Journal DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/ajsspn
Peer-review model: Advanced OPEN peer review
Digital Archiving: Journal Repository (JR), LOCKSS, CLOCKSS
Asian Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition aims to publish high quality papers (Click here for Types of paper) in the field of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. This journal facilitates the research and wishes to publish papers as long as they are technically correct, scientifically motivated. The journal also encourages the submission of useful reports of negative results. This is a quality controlled, OPEN peer reviewed, open access INTERNATIONAL journal.
Every volume of this journal will consist of 4 issues. Every issue will consist of minimum 5 papers. Each issue will be running issue and all officially accepted manuscripts will be immediately published online. State-of-the-art running issue concept gives authors the benefit of 'Zero Waiting Time' for the officially accepted manuscripts to be published.
GENERAL EDITORIAL POLICY
1. The study has not been published (partly or as a whole) before or is not under consideration for publication elsewhere (except as an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis); We will consider manuscripts that have been deposited in preprint servers such as arXiv or published in institutional repositories. We will also consider work that has been presented at conferences (Significant amount of changes should be made before submission to the journal and proper citation of the conference paper is required). Submission of a manuscript clearly indicates that authors grant a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. The submitting author (corresponding author) is responsible for ensuring that the article's publication has been approved by all the other coauthors and after the publication of the paper author-dispute related issues will not be entertained. It is also the corresponding authors' responsibility to ensure that the articles emanating from a particular institution are submitted with the approval of the necessary institution.
2. Its publication is permitted by all authors and after accepted for publication it will not be submitted for publication anywhere else, in English or in any other language, without the written approval of the copyright holder. The journal may consider manuscripts that are translations of articles originally published in another language. In this case, the consent of the journal in which the article was originally published must be obtained and the fact that the article has already been published must be made clear on submission and stated in the abstract.
3. It is compulsory for the authors to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights or the rights of a third party.
4. The copyrights of all papers published in this journal are retained by the respective authors as per the 'Creative Commons Attribution License' (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The author(s) should be the sole author(s) of the article and should have full authority to enter into the agreement and in granting rights (if any) which are not in breach of any other obligation. The author(s) should ensure the integrity of the paper and related works. Authors should mandatorily ensure that submission of the manuscript to this journal would result in no breach of contract or of confidence or of commitment given to secrecy.
5. If a submitted study replicates or is very similar to previous work, authors must provide a sound scientific rationale for the submitted work and clearly reference and discuss the existing literature. Submissions that replicate or are derivative of existing work will likely be rejected if authors do not provide adequate justification.
6. English quality: The language in submitted articles must be clear, correct, and unambiguous. It is author's responsibility to a improve the English quality (if required) by any other third party service.
7. The research must meet all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
8. This publisher believes that no manuscript should be rejected only on the basis of ‘lack of Novelty’, provided the manuscript is sufficiently robust and technically sound. Too often a journal's decision to publish a paper is dominated by what the Editor/reviewer think is interesting and will gain greater readership — both of which are subjective judgments and lead to decisions which are frustrating and delay the publication. The journals will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound. Judgments about the importance of any particular paper are then made after publication by the readership (who are the most qualified to determine what is of interest to them).
ONLINE publication model and Reprints
We strongly encourage "ONLINE" publication model. But we also understand that "Reprints" are required by some authors. Reprints may be used to display the potential of the article at interviews, conferences, distribution to colleagues, seminars, other promotional activities, etc. Therefore, if required, reprints can be ordered here (Link). 'Reprint Charge' (RC) is separate from Article Processing Charge (APC) or Publication Charge.
Agreement for Authorship
Submission of a paper to this journal indicates that the author(s) have agreed on the content of the paper. One author should be indicated as the corresponding author for all publication related communications. All correspondence and proofs would be sent to the corresponding author, who will be treated as a final representative voice for all authors regarding any decision related to the manuscript unless otherwise requested during submission. This journal would not be responsible for any dispute related to authorship of a submitted paper. Any change in the authorship (such as addition or deletion of author(s) or change in the sequence of author list) should be intimated to the editorial office through a letter signed by all authors before publication of the paper. In absence of any signed letter, approval of 'Galley proof' by the corresponding author will work as 'certificate of final agreement of authorship'. Generally, any change in the authorship after final publication is not entertained and COPE guidelines are followed for any dispute.
Peer Review Mechanism
(Up to 6th August 2012, all journals followed strict double blindfold review policy to ensure neutral evaluation. During this review process identity of both the authors and reviewers are kept hidden to ensure an unbiased evaluation.)
Advanced OPEN peer review:
We have migrated to transparent and toughest ‘Advanced OPEN peer review’ system (Detailed general information is available in this link). High-quality manuscripts are peer-reviewed by minimum two peers in the same field. OPEN peer review system provides the provision to reveal the identities of the authors and reviewers to each other during the review process. In order to add transparency further, details of all reviewers and academic editors are published in the first page of every published paper (in the Article Information section: see example). As a final step to provide highest level transparency in the process, all review comments, authors' feedbacks, all versions of the manuscript and editorial comments are published (along with date) with the paper in 'Review History' link (See example 1, example 2, example 3, etc). This transparent process will help to eradicate any possible malicious/purposeful interference by any person (publishing staff, reviewer, editor, author, etc) during peer review. As a result of this unique system, all reviewers will get their due recognition and respect, once their names are published in the papers (Example Link). If reviewers do not want to reveal their identities, we will honour that request. In that case, only the review reports will be published as ‘anonymous reviewer report’.
Additionally ‘Advanced OPEN peer review’ greatly helps in ‘continuity and advancement of science’. We strongly believe that all the files related to peer review of a manuscript are valuable and hold an important place in the continuity and advancement of science. If publishers publish the peer review reports along with published papers, this process can result in savings of thousands of hours of future authors during experiments, manuscript preparation, etc. by minimizing the common errors after reading these previously published peer review reports. Therefore, as per our new official policy update, if the manuscript is published, all peer review reports will be available to the readers. All files (like the original manuscript, comments of the reviewers, revised manuscript, and editorial comment (if any)) related to the peer review, will be available in “Review history” link along with the published paper (Example Link).
Additionally, we believe that one of the main objectives of peer review system is ‘to improve the quality of a candidate manuscript’. Normally we try to publish the ‘average marks (out of 10)’ a manuscript received at initial peer review stage and at final publication stage to record its history of improvement during peer review. This process further increases the transparency. It is more important to record honestly the ‘strength and weakness of a manuscript’ than claiming that 'our peer review system is perfect’. Therefore, these transparent processes (i.e. publication of review history files and scores of a particular manuscript) additionally give a clear idea of the strength and weakness of a published paper to the readers, which enhances the chances of proper use of the result of a research (and or reduces the chances of misuse of the weakness of the findings of the paper). Thus this transparent process may prove to be highly beneficial for the society in long run.
We strongly discourage any attempt by the authors to contact the reviewer directly to influence the review process. We also strongly discourage any attempt by the reviewers to contact the authors directly. General guidelines for Peer-review Process are available below.
It is a prerequisite to submit, with the manuscript, the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of 4 potential reviewers (When suggesting peer reviewers, please follow these guidelines to avoid any probable conflict of interest. Suggested reviewers should not: i) be from the same department or division as one of the authors (the same university, state, country should also be avoided); ii) have been a research guide or student of one of the authors within the past 10 years; iii) have collaborated with one of the authors within the past 10 years; iv) be employees of non-academic organizations with which one of the authors has collaborated within the past 10 years). It is the sole right of the editorial team to decide whether suggested reviewers to be used or not.
Reviewer selection is a critical parameter to maintain the high peer review standard of any journal. Many factors are considered during peer reviewer selection like: proof of expertise in terms of published papers in the same area in reputed journals, affiliation, and reputation, specific suggestion, etc. We try to avoid reviewers who are slow, careless or do not provide sufficient justification for their decision (positive or negative). Authors can also identify peers that they want not to review their paper. As far as possible, the editorial team respects requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest.
The main force behind our fast, efficient and quality Peer review system is the tremendous hard work of our Peer Reviewers & Editors. We are extremely grateful to the peer reviewers and editors for their great service.A combined list of contributing Peer Reviewers for all journals is published on our official website. From 2012 we have migrated to OPEN peer review system and after the migration, we have stopped updating this list.
Review process flow
The reviewers’ comments are generally sent to authors within 3 weeks after submission. With the help of the reviewers’ comments, FINAL decision (accepted or accepted with minor revision or accepted with major revision or rejected) will be sent to the corresponding author. Reviewers are asked if they would like to review a revised version of the manuscript. The editorial office may request a re-review regardless of a reviewer's response in order to ensure a thorough and fair evaluation. Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the FINAL decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered and their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree, and it is the job of the editorial team to make a FINAL decision.
Authors are encouraged to submit the revised manuscript within 7-15 days of receipt of reviewer’s comment (in case of minor corrections). But at any case, the revised manuscript submission should not go beyond 8 weeks (only for the cases of major revision which involves additional experiment, analysis etc.), in order to maintain this journal’s mission of the fast publication. Along with corrected manuscript authors need to submit filled ‘review comment form’, any rebuttal to any point raised by reviewers. The Editor of the journal will have exclusive power to take the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of a manuscript during peer review process.
One of the main policies of this journal is ‘fast spreading of scientific findings’ by publishing suitable manuscripts within 6 weeks after submission (except some abnormal cases). Under special circumstance, if the review process takes more time, author(s) will be informed accordingly. The editorial board or referees may re-review manuscripts that are accepted pending revision. Manuscripts with latest and significant findings will be handled with the highest priority so that it could be published within a very short time. The journal is determined to promote integrity in research publication. In case of any suspected misconduct, journal management will reserve the right to re-review any manuscript at any stages before final publication.
General guidelines for Peer Review Process
• This journal strongly opposes the practice of duplicate publication or any type of plagiarism. If you suspect any unethical practice in this manuscript, kindly write it in the report with some proof/web links.
• Studies which are carried out to reconfirm / replicate the results of any previously published paper with new data-set, may be considered for publication. But these types of studies should have a ‘clear declaration’ of this matter.
• This publisher believes that no manuscript should be rejected only on the basis of ‘lack of Novelty’, provided the manuscript is sufficiently robust and technically sound. Too often a journal's decision to publish a paper is dominated by what the Editor/reviewer think is interesting and will gain greater readership — both of which are subjective judgments and lead to decisions which are frustrating and delay the publication. The journals will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound. Judgments about the importance of any particular paper are then made after publication by the readership (who are the most qualified to determine what is of interest to them).
• Materials & methods (Kindly comment on the suitability and technical standards of the methods. Sufficient details of the methods/process should be provided so that another researcher is able to reproduce the experiments described)
• Results & discussion (Kindly comment on: 1. Are the data well controlled and robust? 2. Authors should provide relevant and current references during discussion. 3. Discussion and conclusions should be based on actual facts and figures. Biased claims should be pointed out. 4. Are statistical analyses must for this paper? If yes, have sufficient and appropriate statistical analyses been carried out?)
• Conclusion (Is the conclusion supported by the data, discussed inside the manuscript? Conclusions should not be biased and should be based on the data, presented inside the manuscript only. Authors should provide adequate proof for their claims without overselling them)
• Are all the references cited relevant and adequate? Are there any other suitable current references authors need to cite?
• This publisher believes in constructive criticism. Reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language (Unnecessarily harsh words may be modified or removed at the editors' discretion). It is expected that the reviewers should suggest the authors on how they can strengthen their paper to make it acceptable. Comments of the reviewers should be sufficiently informative and helpful to reach a Editorial Decision. We strongly advise that a negative review should also explain the weaknesses of any manuscript, so that the concerned authors can understand the basis of rejection and he/she can improve the manuscript based on those comments. Authors also should not confuse straightforward and true comments with unfair criticism.
• We are very much reluctant to go against suggestions (particularly on technical areas) of the reviewers. Therefore, authors are requested to treat the suggestions of reviewers with utmost importance.
• Appeal: Rejected papers are given the opportunity for a formal appeal. Appeal requests should be made in writing, not by telephone, and should be addressed to [email protected] with the word "appeal" in the subject line. If an author remains unsatisfied, he or she can write to the Editorial Office, citing the manuscript reference number. In all these cases, it is likely that some time will elapse before journal can respond, and the paper must not be submitted for publication elsewhere during this time. Authors should provide detailed reasons for the appeal and point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Academic Editor's comments. Authors should also be aware that priority is given to new submissions to the journal and so the processing of the appeal may well take longer than the processing of the original submission. If an appeal is rejected, further appeals of the decision will not be considered and the paper may not be resubmitted.
Post-publication peer review:
1. Journal Web sites provide the ability for users to comment on articles to facilitate community evaluation and discourse around published articles. The comment section is mainly dedicated to promote "Post-publication peer review". Therefore, all journals strictly follow 'pre-publication OPEN peer review' and strongly encourage "Post-publication peer review". As a result of this "Post-publication peer review", if authors agree and or journal Editors agree (and or journal agrees) that any correction is necessary, then it will be published FREE of cost by following Correction and retraction policy (http://www.journalajsspn.com/index.php/AJSSPN/correction-and-retraction-policy).
2. Users, who want to comment, are encouraged to register on website. But if anybody doesn’t want to register, we'll respect the decision. In order to honour 'free flow of thoughts' unregistered user are also welcome to comment. Social login is also encouraged.
3. At the end of every comment, the user must identify himself/herself by providing the following information 1. Full Name 2. Name of the Department, University, institute, etc. (This two information will be displayed publicly). We don't like 'anonymous' comments. Comments with 'forged identity' will be deleted.
Note: Users must see and agree to our complete Comment Policy
This journal strongly opposes the practice of duplicate publication or any type of plagiarism.
This journal aims to publish original high-quality research work. Submission of a manuscript to this journal indicates that the study has not been published anywhere or not been submitted elsewhere for publication. If author(s) are using any part of a published paper (in English or any other language), they should give a proper reference or in any case, if required they should get permission from the previous publisher or copyright holder (whichever is suitable).
Plagiarized manuscripts would not be considered for publication. If plagiarism is found in any published paper after an internal investigation, a letter would be immediately sent to all the authors, their affiliated institutes and funding agency, if applied and subsequently the paper will be retracted.
Plagiarism policy of this journal is mainly inspired by the plagiarism policy of The Nature. Plagiarism policy of this journal is described below:
1. Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own. This journal also adopted IEEE definition of plagiarism to deal such cases. It defines plagiarism as "the reuse of someone else’s prior ideas, processes, results, or words without explicitly acknowledging the original author and source.”
2. Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in this journal. Papers with confirmed plagiarisms are rejected immediately.
3. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper.
4. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to 'salami-slicing', where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper. Self-plagiarism, also referred to as ‘text recycling’, is a topical issue and is currently generating much discussion among editors. Opinions are divided as to how much text overlap with an author’s own previous publications is acceptable. We normally follow the guidelines given in COPE website. Editors, reviewers, and authors are also requested to strictly follow this excellent guideline (Reference: Text Recycling Guidelines: http://publicationethics.org/text-recycling-guidelines).
5. In case of 'suspected minor plagiarism', authors are contacted for clarification. Depending on all these reports, reviewers and editors decide final fate of the manuscript. If the manuscript is finally accepted and published, then to maintain transparency, all these reports are published in 'publication history' of the paper by following Advanced OPEN peer review system. The journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.
6. Use of the automated software is helpful to detect the 'copy-paste' problem. All submitted manuscripts are checked by the help of different databases, eTBLAST, Plagiarism Detection tools, etc. At the same time scientific implication of the case ('suspected minor plagiarism'), also judged by reviewers and editors. Plagiarism Detection tools are useful, but they should be used in tandem with human judgment and discretion for the final conclusion. Therefore, suspected cases of plagiarisms are judged by editors on 'case-to-case basis'.
7. Editors have the final decision power for these cases.
Some useful information is available at the following links:
6. The Complete Guide to Referencing & Avoiding Plagiarism
7. CrossCheck Plagiarism Screening: What’s the Magic Number?
Correction and retraction policy
To know about this journal correction and retraction policy, click here.
To know about this journal representative guideline for authorship dispute, kindly click here.
This journal is determined to promote integrity in research publication. We have great respect and we generally follow the guidelines, given by COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION ETHICS (COPE) for any publication disputes, authorship disputes, etc. For these kinds of disputes, we generally visit and follow the COPE website and author(s) are also requested to do so. Excellent guidelines, related to COPE’s Code of Conduct and its advice to tackle cases of suspected misconduct, are available in this link (http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). All the materials available in COPE website are the copyright of COPE.
Portability of Peer-review
In order to support efficient and thorough peer review, this journal aims to reduce the number of times a manuscript is reviewed after rejection from any journal, thereby speeding up the publication process and reducing the burden on peer reviewers. Request from the author for 'transfer of manuscript' from one journal to another journal, also may be accommodated under this policy. Under the above-mentioned cases, by following 'portability of peer-review' policy, publisher will pass the review comments of a particular manuscript to the editor of another journal at the authors' request. We will reveal the reviewers' names to the handling editor for editorial purposes unless reviewers let us know when they return their report that they do not wish us to share their report with another published journal and/or that they do not wish to participate further in the peer review of this manuscript.
Special note for authors:
As a part of restructuring all journals, we are closing all the manuscripts, where manuscripts are pending dormant for more than 4 weeks after the final acceptance mail. Due to the restructuring of our editorial policy and regulations, we have closed all the files of these types of manuscripts. Files of these types of manuscripts can be kept alive if authors agree for a fresh round of peer review by at least two peer reviewers or re-approved by the present editorial board.
For any queries, authors are requested to contact by mail ([email protected]).