Policies & Practices

advances.in/psychology adheres to the core principles outlined by the COPE framework.

Allegations of misconduct

We treat every alleged misconduct, whether reported before or after the publication of an article, seriously and with utmost care. The editor-in-chief, as well as the consulting editor, will evaluate the respective allegations. We will ask whistleblowers whether they wish their identity to be revealed or kept confidential. The accused individual(s) will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations and/or clarify their case. In case of suspicion of ethical misconduct, we may contact the institutional review boards and affiliated institutions of the respective authors or relevant national overseeing institutions. All involved parties will be informed of the result of the investigation. We will retract the respective article with a notice published online if misconduct is confirmed. In case of reviewer misconduct, the reviewer will be permanently excluded from reviewing for the journal in the future. In the case of well-founded misconduct allegations against the editor(s), an external ad-hoc committee will be formed.

Authorship and contributorship

Authors and reviewers must log in to our publication system using their ORCID credentials. If the credentials do not seem to match those of the corresponding author or reviewer, a validation procedure similar to the one presented here will be followed. If the author or reviewer’s identity cannot be unambiguously verified, the submission process will be halted. If detected in retrospect after publication, the article may be retracted.

The requirements for authorship are outlined in detail in the author guidelines. We continuously monitor potential problems related to authorship, including those described here. All authors must consent that the corresponding author submits a given manuscript in all authors’ names. Any changes to the authorship order or addition of new authors during the peer-review process require the permission of all authors. In case of authorship disputes, the peer-review process is halted until the authors have formally resolved the dispute in a document signed by all authors.


In the case of well-founded complaints against the journal, its staff, or editorial board members, either (a) an ad-hoc committee will be formed by researchers unrelated to the journal, or (b) COPE will be contacted for a neutral evaluation. Then, based on the evaluation from either source, improvements to the journal’s structure and procedures will be implemented. 

Conflicts of interest / Competing interests

All authors must declare any financial or personal conflict of interest or competing interest when submitting their manuscript via the predefined field in the submission system. If undisclosed conflicts of interest are detected during the peer review process, the manuscript will be halted until the issue has been resolved. If detected after the manuscript was published as an article online, potential conflicts of interest will be investigated and clarified as quickly as possible. In minor cases, the conflict of interest section of the article may be updated. In severe cases, the article may be retracted. 

Data and reproducibility

As outlined in the author guidelines, we follow the TOP guidelines regarding data and reproducibility. These are repeated here for convenience.

The policy of the advances.in/psychology is to publish papers only if the data, methods used in the analysis, and materials used to conduct the research are clearly and precisely documented and are maximally available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure.

  1. Authors reusing data available from public repositories must provide program code, scripts for statistical packages, and other documentation sufficient to allow an informed researcher to precisely reproduce all published results.
  2. Authors using original data must
    1. make the data available at a trusted digital repository (Note: If all data required to reproduce the reported analyses appears in the article text, tables, and figures then it does not also need to be posted to a repository.)
    2. include all variables, treatment conditions, and observations described in the manuscript
    3. provide a full account of the procedures used to collect, preprocess, clean, or generate the data
    4. provide program code, scripts, codebooks, and other documentation sufficient to precisely reproduce all published results
    5. provide research materials and description of procedures necessary to conduct an independent replication of the research.
  3. In rare cases, despite authors’ best efforts, some or all data or materials cannot be shared for legal or ethical reasons. In such cases, authors must inform the editors at the time of submission. This will be taken into account during the review process. Authors are encouraged to anticipate data and material sharing at the beginning of their projects to provide for these circumstances. It is understood that in some cases access will be provided under restrictions to protect confidential or proprietary information. Editors may grant exceptions to data and material access requirements provided authors:
    1. explain the restrictions on the dataset or materials and how they preclude public access.
    2. provide a public description of the steps others should follow to request access to the data or materials.
    3. provide software and other documentation that will precisely reproduce all published results.
    4. provide access to all data and materials for which the constraints do not apply.
  4. Data, program code, research materials, and other documentation of the research process should be made available through a trusted digital repository. Trusted repositories adhere to policies that make data discoverable, accessible, usable, and preserved for the long term. Trusted repositories also assign unique and persistent identifiers. For example, these services are offered by partners in the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS) and most institutional repositories. Author-maintained websites are not compliant with this requirement.
    1. Dissemination of these materials may be delayed until publication. Under exceptional circumstances, editors may grant an embargo of the public release of data for at most one year after publication.
    2. Articles accepted for publication will not be assigned a publication date until the above conditions have been met. Authors are responsible for ensuring that their articles continue to fulfill these conditions. Failure to do so may lead to an editorial expression of concern or retraction of the article.

The policy of advances.in/psychology 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 standards available for many research applications from http://www.equator-network.org/ and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. At manuscript submission, authors must confirm 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.

Ethical oversight

Authors are expected to follow the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and comparable national and international regulations. All submitted research has to comply with the laws of the country where it was conducted and those of the U.K.

For research on vulnerable populations, adherence to ethical principles requires extra care and attention. According to the American Psychological Association, these populations include, but are not limited to, “children, prisoners, pregnant women, or people with intellectual disability.” Vulnerable groups also include economically or educationally disadvantaged individuals or people who belong to minority groups that are stigmatized in society. The rights of members of these groups, their well-being, and their accurate representation in research need to be warranted at any time. Authors need to pay special attention to avoid the further stigmatization of these groups in research reports and articles. We encourage authors to involve members of the respective groups in all stages of the research process whenever possible.

In any publication and openly available data, research subjects must not be identifiable. Therefore, authors need to prevent the possibility of direct or indirect identification of research subjects through anonymization and appropriate aggregation of data.

Any potential breach of research ethics will be treated and scrutinized according to the following procedure (also outlined in this flow chart): First, the reviewers or editors will be thanked for sharing their concerns, and the author(s) will be asked to respond to the allegations. If the response is satisfactory, an apology will be extended to the author(s), and the case will be closed. If the response is unsatisfactory, the review process will be halted. All involved parties will be informed about the decision. The journal staff may then contact the institution(s) of the author(s) to investigate the case further and/or discuss it with COPE. If resolved at this stage, an apology will be extended to the author(s). If unresolved, the relevant authorities in the country in which the research was conducted will be contacted, and the manuscript will be rejected. The involved parties will be informed about this outcome.

Intellectual property

Upon submission, all manuscripts are checked for plagiarism. In addition, peer reviewers may suspect plagiarism when evaluating a given submission. If plagiarism is detected, the manuscript is unsubmitted, and the author is informed. The response will depend on the degree of plagiarism. We follow similar procedures as those outlined by COPE.

In the clear case of plagiarism, the corresponding author will be given the opportunity to provide an explanation. If the plagiarism resulted from inexperience (e.g., due to first-time authorship) or an error, the manuscript will be rejected or a revision will be requested. All involved parties will be informed about the decision. If the explanation is unsatisfactory, all authors will be informed, and the manuscript will be rejected. The affiliations of the authors and potential overseeing institutions may be informed.

In the case of suspected redundancy (i.e., severe self-plagiarism, double reporting), the corresponding author will be given the opportunity to provide an explanation. If the overlap is unwarranted, the manuscript will be rejected, and all involved parties will be informed about the decision. The affiliations of the authors and potential overseeing institutions may be informed. If the redundancy is justified but not documented appropriately, the authors will be asked to revise their manuscript, clarifying the differences from previous/similar work and citing existing work.

In minor, likely unintentional cases of plagiarism, the authors will be informed and asked to revise their manuscript accordingly.

In the case plagiarism is detected after publication, the article may be retracted, or a correction may be published.

Journal management

The journal advances.in/psychology is owned by the publisher Advances.in. The publisher’s business model is for profit but fair and sustainable as it pays editors and reviewers for their work.

Peer review processes

advances.in/psychology practices transparent double-blind peer review. Ideally, manuscripts are reviewed by one reviewer with expertise in the field of the submission and another reviewer with expertise in a different field. This evaluation ensures that successful submissions advance the state of the art and, at the same time, are relevant and accessible to a broader audience. We pay editors and reviewers for their work. You can read more about the advantages that it has here. For transparency, the anonymous reviews are published as a report alongside the accepted article. We rely on the evaluations by editorial board members and external reviewers. In some cases, we may ask authors for reviewer recommendations.

The editor makes the decision to publish a manuscript based on the reviewers’ evaluations.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

We follow the procedures and considerations for post-publication discussions and corrections outlined by COPE here. We invite readers to submit commentaries on accepted articles. The editor will determine whether the commentary is suitable for publication. All commentaries need to be peer-reviewed before publication. The authors of the original article may be invited as reviewers. Serious concerns regarding a published manuscript will be followed up and may result in the publication of a correction or retraction.