Journal Policies

The Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation (JTBC), published by Universiti Malaysia Sabah adheres to the international publication ethics practices based on the guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Insert link to:



Reporting Materials

Original research should clearly demonstrate an accurate account of the work with specified objectives and significance, and by presenting verifiable data. It should contain sufficient details and references that will maintain repeatability of the work. Authors should review publication articles and state opinion works accurately and objectively.

Data Access and Retention

In some circumstances, authors may be asked by reviewers to provide the original data used for the manuscript, hence be prepared for such circumstances. Wherever necessary, authors may also be asked to retain data for a reasonable length of time after publication.


The journal accepts original works. In the normal event when the work and text of others have been used, all should be appropriately cited and quoted. Plagiarism in in all of its forms, is not tolerated constitutes unethical publishing behaviour. When a manuscript is submitted to JTBC, the editorial team will conduct a Turnitin check to ensure that the similarity index value is below 30%. Manuscripts that exceed this threshold value will be rejected. For manuscripts that pass the initial screening and undergo the review process, they will be subjected to a second Turnitin check when a revised version of the manuscript is received following the reviews from the reviewers.

Multiple and Concurrent Publication

Submission of work describing essentially the same research to more than one primary publication, or submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal is considered unethical and unacceptable. Similarly, a previously published paper in JTBC should not be sent for consideration in another journal and vice versa.

Acknowledgement of Sources

All assistance and works of others that are influential and/or are used in the reported work must always be given proper citation and acknowledgement. Likewise, privately obtained information should only be used with explicit permission from the source. Written permission from the author of work involving information obtained in the course of confidential services e.g. refereeing manuscripts or grant applications must be obtained before they are used in the reported work.


Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported work. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author is responsible in ensuring all appropriate co-authors are included in the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. If the work involves materials, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards, these must be explicitly explained and identified in the paper.

Declaration of Generative AI Use

Authors are allowed to utilise AI or AI-assisted technologies (henceforth referred to as AI) to assist with writing only for the improvement language and readability. AI should not be used for data analyses or figure generation. The usage of AI must be used under human control and oversight, and all work produced must be reviewed by the authors. AI cannot be listed as an author, co-author or cited as an author. Authorship implies tasks and responsibilities that can only be performed and attributed to a human being. Authors must disclose the use of AI in the writing of their papers in the Copyright Transfer form upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication. Be reminded that authors are held responsible and accountable for the contents of their work.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Special attention should be given to financial and conflict of interest that could influence the results and/or the interpretation of the work in that all sources of financial support should be disclosed. At the time of submission, employment, consultancy work, holding of stock, fees related testimony, grants and other kinds of funding should be disclosed as these may be construed to influence the findings.

Disclosure of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies use should be made when submitting the Copyright Transfer form upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication.

Permits and Clearance for Studies

The necessary permits to conduct the research from the respective granting bodies (eg. Federal or State departments, agencies, land area managers) must be included when submitting a manuscript. In addition, proof of research clearance must be provided such as animal ethics approval for experiments carried out on animals or prior informed consent (PIC) for studies involving interviews with the community.  Each research and/or ethical permit approval number must be listed in the acknowledgements.


Upon discovery of any significant error or fundamental inaccuracy in a published work, it is the author’s obligation to notify the Editor-in-Chief and amicably assist in retraction or correction of the paper. Similarly, a proof of correctness of the original paper should be provided to the editor when necessary to do so.



Decisions on Publication

The decision of article to be published and when it is to be published in the JTBC is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief and will be based on the importance of the work to researchers and readers. The Editor-in-Chief should perform his duties and make decisions following the policies of the Editorial Board, in which, conferment with handling and other editors and reviewers may be necessary.


The review process on a manuscript will only be based on its content. No decision and revision are done in relation to gender, race, religious belief, ethnicity, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.


The Editor-in-Chief and all editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to any party other than the corresponding authors, reviewers and the publisher.

Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure

Editors will be responsible to protect unpublished material in a submitted manuscript. Any use of the materials must be preceded by a written consent of the author. Access to information or ideas obtained as a privilege in the function as an editor must be kept confidential and not to be used as an advantage. In the event that editors will potentially have conflicts of interests, they should recuse themselves from reviewing the manuscript. On a similar note, editors should call for disclosures of interests by all contributors, including in the corrections done after publication. Whenever appropriate, publication of the retraction or any other actions will be done accordingly.



At all times, all manuscript received for a review must be treated with confidentiality; discussion with other experts should only be done under authorization by the Editor-in-Chief.

A review on a manuscript should conducted objectively and professionally, without any inappropriate personal criticism of the author. Expression of opinion and views by the reviewers should be done clearly and, wherever appropriate, with supporting documents. Upon detection that relevant published work has not been cited, a reviewer should identify and communicate with the author.

Communications between the reviewers and the editors may be necessary in making editorial decisions and to improve the manuscript. Upon detection, a reviewer should report to the editor of any substantial similarity with the manuscript and other published work. Reviewers should responsibly notify the editor if promptness cannot be achieve on a manuscript review.  

Any unpublished materials obtained as a privilege as a reviewer must be kept confidential and should not be used without a written consent by the author. Whenever there is a potential for conflict of interests, a reviewer should excuse himself from the review process on that manuscript.