Focus and scope

International Conflict and Cooperation is an international academic journal for peer-reviewed research on all aspects of international politics, business and society. ICC is particularly interested in research into the causes of conflict and cooperation in international relations. The Journal welcomes contributions from all branches of science, schools, approaches and methodologies, and encourages interdisciplinarity and international collaboration.

Peer review process

The editor reads all submitted manuscripts and is solely responsible for editorial decisions. The editor will directly reject manuscripts that are not of sufficient interest or quality. He/she may also ask authors to improve their manuscripts before submitting them to peer review. 

Appropriate manuscripts undergo a mandatory double-blind peer-review process, in which each manuscript is typically reviewed by at least two external reviewers, who assist the editor in a consultative capacity. The editor makes his/her decision taking account of the results of the external peer-review process.

Agile publication

This online journal is based on Agile values and principles to deliver fast to its authors, readers, and sponsors, without compromising value, quality, or scientific rigour. It applies a continuous publication approach, which means that accepted manuscripts are published immediately after their production process is completed.

Sponsorship

The EUROSCI Network, EUROSCI Network Journals, and this journal, are sponsored by Europa Grande. The content of this journal does not necessarily reflect the position of Europa Grande or the partners of the EUROSCI Network, nor does it involve any responsibility on the part of Europa Grande or the partners of the EUROSCI Network.

Publication ethics and malpractice

Publishing in an academic journal is an essential building block in the advancement of science. Peer-reviewed research represents the scientific method, which means it needs to meet stringent quality standards, which include ethical considerations. This journal intends to adhere to the highest ethical standards and has prepared some guidelines for authors, reviewers, and editors in performing their duties.

The debate about publication ethics is in constant evolution. We intend to follow the developments in this debate by constantly monitoring the recommendations and policy statements of international committees and major academic publishers. As this situation evolves, we shall update our ethical guidelines.

Duties of Authors

Authors have the main responsibility for the quality of their work. Authors should provide an accurate account of any underlying data and analytical procedures they used so that other researchers can replicate their work. Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for the purposes of editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and be prepared to retain such data in any case for a reasonable time after publication.

The presentation of fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate data or statements constitutes unethical behaviour that is unacceptable. When an authors subsequently discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is their responsibility to provide prompt notification to the editors and to cooperate with them to retract or correct the paper. If an editor learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, the authors should be prepared to provide prompt correction or to retract the paper, or to provide sifficient evidence to the editor to counter the allegations of incorrectness of the original paper.

If the research performed involves the use of human subjects, the author should include a statement in the manuscript indicating that all procedures were performed in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and that the relevant institutional committees approved them. Authors should also include a statement in the manuscript indicating that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects, and always respect their privacy rights.

Authors should ensure that their work is original and refrain from publishing essentially the same research in more than one outlet. The concurrent submission of a manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable. The secondary publication of previously published work is only acceptable if the authors and editors of the publications concerned agree to this, which must be acknowledged in the secondary publication.

When authors use the work and/or words of others, they must ensure that they have a right to do so and that this has been appropriately acknowledged. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained from private conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Plagiarism in any of its forms is unethical and unacceptable, such as ‘passing off’ someone else's paper as one's own, claiming results from research conducted by others, or copying or paraphrasing substantial portions of other paper without proper attribution.

Corresponding authors should ensure that authorship includes all those and only those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study, and that all co-authors have agreed to its submission for publication and approved the final version of the paper. The omission of appropriate co-authors or the inclusion of inappropriate ones constitutes unethical publishing behaviour that is unacceptable.

Authors should disclose in their manuscripts any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence their results or interpretation thereof. All sources of financial support for the project should be acknowledged, including employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications or registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors should disclose potential conflicts of interest at the earliest stage possible.

Duties of reviewers

Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with the author, may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method, which should be guided by ethical considerations.

It is a shared view that that all scholars who wish to contribute to publications and thus benefit from peer review have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse himself from the review process.

Reviews should be conducted objectively and express their views clearly with supporting arguments without criticising the authors personally.

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published work of which they have personal knowledge.

Reviewers should treat any manuscripts received for review as confidential documents, which must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorised by the editor. Privileged information, unpublished data, or ideas of a submited manuscript obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage, such as the reviewer’s own research, without the express written consent of the authors.

Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers. Reviewers should disclose potential conflicts of interest at the earliest stage possible.

Duties of editors

The editors of a peer-reviewed journal are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. Editorial work must always respect and promote the journal’s ethical standards.

Editorial decisions must always be driven by the validity of the submitted work, its original contribution and potential relevance to readers, without regard to the gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, or political philosophy of the authors. The editors may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board, the advice of other editors and reviewers, and applicable legal constraints regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. 

Editors should treat manuscripts received as confidential material and not disclose any information about them to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Editors must never use privileged information, such as unpublished data or ideas obtained through peer review, for personal advantage, such as their own research, without the express written consent of the authors involved.

Editors should recuse themselves in favour of some other editor or member of the editorial board when considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or (possibly) institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all contributors to disclose potential conflicts of interest and take appropriate action if such conflicts are revealed after publication, such as publishing a correction, a retraction or an expression of concern. It should be ensured that the peer-review process for sponsored papers or issues is the same as for ordinary papers. Sponsored items should be accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and relevance to readers.

Non-peer reviewed sections of the journal and papers representing editorial ‘opinion’ should be clearly identified as such.

Editors should never force or encourage authors to cite their journals either as an explicit or implicit condition of acceptance for publication. Any recommendation regarding published works to be cited in a paper should be made on the basis of their direct relevance to the author’s article, with the objective of improving the final published paper. Although editors should direct authors to relevant literature as part of the peer review process, this should never extend to blanket instructions to cite individual journals.

An editor should react reasonably when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper. Such measures will generally include the audience of the author of the manuscript or paper, but may also include further communications with the relevant institutions and research bodies. If the complaint is upheld, measures will generally include the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as deemed appropriate. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour must be researched, even if it is discovered many years after publication.