Publications ethics and Malpractice statement

Ethical Standards

Authors' responsibilities

  • To maintain accurate records of data associated with submitted manuscript, and provide access to data on reasonable request. Where appropriate data should be placed in a suitable open repository or storage location for further use by others.
  • To confirm that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration or has been accepted for publication elsewhere. This also applies for texts published in other languages.
  • To confirm that all the work in the submitted manuscript is original and to acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources. To obtain permission to reproduce any content from other sources.
  • Authors should ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to national, local and institutional laws and requirements (e.g. WMA Declaration of Helsinki, NIH Policy on Use of Laboratory Animals, EU Directive on Use of Animals) and confirm that approval has been sought and obtained where appropriate.
  • Authors should follow accepted national and international guidelines regarding research with or on human subjects, obtain express permission from and respect their privacy.
  • To declare any potential conflicts of interest.
  • To notify immediately the managing editor if a significant error in their publication is identified.
  • The corresponding author must ensure all named co-authors consent to publication and to being named as a co-author. All persons who have made significant contributions to the work reported should be named as co-authors.
  • All authors named on the paper are equally held accountable for the content of a submitted manuscript or published paper.

Editors' responsibilities

  • To carry out their editorial duties in a fair and objective way.
  • To accept submissions solely on their academic merit.
  • To follow accepted procedures in the event of complaints and give authors a reasonable opportunity to respond. All complaints should be investigated no matter when the original publication was approved. Documentation associated with any such complaints should be retained.
  • Journal editors may reject a submitted manuscript without resort to formal peer review if they consider the manuscript to be inappropriate for the journal and outside its scope.

Reviewers' responsibilities

  • To give support to the decision-making process, and to maintain the quality of the published paper by reviewing the manuscript objectively.
  • To maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editor or author.
  • To not retain or copy the manuscript.
  • To alert the editors to any published text or other content that is substantially similar to that under review.
  • To alert the editors of any potential conflicts of interest and if necessary withdrawing their services for that manuscript.

Publishers’ responsibilities

The publishers (University of Helsinki and HEROS Journal) shall ensure that they support and maintain principles and standards outlined above.

Unethical Behaviour

Identification of unethical behaviour

  • Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor at any time, by anyone.
  • Misconduct and unethical behaviour may include, but need not be limited to, examples as outlined above.
  • Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in an objective way, until a decision or conclusion is reached.


  • An initial decision to investigate the matter should be taken by the editor in chief.
  • The matter should be treated confidentially, and on a need to know basis.

Minor breaches

  • Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. The author will be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.

Serious breaches

  • The editor in chief, in consultation with the publisher, will make the decision either by examining the evidence or by further consultation with a limited number of experts.

Actions taken

The actions taken are listed in increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction; and a record of all action taken will be kept by the editor.

  • The editor in chief will inform the author or reviewer in writing that there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
  • The editor in chief will inform the author or reviewer in writing that there appears to be serious misconduct with regard to the submitted manuscript and will provide a warning about future behaviour.
  • Publication of a formal notice in the journal detailing the misconduct.
  • Publication of an editorial detailing the misconduct.
  • A formal letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.
  • Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer's department, Abstracting & Indexing services and the readership of the publication.
  • Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
  • Reporting the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.

Plagiarism, Duplication, Corrections, Retractions, and Removal

Plagiarism: All manuscripts will be analyzed via Ourginal Plagiarism Checker (Urkund) in the Submission stage. If the manuscript get accepted, after the publication it will be stored into the Ourginal database. Manuscripts that contain any signs of plagiarism will be rejected via editorial pre-screening and won't be sent into the peer review stage. If the article is already published it will be retracted.

Duplication: In a case of multiple publication the manuscript will be declined and journals that contain the duplicates will be notified instantly. If the article is already published, it will be retracted.

Corrections: If authors or readers find an error from an article, they should notice the Editorial Office as soon as possible. Editorial office will contact authors via a Correction notice. Minor errors (e.g. typos, reference and citation errors) can be corrected, and a new version will be published. The corrections will be listed in an update document found from the article page. Major errors (e.g. research without required ethical approvals, fabricated data, manipulated images, plagiarism, duplicate publication etc.) will lead to retraction. Note that it is the responsibility of the corresponding author to ensure consensus has been reached between all listed co-authors prior to putting forward any requests for corrections or retractions to an article.

Retractions: Article retraction applies to published articles and may occur after infringement on professional codes of ethics, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, and fraudulent use of data. In a case of retraction, a retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list. The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the .pdf indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”

Removal: In an extremely limited number of cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory or infringes others’ legal rights; where the article is or we have good reason to expect will be the subject of a court order; or where the article, if acted
upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained, the electronic text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.