Publication Ethics Policy and Malpractice Statement

The Journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” considers publication ethics a significant issue in the editorial and publication policy. The Editorial Board, the Editorial office and External Reviewers adhere the publishing ethics principles and world-recognised high standards of scholarly publishing. In our Code of Conduct we use the recommendations provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics. Being a publisher, we use such guidelines as Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing and Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

1. Web-site

The scientific journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” has a website where the whole necessary information about the journal is provided according to the ethical and professional standards.

The web-site describes in detail all the elements of the editorial and publication policy, presents instructions for authors, members of the Editorial Board, and External Reviewers, describes in detail the submission procedure for manuscripts’ consideration, the cost of publication and the system of discounts, contains information about the owners and publishers of the journal, the editorial team, presents the contacts of the Editorial office, full data on members of the Editorial Board and External Reviewers, indexing databases and aggregators of content, indicates software products with which manuscripts are checked for signs of plagiarism, regularly updated news, information on partnerships and cooperation, and services provided.

All issues of the journal are open access on the website since its inception. The page of each article contains information about the authors, an abstract of the article and a list of references, dates of receipt of the manuscript, its acceptance and publication, a counter of downloads and views of the article from the site. A reader can download the full text of the article without any restrictions from the article page on the journal’s website.

The journal’s website has English and Ukrainian versions.

The site contains buttons for quick and convenient contact with the Editors-in-Chief and the Editorial Team, as well as online payment.

The Editorial Office of the journal regularly takes all the necessary measures for the constant operation of the site, ensuring cyber security and saving data.

In the “Aims and Scope” tab on the website, the key areas of research, the results of which can be published in the journal, the target audience, subject areas and categories, as well as their classifications, and other important information are clearly defined (see below).

Print and electronic ISSNs of the “Business Ethics and Leadership” journal is displayed on website (ISSN – 2520-6761 (print); ISSN – 2520-6311 (online)).

2. Title of journal

The journal Business Ethics and Leadership has a unique title. It cannot be confused with other journals. This info is clearly stated at the website of “Business Ethics and Leadership” journal.

3. Peer-review process

The journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” supports the double-blind peer review model. Manuscripts are reviewed by members of the Editorial Board (the list and detailed information about them are presented at the link), as well as External Reviewers (the list of which is also presented on the website at the link).

Reviewers are chosen according to their research interests which must correspond to the article’s theme. Referee reports are sent to the authors and contain the reviewers’ opinions on the acceptance/rejection/revision of the manuscript and recommendations to the authors. The journal’s website describes the review process and its stages, possible reasons for rejecting an article (Peer review process), and detailed explanations of the principles of reviewers’ work and recommendations for their actions in various cases (Guidelines for Reviewers).

4. Journal ownership and management

Sumy State University (Ukraine) and Academic Research and Publishing UG (i. G.) (Germany) are Co-Founders of “Business Ethics and Leadership Journal”. Academic Research and Publishing UG (i. G.) is a Publisher of “Business Ethics and Leadership Journal”.

5. Governing body

Journal editors and publishers (founders) cooperate and distribute duties and responsibilities in accordance with the publication policy of the journal.

For coordination of all managing processes of the journal “Business Ethics and Leadership”, the Council of Co-founders has been formed. It consists of six authorized representatives of co-founders of the journal (three from each of the co-founders). Its staff is listed on the website of the journal.

Co-founders Council approves the editorial policy of the journal; listens to the reports of the Editors-in-Chief regarding the journal activities and implementation of program goals and makes decisions on these issues; decides about the publication of the journal or changes in the staff of the co-founders; makes changes to the Editors-in-Chief of the journal, considers other organizational issues related to the management of the journal’s activities. Co-founders make decisions by open voting by most of the members of the Council participating in the meeting.

According to the key principles of WAME, owners (publishers) have the right to hire and fire the editors and members of the Editorial Board but only for substantial reasons, particularly, making unreasonable decisions, violating the journal’s editorial policy or personal conduct (e.g., criminal acts, ethical violations, dishonest fulfilment of duties) that is inconsistent with trust.

The main provisions of the journal’s Editorial Independence can be found on the website.

Editors-in-Chief, Section Editors, members of the Editorial Board, External Invited Reviewers, and the Editorial Office of the journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” are involved in the journal’s activities. Members of the Editorial Board and External Reviewers are specialists in fields corresponding to the aims and scope of the journal. All members perform their functions and adhere to standards of publication ethics. The lists of Editorial Board and External Reviewers are constantly reviewed. The full names, affiliations, research interests, links to the scientific profiles of the members of Editorial Board and External Reviewers are represented on the journal’s website. Responsibilities of Editors-in-Chief, Section Editors, members of the Editorial Board, Managing Editors, Technical Editors, as well as a button for quick and convenient contact with the Editors-in-Chief can be found on website: Guidelines for Editors and Guidelines for Reviewers

6. Editorial team/contact information

The full names and affiliations of the members of Editorial Board are shown on the journal’s website as well as contact information for the Editorial Office. Full names and affiliations of members of the Editorial Board of the journal, as well as Editors-in-Chief, Managing Editors, Technical Editors, Proof-readers, Graphic Designers, Web manager, are indicated on the website of the journal.

The journal’s website also provides complete contact information of the Editorial Office (address, phone, fax, e-mail). This link also has a button for quick contact with the journal editors.

The website presents information about the “ARMG Publishing” as an interinstitutional center of Sumy State University, which is responsible for the publication of the journal by one of the co-founders – Sumy State University.

7. Copyright and licensing

The policy for copyright is clearly described at the website of the journal. All papers have an open access Creative Commons CC BY license. It permits using, distributing, and reproducing of the article in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The CC BY license permits commercial and non-commercial reusing. If the authors used the previously published information (text, figures, tables, etc.) they should receive the permission for its using and republishing, as well as put the correct link to the original source. It should be done before submitting the paper.

“Business Ethics and Leadership” is an open access journal. Detailed information about the journal’s policy in this direction is provided on the journal’s website in the tab Open access statement and reference metadata.

All citation data in articles are active and real, separated, structured and open (according to licenses Creative Commons). Authors should avoid using any form of citation manipulation in accordance with the guidelines COPE Guidelines on Citation manipulation.

All articles have DOIs (digital object identifiers) that contain all associated metadata and articles URL.

8. Article processing charge

There is an article processing charge, paid by the author when the article is accepted for publication after peer review (“Business Ethics and Leadership” Journal does not charge fees for submitting or reviewing articles). It covers the costs of editing the manuscript text, figures and tables, text formatting, administration of the review process, archiving of articles, site administration (posting of articles on the site, its maintenance and support), promoting of the journal and articles (distribution of journal content, maintenance of indexing services, etc.) and customer support. The potential authors can find all information about author payments on the website at the Article processing charge and discounts before submitting their manuscripts for review or before they begin preparing their manuscript for submission.

The article processing charge of 50 EUR is paid by the authors after its acceptance for publication. Payment does not depend on the size of the article.

Payment for the article publication can be made through the online payment system.

The journal provides discounts for authors from low- and middle-income countries (20% and 10%, respectively). Authors from developing countries, countries with military conflicts, as well as authors who do not have the financial means to pay the article processing charge may be exempted from payment. In addition, the journal provides an opportunity for Ukrainian scientists to receive grants for publication. Detailed information about these possibilities is available on the journal’s website under the links Article processing charge and discounts and APC for Developing Countries.

The Journal of “Business Ethics and Leadership” adheres to the Fair Open Access Alliance recommendations for providing a transparent fee structure in accordance with Principle 5 Plan S.

9. Identifying research misconduct and handling allegations of research misconduct

The Editorial Board urges all authors who intend to submit a manuscript to the journal “Business Ethics and Leadership”, to adhere to the principles of scientific transparency, honesty, thoroughness and excellence in research, respect for co-authors or research participants, etc.

The Editorial Board of the journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” adheres to ethical standards in the publishing and scientific spheres, as well as the COPE principles. Before sending for review, all articles are checked for originality and the presence of borrowings (plagiarism).


Plagiarism is the appropriation of ideas, scientific results or fragments of the text of other studies without proper reference to the original source. Self-plagiarism – or repeated publication by the author of the same scientific results under different names and/or in different journals. Manuscripts should not contain plagiarism. The Editorial Board will reject manuscripts if they contain any form of plagiarism – deliberate and/or careless plagiarism. Self-plagiarism is also unacceptable. The presence of plagiarism in an article indicates unethical and unprofessional behavior of the author(s) and may undermine the reputation of the author(s) and the journal.

According to the journal’s policy, articles that contain only the authors’ ideas and the results of their research are accepted for consideration. The Journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” uses and iThenticate to check articles for originality and plagiarism.

The Editorial Board will reject manuscripts if they contain any form of plagiarism:

  • direct;
  • copying;
  • self-plagiarism (recirculation);
  • mosaic (patchwriting);
  • accidental;
  • remix;
  • hybrid;
  • mashup;
  • links to non-existent sources;
  • aggregator;
  • re-Tweet.

The journal’s website at the link Plagiarism Statement contains detailed information on the types and forms of plagiarism (literal, substantial, paraphrasing), as well as sanctions for researchers who have committed violations of the policy of borrowings (plagiarism).

Other types of research misconduct

In addition to plagiarism, there are many cases in which the action is recognized as research misconduct:

  • manipulation of authorship or contempt for the other researchers’ role in publications;
  • submission or publication of the same research in two journals both at the same time and with a difference of several years;
  • redundant publication (known as “salami publishing”);
  • manipulation of citations;
  • falsification of data;
  • fabrication of data;
  • reprinting significant portions of early publications, including translations, without proper acknowledgment or citation of the original work;
  • concealment (silencing) of research results;
  • enabling sponsors to compromise the independence of the research process or the reporting of results to formulate or disseminate a biased view of the research;
  • unjustified expansion of the research bibliography;
  • maliciously accusing the researcher of committing a misdemeanor (crime) or other violations;
  • distortion of scientific achievements;
  • exaggeration of the practical significance of the results;
  • delaying or unnecessarily complicating the work of other researchers (sabotage);
  • abuse of official position to encourage the research integrity violation;
  • ignoring alleged violations of research integrity by other persons, or covering up a misdemeanor (crime) or other violations by institutions;
  • creating or supporting journals that neglect research quality control (“predatory journals”).

Detailed information on the content of these types of research violations is provided on the journal’s website under the link Research misconduct policies.

Procedure for handling allegations of research misconduct

If ethical violations are detected in submitting, reviewing, or publishing of the manuscript, the Editorial Board applies the following procedure:

  • Informing all authors and/or reviewers about the revealed facts of research violations, non-compliance with publication ethics and misconduct.
  • Publication of an official notice with a detailed description of misconduct on the journal’s website.
  • Termination of consideration and review of the manuscript (if it has not yet been published) or retraction of the article (if unethical behavior has been already found after publication of the article).
  • If the revealed facts of ethical violations on the part of the authors are significant, the Editorial Board reserves the right to inform about it the organizations where the authors work, the institutions that funded the research, or other research authorities.

The following sanctions may be applied in case of violation of the Research misconduct policy during research: 1) immediate rejection of the manuscript and other subsequent manuscripts submitted by the author(s) to the journal, the founder and/or co-founder of which is Sumy State University; 2) ban on submission of manuscripts for 1–2 years; 3) a ban on holding the position of editor and performing the duties of a reviewer of the journal, the founder and/or co-founder of which is Sumy State University.

The above information is available on the journal’s web page under the link Research misconduct policies.

10. Publication Ethics

The journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” adheres to the ethical principles of COPE. They are based on mutual trust of all participants in the publishing process. The publication ethics policy is described in detail on the journal’s website:

  1. Authorship and contributorship. According to the Publishing policy of the journal Business Ethics and Leadership and following the COPE principles, an author (the co-author) of the manuscript is a person who either owns an idea or develops and implements research through the dissemination of intellectual and creative works. When defining authors and authorship, Authorship and Authorship Responsibilities proposed by the Council of Science Editors (CSE) and Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors, determined by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) are taken into account. On the journal’s website, under the Authorship and contributorship link, the authorship criteria are defined in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Recommendations (ICMJE Recommendations 2019). Moreover, ways of identifying other persons in the article (except the authors) who participated in its preparation, the rights and obligations of the corresponding author, approaches to determining the author’s contribution and specification of the authors’ roles in accordance with the principles and recommendations of СОРЕ and CRediT – Contributor Roles Taxonomy are demonstrated.
  2. Ways for considering complaints and appeals. The types of complaints and appeals accepted by the Editorial Board are described in detail on the journal’s website under the Complaints policy link. The detailed procedure for considering complaints is defined (in the form of a block diagram according to COPE, see here), contacts for submitting complaints and appeals are provided. The Editorial Board of the Business Ethics and Leadership journal promptly responds to complaints. A confirmation letter is sent to the complainant, which confirms the fact of receiving the complaint and determines the deadline (no more than 7 days), during which the Editorial Board undertakes to review the complaint on the merits and notify the complainant. If the Editorial Office receives any complaints about submitted or printed manuscripts, the Editorial Board must take appropriate and reasonable measures to objectively consider these complaints on the merits and resolve the problem, if the fact of ethical violations is confirmed. During the complaint review process, the author should be given the right to respond to any allegations and provide own comments on the merits of the complaint.
  3. Conflicts of interests. Cases in which conflicts of interest may arise are described in detail on the journal’s website under the link Conflicts of interest. Each group of participants in the publication process (authors, members of the Editorial Board, Editors and Reviewers) are provided with a set of actions in detail to avoid a conflict of interest, report it in a timely manner, and resolve it. The content and methods of submitting a conflict-of-interest statementand and the a statement of Information Disclosure are also defined. The content of interests that must be disclosed by all participants in the publication process and that may lead to a conflicts of interest is described in detail: financial interests (direct or indirect), personal relationships and beliefs, academic competitions, unpaid positions of authors, membership in professional organizations, political or religious preferences , institutional affiliation, etc.
  4. Reproducibility and robustness. The Journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” urges researchers to be transparent about the data used and the methodology of their research, which in turn will ensure the reproducibility of experiments in the future. When publishing articles in the BEL journal, authors must attach all open data with a complete and accurate description of the experiment (source data, methods and results). It is unethical and unacceptable for authors to distort data or use unverified information. Authors are obliged to test their models and methods of obtaining results, which should be appropriately explained and provided in the article. Detailed information on the policy of the journal in the direction of ensuring reproducibility and robustness of data is available on the journal’s website under the Reproducibility and robustness link.
  5. Ethical oversight. The journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” relies on the definition of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on the ethical oversight, namely: “Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and business/marketing practices”. ( Detailed information about the journal’s policy on ethical oversight is available on the website under the Ethical oversight link. When reporting about experiments on human, authors (co-authors) must indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Human Experimentation Committees (institutional and national) and the WMA Declaration of Helsinki, with all current amendments and additions. When reporting about experiments on animal, authors (co-authors) should indicate whether institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
  6. Intellectual property. The Editorial Board of the journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” takes very seriously the problems of copyright infringement, scientific ethics, plagiarism or other violations of best publishing practices and is focused on protecting the authors’ rights. Authors (co-authors) guarantee that their manuscript is original, does not infringe intellectual property rights, and has not been previously published or submitted to other journals for publication. All articles published in “Business Ethics and Leadership” journal are copyrighted by the author(s) of the article. All articles are licensed under Creative Commons CC BY. If the authors used previously published information (text, figures, tables, etc.) and this material does not have a copyright or is in the public domain, additional permission for its re-publication is not required. There is a list of cases when it is unnecessary to obtain permission to use the information on the journal’s website under the link Copyright and Licensing. If previously published information has a copyright, permission must be obtained from the journal where this information was published for the first time, for its re-publication. The link Copyright and Licensing describes in detail on the journal’s website cases when such permission must be obtained, as well as the way how the fact of obtaining permission to publish relevant information should be confirmed.
  7. Retraction and correction after publication. The policy of making corrections, additions to already published articles, publication of statements about the removal of articles, as well as notifications by the editor to readers about the investigation of certain issues regarding the published article by the journal and statements by editors warning readers about serious concerns about the publication integrity are demonstrated on the journal website, under the link Correction policy. On the journal’s website, the Retractions link outlines the journal’s policy for retracting a publication, i.e., notifying readers that an article contains invalid results. It is based on COPE instructions (COPE Council. COPE Guidelines: Retraction Guidelines.) and recommendations of the European Association of Scientific Editors. Retractions are made when there is clear evidence that the results of the study are erroneous and unreliable, due to unethical behavior, intentional or unintentional error. It is clearly defined on whose initiative and in what cases the article can be retracted, the content of the Article retraction notification, and a link to the form to be filled out by the initiator of the article retraction.
  8. Inclusive language. “Business Ethics and Leadership” journal encourages the authors to use an inclusive language of the material presentation, thereby recognizing the diversity, individual differences and equal opportunities of people, showing respect for each individual. The language of the manuscript should not contain signs of age, racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, physical or other discrimination.

11. Publishing schedule

“Business Ethics and Leadership” journal is published quarterly (March, June, September, December) since 2017. The publishing schedule is indicated on the main page of the journal website.

12. Access

The journal “Business Ethics and Leadership” is open access. The Editorial Board adheres to the principles of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002, which defines “open access” as free access to article content on the Internet that allows any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or refer to the full texts of articles, scan them for indexing, transmit them as data to software, or use them for any other legitimate purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from accessing the Internet itself. The only restriction on reproduction and distribution, and the only role of copyright in this area, is to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to proper recognition and citation”. Marks about open access to the texts of articles are presented on the main page of the journal’s website and next to each article in the table of contents of the corresponding issue. Readers can access all issues of the journal at link and at link – to the contents of the latest journal issue.

The journal supports the following initiatives: Budapest Open Access Initiative, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), adheres to the recommendations of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), joined the Cited-by (CrossRef) service.

13. Archiving

Archiving and storing of the BEL journal content is ensured by:

  • site archiving (all digital content (in XML and PDF format) is collected on a single cloud server that is available to readers online. In any case, a backup copy of digital content (in both XML and PDF format) will be kept for 24-36 hours);
  • abstracting/indexing (the journal is indexed in many scientometric databases and stored on aggregators of content, a full list of which is presented on the journal website at the link;
  • self-archiving (accepted articles can be archived by authors in their institutional repositories or on personal websites/pages. However, it is important that authors note: The published paper is available at[DOI of the document]. It will identify the name of the journal and the publisher);
  • independent and local archives (readers will have access to manuscripts of the local eSSUIR (Electronic Sumy State University Institutional Repository) and independent archives (Vernadskyi National Library of Ukraine, Sherpa Romeo, Portico).

Detailed information about the archiving policy is presented on the journal’s website under the link Digital archiving and preservation policy.

14. Revenue sources

The journal’s revenue sources are fees paid by authors, institutions, or research sponsors for processing an article when it is accepted for publication after peer review (there are no submission or review fees). It covers the costs for copy editing, text formatting, creating figures and tables, etc. This fee also includes administration of the review process, archiving of articles, site administration (posting of articles on the site, maintenance and support), promotion of the journal and articles (distribution of journal content, maintenance of indexing services, etc.) and customer support. Detailed information is indicated on the links Article processing charge. and APC for Developing Countries..

In addition, the journal’s revenue sources include the fee for preparing a selection of articles (thematic collection) at the individual request of authors or readers. A selection of articles published in different issues of the journal can be ordered by any criteria (certain topic, author or group of authors, authors from a certain country, region, university or institution, etc.). The price of preparing such a thematic collection (selection of articles) for a specific request is agreed separately. Detailed information is indicated at the link..

Since the ARMG Publishing functions on the material and technical base of Sumy State University as an inter-institutional center, the university provides institutional, organizational, informational and technical support for publishing the journal.

15. Advertising

Business Ethics and Leadership journal is not interested in advertising commercial products and services. The Editorial Board promotes scientific conferences, books, publications, services and/or products that promote lifelong learning and expand educational and scientific collaboration. Decisions on advertising are approved by the founders, publisher, Head of the ARMG Publishing Center and the Editors-in-Chief. Advertising does not influence the decision to publish articles. Detailed information is indicated by the link on the website.

16. Direct marketing

Promotion of the journal and/or individual articles is carried out in compliance with the principles of publishing ethics; the information is truthful and does not mislead readers or authors. It is implemented through email marketing, co-organization of conferences and other scientific events, professional social networks; specialized associations, platforms, organizations and partners of the journal, as well as other advertising activities. Detailed information is indicated on the website.