About the Journal
Peer Review Process
All contributions, prepared according to the author guidelines and submitted via IJOCTA online submission system are evaluated according to the criteria of originality and quality of their scientific content. The corresponding author will receive a confirmation e-mail with a reference number assigned to the paper, which he/she is asked to quote in all subsequent correspondence.
All manuscripts are first checked by the Technical Editor using plagiarism detection software (iThenticate) to verify originality and ensure the quality of the written work. If the result is not satisfactory (i.e. exceeding the limit of 25% of overlapping), the submission is rejected and the author is notified.
After the plagiarism check, the manuscripts are evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief and can be rejected without reviewing if considered not of sufficient interest or novelty, too preliminary or out of the scope of the journal. If the manuscript is considered suitable for further evaluation, it is first sent to the Area Editor. Based on his/her opinion the paper is then sent to at least two independent reviewers. Each reviewer is allowed up to four weeks to return his/her feedback but this duration may be extended based on his/her availability. IJOCTA has instituted a blind peer review process where the reviewers' identities are not known to authors. When the reviews are received, the Area Editor gives a decision and lets the author know it together with the reviewer comments and any supplementary files.
Should the reviews be positive, the authors are expected to submit the revised version usually within two months the editor decision is sent (this period can be extended when the authors contact to the editor and let him/her know that they need extra time for resubmission). If a revised paper is not resubmitted within the deadline, it is considered as a new submission after all the changes requested by reviewers have been made. Authors are required to submit a new cover letter, a response to reviewers letter and the revised manuscript (which ideally shows the revisions made in a different color or highlighted). If a change in authorship (addition or removal of author) has occurred during the revision, authors are requested to clarify the reason for change, and all authors (including the removed/added ones) need to submit a written consent for the change. The revised version is evaluated by the Area editor and/or reviewers and the Editor-in-Chief brings a decision about final acceptance based on their suggestions. If necessary, further revision can be asked for to fulfil all the requirements of the reviewers.
When a manuscript is accepted for publication, an acceptance letter is sent to the corresponding author and the authors are asked to submit the source file of the manuscript conforming to the IJOCTA two-column final submission template. After that stage, changes of authors of the manuscript are not possible. The manuscript is sent to the Copyeditor and a linguistic, metrological and technical revision is made, at which stage the authors are asked to make the final corrections in no more than a week. The layout editor prepares the galleys and the authors receive the galley proof for final check before printing. The authors are expected to correct only typographical errors on the proofs and return the proofs within 48 hours. After the final check by the layout editor and the proofreader, the manuscript is assigned a DOI number, made publicly available and listed in the forthcoming journal issue. After printing the issue, the corresponding metadata and files published in this issue are sent to the databases for indexing.
Animal Behaviour has instituted a double blind peer review process (i.e., where neither the authors' nor the reviewers' identities are known to each other).
IJOCTA is published twice a year. The publication language of the journal is English.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
IJOCTA is committed to working toward a business model that:
- Allows the dissemination of peer-reviewed manuscripts containing original research or scholarship immediately upon publication, at no charge to user groups, without requiring registration or other restrictions to access.
- Requires copyright holders to allow users to "copy, use, distribute, transmit, and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship."
Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
IJOCTA is committed to ensuring ethics in publication and quality of articles. Conforming to standards of expected ethical behavior is therefore necessary for all parties (the author, the editor(s), the peer reviewer) involved in the act of publishing.
International Standards for Editors
The editors of the IJOCTA are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published considering their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. The editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editors may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision. As guardians and stewards of the research record, editors should encourage authors to strive for, and adhere themselves to, the highest standards of publication ethics. Furthermore, editors are in a unique position to indirectly foster responsible conduct of research through their policies and processes.
To achieve the maximum effect within the research community, ideally all editors should adhere to universal standards and good practices.
- Editors are accountable and should take responsibility for everything they publish.
- Editors should make fair and unbiased decisions independent from commercial consideration and ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process.
- Editors should adopt editorial policies that encourage maximum transparency and complete, honest reporting.
- Editors should guard the integrity of the published record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct.
- Editors should pursue reviewer and editorial misconduct.
- Editors should critically assess the ethical conduct of studies in humans and animals.
- Peer reviewers and authors should be told what is expected of them.
- Editors should have appropriate policies in place for handling editorial conflicts of interest.
Kleinert S & Wager E (2011). Responsible research publication: international standards for editors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 51 in: Mayer T & Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 317-28). (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7) [Link].
International Standards for Authors
Publication is the final stage of research and therefore a responsibility for all researchers. Scholarly publications are expected to provide a detailed and permanent record of research. Because publications form the basis for both new research and the application of findings, they can affect not only the research community but also, indirectly, society at large. Researchers therefore have a responsibility to ensure that their publications are honest, clear, accurate, complete and balanced, and should avoid misleading, selective or ambiguous reporting. Journal editors also have responsibilities for ensuring the integrity of the research literature and these are set out in companion guidelines.
- The research being reported should have been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and should comply with all relevant legislation.
- Researchers should present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation.
- Researchers should strive to describe their methods clearly and unambiguously so that their findings can be confirmed by others.
- Researchers should adhere to publication requirements that submitted work is original, is not plagiarised, and has not been published elsewhere.
- Authors should take collective responsibility for submitted and published work.
- The authorship of research publications should accurately reflect individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting.
- Funding sources and relevant conflicts of interest should be disclosed.
- When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal’s Editor-in-Chief and cooperate with them to either retract the paper or to publish an appropriate erratum.
Wager E & Kleinert S (2011) Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 50 in: Mayer T & Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press / World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 309-16). (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7) [Link].
Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere
Peer review in all its forms plays an important role in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. The process depends to a large extent on trust and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically. Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer-review process as the peer review assists the Editors in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communication with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript.
Peer reviewers should:
- respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal;
- not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others;
- only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess within a reasonable time-frame;
- declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant conflict;
- not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religion, political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations;
- be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments;
- acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing, in a timely manner;
- provide personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise when creating or updating journal accounts.
Homes I (2013). COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, March 2013, v1 [Link].
Preprint/Postprint use of IJOCTA content
Preprint Use of IJOCTA Content
A preprint is defined here as the un-refereed author version of an article. Authors may want to retain the right to make a preprint version of the article available on their own personal website and/or that of their employer and/or in free public servers of preprints and/or articles in their subject area, provided that where possible they acknowledge that the article has been accepted for publication as follows:
"This article has been accepted for publication in An International Journal of Optimization and Control: Theories & Applications (IJOCTA): [year], [DOI Number]. Some rights reserved."
Once the article has been published, where possible, the preprint notice should be amended to:
"This is an un-refereed author version of an article published in [include the complete citation information for the final version of the Article as published in the print edition of the Journal]."
Postprint Use of IJOCTA Content
A postprint is defined here as the final draft author manuscript, as accepted for publication by the journal, including modifications based on referees’ suggestions before it has undergone copyediting and proof correction. Authors may upload their accepted postprint manuscript PDF to an institutional and/or centrally organized repository. When uploading an accepted manuscript to a repository, authors should include a credit line (see below) and a link to the final published version of the article. This will guarantee that the definitive version is readily available to those accessing your article from public repositories, and means that your article is more likely to be cited correctly:
"This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in An International Journal of Optimization and Control: Theories & Applications (IJOCTA) following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: [insert URL that the author will receive upon publication here]."
An International Journal of Optimization and Control: Theories & Applications (IJOCTA) is generously sponsored by following organizations: