Reply to the press release of the Democratic Party

The Rule Book about editing and ranking scientific journals (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No. 159/2020) defines the criteria to be fulfilled by a journal in order to be on the list of the Ministry of Science.

These criteria have been fulfilled and exceeded by “Napredak”:

  1. From its first edition, the books have been stored in the Digital Repository the National Library of Serbia.

2. It has enabled the Mathematical Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts to perform its annual evaluation.

3. Based on the three-year evaluation, the relevant Committee for Law and Political Sciences (composed of scientific advisors and full professors from these fields) proposed it for М54 category that is awarded to scientific journals in the process of foundation. The proposal was not disapproved by ANY member of the Committee for Journals gathering the representatives of all parent scientific committees (twenty of them, also composed of full professors and scientific advisors).

4. Why is the journal a scientific one?

 a) The editor-in-chief and the majority of the members of the editorial board have scientific or teaching titles.

b) The journal is organized in line with the scientific criteria, by applying the system of double-blind review C). Unlike many other journals, it uses iThenticate program for plagiarism detection, the premium package with the independent evaluator from the Centre for Evaluation of Education and Science (CEON/CEES), while every member has DOI, UDC classification and article type, and is available via the Serbian Citation Index.

c) In line with everything, it is edited according to the strictest scientific criteria, whereas it is not published by the political party, but by the registered Foundation. The editor-in-chief and the majority of the members of the editorial board are not members of the Serbian Progressive party, but members of other parties or non-party persons. Therefore, the only criteria for their appointment only their achieved scientific references and not their party affiliation.

d) The journal deals with the research of political theory and practice (as stated in its subtitle). It would be nice if other political subjects invested some money received from the budget for conducting scientific research while, of course, observing the scientific principles of objectivity, impartiality and universality.

Zoran Lutovac, the President of the Democratic Party, is a senior scientific associate in the Institute of Social Sciences.

Does it mean that due to his being the president of the political party he is not entitled to dealing with scientific work, and does it mean that each scientific article written by him will be brought to question only because he is the president of the political party?

The right to deal with science is one of fundamental human rights and whether a text is a political panegyric or a scientific paper will be evaluated solely on the basis of the strength of the provided arguments and scientific arguments, and the fact that every scientific paper is available to the scientific public for criticism and scientific debate.

Editorial board of the journal for political theory and practice “Napredak”