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Research Ethics
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Research Ethics


Co-Editors
Sarah Edwards University College London, UK
David Hunter Flinders University, Australia
Associate Editors
Sean Jennings University of Birmingham , UK
Sapfo Lignou University College London, UK
Stuart Nicholls University of Ottawa, Canada
Georgia Testa University of Leeds, UK


eISSN: 20476094 | ISSN: 17470161 | Current volume: 13 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly


Research Ethics is aimed at all readers and authors interested in ethical issues in the conduct of research, the regulation of research, the procedures and process of ethical review as well as broader ethical issues related to research such as scientific integrity and the end uses of research. The journal aims to promote, provoke, host and engage in open and public debate about research ethics on an international scale but also to contribute to the education of researchers and reviewers of research.

Research Ethics publishes original papers and review articles as well as informative case studies, and offers a home for submissions from authors from around the world. The quality of submitted articles is evaluated independently by double-blind peer review.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Research Ethics is aimed at all readers and authors interested in ethical issues in the conduct of research, the regulation of research, the procedures and process of ethical review as well as broader ethical issues related to research such as scientific integrity and the end uses of research. The journal aims to promote, provoke, host and engage in open and public debate about research ethics on an international scale but also to contribute to the education of researchers and reviewers of research.

Research Ethics publishes original papers and review articles as well as informative case studies, and offers a home for submissions from authors from around the world. The quality of submitted articles is evaluated independently by double-blind peer review.

International Advisory Board
Tracey E. Chan National University of Singapore, Singapore
David Coggon University of Southampton, UK
Zuzana Deans University of Bristol, UK
Lisa Eckenwiler George Mason University, USA
Mark Israel University of Western Australia, Australia
Jonathan Kimmelman McGill University, Canada
Alex John London Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Andrew Moore University of Otago, New Zealand
Margaret Rees University of Oxford, UK
Annette Rid King's College London, UK
Heike Schmidt-Felzmann National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Anne Slowther Warwick Business School, UK
Anthea Tinker King's College London, UK
Charles Weijer Western University, Canada
  • Not Currently Indexed
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Research Ethics

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rea to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Research Ethics will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Research Ethics, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Research Ethics publishes original papers and review articles as well as informative case studies on ethical issues in research, the regulation of research and the procedures and process of ethical review. The journal encourages the submission of the following types of paper:

      1. Original papers: these papers will cover topics related to ethical issues in research or its regulation.  Submissions of such papers normally up to 6,000 words but longer articles will not be excluded.
      2. Short original papers: these papers, normally up to 3,000 words, will likewise address issues which relate either to the ethical conduct of research, the process of ethical review in research or to the procedures that underpin ethics committee activity.  Such shorter papers will receive fast review and may also be printed rapidly if they address current live issues. 
      3. Case studies: the Editors wish to encourage case studies that provide examples of ethical review highlighting the practicalities and issues that engender committee discussion and debate. Submissions of case studies can be up to 1,500 words in length.
      4. Short reports: these reports will focus on committee practice, researcher’s experiences or meetings and conferences focused on Research Ethics.  Such reports should be up to 1,500 words.
      5. Review articles: such an article will address key issues in Research Ethics or focus on under-researched topics.  Rather than introducing new material, review articles are more educational in nature and explain the core issues in a particular area. Review articles should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words.
      6. Book reviews: the Editors invite reviews, between 500-1,000 words, of books on Research Ethics.  If you would be interested in being invited to carry out book reviews for Research Ethics as books are received, please email the Editors at rea@sagepub.co.uk

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    All research papers submitted for publication in Research Ethics will be subject to double-blind peer review.  Research Ethics operates a strictly anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and, the author’s name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. The turnaround time for papers is between six and eight weeks from submission to decision.  The editor reserves the right to make minor adjustments and, if necessary, to shorten the article without changing the meaning.   

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of 2 peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below: 

      • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
      • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
      • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).

    It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.4 Funding

    Research Ethics requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of Research Ethics to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Research Ethics and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Research Ethics offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines. 

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.  

    4.3 Supplementary material

    Research Ethics does not currently accept supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Research Ethics adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Research Ethics is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rea to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Research Ethics editorial office as follows:

    The Editors,
    Research Ethics,
    Office 13
    Cherry Drive
    Durham  
    DH6 2BG
    rea@sagepub.co.uk

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