Editorial Policies


The Baltic Journal of Road and Bridge Engineering is a peer reviewed scientific journal publishing on all issues related to roads and bridges. It was instigated in 2004 to bring together research and knowledge specifically from three Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia).

  • Road and bridge research and design,
  • Road construction materials and technologies,
  • Railway construction materials and technologies,
  • Bridge construction materials and technologies,
  • Road, railway and bridge repair,
  • Road, railway and bridge maintenance,
  • Road traffic safety,
  • Road and bridge information technologies,
  • Environmental issues,
  • Road climatology,
  • Low-volume roads,
  • Normative documentation,
  • Quality management and assurance,
  • Road infrastructure and its assessment,
  • Asset management,
  • Road and bridge construction financing,
  • Specialist pre-service and in-service training;

The journal also welcomes:

  • reviews and bibliography,
  • reports about conferences and workshops.

The editors are grateful for the support of the the Lithuanian and Estonian Road Administrations, the state company “Latvian State Roads“, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Riga Technical University and Tallinn University of Technology as well as the Baltic Road Association for supporting and financing the publication of the journal.

Each submission is checked for suitability when received by the editorial office, and may be rejected without review if it is outside the scope of the journal, is obviously of insufficient quality, or is missing important sections.

The journal invites external experts (not only Editorial Board members) to review each article that is considered suitable for consideration. The publication decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief after receiving at least two external reviewer reports with recommendations.

Authors are encouraged to suggest suitable reviewers, but the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial office reserves the right to select different reviewers. The reason for asking authors to suggest reviewers is that they are best placed to know who is an expert in the field. In addition, the suggested reviewers may be suitable for other articles on the same topic. Therefore, obtaining these names can help the editorial office to ensure that it is approaching suitable people to review all articles.

The journal uses double-blind peer review (neither the authors nor the reviewers know the identity of each other) to avoid bias.

On receipt of at least two reviews, the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision of (1) accept, (2) minor revision, (3) major revision, or (4) reject. The reasons for the decision will be communicated to the authors.

When the decision of minor/major revision is made, and the authors do not revise their articles satisfactorily after receiving reviewer reports, then the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject the article. When revised articles are received they will either be sent out for further review or the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision depending on the level of revision requested.

The time to review and make a decision is extremely variable since it is sometimes difficult to find suitable reviewers, and there may be delays in receiving reviewer reports. The Editor-in-Chief and editorial office make all efforts to minimize the time from submission to first decision. The journal aims to make a first decision (after review) within 40–60 days, but cannot guarantee this.

Note that articles that do not report original research (e.g. letters to the editor, editorials) are not externally reviewed and the Editor-in-Chief makes the decision to publish.

This journal is published Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0) which allows readers to reuse the content without restriction. Readers are free to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and to use them for any other lawful purpose. Open Access allows for unrestricted sharing of scholarly information and helps to promote knowledge throughout the world. RTU supports Open Access as an equitable means of ensuring that scholarly research, usually funded by public institutions, is made available to all. Open Access publications are more likely to be discovered, read, cited, and used for future research than those published in closed journals, and we believe it is in the best interests of authors and their parent institutions, as well as the journals themselves, to make all our content freely available and reusable.

Authors retain copyright in their articles, but grant RTU Press the right of the first publication.

Journal articles published until March 2018 (Vol. 13, No. 1) have been deposited in digital archives PorticoCLOCKSSLOCKSS. Since June 2018 journal articles are deposited in PKP Private LOCKSS Network. CLOCKSS system has permission to ingest, preserve, and serve this Archival Unit. The information about journal archival status can be found here https://portal.issn.org/resource/ISSN/1822-4288

Starting from June 2018 (Vol. 13, No. 2) in accordance with RTU Open Access Policy journal articles are deposited in RTU institutional publications repository ORTUS https://ortus.rtu.lv/science/en/series/25 

Journal articles are deposited in the National Library of Latvia repository.

Anyone identified as an author must have made a substantial intellectual contribution to the research and to the writing of the article. They must be willing to take a shared responsibility in the research and in the article and approve the final version to be published. Anyone who does not fulfil these criteria but has contributed to either the research or the writing of the article should be acknowledged and thanked in the “Acknowledgements” section at the end of the article.

Any changes to authorship either during the peer review process or after acceptance must be confirmed by all named authors, and a reason for any addition/removal provided to the Editor-in-Chief.

Ideally, the contribution of each named author should be given in a “Contributor list” at the end of each article (e.g. “Author A and Author B conceived the study and were responsible for the design and development of the data analysis. Author A, Author B and Author C were responsible for data collection and analysis. Author A and Author B were responsible for data interpretation. Author C wrote the first draft of the article.”).

Information about article preparation and how to submit can be found here <Guidelines for Authors>

All authors are responsible for ensuring that:

  • the manuscript is their own original work, and does not duplicate any other previously published work, including their own previously published work;
  • the manuscript has been submitted only to this journal; it is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication or in press or published elsewhere;
  • the manuscript contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, libellous, obscene, fraudulent, or illegal.

Non-compliance with any of the above conditions will be considered misconduct and dealt with accordingly. Equally, if authors are found guilty of infringing any of the above, the publisher reserves the right to charge the authors with costs which the journal incurs for their manuscript at the discretion of the Journal’s Editors and the publisher.

If an author considers that a decision of Rejection was incorrectly made, they may appeal the decision. To appeal a decision the author must email the Editor-in-Chief or the publisher, giving reasons why they think the decision was wrong. The appeal will be considered by a member of the Editorial Board who was not involved in the original decision (nominated jointly by the Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher). There is only one chance to appeal, so it is very important that authors clearly explain the justification for making an appeal.

The journal can accept supplementary files that support the submitted article (e.g. audio, movie, or text files: for example a survey questionnaire which is described in the article). Supplemental information should be provided with the submission. It will not be formally reviewed but will be considered to determine whether it is required by the article. Please note that authors take fully responsibility for the content of any supplemental information, and a disclaimer on the supplemental information must clearly state that they have not been formally reviewed.

We encourage all researchers to archive and share their data. Several grant funders now require this, and we believe that it benefits research by enabling other researchers to reuse and reinterpret data for the benefit of all. We encourage all authors to make their data available in suitable repositories (for example FigShare, or other similar repository) where the item will be safely archived and given a unique reference number (DOI or similar), so that it can be cited in the authors’ articles.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce anything (e.g. figure, table, text) that has been previously published or created by another person. On request from the Editorial Office or Publisher they should be able to supply evidence of such permission.

A Conflict of Interest is defined as a situation where personal relationships (e.g. friend, colleague or family), business relationships (e.g. working in a competing company), or financial influences (e.g. funding) will affect the judgement of any person during the publication of the journal.

Authors are required to declare (within the article and to the Editor-in-Chief) any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may have affected their research (e.g. funding) or decision to submit to the journal.

Reviewers are required to declare if they have any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may affect their judgement of any article they review. The COI may not prevent them reviewing the article, but must be declared to the Editor-in-Chief as soon as it is known.

Editors are excluded from any publishing decision in which they may have a Conflict of Interest (COI). For example, if an article by a colleague of the Editor-in-Chief is submitted to the journal, the peer review and all editorial decisions will managed by another editor.

Authors are responsible for ensuring that their works are unique, and that they fully acknowledge the source of any content which is not entirely the authors’ own. The journal will check articles for plagiarism (i.e. reproducing any content without attribution and permission) using Crosscheck/iThenticate and considers the inclusion of plagiarised content to be misconduct by the authors.

The editors have a right to select which articles to consider for publication and which to accept and/or reject without influence from the publisher or other external bodies.

The editors have a right to select which articles to consider for publication and which to accept and/or reject without influence from the publisher or other external bodies.

The journal editors have a duty to treat all submissions confidentially, and to ensure that judgements are made free of bias, and in a timely manner. Decisions on which articles to be published are the responsibility of the editors who also have a responsibility not to bring the journal into disrepute (by knowingly accepting bad quality or unethical articles or by failing to comply with the journal policies). The appointment of the Editorial Board is the duty of the Editor-in-Chief.

Support for, and financing of, the publication of the journal is provided by the Lithuanian and Estonian Road Administrations, the State Joint Stock Company Latvian State Roads, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Riga Technical University and Tallinn University of Technology as well as the Baltic Road Association.

The journal is not charging Article Publication Charges for any accepted article.

Reported errors will be investigated by the publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and discussed with the authors. The appropriate correction will be made after this consultation.

Articles will be retracted if there is evidence of unethical research, unreliable data, misconduct or plagiarism, or if there are sufficient mistakes to invalidate the article.

RTU and the journal follow the recommendations and policies of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) regarding ethical policies and dealing with misconduct and RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines. Misconduct includes falsifying data, plagiarising others' works, and breach of confidentiality. Each case will be considered by the publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and in all cases the author (or reviewer) will be contacted directly. However, the publisher reserves the right to speak directly to the author's or reviewer's institution or other appropriate organization if severe misconduct is suspected.

Note that if misconduct is suspected during the review process the manuscript will be held until any concerns have been resolved. If misconduct is confirmed during the review process the manuscript will be immediately rejected. If misconduct is proved after publication then the article will be retracted.

Where an author, reviewer, reader, or other person has a complaint against the journal or editors, they should speak directly to the publisher in the first instance.

Wherever possible, the complaint will be dealt with by the relevant publishing or editorial person. Where a resolution is not satisfactory it will be passed to a more senior person for resolution.

The aim of RTU Press is to ensure that the parties involved in the publishing process adhere to RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines and, if relevant, declare conflict of interest.
RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines are based on adherence to ethical principles set out in “Latvian Council of Science Code of Researcher’s Ethics “, “RTU Code of Ethics of Students and Personnel” and in Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines of Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE).
RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines set out the duties and responsibilities of editors, reviewers, authors and RTU Press and set out the process of dealing with cases of unethical behaviour or undisclosed conflicts of interest.
RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines are approved and monitored by RTU Ethics Committee (nominated by the Rector of RTU) which provides consultancy and investigates the cases compromising intellectual and ethical standards as well as takes the decisions in accordance with the principles set out in the legal acts of the Republic of Latvia.
1. Duties and responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief of a scientific journal
1.1. Editor-in-Chief ensures that
1.1.1. the journal has clearly defined principles of publishing ethics: the requirements regarding authorship, reviewing process, ethical guidelines, principles of disclosure of conflict of interest;
1.1.2. information on principles of publication ethics is accessible for authors and reviewers;
1.1.3. editors do not allow cases of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, redundant publication and “salami slicing” and see to the authorship issue of papers;
1.1.4. authors, editors and reviewers adhere to the principles of publishing ethics and norms set out in “Latvian Council of Science Code of Researchers’ Ethics”, “RTU Code of Ethics of Students and Personnel” and in Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines of Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE);
1.1.5. authors, editors and reviewers declare conflict of interest.
1.2. Editor-in-Chief should make honest and objective decisions.
The evaluation of manuscript and the decision on publishing should not be biased and influenced by personal reasons (professional, political, ideological, etc.). Possible financial and non-financial conflict of interest
should be assessed and the editor should abstain from the evaluation of the manuscript.
1.3. Editor-in-Chief has the authority to reject a manuscript on grounds of the declared conflict of interest of author, reviewer, or in case the manuscript does not adhere to the of RTU Press Guidelines of Publication Ethics.
1.4. If the Editorial Board of a journal receives a complaint about ethical misconduct the Editor-in-Chief should follow the procedures set out in the RTU Press Guidelines of Publication Ethics and investigate the complaints even if the manuscript has been accepted for publication. Editor-in-Chief should keep all documentation related to the complaints.
1.5. Editor-in-Chief ensures that the selected peer reviewers are free from disqualifying conflict of interests. The publication should not be reviewed by the tutor of a promotional work or by a co-author.
2. Duties and responsibilities of peer reviewers (of journal articles, books and teaching materials)
2.1. Peer reviewer should
2.1.1. assess the academic content, the obtained research results, author’s competence and the scientific significance of the manuscript, and clearly communicate critical comments without being hostile;
2.1.2. ensure that the review is based on the merits of the work and not influenced either positively or negatively, by any financial, or other conflicting considerations or by personal biases (professional, political, religious or ideological);
2.1.3. declare all potential conflicting interests and decline to review the manuscript if he/she is not able to be objective;
2.1.4. notify the editor or publisher if he/she has concerns about ethical aspects of the work or is aware of similarities between the text of the submitted manuscript to another published article;
2.1.5. respect the confidentiality and avoid to use the submitted manuscript for his/her personal benefit;
2.1.6. only agree to review manuscripts which he/she has the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and decline to review if he/she does not have the respective competencies.
3. Ethical guidelines for Authors
3.1. All authors submitting to a RTU Press journal are expected to adhere to the following ethical guidelines:
3.1.1. Authors should adhere to national and international copyright laws and the RTU Press Publication Ethics Guidelines.
3.1.2. Publishing of a manuscript should be agreed with the project manager or leader of the research group and all co-authors.
3.1.3. Using text of publication of another author without reference to the author is qualified as plagiarism and violation of copyright.
3.1.4. Tables, figures or extensive quotations should be reproduced only with appropriate permission from the author or publisher, should be properly acknowledged with reference to the source.
3.1.5. When quoting scientific discoveries, its primary source should be acknowledged. The same research can be used only if the primary source is cited.
3.1.6. Repeated publishing of previously published work is unethical. It does not relate to inclusion in literature overviews.
3.1.7. Authors should ensure that their research is original and has not been published before. Submitting of manuscripts to multiple publishing or simultaneous publishing is considered unethical.
3.1.8. On submission of the manuscript authors should present information about all related and similar publications, including translations, published with other publishers.
3.1.9. Researchers should ensure that only those individuals are rewarded with authorship who have made real and creative and substantial contribution to the research work. Colleagues who have provided technical assistance (e.g. doing standard analysis using standard methods) or to the publication (e.g. prepared figures or did editing) should be listed in the Acknowledgement section. Acknowledgement should be given also to individuals whose comments during the preparation of the manuscript have helped to interpret the results of the research.
3.1.10. Authors should declare all possible financial and/or non-financial conflicts of interest.
4. Responsibilities of RTU Press
4.1. RTU Press is fully committed to ethical publication practice and organizes its work to detect:

  • plagiarism;
  • self-plagiarism (text recycling of a previously published text);
  • redundant publication;
  • “salami publication”;
  • wrong information about authorship;

4.2. RTU Press monitors the procedure of editors, reviewers and authors declaring possible financial and non-financial conflict of interests in order to ensure the transparency of the publishing process.
4.3. In cases when RTU Press receives complaints or report on ethical misconduct, Head of RTU Press should investigate the complaints and report even if the manuscript has already been accepted for publishing. RTU Press should keep all documents related to complaints.
5. Dealing with cases of suspected misconduct
5.1. In the case of a suspected misconduct, it has to be reported to the Editor-in-Chief of the respective journal or to RTU Press. The reporter should provide grounded proof about the misconduct for it to be investigated.
5.2. Initial investigation is performed by Editor-in-Chief together with RTU Press. Confidentiality should be observed during the process of collecting of confirming proof.
5.3. In case of minor misconduct investigation is not necessary. In any case of discovered misconduct, the author should be given the opportunity to present the explanation.
5.4. In case of a serious breach the Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal in consultation with RTU Press, decides whether to notify the employer of the author or to involve outside experts in further investigation.
5.5. In case of serious misconduct Editor-in-Chief of the journal in consultancy with RTU Press submits the proof of the facts for investigation at RTU Ethics Committee and recommends to take the following steps:
5.5.1. Author or reviewer is given the notice about the misconduct and receives warning in writing;
5.5.2. The scientific journal publishes a notice about the occurred misconduct;
5.5.3. A letter of notice is sent to the employer of the author or reviewer;
5.5.4. The employer of the author or reviewer is sent a letter announcing that the publication is deployed from the scientific journal and the databases indexing it;
5.5.5. Editor-in-Chief in consultancy with RTU Press sets the period of time by which the respective author’s manuscripts will not be accepted for publishing;
5.5.6. A report on the misconduct and consequences is sent to the respective professional organisation and higher institutions for further investigation and action.

See in https://www.rtu.lv/en/research/publications/rtu-press-publication-ethics-guidelines