Ethics and Guidelines for Editors

Duties of Editors

Publication decisions

The editor of the clinical psychology journal is responsible for deciding which articles submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work and its importance to researchers and readers must always underwrite such decisions. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal’s editorial board and constrained by legal requirements such as libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making these decisions.

Peer review

The editor shall ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary, the editor should seek additional opinions. The editor shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field, taking account of the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation. The editor shall follow best practice in avoiding the selection of fraudulent peer reviewers. The editor shall review all disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and suggestions for self-citation made by reviewers in order to determine whether there is any potential for bias.

Fair play

The editor 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. When nominating potential editorial board members, the editor shall take account of the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation. The editorial policies of the journal should encourage transparency and complete, honest reporting, and the editor should ensure that peer reviewers and authors have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The editor shall use the journal’s standard electronic submission system for all journal communications. The editor shall establish, along with the publisher, a transparent mechanism for appeal against editorial decisions.

Journal metrics

The editor must not attempt to influence the journal’s ranking by artificially increasing any journal metric. In particular, the editor shall not require that references to that (or any other) journal’s articles be included except for genuine scholarly reasons, and authors should not be required to include references to the editor’s own articles or products and services in which the editor has an interest.


The editor must protect the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers, unless otherwise agreed with the relevant authors and reviewers. In exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the publisher, the editor may share limited information with editors of other journals, where deemed necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct. Unless the journal is operating an open peer-review system and/or reviewers have agreed to disclose their names, the editor must protect reviewers’ identities. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in an editor’s 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.

Declaration of Competing Interests

Any potential editorial conflicts of interest should be declared to the publisher in writing prior to the appointment of the editor, and then updated if and when new conflicts arise. The publisher may publish such declarations in the journal. The editor must not be involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Further, any such submission must be subject to all of the journal’s usual procedures, peer review must be handled independently of the relevant author/editor and their research groups, and there must be a clear statement to this effect on any such paper that is published.

Vigilance over the Published Record

The editor should work to safeguard the integrity of the published record by reviewing and assessing reported or suspected misconduct (research, publication, reviewer, and editorial), in conjunction with the publisher).

Informed consent and ethical standards

The editor should ensure that all manuscripts submitted to the journal comply with the ethical standards for research involving human subjects, and that authors have obtained appropriate informed consent from participants. The editor may request additional information or documentation from authors to verify compliance with these standards.

Conflicts of interest

The editor must disclose any potential conflicts of interest related to a submitted manuscript or the publication of a manuscript. This includes financial, personal, or professional relationships with any author, reviewer, or other party involved in the publication process that could influence the editor’s decision-making or the perception of the manuscript’s quality.

Plagiarism and duplicate publication

The editor must ensure that all manuscripts submitted to the journal are original and have not been published elsewhere. The editor should use appropriate plagiarism detection software to screen all submissions for potential plagiarism and should take appropriate action if plagiarism is detected.

Data and materials sharing

The editor should encourage authors to make their data and materials available to other researchers, in accordance with the journal’s policies on data and materials sharing. The editor should also ensure that authors have provided sufficient detail about their methods and materials to allow for replication of their study.

Professional conduct

The editor should conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner at all times, and should avoid any behavior that could be perceived as harassment, discrimination, or misconduct. The editor should also ensure that all parties involved in the publication process, including authors and reviewers, are treated with respect and fairness.

Overall, the editor’s primary responsibility is to maintain the integrity and quality of the journal and its published content, while adhering to ethical principles and standards.