Journal Policies

Allegations of Misconduct

The Editorial office of Information & Culture follows the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) regarding allegations of potential research or publication misconduct. When a credible allegation is made the editorial staff will gather relevant documentation and then give the author(s) an opportunity to respond. The editors may request additional information from the author(s) to help verify the originality and/or the veracity of the work. The editorial staff may also seek advice from relevant experts, including Advisory Board members and The University of Texas Press.

The editorial office will reject submitted work in instances where plagiarized content is found in a manuscript. Any material found to include plagiarize content or fraudulent results post-publication will be retracted, and upon investigation, an expression of concern may be issued.

Readers, reviewers and editors can contact the editors about any suspicions of plagiarism by sending email to the editorial staff.

Complaints Process

The final decision on a submitted manuscript is made by the editor(s). This decision is communicated to the corresponding author via email. The decision can be one of the following: accept, accept after minor revisions, reconsider after major revisions; reject and encourage resubmission, and reject. If the author(s) find something in the review materials or in the editors’ decision letter that is unclear or inconsistent, they may contact the editorial office for clarification.

An appeal process has been established to allow authors an opportunity to appeal the editor’s decision only when the latter is affected by factual or procedural errors. Perceived fairness of the decision does not constitute grounds for appeal. Authors appealing the editor’s decision should submit a letter of appeal to the editorial office within 30 days of receiving the decision email. The letter of appeal should describe the errors and provide a detailed demonstration that those errors were material to the editor’s decision.

The author’s appeal is allowed to override earlier decisions by the editors only when new information germane to the original review decision is presented. The author’s protest alone is not sufficient to affect the editors’ decision.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an existing relationship (personal, financial, contractual, political, professional, religious, or otherwise) is perceived to impact the objectivity in presenting, reviewing, or publishing a piece of work. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) states in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (2003) that ‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’

Conflicts involving reviewers
Reviewers are expected to exclude themselves from evaluating manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest. All information obtained in the reviewing process should be treated as confidential and not used for personal advantage. 

Conflicts involving authors
The journal requires all prospective authors to disclose any potential conflict of interest that are directedly related to the work submitted for publication and that could impact the objectivity and/or integrity of a publication. Authors must identify and disclose any conflict of interest at the time of submission. If there is no conflict of interest, please state “The author(s) declare no conflict of interest.” For works authored by several scholars, the corresponding author shall review this policy with contributing authors to disclose all conflicts of interest collectively. 

If a study was sponsored/funded in its entity or in some part (the design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, manuscript preparation, etc.), the role of the sponsor/funder should be stated as well. If no funding has been received, the author(s) should state “The author(s) declare no financial support for the research reported in this article.” 

Failure to disclose conflicts of interest may result in a rejection of a submitted work. If a conflict of interest is discovered after the work has been published, the editor will communicate the incident to the readers by publishing a notice. Anyone who suspects an undisclosed conflict of interest in the work that has been published or is under considered by the journal should contact the editorial staff.

Conflicts involving editors
Submissions authored by the current editors of the journal will be handled by a guest editor who will oversee the review process and the final decision on the manuscript in question.

Authorship Criteria

The list of authors should accurately reflect who contributed to the work presented. All individuals listed as authors should meet the following qualifying criteria:

  1. contributed substantially to conceptualization, design, data collection, analysis, and/or interpretation of the findings AND
  2. contributed to drafting or revising of the manuscript AND
  3. approved the final version of the manuscript for publication AND
  4. agreed to accept responsibility for all aspects of the work including its accuracy and integrity.

Contributions for those who do not meet the authorship criteria should be attributed in the Acknowledgement section. It is expected that authors include a general acknowledgement where their work has received substantial intellectual and technical help, including in the writing and editing of the manuscript. 

Order and disambiguation of names
Any change to the list of authors or its ordering is expected to be agreed upon by all persons involved, including those whose names have been removed from the list. Any changes in authorship should be communicated in the letter to the editor. The editorial office encourages authors to take measures and remove potential ambiguity around personal names by using appropriate tools (e.g. ORCID) that provide unique digital identifiers. 

The corresponding author
The corresponding author is expected to act on behalf of all co-authors and communicate with the editorial office during the review process. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all co-authors have seen and approve of the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its publication.