Ethics Statement

Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas (referred to as Compass for the remainder of this document) supports the guidelines and expects publication practices of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) .


All submissions to Compass will include the names of the individuals who made a significant contribution to the research as authors on the submission. The corresponding author is responsible for listing all contributing co-authors, ensuring that only those who have made a significant contribution are listed as authors, and verifying that all authors have approved the final version of the manuscript for its submission to be reviewed. If individuals assisted with the manuscript but fall short of being an author, these individuals can be listed in a separate acknowledgment of assistance.

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Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests:

It is the responsibility of authors to indicate any potential conflicts of interest when submitting work. Authors should indicate if any funding was provided for the research and, if so, from what source. Authors should indicate if any individuals cannot provide an unbiased review due to prior knowledge or connection to the manuscript.

A reviewer assigned to a manuscript should also disclose any financial, intellectual, or personal interests that prevent him or her from being able to review the manuscript fairly. If a reviewer is unable to provide a fair and unbiased review, the editors will find an alternative reviewer for the manuscript.

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Intellectual Property/Plagiarism:

Authors submitting a manuscript for review by Compass ensure that their work is original and does not violate the intellectual property right or other rights of any individual or entity. When appropriate, authors will cite or quote the work of others, including prior publications of the authors, to provide credit for these intellectual contributions.

Authors cannot submit the manuscript to multiple journals at the same time. Upon submitting a manuscript to Compass, the authors agree the manuscript is not under review at another publication and will not submit the research to be reviewed at another publication until a decision has been made by Compass.

If a manuscript uses copyright materials (e.g., images, figures, tables, and so forth) the authors are responsible for securing permission to include the copyrighted material in the manuscript.

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Ethical Oversight:

Given that Compass reviews manuscripts from different disciplines and methodologies, it is imprudent to attempt to list all ethical guidelines and considerations from these disciplines and methodologies. Compass, however, requires all authors to be aware of the ethics regarding the disciplines and methodologies the manuscript engages with. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that manuscripts adhere to the ethical standards of these disciplines and methodologies. This may include ethical standards regarding data, human subjects, and more.

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Peer Review:

The peer review process is shared in detail in the Submission Policies of this journal. Compass is dedicated to a fair editing and review system. In addition, this journal introduces undergraduates to the peer-review system through a mentoring pedagogy that prepares undergraduates for future engagement with traditional systems of peer-review.

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Allegations of Misconduct:

Any allegation of misconduct with regards to research, publishing, or reviewing at Compass should be directed toward one of the co-editors via email.

  • We understand author misconduct to be when an article engages in plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, data or statistical manipulation, inappropriate authorship, or other research misconduct.
  • We understand reviewer misconduct to be an intentional violation of the double-blind review policy, unethical bias in publication recommendation, failure to disclose conflicts of interest, or other reviewing misconduct.
  • We understand editor misconduct to be an abuse of the blind peer-review policy, manipulation of journal impact rating, failure to disclose conflicts of interest, unethical publication management behavior, or other editorial misconduct.

When possible, both co-editors will conduct an impartial and confidential investigation of the case of misconduct. If one of the co-editors is unable to be part of this investigation, one of the founding editors will serve in the place of that co-editor.

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Appeals and Complaints:

Compass welcomes any genuine appeals to its editors’ decisions. A genuine appeal provides strong evidence in response to the reviewer and editor feedback that overwhelmingly demonstrates the case of the authors.

Appeals are infrequent and editors rarely reverse the original decision unless authors can demonstrate an ethical violation, a violation of the blind peer-review process, technical error, or new data/information that responds to previous feedback.

If authors appeal an editorial decision the authors should compose an appeal letter that:

  • Provides specific details concerning the disagreement with the decision.
  • Provide evidence of a conflict of interest, ethical violation, or violation of the blind peer-review process.
  • Provide evidence of a technical error in the assessment of the work by the review process.
  • Provide new information/data, which the authors clearly demonstrate responds to the feedback from the review process, that the journal should take into consideration.
  • The letter should be sent to both co-editors of Compass. The co-editors will review the appeal. The co-editors can confirm the original decision, invite a revised manuscript into the review process, or seek additional review of the original manuscript. Editors will consider only one appeal per manuscript and all appeal decisions are final.

    If you have any complaints about the editorial process at Compass, please direct your letter to one of the co-editors of the journal. If the complaint is of the nature that it cannot be directed to either co-editor, please direct the complaint to one of the founding editors.

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    Data Sharing and Reproducibility:

    Authors could be asked to provide raw data, statistical analysis files, translations, or other portions used in the creation of the manuscript for editorial review if questions about the manuscript arise during the blind-peer reviewed process. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure accessibility to such items is possible and timely.

    Authors are responsible for providing a method for others to access this information if the manuscript is published. This can include uploading the materials to a repository and providing information concerning how to access the materials, posting the materials to a personal website, or providing an email address for interested parties to contact to receive the materials.

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    Post-Publication Discussion and Correction:

    If authors discover a significant issue, inaccuracy, or error upon publication of a manuscript, it is the responsibility of the authors to contact Compass to inform it of this issue. The editors of Compass will work with the authors to resolve the issue. This resolution can include correcting the article in the form of an erratum, publishing a new article that addresses the revision, retracting the article, or another form of resolution.

    If the editors find or are alerted to a post-publication issue, the editors will work with the authors to produce the appropriate solution. If the authors do not engage with the editors in a timely manner, the editors may take action to resolve the situation.

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