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Publishing Ethics Statement - Journal of African Union Studies (JoAUS)

Ethics Policy 

•The publication of an article in the Journal of African Union Studies (JoAUS) is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and their respective institutional affiliations. Peer-reviewed articles need to meet minimum standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the act of publishing: notably the author(s), journal editor, peer reviewer(s), publisher and the wider society amongst other stakeholders. Manuscripts in breach of these thresholds would be subject to retraction even after publication. The journal’s ethical policy follows the guidelines of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). For details on guidelines from COPE, please see this link: https://publicationethics.org/

We are particular about unethical submission practices on the part of authors (see section 1.1); breach of publishing agreement (section 1.2); and any conflict of interest on the part of both authors and reviewers (section 1.3).

Submission Policy
•Submission of an article implies that it has not been previously published (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a lecture or academic thesis); is not under consideration for publication elsewhere (i.e. multiple submissions); its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out; and, if accepted, will not be published elsewhere in the same form, without the written consent of the copyright-holder. Articles accepted for publication by the journal will be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software. The journal’s threshold is 20 per cent. 

Authors’ warrant

Following the above, authors submitting a paper for evaluation and publication warrant the following:

•That the article is not being considered for publication elsewhere.
•That the article so submitted is an original work.
•That there is no conflict of interests or any plagiarism issues (including ‘text recycling’ or ‘self-plagiarism’), and that the publishers are authorized to run the paper through anti-plagiarism software to establish this. Our threshold is 20%, excluding references and in-text citations.
•That the work does not include libelous, defamatory or unlawful statements.
•That permission has been cleared for any third party material included.
•That authorship has been agreed prior to submission and that no one has been ‘gifted’ authorship or denied credit as an author.
•That the Authors have followed appropriate international and national procedures with respect to data protection and rights to privacy. 
Copyright Transfer Form

•Upon acceptance of a manuscript, authors will be asked to complete and sign a Copyright Transfer Form. 
•Without the author returning the signed copyright transfer form, the paper cannot be considered for publication. 
•If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included in the article, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. 

Addition or removal of Authors

•Corresponding authors requesting to add another author after review and acceptance of the paper for publication must clarify reasons for the addition or subtraction and obtain a written consent from both the author to be added or subtracted and all the co-author(s) of the article. Without the written consent of all concerned, the request for addition of an author cannot be considered.  
•If the corresponding author requests for the removal of any author before publication, he/she must clarify the reasons for the removal and obtain the written consent of all concerned, including the author whose name is to be removed. Without such written consent, the request cannot be considered.  
•For co-authored articles, authors wishing to change the order in which author names appear in an article must jointly request for the change in writing signed by all the authors in the affected article.    
•Where authors have dispute over an article after it has been reviewed and accepted for publication, and appear unable to resolve their differences amicably, the journal reserves the right to decline the publication of the paper and refund any publication fee paid (less 30% administrative fee).

Conflict of interest

Publisher conflict of interest

A sample of every article submitted (which the authors claim have been professionally proofread) is subject to proofreading test by the journal’s language consultants using track changes. Since the journal charges for its proofreading services, if the journal decides that the quality of the said proofreading does not meet its professional standards, it will decline to offer proofreading services to the author(s) of the paper. 
•If the journal proofreads an article for an Author, the author(s) will be given forms to evaluate the proofread article on a scale of 1- 10 (where 1 is absolutely not satisfied and 10 is absolutely satisfied). Any proofread work that is scored less than 6/10, is sent for another proofreading at the journal’s expense.
•The journal cannot include for publication academic articles that have not gone through the peer-review process and which have not been duly accepted for publication by the journal’s editor

Editor conflict of interest 

•The journal editor and members of the editorial board are not allowed to publish (singly or jointly) more than two articles in the journal per year. 
•The journal editor cannot choose who shall review his/her articles or those of members of the editorial board. The VEA, on the advice of the publisher, shall select from the journal’s database of reviewers, those to be approached to review such articles. 
•The journal editor cannot override the concurrent views of two reviewers – though he/she can call for a third review if he/she is not satisfied with the quality of the review. For instance if two reviewers agree that the paper should be rejected, the Editor cannot override that but can call for a third review.

Author conflict of interest

•All authors are requested, on submission of their papers, to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence their work. Conflicts of interest include:

   • A personal interest in the outcomes of the review process.
   • A personal interest in the suppression of the outcome of the review process. 

If a conflict of interest is suspected, this should be reported to the editor or the publisher. Any concerns regarding an editor should be raised with the journal publisher. The publisher will follow the flowcharts recommended by COPE in cases of a suspected conflict of interest.

Pre-and Post-Publication Corrections

•The journal is responsible for formatting (typesetting) articles submitted for both digital and print publications.
•After the layout (typesetting) of each edition of the journal, a PDF of individual articles is made and sent to the corresponding Author of each article for corrections, if any.
•Where an article has more than one author, the Corresponding Author is encouraged to share the PDF of the article sent to him/her with his/her co-author(s) and then collate all corrections and observations in Word and send to us at: info@adonis-abbey.com copying editor@adoni-abbey.com
Those who have the relevant software (e.g. Adobe Professional) can also make their observations on the PDF if they so wish.
•Identified errors/observations will be corrected by the journal’s layout artist (typesetter) and returned to the Corresponding Author for further comments or approval for press. It is not unusual for this ‘ping- pong’ to go a few rounds.  The journal cannot go to press unless the corresponding Author expressly approves the article for press.
•In case of an error in the published work (both print and digital), the PDF of the article approved for press shall be used as an arbiter. If the identified error is in the PDF of the article approved for press by the corresponding Author, the liability is with the Corresponding Author and the best the publisher can do is to correct only the digital version free of charge. If the Corresponding Author also wants the print version to be corrected, this will attract a fee of fifty pounds (£50).
•Where the identified errors are not in the PDF of the article approved for press by the Corresponding Author, the publisher is liable and will correct both the print and digital versions of the article free of charge.
•If the Corresponding Author fails to respond within the stipulated time frame for the corrections after the PDF of the article is sent to him/her (typically four working days), after three reminders by email on different days, the Article would be deemed to have been approved for press by the Corresponding Author and the liability for any errors identified after the publication shall be with him/her.

Grievance Procedure 
The following complaints procedure outlines the process for addressing grievances by authors whose articles are rejected for publication, or who have concerns about the way their inquiry was handled or the way their paper was reviewed:
•The grievance must be submitted in writing to the editor or publishers of the journal (or both depending on the nature of the complaint).
•The grievance will be considered by the journal editorial team (or the publishers).
•The grievance will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt, investigated and aimed to be resolved within 14 days.
•The decision of the editor or journal publisher on the issue will be in writing and will be final. 
Informed Consent

In case of reports or interviews in which human subjects are involved or could be identified, authors must show proof (such as signed consent forms) that they obtained the express permission of those involved before the interview or report.
•Subjects asked to participate in research should be adequately informed about the benefits and risks that may be associated with the research;
•Subjects should not be coerced into making decisions about participating in the research, nor should they be forced to remain in the research if they decide to withdraw from it; and
•Subjects must be competent to make decisions regarding their participation in research, which is in part determined by their age and mental capacity.
•If an article includes an image of someone’s face, or anything else that might identify them, there  must be proof  of informed consent via a completed consent to publish form
•In cases where deceased persons are involved, Authors should show that they obtained the express consent of the deceased family member(s).
•If an article has a medical focus and there is a human subject involved, the authors must obtain written clearance from the institutions involved.
Animal Research

Research involving animals must conform to appropriate guidelines.  It must in particular follow three important principles: 
·         Replacement of animals in research, wherever possible
·         Reduction of animal use, i.e. minimising the number involved
·         Refinement: Improving the welfare of any animals you work with.


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