Publication Ethics

The Ethical Guidelines of the Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs)

The Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) ethical policy is based on the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines. It complies with the International Committee of Journal Editorial Board codes of conduct.

For information on this matter in publishing and ethical guidelines, please visit


Publisher Responsibilities
  • The publisher should ensure that editorial decisions on manuscript submissions are final and are only made based on professional judgment and will not be affected by any commercial interests.
  • The publisher should monitor the ethics of the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Editorial Board Members, Reviewers, Authors, and Readers.
  • The publisher is always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, and retractions involving its publications as and when needed.


Editorial Responsibilities


  • The editorial team should have the full authority to reject/accept a manuscript.
  • The editorial team should maintain the confidentiality of submitted manuscripts under review or until publication.
  • The editorial team should preserve the anonymity of reviewers.
  • The editorial team should disclose and avoid any conflict of interest.
  • The editorial team should be willing to investigate plagiarism and fraudulent data issues and publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.
  • The editorial team must maintain the confidentiality of the content of the submitted articles until their publication.
  • The editor makes the final decision on whether or not to accept articles based on the opinions of the judges and editorial board members.
  • Due to the journal's review policy (Double-Blind), the anonymity of the judges and authors should be maintained.
  • The editorial team should not disclose the information and content of the articles to anyone other than the lead author, the reviewers, and, if necessary, other editorial staff.


Reviewers' Responsibilities  


  • Confidentiality of article information must be observed in all areas. The article review process is to be done anonymously.
  • Reviewers should judge articles at the appropriate time and assist the editorial team in deciding whether or not to accept the article.
  • The reviewers’ suggestions regarding the published articles should be submitted in the form of judging forms and in the comment section for the author and editor.
  • Reviewers should refrain from judging articles with conflict of interest and report any conflict of interest as soon as possible.
  • Reviewers' judgments about the quality and content of articles should be based on professional and objective opinions.


Authorship Criteria and Authors' Responsibilities


Authorship Criteria

 To ensure authorship for the submitted manuscripts, the contributors should meet the following three conditions:

  • The author has done the conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Either drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content has been done by the author.
  • The author has given the final approval of the version to be published. Each contributor should have participated sufficiently in the work to be allowed to take public responsibility for suitable portions of the content.
Authors' responsibilities
  • It is necessary to observe the basic principles of writing and research in writing articles, and articles should be written and arranged according to the journal's format.
  • Before submitting an article, all authors should read the authors' guide and the terms and conditions of submitting an article in this journal.
  • The corresponding author must confirm and submit the consent and knowledge of other co-authors of the article in this publication through the authors' commitment form.
  • All authors whose names are mentioned in the article and in the letter of commitment form must participate in writing and compiling the article.
  • Appreciation and organizational affiliation of authors should be mentioned in the article, and any conflicts of interest between authors or organizations should be mentioned.
  • For the sustainability and development of the specialized review process, qualified authors are invited to participate in the review process of other articles in this journal.
  • Authors should clearly report the sponsor of the research (if any).
  • Authors have a duty to notify the editor as soon as possible if they find a mistake or correction in their published article to correct or revoke the article.
  • All authors should be aware that articles submitted to this journal are reviewed by similarity check software to prevent scientific misconduct.
  • Authors should cite correctly and appropriately all the sources they have used, both directly and indirectly.
  • During the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, the corresponding author is typically responsible for communicating with the journal and ensuring that all of the journal's administrative requirements, such as authorship details, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and conflict of interest statements, are correctly completed. Throughout the submission and peer review process, the corresponding author should promptly respond to editorial queries and cooperate with any requests from the journal after publication.
Changes of Authorship

After an article has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs), no additional authors or changes to the first or corresponding authors are allowed. If an author wishes to be removed from the byline, he or she must submit a letter signed by the author and all other authors indicating their wish to be removed from the list of authors. Any change in the authors' order in the byline requires a letter signed by all authors indicating their agreement.


The Principles of Transparency

  • Study Design and Ethical Approval

Good research should be well-justified, well-planned, appropriately designed, and ethically approved. Conducting research to a lower standard may constitute misconduct. The authors are responsible for the whole scientific content and the accuracy of the bibliographic information.


  • Data Analysis

Data should be appropriately analyzed, but inappropriate analysis does not necessarily amount to misconduct. Fabrication and falsification of data do constitute misconduct.


  • Data Availability

A data availability statement should describe how readers can access the data supporting the study's conclusions and clearly outline the reasons why unavailable data cannot be released. The data used to support the study's findings should be available from the corresponding author upon request.


  • Human and Animal Studies

All manuscripts reporting the results of experimental investigations involving human subjects should include a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from each subject or subject's guardian. All animal or human studies should be used after the experimental protocol is approved by a local ethics committee.


  • Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest comprise those that may not be fully apparent and may influence the judgment of author, reviewers, and editors. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic or financial. "Financial" interests may include employment, research funding, stock or share ownership, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies and company support for staff.


  • Peer-Review
    • This journal uses double-blind peer review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. To facilitate this, authors need to ensure that their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not give away their identity.
    • Authors have the right to communicate to the editor if they do not wish their manuscript to be reviewed by a particular reviewer because of potential conflicts of interest.
    • No article is rejected unless negative comments are received from at least two reviewers.
    • This process, as well as any policies related to the journal's peer review procedures, is clearly described on the journal's website (Please see Peer Review Process).


  • Publishing schedule

Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) is published 2 issues per year. All the content from the beginning to the end will be available forever on journal exclusive website.


  • Privacy and Confidentiality
    • With the strictest consideration for the authors' confidentiality, all manuscripts must be reviewed.
    • While submitting manuscripts for review, authors entrust editors with the results of their creative and scientific labor, and their reputation and career may be on the line.
    • It may be a breach of the author's rights to disclose private information while the author's manuscript is being reviewed.
    • Editors must respect the reviewers' right to confidentially.
    • Confidentiality may need to be broken if there is a suspicion of fraud or dishonesty, but it must be upheld otherwise.
    • Editors are not permitted to reveal information regarding manuscripts (including their reception, content, status during the reviewing process, reviewer critique, or eventual outcome) to anybody but the authors and reviewers.
    • Before the article is published, reviewers and editorial staff must respect the authors' rights by abstaining from publicly criticizing or appropriating the authors' work.
    • Reviewers should only be permitted to share the manuscript with others if the editor gives them permission. They should not be permitted to make copies of the document for their personal files. 
    • Copies of manuscripts that have been rejected should not be kept by editors. 
    • Reviewer comments should not be published or otherwise made public without the author, editor, and reviewer's consent.


  • Ownership and management

Publisher and Owner: Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


  • Copyright and Licensing Statement

On the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge, this journal provides immediate access to its content.

All journal papers are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license allows users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as the original authors and source are cited properly. 

    • Copyright holder

The authors are the copyright holders in this journal and retain the copyright for their content without restrictions. 


  • Advertising

The policy of the journal is not to have advertising.


  • Corrections and retractions

To maintain the integrity of academic records, journals may have to publish corrections or retractions of papers published in journals. According to agreed academic community norms, published article corrections are made by publishing an Erratum or Retraction article without altering the original article in any other way than by adding a prominent connection to the Erratum / Retraction article. The original article remains in the public domain and should be commonly indexed to the subsequent Erratum or Retraction. We may have to delete the material from our website and archive sites in the event the material is considered to infringe those rights or is defamatory.

    • Corrections

Changes to published articles that affect the article's meaning and conclusion but do not invalidate the article in its entirety may be corrected, at the discretion of the editor(s), by publishing an Erratum indexed and linked to the original article. Changes in authorship of published articles are corrected through an Erratum.

    • Retractions

If the scientific information in an article is significantly compromised, on rare occasions, it may be appropriate to retract published articles. In these cases, journal must comply with the COPE guidelines. Retracted papers are indexed, and the original article is referred to.

Long-Term Archiving and Self-Archiving Policy

  • Long-Term Archiving Policy

Digital archiving is an essential component of the infrastructure for scholarly communications. We guarantee that the published work in RALs will remain accessible and preserved for an extended period of time. 

RALs is now formally archived at: 


  • Self-Archiving Policy

Authors may reuse the Abstract and Citation information (e.g., Title, Author name, Publication dates) of their article for non-commercial purposes anywhere at any time, including social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, and Twitter, providing that, where possible, a link is included back to the article on the journal website. Preferably, the link should be, or include, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which can be found in the Citation information about the article online. 
Self-archiving of the submitted version is not subject to an embargo period.


Possible Research Misconducts

  • Data Fabrication and Falsification

Data fabrication and falsification mean the researcher did not really carry out the study but made up data or results and recorded or reported the fabricated information. Data falsification means the researcher did the experiment but manipulated, changed, or omitted data or results from the research findings.


  • Duplicate Publication

Duplicate publication occurs when two or more papers, without full cross referencing, share essentially the same hypotheses, data, discussion points, and conclusions. 


  • Citation Manipulation

Excessive citations in a submitted manuscript that do not contribute to the scholarly content of the article and were included solely to increase citations to a given author's work or articles published in a particular journal are referred to as citation manipulation. This is a form of scientific misconduct since it misrepresents the importance of the specific work and publication in which it appears.


  • Simultaneous Submission:

Simultaneous submission occurs when a manuscript (or substantial sections from a manuscript) is submitted to a journal while another journal is already considering it.


  • Redundant Publications:

Redundant publications involve the inappropriate division of study outcomes into several articles, most often in response to the desire to enhance an academic vitae.


  • Improper Author Contribution or Attribution: 

All listed authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to the research in the manuscript and approved all its claims. Do not forget to list everyone who made a significant scientific contribution, including students and laboratory technicians.


  • Plagiarism
    • Plagiarism is intentionally using someone else’s ideas or other original material as if they are one's own. Copying even one sentence from someone else’s manuscript, or even one of your own that has previously been published, without proper citation is considered plagiarism. Journal editors and readers have a right to expect that submitted work is the author’s own contribution, that it has not been plagiarized (i.e., taken from other authors without permission, if permission is required) and that copyright has not been breached (for example, if figures or tables are reproduced). The editorial office runs a plagiarism check on every submission using iThenticate
    • If plagiarism is detected during peer review, the submission can be rejected. If plagiarism is detected after publication we reserve the right, as necessary, to issue a correction or retract the article. We reserve the right to notify the authors' institutions about the plagiarism found before or after publication.

Identification of and Dealing with Allegations of Research Misconduct

The editor-in-chief takes reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers containing research misconduct, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication.

  • The first action of the journal Editor is to inform the Editorial Office of Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) by supplying copies of the relevant material and a draft letter to the corresponding author asking for an explanation in a nonjudgmental manner.
  • If the author's explanation is unacceptable and it seems that serious unethical conduct has taken place, the matter is referred to the Publication Committee via the Editorial Office.  After deliberation, the Committee will decide whether the case is sufficiently serious to warrant a ban on future submissions. 
  • If the infraction is less severe, the Editor, upon the advice of the Publication Committee, sends the author a letter of reprimand and reminds the author of Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) publication policies; if the manuscript has been published, the Editor may request the author to publish an apology in the journal to correct the record.
  • Notification will be sent to the corresponding author, and any work by the author responsible for the violation or any work these persons coauthored that is under review by the Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) will be rejected immediately.
  • These authors are also prohibited from serving on the Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) editorial board or from serving as a reviewer for this journal.
  • Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) reserves the right to take more action.
  • In serious cases of fraud that result in the retraction of the article, a retraction notice will be published in the journal and linked to the article in the online version. The online version will also be marked "retracted" with the retraction date.

Procedure for Appeals and Complaints

We support legitimate editor judgment challenges; however, you must provide strong backing or new data/information to answer the editor's and reviewers' concerns. Editors seldom reverse their initial decisions and do not count on any appeals. Hence, if your paper is rejected, you are strongly advised to submit to another publication. Since editor’s decisions are based on the unbiased views of the reviewers, the Editorial Board's final decisions are often irrevocable and cannot be modified. But, if you disagree with the publication's decision and think you have a valid reason to appeal, follow these steps:

  • Describe your valid concerns and the reasons you disagree with the decision.
  • Any additional material or data that you would like to be considered throughout the review process should be provided to the journal's editors.
  • If you think the reviewers misjudged your manuscript, explain why and provide the necessary supporting evidence.
  • If you believe there was an interest conflict throughout the arbitration process, provide evidence.
  • The editors only take into account one appeal for each article. After receiving the appeal, the editors may speak with the referees and editors who read the piece.
  • Decisions made by the editors and editorial board on appeals are final, and they may involve rejecting the article, seeking more peer review, or requiring submission of a revised version of the manuscript.

COPE's Guidelines & Flowcharts  

Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics (RALs) is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in its reviewing and publishing process and issues. For more information on COPE's Guidelines & Flowcharts please see:


COPE's Code of Conduct and Best Practices for Editors

General Duties and Responsibilities of Journal Editors

Editors should be accountable for everything published in their journals.

This means the editors should

  • strive to meet the needs of readers and authors;
  • strive to constantly improve their journal;
  • have processes in place to assure the quality of the material they publish;
  • champion freedom of expression;
  • maintain the integrity of the academic record;
  • preclude business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards;
  • always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.


Best practice for editors would include, but not limited to:

  • actively seeking the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes
  • encouraging and being aware of research into peer review and publishing and reassessing their journal’s processes in the light of new findings
  • working to persuade their publisher to provide appropriate resources, guidance from experts (e.g., designers, lawyers)
  • supporting initiatives designed to reduce research and publication misconduct
  • supporting initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
  • assessing the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revising policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct
  • ensuring that any press releases issued by their journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context
  • ensuring that all published reports and reviews of research have been reviewed by suitably qualified reviewers, including statistical review
  • adopting processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting including technical editing and the use of appropriate guidelines and checklists.
  • considering developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles
  • adopting authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e., so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g., ghost and guest authors)
  • informing readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal's staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation.

For more information on Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors, please use the following links: