Research and Publication Ethics


These guidelines aim at regulating issues that could occur with publication of the Journal of Universal Language. The followings are formal regulations that apply to editors, authors, and reviewers to maintain the highest ethical standard relating to the publication of manuscripts in the Journal of Universal Language by the Language Research Institute, Sejong University.

Ethical Standards

A. Ethical Obligations of the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Staff

1. The Editor-in-Chief has complete responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for publication or to reject it. The Editor-in-Chief may delegate this responsibility to the editorial staff, who shall confer with reviewers for an evaluation to use in arriving at a decision.

2. The editors should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).

3. A close collaborator or colleague of the author(s) cannot be selected as a reviewer. More specifically, reviewers should not be at the same institute as any of the authors listed on the manuscript.

4. The editor acknowledges receipt of submitted manuscripts within a few days of receipt and ensures the efficient, fair, and timely review process of submitted manuscripts.

5. The editor shall ensure that submitted manuscripts are handled in a confidential manner, with no details being disclosed to anyone without the permission of the author, until a decision has been taken as to whether the manuscript is to be published.

6. The editor shall ensure the confidentiality of the names and other details of peer reviewers except in cases involving adjudication and appeal, during which reviewers’ names may be revealed if appropriate.

7. The editor shall respect the intellectual independence of the authors.

8. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript will not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author.

9. Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by the editor and submitted to the journal shall be delegated to a qualified person. The editor should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. If the editor chooses to participate in an ongoing scientific debate within his journal, the editor should arrange for a qualified person to take editorial responsibility.

10. If the editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a paper published in the journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate paper pointing out the error and, if possible, correct it.

11. The editor shall deal fairly with an author’s appeal against the rejection of a submitted manuscript.

B. Ethical Obligations of Authors

1. Authors must ensure they have written and produced entirely original work and ensure that where they have used the work and/or words of others, this has been properly attributed and accurately quoted.

2. Authors shall not engage in plagiarism—the appropriation of the ideas, research processes, results, or words of other people without giving appropriate credit. All sources shall be disclosed, and if a significant amount of other people’s material is to be used, permission must be sought by the author in accordance with copyright law. Authors should not engage in self-plagiarism. Material quoted verbatim from the author’s previously published work must be placed in quotation marks. It is unacceptable for an author to include significant verbatim or near-verbatim portions of his/her work, or to depict his/her previously published results or methodology as new, without acknowledging the source.

3. Authors shall not use privately obtained information (for example, information obtained through conversation), or information obtained through the performance of a confidential service (for example, reviewing a manuscript), without permission from the person from whom the information originated.

4. Authors shall strive to revise their manuscript in accordance with the feedback and suggestions provided by the reviewers and/or the editor during the review and journal editing process. If the authors disagree with a requested revision, they shall provide relevant evidence and justification for not making the requested change.

5. Authors must limit authorship to and include all those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the work, and ensure all contributors have approved the final version of the manuscript and its submission to the Journal.

6. Authors have rights concerning their own research and work, and the works are recognized as their own achievements. Upon submission of an article by the Journal, the authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the publisher. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints, photographic reproductions, microfilm, or any other reproduction of similar nature, and translations.

C. Ethical Obligations of Reviewers

1. Reviewers shall contribute to the decision-making process, and assist in improving the quality of papers by following the review policies, completing the review within the designated time frame, and submitting the review results to the editor.

2. Reviewers shall respect the intellectual independence of the authors.

3. Reviewers shall conduct the review objectively and avoid personal criticism of the author.

4. Reviewers shall treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It shall neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought; in that event, the identities of those consulted should be disclosed to the editor. Reviewers shall not use unpublished information contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author.

5. Reviewers shall alert the editor of any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to that under review.

6. A chosen reviewer who feels inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in a manuscript must return it promptly to the editor.

7. Reviewers shall not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.

8. Reviewers shall explain and support their judgments adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Unsupported assertions by reviewers are of little value and should be avoided.

9. Reviewers shall review manuscripts with reasonable speed and efficiency. Reviewers should respond promptly, usually within 14 days of receipt of a manuscript. If reviewers need more time, they can contact the editor promptly so that authors can be kept informed and, if necessary, assign alternate reviewers.

D. Procedures for Dealing with Unethical Behavior

1. Should any author be found to be in breach of the ethical obligations, the journal reserves the right to reject/retract or withdraw the paper, decline further submissions from the offending authors for a period of three to five years and inform all interested parties including relevant journal editors and authors and the author’s department head. Should any reviewers be found to be in breach of the ethical obligations, the journal reserves the right to permanently remove the offending reviewers from the database.

2. Misconduct and unethical behaviour shall be identified and brought to the attention of the editor or publisher at any time, by anyone.

3. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct shall provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.

4. The authors or reviewers shall fully and faithfully cooperate in investigations into possible breaches of the ethics standards.

5. In the instance of a violation of ethics standards, the journal shall conduct an ethics committee meeting. The ethics committee consists of five board members, and the Editor-in-Chief serves as the ethics committee chair. The ethics committee members are appointed by the executive officers of the Language Research Institute. The term of office is three years and committee members can be reappointed for the next term. Decisions will be made upon a majority vote of the enrolled committee members.

6. Upon determination, disciplinary action will be immediately taken against those found to be violating in their obligations, as per the above guidelines, by the executive officers of the Language Research Institute. Disciplinary action will take the following course (in increasing order of severity; may be applied separately or in conjunction):

  • (1) Verbal or documented warning.
  • (2) Prohibition of submission of papers for an agreed upon duration.
  • (3) Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
  • (4) Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer’s department or institution, Abstracting & Indexing services and the readership of the publication.
  • (5) Disqualification of position as Editorial Board member or editor

7. General issues which are not specified here follow standard customs.