Ethics Policy

(Please see also the page Guidance for Authors)

The journal welcomes contributions from all sections of the academic community, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic background or beliefs. This includes authorship, opportunities to review for the journal and membership of editorial boards.

Systems is a transdiscipline. This means that there is scope for a range of different approaches, academic disciplines and topics to be reflected in its content. It is a requirement that all research data should be gathered fairly, with due consideration for the rights and interests of data subjects, that it should be processed and stored fairly and with due care, according to a methodological framework that is transparent to all. In particular:-

– While it is relatively unusual for material submitted to Systemist to be concerned with research among vulnerable people, or using animals, special attention shall be paid to the needs of such data subjects.
– Due consideration shall be given to needs for confidentiality among subjects, whether due to personal considerations or data security needs of subject organizations.

Authors and reviewers may be subject to particular frameworks of ethical principles defined by other bodies, such as universities to which they are affiliated, organizations in which they are employed, or wider disciplinary considerations, such as those in medicine and health services or social care. Contributors are therefore asked to make explicit which ethical codes, if any, have been relevant in the preparation of their work, including either a copy of the policy or a link to a website where it may be viewed. The Editor will then be able to make a judgment whether this meets the journal’s requirements.

Attention shall be paid to use of language in preparing contributions. Impersonal forms are preferable unless there are methodological reasons why a particular voice should be expressed. Thus, when discussing relevant literature, it is preferable to mention “the author(s)” or “they”, rather than “he” or “she”, or use the author’s actual name. Where it is necessary to allow the voice of subjects to be included expressly, e.g. in an ethnographic study, due attention shall be paid to the needs and preferences of those subjects.

Competing Interests

Authors are requested to disclose interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Interests within the last 3 years of beginning the work (conducting the research and preparing the work for submission) should be reported. Interests outside the 3-year time frame must be disclosed if they could reasonably be perceived as influencing the submitted work. Disclosure of interests provides a complete and transparent process and helps readers form their own judgments of potential bias. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate.

Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
• If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
• If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

– an erratum/correction may be placed with the article
– an expression of concern may be placed with the article
– or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.
• The author’s institution may be informed
• A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Editorial Board Members and Editors are required to declare any competing interests and may be excluded from the peer review process if a competing interest exists. In addition, they should exclude themselves from handling manuscripts in cases where there is a competing interest. This may include – but is not limited to – having previously published with one or more of the authors, and sharing the same institution as one or more of the authors.
Where an Editor or Editorial Board Member is on the author list they must declare this in the ‘competing interests’ section on the submitted manuscript. If they are an author or have any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another Editor or member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. These submissions are subject to the exact same review process as any other manuscript. Editorial Board Members are welcome to submit papers to the journal. These submissions are not given any priority over other manuscripts, and Editorial Board Member status has no bearing on editorial consideration.