Publication ethics

Ethical oversight
Papers will be immediately rejected (before or after publication) if:
(i) any form of plagiarism is detected;
(ii) it is clear that there was an intention to manipulate or invent data to achieve the expected results;
(iii) it is clear that they result from changes to an article already published;
(iv) they have been submitted elsewhere in the same time interval.

The journal recognizes the diversity and equal opportunities of people and recommends the use of inclusive language in papers.

The research described in papers must be conducted according to the orientations of Ethics Committee of the University of Porto ( in what concerns research using human subjects, confidential data, and ethical business/marketing practices.

Complaints and appeals
Complaints against the journal or its editorial board should be addressed to the Ethics Committee of the University of Porto ( The Committee ensures that the identity of the whistle-blower and third parties mentioned in the report always remain confidential and are only accessible to those responsible for receiving or following up a complaint.
Complaints about publications are confidentially investigated by the editor as soon as possible, according to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines.
Submissions that fall out of the scope of the journal can be rejected by the editorial board without external review. In these cases, the decision of rejection is not eligible for formal appeal.
The decision to reject a submission grounded on external reviewers can be subject to appeal. In this case, the author must provide the editorial board with a blow-by-blow response to reviewer’s evaluations. The editor will review the peer review process, to check if all process is according to editorial criteria, in which case the rejection is confirmed.

Conflicts of interest
When submitting a paper, authors must declare any possible financial or non-financial conflicts of interest or include a statement in the manuscript confirming the nonexistence of such conflicts. The editorial board may reject the paper submission without peer review grounded on this information.
When receiving a paper to evaluate, reviewers must declare any possible financial or non-financial conflict of interest.

Data and reproducibility
Authors should give access to the necessary information on relevant (raw) data and procedures and protocols, so one can reproduce and/or replicate the research described in the paper.

Post-publication discussions and corrections
The journal encourages post-publication discussions by submitting a letter to the editor. According to COPE guidelines, post-publication corrections, revisions or retractions will be published alongside the original article in the web version. All versions will be permanently available and linked to the same DOI.

Allegations of misconduct
Allegations of misconduct before or after publication will be handled by the director of the journal, after consultation with the Ethics Committee of the University of Porto (, and according to the University practices, including allegations from whistle-blowers.