Publication Ethics

The African Social Science and Humanities Journal (ASSHJ) adopts the ethical standard of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which is committed to protecting personal information. Authors are required to comply with COPE's ethical standards and ASSHJ's publication guidelines when submitting a manuscript. Also:

  • authors confirm that their submitted manuscript is original, not a duplicate, not under consideration or published in any other journal, and has not been plagiarized.
  • the manuscript should not be under review in any other journal during the submission and review process at ASSHJ.
  • authors bear responsibility for any work or manuscript submitted or published with ASSHJ.

Editor’s Responsibilities

Aside from a multitude of standard responsibilities of the editor such as maintaining the high standard and credibility of the journal and its publication, catering to the demands of both authors and readers, promoting academic discourse, and more. The editors also have a commitment to utilizing their expertise and experience to effectively manage the following duties:

Editorial Board

The editorial board comprises a group of distinguished experts in the given area who will be assembled to form the editorial board. On the journal website, the editor will furnish comprehensive details on the members' names and affiliations along with the latest contact information for the editorial office.

Publication Decision

The editors bear exclusive and autonomous responsibility for determining the articles to be published in the journal. The substantiation of the aforementioned study and its significance to the scientific community and readership ought to consistently substantiate such determinations. The editor's decision may be predicated upon the policies established by the editorial board of the journal and circumscribed by prevailing legal mandates governing concerns such as defamation, violation of intellectual property rights, and academic dishonesty. During the decision-making process, editors may engage in consultation with either reviewers or other editors in making such decisions.

Peer Review Process

In academic literature, it is widely held that subjecting all content in a journal to peer review is crucial. The submission of articles for potential publication undergoes a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Before publication, articles undergo a review process carried out by editors. The potential for rejection by an editor may arise due to a lack of relevance to the subject matter covered by the specific journal, or in cases where the quality of the submission is evidently low, rendering it not worthy of consideration. Articles deemed appropriate for evaluation are subsequently forwarded to two specialists within the respective field of the manuscript for assessment. The identities of the referees entrusted with the evaluation of a paper are typically undisclosed to one another. The referees are requested to categorize the paper into one of the following classifications: immediately publishable, publishable upon making amendments and improvements, or not suitable for publication. The evaluative reports of referees typically incorporate a clear recommendation pertaining to the appropriate course of action to be taken with respect to the submitted manuscript. The author subsequently has access to the comments provided by the referees.

Editors must be prepared to provide a justifiable rationale for any significant deviation from the prescribed protocol. It is advised that editors refrain from overturning publication decisions unless grave issues are discovered.

Publishers ought to provide guidelines to both authors and reviewers outlining the expectations that are required of them. It is recommended to frequently update this guidance and to make references or links to the accompanying code.

Fair Play

The editor must conduct an evaluation of the manuscripts based on their intellectual content, independent of the author's gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious beliefs, or political philosophy. The determination made by editors to accept or decline a manuscript for publication ought to be grounded strictly on the manuscript's significance, novelty, and coherence, as well as the study's pertinence to the journal's objective.

Confidentiality

The Editorial Board and all members of the editorial team are bound by the duty to maintain confidentiality and shall refrain from divulging any details pertaining to a submitted article (manuscript) to any party other than the corresponding author, reviewers, or potential reviewers, other editorial advisors, and the publisher. It is the responsibility of the editors to maintain the confidentiality of the submitted material during the review process.

Journal Matrics

Editors should refrain from manipulating any journal metric in an effort to enhance the journal's ranking. The editor cannot insist on including references to their journal or any other unless it is academically necessary. Likewise, authors should not be compelled to reference the editor's personal articles.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

The usage of any undisclosed works mentioned in a submitted manuscript by an editor for their own research is strictly prohibited without obtaining explicit written permission from the respective author. Ideas or confidential information gained from peer review should be kept secret and not utilized for personal gain. Editors are advised to disqualify themselves (i.e. refrain from participating) in situations that may pose a conflict of interest or compromise their objectivity. When evaluating manuscripts that involve conflicts of interest arising from relationships with the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the papers, it is recommended to consult with a co-editor, associate editor, or additional members of the editorial board. Editors must mandate all authors to divulge any potential competing interests and issue revisions in case of any competing interests being uncovered post-publication.

At any given moment, anyone can report and draw the editor and publisher's attention toward any instances of immoral conduct. It is necessary for individuals who report such behavior to the editor or publisher to provide substantial details and proof to initiate an investigation. Every accusation must be regarded with gravity and dealt with equitably until a credible verdict is reached. It is important to thoroughly investigate any instances of unethical publishing behavior, regardless of when they come to light.

The editor, in collaboration with the publisher, should promptly address ethical grievances raised about a manuscript that is submitted for publication or has already been published. Typically, steps will be taken to address any complaints or assertions concerning a manuscript or paper by communicating with the author and carefully examining the situation. However, additional outreach to relevant research organizations and institutions may be necessary depending on the severity of the misconduct.

It may be unnecessary to seek broader input when addressing minor improper behavior. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative to offer the author the chance to address any accusations.

Serious wrongdoing may necessitate the implementation of one or several of the subsequent actions:

  • Conveying knowledge or providing guidance to the author or reviewer in cases where appropriate norms seem to be misunderstood or incorrectly followed.
  • Making an official announcement that provides information about misbehavior.
  • Written correspondence to the supervisor or funding agency of the author or reviewer.
  • A formal removal of a published work from a journal, along with notifying the department head of the author or reviewer.
  • Implementing a structured ban on the contributions made by a person (author) for a specified duration.

Author’s Responsibilities

Publication and Submission Fee

Authors don't have to pay any fees or charges for the processing and publication of their manuscripts.

Open Access Policy

As per the open access policy, authors must consent to unrestricted access and utilization of all articles published. JEMEBA publishes an open-access article under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) (readers are allowed to search, read, download, save, copy, and share).

Authors have the liberty to duplicate and distribute the content in either physical or digital form and continue developing upon it, free of charge or additional consent, on the condition that proper acknowledgment or citation is provided. Authors maintain all publishing rights without limitations.

Reporting Standards and Data Access

Authors must provide a precise depiction of the research conducted, along with an impartial conversation of its relevance. It is essential to accurately present the data in the paper. The inclusion of comprehensive detail and appropriate references within a paper is essential to facilitate the replication of the work by others. Engaging in deceitful or consciously erroneous statements is considered unethical conduct and is deemed unacceptable. Articles in professional publications and reviews need to be precise and impartial. Additionally, works classified as editorial opinions should be explicitly labeled as such. For editorial purposes, authors may be requested to furnish research data.

Originality and Plagiarism

Authors need to guarantee the novelty of their manuscript. In case the authors borrow content or phrasing from external sources, it is crucial to attribute the sources through citation or quotation.

There are various ways in which plagiarism can manifest, ranging from presenting someone else's work as one's own to reproducing significant portions of someone's work without giving credit, as well as taking ownership of research findings that belong to others. Unethical publishing behaviour and its unacceptability are embodied in all manifestations of plagiarism.

Any data gathered from interactions or communication with a third-party need to be supplemented with consent from the originator before being mentioned in the written document. Authors need to obtain consent before disclosing confidential information.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication

Typically, an author shouldn't submit manuscripts discussing fundamentally the same research to multiple publications or journals. It is considered unethical publishing behavior to send identical manuscripts to multiple journals simultaneously. Typically, an author ought not to present a paper that has already been published for evaluation in a different journal.

Authors are restricted from submitting previously published content unless it's in the format of a thesis, instructional material, or an electronic preprint.

Authorship of the Paper

Only individuals who have made a noteworthy contribution to the development, planning, implementation, or analysis of the study in question should be acknowledged as authors. Everyone who has made noteworthy contributions ought to be included as co-authors. If there were other individuals involved in significant aspects of the research project, it is important to acknowledge or give credit to them as contributors. The lead author needs to confirm that the paper includes all relevant and suitable co-authors while excluding any irrelevant ones. The author must ensure that the final version of the paper has been reviewed and approved by all co-authors and that they have consented to its submission for publishing.

Acknowledgment of Sources

It is essential to provide appropriate acknowledgment or recognition of the work of others. Authors must reference or cite significant publications that have played a significant role in shaping the concept of their reported study (manuscript). Any data that is obtained through private means, such as chats, letters, or talks with third parties, cannot be utilized or disclosed without receiving clear, written consent from the originator. It is imperative that data acquired during confidential tasks such as reviewing manuscripts or grant proposals, should not be utilized without the explicit written authorization of the author who provided the material for said tasks.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

In their manuscript, authors are required to disclose any financial or significant conflict of interest that could potentially impact the outcomes or interpretation. The disclosure of all funding sources related to the project is requisite. Instances of possible conflicts of interest that need to be revealed involve job affiliations, consulting arrangements, possession of stocks, compensation for talks, the professional opinion given for payment, applications or registrations for patents, and provision of financial support like grants. It is advisable to reveal any potential conflicting interests at the earliest opportunity. It is important to educate readers about the identity of research funders and their involvement in the research process.

Fundamental Errors in Published Works

If an author identifies a significant mistake or inaccuracy in their published work, they have a responsibility to immediately inform the journal editor or publisher and assist with correcting or retracting the article. In the event that a third party alerts the editor or publisher to a significant error in a published work, the author is responsible for immediately retracting or rectifying the paper, or providing evidence to demonstrate the accuracy of the original piece.

Hazards and Human/Animal Subjects

In the manuscript, it is essential for the author to explicitly indicate any chemicals, procedures, or equipment that possess an uncommon level of hazard.

Research that involves either humans or animals must comply with applicable laws and the guidance provided by institutions. It is mandatory for authors to declare in the manuscript that they have adhered to the regulations and guidelines while conducting the procedures, and have obtained official authorization.

In order to present medical information or private details, authors must first secure written authorization from either the patient or appropriate authorities.

Authors are required to provide Editors with all permissions upon request.

Reviewers Responsibilities

Contribution to Editorial Decisions

The process of peer review plays a crucial role in guiding editorial decisions and can also prove beneficial for the author in terms of enhancing the quality of their paper.

Apart from the mentioned ethical responsibilities, reviewers are expected to treat authors and their work with the same respect and consideration that they would want for themselves. Additionally, they are advised to adhere to proper reviewing customs.

Promptness

If any referee chosen to assess a manuscript feels inexperienced or unable to provide a timely review, they should inform the editor and opt out of the review procedure.

Confidentiality

All manuscripts submitted for review should be regarded as confidential materials. The information should only be shared or talked about with permission from the editor and kept confidential from others.

Standards of Objectivity  

Reviews ought to be carried out in an impartial manner. It is not suitable to criticize the author on a personal level. It is advisable for referees to clearly present their opinions with strong supporting reasoning.

Acknowledgment of Sources

Reviewers need to detect situations wherein pertinent published research mentioned in the paper has been left unacknowledged in the reference section. It is important for them to indicate if any observations or arguments extracted from other texts are accompanied by the appropriate reference. The reviewers are required to inform the editor if there are any significant similarities or overlaps between the manuscript being evaluated and any other published paper that they are familiar with.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest

Information or concepts that have been obtained through peer review and are considered confidential should not be utilized for personal gain. It is not appropriate for reviewers to assess manuscripts that create conflicts of interest due to relationships or connections with the authors, companies, or institutions mentioned in the papers, whether competitive or collaborative.

When a person giving feedback suggests to an author to reference their own work or that of their colleagues, it should be based purely on scientific merit rather than a desire to boost their own citation count or promote themselves or their colleagues.

Publisher's Responsibilities

Jozac Publishers provide practical assistance to the editor and executive editorial board of Jozac Journals, enabling them to comply with the Code of Conduct (COPE) for their specific publication:

  • the editorial decisions must be autonomous,
  • safeguard intellectual property and copyright.

Ensures that a high standard of procedure is consistently upheld in accordance with the aforementioned guidelines.

References

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors: https://publicationethics.org/files/Code_of_conduct_for_journal_editors_Mar11.pdf

Aligned editorial/policy guidelines with the ASSAf National Code of Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Peer Review.

Further guidelines can be found on https://publicationethics.org/guidance/Guidelines