Ethical Guidelines

Papers in Physics requires that all participants of the publishing process (authors, reviewers and editors) adhere to high ethical standards. Whenever the guidelines given below are presumed to be breached, the managing editors of Papers in Physics will follow the actions recommended by the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE


  • Authors must ensure that a manuscript submitted to Papers in Physics must not be previously published, nor be under consideration in any other journal, nor be submitted to any other journal while it is under consideration in Papers in Physics. Notice that preprints made available online are not considered a publication.
  • All worker who has contributed significantly to the research reported in a manuscript should be given the opportunity be listed as a co-author. Individuals that have made no contribution to the work reported should not be listed as authors. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all co-authors had the opportunity to revise the manuscript, had agreed to its submission to Papers in Physics and had accepted responsibility for the work reported. The corresponding author has to state the contribution made by each co-author in her/his submission letter. Any change in authorship after initial submission must be approved by all initial authors. 
  • Following publication, the original data of the research should be preserved by the authors for a reasonable time in case of colleagues require them (with exception of sensible data that may lead to patents or may compromise privacy). Fabrication or manipulation of data with the intention of misleading is unacceptable.  Plagiarism (copying from others without due attribution), text recycling (significant self copying from the author's previous publications) and the stealing of data constitute misconduct. 
  • Authors must not breach any copyright. When reproducing figures, significant portions of text and/or schemes from previous publications, it is the authors' responsibility to seek appropriate permission from the relevant publishers. If copyleft policies apply to the copied material, the due recognition has to be given by citing the previous work (irrespective if the work is from the same authors or not). Re-publication of a paper previously published in another language is not acceptable in Papers in Physics.
  • Authors must declare all sources of funding for the work in the manuscript, and also to declare any conflict of interest.
  • Any unusual hazards inherent in the use of chemicals, procedures or equipment in the investigation has to be stated in the manuscript. If the work involves animals or humans, the manuscript has to include a statement indicating that all experiments were done in compliance with the local laws and by-laws.
  • Authors must include a set of references to put the work in context, to indicate the sources consulted and to credit previous workers. This is crucial for the readers to connect the work with related pieces of research.


  • Reviewers must treat the assigned manuscript as confidential. In the case that a reviewer wishes to seek opinion from a colleague, approval from the editor in charge of the manuscript has to be obtained in advance and the name of the person to be consulted informed.
  • After invitation, a reviewer has to inform with no delay if she/he is unable to do the review timely or unqualified and respect the confidentiality of the invitation and the manuscript itself.
  • The reviewer must inform the editor in charge if any conflict of interest exist or can be foreseen. Reviewers must not accept to review manuscripts of close collaborators or persons with who close personal or professional relations may bias her/his opinions.
  • Reviewers must not take advantage of the data reported in a manuscript while it is under review or if the manuscript is not published.
  • Reviewers are expected to give an objective justified report written in a respectful style in a timely manner. Foreseen delays have to be informed to the editor in charge of the manuscript.
  • A reviewer has to inform the editor in charge of the manuscript if: (i) there is a suspicion of plagiarism, (ii) there are indications of fabricated or manipulated data, (iii) there seem to exist an unusual text recycling (copy from the author's previous work).
  • Under Open Review, if the manuscript is technically sound, it is the author's decision to publish or not the manuscript. If the reviewer has strong criticisms regarding the importance of the paper, her/his report should be an honest preview of how her/his eventual published Commentary would be if the manuscript is published.
  • If an Open Review scheme is used for the paper, the reviewer may be invited by the editor to publish a Commentary if the manuscript is published. Reviewers must address all issues unresolved during the exchange with the authors and no new issues shall be raised in the Commentary. If new important points come across at this stage, the reviewer has to inform the editor in charge.


  • The managing editors must oversee all aspects of the publication process of the journal and compliance with the ethical guidelines.
  • The editor in charge of a manuscript must ensure the confidential, efficient, fair and timely review of the manuscripts assigned the her/him.
  • The editor in charge of a manuscript is responsible for making the final decision on acceptance or rejection. Under Traditional Review this implies an objective judgment of the importance, originality and scientifically soundness of the paper. If the Open Review scheme is followed, the editor in charge must leave the decision to publish or not to the authors only if the paper is believed to be original and scientifically sound.
  • The editor in charge of a manuscript has to avoid any conflict of interest. This may imply separating reviewers. Editors are expected to submit their own manuscript under Open Review and these shall be edited by another member of the Editorial Board.  
  • Editors must not take advantage of the data and/or concepts reported in a manuscript while it is under review or if the manuscript is not published.
  • Editors must honor any request by an author that a particular colleague should not be consulted as a reviewer.
  • Editors must preserve the identities of reviewers in Traditional Review. In Open Review, if a paper is declined due to serious flaw detected by the reviewer, the identity of the reviewer must be also preserved.
  • Editors must act on suspicion of misconduct and consult the authors to resolve any issue prior to publication.
  • If evidences suggest a published manuscript is erroneous, the editors must act in consultation with the author to amend the scientific record. This may require a formal retraction or erratum.
  • Editors must treat fairly any author's request for reconsideration of a rejected manuscript.

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