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Ethics & Malpractice

The Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage Publication Ethics & Malpractice Statement is fully consistent with the COPE Principles of Transparency and Best Practice Guidelines and the COPE Code of Conduct. More details can be found here:


We encourage the best standards of publication ethics and take all possible measures against publication malpractices. The Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage (JAHH) takes its duties of guardianship over all stages of publishing very seriously and we recognise our ethical and other responsibilities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Editors | Authors | Reviewers



The Editors of JAHH accept obligation to apply best will and practice to cope with the following responsibilities:


1.1       Editorial Board


The editorial team consists of a single chief Editor and a team of Associate Editors. The Editorial Board consists of up to 20 recognized experts in fields related to astronomy in a cultural, historical or social context. The journal provides full names and national affiliations of the Editorial Board as well as updated contact information for the editorial team and Board on the journal webpage at


1.2       Publication decisions


The JAHH editorial team is responsible for deciding which research and review papers and which book reviews, IAU Reports and ‘Letters to the Editor’ submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers must always drive such decisions. The Editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's Editorial Board and constrained by legal requirements, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor may confer with the Associate Editors and/or reviewers in making these decisions.


1.3       Peer review process


All papers submitted for consideration in JAHH are subjected to a formal peer review process. Papers are first reviewed by the Editor. The Editor may reject a paper out of hand either because it does not deal with the subject matter of the journal or because it is manifestly of a low quality so that it cannot be considered at all. Papers that are found suitable for review are then sent to at least two experts in the field of the paper. Referees are asked to classify the paper as publishable with no revisions, publishable with minor revisions, publishable with major revisions, or not publishable. Referees’ evaluations usually include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript. Referees’ comments are then seen by the author, but the identities of the referees remain anonymous (unless there are sound reasons, identified by the Editor, for relaxing this requirement).


Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described process. Editors should not reverse decisions on publication unless serious problems are identified. Authors must acknowledge that they have read this document and are aware of their responsibilities upon submission.


1.4       Fair play


Editors should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors. The Editors’ decision to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based only on the paper’s importance, originality and clarity, and the papers’ relevance to the aims of JAHH.


1.5       Digital Archiving


The Editor will ensure digital preservation of access to the journal content by the Astrophysics Database System and 11 mirrored sites around the world.


1.6       Confidentiality


Editors must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers and the publisher. Editors will ensure that material submitted remains confidential whilst under review.


1.7       Disclosure and conflicts of interest


Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an Editor's or referees’ own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Editors should recuse themselves (i.e. ask an Associate Editor or a member of the Editorial Board instead to take responsibility) if there is any manuscripts for which they have conflicts of interest resulting from authorship on the paper or competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.


1.8       Procedures for dealing with unethical behaviour


Unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the Editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Whoever informs the Editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.


The Editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher. Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or paper and giving due consideration to the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to relevant institutions and research bodies, depending on the seriousness of the misconduct.


Minor misconduct might be dealt with without the need to consult more widely. The author must be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.


Serious misconduct might require application of one or more following measures:


  • Informing and/or educating the author or reviewer(s) where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.

  • Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.

  • A formal letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.

  • Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author’s or reviewer's department.

  • Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.




2.1       Publication and Submission fee


Fee charges are required from authors for manuscript processing as of 2022.


2.2       Open Access Policy


The journal is available online free-of-charge. Authors are required to agree with this open access policy, which enables unrestricted access and reuse of all published papers and other content in the journal. The papers are published under the Creative Commons copyright license policy CC-BY. Users are allowed to copy and redistribute the material in printed or electronic format and build upon the material, without further permission or fees being required, provided that appropriate credit is given.


2.3       Reporting standards


Authors of papers should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable. Review papers should also be accurate and objective. Book reviews are not refereed.


2.4       Data access and retention


Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the Association of Learned and Professional Society (ALPSP) STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.


2.5       Originality and plagiarism


The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately quoted and/or cited.


Plagiarism takes many forms, from ‘passing off’ another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper or website without attribution, to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.


2.6       Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication


An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.


The copyright remains with the authors (CC-BY), thus they can decide about eventual republication of their text. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.


2.7       Acknowledgement of sources


Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.

2.8       Copyright and Reproduction Fees


It is the responsibility of the author(s) to apply for and secure all relevant permissions for copyrighted material reproduced in a paper, and to include copies of these permissions when they submit their manuscript to the journal.


Furthermore, it is solely the responsibility of the author(s) to pay any necessary copyright and/or reproduction fees before the publication of the paper in question.  The payment of these fees is not the responsibility of the journal or its editorial team.


2.9       Authorship of the paper


Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.


2.10     Disclosure and conflicts of interest


All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed, as well as any ethics approval codes for fieldwork. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.


2.11     Fundamental errors in published works


When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal Editor or publisher and cooperate with the Editor to retract or correct the paper. If the Editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author to promptly retract or correct the paper or provide evidence to the Editor of the correctness of the original paper.



3.1       Contribution to editorial decisions


Peer-review assists the Editor in making editorial decisions, and will often assist the author in improving the paper. Peer-review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication. Authors who wish to contribute to publications have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.


3.2       Promptness


Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the Editor and excuse themselves from the review process.


3.3       Confidentiality


Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the Editor.


3.4       Standards of objectivity


Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly, with supporting arguments.


3.5       Acknowledgement of sources


Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the Editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.  Any instance of plagiarism also must be reported to the Editor.


3.6       Disclosure and conflict of interest


Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.


This document was prepared using the The International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences ( malpractice statement as a foundation and template.

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