Editorial procedures and ethics policy

At the Journal of Sport for Development, the integrity of our academic content and publishing process is paramount. This section outlines the best practice principles that we apply to our journal. All authors, peer reviewers, Editorial Board members, and editors are expected to read and understand this publication ethics and malpractice statement.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has informed many of the standards and guidelines outlined below.

Research Integrity: JSFD upholds high standards, and expects research published by JSFD to abide by the following principles, which are based on Cambridge University’s Research Integrity Statement. These principles include:

  • Honesty in all aspects of research;
  • Scrupulous care, thoroughness, and excellence in research practice;
  • Transparency and open communication;
  • Care and respect for all participants in and subjects of research.

In addition to the general principles above, we expect the JSFD editorial team to provide specific guidelines and policies for authors on research integrity and ethics. Anyone who believes that research published by JSFD has not been carried out in line with these Research Publishing Ethics Guidelines, or the above principles, should raise their concern with the editors or email jsfdeditors@gmail.com. Concerns will be addressed by following COPE guidelines.

Editorial Process: We are committed to editorial independence, and strive in all cases to prevent this principle from being compromised through conflicts of interest, fear, or any other corporate or political influence. JSFD does not have a publisher, does not require payment from authors, and is open-access, supporting editorial independence and transparency. Additionally, our editorial processes reflect this commitment to editorial independence. Proposals submitted for special issues are reviewed by the editors, who may also consult relevant external editors or subject specialists as needed. Editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted to JSFD are made by the editors and based on independent peer review reports. Appeals on editorial decisions for special issues and manuscripts will be considered, but only when new information relevant to the editorial decision has been made available, or there is reason to believe we did not follow the guidelines in this statement. If you have concerns and wish to appeal or file a complaint, please contact jsfdeditors@gmail.com. At least two editors will determine whether to re-review the special issue proposal or manuscript.

Editors: JSFD has Co-Editors who are recognized experts in the field. Co-Editors oversee manuscripts submitted to JSFD, among other responsibilities, and are expected to follow JSFD editorial guidelines.

Editorial Board: JSFD has an Editorial Board whose members are recognized experts in the field. Editorial Board members serve as peer reviewers for manuscripts submitted to JSFD, along with ad hoc reviewers, and are expected to follow JSFD guidelines on Editorial Board membership.

Peer review process: Peer review is critical to maintaining the standards of JSFD. All of JSFD’s content is subjected to peer review. The peer review process is defined as “obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers expert in the field of publication.” The peer review process for JSFD is for JSFD is set up to be as objective and quick as possible. It is comprised of the following:

Upon submission, your manuscript will be assigned to an editor, who will screen the submission to assess its quality and appropriateness to JSFD. If your manuscript is not to be sent out for review, you will receive notification promptly of this outcome. If your manuscript is deemed suitable to be sent for review, you will receive electronic notification that it has been sent for double-blind peer review by at least two independent experts in the topic of the manuscript who are not in close working, institutional, or personal relations with the author(s).

Their review reports ultimately inform the editorial decision, with manuscripts ultimately assigned one of the following statuses: (a) reject; (b) revise and resubmit, major revisions; (c) revise and resubmit, minor revisions; (d) accept, minor revisions; and (e) accept.

Authors should use the link provided to resubmit their manuscript, if they so choose. Authors should include a separate Word document, providing a point-by-point response to the reviewers’ feedback. Authors are expected to resubmit within 1 month of receiving feedback.

If your manuscript is ultimately accepted, it will undergo copy-editing. You will receive your edited manuscript with track changes and will be asked to correct and return the manuscript within 4 days. Your manuscript will then undergo layout editing and will be published on JSFD’s website.

To facilitate this peer review process, JSFD:

  • Provides appropriate systems and support to facilitate rigorous, fair, and effective peer review;
  • Encourages our editors and peer reviewers to familiarize themselves with and act in accordance with JSFD guidelines for peer review;
  • Expects our editors and peer reviewers to identify conflicts of interest that may bias their judgment and findings;
  • Expects our editors and peer reviewers to identify relevant published work which is not yet cited;
  • Expects our editors and peer reviewers to ensure all judgments and findings in the peer review process are objective and independent;
  • Expects those who oversee the peer review process to be able to recognize warning signs of fraudulent or manipulated peer review, and to raise any concerns by emailing jsfdeditors@gmail.com;
  • Supports our editors in investigating and acting on any suspected cases of manipulated or fraudulent peer review;
  • Protects the confidentiality of participants in the peer review process;
  • Expects our editors and peer reviewers to treat manuscripts confidentially prior to their publication.

Authors and authors’ responsibilities: Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process for their submitted manuscripts (outlined above). Each author must have made a significant contribution to the study, whether through the design, execution, interpretation of results, or write-up. JSFD does not have a limit on number of co-authors. However, if the list is deemed to be excessive, the editors may request justifications and reductions. COPE also provides extensive resources on authorship and authorship disputes, and JSFD utilizes these resources. Authors are also obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes, along with providing a list of references. It is considered unethical to publish the same research in more than one journal (or the same research in multiple articles within the same journal).

Originality and plagiarism: Authors should ensure that their contribution is original, appropriately cited and referenced, and approved by all authors prior to submission. Manuscripts may be scanned using plagiarism detection software to confirm the manuscript’s originality. Submissions containing suspected plagiarism, in whole or part, will be rejected. If plagiarism is discovered post-publication, we will follow our guidance outlined in the Retractions, Corrections, and Expressions of Concern section of these guidelines. We expect our readers, reviewers, and editors to raise any suspicions of plagiarism by emailing jsfdeditors@gmail.com.

Concurrent publication: Submission is a representation that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Research with humans or animals: Research involving humans or animals should be approved by relevant ethics committee(s) and should conform to international ethical and legal standards for research. Such approval should be sought in the country of origin of the lead researcher, and, if applicable, the country where the research is being conducted. Where ethical approval has not been obtained, an explanation should be provided for the editorial team.

Conflicts of interest and funding: All actual or potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed. This could include financial (e.g., employment, consultancies, travel grants), personal, or other relationships with individuals or organizations that can be viewed as actually or potentially influencing the work inappropriately. Anyone who suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest regarding a manuscript published or under consideration by JSFD should email jsfdeditors@gmail.com. A funding declaration is also required, in addition to a conflicts of interest declaration (see Authors’ Instructions).

Libel, defamation, and freedom of expression: Freedom of expression is critical to JSFD, but we do not support publishing false statements that harm the reputation of individuals, groups, or organizations.

Retractions, corrections, and expressions of concern: JSFD will consider retractions, corrections, or expressions of concern in line with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. If an author is found to have made an error, the journal will issue a corrigendum. If the journal is found to have made an error, they will issue an erratum. Retractions are usually reserved for articles that are so seriously flawed that their findings or conclusions should not be relied upon.

Reporting: Authors are expected to accurately present the research conducted and objectively interpret its importance. This includes research data collected or presented as images, as modifications can sometimes misrepresent the results obtained or their significance. We recognize that there can be legitimate reasons for modifying images, but we expect authors to avoid modifying images where this leads to the falsification, fabrication, or misrepresentation of their results.

Fraudulent research and research misconduct: JSFD will take steps to prevent cases of research misconduct (e.g., plagiarism, data fabrication, etc.). Where we are made aware of fraudulent research or research misconduct by a JSFD author, our first concern is the integrity of content we have published. We work with the editors and other appropriate institutions or organizations to investigate. Any publication found to include fraudulent results will be retracted, or an appropriate correction or expression of concern will be issued. Please see the Retractions, Corrections and Expressions of Concern section of these guidelines for more information.

Copyright and access: Once an article is published, copyright is transferred to JSFD. JSFD is an open access journal, with all articles and issues freely available to readers on our website.

Publishing schedule: JSFD publishes articles online as soon as the copyediting and layout editing are complete, with articles typically published online within five weeks of acceptance. Articles are also published in a journal issue, with two issues published each year.

Versions and adaptations: JSFD is widely available to those in different global cultural, environmental, and economic contexts. We may therefore issue different versions of some of our articles in order to cater to these contexts. We neither modify existing, published content nor originate new materials to meet political or ideological requirements where we judge these to compromise the quality, effectiveness, or factual accuracy of the materials. This largely relates to adaptation of our content in different languages, but is not limited to this. When we approve different versions, JSFD and our authors retain the right to withhold approval for publication if we have concerns about integrity and accuracy.

Transparency: JSFD strives to follow COPE’s Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

Data and supporting evidence: JSFD supports transparency and openness around data, code, and other materials associated with research. We expect authors to maintain accurate records of supporting evidence necessary to allow others to understand, verify, and replicate new findings, and to supply or provide access to this supporting evidence, on reasonable request.

Archiving: All JSFD articles are stored in a cloud-based system for preservation of content, in addition to being housed on the JSFD website.

Integrity of record: JSFD maintains a record of the existence of everything we publish with information (metadata) describing each publication. Where we are obliged to alter the publication record in any way, such as in the case of research misconduct leading to retraction of a publication, we preserve the academic record as far possible. See the Retractions, Corrections and Expressions of Concern of these guidelines for information about how we do this.

Ownership and management: JSFD is independently published and managed, with all staff contributing their time without compensation.