1. Reviewing procedure
1.1 Peer reviewers
AJST applies a double-blind review system for all papers. At least two reviewers review each manuscript. The reviewers act independently, and they are not aware of each other's identities. The reviewers are selected solely according to whether they have the relevant expertise for evaluating a manuscript. They must not be from the same institution as the author (s) of the manuscript, nor be their co-authors in the recent past. No suggestions of individual reviewers by the author(s) of the manuscript will be accepted.
The purpose of peer review is to assist the Editorial Board in deciding whether to accept or reject a paper. The purpose is also to assist the author to improve the quality of papers.
1.2 Peer Review Process
Manuscripts are sent for review only if they pass the initial evaluation regarding their form and thematic scope. Special care is taken that the initial evaluation does not last more than necessary.
Under normal circumstances, the review process takes up to four weeks, and only exceptionally up to two months. The total period from the submission of a manuscript until its publication takes an average of 90 days.
During the review process, the Editor-in-Chief may require authors to provide additional information (including raw data) if they are necessary for the evaluation of the manuscript. These materials shall be kept confidential and must not be used for any other purposes.
1.3 Resolving inconsistencies
In the case that the authors have serious and reasonable objections to the reviews, the Editorial Board assesses whether a review is objective and whether it meets academic standards. If there is a doubt about the review's objectivity or quality, the Editor-in-Chief will assign additional reviewer(s).
Additional reviewers may also be assigned when reviewers’ decisions (accept or reject) are contrary to each other or otherwise substantially incompatible.
The final decision on the acceptance of the manuscript for publication rests solely with the Editor-in-Chief.
2.1 Authors’ responsibilities
Authors warrant that their manuscripts are their original works, that they have not been published before, and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Parallel submission of the same paper to another journal constitutes misconduct and eliminates the manuscript from further consideration. The work that has already been published elsewhere cannot be reprinted in AJST
Authors are exclusively responsible for the contents of their submissions. The authors affirm that the article contains no unfounded or unlawful statements and does not violate third parties rights.
Authors must make sure that their author team listed in the manuscript includes all and only those authors who have significantly contributed to the submitted manuscript. If persons other than authors were involved in important aspects of the research project and the manuscript's preparation, their contribution should be acknowledged in a footnote or the Acknowledgments section.
It is the authors' responsibility to specify the title and code label of the research project within which the work was created, as well as the full title of the funding institution. In case a submitted manuscript has been presented at a conference in the form of an oral presentation (under the same or similar title), detailed information about the conference shall be provided in the same place.
Authors are required to properly cite sources that have significantly influenced their research and their manuscript. Parts of the manuscript, including text, equations, pictures and tables that are taken verbatim from other works must be clearly marked, e.g. by quotation marks accompanied by their location in the original document (page number), or, if more extensive, given in a separate paragraph.
Full references of each quotation (in-text citation) must be listed in the separate section (Literature or References) in a uniform manner, according to the citation style used by the journal. References section should list only quoted/cited, and not all sources used for the preparation of a manuscript.
When authors discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the Editor-in-Chief (or publisher) and cooperate with him/her to retract or correct the paper.
Authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might have influenced the presented results or their interpretation.
By submitting a manuscript, the authors agree to abide by the Editorial Policies of AJST.
2.2 Editorial Responsibilities
The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal will be published. The decisions are made based exclusively on the manuscript's merit. They must be free from any racial, gender, sexual, religious, ethnic, or political bias. In making decisions process, the Editor-in-Chief is also guided by the editorial policy and legal provisions relating to defamation, copyright infringement and plagiarism.
Members of the Editorial Board, including the Editor-in-Chief, must hold no conflict of interest with regard to the articles they consider for publication. Members who feel they might be perceived as being involved in such a conflict do not participate in a particular manuscript's decision process.
The information and ideas presented in submitted manuscripts shall be kept confidential. Information and ideas contained in unpublished materials must not be used for personal gain without the authors' written consent.
Editors and the editorial staff shall take all reasonable measures to ensure that the authors/reviewers remain anonymous during and after the evaluation process following the type of reviewing in use.
2.3 Reviewers' responsibilities
Reviewers are required to provide a qualified and timely assessment of the scholarly merits of the manuscript. The reviewer takes special care of the real contribution and originality of the manuscript. The review must be fully objective. The judgment of the reviewers must be clear and substantiated by arguments.
The reviewers assess manuscript for the compliance with the profile of the journal, the relevance of the investigated topic and applied methods, the scientific relevance of information presented in the manuscript, the presentation style and scholarly apparatus. The review has a standard format.
The reviewer must not be in a conflict of interest with the authors or funders of research. If such a conflict exists, the reviewer is obliged to notify the Editor-in-Chief promptly. The reviewer shall not accept for reviewing papers beyond the field of his/her full competence.
Reviewers should alert the Editor-in-Chief to any well-founded suspicions or the knowledge of possible violations of ethical standards by the authors.
Reviewers should recognize relevant published works that have not been considered in the manuscript. They may recommend specific references for citation, but shall not require to cite papers published in AJST or their own papers unless it is justified.
The reviewers are expected to improve the quality of the manuscript through their suggestions. If they recommend correction of the manuscript prior to publication, they are obliged to specify the manner in which this can be achieved.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Reviewers must not use unpublished materials disclosed in submitted manuscripts without the express written consent of the authors.
3. Ethical publishing
3.1 Dealing with unethical behaviour
Anyone may inform the Editor-in-Chief / Editorial Board at any time of suspected unethical behaviour or any misconduct by giving the necessary credible information/evidence to start an investigation.
- Editor-in-Chief decides the initiation of an investigation.
- During an investigation, any evidence should be treated as confidential and only made available to those strictly involved in the process.
- The accused will always be given a chance to respond to any charges made against them.
- If it is judged at the end of the investigation that misconduct has occurred, then it will be classified as either minor or serious.
Minor misconduct (with no influence on the integrity of the paper and the journal, for example, when it comes to misunderstanding or wrong application of publishing standards) will be dealt directly with authors and reviewers without involving any other parties. Outcomes include:
- Sending a warning letter to authors and/or reviewers.
- Publishing correction of a paper, e.g. when sources properly quoted in the text are omitted from the reference list.
- Publishing an erratum, e.g. if the error was made by editorial staff.
In the case of major misconduct, the Editor-in-Chief / Editorial Board may adopt different measures:
- Publication of a formal announcement or editorial describing the misconduct.
- Informing officially the author's/reviewer's affiliating institution.
- The formally announced retraction of publications from the journal in accordance with the Retraction Policy.
- A ban on submissions from an individual for a defined period.
- Referring a case to a professional organization or legal authority for further investigation and action.
The above actions may be taken separately or jointly. If necessary, in the process of resolving the case, relevant expert organizations, bodies, or individuals may be consulted. When dealing with unethical behaviour, the Editorial Board will rely on the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
3.2 Plagiarism prevention
AJST does not publish plagiarized papers. The Editorial Board has adopted the stance that plagiarism, where someone assumes another's ideas, words, or other creative expressions as one's own, is a clear violation of scientific ethics. Plagiarism may also involve a violation of copyright law, punishable by legal action.
All papers published in AJST are tested using Turnitin software. Plagiarism includes the following:
- Verbatim (word for word), or almost verbatim copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author's work without clearly indicating the source or marking the copied fragment (for example, using quotation marks) in a way described under Authors’ responsibilities;
- Copying equations, figures or tables from someone else's paper without properly citing the source and/or without permission from the original author or the copyright holder.
Any manuscript which shows obvious signs of plagiarism will be automatically rejected. In case plagiarism is discovered in a paper that has already been published by the journal, it will be retracted in accordance with the procedure described under the Retraction policy.
4. Open access
4.1. Open Access Policy
AJST is published under an Open Access license. All its content is available free of charge. Users can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search the full text of articles, as well as establish HTML links to them, without having to seek the consent of the author or publisher.
The right to use content without consent does not release the users from the obligation to give credit to the journal and its content in a manner described under Licensing.
4.2. Article processing charge
AJST does not charge authors or any third party for publication. Both manuscript submission and processing services, and article publishing services are free of charge. There are no hidden costs whatsoever.
5. Copyright & Licensing
The author retains unrestricted copyrights and all publishing rights. Authors retain the copyright of the published papers and grant to the publisher the non-exclusive right to publish the article, to be cited as its original publisher in case of reuse, and to distribute it in all forms and media.
Authors can deposit all versions of their paper in an institutional or subject repository.
- Author’s Accepted Manuscript
- Published article (Version of Record)
The journal allows the author (s) to deposit all versions of their paper in an institutional repository and non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC, arXiv and other repositories, or to publish it on author's personal website and departmental website (including social networking sites, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, etc.).
Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged, and a link must be made to the article's DOI.
The published articles will be distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. It is allowed to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and remix, transform and build upon it for any purpose, even commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given to the original author (s), a link to the license is provided, it is indicated if changes were made and the new work is distributed under the same license as the original.
Users are required to provide a full bibliographic description of the original publication (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages), as well as its DOI code. In electronic publishing, users are also required to link the content with both the original article published in AJST and the licence used.
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.
5.3. Self-archiving Policy
The journal allows the author (s) to deposit all versions of their paper in an institutional repository and non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC, arXiv and other repositories, or to publish it on the author's personal website and departmental website (including social networking sites, such as ResearchGate, Academia.edu, etc.).
Full bibliographic information (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages) about the original publication must be provided, and links must be made to the article's DOI and the license.
The views expressed in the published works do not express the views of the Editors and the Editorial Staff. The authors take legal and moral responsibility for the ideas expressed in the articles. Publisher shall have no liability in the event of issuance of any claims for damages. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.