ETHICAL STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES

Peer reviewing and editorial procedures

Rubber Science, published from Rubber Research Institute of India under the Rubber Board, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes original research articles, short scientific communications, theoretical papers, reviews, general articles, opinion papers and commentaries on all aspects relevant to natural rubber cultivation, processing and product manufacture, including blends of natural rubber with synthetic and reclaimed rubbers as well as plastics. Rubber Science, published in English, has emerged as a major international scientific journal in the field of rubber research with contributions from those who are actively engaged in R&D programmes in rubber and rubber products and extension of rubber cultivation in different parts of the world.

Rubber Science has a strict peer reviewing policy to ensure highest standards for the articles that it publishes. Papers that are in line with the general scope of the journal, well organized and written in a simple and comprehensible language are preferred. Upon receipt of a manuscript, the Editorial Board will assess its general suitability for publication in Rubber Science. Those manuscripts that do not meet the minimum requirements for publishing in the journal will be returned without external peer reviewing. If the article meets the general requirements of the journal, it will be sent to two referees with a request to offer critical comments on the merit of the article in three weeks. The referees will be asked to submit the report in the format and grade the article on a 1-10 scale, taking into account the various parameters pertaining to its suitability for publishing in Rubber Science. Peer reviewers will remain anonymous to the authors and vice versa.

Once the referees' comments are received, the same will be assessed by the Editorial Board on the suitability of the article for publishing in Rubber Science. Upon receipt of the referees' report, the Editorial Board will evaluate the comments on the manuscript and return the article to the corresponding author along with the comments of the referees. The corresponding author will be asked to resubmit the manuscript after addressing all comments of the referees with point-to-point reply to the comments of referee within 10 days. The authors need not accept all or any of the suggestions made by the referee(s) but clear justification/explanation should be provided on every point raised, by the referees. Based on the replies submitted by the corresponding author, the Editorial Board makes a final decision on the suitability of the manuscript for publishing in Rubber Science. The Editorial Board may normally accept the article if the mean score given by the two referees is 6 or above. If both the referees give a score below 4, the manuscript is straight away rejected. In all cases the Editorial Board may communicate the comments of the referees to the author(s). However, even if an article gets the minimum score for accepting it in Rubber Science, and if the Editorial Board notices that the article still has major problems that are not noticed by the referee(s), the manuscript will be either rejected or the author will be asked to revise the manuscript and a final decision will be taken by the Editorial Board. The final responsibility of accepting or rejecting or asking the author to revise a manuscript (irrespective of the score) will be vested with the Editorial Board. In exceptional cases, where the Editorial Board recognizes major flaws in a manuscript, it may decide to reject a manuscript that has received the bench mark score (by a majority of two-third of the Editorial Board). However, a manuscript that does not get the required bench mark score through the peer review process will not be entertained further. Proof of the articles will be sent to the corresponding author by email, unless otherwise requested. The corrected proof shall be returned to the Editor within one week for processing and timely printing.

Rubber Science follows the highest standards of ethical procedures at all stages of the publication process and expects authors/editors/reviewers to adhere to these standards as given blow.

Authors

  • Ensure that the work in the submitted manuscript is bona fide, original and is not accepted or under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Ensure that the study they are submitting was approved by the relevant research ethics committee or institutional review board and should include information about research funding, if applicable.
  • Acknowledge and cite contents reproduced from other sources.
  • Maintain accurate records of data associated with their submitted manuscripts and provide access to these data on reasonable request from the Editor-in-chief.
  • Declare any potential conflicts of interests.
  • Notify promptly the Editor-in-chief if a significant error is identified in their manuscripts.
  • Cooperate with the publisher to publish an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper, where this is deemed necessary.
  • Include list of contributors,who do not qualify as authors,with their particular contribution described in the acknowledgement.
  • If authors request removal or addition of an author after the submission of manuscript or publication, should submit signed statements of agreement for the requested change from all the listed authors and from the author to be removed or added.
  • The corresponding author is the one who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the publication process and respond to the editorial queries in a timely manner and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information, should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Reviewers

  • Contribute to the decision-making process, and assist in improving the quality of the paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively, in a timely manner providing accurate, unbiased and justifiable reports.
  • Objectively evaluate the manuscripts based on originality, significance and relevance to the domains of the journal and should alert the Editor-in-chief, any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review.
  • Identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
  • Ensure that all information pertaining to the manuscript is kept confidential and not retained or copied, and not make use of any data, arguments, or interpretations in the manuscript, unless they have the authors’ permission.
  • Be aware of any potential conflicts of interest (financial, institutional, collaborative or other relationships between the reviewer and author) and the same shall be communicatedto the Editor-in-chief.
  • Communicate to the Editor-in-chief, the reason(s) for the rejection of publication of a manuscript.

Editorial Board

  • Preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
  • Treat all submitted papers as confidential.
  • Consider and accept articles solely on their scientific merit.
  • Act in a balanced, objective and fair way, without discriminating the authors on any grounds.
  • Treat allegations of plagiarism seriously and reserve the right to reject papers citing ethical standards and procedures.
  • Encourage peer reviewers to identify if they have a conflict of interest with the material they are being asked to review.
  • Facilitate all correspondence between the authors and peer reviewers during the peer-review process.
  • Editorial Board has complete authority to reject/accept an article. The decision to accept or reject a paper should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality, clarity and the study’s relevance to the scope of the journal.
  • The Editor-in-chief should adopt and follow reasonable procedures in the event of any complaint in accordance with the policies and procedures of the journal.

Conflict of interests

  • All authors, referees and editors must declare any association that poses a conflict of interest in connection with the manuscript to encourage transparency without impeding publication.
  • Authors should declare whether they have any conflicts of interests that could have influenced the reporting of the experimental data or conclusions in their paper. The Editors may decide not to publish papers when the competing interests are such that they may have compromised the work or the analyses or interpretations presented. It is the responsibility of authors to disclose in the Acknowledgments section any funding sources for the project or other relationships that are relevant.
  • 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 manuscripts. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer's own research without the written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantages.