Ethical Oversight

  1. Authors submitting works to MMU Press Journals publications do so with 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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. A retraction notice will appear on the online version of the paper.
    4. 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.
    5. Expression of concern: In cases where a conclusion is unclear or where we are unable to make a fair decision due to conflict 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.
  2. Please note that for legal reasons or when an article forms evidence in an independent hearing, we may not be able to take action until all matters have been fully resolved.  MMU Press 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 MMU Press editors and staff.
    1. In all cases, MMU Press will:
    2. Act professionally and efficiently
    3. Be fair and objective
    4. Always approach the accused party to establish their position before making a decision or committing to a course of action.
    5. Ensure that we provide sufficient time for all parties to respond
    6. Keep all parties informed of the decisions, including the copyright owners, editors and authors
    7. As members of the Committee on Publication Ethics, follow the processes highlighted in the flowcharts presented by COPE
    8. It is the responsibility of MMU Press to protect the authors' moral rights (to be acknowledged as the author and not to be misrepresented) and to ensure the correct record of the literature.
  3. MMU Press 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 MMU Press.

  4. For further information on MMU Press ethics and policies, please contact (Legal Email), or refer to the COPE guidelines.


Ethical Issues

  1. Journals under MMU Press will follow the Ethical Oversight Flowcharts in COPE’s Core Practices that include step-by-step guideline to handle ethical issues in submitted or published articles related to: 
    1. Redundant (Duplicate) Publication: Authors are expected to submit original, previously unpublished content to MMU Press publications. It is an unacceptable academic practice to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time – authors are expected to wait until receiving a decision from one journal before submitting the next.
    2. Plagiarism: MMU Press requires that all articles submitted to the journals is original. Using another person’s idea, language, graphs, pictures, results and experiments without giving credit to them.
    3. Self-Plagiarism (Text Recycling): Authors are expected to submit original content to MMU Press publications. It is only acceptable for a 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 provide reference of the previously published work. If any element of the work has been published previously, ensure that the work is fully referenced and state it at the point of submission, so that the Editor may make a fully-informed decision.
    4. Fabrication/ Falsification of Data: Making up data, results and recording or reporting them, is fabrication of data. Falsification of data is manipulating research materials, omitting, deletion, suppression of conflicting data without justification. This will cause mistrust and disgrace to scientific community.
    5. Authorship Problems: 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 the Acknowledgements section.
  2. Authorship issues falls into three main types:
    1. The exclusion of a contributor from the list of authors
    2. The inclusion of a named person who has not contributed to the paper or does not wish to be associated with the research
    3. The order of the authors on the paper and the level of contribution that they have made to the paper.
  3. Undisclosed Conflict of Interest: All conflicts of interest should be declared by the author, editor or reviewer. Conflicts of interest include:
    1. A financial or personal interest in the outcomes of the research;
    2. Undisclosed financial support for the research by an interested third party;
    3. A financial or person
  4. 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 it should be reported to the Editor.
  5. Coercive Citation: 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, MMU Press 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.
  6. Defamation / Libel: MMU Press 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, MMU Press 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 MMU Press 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. An apology will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal or volume of the book. MMU Press will advise all authors of case studies to inform the subject (person or organization) and to seek permission. If MMU Press considers that the study could be potentially libellous, we will require written proof of consent before placing the paper into the production process.
  7. 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 to all consent forms and requisite forms from the appropriate regulatory bodies to the editors and publishers at MMU Press. MMU Press encourages all authors to demonstrate how their research contributes to the benefit of the society. If research is found to contravene international or national procedures and it is confirmed with the appropriate regulatory body, MMU Press will publish a retraction notice at once.