Ethical Oversight Policy

To ensure that the ethical standards of the journal are achieved, JSS editors provide ethical ethical oversight for the publication process.

Vulnerable Populations

Per the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and ethical business/marketing practices.

For studies involving human or animal subjects, JSS requires that information about appropriate institutional review board approval be included with the submission or described within the article.

For research involving human subjects, authors should explain how informed consent was obtained from all participants.  Informed consent should be obtained if there is any reasonable possibility that complete anonymity cannot be maintained. The privacy of human subjects should never be violated without prior informed consent. Identifying information should be excluded from the study data unless the information is essential for the study purposes and the subject (or their legal representative has given prior written informed consent. However, subject information should never be falsified or modified. When informed consent has been given by the subjects, it should be included in the article.

Publication Misconduct

JSS is committed to detecting and preventing publication misconduct through its peer review and editing process. Peer reviews are instructed to perform routine checks for the following:

  • Plagiarism (i.e. using the ideas or work of others): Through routine use various online tools by peer reviewers. Reviewers should check for proper and adequate citations
  • Fabrication (i.e. making up data): Reviewers and editors should be cautious of “impressive” research results, and be aware of potential conflicts of interest. Raw data should be reviewed for signs of fabrication.
  • Falsification (i.e. manipulating research or modifying data): See recommendations for fabrication above. Reviewers should also check for unusual research methods or analysis methods.
  • Citation Manipulation (see COPE guideline): Reviewers and editors will check for excessive self-citation, excessive citation of a single journal, and citations that do not support the research topic.
  • Peer review manipulation (see COPE statement): Peer reviewers are qualified per a screening process, and reviewer performance is monitored by JSS editors.
  • Authorship misconduct: JSS editors will implement the JSS Authorship and Contributorship Policy


Suspicion of violations of the ethical oversight policy should be made to the editor-in-chief via the Ethics Complaints and Appeals process.