Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

This publication ethics and publication malpractice statement has been shaped by the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011).  A similar statement by PsychOpen has also been helpful in preparing this document (PsychOpen, n.d.).


Editors' responsibilities

Publication decisions: Editors are collectively responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. Our editors evaluate manuscripts without regard to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. Decisions on publication are ultimately based on the paper's contribution to the field, its originality and clarity, and its relevance to the journal's aims and scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism are also considered.

Confidentiality: The editors and editorial staff undertake not to disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted paper will not be used by the editor or the members of the editorial board for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent.

Fundamental errors in published works (errata): If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy and notifies the journal editor or publisher, the editors undertake to cooperate with the author to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum. Authors are encouraged to review their own manuscripts carefully during the production process to avoid such errors being published.


Reviewers' responsibilities

Contribution to editorial decisions: The peer-reviewing process assists the editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions and in many cases reviewer feedback is useful to the author/s also in revising and improving the paper.

Promptness: Any selected peer reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that responding within the journal's preferred 4-week peer review period will be impossible should notify the editor timeously and withdraw from the review process.

Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shared or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor/s.

Standards of objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Papers should be fairly evaluated in respect of their fit with the journal, their contribution to the field/area of research, and the way in which the author has expressed and substantiated their argument.

Acknowledgement of sources: Reviewers must identify instances where published work referred to in the paper has not been cited in the reference section (mismatch between in-text references and the reference list). They should also indicate instances where they believe observations or arguments derived from other publications are not accompanied by the relevant source or reference. Reviewers should notify the editor of any notable similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper or papers of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict of interest: Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must not be used for personal advantage, and should be kept confidential. Reviewers approached to review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest arising from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors or institutions associated with the manuscripts should remove themselves from the review process.


Authors' duties

Reporting standards: Authors of original research papers should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as a clear discussion of its significance. Relevant data should be represented accurately and appropriately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit readers to access works referenced in the paper, and draw on the work in their own research if desired. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements are unethical and unacceptable.

Data access and retention: Authors should ensure accessibility of raw data to other competent professionals for at least ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgement of sources: Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will cite or quote the work and/or words of others in an appropriate manner and in line with the journal's published guidelines. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: Submitting the same paper to more than one journal simultaneously constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. Authors submitting an original paper to the journal should not have the paper under consideration with any other journal at that time. Authors may only withdraw their paper if the paper is: rejected before or after peer review, or if authors notify the editor of their intention to withdraw as soon as a decision on the manuscript is communicated by the editors, including where such a decision indicates the need for revisions. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by the journal should not be resubmitted to copyrighted publications. However, by submitting a manuscript, the author/s retain the rights to the published material. In case of publication, they permit the use of their work under a CC-BY license [], which allows others, with appropriate attribution, to 'copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format' and to 'remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercial'.

Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All authors who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author ensures that all contributing co-authors are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All communication will be conducted between the editor/s and corresponding author only, except where co-authors request otherwise.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All authors should include in their submission a clear statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that may be interpreted as influencing the research included in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed, including where relevant project or funding reference numbers.

Fundamental errors in published works: If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, the author is obliged to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum. Authors should take care to review their own manuscripts carefully during the production process to avoid such errors being published.

Co-writing with generative AI

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and AI-assisted technologies in scientific discourse has been in the spotlight recently, especially in relation to ChatGPT. This chatbot, which was launched in November 2022, can provide detailed responses across multiple domains of knowledge and produces text that is almost indistinguishable from text written by humans.

In response to the increasing use of Generative AI and AI-assisted technologies by authors, we adopt Elsevier’s new AI author policy, which focuses on ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record and aims to provide greater transparency and guidance to authors, readers, reviewers, editors and contributors.

Where authors use AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, authors should:

  • Only use these technologies to improve readability and language, not to replace key researcher tasks such as interpreting data,  drawing scientific conclusions or discussing findings.
  • Apply the technology with human oversight and control, and carefully review and edit the result, as AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete or biased.
  • Not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, or cite AI as an author. Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans, as outlined in Elsevier’s AI author policy
  • Authors should disclose in their manuscript the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process by following the instructions below. A statement will appear in the published work. Please note that authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the contents of the work.

    Disclosure instructions
    Authors must disclose the use of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process by adding a statement at the end of their manuscript in the core manuscript file, before the References list. The statement should be placed in a new section entitled ‘Declaration of Generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process’.

    Statement: During the preparation of this work the author(s) used [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] in order to [REASON]. After using this tool/service, the author(s) reviewed and edited the content as needed and take(s) full responsibility for the content of the publication.



Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2011, March 7). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from

PsychOpen (n.d). Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement. Retrieved from (accessed 27 January 2016).