Editorial ethics of the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences

This policy applies to all scientific journals and books published by IlS PAS Publishing House.

Guarantee of the published work’s originality

§ 1

The integrity of scientific papers is the fundamental element of their quality.

§ 2

The publishing house of the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences only publishes scientific publications which are original, have not been published or submitted for publication in another publishing houseand do not duplicatepreviously published works.

Authors’ Obligation

§ 3

Authors should present the results of their research in a reliable, credible, honest and unquestionable manner.

§ 4

  1. Submitting the same text for publication in several journals at one time is unethical and unacceptable.
  2. Self-plagiarism is also unacceptable.

§ 5

  1. Claims based on falsified test results or manipulated research data are considered unethical and are not accepted.
  2. Everypassage of the text where statements, research findings or data developed by other authors are cited must be accompanied by a footnote and/or be presented in the form of a quotation.
  3. Authors should edit their texts in accordance with the applicable Rules for preparing texts for publication, based on the latest literature in the field which is crucial for the presentation of the research problem.
  4. Information gathered from interviews or correspondence with third parties may only be quoted in the text after obtaining the express written consent of those people.

§ 6

  1. All cases of ‘guestauthorship’ and ‘ghostwriting’ are considered unethical and are not accepted.
  2. Authorship is limited to people who had a significant impact on establishing the conception, assumptions and research methods and on carrying out the research project. If the text has been prepared by several authors, each of them is required to submit a statement on their contribution to the text. Each of them must separately give their consent to submitting the article for publication.

Obligations of the Publisher

§ 7

In the case of monographs and collective works, the Scientific Council of the Publishing House of the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences — and in the case of journals published and co-published by ILS–PAS, editorial boards — decide whether to publish submitted texts based primarily on their academic quality and adherence to the journal’s subject area. The key criteria in the evaluation of submitted texts are the objectivity of the analyses and the unimpeachablepresentation of the research problem.

Publishing procedures

§ 8

Each scientific text submitted for publication is reviewed by two reviewers following the methodology of a double-blind review, guaranteeing that neither the author nor the reviewers know the identity of the other.

§ 9

  1. A text approved by two external reviewers is sent for publication.
  2. In the case of a conditional approval for publication (when the reviewers indicate the need to introduce changes and/or additions), the author is notified by email of the need to correct the content of the text.
  3. A negative evaluation of the text by both reviewers results in therejection of the text, which the author is informed of via email.

Reviewers’ Obligations

§ 10

  1. The Scientific Council of the ILS–PAS Publishing House — and in the case of the scientific journals published by the Institute, the editorial boards of these institutes — appoint reviewers responsible for evaluating the submitted text.
  2. Reviewers cooperating with the ILS–PAS Publishing House are obliged to inform the commissioning editors or secretaries of the journals’ editorial office in case they are unable to evaluate the text due to a lack of qualifications or a lack of time. In such a case, the Scientific Council of the Publishing House or the editorial boards of the journals shall immediately appoint another reviewer.

§ 11

  1. The reviewer’s primary responsibility is to evaluate the text objectively.
  2. No criticism based on a conflict of interest or involving matters unrelated to the content of the text is allowed.
  3. All comments, evaluations and suggestions should be clearly expressed and supported by arguments.

§ 12

  1. The following criteria shall be taken into account in the review process: the originality and scientific nature of the submitted text,adherence to the subject area of the publishing house/scientific journal, the method of achieving scientific goals and a clear presentation of the research problem, proper use of subject literature and asuitable substantiation of claims and conclusions.
  2. The detailed rules of the reviewing procedure adopted by the ILS PAS Publishing House are made available to the authors upon their request, and the reviewing procedures used by the scientific journals published by the Institute of Law Studies are posted on the journal’s website.

§ 13

  1. A text submitted for review is treated as confidential material. The reviewer may not show and/or discuss the text with anyone other than members of the Scientific Council or the editorial boards of the journals.
  2. Findings, data, opinions and statements contained in texts submitted for publication cannot be used by the reviewer in his or her own research before the publication of the article.

Procedures in the case of unethical practices

§ 14

Plagiarism in all forms is an unethical practice and is unacceptable.

§ 15

  1. The reviewer of monographs and collective works is obliged to notify the Scientific Council of the ILS–PAS Publishing House, and the reviewer of articles submitted to the journals published by the Institute, the Scientific Council of the Publishing House,must notify the editorial board of the journal through the journal’s secretary about any suspicion of plagiarism or self-plagiarism on the part of the individual submitting the text for publication, indicating the excerpt(s) of the text that raise(s) doubts.
  2. All articles submitted for publication in the Archives of Criminology, after review, are checked in the anti-plagiarism system (

§ 16

  1. In cases of suspected plagiarism, the Scientific Council of the Publishing House and the editorial boards of the journals published by ILS PAS shall apply an examination procedure including the reviewers and the person submitting the text.
  2. In cases of complaints regarding violations of the principles of the ethics of scientific publications, the author(s) of the text submitted for publication shall be informed in writing about the allegations and requested to respond to them. In the absence of a response, the institution with which the author is affiliated will be notified.
  3. In the event of a confirmed unlawful use of texts, statements, findingsor data, the author of the article submitted for publication and their affiliated institution shall be notified in writing that the text has been rejected.

§ 17

In cases of self-plagiarism, wherean author submitsan article for publication containing passages of his or her own previously published work, the Scientific Council of the Publishing House and editorial boards of the journalsshall inform the author in writing that the text has been rejected for publication due to its lack of originality.

Corrections and retraction policy

§ 18

  1. Retraction is a mechanism for correcting the literature and alerting readers to publications which contain such seriously flawed or erroneous data that their findings and conclusion cannot be relied upon. Unreliable data may result from either honest error or from research misconduct. Retractions are also used to alert readers to cases of plagiarism and cases of several similar or identical publications by the same author.
  2. A retraction may be issued by The Scientific Council of the ILS–PAS Publishing House — and in the case of the scientific journals published by the Institute, the editorial boards of these institutes — and its  in cases where the submission:
    1. constitutes plagiarism;
    2. is identical or similar to a submission already published by the author;
    3. is a result of research violating ethical standards;
    4. is unreliable due to author’s misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation error), provided that there is clear evidence of either of the two.

§ 19

The retraction procedure is as follows:

  1. If the Editorial Board receives reliable information about possible misconduct of an author of a submission published by ILS PAS which might serve as grounds of retraction, it will try to impartially establish the facts of the case, in cooperation with the author and other persons involved.
  2. In cases where the allegations can neither be confirmed nor denied, the Editorial Board will inform the respective authorities of the authors’ institution about the possibility of misconduct, asking them to investigate the case.
  3. If the authorities of the authors’ institution refuse to institute appropriate proceedings, or carry them out in an unfair or biased way or do not conclude the proceedings within a six-month period from receiving information about the alleged misconduct, the Editorial Board will issue an expression of concern.
  4. An expression of concern will state the reasons for the concern, will be clearly linked to the original publication in electronic databases and will be freely available to all readers. If more conclusive evidence about the submission becomes available later, the expression may be replaced either by a notice of retraction (in cases of confirmed unreliability of a submission), or an exonerating statement (in cases where the submission turns out to be reliable).
  5. If the author’s institution or other relevant authorities investigating the case confirm that misconduct has been committed in the research or publication, the Editorial Board will issue a notice of retraction. The notice will be published both in print and in the electronic version of scientific jourrnal / book.
  6. The retracted submission will not be removed from printed copies of the journal nor from electronic archives, but its retracted status will be indicated as clearly as possible.
  7. The notice of retraction will clearly identify the retracted submission, the person or institution retracting it, and the reasons and basis for the retraction. All reasonable efforts shall be taken to make the notice clearly linked to the original publication in electronic databases and freely available to all readers.
  8. Submissions may also be retracted by their authors. In such a case, the Editorial Board shall be informed about the reasons for the retraction. If the retraction is due to the actions of some, but not all, of the authors of a publication, such facts will be mentioned in the notice of retraction.

§ 20

  1. In minor cases, the Editorial Board may consider issuing a correction instead of a retraction. This may happen when only a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading, incorrect or plagiarized (e.g. a few sentences). Corrections will not be issued for minor errors such as linguistic mistakes. The decision whether a correction or retraction will best serve the readers and any other persons involved belongs solely to the Editorial Board.
  2. A digital version of a corrected manuscript will replace an original and a correction notice will be published in a errata or print version subsequent volume of a academic journal issued by ILS PAS, explaining the amendments that have been made.

Standards for studies involving human subjects

§ 21

Authors must ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the participants while collecting, analyzing, and reporting data.

§ 22

  1. For studies involving human participants or their data, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that an independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. If a study was granted exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the reasons for the exemption).
  2. If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.
  3. Although retrospective studies are conducted on already available data or biological material (for which formal consent may not be needed or is difficult to obtain) ethics approval may be required dependent on the law and the national ethical guidelines of a country. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their country.
  4. Case reports require ethics approval. Most institutions will have specific policies on this subject. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their institution and seek ethics approval where needed. Authors should be aware to secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable).

§ 23

  1. Children participating in research have a particular right to protection. Therefore, authors must obtain parental or guardian consent before data collection. They must also gain informed consent of other vulnerable individuals, i.e., the disadvantaged, prisoners, and minorities. 
  2. Authors must ensure that all participants in their study have given informed consent for publication. All individuals have individual rights that are not to be infringed. Individual participants in studies have, for example, the right to decide what happens to the (identifiable) personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors, patients, refugees, etc) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In many instances authors will need to secure written consent before including images.Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions unless the information is essential for scholarly purposes and the participant (or parent/guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable or legal representative) gave written informed consent for publication.
  3. When data is generated as part of a research project authors should ensure, as part of the informed consent procedure, that the participants are made aware what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used and for what purpose. For all research involving human subjects, freely-given, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript.

  4. Accordingly, authors must consider issues arising from working with potentially vulnerable people and must address how such risks to these participants are minimized and how they are protected from risks. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups where there is the potential for coercion or where consent may not have been fully informed, extra care will be taken by the editor and may be referred to the ILS PAS.
  5. Individuals may consent to participate in a study, but object to having their data published in a journal article. Authors should make sure to also seek consent from individuals to publish their data prior to submitting their paper to a journal. This is in particular applicable to case studies. A consent to publish form can be found.

Final Provisions

§ 24

All disputes which are not regulated by these Regulationsshall be settled by the Scientific Council of the Publishing House of the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences.