Ethics And Malpractice


Ethics and Malpractice

This is the code of ethics for The Sarawak Museum Journal, which is published by the Sarawak Museum Department Publisher. This statement, which was adapted from the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), outlines the code of ethics for Authors, Editorial Board members, and reviewers.  Sarawak Museum Department Publisher adheres to COPE's Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.


Duties and Responsibilities of Publisher

  • Sarawak Museum Department Publisher aims to oversee and promote the sustainability of journals under the supervision of the Sarawak Museum Department. It collaborates with the Editorial Committee to develop journal policies and guidelines. It facilitates journal article publication and indexing. Penerbit Jabatan Muzium Sarawak ensures that best publishing policies and practices are followed by journal editors, authors, reviewers, and other stakeholders.

  • Sarawak Museum Department Publisher will review and update the journal policies on a regular basis.

  • Sarawak Museum Department Publisher will also work with the Honorary Curator to handle any potential breaches, cases of intellectual property, laws, and related issues.

  • When determining whether or not to accept a paper, the policy of any agencies will not be taken into consideration. The quality, significance, and originality of the research presented in the paper, as well as the study's relevance to the journal's scope, will be solely considered when determining whether to publish a given manuscript.

  • Responsible for ensuring that all published materials are archived securely, and when required, the Sarawak Museum Department Publisher will provide the necessary digital services.


Duties of Executive Editor

The Executive Editor is a primary source of inspiration and advice and is committed to the development of the journal. The roles and responsibilities of the Executive Editor includes:

  • The Sarawak Museum Director or Acting Director automatically takes the responsibility as the Executive Editor of SMJ. 

  • Appoints the Editorial Board based on the decision upon recommendation of the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.

  • Actively contribute to the development of the journal.

  • Link the Honorary Curators with the Editorial Board, if necessary.

  • Act as ambassadors for the journal and continuously support and promote the journal.

  • Direct the overall strategy of the journal (in cooperation with the publisher and the society, as applicable). 

  • The person who the Editorial Board can request for his/her suggestion/opinion into the future strategy of the journal, considering the topics such as: 

    • What does he/she see as the direction for the journal? 

    • Does it meet the needs of the scholarly community? 

    • Competitor comparisons—what are they doing well? 

    • Ideas and innovations—what is the future of scholarly publishing? 

    • What is working? What is not?


Duties of Editors-in-Chief

  • The Editor-in-Chief has full control over the journal's entire editorial process, including deciding when and how frequently it will be published.

  • Responsible for evaluating papers objectively and solely based on their intellectual merit, as well as ensuring the secrecy of manuscripts. To that end, all authors should be treated equally, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, political ideology, or institutional affiliation.

  • Evaluate manuscripts objectively and exclusively based on their academic merit.

  • Ensure the confidentiality of manuscripts and do not disclose any information regarding manuscripts to anyone besides those involved in the publishing process. 

  • Is responsible for determining when and which articles will be published.

  • Ascertain that appropriate reviewers are chosen/identified for the reviewing process.


Duties of Managing Editors

He/She occasionally assists the Editor-in-Chief in the acceptance or rejection of manuscripts. The roles and responsibilities of Managing Editor includes:

  • Direct the flow of the manuscripts and enforce deadlines for publication.

  • Responsible for identifying important ‘hot topics’, sourcing high quality manuscripts, handling relevant manuscript hunting for the journal.

  • Evaluate and vet the submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (quality, originality, research validity, clarity) as well as its relevance to the journal’s aim and scope, regardless of the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.

  • Assess the suitability of the manuscript with respect to its scope, managing the peer review process, devising strategies for the progress of the journal, coordinating the reviewers, the author and Board members.

  • Write short notes on the authors of the journal manuscripts, news or research highlights in the journal and for the journal’s promotion purposes for the website.

  • Inform Editor-in-Chief the status of every reviewing development based on reports by the Editorial Board and Reviewer Panel members in the Editorial Board meetings.

  •  Responsible for providing and recording documentation for reviewer, appointment, notification and publication process across and within the Boards up until post-publication (eg. compiling all the agreements and the reviewed original documents on behalf of all the listed authors and reviewers).

  • Supervise the Final proofing the journal before printing and notify the Technical Team upon completion / arrival of the hardcopy printed by the printing company

  •  Application and process DOI and eISSN for e-journal.


Duties of Advisory Editor

  • Advisory Editors are encouraged to collaborate and communicate with the Penerbit Jabatan Muzium Sarawak.

  • Look into any instances of unethical research and publication by authors. 

  • Editors should also ensure that all submitted and accepted manuscripts are checked for plagiarism and fabricated material (including plagiarised texts and inappropriately altered images).

  • Shall check and verify if the authors acknowledge any research funding/grants and written informed consent for publication involving human data, research permits, animal and human ethic committee agreement forms, etc., for their submitted articles (if applicable). 

  • Ensure publication guidance and author instructions are available to the authors. Editors should consider requests from authors to exclude individual(s) to review their manuscript submission, if the reasons given are applicable and practicable. Editors should return the original reviewer reports to the authors in their entirety unless these reports contain offensive or discourteous statements. They should also allow authors to respond to the reviewers’ comments.

  • The editor is responsible for ensuring that the peer review process is fair, objective, and timely. Typically, the articles must be reviewed by at least 2 (two) external and independent reviewers, with the editor requiring any additional opinions as needed.


Associate Editors

An Associate Editor mainly acts as the pre and post-reviewing quality controller of the reported information in the article and ensures the format of the submitted manuscript is sent as required. He/She should review the typesetting of each article assigned to him/her if it fulfils the requirement for publication in SMJ. Senior curators and senior assistant curators can be appointed as members. The roles and responsibilities of Associate Editors include:

  • Assist Managing Editor to evaluate the submitted / revised manuscripts scope, presentation and layout exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (quality, originality, research validity, clarity) as well as its relevance to the journal’s aim and scope, regardless of the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation.

  • Carry out final developmental/technical editing of manuscripts. Proofreading the final manuscript revision assigned to him / her, and ensuring that all content, and the media (such as images and videos) included in the writings are properly sourced by the authors based on the journal’s requirement.

  • Responsible for the layout and the presentation of the correct and revised version of the journal draft according to the format before sending for printing.

  • Supervise the flow of manuscripts (i.e. from author to reviewer and back and finally to the publisher). 

  • Notify the acceptance or rejection of the resubmission of a revised manuscript/abstract assigned to him/her to the Managing Editor.

  • Oversee the Management Support Assistants in the tracking of the original/revised manuscripts assigned to him / her regarding manuscripts processing.

  • Report regularly to the Managing Editor if the manuscript fulfils the standard/requirements for publication.


Duties of Reviewers

  • He or she must sign and abide by The Sarawak Museum Journal Ethical Guidelines

  • An appreciation letter will be issued after the peer review is done. 
  • After all reviewing tasks of a manuscript are completed and all original documents are returned to the Editorial Assistant, a certain amount of honorarium will be  awarded to the reviewer upon approval by the Executive Editor.

  • Any competing interests must be disclosed before agreeing to review a submission. They have the right to refuse to review any submission if they have a conflict of interest or limited knowledge of the manuscript.

  • Review all submissions objectively, fairly and professionally.  

  • Notify the Editor-in-Chief of any ethical violations during the review process for further action.

  • Should ensure the originality of the submission and be on the lookout for copyright infringement, plagiarism, and redundant publication.

  • Respect the time allotted for the review process. Do not discuss the content of the submission without permission. The Editor-in-Chief has the final say on requests for extensions to review submissions.


Duties of Authors

  • The Author is responsible for ensuring the submissions are original and must be vigilant about plagiarism. The Sarawak Museum Journal guidelines for format must be strictly adhered to in order for the paper to be accepted.

  • The methods that were used should be clearly documented so that other researchers may apply and confirm the findings.

  • The author is allowed to send the manuscript elsewhere after sending an email to retract the manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief if he or she does not receive any notification of the manuscript reviewing status within 90 days of the acknowledgement of receipt date.

  • A notification for Peer Review Progress will be sent if the paper is accepted for consideration and publication.

  • Free online access to his or her published work for a limited period of time.

  • Any inaccuracy of information in an author's published work must be reported by the author to the Editor in Chief or publisher so that the article can be corrected or retracted.

  • Authors are not allowed to submit any articles that are concurrently being reviewed or taken into consideration by other journals, nor are they allowed to submit works that have already been published in other journals.

  • After receiving a formal rejection from the journal or if their request to withdraw their work is formally accepted by the journal, authors are permitted to publish their work elsewhere.



  • Only original, non-plagiarized writing that hasn't been published or isn't being considered elsewhere should be submitted by authors.

  • The Sarawak Museum Journal (SMJ) is using plagiarism-detection software to examine all submitted manuscripts for possible plagiarism or work duplication.

  • Inclusion of deceptive or intentionally false statements is unacceptable. The use of any work or words from another publication must be properly acknowledged or quoted.



  • Disclosure of all funding sources for the project is required. If authors receive any support that could be interpreted as influencing the results or interpretation of their manuscript, a conflict of interest statement must be included in the manuscript. 

  • The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and/or Editors are not permitted from disclosing any information in the manuscript under review to others or from using information from research data described in the manuscript for personal gain.

  • The Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and/or Editors may submit manuscripts to their journal for publication consideration. They should disclose this to the editorial board members, though. They must refrain from making editorial choices involving their own manuscript and cannot participate in the reviewing process.



  • Only those who have significantly contributed to the report should have their names listed as authors in a paper. Co-authors should only be those who have significantly contributed.

  • It is necessary to give credit or list contributors for other people who contributed to specific important parts of the work. Before submitting the paper, all co-authors must accept its final version and give their approval.


Publication Process

The Editor-in-Chief and/or Managing Editors must monitor the turnaround time for each publishing step, from manuscript receipt to publication or rejection.


Peer review flowchart


References :

Becky Hemmingway, Neil Smart, And Michael Willis (2020). “Improving Research Through Better Peer Review: Editors’ Questions Answered. Retrieved from:   h-better-peer-review-editor-questions-answered 

“Board Recruitment Workflow” Retrieved from:

“Becoming A Reviewer“: Retrieved from 

Catriona Fennell, Ann Corney and Elizabeth Ash (2017). “Transparency-The Key To Trust In Peer Review”. Retrieved from: 

Committee on Publication Ethics (2000). Committee on publication ethics (COPE): guidelines on good publication practice. Clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists (Great Britain), 12(4), 206–212.

Daniel DanteYehMD (2015). “Peer review report 5 on A wearable mobility assessment device for total knee replacement: A longitudinal feasibility study” Retrieved from: 

“Duties Of Authors, Editors, Reviewers, and Publisher” Retrieved from:

Editorial Policy Committee, Council of Science Editors. (2021). Cse’s White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. New York.

 “Editorial Boards”: Retrieved from:

 “Editorial Board Responsibilities” Retrieved from:

“Making The Most Of Your Editorial Board”. Retrieved from:

 “International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship” Retrieved from: 

 “Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement” Retrieved from: 

“Pre-evaluation of Scopus submission”. Retrieved from: 

Science Journals: Editorial Policies. Science.

 “Type Of Peer Review”. Retrieved from:

“Web Designer Job Descriptions Guide” Retrieved from:,websites%20for%20businesses%20and%20clients.&text=A%20Web%20Designer%20job%20description,needs%2C%20and%20be%20excellent%20communicators


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