Publishing Ethics

NASS is committed to meeting and upholding standards of ethical conduct at all stages of the publishing process, and NASS requires that all editors, reviewers, authors and all those involved in the publication process of the journal Sustainable Marine Structure adhere to the Guidelines and Core practices of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) .

Publication Misconduct                                                   Complaints and Appeals

Editors Ethics                                                                    Authorship

Author's responsibility                                                     Conflict of Interest

Data Sharing and Reproducibility                                   Withdrawal Policy

Ethics for the use of human or animal subjects

Publication Misconduct

If editors, reviewers, authors, or readers discover that a submitted/published article may constitute publishing misconduct, they may send their concerns to the Journal. We will conduct a reasonably rigorous investigation and take all allegations of potential misconduct seriously according to the COPE flowchart.

The misconduct includes (but is not limited to):

  • Plagiarism: Presenting someone else's work, ideas, or words as your own without proper attribution, including self-plagiarism where one's own previously published work is reused without proper acknowledgment.
  • Fabrication: Creating or manipulating data, results, or findings that are not based on actual research.
  • Falsification: Manipulating or altering research data or results to support a desired outcome or hypothesis.
  • Image manipulation: Altering or enhancing images or figures in a way that misrepresents the data.
  • Duplicate publication: Publishing the same research or findings in multiple journals without proper disclosure.
  • Authorship misconduct: Inappropriately assigning or omitting authors who have contributed to the research.
  • Ghostwriting: Not giving credit to individuals who have made significant contributions to the research or manuscript.
  • Misrepresentation: Providing false or misleading information about the research methodology, results, or conclusions.
  • Undisclosed conflicts of interest: Failing to disclose financial or personal relationships that may influence the research.
  • Failure to obtain necessary ethical approvals: Conducting research involving human subjects or animals without obtaining appropriate ethical approvals from relevant institutional review boards or ethics committees.
  • Violation of intellectual property rights: Infringing on copyrights, patents, or other intellectual property rights related to research findings or materials.
  • Unfair or biased treatment: Reviewers or editors demonstrate favoritism or bias toward certain authors, institutions, or research topics, resulting in unfair treatment or biased decision-making.
  • Violation of ethical guidelines: Failure to follow ethical standards and guidelines set by professional organizations.

To avoid any form of plagiarism, every manuscript submitted to Sustainable Marine Structures will first be checked regarding plagiarism using iThenticate, which ensures the originality of submitted content. The journal does not accept plagiarism, which includes copying text, ideas, images, or data from another source, even from your own work, without giving any credit to the original source.

If plagiarism is detected during the initial check or peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication, we will retract the paper. We reserve the right to inform authors' institutions about plagiarism detected either before or after publication.

Complaints and Appeals

If you need to make a complaint or appeal, please email with the relevant evidence, we will handle the complaints and appeals according to COPE regulations.

Editors Ethics

  • Any manuscripts submitted to Sustainable Marine Structures will be treated as confidential materials. The manuscripts must not be disclosed to anyone except individuals such as editorial staff, reviewers, and editors who participate in the initial screening, review, processing, and preparation of the manuscript for publication (if accepted).
  • Editors must not misappropriate the contents of the manuscript.
  • Editors are required to screen all manuscripts submitted to Sustainable Marine Structures for acceptable English language, novelty, and relevance to the journal's aims and scope before entering peer review.
  • The editorial decision-making process must be independent of all commercial concerns, and each submitted manuscript will be treated fairly and equitably.
  • Editors must not participate in the editorial process or make any editorial decisions if they have any conflict of interest with the manuscript submitted to the journal.
  • Editors should ensure that any research they publish adheres to globally recognized ethical standards.
  • Editors should take action if they suspect any misconduct in a manuscript, whether published or unpublished, and they should make every reasonable effort to resolve the issue.

Ethics for reviewers who participate in the peer review process, we have also developed some necessary ethical guidelines to ensure that the peer review process is scientific, fair, and impartial. See for reviewers.


The journal follows the ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • 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 reviewing it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; 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.

Any changes to the author list after submission, such as changes in author order or the addition/removal of authors, must be approved by each author and accompanied by a signed consent statement from all authors. Once the manuscript is accepted, changes to authorship, including adding or removing authors, changing the corresponding author, or changing the author order, are not permitted.

Author's responsibility

  • The consent of all authors, as well as related authorities/institutions has been received before the submission of the manuscript.
  • Authors must be fully aware of the journal's copyright policy and all other policies before submitting.
  • Authors must certify that their manuscript is their original work and that all data in this manuscript are genuine.
  • Authors maintain accurate records of data related to their submitted manuscripts and provide access to these data upon reasonable request. Where appropriate and with the permission of employers, funding agencies, and others who may be interested, deposit data in a suitable repository or storage location, for sharing and further use by others.
  • Authors must state that the manuscript has not previously been published elsewhere and that the manuscript is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • Authors must notify the editor of any conflicts of interest/financial support.
  • Authors must obtain permission to use any copyrighted material.
  • When the author discovers any significant errors or inaccuracies in his/her own published work, the author is obliged to notify the editor or publisher in time and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
  • All authors should approve the final published version of the manuscript before it is published.

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the authors' names and order. Additionally, they are also responsible for ensuring that all authors receive the submission and all substantive communications with the editor, as well as complete reviews to verify all data, figures, materials (including reagents), and code, even if the code was developed or provided by other authors. This adherence to transparency and reproducibility standards is crucial for the field and the journal.

Conflict of Interest

The journal believes that any potential conflict of interest between authors and editors can seriously damage academic integrity and the reputation of the journal. To avoid such situations, we have a strict Conflict of Interest policy in place.

All authors, editors, and reviewers must disclose all relationships or interests, including any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that might have influenced the presented results or their interpretation.

Upon submission of an article, all authors should disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may affect their research findings, such as financial, personal, or organizational interests. Authors must disclose potential conflicts of interest in the manuscript or cover letter. The statement should reflect all the collected potential conflict of interest disclosures in the form. It must be ensured that the research data presented in the manuscript are clear and unbiased, and not influenced by funding or suppliers of reagents and/or products. Any potential conflict of interest that could lead to possible bias in the data or analytical methods needs to be disclosed. If authors who have nothing to declare are encouraged to add "All authors disclosed no any conflict of interest." in this section.

Editors and reviewers must also comply with this policy and disclose any conflicts of interest related to themselves or their institutions when handling manuscripts.

If authors, editors or reviewers cannot comply with our journal's Conflict of Interest policy, they will not be able to continue to participate in the research or publication process. Our journal believes that by adhering to this policy, we can maintain a high level of attention and respect for academic integrity and the reputation of the journal.

Data Sharing and Reproducibility

NASS supports open, reproducible science. All papers must contain methods in sufficient detail so that they can be reproduced by those in the field. Some may be provided in supplementary papers.

Sustainable Marine Structures is a Gold open access journal, which makes the final version of an article freely and permanently accessible for everyone, immediately after publication.  All articles published in the Journal are distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which means all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution.

We encourage authors to state where data supporting the results reported in a published article can be found, and under what conditions the data can be accessed. They also include links (where applicable) to the data set.

Ethics for the use of human or animal subjects

If the research involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures are conducted in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines, and that appropriate institutional committees have approved the research. The manuscript should include a statement consistent with the background of the study. If the research involves direct experimentation on human participants, the authors should also state in the manuscript that informed consent has been obtained from the human participants. If the research involves minors as participants, the authors must provide a consent letter from the guardian of the minors to the editor. All authors should assess whether there are any physical or psychological risks in the research involving human participants (whether patients, volunteers, or healthy individuals), and disclose all features of the research or intervention that may reasonably be expected to affect willingness to participate. Failure to adequately disclose such information before obtaining informed consent may result in manuscript delay or rejection.

Withdrawal Policy

Sometimes after an article has been published it may be necessary to make a change to the Version published. This will be done after careful consideration by the Editor who is also supported by Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte Ltd staff to ensure any necessary changes are made with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Any necessary changes will be accompanied by a post-publication notice which will be permanently linked to the original article so that readers will be fully informed of any necessary changes. This can be in the form of a Correction notice, a Retraction, and in rare circumstances a Removal. The purpose of this mechanism of making changes that are permanent and transparent is to ensure the integrity of the scholarly record.

Correction notice 

A Correction notice will be issued when it is necessary to correct an error or omission which can impact the interpretation of the article.

  • Correct the online article.
  • Issue a separate correction notice electronically linked back to the corrected version.


A Retraction notice will be issued where a major error (e.g. in the analysis or methods) invalidates the conclusions in the article, or where research misconduct or publication misconduct has taken place (e.g. research without required ethical approvals, fabricated data, manipulated images, plagiarism, duplicate publication, etc). The decision to issue a retraction for an article will be made by COPE guidelines and will involve an investigation by Nan Yang Academy of Sciences Pte Ltd editorial staff in collaboration with the editor. Authors and institutions may request a retraction of their articles if their reasons meet the criteria for retraction.

  • Add a "retracted" watermark to the published version of the article.
  • Issue a separate retraction statement, titled "Retraction: [article title]", that will be linked to the retracted article.


Articles may be subject to removal under the following circumstances:

Legal concerns or copyright infringement: If an article violates copyright laws, includes unauthorized use of someone else's work or content, or raises legal concerns, the journal or publisher may decide to remove the article.

Ethical or compliance issues: If an article involves ethical or compliance issues, such as unapproved human or animal research, unauthorized use of personal data, or breaches of ethical guidelines, the article may be subject to removal.


Authors should note that any amounts of paid Article Processing Charge will not be refunded if their accepted papers or Articles in Press are withdrawn/Retraction/Removal on the grounds of academic misconduct and ethical violations in research and publication.