Ethical Standard

Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies follows an ethical standard based on the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


This ethical declaration commits all the members who make the Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies possible, both external (evaluators, authors…) and its editorial team.

  1. Commitment of the Editorial Team
  • The journal has an Editorial Board and a Scientific Advisory Board, whose members are identified in the lists. All are renowned specialists in the journal’s core subject matter, i.e. the analysis of the normative content and/or the social impact of specific current, past, or ongoing legislation at the international, national, or regional level.
  • Both collegiate bodies are mostly made up of researchers belonging to Spanish and foreign centres, and therefore totally unrelated to the Universidad Miguel Hernández (the journal’s headquarters).
  • The Scientific Advisory Board is formed of prestigious researchers in the field. Its functions are reduced to the annual approval of the editorial standards, the advice on those considerations presented by the Editorial Board, and the submission to the latter, where appropriate, of proposals for the conduct of monographic studies. The Council will meet once a year to be informed of the most important aspects that have occurred during its course.
  • The Editorial Board is committed to ensuring the scientific quality of the journal’s contents, avoiding bad practices and managing the editing of the papers received in a reasonable time.
  • All contributions will be initially evaluated by the Editorial Board. Originals considered suitable for publication will be evaluated by the anonymous external peer review system (double-blind system) exclusively on the basis of their scientific relevance, originality and pertinence. The confidentiality of the evaluation process (identity of the evaluators, content of their reports, identity of the authors and content evaluated) is guaranteed at all times. The authors will be informed of the evaluation status of the originals from the moment the proposal is received until its final rejection or acceptance. The rejection or acceptance of the publication of an article by the Editorial Board will be based on the evaluators’ reports. The decision will be preceded by a reasoned communication of the decision to the author. The Editorial Board will value and appreciate the contribution of those who have collaborated in the evaluations of the papers submitted to the journal.
  • No charges will be applied to authors for the processing of originals or fees for the publication of articles.
  • Confidentiality will also be maintained in the event of complaints or clarifications against the magazine, its staff, the editorial board or the editor, which can be sent via the e-mail address provided on the website.
  • There is a firm commitment to avoid conflicts of interest for members of the Editorial Board. Decision-making must be withdrawn in cases where there is a potential conflict with the articles under consideration. Responsibility for the final decision regarding publication will be attributed to an editor who has no conflict of interest. Specifically, members of the Editorial Team must refrain from handling a manuscript when they incur in any of these or similar situations: 1) Having a family relationship, 2) Presenting friendship or manifest enmity, 3) Being a co-author of the original, 4) Having a contractual relationship or sharing funds or research projects that may affect their impartiality.
  • The members of the Editorial Board and the Scientific Advisory Board  will try to prevent bad practices by informing the authors and reviewers about the ethical behavior required of them.
  • Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies totally prohibits plagiarism. Using the Turnitin tool, texts identified as plagiarism or whose content is fraudulent will be removed from the evaluation process. Previously, the Editorial Board will contact the author so that he or she can make whatever claims he or she deems appropriate.
  • Authors must check that their works do not infringe copyright. In the case of shared authority, the full consensus of all authors concerned must be justified.
  • Reviewers and members of the Editorial and Advisory Board will be asked to be aware of all types of misconduct in order to identify documents where misconduct has occurred or appears to have occurred.
  • The Editorial Board will give serious consideration to each case and will consider withdrawing a publication in the event of misconduct, or issuing a note in the event of inconclusive evidence of misconduct, or requesting correction of the false segment. Great care will be taken to distinguish cases of honest human error from deliberate intent to defraud.
  1. Commitment of the evaluators
  • The evaluators/reviewers assume the code of ethics followed by Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies.
  • The Editorial Board will require reviewers to have significant scientific or work experience in a relevant field. They must have recently carried out research and/or work and have acquired recognized experience from their peers.
  • The data received in the journal will be strictly confidential and will only be shared between the journal’s editorial staff and the author or anonymous reviewers. In the latter case, the evaluators will receive a document with the authors’ references deleted or edited to avoid direct recognition.
  • Evaluators will only accept to intervene in the evaluation process of an original when it is an expert in the subject matter, with the aim of producing an objective and impartial quality report. They will evaluate all aspects of the manuscript and make constructive criticism and concise suggestions. He or she must inform the Editorial Board of indications of possible misconduct.
  • The reviewers are committed to meeting the established review deadlines.
  • They will ensure that the confidentiality of the process is preserved and that conflicts of interest are avoided. They will refrain from using the information obtained in the evaluation task for their own benefit and will reject the revision of an original when a situation of conflict of interest of the kind described in this guide is suspected. In any case, reasons will be given for the waiver.
  • The judgements made by the evaluators are objective. The contents of the articles received in the journal are always evaluated without prejudice to the gender, race, religion, geographical origin, nationality, ethnicity or political position of the authors. If the evaluator recognizes the author of the article being evaluated or in situations where there is a conflict of interest, the evaluator must refuse to evaluate the article received.
  1. Commitment of the authors.
  • The authors commit themselves to follow the guidelines of the ethical code followed by Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies taking into account that falsification or manipulation of data, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, unnecessary fragmentation of articles or redundant self-citation are considered bad practices.
  • The author who sends the article to be evaluated is the only responsible for providing all the identifying data both of himself and of the other authors who participate in the article. All the authors must have participated in the realization of the work.
  • The authors commit themselves to send their work following the style clauses and guidelines stipulated by the journal and that appear on the web page, taking special care with the citations in the text and the bibliography. Authors undertake to make appropriate references to the corresponding bibliographical sources. In this regard, in cases where formal authorisation is required for the citation of other publications, the authors are also responsible for obtaining such authorisations.
  • If the authors consider it appropriate to refer to sources of funding (research project, for example), they may do so in the body of the article submitted. In addition, any conflict of interest that the submitted article may entail should be specified.
  • Authors may not send their work to Spanish Journal of Legislative Studies when it is being simultaneously evaluated by another journal. They will refrain from submitting papers that are not unpublished.
  • In any case, they undertake to submit original articles.
  • Authors must inform the editor when they have a direct or indirect conflict of interest with the Editorial Board or the Scientific Advisory Board.
  • In the event that, once the article has been published, the authors detect errors in their articles, they will immediately contact the Editorial Board so that they can be rectified as far as possible.
  • Any doubts about the interpretation and application of these founding rules, as well as any possible gaps, will be resolved by the Editorial Board, after consultation with the Scientific Advisory Board.