Publication ethics and policies

Ethics and malpractice statement

Scandinavian Journal for Leadership & Theology has developed publication ethics policies for each of the Core Practices described by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). In drawing up these policies, we have followed COPE’s guidelines for editors and publishers. Where suspected cases of malpractice are identified, we follow the flowcharts developed by COPE.

Authorship and contributorship

SJLT uses the definition of authorship set out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). An author (or co-author) of a manuscript should meet all four of the following criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND 
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND 
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND 
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. 

Where contributors do not fully meet these criteria, their contribution should instead be credited in an acknowledgement. 

Conflicts of interest

When submitting a manuscript to SJLT, authors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may prejudice or compromise their work.

In line with COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, reviewers must declare all potential competing interests that might prevent them from providing a fair and unbiased review. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts where they realize they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors.

Data sharing and reproducibility

As long as privacy concerns are upheld, SJLT encourages encourage sharing of qualitative data.  

Ethical oversight

Authors are expected to follow relevant institutional and national guidelines on research ethics, such as the Norwegian guidelines (NESH). Participation in research projects must be based on freely given informed consent from the participants.

Both plagiarism and self-plagiarism are inadmissible. The work of others and previous works by the author must be appropriately cited or quoted.

Intellectual property

When submitting a manuscript to SJLT, authors must confirm that their work is original and has not been published or is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors of articles published in SJLT retain copyright to their work and can distribute their work under a Creative Commons licence.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Once an article has been published, errors that affect the meaning of content or that relate to data or citations can be corrected. A correction notice including a list of changes, the publication date of the original article and the date of the correction, and where to obtain the original article will be added.

In rare circumstances, serious errors may invalidate an article’s results or conclusions. In such cases, we will follow COPE’s Retraction Guidelines and publish a retraction notice that states which parts of the article are erroneous, as well as the grounds for retraction.

Complaints and appeals

Complaints to SJLT should be submitted by email to [email protected]. Complainants should describe the subject and nature of their complaint and provide supporting documentation. Complaints are handled by the editorial team.

Allegations of misconduct

In cases of suspected misconduct, the editor-in-chief will conduct the investigation based on the COPE flowcharts and, if necessary, consult with the Editorial Board. If the paper incriminated has not yet been published, publication will be delayed until the problem is resolved. The manuscript may be rejected if there is any evidence that the author has not respected the present code of conduct. If the paper incriminated has already been published, the editor will consider retracting a publication if there is clear evidence of misconduct (e.g. plagiarism).


Journal practices

Peer review process

  • The editor evaluates manuscripts and decides whether the manuscript merits peer review.
  • The editor ensures that appropriate reviewers are selected, that the review is a fair and unbiased double-blind peer review, and that all information related to them is kept confidential.
  • Two reviewers assess the manuscripts. SJLT provides review guidelines. The reviewers conclude by giving a recommendation to accept, accept given minor/major revisions, resubmit or decline the manuscript.
  • In cases where there is a considerable divergence between the reviewer’s recommendations, the manuscript is sent to a third reviewer.
  • After a process of peer review, it is the editor who is responsible for the decision of accepting or rejecting a submitted manuscript.