Ethical Procedures

Responsibilities of Author(s), Reviewer(s) and Editor(s)

Authors’ responsibility

Academic writing places great emphasis on the responsibilities of authors in ensuring the quality and integrity of their research. To this end, authors are expected to fulfill several obligations, including:

  • Certifying that the manuscript is original work and has not been previously published or considered for publication elsewhere.
  • Participating in the peer review process.
  • Providing retractions or corrections of mistakes.
  • Ensuring that all authors have significantly contributed to the research.
  • Affirming the authenticity of the data and identifying all sources used in the manuscript.
  • Disclosing any conflicts of interest to the editors.
  • Disclosing the source(s) of funding in the event that financial support has been obtained.
  • Notifying the editors of any errors discovered in the published paper.

Reviewers’ responsibility

In the peer review process, reviewers play a critical role in ensuring the quality and integrity of academic writing. To this end, reviewers are expected to fulfill several obligations, including:

  • Maintaining confidentiality of all information regarding papers and treating them as privileged information.
  • Conducting objective reviews without any personal criticism of the author.
  • Expressing their views clearly, with supporting arguments.
  • Identifying relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
  • Bringing to the editor-in-chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Editors’ responsibility

Editors are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the overall quality of academic publications. In fulfilling their duties, editors are expected to:

  • Exercise complete responsibility and authority in the acceptance or rejection of articles.
  • Consider the needs of both authors and readers in an attempt to improve the publication.
  • Guarantee the quality of papers and the integrity of the academic record.
  • Publish errata pages or make corrections when needed.
  • Ensure a clear picture of a research's funding sources.
  • Base their decisions solely on the paper's importance, originality, clarity, and relevance to the publication's scope.
  • Not reverse or overturn decisions of previous editors without sufficient reason.
  • Preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
  • Ensure that all research material conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines.
  • Only accept a paper when reasonably certain.
  • Take action if misconduct is suspected, whether the paper is published or unpublished, and make all reasonable attempts to obtain a resolution to the problem.
  • Not reject papers based on suspicions alone, but require proof of misconduct.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest between staff, authors, reviewers, and board members.

Conflicts of interest

At the time of submission, an author must declare any potential conflicts of interest (COI).

IJELCS follows COPE guidelines if Undisclosed COI in a submitted manuscript is discovered at a later stage.  A flowchart outlining the steps taken in such cases can be accessed at the link below.

A conflict of interest might be discovered after the publication of an article or case study. A flowchart outlining the steps taken in such cases can be accessed at the link below.

Peer review process

The IJELCS follows a double-blind review process to assess the quality and relevance of submitted manuscripts. This process aims to ensure the impartiality and objectivity of the review by keeping both the identity of the author and the reviewer confidential. Here is an outline of the double-blind review process:

  1. Submission: The author submits their manuscript to the journal for consideration.
  2. Initial Screening: The editorial office reviews the manuscript to ensure it meets the basic requirements of the journal. If the manuscript is not suitable, it may be rejected at this stage.
  3. Assigning Reviewers: The editor assigns two or more independent reviewers to evaluate the manuscript. Reviewers are chosen based on their expertise in the subject matter of the manuscript.
  4. Reviewing Process: The reviewers read the manuscript and provide constructive feedback and recommendations through the journal management system. Reviewers evaluate the manuscript based on factors such as originality, methodology, clarity, and significance.
  5. Decision: The editor considers the feedback from the reviewers and makes a decision regarding the manuscript. The possible decisions are acceptance, rejection, or revision.
  6. Revision: If the manuscript is accepted with minor revisions or major revisions, the author is given the opportunity to revise the manuscript and resubmit it for further review.
  7. Final Decision: Once the revised manuscript is received, the editor or/and reviewers evaluate it again. The editor makes the final decision about whether to accept or reject the manuscript.
  8. Notification: The author is notified of the decision. If the manuscript is accepted, it is scheduled for publication in the journal.

Appeals process

If an author believes that their article has been rejected unfairly, they may submit an appeal (rebuttal) letter to the editor. At this stage, the revised version of the article should not be resubmitted on JMS. Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of the rejection decision. Appeals will only be considered if all specific points of the reviewers’ and editors’ comments are addressed in the rebuttal letter, and decisions will only be reversed if the editors are convinced that the decision was a serious mistake, or if the reviewers made errors of fact or showed evidence of bias. Appeals against editorial fit or the journal not being the right journal for the article are unlikely to be considered. If it is thought that the appeal is warranted, the article, reviewers’ comments, and the author’s response will be reviewed internally by the editorial team. The editor will decide whether to invite a resubmission, send it to another external reviewer, or uphold the original decision. In all cases, the editor’s decision is final.


Complaints process

The International Journal of Experiential Learning & Case Studies (IJELCS) acknowledges and welcomes complaints, recognizing them as an opportunity to enhance the quality of its publications. The journal is committed to responding to complaints in a prompt and constructive manner, with the aim of addressing any concerns and improving the overall publishing process.

The IJELCS provides a clear definition of what constitutes a complaint. Specifically, a complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction communicated by the complainant. The Journal understands that a complaint is not simply a disagreement with a decision or publication, but rather a perception of failure in the process, such as an undue delay, unprofessional conduct, or a significant misjudgment. Moreover, the complaint must pertain to a matter within the editorial division's responsibility, such as content or process.

The process followed by journals in handling complaints typically involves the following steps:

  • Receipt of the complaint: Journals may receive complaints via email, phone, or mail. The complainant should clearly state the nature of the complaint, the specific paper or article involved, and the basis for the complaint.
  • Initial review: The journal's editor will conduct an initial review to determine whether the complaint falls within the journal's scope and is legitimate. If the complaint does not meet these criteria, it may be dismissed.
  • Investigation: If the complaint is legitimate, the editor will investigate the issue by contacting the authors and reviewers involved, reviewing the relevant documents, and seeking advice from experts if necessary.
  • Decision: Based on the findings of the investigation, the editor will decide and notify the complainant of the outcome. The decision may include retracting or correcting the paper, issuing an apology, or taking other appropriate actions.
  • Appeal: If the complainant is not satisfied with the editor's decision, they may have the option to appeal to a higher authority, such as the journal's editorial board or a professional organization.

IJELCS strives to handle complaints in a timely, transparent, and objective manner to uphold the integrity of the publication process and maintain the trust of its readership.

Identification of misconduct allegations

Allegations of scientific misconduct can arise from numerous sources.

  • Automated screening tools: Editorial offices may detect plagiarism, falsification, AI content generation or image manipulation through the use of automated tools and article databases.
  • Reviewers and editors: Allegations of scientific misconduct may arise from manuscript reviewers. Because peer reviewers are typically well-read experts in their field, they can recognise potential discrepancies in authorship, data and attribution in submitted manuscripts.
  • Third-party whistleblowers: Co-authors, disaffected colleagues from other institutions and even other journals in the field can trigger an alert for potential scientific misconduct.


Handling misconduct allegations

The International Journal of Experiential Learning & Case Studies (IJELCS) is committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct in research and publication. As part of this commitment, the Editor-in-Chief takes practical steps to identify and block the publication of papers where research misconduct has arisen. This includes:

  • recognizing the importance of following established guidelines and best practices in dealing with allegations of research misconduct.
  • conducting thorough investigations into any allegations of misconduct, providing a fair and impartial review process, and taking appropriate action when necessary.
  • using both technological tools and personal expertise to detect citation manipulation, plagiarism, data falsification/fabrication, and other forms of misconduct.
  • adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in handling such cases (
  • taking steps to educate authors, reviewers, and editors on ethical best practices in research and publication.
  • providing clear guidelines on citation and attribution, promoting transparency and open data sharing, and encouraging the reporting of any suspected cases of misconduct.

Publication Retraction Policy

Editors are likely to retract a publication if:

  • The findings evidently unreliable, either as a result of major error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (eg, of data) or falsification (eg, image manipulation)
  • It constitutes plagiarism
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication)
  • It contains material or data without authorisation for use
  • Copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy)
  • It reports unethical research
  • It has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process
  • The author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.

Authorship Criteria

The journal's authorship policy is as follows:

  • All individuals listed as authors must have directly and substantially contributed to the work, including but not limited to conception, design, analysis, and interpretation of data, in the case of a research report.
  • Honorary or guest authorship will not be accepted.
  • Acquisition of funding or provision of technical services alone does not justify authorship.
  • All individuals who have made substantial intellectual contributions to the work should be listed as authors. Those who have made other substantial contributions should be acknowledged.
  • In cases where research is conducted by highly specialized teams, individuals may have limited contributions and responsibilities specific to certain aspects of the work.
  • All authors are expected to participate in the writing process by reviewing drafts and approving the final version of the manuscript.
  • AI tools should not be listed as an author as they cannot take responsibility for submitted work, and their use should be fully transparent.

Addition or Removal of an Author

IJELCS follows COPE guidelines for addition or removal of an author from publication in the following situations.

  • Addition of author before publication: A flowchart outlining the process of addition of author before publication can be accessed at the link below.

  • Addition of author after publication: A flowchart outlining the process of addition of author after publication can be accessed at the link below.

  • Removal of author before publication: A flowchart outlining the process of removal of author before publication can be accessed at the link below.


  • Removal of author after publication: A flowchart outlining the process of removal of author after publication can be accessed at the link below.

  • Ghost, guest, or gift authorship in a submitted manuscript: A flowchart outlining the process of handling ghost, guest, or gift authorship in a submitted manuscript can be accessed at the link below.

Advertising Policy

The IJELCS does not publish advertisements. This journal also has not any direct marketing actions, counting the requesting of papers.


Copyrights for articles published in IJELCS are retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal.

Attribution (CC BY):Others can distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.