Tuesday, August 11, 2020

PUBLICATION ETHICS AND PUBLICATION MALPRACTICE STATEMENT

The National Law School of India Review (‘Journal’) is a student-run, peer-reviewed, academic journal. The quality and integrity of the works published by the Journal are the primary priorities of the editorial board, in the conduct, reporting, editing, and reviewing of works. The editorial team encourages the highest standards of publication ethics, and takes all reasonable preventative measures against publication malpractices through this Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement (‘Statement’). This Statement has been formulated in line with guidelines recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). All persons associated with the Journal, in the capacity of author, reviewer, and editor, are expected to acquaint themselves and adhere to the terms of this Statement.

1. Editors

Editors of the Journal shall have the following ethical duties:

1.1 Fair Play and Editorial Independence

  • Editors shall ensure that the submissions received are evaluated objectively, and exclusively on the basis of academic merit, without regard to any secondary consideration(s) such as the authors’ ethnic origin, religious belief, race, sexual orientation, gender, citizenship, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.

1.2 Publication Decisions

  • Notwithstanding the above, the editors shall reject submissions which fail to fulfill legal requirements in relation to defamation, libel, slander, obscene content or other unlawful matter. Further, editors shall also reject submissions which have been plagiarized, the determination of which shall be made by the Editorial Board on a case to case basis.
  • The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the content of the journal, and may refuse to publish a submission on grounds of misconduct by the author (see §2.2 Conduct of the Author).
  • If the Journal publishes an article that critiques a previous article published by the Journal, the Editors shall ensure that the author(s) of the previous article has an opportunity to respond to criticism of their submission; Provided that the author(s) response meets the review standards of the Journal.

1.3 Confidentiality

  • The editors shall not disclose any information about, or ideas obtained from, a submission to anyone besides the author(s), editorial team, reviewers, and the publisher, without the consent of the author(s).

1.4 Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

  • The editors shall disclose all relationships that may cause a potential conflict of interest, and request a recusal from editorial decisions in which they have or are perceived to have conflicts of interest. The Editor-in-Chief may allow such recusal, if the conflict is sufficiently grave, and allocate the relevant editorial work to another editor.
  • The editors shall not use unpublished material disclosed in a submission for their own research purposes without the author’s consent.  
  • Submissions made by members of the editorial team shall not be accepted for publication in the Journal.

1.5 Potential Issues

  • The editors shall respond to queries, ethical concerns, and malpractice complaints in a timely manner, and endeavor to address the complaints responsibly and sufficiently. Such queries, concerns, and complaints can be submitted anonymously via [XYZ Google Form]. The editorial team can also be contacted at [EMAIL ID] in relation to suspicions of ethical concerns, malpractice complaints, or conflict of interest.

1.6 Investigations

  • Every reported act of unethical behaviour or malpractice shall be investigated and responded to by the current Editorial Board, irrespective of when the concerned issue was published. In case such complaint or report involves a member of the Editorial Board, the appropriate investigation and decision will be taken by the Faculty Advisor of the Journal.
  • There is no temporal limitation on the reporting of unethical behaviour or malpractice.
  • In case of substantial plagiarism or repeated acts of malpractice by an author, the editorial board may contact the institution where the work was performed. (Also, see Duties and Responsibilities of Authors);
  • If, upon investigation, the alleged unethical behavior or malpractice is proven, the editorial board shall publish a clarification, correction, expression of concern, retraction, apology or other note as may be relevant in the subsequent issue of the Journal.

1.7 Digital Archiving and Access to Journal Content

  • Editors shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the published issues are securely preserved, and that all issues of the Journal are open access and freely available to everyone for easy accessibility, through partnering with organisations or/ and maintaining its own digital archive.

2 Authors

The duties and responsibilities of all authors are, including but not limited to, thus:

2.1 Authorship

  • Authorship of the submitted manuscript should be based on the following criteria:
    • Substantial intellectual contribution in either the ideation or conception of the submission;
    • Contribution to drafting of the submission and making subsequent revisions;
    • Ability to grant final approval of the version that has to be published;
    • Agreement to be responsible and accountable for the accuracy and integrity of all aspects of the submission.
  • The Journal encourages collaboration and thus, co-authorship. However, the manuscript submitted should accurately and clearly attribute authorship only to those who meet the criteria mentioned above.
  • All authors undertake that their submission does not infringe on the copyright or any other rights of any third person, nor does it contain anything defamatory, slanderous, libellous, obscene or any other unlawful content.  All authors agree that they shall be solely responsible in case of any legal violations.
  • Contributors who do not meet all the authorship criteria mentioned-above should not be listed as authors. However, they should be acknowledged and their contributions should be specified.
  • It is the duty of the corresponding author to obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals. Without such written permission, the Journal shall not publish acknowledgments for that individual.
  • An author may request removal or addition of author(s) after submission, acceptance or publication. In such  a situation, the author shall provide a detailed explanation for the change and a signed statement of agreement for such request.
  • In case of disputes regarding authorship, the Journal and its editors shall not be responsible for the determination of attributing authorship and shall not adjudicate such disputes.

2.2 Conduct of the Author

  • The Journal has the right to exercise its discretion to refuse to publish a submission by an author, if that author(s) has engaged in misconduct.
  • It is the duty of the Journal editors to act if they suspect or know of any allegations of any misconduct or any misconduct committed by an author.
  • Misconduct shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
  • Violations of publication ethics policy of another journal;
  • Previous criminal convictions by a court of law in any jurisdiction;
  • Ongoing criminal proceedings in any jurisdiction;
  • Allegations of, or ongoing proceedings or convictions whether in a court of law or in any institution or organisation pertaining to, sexual harassment;
  • Ongoing disciplinary proceedings, in any institution or organisation, including those pertaining to ragging or bullying;
  • It shall be the duty of the author(s), to disclose any details pertaining to such misconduct to the Journal, at the earliest possible time.

2.3 Concurrent Submissions and Text Recycling

  • The manuscript or any variation of the manuscript submitted to the Journal shall not be simultaneously submitted elsewhere, nor shall it be submitted to the Journal if it has been accepted or submitted elsewhere.
  • If the submission made to the Journal or any variation of the submission, in whole or in part, has been published or accepted for publication elsewhere, whether in the same or different language, the author(s) shall, at the time of submission to the Journal or immediately after receiving acceptance of publication, whichever is earlier, make a disclosure to that effect to the Journal, providing all the details of the relevant material. The Journal may ask the author(s) for additional details pertaining to the relevant publication.

2.4 Originality and Plagiarism

  • Plagiarism in all its forms is unethical and is unacceptable. By making a submission to the Journal, the author(s) undertakes that the manuscript is their original work, has not been plagiarised and does not contain anything that infringes upon copyright or any other rights of third parties.
  • It is the responsibility of the author(s) to acknowledge their sources and provide appropriate references in the manner prescribed. Any information obtained through private means (such as from discussion or conversation with third parties), should not be used to include in the manuscript without explicit written permission from the concerned third party.

2.5 Conflicts of Interest

  • Author(s) shall disclose any potential conflict of interest that may exist, whether financial, institutional, personal or any other, that might give the appearance of influence whether in the content of their manuscript or in the review process.
  • Potential conflicts of interest include, among others, any relationship with an Editor of the Journal, employment, grants, consultancies, representation in a dispute/case and paid expert testimony.
  • It is the responsibility of the author(s) to make such disclosures on conflicts of interest to the Journal at the earliest possible time.

2.6 Fundamental Errors in Published Works

  • If an author(s) discovers fundamental errors in their work published in the Journal, it is their duty to immediately notify the Journal of such errors and co-operate with the Journal in rectifying said errors.
  • If the editors come to know of such fundamental error(s) in the published work, they shall provide the author an opportunity to prove the correctness of the work. If this is not proved, it shall be the duty of the author to co-operate with the Journal in rectifying such errors.
  • The editorial board has the discretion to decide in what form and manner the error(s) shall be rectified.

3 Publisher

Publishers shall have the following duties:

3.1 Prompt and Proper Handling of Unethical Publishing Behaviour

  • Upon notification by the editor(s) of any proven unethical behaviour or malpractice, the publisher shall take appropriate measures to amend the work in question, in accordance with the directions of the editor(s). This may involve the prompt publication of clarification(s), correction(s), expression of concern(s), apologies or other note(s) as may be relevant in the journal, or the retraction of the impugned work, where such work has already been published.
  • The publisher shall reasonably cooperate with the editor(s) in identifying and preventing the publication of unpublished work(s) whose author has been proven to have engaged in unethical behaviour or malpractice.

3.2 Digital Archiving and Access to Journal Content

  • Publishers shall reasonably cooperate with the editorial board to ensure that the published material is securely preserved, and that all issues of the Journal are open access and freely available to everyone for easy accessibility, through partnering with organisations or/ and maintaining own digital archive.

4 Peer Reviewers

The duties and responsibilities of the Peer Reviewer have been laid down in the NLSIR Peer Review Policy. 

5 Miscellaneous

  • The Journal’s Editorial Board shall determine whether the guidelines mentioned above have been violated its decision shall be final.
  • The Journal has the right to exercise its discretion to reject, retract, modify or refuse future submissions if the above-mentioned guidelines have been violated.
  • The Journal’s Editorial Board has the right to amend the Publication Ethics and Malpractice statement at any time.
  • In case the present statement does not cover a sui generis event or situation, the Journal’s Editorial Board has the discretion to arrive at a decision based on general principles and intent of this Statement, as well as by reference to best practices and guidelines issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

6 Further Information

The Journal has its own official website on <_> with information about the aims and scope, members of the editorial board and advisory board, the publishing process, editorial policy, peer review policy, diversity policy, subscriptions, and contact information. Any queries or complaints regarding the information provided above or otherwise may be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief at <>.

7 References

The following links may be used for further reading on the subject matter, and to understand the best practices adopted herein.

  1. ICMJE, Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals .
  2. Committee on Publication Ethics, Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors .
  3. Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics: A Publisher’s Perspective (2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2014) .
  4. John Hopkins University Press Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement .