Ethics and malpratice statement

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, Editors, 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).

Archiving. The journal website exists also in an off-line format, allowing for its being moved on a different server if technical (or other) issues make it necessary. The journal content is also fully available through special databases and content aggregators, including Ebscohost, ProQuest and CEEOLIn this case, the journal offers the articles free of any charge, but the pricing policies of the databases or aggregators apply.
Ownership and management. The journal is edited and managed by NIRD URBAN-INCERC. The journal logo and name are a trademark of NIRD URBAN-INCERC (Romanian Trademark Office certificate no. 134158 of 2014).
Production schedule. "Urbanism Architecture Constructions" is a semestrial journal. The official publication dates are 30 June and 31 December. So far, the journal was always published before the deadline. Submissions are expected at any moment (there are no specific deadlines) and will enter the peer review immediately. Once accepted in their final format, the articles will be made available online under "Accepted papers" and included in next issue to be published. The publication of each issue is conditioned by accepting at least six scientific articles. Articles are included in the order of their final acceptance, conditioned by successfully completing the peer review process and the checking of compliance with the Author Guidelines. Articles that were found acceptable based on the peer review can still be rejected if the authors refuse systematically to comply with the Author Guidelines. The journal does not produce special issues and had a single thematic one. However, in special circumstances, per the request of authors articles can be published later than scheduled based on the moment when the evaluation process ended.

Resolution of ethics-related inquiries

The procedure used to solve any ethical issues includes the following steps: identification, investigation, and resolution.
Identification. Inquiries can be brought to the attention of the Managing/Executive Editor by anyone and at any time for the articles already published, or can be noticed during the peer review process. In order to be accounted for, inquiries must include sufficient information, arguments and proofs. Regardless of their manner, inquiries will be treated in an unbiased and timely manner, until a satisfactory solution is identified.
Investigation. The Managing/Executive Editor will treat each issue with a maximum confidentiality, contacting the competent or responsible people. During the process, other parts can also be contacted (authors, those who sent the inquiry, reviewers etc.) The stage will end with identifying the issue, which can be minor – in this case, no other parts are contacted, and the authors will be able to respond, or major, involving additional people or institutions, such as the hiring institution of the authors, experts or other people.
Resolution. The final output of this stage can consist of notifying the authors, warning them, publishing a note on behalf of the Chief Editor, retraction of articles (e.g., if the authors refuse to submit the Pledge Form), instituting a period of embargo or a total banning (e.g., for authors who refuse to revise their article or comply with the Author Guidelines), and submission of the case to national or international institutions enabled to act further.