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Policies and Guidelines on Publication Ethics and Research Integrity

Section A: Introduction 

Teaching and Supervision in Counseling (TSC) is the official journal of the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), a region of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES). The mission of SACES is to empower and support diverse counselor educators and supervisors in  scholarship, advocacy, community, education, and supervision. Information about TSC can be found on the SACES website and the online submission portal.  

The aim of TSC is to publish high quality scholarship that informs teaching, supervision, and mentoring in  educational and clinical settings. Articles may be empirical, conceptual or theoretical, or based on current issues with an emphasis on empirical research. Articles must be scholarly, grounded in existing literature, and have  implications for the counseling profession including, but not limited to, counselor education, supervisory practice, clinical training, pedagogy, mentoring, or advocacy and public policy. 

The policies contained herein are meant to guide scholars on research best practices across their various roles as authors, peer reviewers, editors, and beyond. TSC adheres to the Core Practices and Principles of Transparency set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which guided the development and implementation of the policies in this document. As a journal housed within, and dedicated to advancing training for, professional counseling, TSC also abides by relevant sections of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics. Finally, as a journal dedicated to providing mentoring to graduate students in the area of peer review and writing, TSC recognizes and adheres to the ACES Guidelines for Research Mentorship (Borders et  al., 2012). For potential authors, TSC editorial board members, or TSC ad hoc reviewers with questions about the policies and guidelines contained in this document, please email the TSC editors at  

Section B: Authorship and Contributorship 

Definitions of authorship are not universal and vary according to professional disciplines. In professional counseling, the definition of authorship is guided by the ACA Code of Ethics, which specifies that individuals making a significant contribution to the development of a project or concept be given appropriate credit - either through co-authorship, acknowledgement, or footnote statement. TSC recognizes that “significant contribution” can be difficult to operationally define in some instances, especially for projects involving larger group efforts.  TSC offers the following examples for qualifying authorship on a manuscript submitted to the journal: 

● Contributed to the development of the research idea/topic (e.g., original idea, research questions, study design) that led to development of an empirical manuscript or contributed to the development of the conceptual/theoretical concept that led to development of a conceptual manuscript.

● Assisted with any aspect of research design, implementation, or analysis to the extent that they were included on an IRB protocol. 

● Contributed to writing any part of the manuscript. 

These examples are not exhaustive, nor do they account for all possible projects that lead to manuscript development and submission. Minimally, authorship on a manuscript includes making a significant contribution to the project and assuming accountability for the work as it is completed and as it is published.  

TSC recognizes that authorship on articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and order of authorship, may have implications for career advancement, particularly for those employed at academic or research-oriented  institutions. In accordance with the ACA Code of Ethics (G.5.d.), the person making the largest contribution to the project should be listed as first author, and any subsequent authors should be listed in descending order by extent of contribution. Aligned with the ACA Code of Ethics (G.5.e.), TSC strongly encourages all persons involved in a scholarly project to discuss authorship at the outset of a scholarly project to decide who will be included in authorship and the order of authorship.  

Any persons offering minor or technical contributions should, with their permission, be mentioned in an author note on the title page of a manuscript submission, which would then be noted as a footnote at the end of the article if published in TSC. The journal does not allow for ghost, guest, or gift authorship on manuscripts submitted to the journal. In these instances, TSC follows COPE’s Ghost, Guest, or Gift Authorship in a Submitted Manuscript flowchart. 

TSC encourages researchers working on scholarship with students to adhere to the ACES Guidelines for Research Mentorship (Borders et al., 2012) and to follow relevant ACA Code of Ethics standards for student researchers. Manuscripts submitted to TSC that are based on a student’s work or reflect primary work of a student should list the student as first author (ACA Code of Ethics G.5.f.). 

B.1. Authorship Disputes 

Any concerns about authorship or contributions that arise during peer review or after publication should be communicated in writing to the editor. The editor will treat disputes as privately as possible, but complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. TSC uses COPE’s Authorship and Contributorship flowcharts and relevant sections of the ACA Code of Ethics to guide investigation and resolution of authorship disputes. If deemed appropriate, the editor may refer disputes to the authors’ respective institutions and request institutional adjudication. For disputes occurring after publication, TSC may elect to publish corrections at the discretion of the editor. For disputes occurring pre-publication, editorial decisions and/or publication may be delayed until the dispute is successfully resolved, and inability to successfully resolve the dispute will result in the manuscript being desk rejected, including if the article was previously accepted but not yet published (i.e., in press). 

B.2. Responsibilities of Authors 

By submitting a manuscript to TSC, the submitting author confirms that all authors meet the requirements for authorship and that all authors have agreed to the order of authorship. The first author on a manuscript submitted to TSC must have an Open Researcher Contributor ID (ORCID) and should provide it when submitting a manuscript. TSC encourages all authors to have an ORCID, but only first authors are required to have one in order to submit a manuscript. TSC does not require the first author to be the one to submit a manuscript for consideration; any co-author is able to submit the manuscript and subsequent revisions, if requested. However, the first author is assumed to be the corresponding author responsible for the submission, including issues that may arise while the manuscript is under review, coordinating any revise and resubmit opportunities (if offered), and collaborating with TSC’s copyeditor if the manuscript is accepted for publication.  All authors are deemed accountable for the content of the manuscript, including accuracy of information reported, academic integrity, and research ethics and best practices.

If a manuscript is submitted with a deceased co-author, then the submitting author should note this in the cover letter accompanying the submission and report the extent of the deceased co-author’s contributions to the project that warrant their authorship position and any potential conflicts of interest on the part of the deceased.  As described in the Intellectual Property section of these policies, publishing in TSC is done under the terms of the Creative Commons – Attribution License 4.0 International, and authors retain the copyright to their intellectual property, including, in this case, the deceased author. Should an author die while a manuscript is under review with TSC, a co-author should notify the editor in writing at and provide information noted above regarding contributions and potential conflicts of interest. Should a sole author die while their manuscript is under review and the editors become aware of the situation, the editors will withdraw (not reject) the manuscript from consideration. 

TSC recognizes that an individual may wish to change their name for a variety of reasons that are private and personal, including, but not limited to, marriage, divorce, religion, or affirming one’s gender identity. If an author wishes to change their name while a manuscript is under review, they can email the editors, who will ensure that the correct name is included if the article is published in the journal. If an author wishes to change their name after an article has been published, they can email the editor, who will change the authors’ name on the published article and reupload it to TSC’s website. The editor will also attempt to send the change to any indexers for the journal. TSC respects the privacy of these requests and will not notify any co-authors of the  change. Importantly, the Bepress system that hosts TSC automatically notifies all authors of changes to a  publication via email, but the editor can and will use discretion in providing a reason for the update to a published article. 

B.3. Editors as Authors 

During their tenure, the TSC editor agrees not to submit manuscripts that they have authored or co-authored for publication consideration in TSC. The associate editor and editorial board members may submit scholarship on which they are an author or co-author for publication consideration in the journal, but they must not be involved in assigning reviewers, reviewing, or making any editorial decisions about their own work. If the editor, associate editor, or an editorial board member contributed to a manuscript project in a manner that did not warrant co-authorship (i.e., minor or technical contributions), they should recuse themselves from any peer review or editorial decision making on that manuscript. 

At times, the editor, associate editor, or guest editors may write and publish in TSC an editor’s note or introduction to an issue. These contributions are viewed as commentaries rather than original scholarly publications, are typically not peer-reviewed, and do not fall under the exclusions noted above. 

B.4. Manuscript Submission 

Authors should adhere to TSC’s Submission Guidelines and Policies when preparing and submitting manuscripts to the journal. Authors should also evaluate whether their manuscript fits TSC’s Aims and Scope prior to submission. If authors are unsure about submission/formatting policies or the aims/scope, authors are encouraged to consult with the editor at

B.5. Communication to Authors 

All authors receive an automated email confirmation when a manuscript is submitted to TSC. When editors make decisions on manuscripts, all authors receive email notification. 

B.6. Privacy Policy 

TSC is hosted by Digital Commons, powered by Bepress. The journal abides by Bepress’s privacy policy.

B.7. Authorship References and Resources 

● Borders, L. D., Wester, K. L., Granello, D. H., Chang, C. Y., Hays, D. G., Pepperell, J. & Spurgeon, S. L. (2012). Association for Counselor Education and Supervision guidelines for research mentorship: Development and implementation. Counselor Education and Supervision, 51, 162-175. 

COPE Resources on Authorship and Contributorship 

COPE Discussion Document on Authorship 

COPE: “How to Handle Authorship Disputes: A Guide for New Researchers” 

Section C: Editorship, Peer Review, and Publication C.1. Journal Staff 

TSC is owned by SACES and is offered primarily as a free resource to SACES members. The journal staff who oversee and manage the journal include an editor, associate editor, and editorial board. The editor and associate editor (collectively referred to as “the editors” in these policies) are appointed to three-year terms as special committee chairs within the SACES organization. The editor is appointed by the SACES executive board, and the associate editor is appointed by the editor. These positions are unpaid, volunteer positions. Each appointment may be renewed for an additional term (six years total). 

Editorial board members are appointed by the editors to three-year terms, with the possibility to serve a maximum of two terms (six years total) at the discretion of the editors. Serving on the editorial board is an unpaid, volunteer position.  

Qualifications to serve as a professional editorial board member include: 

● A doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision or a counseling-related discipline. ABD applicants may be considered if a degree is conferred by the start date of a service term. 

● A record of scholarly publications in national peer-refereed journals. 

● Expertise in one or more qualitative and/or quantitative research methodologies. 

● Member of SACES in good standing. 

Consistent with TSC’s mission to mentor graduate-level students, the editorial board also includes a maximum of five to six graduate student board members. Each graduate student member is partnered with a mentor from the editorial board for each year that they are a student on the board, and mentors work with the graduate  students on peer reviews. Qualifications to serve as a graduate student editorial board member include: 

● A doctoral student in a counselor education and supervision program with at least one year of academic coursework completed by the posted application deadline. 

● Proficiency in one or more qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method research methodologies as evidenced by: 1) completion of research method coursework; and 2) a record of, or evidence of potential for, publishing in national peer-reviewed journals. 

● Member of SACES in good standing. 

At the discretion of the editors, TSC may retain editorial assistants. Editorial assistants may be master’s or doctoral students in a counselor education program. Editorial assistants may be unfunded, volunteer positions or may be funded as graduate assistants through the universities of the editor or associate editor. The editors set the  qualifications and job duties for editorial assistants, depending upon the needs of the journal.

C.2. Editorial Freedom and Responsibilities 

The editor maintains responsibility for publishing high quality scholarship in TSC, and thus retains autonomy in  making final editorial decisions. The SACES executive board, staff, or committee chairs do not influence, or attempt to influence, editorial decisions rendered by the journal staff. The associate editor may be appointed to  make editorial decisions on submitted manuscripts with appropriate oversight from the editor. Neither the editor nor associate editor receive direct financial compensation for their services to SACES, though SACES commonly provides travel funding for the editor and associate editor to attend the annual ACES/SACES  conferences. The editor and associate editor do not solicit or accept advertising or sales funding related to TSC

C.3. Peer Reviewer Responsibilities  

All incoming editorial board members commit to completing “Focus on Peer Review” - a three-hour, self paced, online peer review training hosted by Nature Masterclasses - prior to beginning their service tenure.  Editorial board members agree to attend board meetings. Ad hoc reviewers are not required to complete the  course or to attend board meetings, but ad hoc reviewers are offered peer reviewing resources when asked to review. 

Peer reviewers complete reviews within 21 days and communicate with a manuscript’s assigned editor in a timely manner if a review will be delayed. Because TSC welcomes manuscript submissions throughout the  calendar year, editorial board members commit to full-year (12 month) service on the board. Editorial board  members typically review no more than two manuscripts per month. Editorial board members should not decline review requests unless they have a conflict of interest, do not possess sufficient competence to review a manuscript, or encounter a life circumstance that precludes them from reviewing. If a review request must be declined, reviewers communicate via email their reason for declining to the manuscript’s assigned editor. 

An individual serving as a peer reviewer for TSC recognizes that they have responsibilities to the counseling profession and the academic community in general, to authors, and to the editors. Professionally, reviewers have a responsibility as a gatekeeper to protect the veracity of published scholarship that informs counseling,  counselor education, and clinical supervision. They also have a responsibility to TSC’s readership by ensuring that conceptual information and empirical methods and results are sufficiently detailed as to be replicable or subjected to future study. Reviewers are also charged to provide authors with objective, constructive feedback on strengths and limitations of their work in such a manner that authors can reasonably discern how to improve their work, regardless of the editorial decision in TSC. Finally, reviewers have a duty to the editors to comprehensively review manuscripts, to provide an editorial decision recommendation, and to offer accurate feedback on the overall quality and merit of the reviewed work that assists with editorial decision-making and  justifies the reviewer’s recommendation. Accordingly, reviewers provide the editors with comprehensive, narrative feedback and do not make comments or tracked changes within copies of submitted manuscripts. 

Reviewers act in accordance with the ACA Code of Ethics and COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers by respecting confidentiality of the review process, avoiding conflicts of interest, and respecting authors’ intellectual property. If a reviewer suspects researcher or publication misconduct, they should contact the editor  immediately so that the editor can review the concerns. Reviewers also behave ethically by not manipulating, or attempting to manipulate, the peer review process. TSC follows COPE flowcharts, such as How to Recognize Potential Manipulation of the Peer Review Process, Peer Review Manipulation Suspected During the Peer Review Process, and Peer Review Manipulation Suspected After Publication to investigate and resolve cases of suspected peer review manipulation. 

Reviewers should provide feedback that is objective, bias-free, accurate, constructive, and accessible.  Reviewers do not make inflammatory, derogatory, or libelous statements in their reviews. Thus, reviewers should be mindful of their language and tone and recognize the impact on authors. TSC recognizes that there are pros and cons to editing peer reviews (see COPE’s Guidelines on Editing Peer Reviews). TSC’s policy is that the editors do not edit peer reviews, but editors may, when communicating decisions to authors, openly disagree with or correct peer review feedback that is believed to be inaccurate or that violates the journal’s policies. If the editors have concerns about reviews from an editorial board member that violate these policies, the editors will address such situations through meetings and in writing. Serious or repeated violations of peer review  policies may result in dismissal from the editorial board. 

Reviewers agree to review manuscripts that are reasonably within their scope of content and/or methodological competence. If a manuscript falls too far outside of their scope of competence, reviewers may either decline a review request or clearly contextualize the scope of their competence within their review feedback and bound their feedback within their competence. Reviewers are encouraged to consult with the editors if they have questions about their ability to review a manuscript. 

C.4. Confidentiality 

In accordance with the ACA Code of Ethics (G.5.h.), TSC treats the peer review process with respect, confidentiality, and responsibility. The editors, editorial assistants, editorial board, ad hoc reviewers, and TSC’s copyeditor do not share any information about submitted manuscripts with individuals outside of the peer review or publication process. Graduate student board members partnered with a mentor from the editorial board are permitted to consult with each other on peer review because the consultation remains within TSC.  Reviewers refrain from directly contacting authors for any reason. All files related to manuscript submissions (e.g., original/revised manuscript files, cover letters, peer review feedback, editorial decisions) are stored securely in Bepress. In cases of suspected researcher misconduct, author confidentiality cannot be guaranteed (see section D of TSC’s policies). 

C.5. Peer Review Process 

TSC is committed to a thorough and expedient peer review process. Each manuscript submitted for publication consideration in TSC is initially screened by the editor. The editor reserves the right to desk reject submissions without peer review if manuscripts do not conform to TSC’s Aims and Scope or Submission Policies and Guidelines, have significant errors or omissions, or raise significant ethical concerns. In cases of desk rejection, the editor will communicate the decision to authors in a timely manner with feedback/rationale for the decision. 

After screening, each manuscript is allocated to an assigned editor (e.g., editor, associate editor, guest editor), and either the assigned editor or an editorial assistant will assign peer reviewers based on availability and reviewer competence. All submissions are blind peer reviewed by at least two editorial board members (or possibly an ad hoc reviewer, if needed). Reviewers access, and submit feedback on, de-identified manuscripts via Bepress, the online journal management platform for TSC

Based on reviewer feedback, the assigned editor may register a decision of accept, minor revision, major  revision, or reject. Manuscripts typically undergo revision until a final decision is made by the assigned editor.  If a revision decision is rendered, authors are typically asked to resubmit within 30-45 days. Extensions can be  requested of the assigned editor, though the editors cannot guarantee extensions. Receiving a revise and resubmit decision does not guarantee or imply that a manuscript will be subsequently accepted or published within TSC. Revised and resubmitted manuscripts may undergo additional review by the editorial board, or the assigned editor may opt to review the revisions and make an editorial decision. 

C.6. Manuscript Rejection Appeals 

The editors make every effort to ensure that editorial decisions are fair and balanced for authors, are based on sound reviews from peer reviewers, and are in TSC’s best interest. If an author wishes to appeal a manuscript rejection, the primary author must submit a written rebuttal letter via email to the editor (  addressing why they believe that the editorial decision was erroneous (e.g., based on incorrect feedback from a peer reviewer) and detailing how the author(s) are willing to revise the manuscript based on additional feedback received. The letter should offer a clear and convincing rationale for why the author(s) believe the decision was made in error. The editors will carefully review the rebuttal letter, the editorial decision that was communicated to the author(s), the peer reviewer feedback, and the manuscript, and then will consult to arrive at a decision on the appeal. If an appeal is denied, then the manuscript rejection will stand, and the editor will communicate to the primary author a rationale for the denial. Alternatively, the editor may offer a reconsideration of the manuscript, in which case the author(s) will be invited to submit a revised manuscript as a new manuscript submission. In this case, the editor will provide clear instructions on needed revisions to the manuscript and/or to the study (e.g., collecting additional data, modifying analyses) prior to authors submitting. Because the  revised manuscript would be considered a new submission, the manuscript will be sent through peer review with new reviewers assigned, and authors may be asked to make further revisions based on the new round(s) of peer reviewer feedback. Invitation to reconsider as a new submission does not guarantee or imply that the manuscript will ultimately be accepted or published in the journal. These steps are intended to ensure that authors receive fair due process while preserving TSC’s aim to publish high quality scholarship. 

C.7. Copyright and Licensing 

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in TSC, provided they own the copyright and intellectual property to the work being submitted or are authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article (see section D.5.). Authors are the owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the  non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer). 

Authors agree to publish and distribute an article accepted for publication in Teaching and Supervision in Counseling as an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons – Attribution License 4.0 International (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed. The authors retain the copyright to their published article. 

TSC does not charge a fee to submit or review manuscripts, publish articles, or access content published by the  journal on its Bepress website. TSC is an open access journal, and all published articles are freely available to read and download. 

C.8. Post-Publication Discussion 

Consistent with COPE’s core practice of Post-Publication Discussions and Corrections, TSC allows for scholarly post-publication discussion via letters to the editor. If a reader has a concern about content reported in a published article, they should first email the TSC editor ( outlining their concerns and providing relevant data or evidence to support their claims in no more than five manuscript-style pages (excluding title page and references). Only one letter may be submitted by any single author or group of authors on any one published paper. The editor will review the letter, adhering to COPE’s Handling of Post-Publication Critiques flowchart. Letters containing libelous or defamatory comments about the authors of the critiqued article; critiques lacking sufficient supporting evidence; or critiques deemed trivial, invalid, incorrect, or inaccurate will be rejected without further review. The TSC editors reserve the right to reject letters to the editor at any time. Whenever a letter to the editor is received, authors of the critiqued article will be notified, consulted, and kept informed of the process and outcome. 

Post-publication critiques exist to address concerns with content in a published article and are not an avenue for addressing authorship disputes. TSC addresses authorship disputes via a separate process (see section B.1.), and thus will not accept or publish any letter to the editor about authorship disputes. 

If a letter to the editor contains an objective, valid, and compelling critique of a published article that appears to be made in good faith, then the editor may take a few different courses of action, depending upon the circumstances: 

1. The editor may facilitate an email conversation with the author(s) of the letter and the author(s) of the critiqued article in an attempt to clarify and resolve the issue(s) raised in the letter. Ideally, sufficient clarification among all parties may result in no further action being taken and the case being closed.  Alternatively, all parties might agree, with approval from the editor, to forgo publishing a post-publication critique/response (see below) and instead elect to collaborate together on a follow-up article that addresses and builds upon issues raised in the letter. In this case, the new manuscript may be submitted to TSC’s manuscript submission portal to undergo TSC’s peer review process (see section  C.5.). 

2. The editor may invite the author(s) of the letter to the editor to submit their letter via TSC’s manuscript submission portal to undergo TSC’s peer review process (see section C.5.). If this option is offered, peer review will not be fully blinded in that the reviewers will be aware of the critique authors’ identities. If  the letter is ultimately rejected after peer review, then the case will be considered closed. If a letter to the editor is ultimately accepted after peer review, then the letter will be published in a future issue of the journal. Prior to publishing the letter, the authors of the critiqued article will be provided an unblinded copy of the accepted letter and invited to submit a response of no more than five pages (excluding title page and references), which also will undergo TSC’s peer review process. Both the letter to the editor and the response will be published together. 

3. If a letter to the editor raises an ethical concern with an article published in TSC, then the editor will follow TSC’s “Allegations of Research Misconduct Policy” (see section D). Addressing the letter to the editor itself will be postponed until any ethical issues with the critiqued article are investigated and  resolved.  

a. If an ethical investigation uncovers research misconduct resulting in retracting a published article, then the editor will issue a retraction statement that will be published in lieu of the letter to the editor, and the case will be considered closed.  

b. If an ethical investigation uncovers research misconduct resulting in post-publication corrections, corrigenda, errata, or expressions of concern, then the letter to the editor and a response from the author(s) of the critiqued article will be published alongside the post-publication amendments.  Publication of the letter and response will follow option two in this section. 

C.9. Post-Publication Corrections or Retractions 

Issues may arise with articles after they have been published, including, but not limited to, authorship disputes (see section A); honest/unintentional oversights, errors, or omissions; or research misconduct (see section D).  TSC encourages authors to promptly self-report to the editor any such issues with their work, should they become aware of them, and to partner with the journal to openly and collaboratively correct the publication record. If the journal makes a publication error, they will contact the author(s) immediately and collaborate to correct the error. Generally, TSC follows COPE’s Retraction Guidelines; discussion document on Dealing with Concerns About the Integrity of Published Research; and other relevant guidelines, flowcharts, and best practices to determine an appropriate course of action for post-publication issues. The TSC editor is responsible for investigating and determining whether published articles should be retracted or corrected (e.g., corrigenda, errata), or whether an expression of concern from the editor should be published. 

C.10. Special Issues and Special Sections 

At the discretion of the TSC editors, the journal may publish special issues or special sections that aim to provide a platform for in-depth exploration of specific topics, fostering collaborations, and contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the field. This policy outlines the requirements for submitting proposals and the review process conducted by the journal's editorial board.  

A special issue refers to an entire issue dedicated to a particular topic, and a special section typically refers to half of an issue devoted to a particular topic. It is TSC’s view that a full special issue is reserved for provocative, compelling areas of scholarship focused on the cutting edge of active, relevant research areas or professional issues. With few exceptions, special issues are predominantly empirical. Special sections also highlight compelling scholarly areas, but also may make a good fit for scholarly dialogue on a particular topic.

Generally, TSC welcomes proposals for special issues and special sections that focus on specific topics or themes within the aims and scope of the journal. Because of the extensive logistics, resources, and planning involved, the first step to proposing a special issue or special section is to contact the editors via email  ( and provide preliminary information (“pitch”) about a proposal idea. The editors will review the pitch, and based on the potential merit of the idea and the logistical abilities or constraints of the journal at the time, will either invite the author(s) to submit a full proposal or will decline the pitched idea. 

A full proposal should include the following information: 

● Title and rationale: Provide a clear and concise title for the proposed special issue or special section, along with a thorough rationale explaining the importance and relevance of the topic for the profession and to the aims and scope of TSC. Include a summary of the literature base on the topic with emphasis on how the proposed special issue or special section advances the literature base. 

● Scope and objectives: Describe the scope and objectives of the proposed special issue or special section, highlighting the specific research questions, themes, or sub-topics that will be addressed. 

● Guest editor(s): Identify the proposed guest editor(s) responsible for overseeing the development, review, and publication process. Include their affiliations, as well as relevant expertise that establishes them as national scholars in the counseling profession and that qualifies them to serve in an editorial role. 

● Potential contributors: Specify whether the proposed special issue or special section will be open call (i.e., anyone can submit), invited, or both, along with a brief rationale. For invited or both, provide a list of potential authors who might be sought to contribute to the special issue or special section, along with a brief rationale outlining each potential author’s expertise related to the proposed special section or special issue. 

● Potential reviewers: Provide a tentative list of scholars who might serve as potential ad hoc reviewers for the special issue or special section, highlighting relevant expertise for each potential reviewer. 

● Timeline: Present a proposed timeline for the submission, review, and publication process, including key milestones and deadlines. 

Full proposals will undergo a review by the journal's editorial board. The board will evaluate the proposal based on its relevance to the journal’s aims and scope; significance of the topic; quality of the proposed guest editor(s), potential authors, and reviewers; feasibility of the proposed timeline; and overall quality of the  proposal. The editorial board will offer feedback on the proposal to the TSC editors, along with a recommendation to accept or decline the proposal. Feedback may be provided to the proposal authors to assist with revisions if the proposal requires further development before a final decision is made. The review process will consider criteria such as alignment with journal scope and focus; originality and significance of the proposed topic; qualifications and expertise of guest editor(s), potential contributors, and potential reviewers; and feasibility of the proposed timeline and deliverables. 

If a proposal is accepted, the guest editor(s) will be responsible for coordinating the editorial process, including soliciting submissions, managing the peer-review process, providing feedback to authors, and ensuring timely publication. TSC’s editors, editorial board, and staff will assist to the extent possible. Authors interested in  contributing to a special issue or special section will be invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts following guidelines for the journal and for the special issue/section, specifically. Manuscripts will undergo TSC’s standard peer-review process. The publication timeline will be agreed upon by the guest editor(s) and the  journal's editors to ensure timely dissemination. 

C.11. Editorship, Peer Review, and Publication Resources 

Council of Science Editors (CSE) Recommendations for Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Website 

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers (also available in Chinese and Spanish

COPE Guidelines for Managing the Relationships Between Society Owned Journals, Their Society, and Publishers 

Section D: Research and Publication Ethics 

D.1. Introduction and Definitions 

TSC believes strongly that researchers and scholars have a professional responsibility to counseling and related mental health and academic disciplines, and to the general public, to conduct and publish ethically and intellectually sound research and conceptual work. Therefore, authors submitting empirical and conceptual  scholarship for publication consideration in TSC are expected to engage in responsible conduct of research (RCR) that aligns with the ACA Code of Ethics and other relevant ethical standards. 

Responsible Conduct of Research 

RCR refers generally to the practice of research and scholarship with integrity and adherence to ethical principles and standards. Authors submitting manuscripts to TSC adhere not only to specific ACA ethical codes related to research (e.g., section G), but also more broadly to the core professional values and the fundamental principles of ethical behavior (i.e., autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity, veracity). Authors also adhere to the principles of the Belmont Report (i.e., respect for persons, beneficence, justice). Scholars adhere to, and actively work toward, research-relevant counseling competencies such as, but not limited to: 

ACA Advocacy Competencies 

AARC Multicultural Research Standards 

Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies 

● SAIGE LGBQQIA Competencies, Transgender Competencies, Standards of Care for Research with Participants who are LGBTQ+, and Standards of Care in Assessment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Expansive, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTGEQ+) Persons 

Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population

Research Integrity 

Research integrity refers to adhering to ethical principles and professional standards needed to conduct scholarship in a responsible fashion (Korenman, 2006). The National Institutes of Health, note that research integrity includes: 

● “the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research,

● reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines, and

● following commonly accepted professional codes or norms.” 

Authors submitting manuscripts to TSC follow the ACA Code of Ethics throughout the research/scholarship process. Research studies should be approved or exempted by appropriate professional review boards (e.g., Institutional Review Board). 

Research Misconduct

There is no universal definition for what constitutes research misconduct, though it refers generally to researcher behavior that violates legal, ethical, or professional standards of conduct. The U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) definition of research misconduct includes “…fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.” The Council of Science Editors (CSE) identified three areas of research misconduct: (a) mistreating research participants, (b) falsifying/fabricating data, and (c) piracy/plagiarizing. The ACA Code of Ethics (section G) further identifies standards for researcher responsibilities, participant rights, appropriate boundaries, result reporting, and publishing/presenting. The CSE also noted that relevant factors for determining research misconduct are intent (e.g., to deceive or cause harm) and negligence, though these factors alone may not rise to a level of misconduct. In most instances, authorship disputes do not constitute research misconduct unless a clear ethical violation has occurred (see section B.1.). Misconduct may occur during the peer review process, such as peer review manipulation, confidentiality, undisclosed conflicts of interest that bias reviews, and stealing authors’ intellectual property (see section C.3). TSC views research misconduct as a serious violation of public trust and researcher responsibility, and thus takes a strong stance against misconduct.  

D.2. Allegations of Research Misconduct 

Concerns about research misconduct may arise pre-publication (i.e., during peer review, accepted/queued for  publication) or post-publication. Editors, peer reviewers, or readers/consumers of TSC may identify, and wish to communicate concerns about misconduct. Anyone may report suspected research misconduct directly to TSC’s  editor ( TSC may also become aware of reports indirectly, such as through posts on social  media or scholarly websites where research is shared. The editor may try to obtain sufficient evidence to verify and/or investigate allegations, including attempting to locate and/or contact persons making reports. All reports must be made in good faith and contain a clear description of the suspected misconduct, along with any evidence available to support the allegation. Bad faith reports are considered unethical behavior. 

The editor reviews all reported allegations of misconduct submitted to the journal and is responsible for appropriately investigating reported allegations. Generally, the editor will follow relevant COPE Core PracticesGuidelines, and Flowcharts; the CSE White Paper on Publication Ethics; ACA Code of Ethics; and relevant ethical decision making models to guide decision making and action steps when investigating and adjudicating allegations of misconduct. Specific COPE decision making flowcharts are referenced throughout sections below, but are not exhaustive sources of decision making available to the editor. 

TSC treats all parties involved with respect and prioritizes the care, sensitivity, and fairness needed to handle allegations. TSC respects that reporting suspected misconduct (i.e., “whistleblowing”) carries real and perceived risk to one’s career opportunities and personal wellness. TSC also recognizes that allegations of research  misconduct, regardless of outcome, can potentially impact careers of those accused. The editor handles allegations as carefully, confidentially, and objectively as possible. However, TSC does not guarantee confidentiality or anonymity to any party when investigating or adjudicating allegations of research misconduct.  If revealing the identity of a whistleblower becomes necessary, then the editor will first inform the individual and request permission. Whistleblowers understand that anonymity may limit the editor’s ability to sufficiently investigate allegations, including following up to request and gather additional evidence. Whistleblowers will be notified by the editor of the outcome of the investigation, as appropriate. 

For individuals accused of research misconduct, additional co-authors may be notified of reported allegations, if relevant. The editor may consult with editors of other journals, depending upon the nature of the allegation. The editor also may notify authors’ employing institutions or funding agencies to assist with investigations, if  needed. The editor may seek ethical (e.g., with the ACA) and/or legal consultation. In any of these instances, the editor carefully considers the privacy and confidentiality of those accused with protecting the academic integrity of the counseling profession and the best interests of TSC and SACES, specifically. 

For allegations arising pre-publication, TSC will suspend the peer review process and/or publication process until an investigation is resolved. Findings of misconduct, or an inability to investigate suspected misconduct, may result in the editor desk rejecting a pre-publication manuscript, including manuscripts previously accepted and queued for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal. Findings of misconduct post publication may result in retracting a published article, publishing corrections/errata, and/or restricting future submissions to TSC

D.3. Data Integrity and Accessibility 

TSC is committed to upholding the highest standards of research integrity and ethical publishing practices. TSC adheres to the Core Practices set forth by COPE to ensure transparency, accuracy, and trustworthiness in published research. 

Data Fabrication, Falsification, and Manipulation 

This policy outlines the journal’s expectations regarding data integrity, including data fabrication, falsification, manipulation, misappropriation/theft, ownership, and selective/misleading reporting or interpretation. TSC strictly prohibits the fabrication, falsification, or manipulation of data. Authors must not present fraudulent or  misleading results, including the creation of fictitious data or altering, omitting, or distorting data to support a particular conclusion. Authors should ensure that all data presented in their manuscript accurately reflects the research questions presented and analyses conducted. Data should be collected and recorded with integrity and  transparency, maintaining the highest ethical and scientific standards. 

Authors should report research findings accurately, objectively, and without bias. The reporting of results should be complete, including both positive and negative outcomes, to avoid selective reporting that may distort the overall scientific understanding. Authors should provide balanced interpretations of their findings, avoiding  overgeneralization, unwarranted extrapolation, or misleading claims. The limitations and uncertainties associated with the research should be acknowledged and clearly communicated. 

Authors are responsible for ensuring that they have the appropriate ownership, permissions, and rights to use and publish the data included in their manuscripts. If the data used in the research belong to others, proper acknowledgment and permission must be obtained. Authors should retain the original data, documentation, and  evidence related to their research for a reasonable period after publication. This ensures the availability of data for potential verification and further scrutiny when necessary. 

Authors must not engage in the misappropriation or theft of data from other researchers, publications, or sources. All data used in the research must be appropriately cited and attributed to the original sources. Authors must not plagiarize data, ideas, or text from other works. Proper citation and acknowledgment should be provided for any referenced material, including data sets, figures, tables, or text. 

TSC’s editorial team will carefully review submitted manuscripts for any signs of data fabrication, falsification, manipulation, misappropriation/theft, selective reporting, or misleading interpretation. This includes using  plagiarism detection software and conducting rigorous editorial assessments. In cases where potential misconduct is identified, the journal will follow its policy for handling research misconduct allegations (see section D.2.). This may involve notifying the corresponding authors' institutions or initiating further investigations as appropriate. If data fabrication, falsification, manipulation, misappropriation/theft, selective reporting, or misleading interpretation is substantiated, TSC may take appropriate actions, including but not  limited to rejection of manuscripts, retraction or correction of published articles (see sections C.8 and C.9), and notifying relevant parties and institutions. 

Data Availability and Reproducibility 

TSC supports the vision of the FAIR Data Principles that data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable. TSC also aligns with the Center for Open Science’s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines and has used their guideline templates to create the journal’s data availability and reproducibility  policy. The purpose of TSC’s data availability and reproducibility policy is to promote transparency, reproducibility, and the responsible sharing of research data within TSC. This policy aims to ensure that the data supporting published research articles are accessible, enabling the scientific community to validate and build upon the findings, and to facilitate the advancement of knowledge. This policy applies to all authors submitting manuscripts to TSC that include empirical research and rely on data as a basis for their findings. It encompasses all types of research data, including raw data, processed data, and supplementary materials. 

Authors are encouraged to provide access to the original data supporting their research findings to the extent possible, considering legal and ethical constraints. Authors are encouraged to deposit their data in an appropriate and reputable data repository before submitting a manuscript to TSC. The chosen repository should support long-term preservation, provide a persistent identifier (such as a DOI), and allow for open or restricted access. Authors can visit FAIRsharing to find reputable repositories.  

The policy of TSC is to publish papers where authors indicate whether the data, methods used in the analysis, and materials used to conduct the research will be made available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure. Authors must, on the title page of their manuscript, provide a data  availability statement indicating if they will or will not make their data, analytic methods, and study materials available to other researchers. If an author agrees to make materials available, the author must specify where that material will be available. 

Design and Analysis Transparency 

Authors should provide in their manuscript comprehensive documentation about their data that includes a clear description of the data collection procedures, data processing and analytic steps, variable definitions, and any relevant code or software used in analysis. Sufficient methodological information should be provided to  facilitate the understanding and reuse of the data by others. 

The policy of TSC is to publish papers where authors follow standards for disclosing key aspects of the research design and data analysis. Authors are required to review the APA Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) and to use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. At manuscript submission, authors must  confirm in their cover letter that they reviewed the standards, report whether any standards were relevant for the research application and confirm that they followed those standards in the manuscript. TSC editors and reviewers will verify that the appropriate APA JARS were adopted and followed. Failure to follow the relevant  standards may result in the manuscript not being published. Authors are also encouraged to review the standards available for many research applications from and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. 

During the peer review process, reviewers and editors may request access to data supporting the manuscript to evaluate the soundness and validity of the findings. Authors should be prepared to provide such access promptly and in a format that facilitates evaluation. 

All non-original data (e.g., existing data sets), program code, and other methods must be appropriately cited.  Such materials are recognized as original intellectual contributions and afforded recognition through citation.  Articles will not be published until the citations conform to these standards.  

1. All data sets and program code used in a publication must be cited in the text and listed in the reference section. 

2. References for data sets and program code must include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or data set. Persistent identifiers are assigned to data sets by digital archives, such as institutional repositories and partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS). 

Replication Studies 

TSC encourages submission of replication studies, particularly of research published in the journal. When possible, replication studies are reviewed in two stages following the Registered Reports format. In particular, 

the first stage of review is conducted prior to the data being collected or, for existing datasets, before the outcomes are observed: 

1. On initial submission, authors should: 

a. Note in the cover letter that the manuscript is a Registered Report submission and confirm that the data do not exist, or that the outcomes have not been observed. 

b. Include a full manuscript for the abstract/public significance statement, introduction, and methods without the results and discussion sections. 

c. The methods must contain a complete analysis plan of what is to be included in the full article. 

2. If the submission passes initial review, then the authors will receive an in-principle acceptance prior to data collection or analysis of the outcomes. 

3. For the second stage of review, authors submit a complete manuscript. Reviewers assess the extent to which the authors followed the preregistered design and/or analysis plan, and evaluate non-outcome relevant criteria (e.g., manipulation checks) to confirm whether the research was an effective test of the  research question. 

D.4. Ethical Oversight 

TSC is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in all aspects of its publication process. The journal’s ethical oversight policies aim to guide authors, editors, reviewers, and staff members in conducting research, handling data, and publishing articles in an ethical and responsible manner. TSC adheres to COPE’s Core Practices and the ACA Code of Ethics and uses these standards to investigate and enforce suspected or reported ethical concerns. 

Ethical Research Conduct with Human Participants 

Authors must conduct their research with integrity, honesty, and accuracy. Authors should adhere to relevant ethical guidelines and regulations, such as the ACA Code of Ethics, the Belmont Report, and local institutional  review board (IRB) requirements. The welfare and rights of human participants must be protected throughout the research process. Authors must ensure that appropriate informed consent has been obtained from all participants involved in a research study. Informed consent should be obtained and documented according to relevant ethical guidelines and regulations.  

TSC acknowledges the need for special consideration and protection of vulnerable populations, including children, prisoners, individuals with cognitive impairments, and marginalized communities. Authors conducting research involving vulnerable populations must ensure the highest level of ethical standards and comply with  specific regulations and guidelines that safeguard their rights and well-being. Research involving vulnerable populations should respect the dignity, privacy, and autonomy of the participants. Authors should consider the potential power imbalances and ensure that informed consent is obtained from legally authorized  representatives when necessary. 

For empirical research, TSC requires that authors report details of IRB approval (or exemption), processes for providing informed consent, and ethical treatment of human participants in their manuscript, as appropriate. The APA JARS can assist authors with accurate reporting. Failure to include this information may result in the  manuscript being rejected for publication. 

TSC recognizes that research has been used to stigmatize, disenfranchise, and/or directly harm marginalized  individuals and communities. TSC believes that scholars have a professional responsibility to the communities with whom they work and serve to be culturally responsive, inclusive, and competent. TSC believes that  research and scholarship published in the journal should be accessible, inclusive, equitable, and empowering for the communities with whom researchers work and for readers of the journal. Researchers should respect and  follow all relevant cultural norms, rules, and customs when conducting research.

Language used in manuscripts must be free of bias, consistent with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). TSC recognizes that in some instances, qualitative data may contain perspectives from participants that are derogatory or biased against certain groups or demographics.  Researchers should avoid using derogatory or offensive language about groups of people unless the reported information is absolutely necessary to a stated research question and omitting the information would jeopardize validity and trustworthiness. 

Handling Confidential Data 

TSC recognizes the importance of safeguarding the confidentiality of data. Authors must handle confidential  data in accordance with applicable data protection laws and regulations. Measures should be taken to anonymize or de-identify personal information to ensure participant privacy. Authors should store research data securely and limit access only to authorized individuals. Data should be retained for an appropriate period, as determined by legal, regulatory, and institutional requirements, to address any potential concerns or disputes. If authors elect to share data publicly, they should do so according to IRB guidelines that ensure participant privacy and consent. 

Ethical Business and Marketing Practices 

TSC is committed to maintaining transparency, fairness, and integrity in its business and marketing practices.  The journal will provide accurate and complete information about its services, policies, fees, and publication  processes, which are discussed throughout its policies. TSC strictly prohibits engaging in predatory practices, including but not limited to the solicitation of submissions with false promises of expedited publication, unethical fees, or misleading metrics. Authors, editors, reviewers and staff members must act ethically and avoid any conflicts of interest that compromise the impartiality and integrity of the publication process. 

D.5. Intellectual Property 

This policy aims to provide guidance and standards to authors, editors, and reviewers regarding intellectual property rights, citation/referencing, plagiarism, duplicate/multiple publication, multiple submissions, preprints, and data fragmentation. The policy emphasizes the importance of originality, attribution, and responsible  publication practices. TSC recognizes and respects the intellectual property rights of authors. Authors submitting manuscripts must ensure that their work is original, free from any unauthorized use of copyrighted material, and does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others. Authors may be requested to  provide documentation or clarification regarding their previous publications or any overlapping content to determine the extent of self-plagiarism, redundant/duplicate publications, multiple submissions, preprints, or data fragmentation. 

Citation and Referencing Practices 

Authors should appropriately attribute and cite all sources of intellectual property, including ideas, methods, data, figures, tables, and text, that are not their own. Proper referencing and acknowledgment of the original work are essential to maintain academic integrity and avoid plagiarism. Authors should appropriately cite and reference authors of previously published work in accordance with the American Psychological Association  (APA) Publication Manual (7th ed.) and the ACA Code of Ethics (G.5.c.). 

TSC discourages inappropriate citation practices, such as needless or inappropriate self-citation. TSC’s editors and reviewers will not ask authors to add references to their manuscripts unless there is a clear need to improve the quality of literature reviewed in the manuscript. 


Plagiarism refers to the use of another person’s ideas, words, or intellectual property without proper attribution or permission. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, verbatim copying, paraphrasing without proper citation, and using substantial portions of another work without acknowledgment. The editors conduct thorough editorial reviews and may employ plagiarism detection software.  

Self-plagiarism, or text recycling, refers to the reuse of one’s own previously published or submitted work, in whole or in part, without proper citation or acknowledgment. Self-plagiarism can mislead readers, compromise the integrity of the publication, and violate copyright laws. TSC follows COPE’s Text Recycling Guidelines for Editors to address issues of self-plagiarism.  

There are many types of plagiarism, and suspected plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to, or published by, TSC is treated as research misconduct (see section D.2.) and may result in manuscripts being desk rejected or published articles being retracted or corrected. 

Redundant/Duplicate Publications 

COPE’s Taxonomy of Publication Ethics defines redundant or duplicate publications as, “the publication, or attempted publication, of whole or substantial parts of work/data/analysis that have already been published (or have been submitted elsewhere), without transparency or appropriate declaration/referencing.” Authors  submitting to TSC must ensure that their manuscript presents original and previously unpublished work. If a portion of the manuscript has been published or submitted elsewhere, proper citation and acknowledgment must be provided, along with sound rationale for why the portion is being submitted within a new manuscript.  Authors should clearly indicate any overlap in content between their submitted manuscript and their previously published or submitted work. Generally, TSC does not condone or knowingly publish duplicate or redundant submissions. Failing to properly declare, cite, or reference one’s previously published work is considered research misconduct (see section D.2.). 

Multiple Submissions 

Multiple submissions, defined by COPE as, “submission of identical manuscripts or those with substantial overlap to more than one journal/publication venue at a time,” is strictly prohibited by TSC. Authors must declare as part of the manuscript submission process that their manuscript is not under consideration with any other journal(s). Multiple submissions are generally considered unethical, and may also place authors in jeopardy of violating copyright laws. TSC treats multiple submissions as research misconduct (see section D.2.).  


Some authors may choose to upload a manuscript to an open-access, preprint platform before submitting the  manuscript to a journal for peer review - or perhaps while the manuscript is under a journal’s peer review process. TSC recognizes the potential benefits of preprint platforms to researchers. TSC also recognizes that  preprints may create gray areas in terms of intellectual property (i.e., a preprint document constituting a prior publication) without clear answers that vary across disciplines. TSC aligns with COPE’s Preprints Discussion Document and specifies the following policies: 

1. A document posted to an open-access preprint platform that is not currently under peer review with, or published by, another journal is generally not considered a prior publication that would preclude publication in TSC. Submitting a preprint manuscript to TSC would not be considered research  misconduct (i.e., self-plagiarism, redundant/duplicate publication, multiple submission). However, TSC encourages authors to be aware of preprint platforms’ policies on posting to multiple platforms, as well as copyright and licensing implications of posting on preprint platforms and submitting to journals. In cases of preprint submissions to TSC, the journal editors will attempt to verify the preprint platform’s intellectual property policies. If the preprint platform(s) declares a copyright to the work, or if intellectual property policies cannot be verified, then TSC will be unable to review the manuscript submitted to the journal.

2. If authors submit a preprint manuscript to TSC, they should declare on the title page that the submitted manuscript has been previously posted online as a preprint and should provide a persistent link to the  preprint’s location online (e.g., DOI). Please note that this will reveal authors’ identities to peer  reviewers. Although TSC typically conducts double-blind reviews, this type of peer review is not possible with preprints. TSC also strongly advises against publishing preprint manuscripts anonymously or under a pseudonym and will not accept such preprints as a journal manuscript submission (i.e., will be  desk rejected). If a manuscript is subsequently accepted for publication, then the declaration of the preprint and the persistent link to its online location will be published with the article in TSC

3. The peer review process commonly identifies errors in, or corrections needed with, manuscripts prior to  publication. In instances where revisions are made to manuscripts and the manuscript is subsequently accepted for publication in TSC, the journal claims no ownership or governance over the preprint  document and thus does not dictate how, or if, the preprint should be updated. Likewise, if concerns arise with an article post-publication that result in retractions, corrections, or errata, TSC cannot control what happens to the preprint document. It is for these reasons, and the importance of transparency in  research, that TSC requires authors to declare a preprint and provide a persistent link to the document. 

Data Fragmentation 

Data fragmentation, also known as “salami slicing” or “slice-and-dice publishing,” refers to the practice of  dividing a single research study into multiple smaller publications with the intent of artificially increasing the  number of publications. This practice can lead to incomplete or redundant reporting and may undermine the  value and significance of the research. TSC recognizes that researchers in some academic or research-oriented institutions may face pressures related to research productivity (e.g., “publish or perish”). However, TSC emphasizes that authors should avoid data fragmentation and ensure that research findings are reported as a  comprehensive and coherent study. Fragmenting the research into multiple publications should only be done when each resulting publication provides substantial and distinct contributions to scientific knowledge. Thus, TSC views inappropriate data fragmentation as a form of research misconduct (see section D.2.).  

D.6. Conflicts of Interest 

TSC is committed to maintaining the integrity, objectivity, and impartiality of scholarship published in the journal. TSC’s conflict of interest (COI) policy aims to identify and manage COIs that may arise from the relationships and activities of the journal’s editors, authors, reviewers, and staff, and it encompasses all types of COIs that could compromise the impartiality and credibility of the scholarship published in the journal. A COI arises when an individual's personal, professional, or financial interests or relationships have the potential to influence or compromise their objectivity, integrity, or judgment in the publication process. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

1. Financial interests: Ownership, employment, consultancy, honoraria, or any financial relationship with organizations or entities that may have a direct or indirect interest in the research being published. 

2. Non-financial interests: Personal relationships, academic or competitive rivalry, or any other non financial factors that may influence an individual's judgment, decisions, or actions in the publication process. 

3. Intellectual biases: Preconceived notions, personal beliefs, or ideological affiliations that may unduly influence an individual's evaluation or treatment of submitted manuscripts. 

Disclosing and Managing Conflicts of Interest 

All authors submitting manuscripts to TSC must disclose - at the time of initial submission - any potential COIs related to their work. This includes financial, personal, or other relationships that could influence the research or its interpretation. Authors must provide a detailed disclosure statement in the cover letter accompanying the manuscript submission, including any funding sources, affiliations, or competing interests. Disclosure of COIs by authors does not automatically disqualify their work from publication consideration. However, it is essential to maintain transparency and manage potential biases. The editor and reviewers will consider the disclosed  COIs when evaluating the manuscript and, if necessary, seek additional expert opinions to ensure impartiality. 

If authors fail to disclose a COI that is subsequently discovered, TSC follows COPE’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest in a Submitted Manuscript and Undisclosed Conflict of Interest in a Published Article flowcharts to guide action steps. Appropriate action steps may include delay of peer review until the COI is clarified and  resolved, desk rejection of a manuscript, retraction of a published article, or publication of correction or errata. 

TSC editors must promptly disclose to one another any potential COIs related to a submitted manuscript. If an editor has a COI, then they should recuse themselves from any review or decision-making process concerning the manuscript in question. The editor should assign the handling of the manuscript to another qualified editor who does not have a COI. 

Reviewers should avoid COIs with manuscripts under review. Reviewers must promptly disclose any COIs that could affect their impartial evaluation of a manuscript. If a reviewer has a COI with a manuscript, then they should notify the editor immediately. The editors will evaluate the nature and extent of the conflict and determine whether the reviewer should continue with the review or if a replacement reviewer should be sought. 

Any editorial staff involved in the publication process must disclose to the editor any COIs that may arise from their roles or relationships. The editors will assess the COI and take appropriate actions to manage or mitigate it, which may include assigning the responsibilities to another staff member or implementing additional safeguards to ensure impartiality. Staff members should refrain from any activities that could compromise the integrity or impartiality of the journal. 

TSC is committed to transparency and will make every effort to disclose any relevant COIs related to the  publication process. The journal will include a statement in each published article indicating whether authors reported any COIs and how they were managed. The journal will also publish any author, reviewer, editor, or staff COIs that occurred within the last three years, including how they were managed, on its website.  

D.7. Research and Publication Ethics References and Resources 

● Korenman, S. G. (2006). Teaching the responsible conduct of research in humans. University of California Regents. 

COPE’s Sharing of Information Among Editors-in-Chief Regarding Possible Misconduct discussion document 

Council of Science Editors  

APA Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) 

Center for Open Science Registered Reports Peer Review Process 

Center for Open Science Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines

COPE: “Data and Reproducibility: The Role of Research Institutions” 

Equator Network Reporting Standards 

FAIR Data Principles 

FAIRshair Website 

APA Style Blog 

COPE Case Taxonomy of Publication Ethics 

COPE Discussion Document: Citation Manipulation 

COPE’s Redundant (Duplicate) Publication in a Submitted Manuscript flowchart

COPE’s Redundant (Duplicate) Publication in a Published Article flowchart 

COPE’s Plagiarism in a Submitted Manuscript flowchart 

COPE’s Plagiarism in a Published Article flowchart 

COPE Text Recycling Guidelines for Editors 

Grammarly Blog: “7 Common Types of Plagiarism, With Examples” 

Grammarly plagiarism checker website 

COPE’s Handling Competing Interests Discussion Document 

● COPE flowcharts: Undisclosed Conflict of Interest in a Submitted Manuscript and Undisclosed Conflict of Interest in a Published Article

Policies created by:
W. Bradley McKibben, PhD (Editor) and Christian D. Chan, PhD (Associate Editor) 
Created: August 2023.
Reviewed by TSC Editorial Board: October 2023.
Implemented: January 2024.

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