GUIDELINES ON ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR

The Journal of the Australasian Law Academics Association (JALAA) publishes original research in order to promote academic excellence and the dissemination of legal academic work within Australasia and beyond. In additional to an Editorial Board, JALAA has two Editors and an Editor-in-Chief (the Editors). All manuscripts submitted to JALAA are subject to a rigorous editorial process, including double blind review by subject experts. JALAA follows and upholds the following guidelines on ethical behaviour and requires the Editors, Authors and Reviewers to adhere to them. For more information, please contact the Editors.

EDITORS

Fairness and independence

The Editors will:

  • ensure the integrity of a double-blind peer-review process;

  • assume ultimate responsibility for all content published in JALAA;

  • assess manuscripts based on academic merit;

  • make the final publication decision, free from bias and the influence of any external policymaker, advertiser or source of commercial revenue.

Confidentiality

The Editors will:

  • not disclose information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the Authors, Reviewers, potential Reviewers or members of the Editorial Board;

  • ensure that administrative staff and copyeditors maintain confidentiality.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

The Editors will:

  • not use unpublished information from a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the Authors’ express written consent;

  • keep information they are privy to during the course of the review process confidential;

  • take appropriate steps to avoid conflicts of interest between Authors and any other person in relation to the submitted manuscript.

Editorial decisions

The Editors:

  • will ensure that at least two subject experts review a submitted manuscript;

  • are ultimately responsible for deciding which manuscripts are published in JALAA, based on criteria, including academic importance, quality, interest to readers, Reviewer comments, and legal or ethical considerations (e.g. breach of copyright, plagiarism);

  • may discuss a proposed decision with members of the Editorial Board or Reviewers to ensure that a decision is not unfair, biased or otherwise incompatible with these guidelines.

Ethical issues

The Editors will:

  • investigate any report of ethical misconduct (e.g. plagiarism, duplicate submission, fabricated data, change in authorship, conflict of interest etc.);

  • take guidance from the COPE Code of Conduct flowcharts if misconduct is reported;

  • take proportionate action (e.g. correction, retraction, expression of concern or another note published in the JALAA) if, following an appropriate investigation, misconduct is shown to be probable.

DUTIES OF REVIEWERS

Support the editorial decision-making process

Reviewers will:

  • provide constructive feedback to help the Editors make a publication decision and to permit Authors to improve the quality and integrity of their submitted manuscript;

  • assess manuscripts on the basis of academic merit, in good faith, without bias and with respect for Authors’ dignity, bearing in mind that JALAA seeks to attract manuscripts from new and emerging researchers who are members of ALAA; 

  • recommend to the Editors whether to revise, reject or accept a submitted manuscript for publication.

Confidentiality

Reviewers (and potential Reviewers) will:

  • respect the confidentiality of the review process;

  • not disclose any details of a submitted manuscript or its review, either during or after the review process, beyond the final published paper;

  • not discuss the process with others unless, in extraordinary circumstances, the Editors expressly authorise.

Objectivity

Reviewers will:

  • conduct their reviews objectively;

  • clearly articulate their views, with supporting comments, so that Authors have the opportunity to improve the quality and integrity of their submitted manuscript to reach a publishable level;

  • not make hostile, denigrating or otherwise inappropriate personal comments.

Acknowledgement of relevant sources

Reviewers will:

  • advise the Editors of any relevant additional investigations (along with the published citation details) that the Authors have not cited and which are essential to support and strengthen claims made in the submitted manuscript;

  • notify the Editors of any irregularities, if they have concerns about ethical aspects or if they are aware of any substantial similarity/overlap with the submitted manuscript and any other manuscript, or if they suspect misconduct during either the research or writing of the manuscript;

  • keep any concerns confidential and allow the Editors to investigate, and supply further information if requested.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Reviewers (and potential Reviewers, where appropriate) will:

  • inform the Editors if they have a potential conflict of interest in the form of collaborative, competitive, or other relationships with or connections to an Author, company or institution declared or connected to the manuscript, or to the work described within it;

  • contact the Editors if they are unsure whether a relevant conflict of interest exists;

  • respect the confidentiality of the review process;

  • not use any unpublished information from a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the Authors’ express written consent;

  • keep all information they are privy to during the course of the review process confidential.

Ethical issues

Reviewers will share any ethical concerns they may have promptly with the Editors.

DUTIES OF AUTHORS

Accurate reporting

Authors will:

  • accurately present their research in substance and form appropriate for an Australasian legal journal;

  • include sufficient detail and relevant references to enable independent assessment of the work;

  • indicate if a submitted manuscript includes opinions or personal perspectives;

  • refrain from making fraudulent or deliberately inaccurate statements.

Originality and plagiarism

Authors will:

  • write and submit original works only;

  • cite others’ ideas and expressions in accordance with the current Australian Guide to Legal Citation;

  • generally, refrain from plagiarism in any form.

Simultaneous submission/publication

Authors will not, without the express written agreement of the Editors, submit a manuscript to JALAA that:

  • has previously been published in a language other than English or outside Australasia;

  • is under consideration for publication by another journal.

Authorship

Authors will:

  • participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the submitted manuscript;

  • be accountable for all aspects related to the accuracy or integrity of the submitted manuscript;[1]

  • acknowledge in the first footnote a substantial contribution to the submitted manuscript by a person who does not meet the criteria for authorship and who gives permission to be acknowledged.  

The corresponding Author will

  • ensure that all applicable Authors are included in the Author list;

  • confirm that all applicable Authors have seen and approve the submitted manuscript and agree to it being submitted to JALAA for potential publication.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Authors will

  • disclose any form of conflict of interest appropriately in the submitted manuscript;[2]

  • contact the Editors promptly if they are unsure whether an arrangement constitutes a conflict of interest.  

Acknowledgement of relevant sources

Authors will:

  • acknowledge relevant sources of information that have affected the outcome of the submitted manuscript;

  • obtain written permission from the source of information obtained from private correspondence or conversation;

  • ensure their submitted manuscript does not breach anyone’s copyright and indemnify ALAA, JALAA, the Editors and the Editorial Board from any claim for breach of copyright.

Peer review process

Authors will:

  • participate in the peer review process and respond promptly to requests for data, clarity of information, proof of ethics approval, copyright permissions and other information as required;

  • respond to the Reviewer’s comments in a systematic and timely manner, if a revision decision is made for a submitted manuscript;

  • resubmit a revised manuscript by the deadline set by the Editors.

Errors in published works

Authors will:

  • report any errors or inaccuracies in their published article;

  • cooperate with the Editors to correct an article that includes errors or inaccuracies in the form of an erratum, or to retract the article.


DUTIES OF THE PUBLISHER (ALAA)

Handling of unethical publishing behaviour

In cases of alleged or proven misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, ALAA will, in consultation with the Editors, seek clarity on the situation and take proportionate action, including publication of an erratum and retraction of the article.

Corrections and Retractions

The Editors will, if an Author reports an error of any nature in their published manuscript ensure that JALAA publishes an erratum as soon as is practicable, citing the original article and reporting relevant amendments.[3]

Appeals and complaints

Any person who has a grievance with JALAA will address their complaint to the Editors or the Chair of ALAA who will investigate the matter or assign an independent investigator to do so.


[1] Participation includes conception and design of the manuscript, data acquisition or data analysis and interpretation, drafting of the manuscript and/or revising it for critically important intellectual content, revision and final approval of the manuscript and statistical analysis, obtaining funding, administrative, technical, or material support, or supervision.

[2] Conflicts of interest include anything that can be interpreted to influence or affect the results or their interpretation within the submitted manuscript. Financial conflicts include: any gain brought to the Author or Author’s family member(s), business partner(s), employer(s) by direct or indirect commission, stock ownership or, involvement in any for-profit or not-for-profit corporation where the author or their family is a director or recipient of a grant (include details of grant number), honoraria, consultancy, travel cost reimbursement or paid expert testimony. Non-financial conflicts of interest may be affiliations, political, personal and/or professional relationships, or intellectual conflict.

[3] Retractions can be authored either by the Authors or by the Editors, and should clearly report the reasons for the article retraction. They must include a complete citation to the original article, which must be clearly labelled as retracted. Errata and retractions must be published in a numbered page in an issue of the JALAA to ensure proper indexing.