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Ethics and Responsibility

We are committed to upholding the integrity of the work we publish. We encourage our authors, editors and reviewers to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website. COPE has published a set of Guidelines for Peer reviewers that we recommend reading prior to carrying out the process, these guidelines can be found, along with other sets of guidelines, on the COPE website.

SAGE takes issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of our journals against malpractice.  Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

The author should disclose any prior distribution and/or publication of any portion of the material to the Editor for the Editor’s consideration and ensure that appropriate attribution to the prior distribution and/or publication of the material is included.

SAGE recommends that if reviewers suspect any of the following problems with any article that they are reviewing that they contact the journal editor to discuss the situation without delay. Reviewers should keep all information about such matters confidential and not discuss them with colleagues other than the journal editor.

  • If you suspect that the paper has been either published or submitted to another journal.
  • If you suspect that the paper is duplicating the work of others.
  • If you suspect that there might be problems with the ethics of the research conducted.
  • If you suspect that there might be an undeclared conflict of interest attached to the paper (editors might have more information about this than you do so it is best to check).      

SAGE recommends that reviewers should think carefully about their own potential conflicts of interest relating to the paper before undertaking the review. They should also notify the editor if they become aware of the identity of the author during blind peer review. Additionally, reviewers should be careful not to make judgements about the paper based on personal, financial, intellectual biases or any other considerations than the quality of the research and written presentation of the paper. Sometimes a reviewer will want to involve junior researchers in the review of an article as it can be good practice and experience for that person. However, the reviewer should ensure that they obtain permission from the journal Editor prior to accepting the invitation to review. The names of everyone involved in doing the review should be submitted to the Editor so that the journal records accurately reflect the review process as it was conducted. Full guidelines for peer reviewers can be found on the COPE website.  

SAGE Publishing Policies – click the link for more information about SAGE’s Conflict of Interest Policy, Funding Acknowledgements policy and other publishing policies.

Find out more information about SAGE’s Ethics and Responsibility policies