Editorial policy

Publishing Policy


In its activities, the editorial board of “Phytotherapy. Journal” takes into account the world experience in using well-formulated and comprehensible ways to disseminate research findings; it is also guided by a publishing policy that meets the generally accepted international principles of publishing ethics. The publishing policy embraces publishing ethics, Open Access policy, peer review policy, informed consent, article retraction/amendment policy, and advertising policy.

  1. Publishing ethics

The Publisher is responsible for its peer-reviewed journals as a reliable source of high-quality academic information on a particular subject. In its publishing activities, it follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (hereinafter – COPE), transparent principles and best practices of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, and the Code of Academic Integrity.

The Publisher encourages editors, authors, and reviewers to adhere to high standards of publishing ethics and cooperate following COPE practices that apply to all participants in the process of publishing scientific sources. The fundamentals of publishing ethics include ethical obligations of the Publisher, ethical obligations of authors, and principles of professional ethics of editors and reviewers.


  1. Ethical obligations of the Publisher

1.1.     The Publisher adheres to the principle of cooperation with the editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals based on a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and supports transparent editorial decision-making.

1.2.     The Publisher encourages cooperation between the editorial staff of peer-reviewed journals and authors based on the principle of editorial independence and seeks to prevent the principle’s violations due to conflicts of interest, fear, or any other business, financial, or political influence.

1.3.     The Publisher obliges editorial staff to ensure fair, impartial, and timely review of all manuscripts of original and review articles by qualified experts. Unreviewed materials published in a journal should be marked accordingly, i.e., editorial material, letter, advertisement, etc.

1.4.     The Publisher takes all appropriate measures to ensure the high quality of the published materials, taking into account that journals have different purposes.

1.5.     The Publisher encourages the editorial staff of scientific journals to provide authors with specific guidelines and policy on scientific ethics and academic integrity within their subject area.

1.6.     The Publisher ensures that commercial factors do not affect editorial decisions.

1.7. The Publisher adheres to confidentiality principles under the legislation of Ukraine and its powers and guarantees the confidentiality of data obtained during research or professional interaction.

1.8.     The Publisher undertakes to take measures in case of suspicion of misconduct on the part of any of the participants in the publishing process or in case of ethical appeals (claims, complaints). This obligation applies to both published and unpublished materials. The Publisher makes every effort to consider relevant appeals and takes the necessary actions to restore the violated rights.

1.9.     The Publisher encourages editorial staff to discuss emerging issues before taking further action and to seek legal advice, where necessary and in cases of potential defamation, breach of contract, confidentiality, or copyright infringement.

1.10. The Publisher recommends that an editorial staff has a specific procedure for dealing with manuscripts of authors who are their employees or members of their editorial boards to ensure impartial review, as well as rules for considering appeals against editorial decisions.


  1. Ethical obligations of Authors

2.1. Authors shall avoid:

- plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Authors are obliged to provide reliable citations and bibliographic references following the journal’s requirements. Any copyrighted material may be reproduced in articles only with written consent of the copyright holder. Authors shall have written consent from the copyright holder to reproduce figures and tables, except in cases where they are freely used under appropriate licenses (e.g., Creative Commons). Authors shall guarantee that their manuscripts are original, that the research findings are advanced and have not been previously published (in part or in full, including in another language), and that no other publication agreement has been concluded. The manuscript should not be subject to consideration by another editorial board;

- - falsification, data fabrication. Authors should not resort to any data fabrication or manipulation (including images) to substantiate research conclusions. Fabrication, falsification, or selective presentation of data to mislead the scientific community is unethical, as is the unlawful borrowing of other people’s data or research findings. To use others’ datasets in their manuscripts, authors shall first obtain consent to use them, except in cases where the data are freely available under appropriate licenses (e.g., Creative Commons);

-appropriation of someone else’s work. All persons who have made a significant intellectual contribution to the concept of the article, its structure, as well as to the research and/or interpretation of scientific results, should be listed as co-authors and included in the author’s team. If the contribution of others to the research is insignificant, they should be acknowledged. Authors should refer to the works of other scientists used in the study and specify the sources that influenced its course. In addition to being responsible for their own parts of the manuscript, each co-author should be able to identify the specific contribution of each member of the author’s team;

- exclusion of information about financial support that may be considered a conflict of interest. Authors should openly disclose any conflict of interest: for example, if the article is developed for the institution’s benefit or concerns services the authors are personally interested in. Authors should provide information on funding sources, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the study involved human subjects, and a statement on animal welfare if they were used in the study.

2.2.     The article should be structured, contain sufficient references, and be adjusted to the requirements.

2.3.     Unfair or deliberately inaccurate statements in an article constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

2.4.     The author who corresponds with the editorial staff should guarantee that all co-authors reviewed and approved the final version of the article and agreed to its publication.

2.5.     Authors are fully responsible for the content of articles and the fact of their publication. The editorial board of the journal does not bear any responsibility to the authors for possible damage caused by the article’s publication. The editorial board is entitled to retract an article if it transpires that someone’s rights or generally accepted norms of scientific ethics were violated. The editorial staff notifies the author of retraction.

2.6. In case of detecting significant errors in their work, authors should inform the responsible editor as soon as possible to make corrections, retract the article, publish a refutation or a notice of a typographical error.

  1. Professional ethics of the Editors

3.1. The Editor should consider all manuscripts submitted for publication impartially, evaluating each one appropriately, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or the position or place of work of the author(s).

3.2. The Editor is obliged to reject publication if there are sufficient grounds to believe that it is plagiarized.

3.3.     All materials submitted for publication are subject to thorough selection and review. The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject the article or return it for revision. The author is obliged to revise the article following the comments of reviewers or the editorial board.

3.4.     The Editor’s decision to accept an article for publication is based on such characteristics of the article as the importance of the results, originality, quality of material presentation, and relevance to the journal’s remit.

3.5.     Manuscripts may be rejected without review if the editor argues that they do not meet the journal’s remit. In making such decisions, the editor may consult with members of the editorial board or reviewers.

3.6.     The Editors of peer-reviewed journals and members of editorial boards are obliged to ensure confidentiality of all received materials and their content until they are published. Editors should not provide information about manuscripts to anyone other than authors and reviewers, including whether they have been received and review stage, content, review status, reviewers’ feedback, and the final decision of the editorial board on manuscripts. In addition, no member of the editorial board may use data from unpublished manuscripts as an evidence base for their own research, except with the written consent of the authors. The editorial staff should not use the data obtained while working with manuscripts for personal purposes.

3.7. The Editors of peer-reviewed journals are obliged to ensure timely preparation of manuscripts for publication, using the resources available to the editorial office, and to keep frequency. The Editors should complete the work on the manuscript within the specific timeframe, and any unavoidable delays should be agreed with the authors.

3.8.     The Editors do not enter into a discussion with the authors of rejected articles.

  1. Professional ethics of Reviewers

4.1 To ensure the objectivity of the evaluation of manuscripts, the editorial board adheres to a double-blind review. Since the review of manuscripts is an essential stage in the publication process and, thus, in the implementation of the scientific method as such, each scientist is obliged to perform a certain share of review work.

4.2. If appointed reviewers are not sure that their qualifications correspond to the research presented in the manuscript, they should immediately withdraw from the manuscript.

4.3. The Reviewer should objectively evaluate the quality of the manuscript, the experimental and theoretical work presented, its interpretation and statement, and take into account whether the paper meets high scientific and literary standards. The Reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the authors.

4.4.     The Reviewers should adequately explain and justify their judgments so that editors and authors can comprehend the basis for their comments. Any statement that an observation, conclusion, or argument has been previously published should be accompanied by an appropriate reference.

4.5.     The Reviewer should draw the editor’s attention to violations of publishing ethics and academic integrity by the authors (plagiarism, self-plagiarism, misuse of images, photographs, drawings, inaccurate citations, lack of bibliographic references, excessive self-citation, false or inaccurate data, conflict of interest, etc.).

4.6.     The Reviewers shall not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations presented in the manuscript unless the author consents to it.

  1. Open Access Policy

The publisher follows the Open Access to Scientific Information and the principles set forth in the Open Access Mandate. The publisher carries out publishing activities through the operation of open access journals that provide free online access to research findings (“golden” open access) without any financial, legal and technical obstacles, as well as scientific publications distributed by subscription, but allow authors to publish their manuscripts based on open access terms or self-archive their articles under specific conditions (“green” open access). The publisher guarantees that scholarly articles published in open access journals are immediately and permanently available for reading, downloading, copying, and distribution without the need for a subscription and consent from the Publisher or the author.

III. Peer-Review Process

The publisher encourages the editors of peer-reviewed journals, that publish the results of research involving human subjects to obtain documentary evidence of informed consent from researchers in accordance with research ethics. When selecting reviewers, the editors of scientific publications should take into account the experience of experts, their reputation, recommendations, and their own previous experience of cooperation with them. Independent experts in the relevant subject area assess the quality and originality of the received manuscripts, determine the level of its compliance with scientific, literary and ethical standards to help editors decide whether it is appropriate to publish the manuscript in a journal.

The publisher calls on the editors of scholarly journals to adhere to the following requirements when reviewing manuscripts:

  • review impartiality regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political outlook of the authors;
  • intolerance of terminology that offends or can be perceived as offensive to authors;
  • the need for editors and authors to comply with publishing ethics and to recognize the Publisher’s right to consider any suspicions and/or reports of violations regarding manuscripts and published articles.
  1. Informed consent policy

The publisher calls on the editors of peer-reviewed journals that publish research findings involving human subjects to obtain documentary evidence of informed consent from researchers in accordance with research ethics. Informed consent guarantees that individuals who are able to provide informed consent have the right to voluntarily decide whether to participate in a study. Informed consent protects the freedom of choice of individuals and respects their independence. The publisher recommends that the editors take into account that identifying information, including the name and initials of persons, should not be provided in written descriptions, photographs and pedigree diagrams, unless it is essential for scientific purposes and the researcher (or his/her parents or guardian) has provided written informed consent for publication. In such cases, in order to obtain informed consent, an identifiable person should become familiar with the manuscript to be published. Authors shall notify subjects that any identifying material may be available in print or on the Internet. Informed consent must be obtained if there is any doubt about preserving anonymity. In case of non-publication of identifying features, the authors must offer guarantees that such changes do not distort the scientific significance. The authors’ photographs must be accompanied by the authorized copy, which gives their consent to publication. This also applies to case descriptions that provide information sufficient to identify a person (other than a name). If the subject or relatives of the deceased subject cannot be found and their consent cannot be confirmed, description in the publication can be considered only if it is highly anonymous. The publisher obliges the editors of scholarly journals to indicate information about obtaining informed consent in the article.

  1. Article retraction/amending

The Publisher regards materials published in periodicals as the “Published Version”. In cases of discrediting research findings in published articles, the editors of peer-reviewed journals may decide to publish an amendment or retract the published article. The editors should consider retracting, amending, or expressing concerns in accordance with the COPE Retraction Guidelines. The editors should decide whether to publish an amendment if it is determined that the amendment rather than a retraction is appropriate for the scientific community. Articles the results or conclusions in which are unreliable should be withdrawn. The publisher encourages the editors of peer-reviewed journals to consider retracting an article in such cases:

- detection of violations of scientific ethics and academic integrity, including fictitious claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent data use, double publication, or any other dishonest practices;

- significant errors (e.g., incorrect calculations or experimental errors) or the main conclusion is no longer valid or significantly discredited as a result of emerging evidence that the authors were not aware of at the time of publication;

- notifications from the authors about errors (for example, in the case of using equipment that turned out to be defective, etc.)

  1. Advertising guidelines

The publisher allows relevant advertisements on the websites of peer-reviewed journals and in some printed publications if they do not affect editorial decisions and/or editorial materials.

Advertising materials should be well-separated from editorial materials both in printed issues and on the websites of peer-reviewed journals.

The Publisher reserves the right to reject or delete any ad notices that violate the Law of Ukraine “On Advertising” and/or may damage the image of the Publisher