Ethics and Malpractice Statements


Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statements

Publication of articles in this peer-reviewed journal is an essential part of the development of a rational and estimable network of knowledge. Articles that are peer-reviewed sustain and embody the research method. Standards of expected ethical behaviour for all participants involved in the publishing process:  publisher, authors, peer reviewers, journal editors and the community of society-owned or sponsored journals are described.


Authorship and Contributorship

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study.  All those who have made substantial contributions should be listed as co-authors.

An "author" is generally considered to be a person who has made a significant intellectual contribution to scientific research.

According to the guidelines for authorship established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) [6], "All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed"

Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the paper (e.g. language editing etc.) they should be recognised in the acknowledgements section.

The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Authors are expected to carefully review the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the final list of authors at the time of initial submission. The international journal Food Science and Applied Biotechnology does not provide a procedure for adding, deleting or rearranging authors after the manuscript has been submitted. All authors must agree with the arrangement of the author's team and with the fact that the article will be sent for discussion to the FSAB journal.

Authors take collective responsibility for their work.  Each individual author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

The authors should ensure that they comply with the policies of the FSAB journal following the particular definitions of authorship (e.g. medical journals may follow the ICMJE definition of authorship [1]. 

Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors’ names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors this includes confirmation from the author having been added or removed.

The explicit mentioning of the authors of the research article ensures that the relevant persons are responsible for the conducted research. Deliberate misrepresentation  of a scientist's relationship to their work is considered misconduct and undermines the credibility of reporting the work itself.

Persons fulfilling the following criteria are recognized as authors:

- Significantly contribute to the concept and design of research, data collection, analysis and interpretation;

- Prepare or revise the article regarding its intellectual content.

The order of authorship must be a "joint decision of the co-authors". Persons who participate in a survey but do not meet the criteria for authorship of the journal should be referred to as "Contributors" or "Recognized Persons". For large multidisciplinary studies a list of skills and centers is usually published along with a declaration of the individual contribution of each scientist or center. In some cases the authors are listed in alphabetical order explaining that all authors have the same contribution to the research and publication.

Three types of "authorship" are considered  unacceptable:

- Ghost authors who contribute significantly but are not recognized (often paid for by commercial sponsors);

- "Guest" authors who do not make a noticeable contribution but are listed to help increase the chances of publication;

- Authors "Gifts" whose contribution is based only on a weak connection with the research.

If a complaint is filed concerning an authorship dispute an investigation is conducted by the editor-in-chief of the journal and the institution to which the author belongs until an acceptable solution is reached.

Our journal strongly recommends that a meeting of all involved parties be held before starting to document how each scientist will be recognized in the author’s team and what will their share be?

Authors of original research articles should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. A paper should contain sufficient details and references in order to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

Review articles should also be accurate and objective and editorial ‘opinion’ works should be clearly identified as such.


Handling of Complaints and Appeals

The Editor-in-Chief along with the publisher establish a transparent mechanism for any appeals against certain editorial decisions.

The Editor-in-Chief guarantees to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing a reported or suspected misconduct (research, publication, reviewer and editorial) in conjunction with the publisher (or society).

Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made. It may also include further communication with the relevant institutions and research bodies. The editor shall furthermore make appropriate use of the publisher’s systems for the detection of a misconduct such as plagiarism.

The Editor-in-Chief presents convincing evidence of misconduct and coordinates with the publisher (and/or society) arrangements for the prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern or another manner of correction to the record as may be found relevant.


Conflicts of Interest and Competing Interests

The Editor-in-Chief shall apply the policy of the Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv relating to the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by authors and reviewers, e.g. the ICMJE guidelines [6].

Our journal maintains transparency and objectivity as key milestones in the research and development of the peer review process.

When a researcher, author, editor or reviewer has a financial / personal interest or any belief exists that could affect their objectivity or improperly affect their actions there is a potential competing interest. Such relationships are also known as double commitments, competing interests or competing loyalties.

The most obvious competing interests are financial relationships such as:

- direct: employment, ownership of shares, subsidies, patents;

- indirect: fees, consultations to sponsoring organizations, ownership of mutual funds, paid expert testimony.

Undeclared financial interests can seriously undermine trust in the journal, the authors and science itself.

Competing interests can also arise as a result of personal relationships, academic competition and intellectual passion. For example, a scientist who has:

- a relative who works in a company whose product is evaluated by the researcher;

- self-serving share in research results (e.g. potential promotion / career development based on results);

- personal beliefs that are in direct conflict with the topic they are researching.

Not all relationships are genuinely competing interests - conflicts can be potential or specific.

Full disclosure of relationships that could be of competitive interest - even if the person does not believe that this affects their judgment - should be reported to the institution's ethics commission and the journal's editor-in-chief. For this purpose we require a cover letter and / or a footnote in the manuscript. The journal may use the disclosures as a basis for editorial decisions and will publish them as they are important to readers in evaluating the manuscript. Similarly, the journal may choose not to publish based on the declared conflict.

Any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the editor and then updated if and when new conflicts arise. The publisher may publish such declarations in the journal.

The Editor-in-Chief must not be involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Furthermore, any such submission must be a subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently of the relevant author/editor and their research groups and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.


Objectivity and Competing Interests

Reviews are conducted objectively.  Reviewers should be aware of any personal bias they may have and take this into account when reviewing a paper. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate and they should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Reviewers should consult the Editor-in-chief before agreeing to review a paper where they have potential conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers.

If a reviewer suggests that an author should include citations of the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work this must be for genuine scientific reasons and not with the intention of increasing the reviewer’s citation count or enhancing the visibility of their work (or that of their associates).


Data Sharing and Reproducibility

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies in Plovdiv works in cooperation with librarians, the research community, funders and other stakeholders to develop policies which can help our customers and make clear our position on key issues.

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv has a supporting, investing and nurturing role in the scholarly communication process but is also ultimately responsible for ensuring that best practice is followed in its publications.

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv takes its duties of guardianship over the scholarly record extremely seriously and has adopted policies and procedures to support editors, reviewers and authors in performing their ethical duties under these guidelines. We are working with other publishers and industry associations to set standards for best practices in ethical matters, errors and retractions.

It is a general principle of scholarly communication that the Editor-in-Chief of the journal is solely and independently responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal shall be published. In making this decision the editor is guided by policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. An outcome of this principle is the importance of the scholarly archive as a permanent, historic record of the transactions of scholarship. Articles that have been published shall remain extant, exact and unaltered as far as it is possible. However, very occasionally circumstances in case of force majeure such as fire, earthquake, flood, storms, war, etc., may arise where an article is published that must later be retracted or even removed. Such actions must not be undertaken lightly and can only occur under exceptional circumstances. In all cases, our official archives at the Bulgarian National Library will retain all article versions, including retracted or otherwise removed articles.

This policy has been designed to address these concerns and to take into account current best practice in the scholarly and library communities.  As standards evolve and change we will periodically re-examine this issue and welcome the contributions of the scientific and library communities. We are of the opinion that these issues require international standards and we would actively participate in the lobbying of various information bodies to establish international standards and best practices that the publishing and information industry can adopt.


Declaration of Competing Interests

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations and grants or other funding. The corresponding author should declare no conflict of interest in the process of the submission. See:

WAME define a conflict of interest as “a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and their responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behaviour or judgment was motivated by considerations of their competing interests” [11]. All authors should disclose in their manuscripts any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could be viewed as inappropriately influencing (bias) their work.

All sources of financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article should be disclosed as should be also the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations and grants or other funding.  Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest possible stage [11].


Ethical Oversight

Ethics of Publication

The journal endorses the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). For detailed information about COPE please visit the COPE website at All cases of data fabrication, plagiarism, image manipulation, results manipulation etc. will lead to rejection of the manuscript and notification of the administration of the corresponding author’s affiliation institution.

Authors may be asked to provide the research data supporting their paper for editorial review and/or to comply with the open data requirements  of the journal.  Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable number of years after publication. Authors may refer to the journal’s Guide for Authors for further details.



One of the most common types of misconduct when publishing articles is plagiarism. A case where an author intentionally uses someone else's work without permission, credit or confirmation.

Plagiarism can take many forms, from literal copying to paraphrasing someone else's work and can include:

- Illegal use of foreign data;

- Illegal use of foreign words and phrases;

- Illegal use of foreign ideas and concepts.

Plagiarism has varying degrees of severity and depends on:

- How much of someone's work is assigned - a few lines, paragraphs, pages or the full article?

- What is the nature of plagiarism - recycling text, paraphrasing, significant copying or literal copying?

- What is copied and pasted - results, methods or input section?

Authors are required to place their work in the context of progress in the field and to acknowledge the findings of other researchers on whom they have built their research.

For more information about our plagiarism policy see:


Simultaneous Submission

Authors must guarantee that their article is original and has never been published elsewhere or is under discussion for publication in another journal. Deliberate submission or resubmission of a work for duplicate publication is considered a breach of publication ethics.

- simultaneous submission occurs when a person submits paper to different journals at the same time which can lead to the publication of a particular article in more than one journal;

- duplicate or repeated publication may occur when two or more articles without full cross-reference share essentially the same hypotheses, data, discussion points and/or conclusions. This can happen to varying degrees such as: literal duplication, partial but substantial duplication or even duplication by paraphrasing.

One of the main reasons why duplicate publication of original studies is considered unethical is that it can lead to “inadvertent double counting or inappropriate weighing of the results of a single study which distorts the available evidence.

See Submission Preparation Checklist on:


Fair Play in Publication Process

The Sector's Editor and/or Editor-in-Chief evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.

When nominating potential editorial board members the Editor-in-Chief shall take account of the need for appropriate, inclusive and diverse representation.

The editorial policies of the journal encourage transparency and complete and honest reporting.

The Editor-in-Chief ensures that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected from them.

The Editor-in-Chief uses their own journal’s electronic submission system and journal's emails for all communications.


Ethics of Journal Metrics Management

The Editor-in-Chief must not attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric. The editor shall not require that references to that (or any other) journal’s articles be included except for genuine scholarly reasons and authors should not be required to include references to the editor’s own articles or products and services in which the editor has an interest.


The Reviewer’s Confidentiality

Any manuscripts received for reviewing are treated as confidential documents. Reviewers must not share the review or information about the paper with anyone or contact the authors directly without a permission from the editor.

The reviewers should first discuss this with the Editor-in-Chief with colleagues or co-reviewing experts in order to ensure that confidentiality is observed and all participants receive suitable credit.

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the expressed written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer reviewing must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.


Alertness to Ethical Issues

A reviewer should be alert to potential ethical issues in the paper and should bring these to the attention of the editor including any substantial similarity or overlapping between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which the reviewer has personal knowledge. Any statement that an observation, derivation or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.


Image Integrity

It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly [7].

Authors should comply with any specific policy for graphical images applied by the relevant journal, e.g. providing the original images as supplementary material with the article (if applicable) or depositing these in a suitable repository.


Clinical Trial Transparency

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv supports clinical trial transparency.  For relevant journals authors are expected to conform with the best practice standards in clinical trial registration and presentation, for example the CONSORT guidelines as further set out in the policies of the relevant journal [3, 6].


Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects

If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript.

If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with the relevant legislation and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) have approved of them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that an informed consent was obtained for experimenting with human subjects.  The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

For human subjects the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans [13].  All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines [1] and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and associated guidelines [9], or EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes [5], or the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, if applicable, the Animal Welfare Act [10].

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in a publication in the Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to the Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv on request.


Intellectual Property

Originality and Acknowledgement of Sources

The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others that thеяе haэе been appropriately cited or quoted and permission has been obtained where necessary.

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have influenced the reported work and that give the work appropriate context within the larger scholarly record. Information obtained privately as in conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties must not be used or reported without the explicit written permission from the source.

Plagiarism takes many forms - from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution) or to claiming results from research conducted by others.  Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical behaviour and is unacceptable.

Permission to reproduce figures or data, citation of unpublished data

It is a responsibility of the authors to obtain permissions for reproduction of figures, tables or text from published works. Permission is also required for references to any unpublished data of other scientists.


Checking for Plagiarism

All manuscripts accepted for publication will be checked for similarity with existing publications for plagiarism under the iThenticate plagiarism detecting system.

In the Materials and Methods section authors should refer protocols to the original papers and only their own modifications should be described in detail.

The Editor-in-Chief must protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers unless otherwise agreed with the respective authors and reviewers. Under exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the publisher may the Editor-in-Chief  share limited information with editors of other journals where it is deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct [2]. Editor-in-Chief must guarantee and protect reviewers’ identities.

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor's own research without the expressed written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through the peer review process must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.


Copyright Transfer Agreement

Upon acceptance of an article authors will be asked to complete a 'Copyright Transfer Agreement' (see the template on: Permitted third party use open access articles is determined by Open Access Option.


Open Access and Charging

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv offers the authors’ a possibility to publish their articles as open access only. There is no publishing fee for open access articles. The papers in this journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).

With Online Open the author, the institution or the funder do not owe any publication charge whatsoever for the article to ‎be viewed in open access - making it instantly and freely available to everyone.


Post-publication Discussions and Corrections

The Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv recognizes the importance of the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record to researchers and librarians and attaches the highest importance to maintaining trust in the authority of its electronic archive by discussing the following three options: withdrawal of an item; removing an item and replacing an item.

Article Withdrawal

Only used for Articles in Press or Early View which represent early versions of articles and sometimes contain errors or may have been accidentally submitted twice. Occasionally, but less frequently, the articles may represent infringements of professional ethical codes such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like. Articles in Press or Early View (articles that have been accepted for publication but which have not been formally published and will not yet have the complete volume/issue/page information) that include errors or are discovered to be accidental duplicates of other published article(s) or are determined to violate our journal publishing ethics guidelines in the opinion of the editors (such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like) may be “Withdrawn”. Withdrawn means that the article content (HTML and PDF) is removed and replaced with a HTML page and PDF simply stating that the article has been withdrawn according to the Policy of the Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv on Article in Press or Early View Withdrawal with a link to the current policy document.

Article Retraction

These are infringements of professional ethical codes such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism and fraudulent use of data or the like. Occasionally a retraction will be used to correct errors in submission or publication. The retraction of an article by its authors or the editor under the advice of members of the scholarly community has long been an occasional feature of the learned world. Standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by a number of library and scholarly bodies and this best practice has been adopted for an article retraction by the Academic Publishing House at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv. The following options are possible:

- a retraction note titled “Retraction”: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list;

- in the electronic version a link is made to the original article;

- the original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the pdf indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”;

- the PDF version of the document is removed.

Article Removal: Legal Limitations

In an extremely limited number of cases it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be a subject of legal procedures, - the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained, the text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.

Article Replacement

In cases where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk, the authors of the original article may wish to retract the flawed original and replace it with a corrected version. In these circumstances the procedures for retraction will be followed with the difference that the database retraction notice will be published officially.


Notification of Fundamental Errors

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper if deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or the publisher learn from a third party that a published work contains an error it is the obligation of the author to cooperate with the editor including providing evidence to the editor where requested.



  1. Kilkenny, C., Browne, W., Cuthill, I.C., Emerson, M., Altman, D.G. Animal research: Reporting in vivo experiments: The ARRIVE guidelines. British journal of Pharmacology, 2010, 160(7), 1577-1579.
  2. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Available at:
  3. CONSORT standards for randomized trials. Available at:
  4. COPE Codes of Conduct. Available at:
  5. EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments. Official Journal of the European Union, 20.10.2010, L 276, 33-79. Available at:
  6. ICMJE. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, 2010, 1(1), 42–58.
  7. Rossner, M., Yamada, K.M. What's in a picture? The temptation of image manipulation. The Journal of Cell Biology, 2004, 166(1), 11-15.
  8. The STM trade Association. International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication. Available at:
  9. Straughan, D.W. The UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act - Implications for the future of alternative toxicity tests. Toxicology in Vitro, 1994, 8(4), 841-843.
  10. U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR), National Institutes of Health (U.S.), Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland, 1986. Available at:
  11. WAME Editorial statement on COI. Available at:​interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical
  12. World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Best Practice. Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Date of Publication: January 15, 2018. Available at:
  13. World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. Bulletin of World Health Organization, 2001, 79(4), 373-374. Available at: