Journal Ethics

Authorship and contributorship

SPOOL understands authorship/contributorship as substantial participation in the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing of articles and the research/design content that the article disseminates. All those who significantly contributed to the research/design and the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing should be listed as authors/contributors. Individual members of larger research teams, cannot publish the research or the outcomes of this research under single/sole authorship, omitting research members who have contributed to the body of work. A PhD supervisor cannot claim co-authorship solely based on a supervision role.

Complaints and appeals

Complaints and appeals should be directed to SPOOL’s editor-in-chief, by email. The editor-in-chief will address each complaint/appeal case-by-case, making a concerted attempt to find suitable solutions. Complex cases will be referred to the advice of the editorial board. If needed further reference will be made to similar cases published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The final decision rests with the editor-in-chief. Written justifications, and reasoning that underpin the decision, will be released to authors in a timely manner.

Conflicts of interest/competing interests

SPOOL follows protocols to avert potential conflict of interests. Regardless of the blind review process, the protocols avoid assigning reviewers from the same institution to the reviews of research/design work of authors. This includes verifying the co-publishing relationships between reviewers and research/design authors.

Authors are required to disclose commercial, financial, political and any other relationships that had a bearing on the development of the research/design, including possible influences on the research/design conclusions, under the acknowledgements section of each submission.

The editor-in-chief may, at any time during, or after the editorial process, reject or remove the contributions based on the omission of such disclosures.

Data sharing and reproducibility

SPOOL encourages the publication of open data sets (including procedures/methodologies) when used to underpin research/design findings or draw conclusions.  However, SPOOL accepts that existing copyright or privacy issues may prevent further publication of open data sets or protocols.

Ethical oversight

SPOOL avoids publishing xenophobic, sexist, homophobic or intolerant content. The editor-in-chief may ask author(s) to demonstrate research compliance within ethical guidelines and codes of conduct - in line with institutional, academic or professional association(s). In parallel, the editor-in-chief reserves the right to compare ethical disputes with previous COPE case studies, in the mediation to seek viable solution to ethical concerns.

Intellectual property

SPOOL publishes original content. The use of published material, images and previously published research/design from others, or previously published research/design by authors themselves, are permitted under fair use guidelines and the citation of original sources.

Plagiarism under the SPOOL protocols, or the use of content without citation/acknowledgements of original sources, will not be permitted. This includes both the presentation of research outcomes (including its presentation in the original written form), as well as ideas produced by others claimed as intellectual property by authors themselves.

Authors retain ownership of their content under the SPOOL policies. SPOOL does not require a transfer of intellectual property as a precondition for publication. Authors are free to publish pre- and postprint versions of their contributions without restriction, upon completion of the blind peer-review process.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Readers can submit a 'letter to the editor' in response to a published contribution in SPOOL. Post-publication discussions may lead to corrections, revisions or even retractions. Such amendments are at the discretion of the editor-in-chief, based on evidence and set protocols.

Adjustment to articles after publication will use ‘versioning’; the publishing of corrections or retractions as updated versions of articles. Versioning allows for comparative readership between old and new versions, and further insight into the discussion or revision process.