Code of Ethics
Central European Journal of Comparative Law – hereinafter referred to as the Journal – fully applies the Core Practices of COPE and makes an unquestionable effort to comply with all the standards adopted by COPE. The Journal’s functioning is based on morality and cooperation serving the development of academic research of law.
Publications in the Journal are chosen on the basis of a double-blind review process. Each party contributing to the publishing – author(s), translator(s), editor(s), peer-reviewers and the Publisher – shall accept the standards relevant for the expected moral behaviour.
The organisational structure of the Journal
The Journal has an Editor-in-chief, whose activity is supported by an Editorial Team. The Editorial Team currently consists of 5 editors. The editors’ tasks are detailed below in connection with the process of peer-review. Besides the Editorial Team, there is an Editorial Board with 8 board members. The members of Editorial Board are requested by the Editor-in-chief for a period of 3 years. The Editorial Board has supportive functions, such as
- recommending our Journal to authors for the interest of publication,
- recommending different authors to the Journal’s editors for the interest of requesting them to publish in the Journal,
- propagating our Journal in academic events,
- reading the manuscripts submitted or the articles published and making suggestions in connection with them.
The process of peer-review
The Journal strictly applies the rules of double-blind review process determined in the Code of Ethics. The most important principle of the process is anonymity. The process consists of three main stages:
- General editorial review.
- Double-blind peer review with the help of experts.
- Final decision on publishing by the editor-in-chief.
During general editorial review one of the editors examines the submitted manuscript based on general requirements. These requirements are academic suitability, morality and uniqueness.
If the editor decides so, the manuscript is sent on to the peer-reviewers. Neither the peer-reviewers, nor the authors shall know each other, thus the personal and institutional independence is ensured. The editor sends the generally-reviewed manuscripts to two experts of the given branch/field of law with academic degree in order to give their professional opinions on the manuscript. The editor mediate all interactions between the author(s) and the peer-reviewers.
During the process of reviewing, the editor communicates with the author(s) via e-mail. The author is informed about the result of the process of peer-reviewing by the editor who performed the general editorial review. Correspondence in connection with peer-reviewing and the peer-reviewers’ reviews are archived by the editor-in-chief. Peer-reviews are not published.
The editor shall answer the following questions of the general editorial review:
- Does the manuscript ensure anonymity? Yes/No
- Does the study meet the detailed formal requirements of the Journal? Yes/No
- Did the author attach the declaration of that he/she hadn’t recommended his/her study for publication to other journals and that his/her study hasn’t been published yet? Yes/No
- Did the PhD Student attach the reference of his/her scientific supervisor? Yes/No
- Does the manuscript comply with the abovementioned general requirements of academic suitability, morality and uniqueness? Yes/No
The peer-reviewers (experts) shall answer the following questions within the framework of double-blind review process:
- Is the study of high quality? Yes/No
- Is the relevant national and international sources of law and case law adequately processed in relation to the subject of the study? Yes/No (The peer-reviewers have the right to suggest further sources of law and case law for the author to process.):
- Is the relevant national and international scientific literature adequately processed in relation to the subject of the study? Yes/No (The peer-reviewers have the right to suggest further scientific literature for the author to process.):
- Does the study evaluate the analyzed sources of law and case law, and does it contain de lege ferenda proposals? (Does the study contain own scientific results?) Yes/No
- Is the study’s reference system relevant and correct? Yes/No
- Does the peer-reviewer recommend the study for publication in the Journal? Yes/No/With changes (for example: with the above-mentioned additions in connection with sources of law, case law or scientific literature)
Note: The Editorial Board draws the attention that it cannot pay remuneration for peer-review, but on request it can issue a certificate about peer-reviewing.
The help of a linguistic proofreader may be asked for by the author or the editor, if the author’s native language is not English. A linguistic proofreader shall answer the following question:
- Is the study correct concerning the translation? Yes/No
The linguistic proofreader, if it is necessary, corrects some paragraphs of the study. Hence the linguistic proofreader does not correct large parts of the study. If the linguistic proofreader does not contribute to the publication of the manuscript even for the third time, it means the final rejection of the study.
After receiving the professional opinions of peer-reviewers, the editor decides on the question of publishing the manuscript in the Journal. The editor has a discretionary competence regarding the decision only in the case of one supporting and one rejecting opinion. Two supporting opinions mean the publishing of the manuscript, but the editor shall decide upon that in which number of the Journal the manuscript will be published. Two rejecting opinions mean that the manuscript will not be published in the Journal. In case of that one or both of the opinions recommend(s) the manuscript for publication with changes, the editor sets a fair time limit for making the necessary changes. If the author has considered the changes, the modified manuscript is sent to the same peer-reviewers for giving their professional opinions again.
The editor-in-chief holds a veto right for the decision made by the editor.
The Journal exclusively publishes manuscripts that
- are written in English,
- have not been submitted to other journals for the interest of publication and
- have not been published in other journals.
Earlier publication in any other language than English is not an obstacle.
Note: It is permitted for the author to upload her/his manuscript before or simultaneously with the submission to the Journal as a preprint to a website that contains discussion papers in order to increase the quality of the research. It is not considered as an obstacle of publishing the ultimate version of the research in the Journal.
Obligations of peer-reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer-reviewers help the Editorial Board in decision-making if it is required, anonymously supports the author in raising the scientific level of the scholarly work during the process of collegial revision (double-blind review).
Efficiency: In case of that the selected peer-reviewer thinks that
- she/he cannot give a scientificly and professionally well-founded opinion because she/he does not feel qualified, or
- she/he cannot evaluate the research presented in the manuscript for other reasons or
- she/he knows that he is not able to prepare her/his opinion effectively and in time,
she/he is obliged to notify the editor and waive his participation in the process of peer-reviewing.
Confidentiality: All manuscripts received for evaluation should be considered as confidential information. Peer-reviewers shall refrain from using information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others. They shall not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript without first obtaining permission from the Journal.
Objectivity: The evaluation shall be carried out objectively. The personal criticism of the author is not appropriate. The peer-reviewers shall make their views straightforward and arguing.
Reference to sources: Peer-reviewers shall know the relevant published works not cited by the author(s). Any statement that contains an observation, thought or argument from a work earlier published has to be accompanied by the appropriate reference. Furthermore, the peer-reviewer should draw the editor's attention to any substantive similarity or overlapping between the manuscript examined and other material previously published and known by him. Peer-reviewers should refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to their work merely to increase citation counts or to enhance the visibility of their work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons.
Disclosure and conflict of interest: The privileged information or ideas obtained during the evaluation shall be handled confidentially and shall not be used for personal promotion.
Suspected misconduct: In case of that the peer-reviewer has concerns that misconduct occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript, or the peer-reviewer notices substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article, she/he shall contact the editor directly. The peer-reviewer shall not attempt to investigate on her/his own.
Decisions on publishing
The editor decides which submitted manuscripts are published in the Journal. Decisions can be guided by the guidelines set by the Editorial Board of the Journal and shall be limited by the current legislation on libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may ask for help from other editors or peer-reviewers to make her/his decision. The editor of the Journal is allowed to run a computer programme for filtering out plagiarism.
The editor-in-chief holds a veto right for the decision made by the editor.
The editor always evaluates the intellectual content of manuscripts regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, nationality or political views of the authors. The decision of any editor shall be based on professional and scientific aspects.
The editor, the Editorial Board and the peer-reviewers handle submitted manuscripts as confidential information. They do not provide any information in connection with the manuscript to unauthorised persons. Exceptions to this rule are the main author, the peer-reviewers, other editorial consultants and the Publisher.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
The editor is not allowed to use the unpublished material of the submitted manuscript for his own research without the author's prior written consent.
Obligations of authors
Guidelines for disclosure: Authors presenting original research should provide an accurate report of the work performed. The drawing of interpretations and conclusions can only be based on facts or unbiased and logical evidence. The background data of the study should be accurately presented. The study should provide sufficient detail and reference so that the processes described can be repeated by others. False or knowingly inaccurate claims are considered unethical and unacceptable behavior.
Revoking: If authors wish to revoke or correct any part of the study, they should contact one of the editors who will launch the general peer-reviewing process for the revised parts. The Publisher and the editors support correcting, clarifying, retracting or explaining the content of the study in all cases.
Fees and remuneration: The submission of the manuscript and any amendments or supplements thereto shall be free of charge. The author is not remunerated for the publication.
Originality and plagiarism: Authors shall guarantee that the study is their own original intellectual work and if they used others’ works and/or expressions, those are cited appropriately and professionally referred to them. The Publisher and the editors will take the necessary steps if a manuscript is suspected of plagiarism. Under no circumstances may the publisher and the editors be identified with any forms of plagiarism conducts and they do not permit any forms of them. If a statement for plagiarism is sent to the Publisher or the editors in connection with any of the studies, the editors scrutinise the circumstances and take the necessary steps. In the case of suspected plagiarism the editor queries the corresponding author and in parallel, she/he contacts the submitting author. If the submitting author does not respond in a time frame determined by the editor, she/he contacts the institution of the author and asks them to investigate. Until the arising questions are clarified, the Journal does not proceed moving the manuscript forward.
Multiple, redundant or simultaneous publishing: It is not a good practice to have the manuscript of the same research be published in various independent publications or journals. The submission of the same manuscript to different journals is deemed unethical behaviour and unacceptable.
Reference to sources: The cited works must be properly referred to in all cases. Authors shall refer to all publications that have influenced their work. (For detailed information, see ‘Rules of publication’.)
Contributors to the research: Any person who has contributed substantially to the concept, design, implementation or interpretation of the presented study shall be included as an author. Those should be indicated as co-authors who have contributed significantly to the study. However, those should be mentioned as contributors who have been involved in certain important stages of the research project. Furthermore, the main author shall ensure that
- all major co-authors are mentioned in the study, and
- she/he has not nominated persons as co-authors who are not entitled to it, and
- all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the study and agreed to publish it.
Disclosure and conflict of interest: Each author is obliged to disclose the financial or other material conflicts of interest in his manuscript which may influence its results or interpretation. All funding sources of the project should be made public.
Editors shall consider retracting a publication, if
- they have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (e.g. of data) or falsification (e.g. 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 (i.e. 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 (e.g. 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.
In case of self-plagiarism (text recycling) of a published article, the editor may consider the following steps.
The editor may consider publishing a correction to the article when the following apply:
- Sections of the text are identical or near identical to a previous publication by the same author(s), but
- there is still sufficient new material in the article to justify its publication.
Editors may consider publishing a retraction of an article in the following cases:
- There is significant overlap in the text, generally excluding methods, with sections that are identical or near identical to a previous publication by the same author(s).
- The recycled text reports previously published data and there is insufficient new material in the article to justify its publication in light of the previous publication(s), i.e. redundant publication.
- The overlap breaches copyright. In this case legal advice may be needed.