Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Ethics Statement

Journal of Quality Measurement and Analysis

Journal of Quality Measurement and Analysis, henceforth referred to as “The Journal” aims to select and publish, through double-blind peer-review, the highest quality research articles in theoretical and applied research in decision sciences through the integration of mathematical sciences with quality, productivity, and performance measurement methodologies. We are committed to publishing research articles that introduce innovative mathematical models, tools, and methodologies to improve decision-making processes, optimize productivity, and enhance overall performance outcomes. Priority is given to those articles which satisfy the main scope of the journal, and have an impact in the research areas of interest in Malaysia and worldwide. The editorial board will make the utmost effort to make sure that the peer-review and publication process is thorough, objective and fair. A guideline on The Journal publication code of ethics is largely based upon the principles upheld by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). COPE outlines the standards for good behavior and solutions to ethical issues faced by Authors, Editors and Reviewers. The Journal publication code of ethics has been designed to safeguard the integrity of The Journal and to ascertain all published materials are of the highest scientific and ethical standard. Authors, Editors and Reviewers can use these guidelines when discharging their task and duties. Any ethical issue and question, which concerns The Journal, can be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief. This code of ethics applies to manuscripts submitted to The Journal. The Editorial Board revises it from time to time.

Publication Code of Ethics

A. Code of Ethics for Authors

1.1 Authors’ ResponsibilityAuthors should submit original work carried out honestly according to scientific standards. Research results should not have been obtained fraudulently or dishonestly, fabricated or falsified. When writing, the Authors should present a concise and accurate account how the work was carried out. There should have enough detail for other researchers to repeat the work. The data should be accurately reported and never fudged. The Authors should not leave out problematic data so as to provide a clear or clearer story. The Authors should not claim originality if others have reported similar work. All information obtained privately should not be used without the explicit permission from the individual or source of said information.

1.2 Originality

Authors who submit a manuscript to The Journal, must ascertain that the manuscript is their original work and has not been submitted elsewhere simultaneously. The Authors should also declare that the work and its variation have not been published elsewhere prior to submission to The Journal. Materials from other sources or publications must be appropriately cited or quoted whenever it is used in the submitted manuscript.

If the manuscript contains materials that overlap with work that was previously published, or is in-press, or that is under consideration for publication elsewhere, the Authors must cite this work in the manuscript. The Authors must also inform The Journal Editor-in-Chief of the related work, the Editor-in-Chief may request a copy of the related work.

A manuscript that is under review by any other journal must be withdrawn from the other journal, prior to the submission to The Journal.

Authors must explicitly cite their own earlier work and ideas, even when the work or ideas are not quoted exactly in the manuscript. If exact sentences or paragraphs that appear in another work by the Authors are included in the manuscript, the material should be reworded/rephrased and appropriately cited.

Authors are not allowed to resubmit a manuscript to The Journal that was previously reviewed and rejected by The Journal, unless encouraged by the Editor-in-Chief to resubmit in the rejection letter. If an earlier version was previously rejected by The Journal, and the Authors wish to submit a revised version for review, this fact and the justification for resubmission should be clearly communicated by the Authors to The Journal’s Editor-in-Chief at the time of submission.

1.3 Plagiarism

Manuscript submitted to The Journal must not contain any form of plagiarism including self-plagiarism. The manuscript should not contain any materials that are falsified and fabricated. he Authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the Authors have used the work and/or words of others, they must also ensure that the works and/or words have been appropriately cited.

Plagiarism can be in the form of claiming others’ papers as the Author’s own paper; using or paraphrasing substantial parts of other’s paper without proper credit. Claiming results from others’ research as the Authors’ own is also a form of plagiarism.

The use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words or intellectual property without proper citation and permission, and claiming them as an original idea rather than derived from an existing source can be construed as plagiarism. This applies whether the ideas or words are taken from any published or unpublished materials including abstracts, proceedings, grant applications, journal articles, books or any other publication format.

Authors must cite others’ work and ideas explicitly, even if the work or ideas are not quoted exactly or being paraphrased. This applies to previous work published or unpublished in any form.

Self-plagiarism (or “redundancy”) includes reusing portions of previous writings by using identical or nearly identical sentences or paragraphs from earlier writings in a research manuscripts, without quotation or acknowledgement. Authoring several manuscripts that are slightly modified from each other and submitted for publication in different journals without acknowledgement of the other manuscript/articles is also a form of self-plagiarism.

Self-plagiarism is not generally regarded in the same light as plagiarising the ideas and words of other researchers. Self-plagiarism can be minimized or avoided by citing Author’s previous publications wherever appropriate.

Plagiarism is a misconduct and unacceptable publishing behavior that may lead to serious consequences to the Authors. In order to avoid plagiarism Authors should:

  • keep all records of the source of information,
  • put quotation marks for any phrase that are used in verbatim and cite the source,
  • use their own words when summarizing or paraphrasing someone else’s paragraphs together with a proper citation, and
  • cite all sources as much as possible when writing a manuscript
  • give proper acknowledgment to the work of others,
  • cite publications that have been influential in determining the reported work.

By submitting a manuscript to The Journal, the Authors agree that said manuscript be sent for plagiarism screening through a third-party software (e.g. Turnitin© or WriteCheck©)

1.4 Parallel or Multiple Submissions

Authors should not submit manuscripts describing essentially the same research results to more than one journal at a time. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal at a time constitutes unethical and unacceptable conduct.

Authors must not submit a similar manuscript or research results, in whole or in part, to more than one publication simultaneously, or at any time while the manuscript is currently under review.

Resubmission of a manuscript after being rejected or withdrawn from another publication is acceptable. Authors may not submit to The Journal a manuscript that is in whole or in part under review elsewhere, nor submit to another publication a work that is in whole or in part under review at The Journal.

The submitted manuscript must not have been previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere, or under review by other publication, either in whole or in part in any language.

1.5 Publication from Conference Proceedings

The Journal does not accept any submission of manuscript that has been published in full in a conference proceeding. This is because novelty is an important criterion for articles published in The Journal. The Editor-in-Chief may consider unpublished work that has been presented in part in any forum, particularly if the circulation of the proceeding is limited. Authors must clarify during submission the significant material that was added in the manuscript that was not included in the proceedings. The proceedings must be properly cited in the submitted manuscript.

1.6 Conflicts of Interest

The Author should avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest in his/her research conduct and publication. Conflicts of interest may influence the judgment the Reviewers, and Editors. Possible conflicts often are not immediately apparent to others. These may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial in nature.

All Authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their research results. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed in the manuscript. Authors must also disclose whether they have sat or currently sit on a committee for an organization that may benefit from publication of the paper.

1.6.1 Suggestion for Reviewers

When submitting a manuscript to The Journal, the Authors are encouraged to recommend up to three possible potential Reviewers for said manuscript. The Authors may also select an Editor to be in charge of their manuscripts. The suggested editors and reviewers must not be from the same institution as the Authors. The Editor-in-Chief is however not bound by these suggestions.

Authors should avoid any possible conflict of interest, or appearance of conflict of interest, in selecting Editors and Reviewers. Authors should not submit a manuscript to an Editor who is not in the same field as an easy way to get published.

1.7 Authorship Conduct

1.7.1 Authorship

Name of Authors listed in the manuscript should be those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the research. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as Co-Authors. Others who have assisted in certain aspects of the research project can be mentioned in the Acknowledgement.

Authors of a manuscript should nominate only one Author as the corresponding Author who is solely responsible for communicating with The Journal and communication between Co-Authors. Authors included in the authors list must agree to the order of the names and that all Authors agreed with the final form of the manuscript being submitted to The Journal.

1.7.2 Change of Authorship

Once The Journal accepts a manuscript for publication, amendments in the authorship in the form of addition, deletion or rearranging the order of the names are no longer allowed. However, changes in the authorship (addition, deletion or rearrangement) can be made during the review process before a manuscript is accepted.

1.7.3 Affiliation

The affiliation for each Author should be the institution where the majority of the work was performed. If an Author has subsequently transferred to another institution, the new address may also be included in the manuscript.

1.7.4 Co-Authorship

All Co-Authors should have made significant contributions to the work being written and share accountability for the manuscript. All Authors should agree with the final version of the manuscript before submission to The Journal.

1.8 Permission and Copyright

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  • Authors retain copyright of the article and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that his or her submitted works do not infringe any other existing copyright. Authors should check their manuscripts for the need to obtain permission due to copyright law. This may include permissions for quotations, figures, photographs, artwork or tables taken or modified from other publications or from other sources on the Internet. Authors need to secure the necessary permissions before submission to The Journal. Permission may be needed from the publisher and the Authors of the published materials. If using own materials that have been published by another publisher, the Authors need to obtain permission from the publisher only. It is the duty of the Authors to obtain the permission and not The Journal.

The author indemnifies the editors and publisher against any breach of such a warranty.

1.9 Human, Animal Subjects and Bioethics

Works involving chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use must be clearly identified in the manuscript. Relevant ethics committee must approve manuscripts involving experiments on live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates. Authors must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations issued by the relevant ethics committee.

The manuscript must include a statement of approval from an institutional ethics committee approving the experiments in the methodology section, including any relevant details such as how and why the animal species and models being used can address the scientific objectives and, where appropriate, the study’s relevance to human.

The research should adhere to the guidelines for the care and use of animals in research, the legal requirements of the country in which the work was carried out, and all relevant institutional guidelines.

For experiments involving human subjects, Authors must identify the ethics committee approving the conduct of the experiments, and include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained for all subjects. The reference number of the approval by the committee needs to be stated in the manuscript.

1.10 Manuscript Withdrawal and Retraction

Authors may write to the Editor-in-Chief requesting for the withdrawal of a manuscript that has been submitted to The Journal. However, such withdrawal is usually permitted within two weeks from the date of initial submission to The Journal. The reason for the withdrawal is required in writing.

In the event that an Author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the Author’s obligation to promptly notify the Editor-in-Chief or publisher to retract or correct the article accordingly.

B. Code of Ethics for Reviewers

2.1 Responsibility of Reviewers

Regular reviewers selected for The Journal should meet minimum standards regarding their backgrounds in the research field, publication of articles and formal training. Reviewers are experts in the scientific topic addressed in the manuscripts they review, and are selected for their objectivity and scientific knowledge.

Reviewers should assess the manuscript sent to them for scope, accuracy, quality, relevance and contribution to the field. They should inform and return the manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief if they decide that the manuscript is not within their field of expertise or that they are not able to complete the review in the stated time.

The manuscript for review is privileged information. Reviewers must treat it as confidential and it should not be retained or copied in whatever means. The manuscript should not be shared with the reviewers’ colleagues without the explicit permission of the Editor-in-Chief. Reviewers and Editor-in-Chief must not make any personal or professional use of the data, arguments, or interpretations (other than those directly involved in its peer review) prior to publication. Such use may constitute as conflict of interest and is an unacceptable behavior.

In cases of suspected misconduct, reviewers should notify the Editor-in-Chief in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties.

2.2 Ethics During Peer-Review Process

Peer review is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of knowledge. Peer reviewers are experts chosen by the Editor-in-Chief to provide assessment of a written research manuscript, with the aim of improving the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for The Journal.

The Journal follows a double-blind peer-review process, whereby the Authors and the Reviewers do not have knowledge of each others’ identities. In the case where identities are suspected, Authors should respect the confidentiality of the review process and should not do or say anything that could reveal themselves to the Reviewers, and vice versa.

2.3 Quality of Review

Manuscripts received by The Journal will be evaluated by the Editorial board that will judge whether a manuscript is of potential interest to the readers of The Journal. Manuscripts that are of interest are sent for review. Typically one or two reviewers are employed. Manuscripts may be sent to other specialized experts (e.g. technical experts).

Reviewers are assessed on the quality of review and other performance characteristics by the Editor-in-Chief to assure optimal journal quality and performance. These ratings should also contribute to decisions on reappointment to The Journal’s Editorial Board and to ongoing review requests. Individual performance data on Reviewers are available to the Editor-in-Chief but otherwise kept confidential.

Reviews are expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive. A good review includes the following inputs from the reviewers:

  • identify and comment on major strengths and weaknesses of the research design and characterization methods.
  • comment accurately and constructively on the quality of the Author’s interpretation of the data, including acknowledgment of its limitations.
  • comment on major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, independent of the design, methodology, results, and interpretation of the study.
  • comment on any ethical concerns raised by the study, or any possible evidence of substandard scientific conduct.
  • provide the Authors with useful suggestions to improve the manuscript.
  • comments should be constructive and professional. Personal comments regarding the Authors is not permitted.
  • comment on the work and not the Authors.
  • provide the Editor-in-Chief with the proper context and perspective to make a recommendation on the acceptability of the manuscript.

Reviewers can recommend for particular course of action. However, the Editor-in-Chief may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice from different reviewers. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the Editor-in-Chief with the information on which a decision should be based.

All reviewers are informed of The Journal’s expectations, and Editor-in-Chief will make every effort to assist reviewers in improving the quality of review. The Editor-in-Chief will access the quality of review routinely by ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics periodically.

2.4 Conflict of Interest

Reviewers must declare their own competing interests, and if necessary disqualify themselves from involvement in the assessment of a manuscript. Common reasons for reviewers to recuse themselves from the peer review process may include but are not limited to:

  • They work at the same institution or organization as an author, currently or recently
  • They collaborate with an author, currently or recently
  • They have published with an author during the past 5 years
  • They have held grants with an author, currently or recently
  • They have a financial relationship with the company who funded the research
  • They have a personal relationship with an author that does not allow them to evaluate the manuscript objectively

2.5 Timeliness

Reviewers should be prompt with their reviews. If a Reviewer cannot meet the deadline, he/she should inform the Editor-in-Chief immediately to determine whether a longer time period or another Reviewer should be appointed. Typically, the time to complete a review is four weeks.

C. Code of Ethics for Editorial Board

3.1 Handling of submitted manuscript

Editor-in-Chief should evaluate the merit of a manuscript as soon as it is received. An acknowledgement with a reference number must be sent to the Authors once the manuscript is received. Manuscript deemed to be in good order must be sent to reviewers without delay.

3.2 Decision Quality and Objectivity

The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision whether to accept or reject a manuscript based on the reviewers’ recommendation, as follows:

  • Accept without revisions;
  • Accept with minor revisions to be made by the Authors;
  • Return to the Authors for major modifications; Authors are responsible to revise & resubmit for another round of reviews depending on the request of the reviewers;
  • Reject, with encouragement for resubmission; reasons for rejection must be given by the Editor-in-Chief
  • Reject Outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems, or if the work constitutes any unethical publishing behavior. The Editor-in-Chief must give the reasons for rejection.

The Editor-in-Chief has to provide the Authors with an explanation of the editorial decision on a manuscript. Editor-in-Chief should write high-quality editorial letters that integrate reviewers’ comments and offer additional suggestions to the Author.

In ensuring the objectivity of the editorial decision, editors must:

  • Take all competing interests into account during the review process and ensure that any relevant ones are declared in the published article.
  • Not publish commissioned or any other non-research articles if they are aware of a competing interest that, in their judgment, could introduce bias or a reasonable perception of bias.
  • Not consult reviewers who have competing interests that, in the editors’ judgment, could interfere with unbiased review.

3.3 Submission by Editorial Board Members

All manuscripts submitted to The Journal undergo a rigid double-blind review process including those received from the Editorial Board members. In addition, when making editorial decisions about peer-reviewed articles where an editor is an Author or is acknowledged as a contributor, The Journal will ensure that the affected editors exclude themselves from the publication process including the review process and decision on the manuscript. Although editors are allowed to submit manuscript to The Journal, too many submissions from the Journal’s own Editorial Board is not allowed.

3.4 Editorial Conflict of Interest

When editors are presented with manuscripts where their own interests may influence their ability to make an unbiased editorial decision, they should hand over the handling of the manuscript to a suitably qualified editor in the board. The Editorial Board will appoint another suitable member to handle the manuscripts objectively, fairly and professionally free of personal biases that may affect his/her judgments.

Post-Publication Code of Ethics

D. Corrections / Amendments

Changes can be requested by the Authors of the publication due to a variety of reason. These amendments may fall into one of four categories: erratum, corrigendum, retraction or addendum.

4.1 Erratum

Erratum is the notification of an important error made by The Journal during production of the article that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the article, or the reputation of the Authors, or of The Journal.

4.2 CorrigendumCorrigendum is the notification of an important error made by the Author(s) that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the article, or the reputation of the Authors or the journal. All Authors must sign corrigenda submitted for publication.

4.3 Retraction

Retraction is the notification of invalid results.

In the event of invalid results found by an Author, all Co-Authors of an article must sign a request for retraction specifying the error and stating briefly how the conclusions are affected. Retractions are judged according to whether the main conclusion of the article no longer holds or is seriously undermined as a result of subsequent information coming to light of which the Authors were not aware at the time of publication.

The Editor-in-Chief of The Journal, accompanied by a notification to the Author, may retract any article after it has been published if there is a clear evidence that:

  • the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
  • the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
  • it constitutes plagiarism
  • it reports unethical research

4.4 AddendumAddendum is the notification of a peer-reviewed addition of information to an article, usually in response to readers’ request for clarification.

E. Penalties and Sanctions

The Journal’s Editorial Board has the sole responsibility and authority to determine the proper sanction.

Plagiarism is a scientific misconduct and is an unacceptable violation of publication ethics. The Journal takes scientific misconduct seriously and will be dealt with promptly and fairly. The Editors-in-Chief, Editorial Boards, and the Reviewers are the primary means of detecting plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to The Journal. Given the serious nature of a charge of plagiarism, it is required that confidentiality be maintained throughout the process. The charge of plagiarism, supporting materials and outcome are only to be made known to those persons who are involved in the review process.

Due process and confidentiality are important in all cases of alleged plagiarism, falsification and other unethical conduct. Such cases will be handled according to the Publication Code of Ethics of the Editorial Board and UKM Publication Board.

In cases where the Editorial Board and UKM Publication Board determine that an unethical conduct has occurred, the manuscript will be rejected. If the article has been published, it will be retracted promptly. The Authors may be barred from submitting to The Journal for a period of time (one to three years) depending on the nature of the misconduct.

The Journal reserves the right to evaluate issues of misconduct such as plagiarism and redundancy, etc. on a case-by-case basis.

5.1 Authors

Any work in the manuscript that is proven to contain any form of plagiarism, falsification, fabrications, or omission of significant material constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Editor and/or reviewers shall report cases of suspected unethical publishing behavior of the Author(s) to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief who shall ensure an appropriate action and subsequently bring it to The Journal’s Editorial Board and UKM Publication Board for a suitable action below depending upon the severity of the case:

  • Notice to the Author(s) involved
  • Rejection of the manuscript (unpublished)
  • Retraction of published articles with appropriate notice in the website and the following hardcopy issue of The Journal
  • Banned from submission to The Journal for a period of time, normally up to 3 years
  • Informing the Authors’ institution of the unethical conduct for their further action

5.2 Editorial Board members

The Journal’s reputation depends heavily on the conduct and fairness of its Editorial Board members. The Editorial Board members shall demonstrate their dedicated efforts to this effect at all times. Complainants shall bring cases of suspected members’ misconduct to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief who shall ensure that the relevant documentation substantiating an unacceptable violation of publication ethics is made available to the Journal’s Editorial Board and UKM Publication Board for a suitable action. Any member who holds an editorial office at The Journal with proven unethical conducts will be dismissed from that office. Additionally, penalties would typically include the sanctions as in the case of Authors found guilty.