Publication Ethics 1

Executive Overview: The question of COPE and WAME

We follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Works and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Thus, we must ensure that the quality of our published works meets these standards. Our focus as an academic publisher is to preserve the scholarly record’s accuracy, integrity, and completeness by ensuring we promote honest and accurate publishing through stringent policies. Our team of experienced editors, reviewers, and advisors has sworn to respect and uphold these guidelines.

Who are the eligible authors?

According to the Acta Humanitatis, eligible authors are those with the following roles:

  • Evidence of a substantial contribution to the research conception and design, data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Draft or revise the article for intellectual content.
  • Approval of the final version.
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work related to the accuracy or integrity of any part.

Other criteria we use to identify eligible authors

  • Level of education: An author who does not have a bachelor’s degree or above may be qualified to publish research on his/her own.
  • We do not allow individuals whose primary role in the paper was translation services to be added as co-authors; they can only be acknowledged.
  • Individuals whose role was to provide funding should be removed from the paper.
  • More than five authors in a paper must be vetted to ensure that their contributions to the research are of significant value. We have had experiences with multiple authors added to one research paper of less than 4,000 words.
  • The editor-in-chief or associate editors of the journal are eligible authors.

Authorship terms and agreement

  • All named authors sign a statement of authorship as a condition of publication. Such a statement should ideally include the following:
  • A declaration that that person, and all other named authors, fulfill the authorship criteria laid out in the journal’s authorship policy
  • A declaration that no other individuals deserving of authorship have been omitted
  • A statement of what precisely that person contributed to the paper (journals should also consider publishing this information)
  • A declaration that a person takes responsibility for the integrity of the paper

Guidelines on Solving Authorship Disputes

  • The authors should decide upon the author’s position in a paper before submitting it for consideration for publication. We shall consider publishing the paper in the order in which the authors’ names are received.
  • Additional authors cannot be added after submission.
  • Authors cannot be replaced in cases of sickness, insanity, or death.

Acta Humanitatis has a transparent publication policy and adheres in principle to the Conflict of Interest policy recommended by the COPE. We require that authors, editors, and reviewers declare any relevant competing interests of a personal, professional, or financial nature at the time of submission (for authors) or acceptance to evaluate a manuscript (for editors and reviewers)—for example, financial or personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence or bias their work or could be perceived to do so.

It is the responsibility of authors to disclose affiliations with any organization with a financial interest, direct or indirect, in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript (such as consultancies, employment, paid expert testimony, honoraria, speakers bureaus, retainers, stock options or ownership, patents or patent applications, or travel grants). All sources of funding for research should be explicitly stated. Authors should err on full disclosure if uncertain about what might be considered a potential competing interest.

Instances of conflict of interest that must be stated are as follows:

  • Whether the editor of the journal is a relative or family member.
  • Whether you work with the journal or the publisher in any position.
  • Whether you received a research grant or financial support from an internal or external source.

Ethics and consent

All research articles we publish are subject to a rigorous ethical standard. The journal endorses the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct and the COPE International Standards for Editors and Authors Guidelines. The Editorial Board of each journal is responsible for the form the peer review process will take.


Academic dishonesty, fraud, or academic misconduct is any cheating in a formal academic exercise. It can include plagiarism, coercive authorship, article publishing gifts, or honorary authorship.

Plagiarism and Self-citation

Plagiarism is the adoption or reproduction of another person’s ideas, words, or statements without acknowledgment. It may also include the inability to cite correctly or a lack of understanding of Citation Style Languages. A self-citation refers to an article by the same author from the same journal or other journals.

Plagiarism may vary depending on the level of severity. These are some of the levels at which a work may be plagiarized:

Coercive Translation involves translating other people’s works into other languages and then personalizing them without acknowledging the owner.

How to avoid this:

  • Get consent before you translate other people’s works.
  • Give credit to the rightful owner of the work.
  • Read widely about best practices in the translation of published works.

Substantial and Literal Copying: Reproducing a work word for word, in whole or in part, without permission and acknowledgment of the source.

Implications on research output: It may compromise the research through replication, resulting in no new/significant contribution to the existing literature.

Implications for the author: It may destroy your reputation as a scholar.

How to avoid:

  • Read widely from various resources on best practices in research and publishing.
  • Keep clear records of the sources you use while researching and writing.
  • Ensure you use quotation marks around borrowed lines, sentences, and paragraphs, and cite appropriately by acknowledging your reference sources.

Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing may be divided into two groups: sham paraphrasing and illicit paraphrasing.

Sham paraphrasing

Material copied verbatim from text and source acknowledged but represented as paraphrased.

Illicit paraphrasing

Material paraphrased from text without acknowledgment of the source.

Implications for research output:

It may compromise the research through replication, resulting in no new/significant contribution to the existing literature.

Implications for the author: It may destroy your reputation as a scholar.

How to avoid:

  • Read widely from various resources on best practices in research and publishing.
  • Ensure you understand the work contextually, then read the author’s intention before paraphrasing.
  • Avoid copy-pasting words that you do not fully understand.
  • Read widely about paraphrasing as a best practice in academic publishing.
  • Compare the facts between the original authors and your own to determine whether you are on the right track.
  • Do not distort any idea or concept of the original author.

Self-citation or Text-recycling: Reproducing portions of an author’s work in a paper and resubmitting it for publication as an entirely new paper.

Implications for research output: It may destroy your reputation as a scholar.

How to avoid:

  • Put anything in quotes taken directly from a previously published paper, even if you reuse something in your own words.
  • Make sure to reference the source accordingly.

Coercive authorship; article publishing gift or honorary authorship

Coercive, abusive, or promiscuous authorship assumes many forms. “Coercive authorship” is defined as authorship conferred to individuals in response to their exertion of seniority or supervisory status over subordinates and junior researchers or investigators. In its simplest form, this is the act of awarding authorship to someone who has not contributed to the manuscript in an intellectually significant manner.

Academic advantage or article laundering

It means acquiring articles from a third party or contracting ghostwriters to write and publish them.

Editorial misconduct

This practice often occurs when a member of the editorial board of a given journal is paid an unofficial fee to sneak in an unsolicited article for personal gains such as promotion, grant application, or coercive professional growth.