Publication Ethics & Malpractice Statement
The Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and practice. It is of paramount importance to us that the editorial operations are governed by fair, transparent, and rigorous practices. We, at the board, try our level best to make everyone involved in the journal procedures – from contributors and reviewers to editors, guest editors, board members and the publishing team – aware of the highest standards of ethical practice. Our policies are closely aligned with COPE’s (Committee on Publication Ethics) Core Practices document, which can be accessed on their website.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EDITORS
The chief responsibility of the editors (by which it means, Chief Editors) is to decide specific themes for issues and to see through the entire process of publication — from call for papers to the publication of an issue. They also liaise with guest editors to publish guest-edited issues. The editors maintain that all publications are based on merit alone and not determined by a contributor’s nationality, race, gender, caste, or any other socio-biological indicators. These are the in-house tasks for editors. They:
• Announce calls for papers at least two-three months from submission time and publicise them widely.
• Provide full information about essay length, contact details, and submission
• Respond in a timely way to all queries
• After submission deadlines, remove all author-identifying information from works and carry out initial filtering regarding merit of a contribution
• If satisfactory for review, send out the work for blind peer review
• Send work back to authors if revision is required
• When all revisions are done, send work to the copy-editing team for final check and publication
The editors maintain a clear confidentiality clause – all contributions are anonymously sent for review. None other than the editors know of submission details, and in no circumstances is any contributor information disclosed to anyone.
Conflict of Interest
Editors and Reviewers:
To ensure transparency and integrity of our journal, we routinely make our contributors, reviewers, and the editorial board aware of the conflict of interest issues. Conflicts may arise in the form of academic practice (plagiarism, non-citation, misquoting, malpractice, as well as reviewing a work by a co-author or editor), or be of financial (disclosure statement), or promotional and honorary in nature. While our rigorous blind peer reviewing takes good care of the conflict of interest issues, editors and reviewers are ensured about any conflict of interest before peer-reviewing process through email communication. In case of any conflict of interest arising, editors will request the members of the board to handle manuscripts. Editors will not use any unpublished work by a contributor without their express permission.
Upon acceptance of work for publication, all contributors will sign a declaration statement form that the work is original and does not plagiarise in any way, and clearly state about any conflict of interest. We take utmost care to resolve/take action on any conflict issues quickly and efficiently.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GUEST EDITORS
Guest editors should contact the chief editors should they intend to guest-edit an issue. Since the journal publishes work bi-annually, many of the issues/themes are decided at least before the next two issues. Guest editors are thus encouraged to contact the chief editors and decide on issue, timing, and model of their issue. Upon deciding, the guest editors will:
• Contact the Chief Editors with a Call for Papers and implement edits to the Call where necessary
• Ask to publish the call on the journal website and social media pages as well as publicise them on relevant forums
• After submissions, do the initial filtering of papers and contact the Chief Editors about starting the peer-reviewing process.
• Ask for Chief Editors’ assistance regarding review and revision of contributions
• Make sure that the works are properly proof-read and copy-edited
• Ensure that all authors have strongly abided by the ‘Author Responsibilities’ above including copyright, conflict of interest, and publication practices
• Write an introduction to the issue
• Send the work to the Chief Editors for final editorial review, editing, and publishing
The guest editors maintain a clear confidentiality clause – all contributions are anonymously sent for review. In no circumstances are any contributor details disclosed to anyone.
Conflict of Interest
Guest editors are made aware of the conflict of interest cases through email communication and supplying them with the PEM Statement. Conflicts may arise in the form of academic practice (plagiarism, non-citation, misquoting, malpractice, as well as reviewing a work by a co-author or editor), or be of financial (disclosure statement), or promotional and honorary nature. In the case of any conflict of interest arising, editors will request the members of the board to handle manuscripts. Editors will not use any unpublished work by a contributor without their express permission.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE REVIEWERS
Peer reviewing is the most crucial part of an academic journal. It ensures that the submissions are selected for publication based on merit and on no other parameters. Reviewers are experts in their fields. They can offer insightful and structured feedback on a peer contribution and ensures the highest standards of academic evaluation and knowledge production. These are some of the tasks and responsibilities of a reviewer:
They should maintain the clause of confidentiality with utmost sincerity. No information regarding a manuscript will be disclosed to anyone.
Conflict of Interest
They will let the editors know of any conflict of interest as soon as possible. Conflicts may arise in the form of academic practice (plagiarism, non-citation, misquoting, malpractice, as well as reviewing a work by a co-author or editor), or be financial (disclosure statement), or promotional and honorary in nature. In the case of any conflict of interest arising, reviewers will request the members of the board to handle manuscripts. Reviewers will not use any unpublished work by a contributor without their express permission. They will intimate the editors as soon as possible if they feel they are unable to continue with the review for any reason
They will be objective in their review and focus entirely on the merit of the contribution. Under no circumstances should they resort to personal criticism or implement objectionable language.
Their assessment should be based on the strengths and weaknesses of a piece and its standing against the assessment criteria. They will follow the review report forms given to them along with contributions for review and complete them with utmost sincerity. Should revisions (major or minor) be necessary, they will point out in a clear and step-by-step fashion in which parts revisions are wanted, why and how.
Acknowledging Sources, Existing Work, and Factual Errors
They will point out any citational or factual error and direct the editors’/contributors’ attention to it. They will point to any substantial overlap between the current work and already exiting work. If revisions are necessary, reviewers will give authors/contributors a list of citations and references for further work. They should remind contributors of acknowledging any necessary source.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHORS:
Basic Understanding of the Journal:
Authors should have a basic understanding of the Journal’s focus and terms and conditions. The Journal does not entertain registration and log-in submissions, and all submissions are sent via email. Before making a submission or a query, they should check with the Call for Papers page and have an understanding of the current theme and the next set of themes in consideration — only for which contributions are sought. They should make themselves familiar with the About section of the journal as well as the sections on Peer Review, Submission details, and Publications Ethics and Malpractice Statement.
All works need to be original contributions for publication in JCLA. Author will need to declare and attest the original nature of their work. These works will have to meet the internationally acceptable standards of journal work submission. All work should be written in accessible language. They should present their arguments and data in a clear and logical fashion. They should be mindful of the word length. All works should have a reference section to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements are unethical behaviour, and unacceptable.
All works in JCLA are sent to peer-review. Authors should be familiar with the Peer-Review procedure, including standards and timeline of the system, and are obliged to participate in the peer-review process.
Authorship and Co-authors:
In case of two or more authors, the journal will correspond only with the submitting author, who initiates submission. The submitting author must confirm that all authors mentioned have made significant contribution to the work. They are made aware of the publication of their work, and permission and consent have been sought from all about the work being sent to consideration for publication as well as about their standing in authorship.
Changes to Authorship and ‘Ghost’ Authors
All changes to authorship need to be communicated to the Chief Editors as soon as possible. Proper reasons need to be furnished for changes. Where there are more than one author involved, all changes will have to be validated by the team of authors. All post-publication changes will be made via public notice.
The journal does not entertain and strongly condemns the practice of ‘ghost, ‘guest’, or such authors. All authors will need to make active, original, substantive contribution to the work and be properly acknowledged in the contribution.
It is the sole responsibility of the authors to make sure that all sources are properly acknowledged. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
JCLA strictly condemns all kind of publishing malpractices and plagiarism issues. Unless otherwise stated, only original works are considered for publication. Upon acceptance of work, all contributors will sign a ‘Declaration by Authors’ form and send us a scanned copy stating the following:
• That the work is original
• That the author/s claim/s authorship of the work
• It does not do plagiarism of any kind
• It follows the journal’s terms and conditions
• If there is any conflict of interest
Polices and Steps against Misconduct
The journal strongly condemns plagiarism and academic malpractices of any kind and has issued a clear Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement. For any misconduct, the following steps will be taken:
• The concerned contributor will be immediately notified via email and an explanation will be sought
• If issues can be resolved with modification, proper work will be carried out and all modification will be done via public notice on the journal website
• In other cases, the concerned work will be retracted with public notice
• The contributor/s will be blacklisted and debarred from further submission in the Journal
• The contributor/s’ institutions, if any, will be notified of the issue and of the retraction
All copyright of work will remain with the Journal. The authors will have to acknowledge the work’s original publication in the Journal.
Authors will have to make sure that they have taken full care of the copyright issues regarding reproducing work, data, images, or others. All sources must be properly acknowledged. Obtaining copyright permission remains solely on the part of authors/contributors, and the journal will not be responsible in any way for copyright infringement or violation issues.
Data access and retention
Authors could be asked to provide raw data for editorial review, and where needed make them public. Authors may like to deposit their data in a legal repository from which this could be accessed at least for the next ten years. It is the job of the authors to ensure that all legal aspects have been covered when releasing the data to the board or the public.
Single Submission Policy:
When manuscripts are under review, contributors are asked not to send them for consideration anywhere else. We are a non-profit enterprise, and all reviewing work is done without any remuneration or royalty basis. We encourage authors to inform us within the first two weeks of submission if they would not want to go ahead with publication. This will ease out the reviewing process and ensure the journal’s academic and consultative integrity. If contributors do not do so and want to withdraw work later or after the peer-reviewing process is complete, the journal will not consider further submissions from the said contributor/s.
Contributors in the journals are prescribed not to use any defamatory or abusive language/image/data in their work. Defamation may take the form of gender, language, ethnicity, race/caste, and others. Authors/contributors will be asked to remove any defamatory/objectionable use in work. The journal does not subscribe to any defamatory language or data. It promotes inclusivity and diversity in work.
Fundamental errors in published works
It is the job of reviewers and authors to notify the editor or publisher of any fundamental errors and mistakes and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper. If the editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, they will contact the author and cross-check with mistakes. All corrections will be carried out with public notice.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest:
Conflicts may arise in the form of academic practice (plagiarism, non-citation, misquoting, malpractice, as well as reviewing a work by a co-author or editor), or financial (disclosure statement), or promotional and honorary concerns. Authors need to make themselves aware of any conflict and intimate the editors as soon as possible. Upon acceptance of their work for publication, all contributors will have to sign a declaration statement form that they claim authorship, that their work is original and does not plagiarise any source in any way, and clearly mention any conflict of interest whatsoever. We take utmost care to resolve/take action on any conflicts quickly and efficiently.
PEER REVIEW PROCESS
JCLA is committed to peer-reviewing integrity and upholding the highest standards of review. All publishable materials – articles, review articles, reviews, interviews – go through rigorous peer-reviewing process. Peer-review is defined as “obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers’ expert in the field of publication.” JC:A follows a single blind peer review system after an initial editorial review at the board level. Below are the details of the peer-review process:
• Upon receiving submission, the editorial board will do the first scrutiny review.
• Only when a work’s originality and rigour is confirmed at the board level, the Chief Editors will erase all author-identifying information and send the work for blind peer review.
• All reviews are done by experts in the field.
• Reviewers are given an in-house ‘Review Report’ where they are asked to check ‘Yes’, ‘Partially’ or ‘No’ on eight areas including originality, coherence, communicability, argumentation, rigour, secondary research and innovation, and factual errors.
• Reviewers are asked to give a decision in the Form out of the following four: rejection, major revision, minor revision, publication in its current form.
• Reviewers then write a substantive commentary in the Review Report forms, justifying their decision. Often reviewers will ask for revisions and inform the authors/editors in point-by-point fashion where and how revision will have to be implemented. They will also point out any secondary research that needs to be cited or has been cited incorrectly. They will then send the work back to the Chief Editors
• Chief Editors will then contact contributors with the report and where necessary start the revision process, outlining a time period for revision (not more than one month)
• Upon receiving revised work by contributors, Chief Editors will contact reviewers
• Reviewers may ask for another quick revision
• If a major revision is suggested by a reviewer and if Chief Editors recommend it, the revised article may be sent back to the original reviewer for a second read.
• When the work is ready for publication, they will be sent to the publishing team for final editing, proof reading and publication.
Reviewers will have to disclose if there is a conflict of interest (blind peer review system and the best practices of academic integrity ensure that all conflicts of interest are taken care of). All reviewed articles are treated confidentially prior to their publication.
We do our best to notify the decisions within two months. Should a writer intend to withdraw their article within the stipulated time, they must take permission from the editors signing a letter of declaration. For two or more authors, permission and approval of the authorial team is necessary.
Guest editors and the editorial board enjoy full autonomy as to the quality, selection, and publication aspects of the work. All final decisions in this regard remain with guest editors or the board (where relevant). The board does not interfere in the decision-making process in guest edited issues.
COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
JCLA follows the best standards of academic practice. In accordance with the COPE polices, The Journal duly allows its board members, contributors, and third party members to register complaint and appeals against the journal members, publications, or procedures through due process. For any complaint, appeal or data correction requests, complainants are requested to contact the Founding Editor of the journal, Ananta Charan Sukla, at the journal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.