Journal Publication Ethics

The publication of articles in Italus Hortus contributes to the development of a network of knowledge in the field of horticultural sciences. Authors, Editors and Reviewers must agree on ethical behavior.

Duties of Authors

Articles should be accurate and objective. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements are unacceptable.

The authors that have used, in their article, the work and/or words of others, should appropriately cite or quoted them. In addition, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have been published elsewhere.

Plagiarism in all its forms is an unacceptable unethical publishing behavior.

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given.

Only those who have made a significant contribution to all the major parts of the article should be listed as authors. Other forms of contribution should be acknowledged (for more details, please see the section “Authorship” in the “Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement” reported below).

If the paper contains reference to 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 relevant laws and institutional guidelines.

If an author discovers a significant error in her/his own published article, she/he must notify it as soon as possible to the journal editor and send a corrected version. An editor can request the author such a correction if she/he learns that a published article contains errors.

Publication policy

The Editors guidelines follow  the flowchart of COPE (reused with permission after appropriate accreditation).

The manuscripts can be freely submitted or invited and they will undergo a single-blind peer review process. The editorial committee (formed by the editor and the associate editors) is responsible for deciding the topics that are of interest for Italus Hortus and for selecting the authors to be invited for writing papers. All the manuscripts submitted to Italus Hortus will go through a rigorous Editorial process that is managed by the editorial committee. In taking its decision, the editorial committee acts regardless of the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the potential authors.

Each manuscript is assigned to an Associate Editor (or in some cases to the Editor-in-Chief) that will manage the reviewing process as a Manuscript Editor. Each manuscript is peer reviewed by two anonymous reviewers, who assist the Manuscript Editor to formulate an editorial decision, which is communicated to the author by the Editor-in-Chief within two months from manuscript submission. More details on the Publication Procedures of Italus Hortus can be found at this page.

Reviewers should not take advantage of privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review, but must keep them confidential.

Associate Editors and reviewers should recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest.

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

Correction / Retraction

We encourage authors to notify us if they discover an error in one of their already published articles. Depending on the severity, we will correct it, replace the PDF and include a short note to the readers, or we will retract the article. Reasons for a retraction are: double publication, plagiarism, copyright violation, unreliable data due to data fabrication or honest error, willful exclusion of a legitimate author and otherwise unethical behavior. If any reader notices a major problem, please bring it to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief.


Only people who contributed substantially to the writing of a manuscript and to the research presented therein should be named as authors. Anyone who has the right to be recognized as author must be included in the authorship. Providing funding or lab space is not reason enough to be listed as author. We do not support guest or gift authorship. Should a manuscript feature a suspiciously long author list, the submitting author might be asked to state who contributed what to the submission.
Changes to the author list after submission have to be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief and are only permitted in exceptional cases, for example when additional work was required during the revision of the manuscript. All co-authors have to agree to the change.

Author Reporting Standards
Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial 'opinion' works should be clearly identified as such.

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 relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that they have been approved by the appropriate institutional committee(s). Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. 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 stage possible.

Originality and plagiarism
Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from "passing off" another's paper as the author's own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication
Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and unacceptable.

Publication decisions

The editor of a peer-reviewed journal is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published, often working in conjunction with the relevant society (for society-owned or sponsored journals). The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers (or society officers) in making this decision.

Fair play
An editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to the author’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy.

The editor and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers or the publisher, as appropriate.

Author appeals of a rejection decision
Authors may appeal a rejection by sending an e-mail to the Editorial Office of the journal. The appeal must provide a detailed justification, including point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Editor's comments. The Managing Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and related information (including the identities of the referees) to the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, or Editorial Board member. The academic Editor being consulted will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. A reject decision at this stage is final and cannot be reversed. In the case of a special issue, the Managing Editor of the journal will forward the manuscript and related information (including the identities of the referees) to the Editor-in-Chief who will be asked to give an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. A reject decision at this stage will be final and cannot be reversed.


All submitted manuscripts are initially evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief and the Associate Editors. This includes a short review of the topic, the experimental setup and the language. Please be aware that repeated use of incorrect grammar and insufficient language in general can be the sole cause for rejection. If the manuscript passes the initial evaluation, it will be sent to peer-reviewers, whose identities will remain anonymous to the authors. The final decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief and the Manuscript Editor based on the reviews and his/her own opinion of the manuscript. The reviewers' comments will be provided to the author along with the editorial decision.

Contribution to editorial decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method. Italus Hortus shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.

Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse him/herself from the review process.

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.

Standards of objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Conflict of interest

Authors must add a conflict of interest statement to their manuscript, if their research was (partially) funded by companies associated with the investigated subject (i.e. a company that produces or markets an investigated substance or cultivar) or if one of the authors is associated with such a company, although no direct funding was provided.

Editors take great care to select reviewers, who have not previously published together with the authors of the manuscript and who are not employed by the same institution as the authors. However, if a reviewer notices their connection to the authors of a manuscript after agreeing to review (authors’ names are disclosed to the reviewer only after acceptance), they are asked to inform the editor and step down from their assignment. Reviewers should also decline to undertake the review, if their own work is too close to the described study and could be seen as competition. Authors can ask the editor not to consider certain individuals as reviewers for their manuscript, if they suspect a conflict of interest.

Editors are allowed to publish in the journal, since it is the central publishing organ of their learned society. Editors are not able to gain any editorial information on their own manuscripts beyond what an external author can access. A manuscript from one of the editors is handled by another editor. Being a member of the Editorial Team or a member of one of the publishing societies does not influence the expectations on quality and novelty of the presented research nor the outcome of the reviewing and editorial decision process. The Editor-in-Chief, the Associate Editors and the members of the Editorial Board are not financially compensated for their editorial work on the journal.