Ethics statement

This statement covers (A) the Code of Practice for consideration of articles submitted for publication in the Journal of the British Academy, and (B) other Publishing Ethics. It is guided by the Core Practices developed by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

A. Code of practice for consideration of submissions

This Code of Practice describes the standards of transparency by which the British Academy abides in administering submissions, and embodies the principles of equity, integrity and confidentiality for all who are involved in the assessment of proposals. The Code is intended to act as guidance to assessors in discharging the responsibilities placed on them in assessing articles, and sets out the proper conduct expected of them.

Information for authors

1. Article submission procedures. The British Academy issues guidelines for prospective authors on how to submit an article for publication, including details of the information that should be supplied:

2. Data Protection Act. The British Academy is committed to protecting and storing securely any personal and sensitive data held. (‘Personal data’ means any information relating to you, through which you can be identified, such as name, contact details and employment information.) As a prospective Journal author, your personal data (name, contact information, employment information) is stored by the British Academy’s Publishing Department. This information can be updated at your request. As part of your relationship with us, the British Academy’s Publishing Department will use your personal data to: process your submission; pass your submission onto assessors and to the Editors of the Journal; and to convey the outcome of your submission. Other relevant members of British Academy staff may also view your submission. Proposers of supplementary issues must secure the permission of all contributors to be listed as potential contributors in their proposal. If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak to us about the way in which we process your personal data, please email the British Academy’s Data Protection Officer [email protected]

3. Data monitoring. Personal information provided by you will be used for monitoring and statistical purposes only, and at no stage will it form any part of the assessment process.

4. Equal opportunities. The British Academy is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, including the works we publish, and we are committed to ensuring the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion and our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 are embedded into our publishing practices. As part of our commitment to these values, we are pleased to have adopted the Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications’s Joint Statement of Principles. We have adopted these principles because we value and seek diversity and inclusive practices within scholarly publishing. With our work and the works we publish, we hope to improve equality, diversity and inclusion across humanities and social sciences publishing.

5. Research ethics policy. The Academy requires the research it publishes to have been conducted in an ethical manner. The following considerations apply to all submissions: accurate reporting of findings and a commitment to enabling others to replicate results where possible; fair dealing in respect of other researchers and their intellectual property; proper employment conditions for research staff having respect for the provisions of the ‘Concordat for Contract Research Staff’ and subsequent amendments; honesty to research staff and students about the purpose, methods and intended and possible use of the research and any risks involved; confidentiality of information supplied by research subjects and anonymity of respondents (unless otherwise agreed with research subjects and respondents); and independence and impartiality of researchers to the subject of the research. Additionally, submissions may raise one or more of the following considerations: the involvement of human participants; the involvement of human remains (e.g. traceable to living descendants); the use of non-human animals; destructive analysis of historic artefacts; research that may result in damage to the natural or historic environment; and the use of sensitive social, economic or political data. Wherever necessary, appropriate consent should be obtained from or on behalf of participants or others affected by the research. Prospective authors should indicate whether their research raises any special ethical issues, and whether their research has been approved by the institution’s Research Ethics Committee or other relevant authority. Independent researchers without access to formal ethical scrutiny and approval should briefly describe any special ethical issues, and explain how they will be addressed.

6. Authorship. All authors listed on any article submitted to the Journal must be in agreement that the authors listed would all be considered authors according to disciplinary norms, and that no authors who would reasonably be considered an author have been excluded.

7. Assessment process. All submissions are judged on their academic merit through a stringent process of peer review by appropriate experts. The copy of the article text sent for review will not include your name or other authorship information on the title page. Each article is reviewed by independent expert readers (normally at least two). Assessors are typically drawn from subject-specific experts within the British Academy’s Fellowship, but assessments are also sought from other appropriate specialists. Recommendations are passed to the Journal Editors: the Journal has two Editors, covering humanities and social science subjects, respectively. As part of the review process, you may be asked to make reasonable changes to the article. The final decision on acceptance of an article for inclusion in the Journal rests with the Editors.

8. Disclosure. The British Academy publishes the names of the Journal Editors and Editorial Board on the British Academy’s web site.

9. Outcome of submissions. Authors are informed by email of the final outcome of their submission. Feedback is not necessarily provided on unsuccessful submissions, except where it may have formed part of the assessment process described in paragraph 7 above. The British Academy is regretfully unable to enter into correspondence concerning the final decision of the Journal Editors.

10. Appeals. All submissions receive careful scrutiny by the assessors and the Journal Editors. Appeals may therefore not be made against the academic judgement of the Academy’s assessors or Journal Editors. The sole ground on which an appeal may be made is one of improper procedure. Anyone wishing to make an appeal against a decision should write to the British Academy’s Vice-President (Publishing & Conferences) no later than two months after the outcome of the submission has been communicated, citing the specific decision and setting out clearly the substantive basis of the appeal. Only authors themselves may appeal, though they may include supporting letters as relevant. The Vice-President will respond in writing within 30 days. There are two possible grounds for one further stage of appeal: either improper procedure in the investigation of the original appeal; or the availability of substantial relevant information which for good reason was not made known to the Vice-President at the time of the investigation. Any such further appeals should be directed to the President of the British Academy.

Information for assessors

11. Confidentiality. Those who undertake the assessment of submissions are required to give an undertaking that all information which they acquire in the discharge of their duties be kept confidential and not be transmitted to any persons other than in accordance with the prescribed procedures for the selection process. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that such information is kept in a secure place and in due course disposed of in a secure fashion (or returned to the Academy). Information provided to assessors in a submission to the Journal may only be used for the purposes of evaluating the article in accordance with the Academy’s guidelines.

12. Conflict of interest. Those who undertake the responsibility of assessing articles for the Journal of the British Academy are required to declare actual or potential conflicts of interest and observe the following guidelines:

  • References. Assessors shall not participate in the evaluation of any particular submission for which they may have supplied any supporting statement.
  • Institutional affiliation. Assessors shall not participate in the evaluation of any proposal emanating from their own institution.
  • Other connections. Where a submission involves a former pupil, close colleague or co-researcher, af amily member, or a person with whom there is or has been a current or prior relationship, assessors are required to declare any conflict of interest to the British Academy’s Head of Publishing so that the proposal can be redirected.

If assessors are unsure whether their ability to assess a proposal is compromised in any way, they should inform the Publishing office of the relevant circumstances so that guidance can be sought on individual cases.

B. Other Publishing Ethics

13. Licence to publish. Each author of an article to be published in the Journal of the British Academy is required to sign a ‘Licence to Copyright’, a copy of which is given in the Appendix. By doing so, they indicate their agreement to the terms of the Licence, which form a part of this Ethics Statement.

14. Intellectual property. Ownership of copyright will remain with the author(s). The author(s) will retain the right to use their article in whole or in part in any other publications or for the purpose of course teaching, provided that the Journal of the British Academy is attributed as the original place of publication with the correct citation details provided.

15. Open Access. The Journal of the British Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Open access publication in the Journal is supported by the British Academy: authors are not charged a fee for article submission or publication.

Funder requirements. Where an author acknowledges research funding that brings with it a requirement that the article should be published under a CC BY licence, the author should contact [email protected] so that this licence may be applied to their article. The British Academy recognises the extra protection that is afforded to authors’ work by the ‘No Derivatives’ element of the Creative Commons licence, and notes that some authors may be able to apply to their funder to allow their article to be published under a CC BY-ND licence.

16. Post-publication discussion. The Journal Editors welcome responses to, or comments on, articles that have already appeared in the Journal, and welcome offers of such contributions to academic debate. When a response or comment is published in the Journal, the Editors will wherever possible invite the author(s) of the original article to contribute a response of their own.

17. Corrections. While the British Academy welcomes feedback on all errors in order to improve, not all errors require correction after publication. Minor copyediting or typesetting errors that do not affect the meaning or interpretation of an article are generally not corrected after publication, nor is content added to an article that is beyond its original scope, such as additional references or updates to the text based on information not available at the article’s time of publication. The Journal Editors will determine whether an error is significant enough to merit correction. Where an error is deemed to be significant, if an author is found to have made an error in a published article, a Corrigendum will be used; if the Journal is found to have made an error, an Erratum will be used.

March 2023

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