Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy

Deep Science's COI policy generally follows COPE recommendations . Conflicts of interest (sometimes referred to as competing interests or dual loyalties) are common, some would say almost inevitable. Conflicts of interest are secondary interests (e.g., personal, commercial, political, academic or financial) that may influence judgements on a primary decision, in this case what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. Financial interests may include employment, research funding, sponsorship, stock or share ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, company support for staff commissioning/ funding/sponsoring of any element of the paper, any financial or potential financial benefit, or PR firm involvement.

Management of Conflicts of Interest

Deep Science takes the view that any potential conflicts of interest must be recognised and stated. If there is doubt about the existence of a conflict, it is preferable to err on the side of disclosure. Most conflicts of interest can be managed, as per the following procedures; however, there may be occasions when the conflict of interest is so extreme as to make publication impossible.

This is not an exhaustive list of potential conflicts, rather an indication of the range of potential conflicts of interest:

1. Potential Author COIs
Authors are asked to consider conflicts of interest in the instructions to authors.
• Instructions to authors – includes the following: ‘Authors must declare any competing interests. Conflict of interests/competing interests can be defined as factors which could influence the judgment of an author, reviewer or editors, and may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial in nature. Put simply, they are interests which, if revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived’.

2. Potential Reviewer COIs
Deep Science employs a transparent review process; so, editors will try to avoid inviting individuals to review who have potential COIs. Editors will also attempt to honor authors’ requests to exclude potential reviewers, provided that the reason for exclusion is a true COI and that rigorous and comprehensive review is possible if these individuals are excluded. At the time they are invited to review, individuals must disclose any COIs that could bias their opinions, and they must disqualify themselves from reviewing when appropriate. If a COI becomes apparent during the review process, the reviewer must contact the editorial office and, when appropriate, ask to be recused. The following situations are considered conflicts and should be avoided:
• Co-authoring publications with at least one of the authors in the past 3 years
• Being colleagues within the same section/department or similar organisational unit in the past 3 years
• Supervising/having supervised the doctoral work of the author (s) or being supervised/having been supervised by the author(s)
• Receiving professional or personal benefit resulting from the review
• Having a personal relationship (e.g., family, close friend) with the author(s)
• Having a direct or indirect financial interest in the paper being reviewed

It is not considered a Conflict of Interest if the reviewers have worked together with the authors in a collaborative project (e.g., EU) or if they have co-organized an event.

Misconduct Handling Policy

Deep Science is aware of the potential impact an allegation of ethical misconduct can have upon a researcher's career. All allegations of ethical misconduct are taken seriously, and a full investigation will take place.


Deep Science welcomes submissions which are original, not under consideration by any other publication at the same time, and which contribute to the existing body of knowledge. All authors should be aware of the importance of presenting content that is based on their own research and expressed in their own words. Plagiarism is bad practice and unethical.

The following types of ethical misconduct should be avoided:

Verbatim copying
Verbatim copying of significant passages, or streams of text of another person's work without acknowledgement, references or the use of quotation marks.

Improper paraphrasing of another person's work is where sentences within a paragraph or a section of text has been rearranged without appropriate attribution. Significant improper paraphrasing without appropriate attribution is treated as seriously as verbatim copying.

Re-using parts of a work without attribution
Reuse of elements of another person's work, for example a figure, table or paragraphs, without acknowledgement, references or the use of quotation marks. It is incumbent on the author to obtain the necessary permission to reuse elements of another person's work from the copyright holder

Deep Science requires that all authors clearly state that their submitted work has not been published before. If elements of a work have been previously published in another publication, the author is required to acknowledge the earlier work and indicate how the subsequent work differs and builds upon the research and conclusions contained in the previous work. Verbatim copying of an author's own work and paraphrasing is not acceptable, and we recommend that research should only be reused to support new conclusions. Authors should cite all previous stages of publication and presentation of their ideas, that have culminated in the final work, including conference papers, workshop presentations and listserv communications. This will ensure that a complete record of all communication relating to the work is documented.

Republication of original work
Exceptions to the publication of original work includes conference papers, archival papers that are republished in an anniversary or commemorative issue, papers that are of particular merit and that have received only limited circulation (for example through a company newsletter). These papers are republished at the discretion of the Co-Editors-in-Chief. The original work should be fully and correctly attributed and permission from the appropriate copyright holder obtained.

Research with Humans or Animals
Authors must declare at submission that all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, all necessary IRB (Institutional Review Board) and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained, all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms archived.

Any research involving humans or animals should be approved by relevant ethics committee(s) and should conform to international ethical and legal standards for research. We expect authors to respect participants’ right to privacy and to gain any necessary consent to publish before uploading their content to Deep Science. Authors should take care to ensure that results and data sets do not accidentally divulge sensitive or identifiable personal information. Authors should detail in the upload form any and all relevant ethical approvals that were obtained to conduct their study. This information will appear alongside the content. For more information on ethical guidelines for animal research, please see the ARRIVE guidelines .For information on ethical guidelines for research involving human subjects, please see the Helsinki Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects.


We acknowledge that different disciplines and publication formats have different norms for who is listed as an author. Authorship will be based on the criteria outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) principles . These should apply to all fields of research:

substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
final approval of the version to be made publicly available; and
agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Everyone who meets the criteria for authorship should be listed as an author. If the corresponding author uploads research content on behalf of co-authors, we expect the corresponding author to confirm permission with co-authors before uploading the research content.

We integrate with established and emerging industry standards such as ORCID to increase transparency in authorship. Corresponding authors are required to have an ORCID when they submit to Deep Science. We also make use of the extensive resources on authorship and authorship disputes provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) .

Comment Policy

Comments are moderated for offensive or irrelevant content (this process can take up to 24 hours). Duplicated submission is unnecessary. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Deep Science is intended for the rapid sharing of new research and not for commentary that simply contests or rebuts research published in journals. However, manuscripts that augment or challenge earlier work with bona fide new data and/or complete re-analyses of published datasets may be deemed appropriate.

You can comment below the Abstract area of each version of a preprint. We welcome on-topic comments, which are moderated to filter content that is offensive or not relevant. This process that can take up to 24 hours (please submit your comment once only). Comments must be in English. Comments that are offensive, not pertinent, or question the character, abilities, or motivation of authors will be excluded, without explanation.

Competing Interests

Authors must include a competing interest statement using the ICMJE disclosure form, including explicit acknowledgment of whether the authors or their institutions received any payments or services in the past 36 months from a third party that could be perceived to influence, or give the appearance of potentially influencing, the submitted work. Authors must also provide a funding statement with details of all funding that supported the work presented, including explicit acknowledgment of whether the authors or their institutions at any time received payment or services from a third party for any aspect of the submitted work.

Deep Science will avoid inviting referees who have recent or ongoing collaborations with the authors, are or will be engaged in similar research, have commented on drafts of the manuscript, are in direct competition, work in the same department or institution, have a personal relationship, have a history of dispute with the authors, or have a financial or personal interest in the outcome. Because it is not possible for the editors to know of all possible biases, however, we ask referees to draw our attention to anything that might affect their report, including commercial interests, and to decline to referee in cases where they feel unable to be objective and impartial. Previous review of a version of the submitted study elsewhere does not a priori exclude re-review by the same referees, unless they feel predisposed against the work.

Data Availability

Corresponding authors are encouraged to make the data underpinning their research available to others and to abide by the principles of data sharing as outlined by the FAIR Principles .This means that any data shared should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Authors sharing their data should do so ideally through an appropriate subject-specific repository such as CCDC or Chemotion, or a general repository such as Dryad, figshare, Zenodo, or Dataverse. You can also search for an appropriate repository via Authors should include a Data Availability Statement within their content to let readers know whether data have been made available, and if so, where and how they can be accessed. Supporting materials or weblinks can also be provided during the upload process.

Guidelines for Revisions

Authors are free to submit a revised version of a manuscript at any time (prior to acceptance at a journal) by clicking on “Submit a revision” within the Author Area. The new version will use the same DOI as the original submission, which also will remain accessible on the Deep Science site. If there are changes to any Supplementary data, please resubmit all Supplementary files for the article. If there are no changes to Supplementary data, there is no need to resubmit Supplementary files.

Submitting An Initial Response to the Reviewers

Upon receipt of the full set of reviews, authors will have a recommended four weeks to upload a response to the reviewers and, optionally, an initial revision of the manuscript (with all changes tracked and made visible) to Deep Science.

The recommended duration for an initial revision is short. It is intended to provide authors with the possibility to address textual or presentation issues and to provide an initial response to reviewers and tentative revision plan. It is, however, also possible for authors to request an extension of this deadline if they would prefer embarking upfront on more extensive revisions.

The response letter allows authors to explain their view of the paper and the referees’ comments and delineate a revision plan. This will be useful to readers of the preprint to obtain a balanced opinion on the paper. It will also be important information for editors of affiliate journals when making a decision on what extent of revision might be realistic to request for publication. Deep Science editors will not comment or advise on which revision would be required for publication in affiliate journals.

Submitting to An Affiliate Journal

Upon receipt of the reviews, authors can transfer their manuscript, the reviews and their response to a journal affiliated with Deep Science. The transfer is triggered by authors directly through the Deep Science editorial system.

Upon transfer, the recipient journal will have 2 weeks to respond with an editorial decision to authors; this may be “reject”, “accept as is/with minor changes”, or “major revision”; the latter will typically include explicit statements on what revision, possibly including additional experiments, the journal would require for publication.

Affiliate journals have agreed not to review the manuscripts afresh with a new set of reviewers. A target journal may ask for additional expert advice to arbitrate on issues raised by the referees, obtain complementary evaluations on a domain of expertise not covered by the set of transferred reviews and the authors’ response, or on suitability for the journal.

The target journal will receive the identity of the reviewers. Affiliated journals are encouraged to only contact referees where this is required for an informed editorial process and not to request an editorial opinion on journal fit. When the journal requests specific revisions, it can decide to send the revised manuscript back to one or more of the original referees of the platform.

Authors can alternatively decide to take their refereed preprint to any journal outside of the affiliate journals. In such a case, the editor of that journal can approach the platform for the referee names and referee reports.

Licenses and Copyright

Deep Science does not require authors to assign copyright. As a result, when using one of the Creative Commons licenses offered by Deep Science, authors can sign publishing agreements with most publishers. However, authors are encouraged to confirm the policies of the journal they intend to submit to prior to posting a preprint.

Corresponding authors can choose one of three licenses, which determine whether and how the content can be reused by others, when posting their preprint to Deep Science. These include:

CC-BY 4.0: This license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format and remix, transform and build upon the Content for any purpose, even commercially. There is a requirement to attribute the Author upon reuse of the Content.

CC-BY-NC 4.0: This license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format and remix, transform and build upon the Content. However, the Content may not be used for commercial purposes. There is a requirement to attribute the Author upon reuse of the Content.

CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0: This license will allow Site users to copy and redistribute the Content in any medium or format. However, the Content may not be used for commercial purposes and if the user remixes, transforms or builds upon the Content they may not redistribute the modified material. There is a requirement to attribute the Author upon reuse of the Content.

Authors may be interested in the very thorough licensing FAQ provided by ASAPbio.

Materials and Software Sharing

Supplementary Material and Data Sharing

Authors are free to include Supplementary Material such as additional tables and MPEG files. Large datasets, however, should be deposited in the appropriate scientific community database (e.g., clinical trial data sharing sites, Protein Data Bank [PDB], GenBank, NIH sites such as BioLINCC). (See "Revisions" guidelines below.)

Authors should abide by all relevant community guidelines for use and acknowledgment of data resources (e.g., the Fort Lauderdale guidelines), obtaining permission where required and citing the appropriate laboratory, website, and accession numbers, including clinical trial registration information. They may also include links to data or clinical protocols deposited elsewhere. At submission authors must include a statement regarding the availability of all data referred to in the manuscript, along with links to any data hosted in an external repository.


All articles are screened on submission for offensive, dangerous, and/or non-scientific content and are checked for plagiarism.

Press Policies

We are committed to increasing the accessibility of research and ensuring that it is communicated as rapidly as possible. To accelerate this process, we encourage researchers to deposit pre-publication versions of articles in Deep Science.

A preprint is defined as the version of the manuscript that is submitted to a journal, an earlier draft, or any part thereof.

Depositing a preprint on Deep Science does not constitute prior publication. Researchers may respond to requests from the media. However, researchers should make it clear that the paper has not yet undergone peer review, that findings are provisional and that the conclusions may change. Authors are expected to keep the details of the peer review and editorial process confidential.

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