Pacific Affairs works from the assumption that article authors and book reviewers are familiar with the basic standards of professional and academic conduct. Our approach to matters of academic misconduct is thus primarily preventive in nature; we ask all authors to provide assurances regarding prior or concurrent submission of their work, and encourage them to use citations to traceable sources and consult our Submissions Guideline, professional guidebooks, and their own legal consultants should there be any questions about the ethics or the legality of any particular passage or citation. Another resource for authors is the Committee on Publication Ethics – COPE
Should our internal refereeing and double-blind review processes detect possible cases of academic misconduct, we consult the Office of the University Counsel at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where Pacific Affairs is based. Using the legal interpretation provided by Legal Counsel and customary practice for academic journals, we work to provide a fair and impartial response to each case.
Double Submissions — Articles
We require all authors to provide a cover letter or email with their initial submission that confirms that the article is currently not under review with another journal or publisher, and we require all authors whose submissions are accepted for publication to sign an agreement that contains (among other things) a representation that the article is original, and has not previously been published elsewhere. We do not pre-review articles until we receive a statement to this effect in the cover email or letter.
Double Submissions — Book Reviews
We require all reviewers to sign an agreement containing (among other things) a representation that the review will be original and will not have previously been published elsewhere, and that permission to publish the review has not been granted to any other person. We do not publish reviews until we receive a signed copy of this agreement.
We require that all authors be aware of, and comply with, all applicable professional practices concerning plagiarism.
If we suspect that, despite the authors’ or reviewers’ representations to the contrary, an article or book review has been previously published, is currently under consideration for publication with another journal, has been submitted to another journal while under consideration at Pacific Affairs, or has been plagiarized, we will contact the author or reviewer to inform him/her that we have discovered this possible violation, and we will also inform the other journal(s) involved, if any.
In cases in which double-submission is suspected, Pacific Affairs will consult with the other journal(s) concerned and determine whether a double submission has in fact occurred. In cases in which plagiarism is suspected, Pacific Affairs will conduct its own investigation into the matter.
While the response to each case will vary depending on the extent of the problem, in instances where we confirm that more than two paragraphs have been plagiarized wholesale, or that there was a deliberate and sustained effort to sidestep the requirement for sole review rights, the editors will generally inform both the author(s) and the head of the author’s academic department of the problem. If a problem is confirmed, we will not publish the article or book review in question.
Should a case of double-submission or plagiarism be confirmed prior to publication, we will withdraw the article or review from the refereeing and/or production process, and place the author under a seven-year probation (i.e. we would not consider submissions from the author for the next seven years).
Should a case of double-submission or plagiarism be confirmed after publication, the author will be placed under a seven-year probation and further action may be taken, including one or more of the following: publication of a coordinated statement of retraction, removal of the offending piece from all electronic databases, and publication of a statement of retraction by the reviewer or author to be published in the earliest issue possible.