Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement
Integrity in research publication has become a major issue of debate over the past years. The editors of the International Journal of Language Testing (IJLT) are seriously concerned about the increase of plagiarism and other forms of fraud and misconduct in academic publishing. We consider it an essential part of our ethical responsibilities as editors to be aware of and to meet these challenges and to develop strategies for coping with them. We expect the same awareness of our journal’s peer reviewers.
Likewise, IJLT is committed to ethical standards in its own editorial policy. The editors of IJLT do their best to ensure fair, unbiased, and transparent peer review processes and editorial decisions. Any detected cases of misconduct, whether on the part of authors, reviewers or editors, will be vigorously pursued.
International Journal of Language Testing is committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards. A detailed policy regarding IJLT publication ethics (for authors, editors, and reviewers) and malpractice statement based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)’s ethical guidelines follows next.
Duties of Authors:
- a) Reporting Principles
A precise account of the work performed along with an objective discussion of the work significance should be presented by the authors of the original work. The researcher has an important responsibility to systematically report on all details regarding the data and participants in the study (including the population, sample, and sampling techniques) to allow other researchers to replicate the study. Falsified or inaccurate statements which signify unethical behavior are intolerable.
- b) Data Admission and Maintenance
The paper’s raw data should be prepared to be delivered to editorial review on reasonable request before or after publication. Where appropriate and allowed by the employer or authors, data deposit in an appropriate storage location, for sharing and additional use by others.
- c) Novelty, Plagiarism and Concurrent Publication
IJLT takes copyright violation or plagiarism issues very seriously and seeks to examine plagiarism or misuse of published articles in order to protect the rights of the authors and the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Thus, authors should confirm that their articles are entirely original works, and they appropriately cite or quote others’ work if they have used the work or words of others. Moreover, authors should confirm that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere since IJLT does not allow submitting a manuscript that is under consideration or has been published in whole or in part by another journal. If a paper is found to have plagiarism or to use third-party material without consent or adequate acknowledgment, and where the authorship of the work is questioned, etc., the IJLT has the right to retract the article; apprise the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution; or other fitting legal action.
- d) Acknowledgment of Sources
It is always required to acknowledge and cite others’ publications properly. Moreover, private obtained data (e.g., conversation, correspondence, discussion with third parties) and confidential services data (e.g., refereeing manuscripts or grant applications) must be reported with accurately written permission from the source.
- e) Paper’s Authorship
Authorship must be limited to those who have made a substantive contribution to the article (conception, design, execution, or interpretation). All other contributors who do not meet authorship criteria, yet have participated in certain significant aspects of the research project should be listed in an acknowledgments section. The final version of the paper and its submission for publication should be approved by the corresponding author and all co-authors.
- f) Hazards, Informed Consent
Works that involve chemicals, procedures or tools that might have any unusual dangers or risks in their use, must state and identify hazards in the manuscript. All papers reporting human or animal studies must state that all procedures were accomplished according to relevant laws and institutional guidelines and the relevant Ethics or appropriate Institutional Committee(s) provided approval. In case of experimentation with human subjects, the authors are required to include a statement in the manuscript regarding whether participants provided with written or verbal informed consent.
- g) Declaration of Conflicting Interest
Any financial, commercial or other fundamental conflicts of interest that might affect the results or interpretation of the article (e.g., employment, consultancy fees, payments, grants, paid expert testimony, applications/registrations or other funding) need to be disclosed to the Editor at the earliest stage.
- h) Published Works’ Significant Errors
Significant errors or mistakes in published work should be informed promptly (as soon as the author realizes them) in order to correct the paper. It is also the author’s responsibility to promptly retract or correct the paper if the editor or a third party finds a fundamental error in a published paper. The authors also should cooperate with the editor and publisher to publish an erratum, addendum, corrigendum notice, or to retract the paper, where this is deemed necessary.
Duties of Reviewers:
- a) Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review which is the heart of the scientific method and a significant feature of the scholarly communication supports the editor and authors in making editorial decisions in a timely manner and improving the paper through the editorial communications, respectively.
- b) Punctuality
Reviewers or referees who cannot review a manuscript quickly or do not consider themselves qualified enough to review a manuscript should notify the editor and excuse themselves from the review process.
- c) Confidentiality
Since any received manuscripts for review must be treated as confidential documents, they cannot be displayed, retain, copy or discussed with others without accurate consent of the editor in chief.
- d) Objectivity Standards
Reviewers should conduct the review objectively in a fair way and express their opinions clearly without imposing their personal views.
- e) Sources Acknowledgement
Proper and accurate citation of any published work (observation, derivation, argument, discussion, etc.) should be identified by the reviewers. It is also the reviewers’ responsibility to inform the Editor regarding any overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other known published materials.
- f) Disclosure and conflict of interest
Since any received manuscripts for review must be treated as confidential documents, the reviewers cannot take advantages of any part of received materials (published or unpublished) or other information obtained through peer review in their own research or for personal advantage without having the author’s permission to publish the relevant contribution. Moreover, manuscripts in which the reviewers have conflicts of interest due to connections with the authors/institutions, competitive/collaborative or financial issues should be recused by them.
Duties of Editors:
- a) Publication Decisions
It is the responsibility of a peer-reviewed journal’s editor, in conjunction with and with the guidance of the journal’s editorial board and other relevant society, to decide in a timely manner which of the submitted articles should be considered for publication. The decision usually is made based on the validation of the work, its importance to researchers and readers, and ethical considerations such as copyright violation and plagiarism.
- b) Fair Play
Manuscripts should be evaluated in a balanced, objective and fair way based on their scholarly content without paying attention to the author’s origin, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, commercial influence or political philosophy of the authors.
- c) Confidentiality
Information regarding submitted articles is considered as confidential and must not be revealed, retain or copy to anyone but the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, editorial advisers, and the publisher.
- d) Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Since any received manuscripts for review must be treated as confidential documents, the Editors cannot use any part of received materials (published or unpublished) or other information obtained through peer review in their own research or for personal advantage. Any manuscript in which the Editors have conflicts of interest due to connections with the authors/institutions, or competitive/collaborative issues should be recused by them and instead, they should ask a co-editor or other member of the editorial board to review and consider the manuscript. In addition, Editors have to ask all contributors to reveal their relevant interests and announce modifications, retraction or expression of concern if any competing interest is discovered after publication. Editors should ensure that the peer-review process for sponsored manuscripts is the same as other manuscripts and according to journals policies. Sponsored manuscripts must be accepted only based on academic merit and interest to readers and not be influenced by commercial considerations.
- e) Complaints
The Journal follows logical, fair and objective procedures in case of complaints of an ethical or conflict nature, based on the policies of the Journal and Society where appropriate. When the complaint is made against our author, the editor contacts the author about whom a complaint has been made. Authors will be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. The editor may decide on the basis of the author response (e.g. if the author is responsive, articulates a considerable position) and may draw inferences from the opposite side as well.
- f) Involvement and Collaboration in Investigations
A submitted manuscript or published paper’s ethical issues should be assessed by Editor using appropriate and responsive measures such as communicating with the author of the paper or contacting the related institutions/research bodies. Every unethical publishing behavior should be considered and looked into seriously (by correction, retraction, expression of concern, etc.) even if the unethical publishing act is revealed years after publication.
Duties of Publisher:
The IJLT ensures that good practice is maintained to the standards outlined above.
2.Procedures for dealing with unethical behavior
Identification of unethical behavior
- Malpractice and unethical behavior should be acknowledged and brought to the attention of the editor/publisher at any time, by anyone.
- Those who notifies the editor/publisher of such unethical behavior need to provide adequate evidence and proof in order for an investigation to be initiated.
- The editor is responsible to initiate the investigation and make decision (with consulting or seeking advice from the publisher, if appropriate) without spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know.
Breaches and Outcomes (in increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction)
- Minor misconduct will be dealt with without consulting more widely, by educating the author or reviewer about misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
- The authors might be received a formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal.
- The authors might be forbidden to contribute for a defined period.
- In case of serious misconduct, the employers of the accused might be notified or a formal notice detailing the misconduct might be published.
- A formal letter might be published to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.
- Reporting the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action.
- In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
- IJLT policies regarding:
Articles in Press (have been accepted for publication but have not been formally published and will not yet have the complete volume/issue/page information) which represent breaches of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, fake claims of authorship, plagiarism, falsified data or are discovered to be accidental duplicates of other published article(s) may be “Withdrawn” from the RTBLE Journal, meaning that the article HTML and PDF content is replaced with an HTML and PDF page simply stating that the article has been withdrawn according to the IJLT Policy on Article Withdrawal.
A retraction of an article by its authors or the editor will be used to correct errors in submission or publication. A signed retraction note by the authors and/or the editor as “Retraction: [article title]” is published in the succeeding issue and listed in the contents list and the HTML version of the document is removed.
Allegations about authorship of contributions
It is essential to credit the contribution of every author as an “author”. To be an author individual must be responsible for specific parts of the research which means every author must have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, implementation, or interpretation of the work. All Authors of the research should be able to publicly defend that paper. It is the responsibility of the author submitting an article to identify all co-authors.
Duplicate, concurrent publication/simultaneous submission
Articles submitted for publication must be original and must not have been submitted to any other publication.
Simultaneous submissions which submitting more than one work to the IJLT at the same time is not accepted.