Emerald Publication Ethics guidelines
All Emerald journal editors are members of and subscribe to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
Emerald and its Editors are fully committed to ethical publication practice.
Emerald is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (www.publicationethics.org) and supports the development of, and practical application of consistent ethical standards throughout the scholarly publishing community.
Ethical Issues arising in scholarly publishing
- Redundant publication (dual publication)
- Self-plagiarism (sometimes known as text recycling)
- Authorship issues
- Coercive citation
- Fabricated data
- Unethical research and testing
- Conflicts of interest
Authors submitting works to Emerald warrant the following:
- Their article/chapter is original;
- The work has not been submitted elsewhere, and is not under consideration with any other publication;
- The work does not include libellous, defamatory or unlawful statements;
- Permission has been cleared for any third party material included;
- Proof of consent has been obtained for any named individuals or organisations;
- Authorship has been agreed prior to submission and that no one has been ‘gifted’ authorship or denied credit as an author (“ghost authorship”)
Authors submitting works to Emerald publications do so on the understanding if it is discovered that these basic principles have not been adhered to, action will be taken following the COPE guidelines and may result in one of the following Correction notices.
Erratum: This generally refers to a production error, which has been introduced during the publication process. If an erratum is issued, it will appear on the abstract of the online version of the paper to ensure full visibility. The erratum will also appear in the hard copy of the next volume or issue of the publication.
Corrigendum: This generally refers to an author error or oversight, prior to the paper’s submission to the publication. If a corrigendum is issued, it will appear on the abstract of the online version of the paper to ensure full visibility. The corrigendum will also appear in the hard copy of the next volume or issue of the publication.
Retraction notice: A retraction notice will be issued in serious cases of ethical misconduct or where the research is seriously flawed and misleading. In normal circumstances, the paper will remain in the online version of the journal or book. A retraction notice will appear on the online version of the paper. The retraction notice will also appear in the hard copy of the next volume or issue of the publication.
Note of clarification: A note of clarification will be used when a point needs to be emphasized or clarified in the text but it does not constitute a correction. Please note that any correction has to be highlighted as a stated erratum, corrigendum or note of clarification and the text cannot be amended. This is to make sure that the reader is aware of any changes to the text which they might have cited or referred to in their subsequent research or practice.
Expression of concern: In cases where a conclusion is unclear or where we are unable to make a fair decision due to conflicts of interest or lack of information, we will publish an expression of concern regarding the paper. An expression of concern will appear on the online version of the paper at the abstract level in order to ensure visibility for all readers, including non-subscribers.
Please note that for legal reasons or when an article or chapter forms evidence in an independent hearing, we may not be able to take action until all matters have been fully resolved.
Please also note that Emerald reserves the right to not proceed with a case if the complainant presents a false name or affiliation or acts in an inappropriate or threatening manner towards Emerald editors and staff.
Emerald requires that all research submitted to the journals or books is original and the author agrees to these terms upon assignment and acceptance.
Redundant publication (also known as dual publication)
Authors are expected to submit original, previously unpublished content to Emerald publications. It is unacceptable academic practice to submit to more than one journal at the same time – authors are expected to wait until receiving a decision from one journal before submitting to the next.
Emerald will follow the Committee on Publication Ethics' flowcharts in cases of alleged redundant publication in submitted or published articles.
Text recycling (sometimes known as self-plagiarism)
Authors are expected to submit original content to Emerald publications. It is only acceptable for research to be repeated if it leads to different or new conclusions or for comparisons with new data. In all cases, it is important to reference the previously published work.
If any element of the work has been published previously, you must ensure that this work is fully referenced and state it at the point of submission so that the Editor may make a fully-informed decision.
In multi-authored papers, it is important that all authors that have made a significant contribution to the paper are listed. Those who have provided support but have not contributed to the research should be acknowledged in an Acknowledgements section.
Authorship issues fall into three main types:
- The exclusion of a contributor from the list of authors
- The inclusion of a named person who has not contributed to the paper or does not wish to be associated with the research
- The order of the authors on the paper and the level of contribution that they have made to the paper.
Emerald will endeavour to facilitate a resolution to an authorship dispute. However, as the research process is undertaken prior to the paper being submitted to Emerald, it is not possible for Emerald or the editors to comment on the level of contribution by each author. Please refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics' flowcharts for the processes that Emerald follows in cases of authorship disputes in submitted or published articles.
If the matter cannot be resolved, Emerald will refer the matter to the authors' institutions.
If all authors agree to a change to authorship on a paper, this will be presented as a corrigendum. A retraction notice will only be published when requested by all authors.
During the peer review process, it is typical for authors to be directed by reviewers to papers which further develop and improve the author’s ideas.
Whilst there may be legitimate occasions where it is necessary to reference other publications, Emerald regards ‘coercive citation’ (i.e. where a reference is included as a condition of acceptance or without academic justification) as unethical and does not condone this kind of behaviour.
Emerald is an advocate of both author freedom and editorial independence. Emerald would urge any authors who feel they have been pressured to include a particular reference in their article, or Editors who are unclear on best ethical practice to contact the Publisher of the journal or [email protected].
Emerald requires that authors obtain written "proof of consent" for studies about named organizations or people.
If inaccurate, unsubstantiated or emotive statements are made about organizations or people in a submitted paper, Emerald reserves the right to request changes to the text from the author or to reject the paper prior to publication.
Critiques and reviews of products and services are acceptable but comments must be constructive and must not be made maliciously.
If statements have been made in a paper that is published by Emerald and found to be defamatory, a retraction notice will be published. In some cases and when legally required, the paper will be withdrawn from the online version of the journal or book. An apology will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal or volume of the book.
Emerald will advise all authors of case studies to inform the subject (person or organization) and to seek permission. If Emerald considers that the study could be potentially libellous, we will require written proof of consent before placing the paper into the production process.
Please refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics' flowcharts for the processes that Emerald follows in cases of fabricated data in submitted or published articles. As the research is conducted prior to the paper being submitted to an Emerald journal or book, it is not possible for Emerald or the editors to adjudicate in all cases. We will endeavour to facilitate a resolution and will refer the matter to the authors' institutions when appropriate.
Unethical research and testing
An author must follow appropriate international and national procedures with respect to data protection, rights to privacy, child protection and medical testing on humans and animals. Authors must make available all consent forms and requisite forms from the appropriate regulatory bodies to the editors and publishers at Emerald. Emerald encourages all authors to demonstrate how their research contributes to the benefit of society.
If research is found to contravene international or national procedures and this is confirmed with the appropriate regulatory body, Emerald will publish a retraction notice.
Conflict of interest
All conflicts of interest should be declared by the author, editor or reviewer.
Conflicts of interest include:
- A financial or personal interest in the outcomes of the research;
- Undisclosed financial support for the research by an interested third party;
- A financial or personal interest in the suppression of the research;
A note to highlight the background to financial support for the research from third parties or any other possible conflict of interest must be added to the paper prior to review.
If a conflict of interest is suspected, then this should be reported to the editor or Emerald. A concern regarding an editor should be raised with the journal publisher or book commissioning editor at Emerald. Emerald will follow the flowcharts presented by COPE in cases of a suspected conflict of interest.
In all cases, Emerald will:
- Act professionally and efficiently
- Be fair and objective
- Always approach the accused party to establish their position before making a decision or committing to a course of action.
- Ensure that we provide sufficient time for all parties to respond
- Keep all parties informed of decisions, including the copyright owners, editors and authors
- As members of the Committee on Publication Ethics, follow the processes highlighted in the flowcharts presented by COPE
- It is Emerald's responsibility to protect authors' moral rights (to be acknowledged as the author and not to be misrepresented) and to ensure the correct record of the literature.
Emerald reserves the right to withdraw and rescind any acceptance should a case of ethical misconduct be discovered prior to publication.
It will not be possible to please all parties in every case. Following a fair and considered process, the final decision in any disputed case will rest with the editor and Emerald.
The following complaints procedure outlines the process for addressing grievances by authors whose articles are rejected for publication, or who have concerns about the way their paper has been handled:
- The grievance must be submitted in writing to the editor of the journal;
- The grievance will be considered by the journal editorial team.
- The grievance will be acknowledged with 10 days of receipt, and aimed to be resolved within 30 days.
- The decision will be in writing and will be final.