Research and publication ethics policy of LITIGES is based on principles and standards developed by the international scientific community, especially as defined in the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. It was also inspired by guidelines developed by scientific organizations in the domain of educational sciences, especially by the Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research published by the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and Code of Ethics published by American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Research and publication ethics policy is common to all LITIGES journals: Research in Social Sciences and Technology, Journal of Curriculum Studies Research, Research in Educational Policy and Management and Journal of Culture and Values in Education.
The principles and standards, summarized below, will guide the authors on issues such as authorship, plagiarism and redundant publication, disclosure of conflicts of interest, post-publication corrections, article retraction, and guidelines for studies involving the participation of human subjects. Authors are required to strictly comply with these principles and standards. If you don’t find here the answer to a question you have about ethical issues, you can refer to the guidelines given above, or contact us.
Authorship should be restricted to those who have made significant contributions to the study’s conception, design, execution, or interpretation. All authors must actively participate in the drafting of the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Merely providing technical support or general supervision is not sufficient for authorship.
All those who have made significant contributions should be recognized as co-authors. Those who have contributed to the work but do not fulfill the authorship criteria outlined here should be acknowledged in the “Acknowledgements” section. The corresponding author has the responsibility to ensure that all co-authors have given their approval for the final version of the manuscript and have consented to its submission for publication.
As highlighted in Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (BERA), “academic status or any other indicator of seniority does not determine first authorship” (p. 34). In the articles based on a master or doctoral thesis, or any other kind of dissertation, the author of the thesis or dissertation must be the first author.
The definitive list of all authors must be provided when submitting the manuscript. Please ensure that the authorship information on the manuscript (the title page) matches the information you entered in the journal’s submission system. Please note that if there is any inconsistency (for example, in the order of the co-authors), the information on the title page will be taken into account.
Changes in Authorship
Adding and/or removing authors, and/or changes in corresponding author, and/or changes in the order of co-authors are generally not permitted, but in some cases, and with a valid reason, it may be allowed. Please note that changes in authorship are only permissible during the review process. No changes are allowed after the manuscript has been accepted.
To make any modification in authorship, you must seek approval by contacting the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Your request for changes should be accompanied by a clear and valid reason.
Originality and Reporting Standards
The manuscript should be an original work. LITIGES journals don’t allow submission of manuscripts that have already been published or are currently under review by another journal.
Authors must appropriately cite the sources of other works, words, ideas, or figures used in the manuscript. Text copied from another source must be appropriately quoted and cited according to the APA Reference Style (7th ed.).
Authors are required to provide a precise description of the work conducted, especially regarding the collection and analysis of data, as well as its interpretation. The manuscript should accurately represent the underlying data. It is essential to include enough information and references in the study to enable others to reproduce the research. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements is considered unethical and is not tolerated.
As stated in Code of Ethics (AERA) “in presenting their work, education researchers report their findings fully and do not omit relevant data. They report results whether they support or contradict the expected outcomes.” (153)
We encourage authors to share the research data used in their paper either by depositing it in a public repository or including it as supplementary materials during submission. The Registry of Research Data Repositories can be accessed at www.re3data.org.
Plagiarism, one of the biggest threats to scholarly publication quality and academic integrity, is strictly forbidden in LITIGES journals. Plagiarism may take different forms, such as showing someone else’s work as one’s own, copying or paraphrasing parts of other studies without proper attribution, or using research data collected or produced by others without permission and proper attribution. All of these different variants of plagiarism which are briefly summarized below, are serious ethical issues and should be avoided.
Direct Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism involves copying the whole, or substantial parts of someone else’s work without any acknowledgment and proper citation. This is one of the most well-known and common forms of plagiarism. Sometimes copying is not made from a single source, but from many works. Sentences or paragraphs from different texts are barrowed together. The words may be rearranged or slightly modified, but the original works is not properly credited.
Self-Plagiarism (Redundant publication): Self-plagiarism is to use own previously published work, or a substantial portion of it, in a new publication without proper citation. Self-plagiarism is an important ethical issue. Scientific papers must be original publications that have not been previously published. Reusing his previous works without proper attribution is against this principle, and also causes the author to increase the number of published works unfairly.
Paraphrasing Plagiarism: Adequate and well-done paraphrasing alone does not eliminate plagiarism. All used sources must be properly cited.
Plagiarism as inaccurate citation: Citing the source does not always eliminate plagiarism. Particular attention should be paid to the difference between indirect and direct quotations. A direct quote is to take the exact sentences from a work. Indirect quotation, on the other hand, is to paraphrase and express it in own words and sentences. These two types of citations should be referenced in different ways. Taking the sentences from a source exactly or with very minor change, and using them as indirect quotations, is a serious ethical problem even if the source is cited.
Plagiarism isn’t just about quotes from academic studies. It is necessary to make proper attribution to the owner of the work in all kinds of documents and materials used. This issue is sometimes ignored especially regarding online digital contents. As stated in Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research (BERA), “attribution should include explicitly recognising authors of digital content, in all cases in which an author or creator can be identified. As well as text, this includes images, diagrams, presentations, multimedia content and other forms of content. Researchers need to be aware that a great deal of digital content is subject to copyright, and cannot be freely reused or modified unless it is explicitly licensed as such – for example by means of one of the ‘Creative Commons’ (CC) licences.” (p. 30)
All manuscripts submitted to LITIGES journals are routinely screened for plagiarism. LITIGES journals’ editors use Turnitin to check each manuscript for plagiarism and text duplication. If editors suspect plagiarism during the peer review process, they shall follow the guidelines set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). If plagiarism is confirmed, the manuscript will be rejected.
Data Fabrication and Image Manipulation
Practices such as falsifying or altering data, manipulating images and visual content, and intentionally biasing the selection of analysis tools or methods to favor a specific conclusion is strictly prohibited in the manuscripts submitted to LITIGES journals.
Images used in articles may be subject to some editing in order to increase image quality or readability. However, this should not be in a way that can give false information or be misinterpreted. Altering images in this way is an important ethical issue, and should be avoided.
Post-publication Corrections and Retraction
In principle, the articles published in LITIGES journals should remain extant and intact. We take the utmost care to ensure that papers are free of errors. Authors examine article proofs before publication, specifically to ensure the precision and correctness of the content. However, in some cases it may be necessary to make corrections in published papers.
Errors or omissions that need to be corrected may occur in two ways: Spelling, grammatical and similar errors that do not affect the scientific content, and errors affecting scientific validity and integrity.
Errors or omissions regarding spelling, grammar, punctuation or affiliation and contact information can be corrected without publishing a “Correction notice”. These changes may be initiated directly by the Journal Editor or requested by the authors. When a such minor correction is made, the article will be updated, and the updated version will be published on the LITIGES journals’ website. In necessary cases, the correction may be indicated as a footnote in the article.
If the errors or omissions in a published article are related to the content, and the correction will affect the understanding and interpretation, or if the correction contains a significant change such as adding an omitted reference, table, or figure, a correction notice will be published. For a such major correction, the author’s request must be based on valid and justified reasons. Requests will be assessed by the Editorial Board, and those that are not deemed necessary and justified may be rejected.
When a published article needs a major correction, an updated version of the article is published on the journal website. A Correction Notice will also be published to inform the readers and the scientific community transparently that a significant correction has been made to the article. The Correction Notice is published separately from the article. In addition, the correction will be indicated as a footnote in the updated article.
Under some exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to withdraw a published article from the Journal’s records. It occurs when an article contains plagiarism, misinformation, data fabrication or falsification, redundant publication, other ethical violations, or involuntary data errors that undermine the validity and reliability of the research findings.
Article retraction will be considered in the following cases as specified in the Retraction Guidelines prepared by Committee on Publication Ethicss:
“They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (eg, of data) or falsification (eg, image manipulation);
It constitutes plagiarism;
The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication);
It contains material or data without authorisation for use;
Copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy);
It reports unethical research;
It has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process;
The author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.” (p. 3)
Retraction may be initiated directly by Journal’s Editors, or it may be requested by the authors, and also by third parties, individuals or organizations, who identify issues with the article. The Editorial Board will make the final decision on Article retractions. In necessary cases, explanations may be requested from the authors. However, author approval is not required.
To retract an article, a Retraction Notice will be published as a separate document. It will include the title and author(s) of the article, and the reason for the retraction, be published online, and be linked to the online version of the article.
Disclosure of financial sources and conflict of interests
In the Code of Ethics of AERA, it is stated that “education researchers disclose relevant sources of financial support and relevant personal or professional relationships that may have the appearance of or potential for a conflict of interest to an employer or client, to the sponsors of their professional work, and to the public in written and verbal reports. […] Education researchers report sources of financial support in their written papers and note any special relations to any sponsor. In special circumstances, education researchers may withhold the names of specific sponsors if they provide an adequate and full description of the nature and interest of the sponsor”. (p. 148, 153)
When submitting their manuscript to LITIGES journals, authors must provide a declaration that discloses any financial or other substantive conflicting or competing interests that could potentially impact the findings or interpretation of the manuscript. Additionally, all sources of financial support should be disclosed. This should be stated in the “title-page”, which must be uploaded on the Journal’s online system during the first submission. Even if there is no conflict of interest to be disclosed, you must specify it.
Studies involving human subjects
In the studies that data collection is made through intervention or interaction with individuals, researchers must comply with some ethical rules. Research ethics become even more important if the study involves potentially vulnerable groups such as children, persons with disabilities, or members of ethnic minorities. Informed consent, voluntary participation, and confidentiality and anonymity are the issues that need special attention.
Informed Consent of Participants
In scientific research, informed consent refers to the ethical principle that the participation should be voluntarily, with a clear understanding of the study’s purpose, procedures, potential risks, and benefits. Informed consent is a highly important ethical issue that must be strictly observed in studies with human participants.
As highlighted in the Code of Ethics of AERA “education researchers conducting research obtain and document written or oral consent from research participants or their legally authorized representatives (1) when data are collected from research participants through any form of communication, interaction, or intervention; or (2) when behavior of research participants occurs in a private context where an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or reporting is taking place. Education researchers obtain consent in a manner that is understandable and appropriate to research participants.” (p. 151)
The following recommendations should be observed in the studies submitted to JCRS:
Researchers should provide participants with clear, understandable and sufficiently comprehensive information about the purpose and scope of the research, how the data will be used, the dissemination of results, and the potential risks and benefits.
Researchers should avoid any behavior that might affect voluntary participation. The participants should be adequately informed by researchers about the study before deciding whether or not to participate.
Informed consent can be obtained in written or oral form. However, if the study involves personally identifiable information such photographs or names, written consent is mandatory. In necessary cases, informed consent obtained from the participants may be requested by the OpenED Network journals’ editors.
In studies involving children, the informed consent should be obtained from a parent or a legally authorized guardian. However, this does not mean that children are excluded from the informed consent process. Children should be appropriately informed and their voluntary participation should be ensured.
Researchers should avoid excessive demands and take necessary measures to make participants feel comfortable during research processes.
Participants have the right to withdraw at any stage of the research. Participants should be clearly informed about this.
Researchers should provide participants their contact information in case the participants encounter any issues during the research process.
Researchers should inform the participants about how the research results will be disseminated, and take possible measures to ensure that participants have access to published results.
In the manuscript submitted to the LITIGES journals, the authors should provide clear information on how the informed consent of participants was obtained.
Confidentiality and Anonymity of Participants
Ensuring the confidentiality and anonymity of the participants during the research and publication process is one of the most important aspects of the research ethic. The following recommendations should be observed in the studies submitted to JCRS:
Maintaining the anonymity of research participants during the dissemination of findings must be the standard practice. Researchers should not reveal any confidential and personally identifiable information about participants in the manuscripts submitted to JCRS unless necessary.
It is the duty of researchers to ensure the participants’ privacy, and provide them with complete information about potential identification risks in published material prior to their involvement.
In the case of using photographs, names or other identifiable information is necessary in the manuscript, researchers must have clearly informed the participants about this, and obtained written consent.
In the articles where personally identifiable information was used with the explicit and written permission of the participants, the participants may request that this information be removed after the article is published. Researchers should provide the necessary information so that the participants can easily contact the LITIGES journals’ editors or the researchers in such a case.
Any personally identifiable information about child participants (individuals under the age of 18) should not be revealed in any way. If child participant photos are used in manuscripts submitted to LITIGES journals, their faces must be properly blurred to ensure anonymity.
Researchers should take necessary security precautions to keep confidential data collected from participants. If data is stored physically, it must be locked and secure. Necessary measures should be taken to prevent the data stored on electronic devices or online platforms from being hacked and passed into the hands of others.
No matter how many precautions are taken regarding the storage of confidential data, full security cannot be achieved. There is always the possibility that the data stored physically could fall into the hands of others, and that the data stored online can be hacked. Therefore, it is appropriate to keep as little as possible and only necessary personally confidential information about participants.
Avoiding Discrimination and Using Inclusive Language
As it is highlighted in Code of Ethics (AERA) “education researchers do not engage in discrimination in their work based on race; ethnicity; culture; national origin; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; age; religion; language; disability; health conditions; socioeconomic status; marital, domestic, or parental status; or any other applicable basis proscribed by law.” (p. 147)
We recommend the authors who will submit their manuscript to LITIGES journals to avoid all kinds of discriminatory attitudes and expressions, and to use an inclusive language. Inclusive language refers to the use of words and phrases that do not marginalize or exclude certain groups of people (regarding race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, health status, age, or gender), and avoiding terms that involve prejudices, stigma and stereotypes.