Publication Ethics

The publication principles of IQAS are based on the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Compliance with the responsibilities declared in the IQAS Publication Ethics is mandatory.

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General duties and responsibilities of the editors

IQAS editors are accountable for everything published in the International Quarterly for Asian Studies, although the material appearing in the journal does not represent the views of the editors. The editors strive to meet the needs of the IQAS readers and authors. They facilitate and promote transparent communication among all actors during the publication process, strive to continuously improve the journal, constantly evaluate the processes in place to ensure the quality of the published material, and ensure that submissions are processed in an efficient and timely manner. They champion freedom of research, maintain the integrity of the academic record, prevent business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards, and publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.            

Relations with readers

Our readers are informed about the profile of IQAS and its background as well as funding on the → journal website. Moreover, with reference to individual contributions information is provided on the organisations/individuals who provided funding for the research or other scholarly work and on any potential involvement in the research and its publication.

Relations with authors

IQAS editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication are based on the paper’s scientific quality, its importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the focus of the journal without regard to race, gender/sex, religion, national or social origin, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author. The sole responsibility for accepting or rejecting a submission is assumed by the editors. Decisions to accept submissions are not rescinded unless serious problems are identified with the submission in the course of preparations for publication or afterwards.

New editors are not entitled to overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editors unless serious problems are identified. A detailed description of the → peer review process is available on the IQAS website, and the editors ensure that any significant deviations from the described process are discussed within the editorial team and are only accepted when profoundly justified. Moreover, the use of the Open Journal System (OJS) for the management of the submitted articles ensures strict adherence to the individual steps of the standardised peer review process. Authors can appeal against editorial decisions, at which point the editors will contact the author to explain and discuss their decision in detail with the author as well as within the editorial team. → Guidance to authors on everything that is expected of them is provided on the IQAS website. This information is regularly updated and refers to the IQAS publication ethics. Editors further provide guidance about criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor following the standards within the relevant field.

Relations with reviewers

The IQAS editors provide → guidelines to the reviewers on the IQAS website. Reviewers are instructed to handle submitted manuscripts in confidence, and to neither copy, distribute nor cite the material. The guidelines for reviewers are regularly updated and are based on the IQAS publication ethics. The editors ensure that the reviewers disclose any potential conflicts of interest before agreeing to review a submission. The peer reviewers’ identities are protected and not disclosed to others outside the editorial team. The review comments and suggestions are checked for possible breaches of anonymity before being sent to the authors of the reviewed manuscripts. A respectful and professional tone is required by the IQAS editors from the reviewers. In the event of personally insulting expressions within the review the reviewers are rejected or asked to reformulate their criticism with neutral and respectful language.

Editorial and peer review process

The IQAS team strives to ensure that the peer review and the decision on acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript are fair, unbiased, timely and transparently communicated to the submitting authors. All research articles and review articles undergo a double-blind peer review process. Guidelines for the → peer review process and a description of the individual phases of the review process are provided on the IQAS website. The material submitted to IQAS remains confidential while under review, and the anonymity of both reviewers and authors is preserved at all times. If doubts about anonymity arise on either side, the manuscript is withdrawn from the reviewer and the peer review process is started anew. As an interdisciplinary journal, IQAS aims at an inclusive approach in terms of diverse academic fields and scholarly traditions as well as at identifying reviewers who can take this into account. The IQAS team takes all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of the material published through a standardised peer review process for research and review articles, an additional internal review and discussion of all texts within the editorial team, and professional copy-editing, proofreading and typesetting.

Protecting individual data

The responsible body in terms of data protection laws, in particular the EU Data Protection Ordinance (DSGVO), is the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, Freiburg. Personal data is only collected for the purposes stated in our → privacy policy. IQAS guarantees that regardless of local statutes, the confidentiality of individual information obtained in the course of research is always protected. Unless all names are fully anonymised, written informed consent for publication from interviewed subjects who might recognise themselves or be identified by others (e.g. from case reports) is required from the authors. In the case of research in conflict-sensitive regions and/or thematic issues full anonymisation of the interviews is required and all possible steps are undertaken to ensure the security both of the interviewees and of the researcher. The personal security of our authors and their research partners is of high priority to IQAS and is taken very seriously by the editorial team.

Dealing with possible misconduct

Suspected infringements of the IQAS publication ethics or allegations of misconduct are taken seriously by the IQAS editors. This extends to both published and unpublished papers. Papers that raise concerns about possible misconduct will be investigated. Editors immediately notify the editorial board and provide information on how the code of ethical behaviour has been breached. The editorial board first seeks a response from those suspected of misconduct. In minor cases the suspect is given a fair opportunity to correct the inappropriate action and is issued a warning to better comply with the ethical standards. If the editors are not satisfied with the response or in the event of a repeated or more severe breach of the guidelines, the relevant employer, institution or similar appropriate institutional body is asked to investigate. IQAS editors will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted and evidence is critically evaluated under the observance of the editorial board. If this does not happen, the editors will make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem. The entire process is documented by the editors.

Intellectual property

IQAS editors are alert to intellectual property issues and work with the publisher, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions. 

Encouraging debate

IQAS is dedicated to scientific exchange on Asian Studies across the globe and actively invites critical views of knowledge production, generation and dissemination on Asia. Given the journal’s focus on research work that communicates across disciplinary and regional boundaries, IQAS encourages cogent criticisms of pieces published in the journal. Authors of criticised material are given the opportunity to respond with due space in the journal. Studies reporting negative results are not excluded.

Commercial considerations

IQAS is published both as a free open access e-journal and as a paid print version for subscribers. The publisher, the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, is responsible for commercial considerations. New commercial decisions are discussed with the IQAS editorial board in due time in advance, and the publisher guarantees that commercial considerations will not affect editorial decisions. IQAS does not accept advertising in either the online or print version or on the journal website. Furthermore, sponsored supplements are not allowed by IQAS and no reprints are published unless an important correction of an issue is needed. In this case the reprint will be clearly marked as such.

Own conflicts of interest

IQAS editors are not allowed to publish their own peer-reviewed articles in the IQAS, though texts for other sections are possible. In the event that a new editor is selected to join the editorial board while having a submission still under review, the submission of the new editor can be accepted for publication if the peer review, acceptance for publication and revision of the manuscript are clearly finalised before the new editor is invited and joins the editorial board. After joining the board the new editor is no longer allowed to submit an own manuscript for peer review in the IQAS. IQAS investigates any complaints that arise from the publishing process. All parties involved are given a fair opportunity to respond to any allegations and to justify their actions and position.

Correction / retraction

In the event of errors, corrections are published as a new e-version of the article. This refers not to minor mistakes (such as typos, extra spaces, etc.) that do not affect the content of the article, but to mistakes of content. The original version of the article will still remain traceable on the IQAS website and its DOI (Digital Object Identifier) activated. The new, corrected version will be clearly announced as such and provided with its own DOI in order to ensure the accurate past and future citation of both versions and a transparent accountability of the process of correction. In the event that major corrections are required, the print version will be reprinted and clearly marked as such. Editors may also consider the retraction of articles if such action is deemed necessary and proper. Reasons for correction or retraction may include citation errors, issues regarding the correct and complete designation of authorship, and instance when the substance of the publication is deemed erroneous or libellous.



Originality and plagiarism

With the submission of the manuscript the authors ensure that they have written entirely original works and own the rights to the work. If the work and/or words of others are used they have been appropriately cited or quoted, whether that work is published or unpublished, or available in an open access form. The author further ensures that the submission has not previously been published, nor is it being considered for publication elsewhere. Any data that has been included in another work by the author must be clearly identified as such at the submission stage. Translated material must be clearly identified and marked as such, including the name of the translator. The original language should be noted, and in the event that an imprecise or unique concept is difficult to translate, the original wording should accompany the translated version.


All authors who have made a significant contribution to the research and preparation of the written work must be named. Where there are others who have participated in certain substantive aspects of the research project, they should be acknowledged at the beginning of the article or listed as contributors. The ordering of the names of the authors should be agreed upon prior to the submission of the work. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors have agreed to the submission of the manuscript, are included in the publication process, and have seen and approved the final version of the paper before publication.

Reporting standards

Authors reporting results of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to trace the major elements of the work. Presenting fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements, falsifying data or results, or manipulating images in order to falsify results are unacceptable. The examination of other academic work should be conducted in a fair and factual manner and neither openly voice nor imply personal criticism.

Conflicts of interest

Authors are required to disclose any support for research, financial or non-financial, at the submission stage. Also any possible conflicts of interest, financial or other, that might be construed as potentially influencing the results or their interpretation in the manuscript must be disclosed.

Fundamental errors

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in her/his submitted manuscript, s/he must immediately notify the IQAS editors and cooperate in correcting the paper or preparing a retraction, either when it is published or still under review. Should the editors become aware of a serious case of violation of the author’s responsibilities and the journal’s standards during or after publication the author will be asked for a statement, the article will be retracted, any wronged party informed, and the author banned from further publication in IQAS. Authorities will be informed and legal steps will be considered in the event of serious fraud.

Peer review process

The articles and review articles submitted will be subjected to a double-blind peer review process. The author is asked to fully cooperate with the editors during this process.



Reviewers should evaluate submissions objectively and efficiently. If a conflict of interest is apparent or becomes apparent during the review process with regard to the topic of research, the author(s), and/or other parties involved, the reviewer is obliged to withdraw from the assignment immediately. Reviewers justify their evaluation of the submission transparently. Reviewers assess the scientific quality of the article in general; the pertinence, originality and coherence of its content; the clarity of its arguments and structure; sufficient and explicit methodology and theoretical framing; its adequacy and present relevance; the selection of references; and clear written expression with regard to language. They make sure that the citation in the work is sufficient and otherwise point out any instances of incorrect citations/plagiarism. In the evaluation the reviewers avoid personal criticism. Instead, they work with constructive critique centred on the manuscript. Moreover, reviewers uphold the commitment to confidentiality. They do not copy, cite or distribute the unpublished manuscript.



The International Quarterly for Asian Studies is published by the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute; the website is hosted by the University Library of Heidelberg. The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute guarantees the continuity of the publication of IQAS and provides the financial and technical infrastructure for its continued maintenance. The publisher ensures that the standards of the Publication Ethics of IQAS and the integrity of academic record are met at all times by all parties involved. The publisher further declares that the standards and the integrity of the journal are not affected by commercial considerations. Freedom of expression is promoted throughout the publication process. The publisher strives to continuously enhance models of good practice in cooperation with all parties involved.


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