Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement (JDA)

Our work is guided by the core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in relation to dealing with allegations of misconduct; authorship and contributorship; complaints and appeals; conflicts of interest or competing interests; data and reproducibility; ethical oversight; intellectual property; journal management; peer review processes and post-publication discussions and corrections. We adhere to ASWNET’s African Research Ethics and Malpractice Statement (AREMS) in relation to African ubuntu-inspired ethics and responsibilities of those involved in research. We also adhere to other research guidelines nationally, regionally and internationally including the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) principles.

1.     Journal Policy

Our journal policy can be found here.

The journal accepts manuscripts in the form of original research reports, research summaries, book reviews, literature review articles including systematic reviews, conceptual pieces, reports of practice and original frameworks. Other forms of papers may be published at the discretion of the Editor.

Copyright, Licensing and Access

The author holds copyright to all published work. The author can re-use parts of the published article for their future research, use the article for teaching, presentations or deposit in their institutional repository or non-commercial archives.

The author guarantees the publisher that they have submitted original work, the work has not been submitted elsewhere or will not be submitted elsewhere in future for publishing, it is not a product of unethical practice and all third part information included has been acknowledged appropriately.

The author licenses the publisher to edit, publish in any media, reproduce, distribute the article, translate, edit, adapt and enforce copyrights on behalf of the author.

Our content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial 4.0 International License which allows others share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material) but not to make commercial use of it (non-commercial). Appropriate credit must be given (attribution), a link to the license provided, and changes indicated if any.

The journal is freely available online through the ASWNet. Authors are required to agree with our open access policy which enables unrestricted access and reuse of all published articles. Users are allowed to copy and redistribute the material in printed or electronic format and build upon the material, without further permission or fees being required, provided that appropriate credit is given.

Author fees and Revenue sources

There are no fees or charges that are required for manuscript processing and/or publishing materials in the journal. The journal is financially supported by the Institute of Development Administration.


We deposit our main articles with the ASWNet for electronic backup and preservation in the event a journal is no longer published shall be clearly indicated.

Authors are strongly encouraged to deposit their published articles in their institutional (academic or professional) repositories that promote open access.

Advertising and Marketing

We do not take adverts in the journal or web page of the journal.

We market our journal through a newsletter and the website. Our marketing is not related in any way to editorial decision making and is kept separate from the published content.

At times we send emails to market the journal. We use an existing email list that we have created and we do not send inappropriate messages to solicit for manuscripts. Subscribers are free to opt out of the mailing list at any time. Our marketing is well targeted, and unobtrusive. Any information that we provide is vetted to ensure that it is truthful and not misleading for readers or authors.

2.     Allegations of Misconduct and Malpractice

We take seriously allegations of misconduct and malpractice at any stage of our publishing process, pre-publication and post-publication. We encourage whistleblowing, and deal with whistle-blowers confidentially. Some of the issues of misconduct and malpractice that we deal with include, but are not limited to:

  1. Data or research fraud (manipulation of data or reporting research that has not been done).
  2. Contributor fraud (adding people who have not contributed significantly as co-authors or not recognizing those who contributed).
  3. Plagiarism in all its forms.
  4. Simultaneous submission.
  5. Undisclosed conflict of interest or competing interest.
  6. Researcher, editor or reviewer bias (influencing the research process in any way that breaks research ethics).

We acknowledge the challenges African writers face in accessing ethics review boards or  committees (e.g. it is at times costly and review boards may not be there or functional) and in accessing research funding but we do not see this as an impediment to ethical practice.

Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgement of sources

Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be checked electronically or manually.

Process for identification of and dealing with allegations of research misconduct and malpractice

The Institute of Development Administration (publisher) and editors shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including but not limited to plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. In no case shall our journal or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. In the event that we are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in the journal, we shall follow COPE’s guidelines and flow charts in dealing with allegations.

Unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of such conduct should provide sufficient information and evidence in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior will be considered, even if it is discovered years after publication.

Some of the actions that we can take when ethics have been broken are:

  1. Communication – informing authors or reviewers and discussing the issue at hand.
  2. Clarify – a decision could be taken to clarify circumstances.
  3. Corrections (erratum or addendum/corrigendum) – a decision could be taken to correct the paper.
    • Erratum – compile and disseminate a list of errors.
    • Addendum (addenda) (also known as orrigendum (corrigenda)) – additional information added to a publication.
  4. Retractions – a decision could be taken to retract the paper.
  5. Apologise – an apology could be offered orally or in writing.
  6. Inform – the funder, the institution, the participants, other journals or relevant Ethics Review Board.
  7. Compensation – where participants or contributors or communities were not adequately compensated, it is recommended to correct this by compensating appropriately.
  8. Settlement – where harm has occurred, it is recommended to provide resources needed to address the harm presently and in future.

3.     Authorship and Contributorship

We make every effort to avoid multiple submissions, redundant publications and ghost/guest writers. A declaration must be made by authors to the effect that co-authors took part in the research process, and that their inclusion to the publication has been gained and that they are not ‘ghost’ or ‘guest’ writers.

4.     Complaints and Appeals

The editor will respond promptly to complaints and should ensure there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further. This mechanism should be made clear in the journal and should include information on how to refer unresolved matters to COPE. The editor will follow the procedure set out in the COPE flowchart on complaints.

5.     Conflicts of Interest and Competing Interests

Conflicting or competing interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious.

  • Any conflict of interest or competing interests must be reported by authors, reviewers and editors.
  • Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review will be kept confidential and not used for personal gain by the editor.
  • The editor or member of the editorial board will not handle a manuscript that they have written, o-authored and contributed in any way.
  • The editor will require all contributors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections or withdraw the published work if competing interests are revealed after publication.

6.     Data and Reproducibility

Authors should be prepared to make data available when requested to help with the review process. We encourage the use of reporting guidelines and registration of reviews and other study designs according to standard practice in the field.

7.     Ethical Oversight

  • We will not publish work where there is no consent to publish.
  • We will consider more carefully publications focusing on vulnerable populations.
  • We will request authors to have ethics approval for their research that involves ethical human beings or animals.
  • We will handle all data in high confidence.
  • Our marketing practices will be ethical, and will be reviewed regularly by the board.

8.     Intellectual Property

The editor will be alert to intellectual property issues and work with their publisher to handle potential breaches of intellectual property laws and conventions.

9.     Journal Management

Our journal is run by the editorial board independently from the publisher. Our policies will be made available on the journal webpage. We will regularly train our editorial board, editorial and publishing staff. We will strive to have a diverse board.

10.  Peer-review Processes

The JDA uses a double-blind peer review process for all its content. Reviewers are experts in the field of development administration. No manuscript is guaranteed for acceptance at submission. All manuscripts will be peer reviewed and only after peer review are we able to make a decision to accept submitted work.

On submission, the manuscript is screened by the editor. If it is suitable for the journal, it is sent to two reviewers. The manuscript will be anonymised, and the reviewers will not be known to each other and to the author.

The editor will ensure that the peer review process for special issues is the same as that used for the main journal.

11.  Post-publication Discussions and Corrections

Our journal will allow debate post publication on the webpage and through letters. Debate may result in correcting, revising or retracting of articles after publication.

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum.

12. Responsibilities to Promote and Maintain Ethics

PublisherSetting and reviewing journal policies that promote good ethical conduct.
Archiving published work to ensure that articles and data are not lost but can be available perpetually.
Communicate copyrights with authors.
Promote practices that contribute to decolonisation of literature.
AuthorsNot to manipulate data or results.
Include only authors who have contributed.
Contribute to any processes to investigate malpractice.
Avoid simultaneous submission.
Disclose any conflict of interest or competing interest.
Get informed consent from participants and respondents.
Adequate recognition and compensation of co-researchers, communities, assistants contributors, facilitators and guides.
ReviewersReviewers will be experts in development administration who will help the editor identify potential and actual breaches of research ethics.
Apply your knowledge and skills to identify malpractice and contribute to any processes to investigate malpractice.
Disclose any conflict of interest or competing interest.
Promptness – reviewers will be expected to inform the author if they are not able to provide a review and if they are able, they should do so within set time frames or communicate with the editor if more time is required.
Keep manuscripts received confidential, together with the details of authors.
Objective review is expected from reviewers all the time.
Editors and Editorial BoardTaking leadership of the journal, being accountable to the public, ensuring high level of ethical standards and continuous improve.
Ensures that the journal meets local, regional and international publishing ethics guidelines.
Ensures that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely.
Ensuring that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations and evidence about peer review and journal management.
Ensuring that accurate information is provided on the journal webpage, such information including, but not limited to names of board members and their contact details; author and reviewer guidelines; journal policies and malpractice statement.
Disclose any conflict of interest or competing interest.
Contribute to any processes to investigate malpractice.
Encouraging debate and be willing to consider cogent criticisms of work published in their journal.
Call for special issues and ensuring that the peer review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the main journal.
Being prepared to request evidence of ethical research approval and to question authors about ethical aspects (such as how research participant consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering) if concerns are raised or clarifications are needed.

People Centred – The Journal of Development Administration will take seriously allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication. We will continuously improve this statement in line with developments in publishing. We will keep abreast with the core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and principles of the ASWNET’s African Research Ethics and Malpractice Statement (AREMS). Alongside, we will consider specific national and international codes of conduct for research.


Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), 2017. Core practices.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (2018). Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

The African Social Work Network, (2021). African Research Ethics and Malpractice Statement (AREMS).