreed to be responsible for the manuscript in ensuring that problems relating to the accuracy or completeness of any part of the manuscript are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Individuals who do not meet the above four criteria should not be listed as authors but should be acknowledged. Authors should disclose whether artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies were used in the preparation of their manuscripts and how they used them. Authors should also report the use of AI for writing assistance in the Acknowledgment section. AI tools should not be used in sections that rely on human intellectual analysis, such as data interpretation and conclusion summarization.

Changes to Authorship

Authorship changes (addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names) should be made before the acceptance of the manuscript. Confirmation from all authors (including existing authors and author(s) to be added and/or removed) should be provided to the editorial office of the journal, together with the reason for such changes. Changes can be made after the approval of the journal.

Conflict of Interest

Authors are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial). Any agreements with study sponsors (for-profit or non-profit), such as those that interfere with the authors’ access to the study’s data or with the authors’ ability to analyze or interpret the data and to publish manuscripts independently according to their own decision, should be avoided by authors at all costs.

APASCI also requires reviewers and editors to declare any (potential) non-financial conflicts of interest and declare any unpaid roles or relations that may influence the decision on the manuscript’s publication. These include, but are not limited to, unpaid roles in a governmental or non-governmental organization, unpaid roles in an advocacy or lobbying organization, and unpaid advisory positions in a commercial organization.

In addition, reviewers and editors must disclose any association that poses a conflict of interest in connection with the manuscript. Examples are personal or work-related relationships with one of the authors or the reviewer is on the authors’ avoidance list.

Publishing Ethics

APASCI upholds the spirit of strict adherence to high ethical standards. This is consistent with APASCI’s mission of publishing high-quality articles and promoting open scientific exchanges globally. APASCI follows the Ethical Oversight Guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in overseeing the publication process, as well as the activities of APASCI journals, editors, and reviewers.

APASCI and all the editors adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Core Practices and Best Practice Guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE);

2. Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).

3. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journals Editors (ICMJE).

APASCI is committed to protecting the privacy of its contributors and promises not to disclose personal information to third parties without permission, unless for necessary purposes of the publishing process or required by law.

APASCI takes allegations of misconduct (refer to the Misconduct Policy for more details) seriously and will launch an immediate investigation by a group of investigation members. Decisions will be made by the investigation group based on clear evidence, and the authors will be informed. If there is any appeal against the decision, it must be made to the publisher within 14 days of the decision date, or else actions will be taken after 14 days. The decision on the appeal is final.

Any complaints and appeals against APASCI journals and editors can be directed to the publisher at editorial_office@apacsci.com, and APASCI follows COPE guidelines in handling all complaints and appeals.

Research Involving Human Subjects

Authors who carry out research involving humans must declare that their studies followed the WMA Declaration of Helsinki. They must obtain approval from the concerned research ethics committee before carrying out the research and accept the monitoring by the committee. During the submission stage, authors are required to attach a statement containing the name of the ethics committee, the approval code, etc.

Informed consent to participate in the research must be obtained from all human subjects or their guardians. A statement on the consent to participate should also be included during submission. If there is no need for informed consent, authors must provide the name of the ethics committee and the reason for the absence of the need for informed consent.

Human subjects’ right to privacy right is inviolable. Authors should not disclose any identifying information, including but not limited to names, initials, contacts, and medical record numbers, unless the absence of such information may influence the interpretation of the research. In addition, written informed consent for publication from the participants should be obtained. If participants are vulnerable, informed consent should be given by their guardians. Authors must inform the participants if pictures of their bodies (e.g., faces) have to be included in the manuscript and receive consent for publication. In the case of deceased human subjects, their next of kin or legal representative should be asked for consent.

Research Involving Animal Subjects

All studies involving animals should be approved by an ethics committee before the research is conducted. If ethical approval is not required by national laws, exemption from the ethics committee, the name of the ethics committee, and the reason should be provided by the authors during submission.

The following guidelines can be helpful for authors in upholding high ethical standards and avoiding submission rejection

· Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Used in Scientific Procedures

· ARRIVE Guidelines

· Three Rs

· The Scientific Basis for Regulation of Animal Care and Use

· EU Regulations on Animal Research

APASCI applies The ARRIVE Essential 10: Compliance Questionnaire for evaluating comparative experiments in living animals. Authors can also use it as a checklist.

Advertising Policy

1. APASCI reserves the right to accept or refuse advertising.

2. Advertisements must comply with relevant rules and laws in the country where they will appear.

3. Advertisements should be clearly legible and advertisers identifiable.

4. Advertisements should never influence the content of each journal and editorial decisions.

5. APASCI disclaims responsibility for any damages resulting from advertisements in its journals.

For any advertisement queries, please contact APASCI at editorial_office@apacsci.com. 

Misconduct Policy

Following COPE guidelines, APASCI will not accept any misconduct behaviors that may mislead researchers.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is not acceptable. Using the content from one’s own previously published articles without proper citation is also considered plagiarism. APASCI adopts Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) for checking the originality of submissions. Manuscripts with a high similarity index may be rejected.

Fabrication and falsification

Fabrication and falsification of data or images will mislead researchers. APASCI strongly opposes such practices and will reject suspicious submissions.

Duplicate submission

Duplicate submission of a manuscript that has been published or submitted to other journals at the same time will not be considered.

Correction, Retraction and Withdrawal

Correction

Authors are responsible for approving the final version of their manuscript and they should avoid any errors prior to publishing. In the case of errors that occur in a published article and have no influence on research results, APASCI will issue a correction/erratum.

Authors, readers, and editors are encouraged to report any errors found in published papers. Please contact the editorial office of the particular journal.

Retraction

Based on COPE guidelines, the following conditions can lead to the retraction of a published article:

Unreliable findings

Plagiarism

Published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources, disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification

Containing material or data without the authorization for use

Infringement of copyright, violation of privacy, or other legal issues

Unethical research

Dubious peer review processes

Failing to disclose a major competing interest

If any of the above misconduct proved to be true, a retraction notice will be issued with the reason, while the PDF of the retracted article will be watermarked with “Retracted”. The journal editors will inform the authors of the retraction.

Paid Article Processing Charges will not be refunded to the authors if retraction occurs.

Withdrawal

Although not encouraged, authors can initiate the withdrawal of their submission before and during the peer review process by providing the reason. However, authors should note that a penalty fee of US$200 will be imposed for the withdrawal of a submission undergoing the peer review process due to the spent efforts on the evaluation of the manuscript by the editors and reviewers. Upon the approval of submission withdrawal, the submission will be removed from the journal’s operation system, and the authors be informed.

Accepted articles and articles in press may also be withdrawn due to infringements of professional ethical codes (similar reasons to those for retraction).

Copyright and License

Authors contributing to APASCI journals retain the copyright, and all articles are published under the Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) or Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.

Regarding the default license used, authors should carefully check the policies of the journal to which they would like to submit their manuscript. Authors with no special requests will be deemed to agree to the default license.

Privacy Policy

APASCI is devoted to protecting authors’ privacy. With APASCI’s privacy policy, authors can rest assured of their privacy in collaborating with APASCI.

1. Personal information

APASCI collects personal information when individuals register on a journal site (e.g., as an author), when the editorial office helps them register (e.g., as a reviewer), or when they communicate with APASCI or subscribe to APASCI notifications. Information, including name, title, affiliation, country, and e-mail address, will be treated as private and only used for activities involving manuscript processing. APASCI will not disclose any personal information to third parties. This policy also applies to the information of the co-authors of submissions.

APASCI collects some other information when individuals visit the APASCI website, such as log data, device information, IP address, time of visit, and visitor interaction. These data are used for optimizing APASCI’s service, gathering statistics on articles, and promoting the APASCI website.

Registered individuals can access their accounts or make corrections to their personal information. They also have the right to request APASCI to delete their information.

2. Third-party links

APASCI is not responsible for any consequences caused when visitors to the APASCI website are linked or directed to a third-party website.

3. Contact APASCI

For any questions regarding APASCI’s privacy policy, please send an email to editorial_office@apacsci.com.

Preprint Policy

APASCI allows authors to post preprints of the manuscript of their original research articles (limited to only this type of article) on community preprint servers, such as arXiv, bioRxiv, and PeerJ Preprint, prior to or simultaneous with their manuscript submission to APASCI journals. Authors retain the copyright of the manuscript posted on a preprint server.

Authors should inform the editors of the preprint version of their submitted manuscript in a cover letter, as well as provide any associated accession numbers or DOIs. Revised versions per the result of the peer review process and accepted versions for publication should not be posted on a preprint server.

Upon publication of the article, APASCI encourages authors to link the article in the preprint server to the journal site, so as to guide readers to access and refer to the final version of the article.

Disclaimer

The opinions, statements, methods, results, and data in APASCI’s published articles are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of APASCI and its editors. APASCI disclaims responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, or products referred to in the articles or advertisements.

Article Processing Charges

APASCI’s publishing model is open access. Open access enables readers to freely access and download articles immediately after publication online. APASCI charges authors article processing charges (APCs) so as to cover operation costs, such as those arising from the evaluation and production processes. APCs should be paid upon the acceptance of articles and ahead of publication.

Regarding the detailed information on APCs, authors should refer to the specific journal to which they would like to submit their manuscript.

Waiver and Discount Policy

APASCI believes there should be no barriers to the dissemination of knowledge, and thus APASCI offers APC waivers and discounts to authors from low-income countries and authors with special circumstances. Authors should write to the editorial office of the specific journal to apply for waivers and discounts. The decision to approve such applications is made by the editorial office on a case-by-case basis.

Section Collection Policy

The Section Collection program has been driven by Asia Pacific Academy of Science Pte. Ltd. for a new chance to run an open access journal. This program aims to collect multidisciplinary topics, and concentrate authors from diverse research fields to focus on a special theme. It is great attempt to develop new ideas and applications. Section editorial team is composed of many scientists whose research fields covering various interests. They all supervise the implementation of the program, and the editorial process must comply with editorial policies of each journal.

A Section Collection is usually launched by an expert with great trust among peers and invited by the Editorial Office, or scholars could apply a section collection. Section Editors are representatives focusing on a theme from multidisciplinary topics. They have different research background, and gather to initiate new ideas and collaborations. Great responsibilities of Section Editors include:

· Preparing the title, summary, keywords, submission deadline, etc.

· Preparing a potential contributors’ list.

· Suspecting and contributing to the editorial progress, including but not limited to the initial screening, and the peer-reviewed process.

Workflow of Section Collections

Manuscripts should be submitted to Open Journal Systems (OJS) and go through a double-blinded peer-reviewed process (refer to Peer Review Policy).

Special Issue Policy

1. What is a Special Issue?

A Special Issue Program has been launched by Asia Pacific Academy of Science Pte. Ltd. (APACSCI). A Special Issue is a collection of research hotspots or topics in a specific field. Guest Editors who are experts in this discipline, have the responsibility to drive the special issue program. Manuscripts accepted will both be ordered/archived in a regular volume/issue and a special issue.

Benefits of Special Issues

· Being more quickly discovered and cited.

· Promoting academic exchanges in this field.

· Avoiding repetition of topics.

· Disseminating the latest achievements.

· Broadening the visibility and maximizing the impact of a certain field so that more experts could focus on the topic.

Benefits of being Guest Editors

· Expanding the popularity.

· Initiating the communication and establishing co-operatives ties faster.

· Learning the latest research.

· Publishing one article without any APCs as the privilege.

2. How to drive a Special Issue?

There are two ways to obtain a special issue proposal.

· Guest Editors will be invited by assistant editors to submit a professional proposal.

· Authors and readers are welcomed to submit proposals via emailing to the Editorial Office, and Editor-in-Chief will evaluate them for the viability and suitability for this journal.

Preparation for a proposal

A great topic is the crucial element for success. Each candidate topic will be selected by EiC for considering whether it is consistent with the scope of this journal. Hot topics are usually considered to be more attractive.

A proposal should include necessary information:

· List of Guest Editors

· Types of manuscript

· Main topics

· Submission deadline

· Keywords

3. Special Issue Ethics

APACSCI abides to the Code of Conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and Best Practice Guidelines in all the editorial process. Each new submission must follow the journal’s Editorial Policies, and any potential unethical manuscripts will not be passed to the nest stage. APACSCI promises to protect the confidentiality of all submissions unless the publishing needs. All the editors and reviewers must strictly abide by the Conflict of Interest of the journal, and they are asked to inform the Editorial Office if any potential conflicts of interest exist, and then, the Editorial Office may consider to change the editor or reviewer. As authors, they have the right to provide a list of avoided experts. Please appeal to the Editorial Office for any requests related to manuscript promotion.

4. Workflow of a Special Issue

Manuscripts should be submitted to Open Journal Systems (OJS) and go through a double-blinded peer-reviewed process (refer to Peer Review Policy).

Research Data Policy

According to the data and reproducibility of COPE, APACSCI encourages authors to share associated data, code, and materials, register clinical trials, and use standardized guidelines to achieve greater transparency, replicability, and trust in scientific findings. Thus, authors are encouraged to deposit datasets in a data repository; the premise is that this data is not suitable for submission as online supplementary files. Authors who have deposited raw data in community database repositories are encouraged to include a data availability statement in their manuscript. The statement should provide information about the availability of the research data and any limitations or conditions associated with accessing the data, except for reasonable controls related to human privacy or biosecurity. Reusing scientific data can offer great potential for further scientific and economic development.

Data sharing

For data shared, the  FAIR Data Principles should be followed, which guides that (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and eternally persistent identifier. Authors should cite the correct sources. Collaborative practices should be implemented across journals and institutions to monitor and ensure the scientific validity and credibility of overall research practices. Authors are encouraged to prioritize the use of original data from their study and provide supporting data such as accessible data sources as early as possible.

Regarding data involving confidentiality/privacy/personal privacy, etc., authors are advised to do their best to hide identifiable sensitive information and to share data in strict accordance with mandatory guidelines for the discipline.

According to the guidelines of COPE regarding unpublished data, the journal will address concerns to the data provider regarding the scientific rigor of an unpublished dataset. The journal will contact the corresponding author, and request comments on the concerns, supporting documentation as needed, and information about any other affected content. Following the guidelines regarding published data, if there is a manuscript associated with a published dataset whose scientific rigor is in doubt, the journal will contact any implicated journals that have published results from the suspicious dataset, summarizing the issue and actions taken to date. Authors must respond with a satisfactory update. If the issues are major or impact the conclusions of the manuscript, the author(s) should withdraw the manuscript or the journal will reject the submission.

Data citation

Authors are encouraged to cite any datasets deposited in external repositories mentioned in their manuscript in the references. For previously published datasets, authors should cite both the published research article and the source of the dataset itself. Journal editorial staff will check and enforce proper data citation before publication.

Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite:

1) Author(s)

2) Year of publication/release

3) Title

4) Publisher/repository or archive name

5) Persistent identifier (e.g., DOI)

 

Data repository

Authors are encouraged to deposit their datasets in the relevant community dataset repository, or a general dataset repository (including any generalist data repository provided by a university, funder or institution for its affiliated researchers) that aligns with the specifications and requirements of their discipline could be selected. The publisher recommends that authors select a repository with a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) to ensure that the referenced dataset can be linked to consistently.

Authors could explore online resources for lists of registered data repositories through FAIRsharing.org and re3data.org.

Here are some examples of generalized dataset repositories:

· Open Science Framework

· Dryad Digital Repository

· Figshare

· Harvard Dataverse

· Zenodo

· Science Data Bank