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Complaints and Appeals Procedure

Appealing the Publication Decision

Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the Editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred. If no error has occurred, the Editor’s decision to reject is final.


Appealing a Post Publication Decision

Sometimes the Editor, in line with guidance published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), including COPE’s retraction guidelines and in consultation with SAGE, will determine that a published article needs to be retracted or that other corrective action or notification needs to be made to the published article. As referenced in the authorship agreement, the journal and SAGE reserve the right to take corrective action as they deem necessary in the interest of their responsibility for maintaining a transparent and accurate academic record. If an author has concerns about a retraction or other action on their published paper (such as a correction or expression of concern), they may contact the Editor or SAGE at with a detailed written description of their concern and any supporting materials where applicable. The author may also contact COPE.

SAGE will acknowledge receipt of the email. The SAGE Research Integrity Group, comprising senior members of staff from our Contracts and Legal departments, Editorial, Peer Review and Production teams, will then investigate following COPE guidelines. The investigation will establish whether the correct procedures have been followed and assess whether the author’s concerns have been addressed fairly and without prejudice. SAGE will review the paper’s peer review history and any correspondence between the author, Editor and reviewers. SAGE may also contact the parties involved to obtain further information where necessary.

The author will be advised of the outcome in writing. We aim to resolve issues as swiftly as possible, though please note sometimes investigations can take several weeks or more depending on the nature of the concern or complaint, the availability of relevant data and information, whether multiple authors and papers are involved, and possible involvement of the author’s institution or other external parties.

In the interest of allowing due process to take place, and investigations to proceed without prejudice, we respectfully request that anyone raising a concern or complaint allow the process to conclude before publicly commenting on the case.