IIUM Law Journal Code of Publication Ethics

These guidelines are consistent with the COPE Principles of Transparency, Best Practice Guidelines, and the COPE Code of Conduct (

We encourage the best standards of publication ethics and take all possible principles of transparency and measures against publication malpractices. The IIUM Law Journal plays its role of guardianship over all processes of publishing seriously, and we perform our ethical and other tasks.


Authors’ Responsibilities

Originality and Plagiarism: Authors must ensure their work is original, properly cited, and free from plagiarism. Any form of plagiarism is unacceptable.

Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

Data Access and Retention: Authors should provide access to data supporting their findings, ensuring transparency and reproducibility.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication: An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal of primary publication. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical behaviour and is unacceptable. In general, an author should not submit for consideration in another journal a paper that has been published previously.

Acknowledgment of Sources: Authors must acknowledge all sources of data used in the research and cite publications influencing their work.

Authorship of the Paper:

  • Criteria for Authorship: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, implementation, or interpretation of the reported research findings.
  • Listing of Co-authors: All co-authors who have made a significant contribution to the research should be listed.
  • Acknowledgment of Contributions: If others have contributed significantly to certain aspects of the research, they should be acknowledged or identified as contributors.

Disclosure of Conflict of Interest: Authors must disclose any conflicts of interest that could influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript.

Copyright and Permission: Authors should obtain permission for use of copyrighted material from other sources and include evidence of consent.

Use of AI and Machine Learning: Where authors use generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, these technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work. Authors using AI or machine learning tools must disclose these tools and methods, and ensure reproducibility of results.

Disclosure of Funding Sources: Authors must transparently disclose all sources of funding for their research.


Reviewers’ Responsibilities

Contribution to Editorial Decisions: Reviewers assist in improving the quality of the published paper and help the editor in decision-making.

If a selected reviewer feels that he or she does not have the necessary qualifications to evaluate the research of a manuscript or will not be able to complete the review in a timely manner, he or she should inform the editor and withdraw from the review process.

Confidentiality: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

The use of generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the journal peer review process: Reviewers should not upload a submitted manuscript or any part of it into a generative AI tool as this may violate the authors’ confidentiality and proprietary rights and, where the paper contains personally identifiable information, may breach data privacy rights.

Objectivity and Promptness: Reviews should be conducted objectively, and reviewers should complete their reviews in a timely manner. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.

Responding to Review Invitations: Reviewers should respond to invitations to peer review within a reasonable time frame, even if they are unable to undertake the review. If agreeing to review, they should only do so if they are confident of returning the review within the proposed or mutually agreed time frame. Reviewers should inform the journal promptly if circumstances change and they cannot fulfill their commitment or if they require an extension.

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest: Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript. If a potential conflict of interest exists, reviewers should recuse themselves from the review process of specific manuscripts to maintain impartiality and integrity of the review.

Commenting on Ethical Issues and Research Misconduct: Reviewers are encouraged to comment on ethical questions and potential research misconduct raised by submissions. This includes, but is not limited to, unethical research designs, insufficient detail on consent and concerns about the originality of submissions.

Alertness to Redundant Publication and Plagiarism: Reviewers should be vigilant in identifying instances of redundant publication and plagiarism, and bring any such cases to the attention of the journal editor.


Editors’ Responsibilities

Declaration of competing interests: The editor must not be involved in decisions about papers which s/he has written him/herself or have been written by family members or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest.

Fair Play and Confidentiality: Editors should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. They must also maintain confidentiality of all information regarding submitted manuscripts.

Decision-Making and Editorial Independence: The IIUM Law Journal Editorial Committee holds the responsibility of determining the articles that qualify for publication after a thorough review process. The decision must be based on the significance of the research to readers and researchers and on its validation. In making this decision, the Editorial Committee must adhere to the journal's policies and legal obligations regarding libel, plagiarism, and copyright infringement.

Ensuring a Fair, Unbiased, and Timely Peer Review Process: The editor shall ensure that the peer review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Research articles must typically be reviewed by at least two external and independent reviewers, and where necessary, the editor should seek additional opinions.

Selection of Reviewers: The editor shall select reviewers who have suitable expertise in the relevant field, taking into account the need for appropriate, inclusive, and diverse representation.

Anonymity in Peer Review: The double-blind review process should be upheld to preserve the anonymity of reviewers.


Corresponding Author and Responsibilities

Primary Responsibility and Communication: The corresponding author is the single individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process. This includes ensuring that all documentation and requirements for submission are complete, and all co-authors are in agreement with the content and submission of the manuscript.

Availability and Timeliness: The corresponding author must be available throughout the submission and peer-review process to respond promptly to editorial queries. This responsibility extends post-publication, requiring the corresponding author to be available to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information, should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Representation of Co-Authors: The corresponding author represents all co-authors throughout the publication process and is responsible for ensuring that all co-authors are informed about and agree to changes in the publication process, including the handling of revisions and the approval of the final proof.


Procedure on Unethical Behavior, Penalties, and Sanctions

Investigation Process: Allegations of unethical behavior such as plagiarism; stolen, fabricated or falsified data; disputes involving multiple authors, groups, institutions, and countries; and undisclosed conflicts of interest will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. The journal will follow a fair and unbiased process to assess the situation.

Penalties and Sanctions: If unethical behavior is confirmed, the journal may impose sanctions, including, but not limited to, publishing an erratum or retraction, informing the author's institution, and barring the author from publishing in the journal.

Ethical Guidelines for Human Subjects Research: Research involving human subjects must adhere to ethical standards, including obtaining informed consent, ensuring privacy, and following guidelines for ethical conduct in human research.


Privacy and Informed Consent for Publication

Respecting Privacy: Authors must respect the privacy and confidentiality of research participants and must not disclose any information that might identify them, unless expressly given permission.

Informed Consent: For studies involving human subjects, authors must provide evidence of informed consent and approval by an institutional review board or ethics committee, where applicable.

Ethics on Post-Publication

Authors should promptly notify the journal editor or publisher if they discover any significant errors or inaccuracies in their work after publication.

Corrections and Retractions: If errors are identified post-publication, the journal will publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, or apologies as needed.

Responsibility for Post-Publication Communications: The corresponding author is responsible for responding to any queries about the published work and cooperating with any post-publication audits.


Promotion of Ethical Standards

The IIUM Law Journal is dedicated to promoting the highest ethical standards in its operations and research publication.