Publication Ethics

Publication Ethics and
Publication Malpractice Statement

Our guidelines are aimed at securing best practice for academic research, scholarship and publication under the overall heading of facilitating the production and distribution of free and accessible new scientific knowledge.
All parties involved, i.e. authors, editors, reviewers, and publisher are expected to follow our guidelines conscientiously:


Authors have the responsibility to supply entirely original work, and when the works of others have been used that clear references are made according to the journal's bibliographical style sheet. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and it constitutes unethical scholarly behavior. Submitting the same article to other journals at the same time is also considered unethical publishing behavior and is also unacceptable. Likewise, authors are expected not to submit articles with similar content based on the same research to other journals. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. If an article has been written by more than one author, all authors must have full consensus about the final version of the article. This is the responsibility of the corresponding author. All authors of an article must have contributed significantly to the research. Authors are obliged to participate in peer review process. There are no fees or charges for publication in Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, and no royalties or fees are given to authors, and there are no Article Processing Charges for authors publishing in the journal. Authors retain the copyright to their articles published in the journal. It is the duty of an author to ensure that there are no copyright infringements in his or her article, likewise no libelous material or statements. All authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes after the article has been published. If authors have received financial support for the work, it must be mentioned. If an author objects to the review of his or her manuscript, an appeal can be sent to the editor-in-chief.


Editors should evaluate manuscripts on the recommendation of the reviewers and on the basis of their academic soundness. Like the reviewers, editors must not use unpublished information in their own research without the express written consent of the author. When a submitted manuscript or published article has received ethical or other complaints, it is the duty of the editors to take prompt and reasonable responsive measures. The publication ethics of the journal mean that editors must take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred or has been alleged, and in no case, shall a journal or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. If needed, the editors must always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies, and if a published article need to be corrected or in severe cases retracted the editors must take prompt action to do so.

Peer reviewers

All of the journal’s content is subjected to double blind peer-review. Peer-review is defined as obtaining advice on individual manuscripts from reviewers’ expert in the field. Reviewers must treat all manuscripts as confidential documents and not use them for their own research or personal or professional advantage. Reviewers must have no conflict of interest and must be objective. If suggested reviewers are unable to be this or if they feel academically unable to perform the review as experts in the field, they should excuse themselves. The review itself must be formulated clearly with supporting arguments, and it must help the author to improve the manuscript. Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited in the manuscript. If a manuscript is rejected, the rejection must always be accompanied with sufficient arguments for the rejection. Reviewed articles must be treated confidentially.

We firmly support these basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere:

Peer reviewers should

  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
  • respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal
  • not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
  • declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
  • not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations
  • be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments
  • acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner
  • provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  • recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct

All bullet points are copied verbatim from COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers by Irene Hames on behalf of COPE Council March 2013, v.1.

Publication Ethics

Publishers and editors must take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. In no case must Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education or its editors encourage such misconduct, or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place. In the event that Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education’s publisher or editors are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct the publisher or editor must deal with allegations appropriately and promptly according to the guidelines for retracting or correcting articles as stated above. Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education’s publisher and editors must always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.

Open Access Policy

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

We do not charge authors any Article Processing Charge or other fees for publishing in the journal.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  • Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

If an article contains copyrighted illustrations this must be stated in its captions, so that it is clear that only the text of the article pertains to the license of the journal.


In the event that Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education should cease publication, its content will be archived and still be available at Aalborg University’s and Aalborg University Library’s website with its present URL-address.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.


Our publication's ethics and publication malpractice statement is primarily based on Elsevier recommendations for Publishing & Research Ethics and on The COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.