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Publication Ethics

The University of Pennsylvania Press scholarly book and journal programs follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


Responsibilities of Authors and Contributors

Authors represent and warrant that their contributions are original and that they have taken reasonable care to ensure that all statements in their contribution purporting to be factual are true; that their contribution is not defamatory or obscene; and that it does not violate any right of privacy, civil or common law, or statutory copyright or other personal or property rights.

Authors must cite all appropriate sources.

If the author becomes aware of a factual inaccuracy or other significant error in their work, they must work with their acquisitions editor or with the journal’s editor to resolve the issue.

Generative artificial intelligence. The Press is currently developing a policy to address the use of generative artificial intelligence and large language models (LLMs) in scholarly works. If an author has used LLMs (e.g. ChatGPT) in their work, they should explicitly acknowledge in their submission materials how and where the tools were used and inform either

  • For books: the book’s acquisitions editor
  • For journals: the journal’s editor and the Press director of journals.

Additional responsibilities specific to journal authors and contributors can be found below.


Conflicts of Interest

Authors, reviewers, and volume editors must disclose any conflicts of interest to the book’s acquisitions editor or to the journal’s editor. Potential reviewers should disclose any potential conflict of interest to their Press contact.  For conflicts of interest in regard to peer review, we use as a guideline the AUPresses’ Best Practices for Peer Review (scholarly books) as well as COPE’s guidelines (scholarly journals).


Complaints and Appeals

Allegations of misconduct. The Press takes seriously any allegations of misconduct. Allegations of misconduct related to research, publication, and review should be brought to the attention of

  • For books: the Penn Press editor-in-chief or Wharton School Press publisher
  • For journals: the journal’s editor(s) and the Press director of journals

The complainant can expect a response within 30 days.

Complaints about a journal’s editor or editorial board should be brought to the attention of the Press director of journals. If an author wishes to appeal an editorial decision, they should contact the journal’s editorial board.

Complaints about the publisher should be directed to the Chair of the Faculty Editorial Board of the University of Pennsylvania Press. Complaints about the Wharton School Press publisher should be directed to the Chair of the Wharton School Press Faculty Editorial Board.


Ethical Oversight

Authors of Press publications must adhere to the appropriate ethical frameworks and protocols of their discipline and comply with applicable laws and policies that govern research conduct.


Peer Review Processes

The work of peer reviewers is critical to our mission to produce well-vetted scholarship and to the health of the larger research community. For our scholarly books, the University of Pennsylvania Press follows the AUPresses’ Best Practices for Peer Review of Scholarly Books. While peer review procedures may vary by journal, we refer peer reviewers to COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers for general best practices. With the exception of certain types of content (journalistic content, book reviews) and the Wharton School Press imprint, Press publications are subject to peer review that is objective and anonymous. Potential reviewers should decline to review work where they have a conflict of interest. 


Self-Archiving and Digital Repositories

Please see the Press’s Reusing Your Content page for our policies for scholarly books, journals, and the Wharton School Press imprint.


Additional Journal-Specific Information


Responsibilities of Authors and Contributors

Authors should not submit the same manuscript for consideration by more than one journal at the same time.

Data and reproducibility. Policies around data availability and reproducibility are included on the submission guideline pages of individual journals where this is relevant. Authors should be prepared to share datasets upon which their articles are based with the journal’s editors if asked.


Responsibilities of Editors

The editorial board of the journal shall appoint the journal’s editor(s) in accordance with the journal’s bylaws. The editor(s) and editorial board have responsibility for the development and application of the journal’s editorial policies as well as routine editorial functions such as overseeing peer review. The journal’s editor(s) have final authority over what will be published in the journal. Other responsibilities include

  • providing clear guidelines for submissions on their webpage
  • overseeing the work of guest editors and making the final decision about the inclusion of content of guest edited issues
  • Editors, editorial board members, and editorial office staff should use reasonable care to ensure that all statements in the journal purporting to be factual are true; that no material published in the journal will be defamatory, obscene, or violate any rights of privacy, civil or common law, or statutory copyright, or other personal or property right.


Journal Management

The Press journals program is overseen by the director of journals, who reports to the Press director. Editors are appointed by journal editorial boards. Editors are not partners, affiliates, agents, franchisees, or employees of the Press and have complete independence in regard to editorial direction and article selection.


Intellectual Oversight

The journal’s editor(s) and editorial board are responsible for the editorial direction of the journal and have complete authority over what is published in the journal.

Post-publication discussions and corrections. In the case where a notable error has been published or research malpractice has been found, the journal’s editor(s) will work with the Press journals director to determine how to resolve the issue. If an author later becomes aware of a factual inaccuracy or other significant error in their work, they should bring it to the attention of the journal’s editor. The Press publishes corrections and retractions as needed.