Taylor & Francis Editorial Policies

Taylor & Francis takes all forms of misconduct seriously and will take all necessary action, in accordance with COPE guidelines, to protect the integrity of the scholarly record. Read on for a few examples of misconduct.

Please remember to read the full Taylor & Francis Editorial Policies.


Plagiarism applies to data, images, words or ideas taken from any materials in electronic or print formats without sufficient attribution. This can include abstracts, seminar presentations, laboratory reports, thesis or dissertation, research proposals, computer programs, online posts, grey literature and unpublished or published manuscripts.

The use of any such material either directly or indirectly should be properly acknowledged in all instances and the source of content must always be cited.

Taylor & Francis uses plagiarism detection software and will deal with cases of plagiarism according to COPE guidelines.

Read our plagiarism policies and guidance for authors to find out what plagiarism is (and isn’t) and how you can avoid it.


Although authors are expected to refer to their own previously published work, in some cases re-using large proportions is considered to be unacceptable. Where this is unavoidable authors must be transparent about their previously published work by providing appropriate citations.

Authors must also ensure that re-use is compliant with copyright policies. Taylor & Francis will deal with cases of text-recycling according to COPE guidelines.

Read the full Taylor & Francis plagiarism policies.

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Authors are required to give an honest account of authorship, where each listed author meets the authorship criteria in order to provide transparency and credit to those who have substantially contributed to the work.

However, where authors deliberately don’t comply this is considered to be a form of misconduct.

    Of particular concern are:

    • ‘Ghost authorship’ – where an author(s) has substantially contributed to the work but has not been given credit. This also impacts transparency as any competing interests pertaining to a ‘ghost author’ will not be declared.

    • ‘Gift authorship’– where a listed author(s) has not contributed substantially, or at all to the published work.

    • Authorship for sale’– where authors have ‘sold’ an author spot on a paper, or where a researcher has ‘bought’ an authorship spot on a paper.

    Please read our guide to defining authorship.

    Affiliation misrepresentation

    Affiliations must be an accurate reflection of where the study was approved and/or supported and/or conducted. For non-research articles, the affiliation should be listed as the place the author(s) was based at time of submission.

    Misrepresentation of affiliation is a form of misconduct, and Taylor & Francis will deal will such cases by contacting all relevant institutions to assist with our investigation.

    Undisclosed competing interests

    Where authors, editors or reviewers do not declare relevant competing interests, which can be perceived to influence their opinion of or assessment of a research or other type of scholarly article.

    Editors and reviewers should recuse themselves from any kind of involvement with submissions they have a significant competing interest against. The nature of which is likely to influence their ability to provide a fair and balanced assessment.

    Find out more about competing interests.

    Image or data manipulation/fabrication

    Where deliberate action has been taken to inappropriately manipulate or fabricate images or data. This is a serious form of misconduct as it is designed to mislead others and damages the integrity of the scholarly record with wide-reaching impact and long-term consequences.

      Please read our policies on images and figures.

      Duplicate submission/publication

      Authors are required to declare upon submission that the manuscript is not under consideration elsewhere, and as such the detection of a duplicate submission or publication is typically considered to be a deliberate act.

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      Authors who wish to submit secondary publications (e.g., an article translated into English), must seek permission from the publisher and copyright holder of the original article, and must inform the Editor of the receiving journal about the history of the original article. This is in accordance with ICMJE guidance.

      Authors of secondary publications which have been translated into English must make it clear to readers that the article is a translated version and must include a citation to the original article.

      Peer review manipulation

      Where authors or agencies submitting on behalf of authors take deliberate steps to influence the peer review process in their favor, or where editors make decisions based on biased peer review reports.

      Where there is evidence to suggest that the integrity of the peer review process has been compromised, necessary action will be taken to correct the scholarly record.

      Citation manipulation

      Citation manipulation or gaming is where authors excessively or inappropriately self-cite or enter into prearrangements among researcher or reviewer groups to inappropriately cite each other’s work. 

      Citation manipulation may include the following behaviors: 

      • Coercive citation: where journal Editorial team members coerce or require authors to cite papers from their own previously published articles, or from specific journals (including their own), or specific author groups, without due scholarly justification or relevance, often as a condition of acceptance; 

      • Citation stacking: where peer reviewers use their review reports on articles, or journal Editorial team members use decision letters to authors, to increase their own or specific colleagues’ citations, or citations to their journals, by requesting authors cite articles without due scholarly justification or relevance. This leads to an inappropriate inflation in citation levels for an article, an individual, an author group or a journal or book; 

      • Excessive self-citation: authors citing their own articles without due scholarly justification or relevance; 

      • Citation ‘farming’: where potentially irrelevant citations, or citations the authors cannot justify, are included in the article at request, for a fee, or other benefit; 

      • Over-citation: where multiple, unnecessary citations are added to support claims in an article, which would only require the most relevant and timely sources to be cited. This leads to inappropriate inflation to the citation score of other researchers, journals or books. 

      • Miscitation: where articles are inaccurately cited leading to misattribution.  

      Where citation manipulation is suspected or detected, it will be subject to an investigation. Where this behaviour is identified, unpublished articles may be rejected, or if published, may be subject to a post-publication notice, such as retraction

      Where there is evidence of repeated behaviour, or a deliberate attempt to engage in citation manipulation, Taylor & Francis may notify the individual’s institution. 

      Further information on citation manipulation from the Committee on Publication Ethics can be seen here

      Unethical research

      Where research outside the approved ethics protocols has been conducted.

      For example, where necessary permissions have not been obtained, or where researchers have not taken sufficient steps to protect the safety and privacy of human subjects, or the inadequate welfare of animals used in the research, or where specimens (e.g., fossils, archaeological specimens, human tissues, etc.) have not been ethically sourced.

      Please read our research ethics guide.

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      Systematic manipulation of the publishing process

      Taylor & Francis has a zero tolerance policy regarding the manipulation of the submission, peer review or publication process, including but not limited to:

      • Manipulation of special issues, supplements, conference proceedings or Article Collections

      • Paper mill activity (commercial organizations which facilitate the creation and sale of fraudulent manuscripts)

      • Unethical or undue influence over editorial decision-making

      • The sale of authorship on manuscripts

      • Citation manipulation

      Upon being made aware of a concern, we will conduct a full investigation in accordance with this policy.

      As per the COPE guidance, attempts to manipulate the process will be considered an indicator of research misconduct and a breach of publishing ethics standards. Where this activity results in the Editor and/or Publisher no longer being able to rely upon the validity and integrity of the article, we will take action to reject (pre-publication) or retract (post-publication) the article. Where we take this action, we reserve the right to inform an author’s institution, employer or funder.

      Even if authors do not respond to the investigation or requests for information, we will take corrective action to protect the scholarly record as necessary.  

      “Helicopter” research and ethics dumping

      Research conducted abroad carries particular ethical implications. Particularly when researchers based in high-income countries, regions, areas, or institutions, undertake research projects in location/s with limited research ethics oversight or weaker socio-economic standing. This can lead to an inequity between the researchers and the local community. To this end, researchers are encouraged to:

      • Obtain ethics approval from local institutions/committees based on where the research is conducted

      • Include and partner with local participants, researchers, and communities throughout the research process

      • Involve local participants, researchers, and communities in the interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of research findings

      • Include local collaborators/volunteers who meet the threshold for inclusion as an author (or mention them in the acknowledgements if they do not)

      Researchers are also encouraged to include a statement explaining how they considered their impact on the environment/local population. And, why it was essential that they had to perform the study in that location/community.

      Researchers should also be mindful of ethics dumping. This is where researchers leading a study deliberately locate their study or establish research collaborations with the intention of circumventing international standards of research ethics and responsible research practices. In doing so, the safety and welfare of the public, of human research participants and/or experimental animals is not appropriately prioritized, and valid informed consent from research participants is lacking.

      Researchers should be aware that the journal editorial team may ask questions about these considerations at any point in the submission or publication process. Taylor & Francis reserve the right to reject (pre-publication) or retract (post-publication) any submission where ethical concerns cannot be adequately addressed.

      Further recommendations that can be considered are available at A Global Ethics Code.

      Breaches in copyright/use of third-party material without appropriate permissions

      Where authors have included material, which is under copyright and have not obtained the appropriate permissions as instructed by the copyright holders.

      Read our guide to using third-party material in your article for more information on requesting permission to reproduce work(s) under copyright.