GENERAL INFORMATION AND POLICIES
International Ornithological Journal THE RING
THE RING is an international journal dealing with problems of bird ringing, migration and monitoring bird numbers. The main fields of interest are original papers,
review articles and methodical discussions. Information, progress reports, personal comments and short notes or news are also accepted to the informative columns of the journal.
Although papers are refereed, conclusions, opinions and discussion are published on the author's responsibility. Innovative and even controversial ideas are appreciated.
Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation and Submission
Terms of submission
THE RING considers for publication original research that has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis).
Submission to the Ring implies that this is the case and that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
During the submission process, authors are asked to declare that the manuscript has been seen and approved by all authors.
Submission also implies that authors agree to abide by THE RING’s editorial policies and publishing ethics, including the declaration of any competing interests to the journal on submission of a manuscript.
Authors should clearly highlight the key finding(s) of the paper and explain its significance and interest to the field in their cover letter.
As THE RING is published in an Open Source regime by VERSITA, authors are obliged to sign "Licence to publish". Adequate declarations are available at the journal web site
www.wbwp-fund.eu/ring and need to be signed and delivered with the manuscript - "Licence to publish" at last in a moment of accepting for publication.
Upon article acceptance, most Research Articles are posted on the journal website as accepted author manuscripts (" Early Bird") prior to journal copyediting and layout and in advance of publication of the print and online issues in which they will subsequently appear.
Authors who would prefer their accepted author manuscript NOT to be posted as an Early Bird Article should include this information in their cover letter.
The on-line version of the journal is a primary one to the printed edition.
1. Front page
It should contain title, author(s) name with full given name(s), abstract, a few key words, institutional affiliation of the author(s) and address(es) for correspondence (with an e-mail if appropriate).
The abstract (up to 200 words) should summarise methods applied and results of work. It should be informative in itself without reference to other parts of the paper.
The text should be written clearly and concisely and complicated idioms and jargon avoided. Authors using statistical analysis must provide essential details of the statistical methods applied and basic assumptions.
Only the most commonly used statistics and tests could be mentioned by their names alone. Illustrations and tables should be clear, self-explaining (as much as possible), without unnecessary details. Summary - limited to 20% of the text volume - is not obligatory.
English names of species should begin with capital letters. Their Latin equivalents should be given (a) with the first usage (in the title, in the text or explanation to the figures) and (b) in abstract if not given in the title. Use only Latin names in tables.
All Latin names must be given in Italics. Subheads in the text should not be numbered. Hierarchically complicated subdivisions may be indicated on the margin of a hardcopy.
Metric units and the following date format, e.g. 1990-1999, 1 August 1989, 1 Aug. (in tables and figures) should be used. Spaces should be used between numerical values and abbreviations, e.g. "3 p/10 ha", "pp. 4-7".
References should be made using "an author and a year" system, e.g. "...after Audrey (1989)...", "... (Taczanowski 1882)...", "...(Rydzewski 1935, Czarnecki 1979)...",
"...the problem was discussed by many authors (Bardy 1983; Aller and Crown 1984, 1991; Carry et al. 1987), ...". Note format for two and more authors of cited paper as well as the sequence of authors cited according to the years of their first paper, in the last example.
Papers in press could be cited as in press, and listed in References, if they have been formally accepted for publication. Unpublished data (personal communication - pers. comm., in letter - in litt., unpubl. data) can be cited in the text only (not in References).
The list of references should be given in an alphabetical order according to the format shown as examples for supplement to the journal, journal full title, journal abbreviation, book, chapter:
Berthold P. 1973. Proposals for the standardisation of the presentation of data of animal events, especially migratory data. Auspicium, Suppl.: 49-57
Branson N. J. B. A., Minton C. D. T. 1976. Moult, Measurements and Migrations of the Grey Plover. Bird Study 23, 4: 257-266
Busse P., Kania W. 1970. Operation Baltic 1961-1967. Working methods. Acta orn. 12: 231-267
Cramp S., Simmons K. E. K. (Eds). 1983. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 2. Oxford
Pinowski J., Zaj±c R. 1990. Damages to crops caused by birds in Central Europe. In: Pinowski J., Summers-Smith J. D. (eds). Granivorous birds in the agricultural landscape. Warszawa, pp. 333-347
Papers published in English, French or German or with an original title of the summary in these languages should be cited as they are. English translation of the title from other languages should be given in a square bracket.
Title, not translated, written originally in non-Latin script must be transcribed according to ISO rules. Titles of journals should be abbreviated as in the World List of Scientific Periodicals. If abbreviation is not known, full journal name must be given.
3. Manuscript format
Manuscript, including tables and graphics, should be delivered in an electronic form in PC compatible format. Any commonly used file format is acceptable but Microsoft (.doc/.xls) and Open Source (.odt/.ods) formats are preferred as the text/spreadsheet formats.
The tables (with titles or headings) and figure captions should be prepared on separate sheets and in their own files (do not include them into the text file). Tables larger than the usual page size of the journal should be avoided.
Tables and figures must be mentioned in the text and numbered separately) with Arabic numerals in a format, e.g. "...are listed in the Table 3.", " ... (Tab. 3).".
Computer graphics should be used as figures, if possible and delivered as separate files, not embedded into the text file. Graph files must be supplemented by the original data in ASCII or spreadsheet format.
Other illustrations should be submitted as bitmap files (preferably in .jpg or .png format in resolution 300 dpi or more) or as a hard copy not exceeded A4 paper size that by its quality allow direct scanning. Their layout and the size of the inscriptions should be adapted to the expected final size.
One set of galley proofs will be sent to author for correction. They should be returned as soon as possible. As extensive alterations at the proof stage delay publication, they will be accepted only under exceptional circumstances (e.g. substantial errors found).
Double-blind review process
The Editors of THE RING make the first selection of submitted manuscripts. In this stage, the accepted manuscripts are initially evaluated and revised. The manuscripts that are accepted are afterwards sent to at least two outside reviewers, who are considered to be specialists in particular fields of studies.
The review process is conducted anonymously and is double-blind. The review has a written form and must be ended with a clear statement concerning either the manuscript’s admission for publishing or its rejection; a review form is available at the journal web sites www.wbwp-fund.eu/ring
and www.degruyter.com/view/j/ring. Reviewers are contacted before being sent a paper and are asked to return comments within 2 to 3 weeks for most papers. Reviewers may be selected to evaluate separate components of a manuscript.
The final responsibility for decisions of acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript lies with the Editor.
Correction of errors in the scientific record
Should an author discern a significant error or inaccuracy in the published article, they are responsible for notifying THE RING’s Editor-in-Chief, and should work together with the Editor-in-Chief to retract or correct the paper. If the Editor-in-Chief or the publisher learn that a published article contains a significant error,
the author will be asked to correct, or possibly retract, the paper or assist verification by the Editor-in-Chief of the correctness of the original paper.
Errata and corrigenda
Should an error appear in a published article that affects scientific meaning or author credibility but does not affect the overall results and conclusions of the paper, our policy is to publish a correction in print and online in the next available issue of the journal. If an error is introduced by the publishing staff during the editing and/or proofing stages,
the journal takes responsibility and a correction is published as an Erratum, with appropriate apologies to authors and readers.
Should a paper contain one or more significant errors or inaccuracies that change some or all of the results or conclusions described therein, the entire paper should be retracted. The word ‘retraction’ will be used in the title of the retraction to ensure that it is picked up by indexing systems.
The Editor-in-Chief will request an explanation from the author(s) as to how the errors or inaccuracies occurred, and if they are not satisfied with the response they will ask the employers of the authors or some other appropriate body to investigate, and particularly to consider the possibility of fraudulent behaviour.
The Editor-in-Chief will make all reasonable attempts to ensure that such an investigation is carried out with due diligence.
Responsibility for (1) the accuracy of statements of fact, (2) the authenticity of scientific findings or observations, (3) expressions of scientific or other opinion and (4) any other material published in the journal rests solely with the author(s) of the article in which such statements, etc., appear.
No responsibility for such matters is assumed by the journal or its owners, publishers, reviewers or staff.
Redundant or concurrent publication
Research manuscripts that describe work already published elsewhere will not be considered. The submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently is also considered to be unethical practice. This does not prevent journals from considering articles that have been rejected by other journals or that were not previously published in full
(e.g. abstracts or posters presented at scientific meetings).
By submitting a research article to THE RING, the authors undertake that it has not been published previously (this generally includes posting the article on a preprint server) and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
At submission, authors should declare any previous submissions or reports that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication. Copies of any such related articles should be included with the submitted manuscript to assist editorial decision making.
If redundant publication is attempted or occurs, editorial action will be taken, including probable rejection or publication of a notice of redundant or duplicate publication.
Originality and plagiarism
Plagiarism is “the use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source” (according to the World Association of Medical Editors). It is considered a dishonest and unacceptable practice.
The words of others can be taken directly from another source in the form of a quotation, using appropriate punctuation and attribution. However, cut-and-pasting sentences or long passages of text in a manner that suggests they are your own is not permitted, even if the original source is cited.
By submitting an article, authors are thereby asserting that their work is entirely original and that any previously published text or content has been appropriately cited. Self-plagiarism (reusing one's own work) is also considered unethical.
"Ghostwriting" and "Guest authorship"
"Ghostwriting" is a situation where a person contributes significantly to a publication and is not disclosed as one of the authors or named in the acknowledgments. "Guest authorship" is a
situation where an author's contribution is insignificant or non-existent and she/he is still listed as author/co-author of a publication.
Both "ghostwriting" and "guest authorship" are indication of scientific dishonesty and are considered unethical. The Editors of THE RING, concerned with the scientific validity and
reliability, keep the selection of submitted articles according to the principles of preventing ghostwriting and guest authorship.
The author of a submitted manuscript is required to provide a transparent, honest and clear statement about being individual and direct contributor to the paper. In case of a collaboration work,
the Author is required to reveal the role of collaborators, either by including collaborator(s) as a coauthor(s) of the article, or by explaining and introducing the role of collaborator(s) in the acknowledgments.
In case, if the article is a result of a collaborative work within particular research project, the author is required to reveal full information about the financial source of the project, the role of
scientific institutions and organization, NGOs, or other subjects (financial disclosure).
The Editor will disclose, document and notify the proper institutions and scientific milieu all the infringement.
Adjustment of digital images with computer software is acceptable. However, the final image must remain representative of the original data, and the corresponding author should confirm this at submission.
Unacceptable manipulations include the addition, alteration or removal of a particular feature of an image. Adjustments applied to the whole image are generally acceptable if no specific feature of the original data is obscured as a consequence.
If evidence of such inappropriate manipulation is detected, THE RING will ask for the original data to be supplied, and, if necessary, may revoke acceptance of the article.
By publishing in THE RING, authors imply that they will make available to their qualified academic colleagues, in a timely manner and with minimal restrictions, materials or specialized reagents (for example, antibodies or DNA probes) needed to duplicate their research results.
THE RING encourages researchers working with animals to follow the recently released ARRIVE guidelines when preparing their studies for publication.
THE RING does not allow the publication of papers describing experimental procedures that may reasonably be presumed to have inflicted unnecessary pain, discomfort or disturbance of normal health on living animals.
Manuscripts will only be accepted if: (1) it is clear that the advances made in physiological knowledge justified the procedures; (2) appropriate anaesthetic and surgical procedures were followed; (3) adequate steps were taken to ensure that animals did not suffer unnecessarily at any stage of the experiment.
Care and use of experimental animals must comply with all relevant local animal welfare laws, guidelines and policies. The corresponding author will be asked to confirm this at submission, and a statement confirming that experiments conform to the relevant regulatory standards is required in the Materials and methods section of the paper.
Publishing ethics policies
THE RING is committed to maintaining the integrity of the published record and to publishing the most objective and unbiased scientific information possible. The policies below detail what we expect of the key participants in the publishing process: authors, reviewers and editors.
The Office of Research Integrity defines research misconduct as: ‘fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.’ Should a suspicion or allegation of scientific misconduct or fraudulent research be raised for the journal’s attention concerning a manuscript submitted for review,
THE RING reserves the right to raise these concerns with a sponsoring or funding institution or other appropriate authority for investigation.
Financial or competing interests disclosure
A competing or conflict of interest is anything that might inappropriately influence (bias), or might be perceived to interfere with, the full and objective presentation, review or publication of research findings or review-type material. Competing interests can be financial, professional or personal and can be held by authors, their employers,
sponsors of the work, reviewers, Editors and editorial staff. Having a competing interest does not imply wrongdoing.
THE RING is committed to publishing the most objective and unbiased scientific information possible. As such, we ask that all participants in the publication process disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential competing interests. Questions regarding financial or competing interests should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief.
Author competing interests
If any author included on a manuscript has financial, personal or professional associations that could be perceived as interfering with the objectivity of their scientific judgement, this must be clearly stated in a disclosure statement with the original submission of their work.
Authors should provide detailed information about current relationships extending beyond those listed on the title (address) page of their manuscript, as well as any anticipated for the foreseeable future. Competing interests held by an author’s employer (e.g. academic institution, company, etc.) or the financial sponsor of the work presented should also be declared.
THE RING requires complete disclosure of relevant relationships and requests that authors err on the side of disclosure in the event of uncertainty. Such associations include (but are not limited to) patents, consultancy, paid employment/affiliation, stock ownership, board membership, gifts received, research grants, relationships with Editors, membership in a lobbying organization,
role as an expert witness, membership of a government advisory board, and relationships with organizations or funding groups. Authors must include information regarding the provider of financial and material support of their research in the Funding section. This statement should include authors’ grant support, funding sources, and the provision of equipment and supplies.
The disclosure statement will be published at the end of the main text. Authors without financial or competing interests should explicitly assert this and the statement "No competing interests declared" will be published. Editors may choose to use competing interest statements as a basis for editorial decisions, but we do not reject papers simply because a conflict has been disclosed.
However, failure to provide financial or competing interests disclosures in the original submission may delay its evaluation and review.
Reviewer competing interests
Unbiased independent critical assessment has a key place in scholarly publication. Reviewers should declare any association with authors of a paper. They should also disclose any financial or professional associations that could be perceived as interfering with the objectivity of their scientific assessment of a paper. If a reviewer feels they cannot referee a paper because of such a competing interest,
they should inform the Editor-in-Chief or the Editorial Office so that the Editor can decide whether a potential conflict should exclude them.
Authors can request to exclude reviewers with perceived competing interests from refereeing their paper, but are asked to provide additional information to support such a request. The Editors will respect these requests provided that they do not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of an article.
Editor and editorial staff competing interests
Editors who make final editorial decisions on articles must have no financial, personal or professional involvement with the manuscript under consideration. If a potential bias exists, they should withdraw from handling the paper. Editors will base decisions on the importance of the work and not on its effect on the journal’s commercial success.
Editors are asked to disclose their potential competing interests, and editorial staff members are not permitted to use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain.
Editors and reviewers are expected to treat articles they handle confidentially. Editors and reviewers must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the publishing process, reviewer feedback and final decision) to anyone, other than the authors. They should not use knowledge of the work before its publication to further their own interests.
Reviewers also have the right to confidentiality; they will remain anonymous and their comments will not be published.
In situations where a reviewer wishes to co-review an article with a junior member of their laboratory, they must abide by the same rules of confidentiality and publishing ethics, and be named as a co-reviewer on submission of the review to the journal. Sharing manuscript details with lab members as a whole or with colleagues outside of the lab for reviewing purposes is not permitted.
Objectivity and fair play
An Editor will evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Integrity of the scientific record
The Editor will take all necessary steps to maintain the accuracy and quality of the papers appearing in THE RING. To this end, THE RING will publish correspondence about papers and publish Errata and Corrigenda when appropriate. In cases of serious error or scientific misconduct, it may be necessary to ask authors to retract their papers or to impose retraction upon them. See editorial policies for further details of Errata, Corrigenda and Retractions.
All versions of scholarly articles will remain available once published. When multiple versions of the same article are available, the Editor will ensure that these articles are clearly labelled with the date of publication and version number/type.
THE RING has adopted the DOI (digital object identifier) system to enable accurate citation and stable online availability of our published articles.
Guidelines for Reviewers
As with all peer-review journals, it is vital to perform the quality control of reviewing submitted manuscripts. Without the knowledge of specialists, we could not fulfil our mission. We are very grateful to our Reviewers for the effort and expertise that they contribute to reviewing, without which it would be impossible to maintain the high standards of peer-reviewed journals.
While preparing the review, we ask our Referees to:
- comment on the originality of the presented work,
- comment on whether the manuscript presents the most recent literature on the topic discussed,
- evaluate the authors' experimental or theoretical approach to the discussed problem(s),
- evaluate the reliability of the results and validity of the conclusions,
- comment on technical aspects of the paper, such as the statistical analyses,
- inform us whether we should consider the manuscript further and what should be done in order to make it publishable (if that's possible),
- describe the significance that the work has for the scientific community.
Please note that accepted papers will undergo language editing by native English speakers. Incorrect grammar, style or punctuation should not constitute sufficient reason to reject a paper if it is still intelligible for the reviewer and its content warrants publication from a scientific point of view.
Please do not distribute copies of the manuscript or use results contained in it without the authors' permission. Suggestions for alternative referees are helpful to the editors and would be appreciated.
In situations where you wish to co-review an article with a junior member of your laboratory, they must abide by the same rules of confidentiality and publishing ethics, and be named as a co-reviewer on submission of the review to the journal.
Research Papers - manuscripts submitted to THE RING should:
- contain original work, which is not published elsewhere in any medium by the authors or anyone else,
- be focused on the core aims and scope of the journal,
- be clearly and concisely written,
- should contain all of the essential components of a scientific paper, should be written in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, and should be brief while still thoroughly explaining methods and results.
Please provide your review within specified deadline or inform the Editor as soon as possible if you are not able to do so. You can submit your review via email to the Journal Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author and title of the paper: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Express your opinion by ticks in appropriate check boxes below. Negative opinions must be justified in written form on an additional sheet (number comments according to numbers on the list). Other comments could be written on manuscript or on the additional sheet as above.
+ ± -
1. Problem – its scientific value ......................................
2. Title – is it adequate to the paper contents? ......................................
3. Abstract – does it describe the contents well? ......................................
4. Methods – are they correct and adequate to the problem?
- field methods ......................................
- evaluation methods ......................................
- statistics ......................................
5. Data collected – sufficient to solve the problem? ......................................
6. Results – are they enough based on data? ......................................
7. Discussion – is it adequate to results and contemporary knowledge? ......................................
8. Conclusions – are they justified enough? ......................................
– the text - is it adequate to the contents? ......................................
– figures and tables - are they clear and useful? ......................................
(check the appropriate box and justify if you advice rejection of the paper)
- the paper should be published and it does not need more than editorial work ..............................
- the paper could be published with more substantial revision (comments) ..............................
- the paper should NOT be published (comments obligatory) ..............................
APPENDED comments: . . . . . . . pages.
Review sheet and comments are anonymous, unless the Reviewer wishes to sign it.
Date ........................................... Signature .............................................
Referee name, address, e-mail:
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