Taking into account the fact that the topics covered by “Urbanism Architecture Constructions” are part of the planning area, where political options can influence scientific approaches and generate different attitudes, the journal will adopt a neutral position in eventual controversies, without publishing preferentially one of the sides through the publication of articles. A similar position will be adopted in relationship to other issues, such as the environment, gender, ethics, or public policies; in all these cases, the primary focus will be the scientific contribution of an article to its field.
The ethical principles of the publication process for the entire journal in general and for scientific articles in special are based on the international norms and guidelines, especially those of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on the good practices of peer review-based journals.
The peer review process
Given the continuous evolution of the fields covered by “Urbanism Architecture Constructions”, the peer review will be carried out with reference to the context specific to the period of evaluation; for this reason, articles will have a documentary value. Furthermore, the journal will publish other materials, which, without claiming to be scientific contributions, are meant to record the progress of the field, including conference reports, or presentations of other scientific events. They will be made available under the “archive of announcements and news”. These materials will not undergo the regular reviewer-based evaluation, but will be assessed by the editors instead. For all other articles, specific responsibilities are split among the authors, chief editor, executive (managing) editor, editors, members of the editorial board, and reviewers. All are committed to adopting and observing the ethical standards throughout the evaluation process, until the publication of articles and after.
The peer review process, defined as “obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers expert in the field of publication”, is double blind until the publication of papers. Submissions will be checked by the Executive/Managing Editor. If the Author Guidelines are not observed or major problems are noticed, the article will be immediately rejected and authors informed on the reasons. Articles that passed successfully this stage are reviewed by two external reviewers from a different institution and, if possible, country than the author, receiving a copy that does not contain the name and affiliation of authors or other identifying information (e.g., name of the funding grant). If reviewers find or suspect the identity of authors, they must act regardless of the ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, citizenship, religious beliefs or political orientation of the authors, or report to the Editor any potential conflict. If there are minor differences, the decision is taken by the Executive Editor based on the importance of the submission, assessed in accordance with the Editorial Policy. If their opinions differ substantially, a third reviewer will be contacted. If the reviewers require revisions, authors must submit, in addition to the revised manuscript, an anonymous letter stating the changes performed or motivating the refusal to address them. In the next round, reviewers will be asked to assess whether their suggestions were properly addressed. Rejected submissions will not be returned to authors, but the authors will be informed on the editorial decision. For accepted papers included in an issue, reviewers are acknowledged collectively using their first initials and last names, except for those specifically stating that their names should not be disclosed.
The rejection rate increased with the prestige of the journal. Currently, the standards of the journal correspond to those of an international journal with respect to contents and format.
The journal has three levels of decision. The lowest one is represented by the board of external Reviewers
, who assess the articles with respect to their scientific soundness and recommend their acceptance or rejection. The intermediate one belongs to the Editorial Board
, which can recommend a decision if two reviewers have different opinions in relationship with the same article. In addition, they can recommend editorial policies, and are responsible for promoting the journal in the academic and research environment; in this regard, they can recommend the association of the journal with different conferences or other scientific events. The highest decisional level is represented by the Chief Editor
, and Managing/Executive Editor
. Their responsibility ranges, in this order, from decision making to its implementation, in relationship to the editorial policies and content of the journal. They are directly responsible, in the opposite order, for overruling the decisions of the reviewers, if the article is not suitable for the journal, and for mediating potential conflicts between authors and reviewers. The decision of rejecting articles that are not suitable for the journal is taken prior to sending it to the reviewers, but can also be taken after the review in case of major incompliance with the editorial policies and guidelines. All the people from the higher level can perform reviews if there are no external reviewers covering the specific area tackled by the article.
The responsibilities of each side are resumed in the following.
Authors. The submission of a paper implies that the paper has not been published or submitted and is not considered for publication by any other journal, that the study described by the paper is original, and the presentation of other materials does not violate author’s rights or copyright. In addition, the contents of the paper is known and approved by all authors, who contributed to writing the paper and/or carrying out the research described in the paper. The quality of authoring a paper should be limited to those contributing effectively to writing out the paper or carrying out the research presented in their paper. The authors assume the full responsibility for the contents, correctness and originality of the submissions, as well as the observance of ethical standards by filling in a pledge form required by the journal once the article is accepted. Authors must also provide the data used in the article if requested. If authors detect significant errors in their work after publication, they are required to notify the Managing/Executive Editor and arrange the submission of a corrected version of their work.
Reviewers. Reviewers are required to inform the Executive Editor if they cannot assess an article, if it falls beyond their competence, is similar to an article published elsewhere, or determines a conflict of interests. Otherwise, they should complete the review process in due time by submitting a complete Review Form. No other means of communication can replace the Review Form. In the absence of this document, the submission is reassigned to a different reviewer.
Editors (members of the Editorial Board, Chief Editor, Editors, and Managing/Executive Editor). Editors must secure a correct and unbiased, but also competent review by making sure of the double blindness of the review process, assigning submission to reviewers based on matching the research areas, and providing solutions to potential conflicts during the reviewers and authors while keeping each other’s identity undisclosed to its counterpart. The main responsibility is to ensure an unbiased evaluation with respect to the ethnic or geographic origin, gender, sexual orientation, and ethical or political beliefs.
Other ethical issues
Conflicts of interests. Authors and reviewers must mention, whenever applicable, possible conflicts of interests, with potential impact over the review process. Authors must present all grant information if describing funded research.
Author’s right and copyright. No articles that violate author’s rights and copyright, fully or partially, through plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) or inclusion of elements (such as images) that do not belong to them and for which they did not receive the owner's consent to use will be published. Plagiarism is defined as reproducing ideas or entire contents from someone else without crediting the source using the citation system specified by the Author Guidelines. During the review stage, plagiarism must be reported by the Reviewers using the Review Form, providing sufficient evidence (including results of specialized software). In the next stage, the editorial team checks each article for plagiarism using a specialized program. If plagiarism is detected after publication, articles will be withdrawn from the journal.
Open access. Access to the electronic format of the journal, identified by 2069-6469, is free and unrestricted. The electronic version includes all papers published, but no advertisements. Neither readers, nor their institutions will be charged for accessing the articles published on the journal website, and can read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of articles. This is equivalent to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).