Catalyst Publication Ethics



“The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editors, and the peer reviewer.” (Elsevier, Publishing Ethics Guidelines)


Original Work: Catalyst expects that manuscripts submitted to be considered for publication are the author(s) own original work, are not currently under review elsewhere, and have not been previously published in any language. Manuscripts should not “recycle” essentially the same material that has been published elsewhere. Turnitin software is used to check for plagiarism and/or previous publication, and Catalyst rejects articles that have substantial proportions of text that are copied from other sources.

Authorship: The names of authors appearing on manuscripts should be limited to individuals who have made significant contributions to the article. For articles written by academics, authorship credit should be based on satisfying all three of the conditions specified by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): 1) making substantial contributions to the conception, design, or analysis/interpretation of data; 2) drafting or critically revising an article for important intellectual content; and 3) granting final approval of the version to be published. For articles authored by graduate students, conditions 1 and 3 must be met.

Individuals who have provided technical assistance or support may be thanked by mentioning their contributions in the Acknowledgements. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper, and have agreed to its submission for publication.

Accuracy: Authors of original research papers should present an accurate account of their work along with a balanced discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper; adding data or removal of outlier results are unacceptable. Conclusions should be based on evidence presented in the paper, not on personal opinions.

Errors: If significant errors/inaccuracies become apparent after an article has already been submitted, Catalyst expects authors to immediately contact the Editorial Staff so that appropriate corrections may be made in a timely manner. 

Acknowledgement of Sources: A research paper builds upon previously published work. Author(s) should paraphrase ideas or results that have been previously published elsewhere in their own words, along with citing these works in the paper and listing them in the references. Making statements of facts or ideas without citing evidence to back up these statements is not good research practice.

Disclosure of Financial Support and Conflicts of Interest: Financial support received for research and the paper writing process should be disclosed in the acknowledgments, and any potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed to the Catalyst editorial team when a manuscript is first submitted.

Protection of Human Subjects: Catalyst expects that experiments using human subjects have been conducted in compliance with international standards and research protocols, and that they received prior review and approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee. Such approval and the approving entity’s name should be specified in the Methods section.


Confidentiality: The editors of Catalyst use a “double-blind” peer review process, where neither authors nor reviewers know each other’s identity. The editors endeavor to protect the identity of author(s) and reviewers throughout the review process. Unpublished materials from a submitted manuscript must not be quoted or referenced by an editor without the express written consent of the author. Information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

Objectivity: Decisions on publication are made objectively by the Catalyst Administrative Board after reviewing the submitted manuscript and the peer reviews. The importance of the article’s contribution to the existing research in its field, the quality of articulation of the argument, and the strength of evidence provided are critical factors in the decision to publish.

Rejected Manuscripts: A manuscript that is rejected by reviewers will not be reconsidered for publication. Papers that selectively feature or focus on positive or negative results are not likely to be accepted.

Conflicts of Interest: Editors are not allowed to publish or co-publish articles that appear in Catalyst, and they must recuse themselves from the review process when they have a conflict of interest or personal stake in the publication of a research article.


Confidentiality: Reviewers should respect the confidentiality of the review process. They should not discuss aspects of the work under review with other researchers until after an article is published. Unpublished materials disclosed in a manuscript under review must not be quoted or referenced by a reviewer without the express written consent of the author, requested through the editor. Information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

Objectivity: Manuscripts should be reviewed objectively in the context of the reviewer’s expertise in the field. The importance of an article’s contribution to existing research in its field, the quality of articulation of an argument, and the strength of evidence provided are critical factors in reviewing a manuscript’s quality. Personal opinions without backing evidence should not be used as criteria for review decisions.

Conflicts of Interest: If the reviewer realizes, after receiving a manuscript for review, that he or she has been involved in the research described, knows the researcher(s) involved in the research, or for any reason cannot give an objective review of the manuscript, the reviewer should inform the editors and decline to review it. Conflicts of interest may include competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the paper under review.

Acknowledgment of Sources: Reviewers should point out important relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.


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