Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies (JIOWS) is committed to publishing high-quality academic articles in the field of Indian Ocean World Studies in an open-access environment, enabling equitable access to its materials. It is important that all parties involved – editors, authors, and reviewers – maintain rigorous ethical standards, and that malpractice be dealt with in a transparent and fair process. All parties who engage with the JIOWS implicitly agree to abide by these standards, which are guided by COPE’s (Committee on Publication Ethics) Core Practices and Best Practice Guideline for Journal Editors.

A selection of key points that editors, reviewers, authors, and publishers should abide by are detailed below (for further information, see the hyperlinked documents above).



The editors of the JIOWS agree to:

  • Work collaboratively with Authors, Reviewers, and Guest Editors to ensure a fair and equitable publication process.
  • Subject manuscripts to a rigorous editorial process, aiming to complete the process within 3 months. This process comprises the following steps:
    • Desk Review (approximately 2 weeks): The Associate Editor in conjunction with member(s) of the Managing Editorial Team will assess the subject-matter’s suitability for the journal, and its academic quality based on its overall structure/argument. They will then decide to either (a) send the manuscript for anonymous peer review; or (b) reject the manuscript.
    • Anonymous Peer Review (approximately 2 months): The Associate Editor and/or a member of the Managing Editing team will send the manuscript to a minimum of two suitable peer reviewers, who may be selected in consultation with members of the Editorial Board. Reviewers will be asked to evaluate the manuscript based on 4 criteria: Originality, style, structure/argument, and sources.
    • Editorial Decision (approximately 2 weeks): Taking into account the comments of the reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief, in conjunction with the Associate Editor and relevant member(s) of the Managing Editing team, will decide to either (a) accept the manuscript in its current form; (b) accept the manuscript on condition of completion of minor revisions; (c) advise the Author(s) to revise and resubmit the manuscript before a final decision is taken; or (d) reject the manuscript. Regardless of decision, the Editor-in-Chief will ensure that the reviewers’ reports will be sent in-full to the Author(s), editing them only in extreme cases, when reviewer’s comments are potentially libellous or insulting.
  • Notify the Author(s) if any delays to the editorial process arise, or it becomes foreseeable that more than 3 months will elapse between submission of the manuscript and an editorial decision.
  • Evaluate manuscripts entirely based on their academic merit and relevance to the JIOWS. Editorial decisions, which rest with the Editor-in-Chief, will not be influenced by outside forces, including (but not limited to) governments, institutional affiliations, or religious organisations.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of Authors, thereby not sharing any details about submitted manuscripts or their authorship without the express permission of the Author(s); nor using or citing materials that are under review, or which are yet to be published, in their own work.
  • Work with Authors to copyedit accepted manuscripts, and then to typeset them, to ensure the highest possible standard for work published in the JIOWS.
  • Actively engage with relevant parties, including the Editorial Board and experts in the field, to continually improve the journal’s processes, including, but not limited to, peer review and publication ethics.
  • Actively promote work published in the JIOWS, including through the IOWC’s social media accounts and listservs, and to do so while accurately representing and contextualising said work.
  • Notify Author(s) and the wider editorial team of any conflicts of interest in the review process of any manuscripts. If any conflicts of interest are found, said member of the editorial team (for example, the Associate Editor or a Managing Editor), will recuse themself from the editorial process of that manuscript or collection of manuscripts.
  • Maintain the JIOWS’ open access policy under the Creative Commons License CC BY NC SA, which permits users to share, use, and remix the material provided they give proper attribution, the use is non-commercial, and any remixes/transformations of the work are shared under the same license as the original.
  • Be willing to publish errata, retractions, and apologies as appropriate and necessary.
  • Be guided by this Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement and the COPE documents highlighted above in cases in which alleged malpractice has taken place.



Authors who submit manuscripts to the JIOWS agree to:

  • Only submit work that is original and has not been submitted to another publication.
  • Disclose to the JIOWS editors via written communication any conflicts of interest that a potential reviewer might have. These may include, but are not limited to, anyone who could reasonably ascertain authorship of the submission, or anyone who has read or heard an earlier version of the manuscript.
  • Disclose the origins of any funding that has enabled the research for and/or writing of the manuscript.
  • Appropriately cite materials, including the author’s own materials. (Self-) plagiarised manuscripts, or manuscripts that draw heavily on previous publications without proper attribution, will be rejected.
  • Notify the Editors if an error has been found in the manuscript, whether this occurs pre- or post-publication, and work with the Editors and Publisher to retract or correct the manuscript as appropriate.
  • Give proper attribution (for example co-authorship) to all those who have made significant contributions to the authorship and/or original research for the manuscript.
  • Only submit images/figures to which the Author(s) has the rights to publish, either because the Author(s) owns the image/figure, has acquired rights from the owner in writing, or the image/figure is publicly available.
  • Upon publication of the manuscript, abide by the copyright rules as set out by the Creative Commons License CC BY NC SA 4.0.
  • Be guided by this Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement and the COPE documents highlighted above in cases in which alleged malpractice has taken place.



Reviewers agree to: 

  • Provide an honest and objective review of manuscripts sent to them for review, commenting on its originality, style, structure/argument, and sources.
  • Ensure that reviews are instructive and helpful to authors, and that they could in no way be construed as libellous or insulting.
  • Submit their review of the manuscript by the agreed-upon deadline i.e. within 2 months of receipt of the manuscript, and to notify the Editors if any delay might be expected.
  • Disclose any conflicts of interest to the Editors, including if they (inadvertently) know the author’s identity, or if they have a vested interest in the publication, or rejection, of the manuscript (because of e.g. their institutional affiliation, or their own work on the subject).
  • Not seek to discover the authorship of the article from the Editors or via their own research.
  • Maintain confidentiality throughout the review process.
  • Not plagiarise materials that they agree to review.
  • Not cite materials that they have reviewed, and which have since been accepted but not yet published. If a reviewer seeks to cite accepted (but not yet published) materials, they should do so only with the express permission of the Editors and the Author(s). In cases in which authorship has yet to be revealed, the Editors will act as mediators in requesting the Author(s)’ permission.


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