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Ethical charter of the journal Géocarrefour

Géocarrefour is a peer reviewed scientific journal. As such, the journal is resolutely committed to respecting the strictest ethical standards of publication and to ensuring the transparency of the processes of selection and publication of articles on research. The journal guarantees the integrity of the construction and diffusion of scientific knowledge by following the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) : this organisation promotes « best practice » with regard to scientific publication. All the stakeholders involved (namely the authors, the editorial board and the reviewers) are committed to respecting these recommendations at each stage of the editorial process. The aim is to ensure that published work is exact and produced in conformity with the ethical standards of the scientific community. To ensure the absence of plagiarism, the editorial secretary uses ‘Quetext’ software. These standards apply to all the contributers to the journal.

The editorial board 

The editorial board verifies the respect of the ethical standards which are recognised internationally for scientific publications. It implements all possible measures against bad practice in publication.

The editorial board has the responsibility to decide whether an article should be rejected or accepted for publication. This decision is based on the importance, the originality, the clarity and the relevance of the contents of the submitted manuscript with respect to the editorial policy of the journal (evaluation criteria available on line). The editorial board uses the evaluation reports of articles which have been submitted and anonymised to take one of the following decisions in relation to the manuscript : (a) acceptance in present state, (b) acceptance with minor modifications, (c) acceptance with major modifications, (d) rejection. The editorial board makes a final decision (positive or negative) in relation to the extent to which the authors take into account the remarks, suggestions and comments formulated by the reviewers for their attention. When the reviewers have requested major changes, the editorial board will ask for their opinion on the revised version of the manuscript.

The editorial board ensures that all documents submitted to the journal remain confidential during the whole evaluation process. No information relating to a submitted article is transmitted to anyone else (excepting the authors, reviewers, editors and members of the editorial board).

The editorial board is committed to a maximum delay of 12 weeks between the submission of an article and its peer review.

The editorial board ensures that the identity of the reviewers remains anonymous.

The editors have no conflict of interest in relation to the articles and their authors during the editorial process.

The editorial board examines all the submitted articles in an independant and fair manner in relation to all external influences. In particular, articles submitted for a thematic or varia issue are evaluated in the same way, that is to say only on academic merit.

The editorial board undertakes its functions in a balanced, objective and equitable manner : submitted manuscripts are evaluated on the basis of their intellectual content without discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, religeous or political convictions or on the origins of the authors no matter what they are.

All divergence from the ethical standards must be directly indicated to the editorial board which undertakes to act as rapidly as possible in relation to any misconduct or plagiarism (corrections, retractions, apologies) in order to protect the integrity of the contributors and the institutions concerned.

Whatever the date of publication, the editorial board investigates any allegation of error or misconduct, giving the right to reply to all parties involved. Any documentation relating to complaints is conserved.

The editorial board agrees to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies where necessary.

The authors

Publication of articles on the site does not involve any cost. The authors are not therefore billed at any stage of the production process of an article.

Authors must confirm that the submitted article has not been evaluated or accepted for publication elsewhere.

Authors must confirm that the content of the article is original. When a part of the the content has been submitted or published elsewhere, the authors must cite the sources and provide the editorial board with a copy of these texts.

Authors must acknowledge and cite the content reproduced from other sources.

Authors commit to obtaining permission to reproduce all content originating from other sources.

Authors must confirm that that they have all actively participated in the drafting of the content of the article.

Authors must confirm that they have all approved the submitted version of the manuscript.

Authors must make sure they conserve the data associated with the submitted manuscript. They must give access to these data upon reasonable request from the editorial board or the reviewers.

Authors must, in the context of the evaluation process by their peers, accept to reply to the requests of the editorial board within a reasonable delay.

Authors must reply to requests for information in cases of suspicion of errors or misconduct ; they agree to correct, retract or apologise if they are recognised as guilty of unethical behaviour (such as plagiarism, or the use of fraudulent data).

Authors must rapidly inform the editorial board if an important error is found in their work (for example a calculation or experimental error). In this case they must co-operate with the editorial board to publish a rectification or withdraw the article if this is considered necessary.

Authors must make sure that all studies involving humans or animals conform with the law and with national, local or institutional requirements. If necessary they must testify with documentary evidence that approval has been requested and granted.

Authors must, for human subjects, obtain their express authorisation and respect their private lives.

Authors must declare all potential conflicts of interest, at whatever stage of the publication.

The reviewers

Manuscripts submitted to the journal are evaluated using a ‘double-blind peer review system’ : the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers just as the reviewers do not know the identity of the authors. Each article is read by at least two reviewers. If the evaluations of the reviewers diverge, then the editorial board solicits further opinions.

The reviewers contribute to the evaluation and decision-making process. Their aim is to assist the editorial board to take editorial decisions. They also endeavour to support authors in improving the quality of their articles.

When a selected reviewer does not feel qualified to evaluate a manuscript or realises that the review cannot be undertaken within a reasonable time lapse, the reviewer must inform the editorial board and withdraw from the the evaluation and review process.

Reviewers evaluate manuscripts objectively. They are committed to not disclosing any information on the article outside of the editorial team and the evaluation process by their peers. All manuscripts received for evaluation must be treated as confidential documents. Reviewers must not keep any copy of the article under review.

The reviewers accept to participate in the peer review process in the most objective manner possible in order to promote the high quality of published articles. Reviewers must express clearly their viewpoint and base it on appropriate arguments. All personal criticism of authors is inappropriate.

Reviewers must identify, if they are aware of them, any relevant published work which has not been cited by the authors.

Reviewers must inform the editorial board, if they are aware of it, of any published or submitted work which in substance is similar to that being evaluated.

Reviewers must declare all conflicts of interest (financial institutional, collaborative or other) in relation to the articles and authors.

Actions following misconduct

Non-ethical behaviour can be brought to the attention of the editoral team at any time and by any person.

Elements of sufficient proof must be supplied for an investigation to be opened

The editorial board can set up an enquiry at any time. Confidentiality must be assured until the result of the enquiry is known.

All the parties concerned in a presumed professional fault must be informed of the stages of the enquiry and the possible consequences.

All the parties must have the right to reply to any allegation.

When misconduct is established, the following options can be envisaged :

a. Informing the parties in the case of a misunderstanding or poor comprehension of the ethical charter and the rules of publication.

b. Sending an official letter detailing the offence and warning the author against any future improper practices.

c. Undertaking the formal withdrawal of the article from the journal with appropriate apologies to the persons or institutions concerned.

d. Establishing an embargo on all new manuscripts submitted by the author during a defined period.

e. Indicating the problem to the employer of the author for further investigation and appropriate action.

f. Informing an authority having the power to deal with the complaint.

These different options can be cumulative depending on the gravity of the situation.

A notice of retraction must clearly identify the article withdrawn (specifying the title and the authors) and indicate who retracts the article. Notices of retraction always indicate the reasons for the retraction by attempting to distinguish between the honest mistake (for example, an error of calculation) and misconduct (for example, plagiarism or the production of fraudulent data).

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