Publication Ethics

The Journal of Cyberspace Studies is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics and endorses:


1. Ethical considerations prior to conducting the research

1.1. Ethics approval

Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee. A statement detailing this, including the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate, must appear in all manuscripts reporting such research. If a study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption). Further information and documentation to support this should be made available to the Editor on request. Manuscripts may be rejected if the Editor considers that the research has not been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework.

1.2. Retrospective ethics approval

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

1.3. Consent to participate

For all research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.

2. Ethical considerations prior to the manuscript submission

2.1. Consent for publication

For all manuscripts that include details, images, or videos relating to individual participants, written informed consent for the publication of these must be obtained from the participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. If the participant has died, then consent for publication must be sought from the next of kin of the participant. Documentation showing consent for publication must be made available to the Editor on request and will be treated confidentially. In cases where images are entirely unidentifiable and there are no details on individuals reported within the manuscript, consent for publication of images may not be required. The final decision on whether consent to publish is required lies with the Editor.

2.2. Software and code

Any previously unreported software application or custom code described in the manuscript should be available for testing by reviewers in a way that preserves their anonymity. The manuscript should include a description in the Availability of Data and Materials section of how the reviewers can access the unreported software application or custom code. This section should include a link to the most recent version of your software or code (e.g. GitHub or Sourceforge) as well as a link to the archived version referenced in the manuscript. The software or code should be archived in an appropriate repository with a DOI or other unique identifiers. For software in GitHub, we recommend using Zenodo. If published, the software application/tool should be readily available to any scientist wishing to use it for non-commercial purposes, without restrictions (such as the need for a material transfer agreement). If the implementation is not made freely available, then the manuscript should focus clearly on the development of the underlying method and not discuss the tool in any detail.

2.3. Statistical methods

Authors should include full information on the statistical methods and measures used in their research, including justification of the appropriateness of the statistical test used (see the SAMPL guidelines for further information). Reviewers will be asked to check the statistical methods, and the manuscript may be sent for specialist statistical review if considered necessary.

2.4. Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.

2.5. Changes in authorship

In line with COPE guidelines, the JCSS requires written confirmation from all authors that they agree with any proposed changes in authorship of submitted manuscripts or published articles. This confirmation must be via direct email from each author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors confirm that they agree with the proposed changes. If there is disagreement amongst the authors concerning authorship and a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the authors must contact their institution(s) for a resolution. It is not the Editor’s responsibility to resolve authorship disputes. A change in authorship of a published article can only be amended via publication of an Erratum.

3. Misconduct

The Journal of Cyberspace Studies takes all allegations of potential misconduct most seriously. The journal adheres to the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of suspected misconduct. In cases of suspected research or publication misconduct, it may be necessary for the Editorial office to contact and share manuscripts with third parties, as an illustration, the author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).

3.1. Research misconduct

All research involving humans (including human data and human material) and animals must have been carried out within an appropriate ethical framework. If there is suspicion that research has not taken place within an appropriate ethical framework, the Editor may reject a manuscript and may inform third parties, as an illustration, the author(s)’ institution(s) and ethics committee(s).

In cases of proven research misconduct involving published articles, or where the scientific integrity of the article is significantly undermined, articles may be retracted.

3.2. Publication misconduct

The journal adheres to the COPE guidelines outlining how to deal with cases of suspected and potential misconduct.

3.2.1. Plagiarism

The JCSS editorial office uses plagiarism detection software to ensure the originality of the submitted manuscripts. If plagiarism is identified, the COPE guidelines on plagiarism will be followed.

3.2.2. Duplicate publication

Any manuscript submitted to the JCSS must be original and the manuscript, or substantial parts of it, must not be under consideration by any other journal. In any case where there is the potential for overlap or duplication we require that authors are transparent. Authors should declare any potentially overlapping publications on submission and, where possible, upload these as additional files with the manuscript. Any overlapping publications should be cited. Any ‘in press’ or unpublished manuscript cited, or relevant to the Editor’s and reviewers' assessment of the manuscript, should be made available if requested by the Editor. The JCSS editorial office reserves the right to judge potentially overlapping or redundant publications on a case-by-case basis.

In general, the manuscript should not already have been formally published in any journal or in any other citable form.

Any suspected cases of covert duplicate manuscript submission will be handled as outlined in the COPE guidelines and the Editor may contact the authors’ institution.

3.2.3. Text recycling

Authors should be aware that replication of text from their own previous publications is text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism), and in some cases is considered unacceptable. Where overlap of text with authors’ own previous publications is necessary or unavoidable, duplication must always be reported transparently and be properly attributed and compliant with copyright requirements. If a manuscript contains text that has been published elsewhere, authors should notify the Editor of this on submission.

4. Confidentiality

Editors will treat all manuscripts submitted to the JCSS in confidence. Reviewers are also required to treat manuscripts confidentially. The JCSS will not share manuscripts with third parties outside of the Journal except in cases of suspected misconduct.