Ethics Statement

Duties and Responsibilities of the Editors

The editors constantly strive to improve the quality and integrity of the journal and to meet the needs of authors and readers. The editors accept their obligation to apply best practice to meet the following responsibilities:

Publication Decisions

The editors are responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal should be published. The validation of the work in question and its importance to researchers and readers always drive such decisions. The editors observe all applicable legal requirements in such matters as copyright infringement and plagiarism.

Manuscript review process

A manuscript submitted to the journal for publication is first reviewed by the editors. They have several options:

  • Reject either because it is not concerned with reading in a second or foreign language or because it is manifestly of so low a quality that it cannot be considered at all.
  • Return to the author(s) for revisions and subsequent resubmission. Revisions might involve revising the research questions, revising specific parts of the manuscript that are unclear or misleading.
  • Accept for external review. A manuscript accepted for external review is emailed to two appropriate reviewers.

Evaluation by reviewers:

The external reviewers are asked to decide if the manuscript is 1) acceptable; 2) acceptable with revisions; 3) a rejection but encourage resubmission, or; 4) a rejection. The reviewers’ evaluations must include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript.

Final evaluation by the editors:

After reading the reports by the external reviewers, the editors confer and make a decision:

  • Reject
  • Reject but encourage revision and resubmission
  • Revise and resubmit
  • Accept with minor revisions
  • Accept

The reviewers’ comments are always sent to the author(s) with the editors’ decision.

Manuscripts submitted for the feature, New Directions in Reading Research, are not sent out for external review. Intending authors need to contact the editors in advance. Unsolicited contributions are not be considered.

The editors are ready to justify any important deviation from the described process. The editors do not reverse decisions on publication unless serious problems are identified.

The editors provide guidance as required to authors and reviewers on everything that is expected of them.

Fair play

The editors evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or the political philosophy of the authors. The editors’ decision to accept or reject a manuscript for publication is based exclusively on the manuscript’s importance, originality and clarity, and its relevance to meet the journal’s focus, reading in a second or foreign language.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in either editor's own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through external review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. The editors recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. The editors require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication.

Procedures for dealing with unethical behavior 

Unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editors at any time, by anyone. Whoever informs the editors of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations will be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.

The editors take reasonable responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published article. Such measures generally include contacting the author of the manuscript or article and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, depending on the seriousness of the alleged misconduct.

Minor misconduct might be dealt without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the authors are given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.

Serious misconduct might require application of one or more following measures:

  • Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards.
  • Publication of a formal notice detailing the misconduct.
  • A formal letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.
  • Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing the head of the author or reviewer's department
  • Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.

Reporting standards

Authors of manuscripts should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the manuscript. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review and professional publication manuscripts should also be accurate.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a manuscript for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.

Originality and plagiarism

The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, should ensure that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism in any form constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication

An author should not in general submit a manuscript describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a previously published paper.

Copyright is retained by authors, meaning they can decide about eventual republication of their text. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Acknowledgement of sources

Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work.

Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

Authorship of the paper

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged or listed as contributors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the manuscript, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, honoraria, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible. Readers should be informed about who has funded research and on the role of the funders in the research.

Fundamental errors in published works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the authors' obligation to promptly notify the journal editors and cooperate with the editors to retract or correct the paper. If the editors learn from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the author(s) to promptly retract or correct the manuscript or provide evidence to the editors of the correctness of the original manuscript.

Duties and Responsibilities of External Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists the editors in making editorial decisions, and editorial communications with the author(s) may also assist the author(s) in improving the manuscript. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication.

Any selected reviewers who feel unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or know that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editors and excuse themselves from the review process.

All manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editors.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author(s) is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Acknowledgement of sources

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the author(s). Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editors’ attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict of interest

Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer´s own research without the written consent of the author(s). Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Reading in a Foreign Language is published by the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

We would like to invite you to check out RFL’s sister journal, Language Learning & Technology, which seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second language educators in the US and around the world on issues related to technology and language education. LLT articles are published throughout the year as they become ready. In addition, Special Issues are published 1 to 2 times a year. LLT is available free of charge to all readers and subscribers. Both RFL and LLT are published by the NFLRC.