Ethical Guidelines

Journal ethical standards

Intellect publishes over 100 journals in the fields of visual arts, film studies, cultural studies, media and communication, and the performing arts. We pride ourselves in our creativity, ability to face challenges by adapting to the needs of the times, and willingness to venture into new and emerging subject areas. We support the value of an idea, rather than the commercial validity of an idea, and provide an unbiased platform for quality critical debate that authentically represents the author’s voice.

However, the real success story here is the vision, dedication and hard work that goes into the partnership between authors, journal editors, peer reviewers and us as publishers. Each has a vital role to play, and this includes a responsibility to uphold expected ethical standards throughout the whole process of journal publication. Trust plays a vital role in academic publishing: the author needs to be able to trust the editor to select the appropriate peer reviewers; the editor needs to be able to trust the peer reviewers to give a fair and objective assessment; and the reader needs to be able to trust the quality and integrity of the published work. Intellect is committed to setting and upholding high standards of ethical behaviour and to this end we support the standards and best practices set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). What follows is a summary of the ethical standards we expect authors, editors and peer reviewers to meet.

Editor’s responsibilities

Intellect supports editorial independence; the Editor is accountable for everything published within their journal. It is the Editor’s responsibility:

To carry out all editorial duties in a responsible and fair way, without discrimination on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the author.

To ensure that all correspondence is communicated in a professional and courteous manner at all times.

To consider and accept submissions exclusively on their academic merit, without commercial or other influence that may compromise intellectual standards.

To assess and approve any consent required from human or animal subjects in submitted research, considering the guidelines listed below.

To promptly correct any significant inaccuracies or misleading statements in published work once they have been brought to the Editor’s attention.

To investigate all complaints made against an author using open and fair procedures, allowing the author reasonable opportunity to respond to the complaint and to retain all documentation associated with the complaint. We suggest editors follow the COPE complaints procedure.

To produce clear aims and scope for the journal and to ensure that all Calls for Papers are unambiguous and not open to misinterpretation.

To appoint a diverse international editorial board whose knowledge andexperience reflect the aims and scope of the journal, who act as ambassadors for the journal, and who are willing to act as peer reviewers for the journal.

These responsibilities are also incumbent on Guest or Special Issue Editors, for the term and within the scope of their temporary editorship.

Peer reviewer’s responsibilities

To ensure papers remain confidential while under review and not retain or copy the papers. 

To review papers objectively and in a timely manner.

To inform the Editor immediately of any potential misconduct related to a paper such as fraudulent material, plagiarism, conflict of interest or other unethical behaviour.

To follow the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

Authors’ responsibilities

To assert that the work in the article/paper is that of the author.

To assert that the article/paper submitted is original and not under consideration or accepted for publication elsewhere.

To obtain written permission from copyright holders for reproducing any images, tables, figures or other material that have previously been published elsewhere.

To obtain informed consent from any human or animal subjects referenced in the research, following the guidelines listed below.

To acknowledge and cite content reproduced from other sources.

To assert that the work contains no material which is obscene, hateful, libellous, in breach of privacy, or otherwise in contravention of the relevant law.

To promptly inform the editor of any significant inaccuracies or misleading statements in their work post-publication.

To declare any potential conflicts of interest.

Authorship policy

Before article production can begin, authors are required to complete a licence form specifying that:

  • The Accepted Contribution is the Author’s original work, and that it has not been previously published.
  • The Accepted Contribution does not infringe on copyrights held by others, or on any other right legitimately claimed by a third party.
    • If, in contravention of the above, the Accepted Contribution contains material copyrighted by others, all required written permissions have been secured for the re-publication of such material in accordance with the scope of the Intellect licensing requirements: the Accepted Contribution contains no material that is obscene, hateful, libellous, in breach of privacy or otherwise in contravention of the relevant law.
  • All statements asserted as facts are either true, or else based upon generally accepted professional research practices.
  • Each of the named authors has contributed significantly to the material, research, interpretation and analysis present in the article.

Publisher's or association's responsibilities

Intellect and the Associations on behalf of which it publishes shall ensure that good practice and ethical standards are maintained.


Editors should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE.

Editors should follow the procedure set out by COPE on complaints.

Editors should seek the advice of the Publisher where necessary in difficult situations.

Complaints against the Editor will be investigated by the Publisher in the first instance, but may be referred to an independent ombudsman or COPE for advice if appropriate.

Use of human or animal subjects

If your work involves live subjects (human or animal) you must seek written consent. Please then ensure that you include an Ethical Statement with your submission to the journal, including:

  • The name of the institutional or national research ethics committee that approved the research and the approval number given. If the research received a waiver of approval or did not require approval, please explain why. You should have clearly communicated any risk assessment, research purpose, method overview and the contribution’s implementation, etc.
  • For investigations involving animal experimentation, state which animal care and use guidelines were followed.
  • For investigations involving human participants, state that all participants (or a parent or legal guardian, in the case of children under 16) gave written informed consent to participate in the study and publish the results.

For more details, check the COPE Ethical Oversight guidance.


Any suspected case of plagiarism must be declared by the peer reviewer(s) and passed on to the editor(s) of the journal in question. The COPE guidelines for plagiarism in a submitted manuscript or for plagiarism in a published article shall be followed. The author will be officially notified by the editor, after which a comparison of the text will investigate the issue. In the case of a significant overlap, the editor will seek the author’s comment on the matter as well as a third opinion. Should plagiarism be confirmed, correction, withdrawal or retraction of the article are possible. The journal editor will make a reasonable judgement and present their recommendation to Intellect.

Retractions and corrections

To maintain the integrity of its journals, Intellect reserves the right to retract articles where there is clear evidence of unreliable or unethical research (error, fabrication, falsification), where findings have been published previously elsewhere and permission for republication was not sought or given, where material has been used without permission from the source, where copyrights have been infringed, where there has been a conflict of interest or where the peer review process has been manipulated.

In case of retraction, notice will be given promptly and clearly, and the article will be identified as retracted online. A retraction notice will be published in the journal, and this will be free for all readers.

Intellect will follow the COPE guidelines on retractions.

Factual errors that do not undermine the integrity of the research but are confusing to the reader must be declared to Intellect and the editor of the journal, who will determine whether it is suitable to print an errata note (corrigendum) in the next possible issue of the journal.

Author name change policy

Intellect will change an author’s name and/or pronouns in any published article, chapter or book on request from the author. Author name changes can be requested for many reasons; Intellect will respect authors’ privacy and never require authors to disclose the reason for the change, only the details needed to trace the article. Intellect will adjust names and pronouns if necessary, re-upload the work to all third parties, and amend the print files for any future reprints (though we cannot withdraw copies already in circulation). Authors should contact to update any of their articles.


Editors should not act as representatives of the Publisher or make statements to the media, post comments or write editorials claiming to represent the Publisher without the Publisher’s prior agreement.