Publication policy & ethics

COPE membership

Security and Defence Quarterly adheres to a strict code of practice to maintain a high standard of ethical behaviour throughout the publication process and to ensure that malpractice is dealt with in a timely and responsible manner. The journal’s code of practice is in line with guidelines made available by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and is overseen by the journal’s Editorial Board.

How to raise a concern
Anyone who is convinced that research published by Security and Defence Quarterly has not been carried out in line with the principles see here specified by COPE should raise their concerns with the relevant Editor,
Editor-in-Chief: Dorota Domalewska
Associate Editor: Małgorzata Gawlik-Kobylińska
Managing Editor: Przemysław Gasztold
Managing Editor: Witold Ostant
Managing Editor: Alexander Kravcov
or send e-mail to
Any concern reported to any Editor is directed to the Editor-in-Chief and then resolved without undue delay.

The standards of proper ethical behaviour apply to all parties involved in the act of publishing: authors, editors, peer reviewers and the publisher.


Submitted papers should not be considered for publication elsewhere, published in any language, and should not be subject to any prior agreement or encumbrance. They should rely on a significant amount of new material and present an original view on scientific issues. In addition, authors should confirm that all the presented data and obtained results are their own, real, and authentic; that the work has not been copied or plagiarised, in whole or in part, from other works; and that they have disclosed actual or potential conflicts of interest with their work or partial benefits associated with it.

Submissions to SDQ proceed totally online here. The system converts uploaded files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process.

To verify originality and ethical conduct, all manuscripts are routinely checked by the plagiarism detection software SimilarityCheck by iThenticate.

Authors should be aware of the fact that presenting defamatory or confidential material, infringement of proprietary right, state secrets, violation of the right of privacy or publicity of any third party or any other applicable law, will result in the rejection of a manuscript.

Negative research results are not excluded.

All authors of the papers are responsible for the content, they should provide a list of references, acknowledgments, and financial support, if relevant.

All authors should report a contribution to the research.

Authorship is limited to those who have made a substantial contribution to the manuscript. Those who fail to meet this criterion should be acknowledged. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the acknowledgements agrees to being so named.

Review process participation & paper revision
When a manuscript is prepared according to the SDQ guidelines here, editors send the paper to two reviewers via the Editorial System. In other cases, the Author is asked to adjust a manuscript according to the editor’s comments (the paper is sent for adjustments).

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and provide retractions or corrections of mistakes during this process. They return a revised version of the previously submitted article.

The corresponding author should be given the authority to act on behalf of all authors in all matters pertaining to publication and guarantees that the article has been approved by all the other authors.

Authors of criticised material are given the opportunity to respond. They can use the Editorial System (while asking for adjustments and corrections, they can list changes or leave their statements - in both cases with justifications) or direct an e-mail to a relevant editor.

References, acknowledgement and conflicts of interest
All publications used during the preparation of a paper should be included in the Reference list and in-text (as in-text citations). Cited works should make a substantial input to the paper’s novelty and originality. The acknowledgment concerning contributors with a determined field and scope must always be pointed out in a suitable manner in the submitted manuscript. The authors should disclose any financial or other support in order to preclude conflict of interest. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.

Human or animal subjects
In relation to procedures with human or animal subjects, authors must include in the manuscript a clear statement that all procedures were conducted in compliance with relevant international, national, local and institutional laws and requirements. In addition, authors must confirm that approval has been sought and obtained. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be analysed and traced for update.

Scientific misconduct
As Security and Defence Quarterly is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics, it takes all possible measures against publication malpractice.

Scientific misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, ghostwriting, giftwriting, guest authorship and other forms of violation of generally accepted research practices. If scientific misconduct is suspected, the editors can reject or retract the manuscript, alert editors of other journals or inform the author’s funding institution or other authority for investigation. The journal editors are willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when needed.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication. An author should not, in general, publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication.

Text-recycling, paraphrasing, substantial copying, literal copying. To avoid such situations, authors are requested to pay a careful attention to quotation marks, using references when any borrowed idea or concept is discussed.

Salami-slicing: breaking one study for two or more publication. Fragmented data should disclose this information, and each paper involving part of the data, should be encompassed with a separate methodology.

Simultaneous submission, text recycling, & translations of a paper published in another language. Author/s have to declare that they have submitted a manuscript to only one journal. Text recycling (using the same data - for example two manuscripts written from a different angle) requires a reference (citations, quotations) to a previously published paper. The journal decides on the publishing of such a paper when the author/s disclose details of related papers in a different language, and any existing translations.

Figures and images which are not original should be provided with a relevant source. Using such elements should not obscure, eliminate, or misrepresent any information present in the original. Any changes to borrowed images need the author to declare where manipulations have been made. If any images of third parties are used, the author should get the written consent of a person(s) who has/have the copyrights. Written permission(s) as a separate file/files must be attached to the manuscript submission. To check any potential manipulation, the images will be analysed to reveal inconsistencies in the pattern of the background pixilation. Any fraudulent manipulation will result in the paper being rejected.

Research Data Sharing Policies
Security & Defence Quarterly is committed to supporting open scientific exchange. We encourage all authors of articles published in SDQ to deposit their research data in a relevant data repository and cite this dataset in their article. Where ethical, legal or privacy issues are present, data should not be shared.

Supplementary Materials
Additional data and files can be uploaded as "Supplementary Files" during the manuscript submission process. The supplementary files will also be available to the referees as part of the peer-review process.

Copyright and open access
Upon acceptance of the manuscript, the author will be requested to transfer copyright of the paper to the War Studies University, Warsaw. This transfer ensures electronic storage, printing and dissemination of the journal to the widest possible readership.

The authors retain the right to make the manuscripts available in open access repositories provided that complete information about the original publishing references is provided.

Copyright of open access articles is defined by the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

Copyright on any open access article in Security and Defence Quarterly is transferred by the author to SDQ, which is determined by a publishing agreement between the author and SDQ. Authors sign an exclusive licence agreement, where authors have copyright but licence exclusive rights in their article to the publisher. Authors have the right to share their article so long as it contains a SDQ logo, the end user license, and a DOI link to the version of record of the SDQ website; retain patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights; proper attribution and credit for the published work. The Creative Commons Attribution Licence 4.0 formalises these and other terms and conditions of publishing articles.

SDQ is a peer reviewed, open access journal, and all articles are free for everyone to read, download, copy, and distribute under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence see here.

SDQ does not charge authors an open access publication fee.

Fundamental errors in submitted or published articles
If a significant error or inaccuracy is reported in a submitted or published article, the author is obliged to promptly notify the Editor and to cooperate while retracting or correcting the paper, and to publish an erratum, addendum, or corrigendum note. An editor notifies the Editor-in-Chief who directs the whole process. In other cases when an editor finds an error, the author is obliged to correct or provide evidence of correctness to the editor.


The peer-review process
Editors work in the Editorial System, which ensures that material submitted to Security and Defence Quarterly remains confidential while under review. Editors reserve the right to make necessary corrections to the manuscript, including editorial changes and stylistic errors.

Editors do not exclude papers with negative research results.

Encouraging academic integrity
To fulfill COPE guidelines, editors ensure that the research material they publish conforms to internationally accepted ethical guidelines. They seek assurances that all research has been approved by an appropriate body (e.g. research ethics committee, institutional review board). However, such approval does not guarantee that the research is ethical. In this case, authors are asked for further explanations. A versatile analysis aided by external experts, which proves violation of ethical guidelines, results in rejection.

Protecting individual data
The journal has a double blind-review review policy. The editors treat submitted papers as confidential. Their decisions about paper acceptance is based only on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal. In the case of publishing personal or vulnerable data, editors obtain from authors written informed consent from the research participants (e.g. patients), which should be described in case reports and for photographs of persons. It may be possible to publish without explicit consent if the report is important to public health (or is in some other way important); consent would be unusually burdensome to obtain; and a reasonable individual would be unlikely to object to publication (all three conditions must be met).

Monitoring of publishing ethics
The monitoring of publishing ethics, as a major aspect of the editorial and peer-review process, will be realised through sharing the information among members of the Editorial Board regarding possible misconduct. The monitoring process is aligned with Guidelines on Good Publication Practice see here
as well as the COPE Code of Conduct see here

Pursuing misconduct
Editors act if they suspect misconduct in both published and unpublished papers. As ethically obliged to pursue alleged cases, editors first seek a response from those accused and second, they ask the relevant employer or appropriate body to investigate.
While pursuing misconduct, editors act in line with the COPE flowchart where applicable [link to flowcharts: see here]

Editors deal with potential authorship disputes, if someone’s name is included against his/her wishes, or an author’s name is omitted by accident, if the other authors agree, then the journal may publish a correction.

Cases for retraction
Retraction of a publication made by the editors may concern cases such as: the findings are unreliable (either as a result of major error, or data fabrication, or falsification), plagiarism, publishing findings in a different journal without it being disclosed, lack of authorisation for data use, infringement of copyright, unethical research, publication solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process, and failures in disclosing a major competing interest that would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.

Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
To ensure the integrity of the academic record, after an appropriate investigation, when an item proves to be fraudulent, it is retracted. The retraction will be clearly identifiable to readers and indexing systems.

Editors provide regular audits of their acceptance rates and publication times. Statistics are available in the journal’s Editorial System.

As COPE guidelines indicate, the relationship of editors to publishers and owners is based firmly on the principle of editorial independence. Notwithstanding the economic and political realities of their journals, the editors make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for readers, rather than for immediate financial or political gain.

Conflict of interest
Editors have systems for managing their own conflicts of interest as well as those of their staff, authors, reviewers and editorial board members. The systemic tool is the Editorial System in which relevant notes and comments as well as all the process of manuscript review are stored.

Editors respond promptly to complaints. Acknowledgement is sent to the complainant with a promise to take appropriate action within three working days. Handling of complaints is directed to the the Editor-In-Chief. The decision is sent to a complainant by e-mail and a record is created in the Editorial System. The detailed procedure of handling with complaints is set out in the COPE flowchart [link to flowcharts:
see here].

Process for dealing with complaints against the editors is in compliance with COPE guidelines see here

Resolving complaints and appeals can concern plagiarism, copyright violation, deception in research results or wrong research results, violations of the set standard for research, unrevealed conflicts of interest, bias in the review process, the manuscript processing time is unusually late, unsatisfactory peer-review comments, and authorship. Further information: see here


Reviewer selection and confidentiality
Peer reviewers as external experts chosen by the editors, with the use a form in the Editorial System, provide written opinions aimed at study improvement. Editors may elicit reviewers regarding the author’s suggestion, but usually they are selected with regard to the field of interest and their Scopus record. Any manuscript received for review has to be treated by a reviewer as a confidential document. It cannot be shown to or discussed with others.

Reviewing procedure
Manuscripts are checked for plagiarism (or self-plagiarism) by reviewers and if there is evidence that large portions of a paper existed previously, the paper will be rejected. Each paper submitted via the Editorial System is reviewed by two independent reviewers (experts in the field). The corresponding author is informed about the results. A third reviewer is appointed when the first two reviews have quite different statements concerning acceptance. The result of the reviews will be in one of the following forms: accept without changes, minor revision, major revision, reject.
The initial review results are sent to the authors and further steps and time of review are explained. The final decision for publishing will be announced by sending a Form for Acceptance.

Acceptance criteria
The journal criteria for acceptance/rejection of a submitted manuscript are included in the Reviewer’s Report of the Editorial System. The acceptance criteria include: falling between journals; the correspondence of a title and structured abstract with the content; originality; scientific value; clarity and suitability; paper style; general structure of the paper; figures presentation; ethical considerations. Each of these positions are evaluated by using a three point scale and 5-point scale, or yes/no answers in the case of questions on conflict of interest. Each criterion has an open-text gap for explanation. Quantitative and qualitative analysis is performed in the evaluation of a manuscript. When the quantitative assessment is less than 50% of the maximum value, the reviewer’s conclusion should be rejection.

Standards of reviewers’ behaviour
Reviews should use objective criteria. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate.

Transparency, confidentiality, and objectivity is required in the peer review process. Full disclosure about a relationship that causes a competing interest should be reported to the journal. Reviewers should provide speedy, accurate, courteous, unbiased and justifiable reports.

Any points in reviews should be explained and justified.

Acknowledgement of sources and misconduct
Reviewers should verify that a manuscript has not been previously published (not cited by any other authors). In the event of any violation, if reviewers suspect misconduct, they should write in confidence to the Editor.
They should also make a record in the Editorial System. Doubts not fully expressed will result in the rejection of a manuscript.

Disclosure and conflict of interest
Reviewers and editors should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission. Taking personal advantage from using an author’s ideas or research results without written permission is regarded as a serious violation. Reviewers must keep the information confidential. The reviewers also cannot consider manuscripts as in conflict with their own work.

In the event of any appeal processes concerning reviewers and the review process, authors may contact the editor via e-mail: and clarify the reason for writing.


Publication decisions
SDQ welcomes original manuscripts that have not been previously published in any language. The paper should not be subject to any prior agreement or encumbrance and should not be considered for publication elsewhere. The manuscript should not contain any defamatory or confidential material and should not infringe any proprietary rights or state secrets. It also should not violate the right of privacy or publicity of any third party or otherwise violate any other applicable law.

War Studies University as a publisher is responsible for the selection and choice of the submitted manuscripts. This decision is made by the Editorial Board which participates equally in the initial, mid and final phases of a review process. After screening, the final decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief. The manuscript is assigned to reviewers who cooperate with the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor in the whole process. Apart from review criteria, ethical aspects such as legal requirements, copyright infringement, plagiarism or other unethical behaviour are taken into account while making a decision on publication.

Evaluation for intellectual content
Security and Defence Quarterly stands against racism and discrimination and fully supports actions concerning inclusion and diversity in publishing. The journal evaluates manuscripts for their intellectual content.

The publisher must keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest
The publisher requires from reviewers and editors that unpublished materials not be used for any purpose unless the written consent of the author is provided. The publisher requires that all contributors disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If required, other measures are taken such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations
If there is an ethical issue, the publisher is actively involved in the process of clarification of any malpractice and infringement. The journal contacts the author, informing him/her of the complaint in the process of verification. If relevant, the publisher contacts the relevant institutions and research bodies. The action may result in retraction, correction, expression of concern, or the issuing of a note. Unethical publishing behaviour, even it is discovered after years, is analysed.

Journal archiving

To ensure permanent access to our publications, a full archival copy of all publications is deposited in electronic format in Portico, the digital preservation service audited by the Centre for Research Libraries. For the purposes of record-keeping, SDQ retains copies of submitted manuscripts and supporting files. However, for articles that are rejected, we will comply with requests from authors to delete files.