Ethics Policy

Authorship and contributorship

AESOP Eprints understands authorship (or contributorship) as substantial participation in the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing of the publication and the research content that the publication disseminates. All those who significantly contributed to the research and the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing should be listed as authors (or contributors). Individual members of larger research teams, cannot publish the research or the outcomes of this research under single/sole authorship, omitting research members who have contributed to the body of work. A PhD supervisor cannot claim co-authorship solely based on a supervision role.

Intellectual property

AESOP Eprints seeks original content. The use of published material, images and previously published research from others, or previously published research by authors themselves, is permitted under fair use guidelines and the proper citation of original sources.

AESOP Eprints actively scans the submitted texts for similarities, including plagiarism. Plagiarism under the AESOP Eprints protocols, or the use of content without citation (or acknowledgements) of original sources, is not permitted. In the same way you can't  present research outcomes as if they are yours, when these are actually produced by others, even if the writing that you submit appears to be original.

All contributions are published under a CC-BY license. Authors retain ownership of their content under the AESOP Eprints policies. AESOP Eprints does not require a transfer of intellectual property as a precondition for publication. Authors are free to publish pre- and postprint versions of their contributions without restriction, upon completion of the blind peer-review process.

Data sharing and reproducibility

AESOP Eprints encourages the publication of open data sets (including procedures/methodologies) when used to underpin the research findings or draw conclusions.  However, AESOP Eprints accepts that existing copyright, privacy issues or data safety concerns may prevent further publication of open data sets or protocols.

Conflicts of interest/competing interests

AESOP Eprints follows protocols to avert potential conflict of interests. 

Authors (or contributors) are required to disclose commercial, financial, political and any other relationships that had a bearing on the development of the research, including possible influences on the research conclusions, under the acknowledgements section of each submission.

A moderator may, at any time during, or after the initial review, reject or remove contributions based on the omission of such disclosures.

Ethical oversight

AESOP Eprints avoids publishing xenophobic, sexist, homophobic or other intolerant content. The moderator may ask author(s) to demonstrate research compliance within ethical guidelines and codes of conduct - in line with institutional, academic or professional association(s). In the case of research that include human participants or vulnerable communities, the authors should provide the ethical approval from their institutes. The moderator reserves the right to compare ethical disputes with previous case studies, in the mediation to seek viable solution to ethical concerns.

Complaints and appeals

Complaints and appeals should be directed to the moderator, by email. The moderator will address each complaint (or appeal) case-by-case, making a concerted attempt to find suitable solutions. Complex cases will be referred to the advice of experts. If needed, further reference will be made to similar cases published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The final decision rests with the moderator. Written justifications, and reasoning that underpin the decision, will be released to authors in a timely manner.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Readers can submit a 'letter to the moderator' in response to a published contribution in AESOP Eprints. Post-publication discussions may lead to corrections, revisions or even retractions. Such amendments are at the discretion of the moderator, based on evidence and set protocols.

Adjustment to publication after posting will be done using ‘versioning’. Corrections or retractions are posted as updated versions of the original publications. Versioning allows thus for comparative readership between old and new versions, and provides further insight into the discussion or revision process.