Publication Ethics

Editorial policy

Visions for Sustainability is published in electronic format at the website in open access framework with the ISSN 2384-8677. It publishes a steady flow of stand-alone papers, with specific DOI and therefore completely quotable. Occasional special collections are published with papers dealing with the same issue in order to promote discussion around one or more specific visions for sustainability. 

English is the sole language used for full papers but one or more summaries in the original languages of the authors may be published. These summaries are strongly encouraged in order to maintain a link with the original context of the paper. The summaries will not be reviewed by the editorial group and can be added after the communication of acceptance.

We are committed to a policy of research integrity so as to safeguard honesty and reliability in all aspects of the research published, promote meticulous attention, thoroughness and excellence in research practice, ensure transparency and openness in all communication processes and guarantee care and respect for all research participants and subjects. Our editorial team constantly monitors all these aspects in all dealings with authors in order to maintain the standards envisaged by our ethical code.


Paper Selection and Publication Process

The publication process follows the standard procedure adopted by academic, peer-reviewed journals.

1. On receipt of a manuscript, the Editor sends an e-mail of confirmation to the corresponding author within 5 working days. If authors do not receive this confirmation, they should contact the Editor immediately.

2. The proposal is initially examined by a member of the editorial team to ensure it is suitable for consideration before proceeding to the peer review process.

3. Peer review. The paper is peer-reviewed by three experts: a member of the editorial team and two external reviewers who are subject specialists. Support is provided to reviewers to ensure scrupulous, fair and effective peer reviewing and feedback that is beneficial and constructive for authors. The editors guarantee a review process to be completed within 6 weeks.

4. Notification of the outcome of the review and any request for revision are sent by e-mail. Requests for revision are detailed and supportive for authors.

5. The authors revise the paper and submit the final version. Editors guarantee that the accepted version will be published online as “in press” within 3 weeks after the submission of the final version. The versions defined as “in press” will have their specific DOI and they can thus be used for references before final publication.

6. An e-journal version in PDF is available for download free of charge on the journal’s webpage.


Peer review process

The quality of the peer review process is of upmost importance for Visions for Sustainability. In this respect, since double-blind and single-blind review protocols have failed to ensure an objective evaluation of papers[1],[2],[3], an open review process has been adopted. Reviewers know the identity of authors and vice versa, so that they can engage in constructive dialogues for improving the quality of the paper within a framework of trust and respect. These dialogues can be highly enriching for both authors and reviewers, and discussions concerning a submitted manuscript may be collected and published as commentaries or extra materials and published online with the name of the different participants involved. Experiences with open peer review2 suggest that both the credit and the accountability for peer reviewing would increase. The final decision about publication of the manuscript and/or the commentaries will always rest with the editorial board, as will the option to request the publishing of commentaries.

[1]Editorial: Working double-blind. Nature 451 (7179): 605–6. February 2008. doi:10.1038/451605b. PMID 18256621.

[2]Van Rooyen S, Godlee F, Smith R, Evans S, Black N. The effect of blinding and masking on the quality of peer review: a randomized trial. JAMA 1998: 280:234­7

[3]McNutt RA, Evans AT, Fletcher RH, Fletcher SW. The effects of blinding on the quality of peer review. JAMA 1990: 263:1371­6.



Visions for Sustainability requires authors to guarantee accountability for their contributions to a study. Authors are expected to:

- have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it;

- have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author's contribution to the study);

- have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author's own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature;

- have ensured appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarizing the work of others and reuse from an author’s previous research publications.

The corresponding author has the authority to act on behalf of all co-authors, and we expect the corresponding author to confirm this at the beginning of the publication process.


Competing Interests

To ensure that any paper published is free from undue influence and in the general interests of transparency, Visions for Sustainability requires authors to declare any competing financial and/or non-financial interests in relation to the work described. We will not publish any work for which competing interests might undermine the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication, through a potential influence on the judgements and actions of authors with regard to objective data presentation, analysis and interpretation. The corresponding author is responsible for submitting a competing interests' statement on behalf of all authors of the paper.


Correction and retraction policy

Visions for Sustainability considers corrections, expressions of concern or retractions in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines and recognizes its responsibility to correct errors and retract any inaccurate, misleading or fraudulent results that may emerge in any of its issues. Readers' responses and criticisms of papers will be published if the author provides adequate evidence that a part of the original paper was incorrect or can be legitimately contested. Refutations are peer-reviewed, and where possible they will be sent to the same referees who reviewed the original paper. A copy will also be sent to the corresponding author of the original paper for signed comments. The published refutation, as well as the eventual author reply or retraction, are linked online to the original paper.