Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
The Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (JSDLP) is committed to adhering to highest levels of integrity and ethical best practices in the selection of articles for publication and in handling errors and retractions. To be acceptable for consideration in the JSDLP, a manuscript must make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge or toward a better understanding of existing concepts on sustainable development law and policy.
As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics, this publication ethics and publication malpractice statement is mainly based on the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011).
1. EDITORS' RESPONSIBILITIES
The JSDLP’s editorial team consists of the editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, associate editors, managing editor, and editorial assistants.
The Editor-in-chief is the coordinator of all publication process of the journal and is responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. The Deputy Editor-in-Chief assists and supports the Editor-in-Chief in the overall management of the journal. In case of absence or inability of the Editor-in-Chief to perform the duties described in this policy, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief shall fulfil those functions and roles.
The Managing Editor oversees the design, formatting, operations, and overall production process of the journal to ensure the timely, accurate and efficient publication process. The managing editor ensures that accepted papers are published in accordance with the journal style, are assigned distinct Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and are distributed widely in accordance with all copyright requirements.
Upon submission, a paper is first reviewed and evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief to determine the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, compliance with the journal’s style, its relevance to the journal's scope and compliance with requirements relating to originality, non-plagiarism and compliance with all copyright requirements. A manuscript may be returned to the author(s) without external review if, in the opinion of the editor-in-chief, the manuscript clearly falls outside the scope of the journal or the work is of poor scientific quality in terms of its novelty, originality, and compliance with standards on non-plagiarism.
The JSDLP is a member of Similarity Check – a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. Through Similarity Check, we use the iThenticate software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted or published manuscripts.
After the initial review, the Editor-in-Chief then assigns the paper to an associate editor for further processing. The associate editor sends out the manuscript for peer review by at least two independent experts in the themes covered by the paper. If two positive decisions are received, the associate editor forwards the peer review results to the Editor-in-Chief for final publication decision. The Editor-in-Chief makes a decision to publish the paper. The Editor-in-Chief makes this decision without regard to the authors' affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.
An accepted paper is sent to the managing editor for editorial processing and publication.
2. REVIEWERS' RESPONSIBILITIES
Manuscripts are submitted to at least two referees to assist the editorial team in making editorial decisions on the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscripts, and for suggestions on how to improve the manuscript. The identities of the contributors and referees are kept confidential. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and withdraw from the review process.
In the performance of their roles, reviewers are to:
Assist in upholding the integrity of the journal by identifying invalid research, providing feedback on papers, suggesting improvements and making recommendations to the editorial team about whether to accept, reject or request for revisions to a manuscript.
ensure the rigorous standards of research and citation are followed by all papers
treat all manuscripts received for review as confidential documents. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
Conduct reviews objectively and constructively in a manner that enables authors to refine their thoughts. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.
Report to the Editor-in-Chief any actual or perceived conflict of interest that may prevent them from conducting objective and constructive peer review. This may include any direct or indirect affiliation, link or rivalry with or antipathy to the research subjects or participants; and/ or any potential for benefits, financial or otherwise that may result from the publication of the paper.
For further guidance on avoiding potential conflicts of interest during the peer review process, see the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.
3. AUTHORS' RESPONSIBILITIES
Authors are to ensure highest levels of integrity and ethical best practices in the preparation and submission of their research to the JSDLP. Papers must be based on original research, underlying data should be presented honestly and accurately, citations should conform to standard of academic publishing, and be fully referenced and presented in the standard format employed by the series.
Papers will be evaluated based on their contemporary relevance, contribution to their selected fields of research, structure and analytical rigour. All authors must take public responsibility for the content of their paper. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
When submitting papers to the JSDLP, authors are to:
Accurately list as co-authors, only those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. The corresponding author ensures that no uninvolved persons 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.
The corresponding author will ensure that the spelling and format of all author names, affiliations and funding information are accurately provided. If an author has multiple affiliations all the relevant institutions should be listed. If the present address of an author is different from that at which the work was conducted, that address should be stated in a footnote and not as an affiliation.
Submit only entirely original works and in the appropriate citation formats of the journal. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited. Authors should make use of the following checklist:
an abstract is included;
• headings are consecutively numbered without automatic numbering;
• headings are not underlined;
• paragraphs are not separated by a full blank line, but only by an indent at the beginning of the new paragraph;
• footnotes are consecutively numbered by way of automatic numbering;
• footnotes are not separated by a full blank line;
• footnotes appear at the end of each page of the manuscript and not at the end of the manuscript;
• quotations have been checked for accuracy; and
• references comply with the style requirements
Prior publication: Avoid submitting manuscripts that have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere. In addition, manuscripts under review by the journal should not be resubmitted to copyrighted publications. We will not consider for publication work that has been previously published, or is under consideration for publication, in another journal.
When reproducing figures and/or schemes from previous publications, it is the author's responsibility to seek appropriate permission from the relevant publishers.
Include a statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that may be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation 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.
4. DUTIES OF THE EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
The advisory board consists of a group of prominent scholars in the field of sustainable development law and policy. The advisory board members are ambassadors for the journal. Board members attend one or two annual meetings through video conferences or virtual communications and advise on journal policy and scope, suggest ideas, new initiatives and programs if necessary to include in the journal. They may review submitted manuscripts, identify topics for special issues or attract new authors and submissions if necessary.
5. GENERAL ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Throughout the publication process, all members of the editorial team agree to adhere to a strict confidentiality code, which includes an obligation to not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone else other than the corresponding author, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.
B. Disclosure and conflicts of interest
Conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest by any or all members involved in the review process at alllevels must be declared in writing to the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief shall evaluate the conflict orperceived conflict, and when there is a real or perceived conflict of interest, excuse the member from further handling or review of the manuscript.
All members of the editorial team and reviewers agree to not disclose or use information or materials obtained during the performance of their duties in the review process for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent.
C. Appeal procedure
Our appeal procedure provides authors with the opportunity to respond to the editorial decision on their manuscript. Authors have the right to appeal to the editor against any decision taken on their manuscript at any stage; an appeal will be considered at the discretion of the JSDLP. To contact the editorial office, please visit:
We follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowcharts as the basis for our best practice guidelines when investigating allegations of misconduct against any member of the editorial team or authors.
In cases where these guidelines are breached or appear to be so, the JSDLP will consult the core practicesand best practice guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and act accordingly.
In line with COPE Retraction Guidance, we will consider issuing a retraction notice if we have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, erroneous or that there is unethical research conduct by the author(s) or undisclosed conflict of interest that in the view of the editor affects the integrity of the paper. The retraction notice is free to view and is linked to the article of record that it retracts; the article of record will be digitally watermarked 'RETRACTED'.