The WAC Clearinghouse is committed to following best practices on ethical matters, errors, and retractions. We recognize the importance of ethical behavior throughout the publication process, from development to publication to responses from our readers and viewers. Authors submitting work for publication with the Clearinghouse affirm that their manuscripts contain their own original work, they warrant that their work has not been published elsewhere in any language and assert that it is not under review for publication in any other venues.
The following outlines of duties for editors, authors, reviewers, and the Clearinghouse leadership are based on the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors. Editors, authors, reviewers, and the publishers and associate publishers associated with Clearinghouse will attend to these duties as well as to additional guidelines provided by individual Clearinghouse publication venues.
Duties of Editors
- Publication Decisions: Based on the review report of the editorial board, an editor can accept, reject, or request modifications to submitted work. The decision will be based on the submission’s importance, originality, and clarity, as well as the validity of the argument or research study and its relevance to the publication venue’s focus. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism will also be considered.
- Review of Manuscripts: Editors must ensure that each submission is initially evaluated by the editorial team for originality. The submission is then forwarded to reviewers for anonymous peer review, each of whom will make a recommendation to accept, reject, or request revisions to the submission.
- Fair Play: Editors must ensure that each submission is reviewed for its intellectual content (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) without bias against authors on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy, among other characteristics. Editors will also take reasonable steps to identify and prevent publication of work where obvious research misconduct has occurred.
- Confidentiality: Editors must ensure that information regarding submissions and their authors is kept confidential.
- Use of Generative AI Tools. In keeping with our commitment to confidentiality in the review process, editors should not upload a submitted manuscript or any part of it into a generative AI tool in any case. Among other issues raised by such a practice, it challenges authors’ expectations about confidentiality as well as their intellectual property rights. It may also raise data privacy issues. This expectation extends to all communication about the manuscript including notification or decision letters or email messages, which might contain confidential information about the manuscript and/or the authors.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submission will not be used by the editors or the members of the editorial team for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent. Editors will work to ensure that conflicts of interest do not exist between reviewers and authors of manuscripts.
Duties of Authors
- Reporting Standards: Authors should present an accurate account of their original research as well as a discussion of its significance. Submissions will conform to the submission guidelines of the publication venue. (See the guidelines published by each publication venue.)
- Originality: Authors must ensure that their submission is based on their own original work. Authors must also ensure that the submitted work is free of plagiarism.
- Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publications: Authors should not submit work to more than one publication venue concurrently. It is also expected that authors will not publish redundant articles, books, book chapters, or other publications describing the same research in substantially similar ways in more than one publication venue. When considering whether to recycle or repurpose portions of a previously published text, authors should consult the TRRP’s Best Practices for Researchers to ensure they do so ethically, appropriately, and legally.
- Acknowledgment of Sources: Authors should acknowledge all sources of information drawn from research and should properly cite publications that have been referenced, paraphrased, summarized, or quoted from in the submission. Similarly, all materials from other sources, such as figures or images, should be cited. Authors should consult the most recent guidance in the WAC Clearinghouse Guide for Authors and Editors, available in the books section of the Clearinghouse website.
- Authorship of the Submission: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, analysis, or composition of the submission. Others who have made significant contributions must be listed as co-authors. Authors also ensure that all the authors have seen and agreed to the submitted version of the work and their inclusion of names as co-authors.
- Data Review, Access, and Retention: In cases in which data is reported or in which summaries of data provide a substantial basis for the argument advanced in the submission, authors must attest that the study has been reviewed and approved by the relevant institutional review committee(s). They must also be willing to provide raw data for editorial review (insofar as doing so does not violate the protection of human research participants or other valid privacy concerns). Authors are expected to retain such data unless required to dispose of it as a result of human participant research guidelines at their institution(s).
- Disclosure of Financial Support: Sources of financial support, if any, must be clearly disclosed.
- Fundamental Errors in Published Works: At any point in time, if an author discovers or otherwise learns of a significant error or inaccuracy in a submitted work, the error or inaccuracy must be reported to the editors.
Duties of Reviewers
- Confidentiality: Information regarding submissions and their authors must be treated as confidential and privileged information. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submission will not be used by the reviewer for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent (and likely only by reaching out to the editors, since the review is intended to be anonymous).
- Acknowledgment of Sources: Submission reviewers must ensure that authors have acknowledged all sources of data, all sources of other information, and all previously published work used in the submission. Any kind of similarity or overlap between the submission under consideration or with any other published work of which the reviewer has personal knowledge must be immediately brought to the attention of the editors.
- Standards of Fairness and Transparency: Review of submissions must be done fairly, transparently, and ethically, and reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
- Use of Generative AI Tools. Reviews should not use generative AI tools to evaluate submissions. The use of such tools carries the risk that the output will be biased, incomplete, or inaccurate. Additionally, because such tools may add unpublished work to their databases, which can compromise authors’ commitments to originality and no simultaneous submission as well as potentially compromise their intellectual property rights, reviewers should not upload a submitted manuscript or any part of it into a generative AI tool. Among other issues raised by such a practice, it challenges authors’ expectations about confidentiality as well as their intellectual property rights. It may also raise data privacy issues. This expectation extends to all communication about the manuscript including messages and reviews sent to the editors, which might contain confidential information about the manuscript and/or the authors.
- Promptness: In the event that a reviewer feels it is not possible to complete a review of a submission within the stipulated time, this information must be communicated to the editor so that the submission can be sent to another reviewer.
- Conflict of Interest: In some cases, a reviewer may discern the likely identity of an author. In this case, if the reviewer feels they cannot complete a review due to a perceived conflict of interest with the author (such as a personal relationship, a teaching or advising relationship, a friendship or close professional relationship, and so on), they should alert the editors or editorial staff so that another reviewer can be selected.
Duties of the WAC Clearinghouse
- Handling of unethical publishing behavior. If alleged or proven scholarly misconduct, fraudulent publication, or plagiarism is brought to the attention of the WAC Clearinghouse, its publisher and associate publishers will consult with the editors of the venue in which the work was published. Any subsequent actions will be carried out in accordance with COPE https://publicationethics.org/ guidelines. Examples of misconduct include (but are not limited to) affiliation misrepresentation, breaches in copyright/use of third-party material without appropriate permissions, citation manipulation, duplicate submission/publication, avoiding international standards of research ethics, image or data manipulation/fabrication, peer review manipulation, plagiarism, text-recycling/self-plagiarism, undisclosed competing interests and/or unethical research.
- Intellectual Property. The WAC Clearinghouse is committed to open access publishing, to ensuring global access to scholarly publications and resources, and to ensuring the rights of authors to retain copyright of their work.
- Access to and Preservation of Published Work. The WAC Clearinghouse will ensure the continued availability of work through its open-access publishing initiatives.
If you have feedback you'd like to provide on this statement, such as corrections or improvements in clarity, please direct them to Mike Palmquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.