Publication ethics

The following policies describe the guidelines of our publication process at DiGeSt. Our journal adopts and strives to adhere to standards and requirements as outlined by the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE). Our goal is to maintain high standards of accuracy and integrity in all our published issues, and to provide our audience with accurate academic journalism.

Please read our policy in full before submitting your article, to ensure you correctly meet all the requirements.

i)                 Authorship and Contributorship

Including author’s names in an article is a crucial way of acknowledging and recognising their contributions to the work. Additionally, this ensures transparency for those who are responsible for the article’s content. The listed authors should thus accurately reflect who carried out the research and who wrote the article.

The Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE) has established certain criteria that must be met in order for an individual to be considered as eligible author:

1. Made substantial contributions to either conception, study design, execution, acquisition of data, analysis, and interpretation of data, or in all these areas

2. Drafted or written the article, or revised it critically for important intellectual content

3. Given approval of the final version to be published

4. Agreed to be held accountable for all aspects of the work, and to take responsibility in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of the work are resolved

Individuals who have made significant contributions but do not meet these criteria should be recognised and included in the acknowledgment section. Organisations that provided support in terms of funding and/or other resources can also be mentioned in this section.

All individuals involved in the work on the article have a shared responsibility to determine who should be listed as authors or contributors, and the order in which they should be listed. The journal editor is not responsible for the order of authorship and is unable to arbitrate authorship disputes. If unresolved disputes arise, the institution(s) where the study was carried out will be requested to investigate and mend.

ii)               Complaints and Appeals

We welcome genuine feedback from both our audience and authors as long as they provide strong evidence or new data in response to the articles. Any complaints or appeals about our editorial content are taken seriously and can be addressed to our editorial team via email or our website. We will investigate all complaints thoroughly and respond promptly.

Editors typically do not receive appeals and they seldom reverse their initial decisions. Therefore, it is recommended that authors whose manuscripts have been rejected opt to submit to another journal rather than pursue an appeal. The decision to reject a manuscript is often based on the editor’s judgment of a manuscript’s importance to the journal. This is not readily amenable to appeal. However, if an author feels that a genuine appeal is warranted, they can reach out and need to:

- Detail why they disagree with the decision and provide specific responses that contributed to the reject decision

Provide new information or data that should be taken into consideration

Provide evidence if they believe a reviewer has made errors in their assessment

Provide evidence if they believe there are conflicts of interest.

Following an appeal, editors may re-confirm their decision to reject the manuscript, invite a revised manuscript, or seek additional peer- or statistical review. All further editorial decisions are final.

iii)              Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests

DiGeSt is committed to avoid conflicts of interest that could compromise the integrity of our journal. Conflicts of interest or competing interests can be financial and non-financial in nature, and are roughly defined as anything potentially undermining the objectivity, integrity, or perceived value of the manuscript. They occur when an author has a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organisations or with people who could influence the research. According to guidelines devised by the Committee On Publication Ethics, this includes:

Employment, i.e., past, current, or anticipated within an organisation that profits of the publication

Sources of funding, i.e., support by an organisation that profits of the publication

Personal financial interests

Membership of relevant organisations

Having a personal relationship with any of the authors (if you are an editor) or an editor (if you are an author)

Working or having recently worked in the same institution or department as any of the authors or editors

Having recently been a supervisor, mentee, or close collaborator with any of the author(s) or editor(s)

To ensure transparency, all authors, peer-reviewers, and editors must declare any conflicting or competing interests relating to a manuscript. Authors should disclose all relevant interests that may have influenced the development of their research in a competing interests section in the submitted manuscript. Likewise, peer-reviewers are asked to declare their competing interests when returning their report on a paper. If an editor has a competing or conflicting interest that prevents them from making an unbiased decision on a manuscript, then the editorial team will send the manuscript to an alternative editor for assessment.

iv)              Data Sharing and Reproducibility

Committed to making research available to the public as an essential step towards the democratization of knowledge, DiGeSt provides full and immediate open access to its content. It publishes under a CC-BY 4.0 license, meaning that anyone can freely consult, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full texts of manuscripts published by DiGeSt without asking prior permission from the publisher or author(s) – provided the source is correctly and diligently cited. Access to the full-text versions of manuscripts published by the journal is available through its own online archive (2020-) and its backlog on JSTOR (2014-2019). DiGeSt does not charge a publication fee, nor does it otherwise require remuneration for any step in the publishing process. 

v)               Ethical Oversight

All research that is published in DiGeSt must have been conducted according to international and local guidelines ensuring ethically conducted research that respects human rights and adheres to the standards of scientific integrity.

Research studies within our journal must have been performed with respect for ethical research conduct. Prior to the start of the study, participants must have provided informed consent, and ethical approval must have been obtained from the local institutional review board (IRB) or other ethics committees. In accordance with the guidelines outlined by the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), consent must be obtained from participants who should be fully informed of the study’s purpose, risks, and benefits.

DiGeSt moreover endorses the recommendations of COPE on privacy. The privacy of study participants is a fundamental right, and it should not be infringed unless they give informed consent. Researchers must take appropriate measure to ensure confidentiality, such as anonymisation or data encryption. Any personal information collected from participants must be kept secure.

Researchers who do not adhere to the ethical guidelines may face consequences such as rejection of their study for publication, disciplinary actions, or other appropriate measures.

vi)              Intellectual Property

DiGeSt respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects the same in return. Copyrighted material will not be reproduced without permission or proper attribution. Similarly, we take reasonable steps to protect our own intellectual property.

Overall, scholarly peer-reviewed journals are highly regarded due to their trustworthiness and integrity, and as such, plagiarism is of significant concern for DiGeSt. According to the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), this applies to data, images, words, or ideas taken from sources of others presented by an author as if they were their own and furthermore without sufficient acknowledgment. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or prearrangements among authors to cite each other is also considered a form of misconduct called citation manipulation, which is not accepted.

However, we recognize that there can be legitimate reasons for overlap in some cases. Therefore, any allegations of plagiarism will be investigated first by the editorial board of DiGeSt. If the allegations appear to be founded, we will contact the authors of the paper and request explanations of overlapping material. Based on the investigation, the journal will decide how to proceed according to COPE guidelines. This may result in a request for review of issues, rejection of the paper, or retraction of the published article.

vii)            Misconduct

DiGeSt considers all forms of misconduct gravely and is committed to take all necessary steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers that involve such misconduct. In no case does DiGeSt knowingly allow such conduct, which includes but is not limited to:

Citation manipulation

Data falsification/fabrication

Ethics dumping


Undisclosed conflicts of interest

Unethical research

If DiGeSt receives any allegations regarding research misconduct pertaining to a published article in our journal, we will take appropriate measures, in accordance with guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), to safeguard the integrity of the scholarly record. Any breach of our editorial policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including rejection of the manuscript.

viii)           Peer Review Systems

After an initial round of review by the chief editors, the articles submitted to DiGeSt undergo a double-blind review process. The articles are accepted for peer review only if they adhere to content and submission guidelines. The journal does not guarantee publication after review round(s). The review process can take between six weeks and three months and consists of obtaining advices from experts in the fields who have no conflict of interest with the publication of the manuscripts under revision. The reviewed articles are treated confidentially prior to their publication.

ix)              Post-Publication Discussions or Corrections

We recognise that mistakes can happen, and that our issues may not always be perfect. In the event that errors or inaccuracies are discovered in our publications, we will promptly correct them and update the content as necessary. We will also provide a transparent explanation of the correction and the reason for the error. Post-publication discussions and feedback is welcome, and DiGeSt will consider all constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. We also work to engage our audience in discussions around gender and diversity studies, and continuously provide opportunities for them to ask questions, seek clarification, or offer insights and responsive research devised as academic paper.