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The Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) aspires to select and publish, through peer review, the highest quality research in international business. In order to achieve this goal, the entire peer review and publication process should be thorough, objective and fair. Journal reputation depends heavily on the trust by all stakeholders in the fairness of the peer review and publication process. A formal code of ethics, outlining guidelines for good behavior and proposing solutions to ethical dilemmas facing Authors, Editors and Reviewers, can build stakeholder trust and improve journal reputation. With this goal in mind, the JIBS Code of Ethics is designed to be a comprehensive policy for peer review and publication ethics in the Journal of International Business Studies. The Code describes JIBS's policies for ensuring the ethical treatment of all participants in the peer review and publication process. JIBS Authors, Editors and Reviewers are encouraged to study these guidelines and address any questions or concerns to the JIBS Editor-in-Chief, John Cantwell, at These guidelines apply to manuscripts submitted to JIBS starting July 1, 2007, and may be revised at any time by the Editor-in-Chief.

JIBS is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).




When an Author submits a manuscript to JIBS, the manuscript must be an original work.

Authors must not submit the same work, in whole or in part, to two places of publication at the same time, or at any time while the manuscript is under review at JIBS. It is also improper for an Author to submit a manuscript describing essentially the same research to more than one place of publication, unless it is a resubmission of a manuscript rejected for or withdrawn from publication. Thus, an Author may not submit to JIBS a work that is in whole or in part under review elsewhere, nor submit to another publication outlet a work that is in whole or in part under review at JIBS.

The manuscript must not have been previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere, either in whole (including book chapters) or in part (including paragraphs of text or exhibits), whether in English or another language.

The only exception to the “originality” rule is a conference proceedings paper, where the paper is work in progress toward the manuscript submitted to JIBS. The Author must inform the JIBS Office of the conference proceedings paper, either in advance of or at the time of submission to the Journal, and, if requested by the JIBS Office, send the conference proceedings paper to the JIBS Editor handling the manuscript.

If the manuscript contains materials that overlap with work that is previously published, that is in press, or that is under consideration for publication elsewhere, the Author must cite this work in the manuscript. The Author must also inform the JIBS Office of the related work and, if requested, send the manuscript to the Editor.

Authors must explicitly cite their own earlier work and ideas, even when the work or ideas are not quoted verbatim or paraphrased in the manuscript. If exact sentences or paragraphs that appear in another work by the Author are included in the manuscript, the material should be put in quotation marks and appropriately cited in a way that does not compromise the double-blind review process.

The manuscript should identify the origin, and originality, of any proprietary, non-standard datasets used in the paper, for example, a primary dataset created by the Author using a survey. If the proprietary dataset has been used elsewhere by this or another Author the manuscript should cite these other works, whether published or not.

While self-citation is encouraged, Authors should avoid excessively citing their earlier works in order to inflate their citation count. Authors should also avoid self-citation that might violate the double-blind review process. If self-identifying information is unavoidable, the Author should include the information in the manuscript's Acknowledgements (which are not forwarded to the Reviewers) and also inform the JIBS Managing Editor.

Authors should not submit a manuscript to JIBS that was previously submitted to JIBS, sent out for review, and rejected after review by a JIBS Editor. If an earlier version was previously rejected by JIBS, and the Author wishes to submit a revised version for review, this fact and the justification for resubmission should be clearly communicated by the Author to the JIBS Managing Editor at the time of submission. Only under rare circumstances will a second submission be permissible.

Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism:

All work in the manuscript should be free of any plagiarism, falsification, fabrications, or omission of significant material.

Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another's paper as the Author's own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper without attribution, to claiming results from research conducted by others. Authors are expected to explicitly cite others' work and ideas, even if the work or ideas are not quoted verbatim or paraphrased. This standard applies whether the previous work is published, unpublished, or electronically available. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Redundancy (or “self-plagiarism”) is unacceptable publishing behavior. Redundancy can occur in at least two ways: (1) Authors recycle portions of their previous writings by using identical or nearly identical sentences or paragraphs from earlier writings in subsequent research papers, without quotation or acknowledgement; or (2) Authors create multiple papers that are slight variations on each other, which are submitted for publication in different journals but without acknowledgement of the other papers. Authors can and often do develop different aspects of an argument in more than one manuscript. However, manuscripts that differ primarily in appearance, but are presented as separate and distinct research without acknowledging other related work, constitute attempts (whether unintentional or deliberate) to deceive reviewers and readers by overinflating the intellectual contribution of the manuscript. Since publication decisions are influenced by the novelty and innovativeness of manuscripts, such deception is inappropriate and unethical.

Authors should minimize their recycling of previous writings. If recycling is unavoidable, the Author should inform the Editor at the time of submission and reference the previous writings in the manuscript. Such self-referencing should be worded carefully so as to avoid compromising the double-blind review process.

If exact sentences or paragraphs that appear in another work by the Author are included in the manuscript, the material must be put in quotation marks and appropriately cited.

Cases of plagiarism and redundancy will be handled according to the practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (download PDF). In instances the Editor deems as “major” redundancy (e.g., multiple overlapping paragraphs), the paper will be rejected and authors may be barred from submitting to JIBS for a period of time. In cases of “minor” redundancy (e.g., a single duplicate paragraph describing the research methods), the authors would be asked to rephrase the duplicate sentences.

JIBS reserves the right to evaluate issues of plagiarism and redundancy on a case-by-case basis.

Conflicts of Interest:

Authors should avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest throughout the research process. A conflict of interest is some fact known to a participant in the publication process that if revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived (or an Author, Reviewer, or Editor feel defensive). Conflicts of interest may influence the judgment of Authors, Reviewers, and Editors. Possible conflicts often are not immediately apparent to others. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial. Financial interests may include employment, research funding (received or pending), stock or share ownership, patents, payment for lectures or travel, consultancies, non-financial support, or any fiduciary interest in the company. The perception of a conflict of interest is nearly as important as an actual conflict, since both erode trust.

All such interests (or their absence) should be declared in writing by Authors upon submission of the manuscript. If any are declared, they should be published with the article. If there is doubt about whether a circumstance represents a conflict, it should be disclosed, so that Editors may assess its significance. Any queries about possible conflicts of interest should be addressed to the JIBS Office or Editor-in-Chief.

Authors should disclose in the manuscript's Acknowledgements any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Authors may withhold the names of specific sponsors if they provide an adequate and full description of the sponsor's nature and interest.

When submitting a manuscript to JIBS, the Corresponding Author has the opportunity to recommend one or more Area/Consulting Editors and up to four possible Reviewers for the manuscript. Authors should avoid any possible conflict of interest, or appearance of conflict of interest, in selecting Editors and Reviewers. Such conflicts of interest apply not only to the Corresponding Author but to any Co-Authors on the manuscript.

Examples of possible conflicts of interest include: (1) one of the Authors is at the same institution as the nominated Editor or Reviewer; (2) one of the Authors was a member of the Editor or Reviewer's dissertation committee, or vice versa; or (3) one of the Authors, and the Editor or Reviewer, are currently Co-Authors on another manuscript or have been Co-Authors on a manuscript within the past two years.

Authors should not nominate individuals whom they know have already read and provided comments on the manuscript or a previous version of the manuscript since such knowledge would automatically violate the double-blind review process. Authors should not in any way contact prior to submission the Area Editor or potential Reviewers that they nominate as suitable possibilities for their manuscript when it is submitted, and authors should not ask these individuals whether they are willing to have their names suggested, or inform them that they have been proposed for this role.

Double-Blind Review:

JIBS follows a double-blind review process, whereby Authors do not know Reviewers and vice versa. Authors should respect the confidentiality of the review process and should not reveal themselves to Reviewers, and vice versa. For example, the manuscript should not include any self-revealing information that would identify the Author to a Reviewer.

Authors should not post their submitted manuscript (including working papers and prior drafts) on websites where it could be easily discovered by potential Reviewers.

Authors should not nominate as Editor or Reviewer individuals whom they know have already read and provided comments on the manuscript or a previous version of the manuscript since such knowledge would automatically violate the double-blind review process.


Authors have the ultimate responsibility for all materials included in a manuscript submitted to JIBS. Authors are obligated to present an accurate account of the research performed as well as an objective discussion of the significance of the research.

Authors should report their findings fully and should not omit data that are relevant within the context of the research question(s). Results should be reported whether they support or contradict expected outcomes. Authors should take particular care to present relevant qualifications to their research or to the findings and interpretations of them. Underlying assumptions, theories, methods, measures and research designs relevant to the findings and interpretations of their work should be disclosed.

The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit peers with access to the same dataset to repeat the work.

If an Author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own work, it is the Author's obligation to promptly notify the journal Editor and cooperate with the Editor to retract or correct the paper. If the Editor or the publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error, it is the obligation of the Author to promptly retract or correct the manuscript or provide evidence to the Editor of the correctness of the original paper.


All Co-Authors of papers should have made significant contributions to the work and share accountability for the results. Authorship and credit should be shared in proportion to the various parties' contributions. Authors should take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they have actually performed or to which they have contributed. Other contributions should be cited in the manuscript's Acknowledgements or an endnote.

Authors should normally list a student as the principal Co-Author on multiple-authored publications that substantially derive from the student's dissertation or thesis.

Authors who analyze data from others should explicitly acknowledge the contribution of the initial researchers.

The Corresponding Author who submits a manuscript to JIBS should have sent all living Co-Authors a draft and obtained their assent to submission and publication.

Human Subjects:

Authors have a responsibility to preserve and protect the privacy, dignity, well-being and freedom of human subjects and research participants. Informed consent should be sought from all human subjects, and if confidentiality or anonymity is requested it should be honored.

Manuscripts involving human subjects (surveys, simulations, interviews) should comply with the relevant Human Subject Protocol requirements at the Author's university.

Copyright Law:

Authors should check their manuscripts for possible breaches of copyright law (e.g., where permissions are needed for quotations, artwork or tables taken from other publications) and secure the necessary permissions before submission.

Authors should avoid anything in the text of the manuscript that might be actionable, such as defamation. Authors should avoid using sexist and biased language that could be interpreted as denigrating to ethnic or other groups; for example, plural rather than single pronouns ("they" rather than "he") are recommended.


Authors should be prompt with their manuscript revisions. If an Author cannot meet the deadline given, the Author should contact the JIBS Managing Editor as soon as possible to determine whether a longer time period or withdrawal from the review process should be chosen.

Post publication:

JIBS holds the copyright to all published articles.

JIBS authors must ask for permission to publish their article (or a selection from the article) elsewhere, such as a JIBS article later appearing as a book chapter or as a translation.

Authors should not post their articles online except as outlined in the publisher's self-archiving policy.




JIBS Editors must maintain their editorial independence and work to ensure that Authors have editorial freedom. Responsibility for acceptance or rejection of manuscripts rests with the Editors. Doing so normally entails advice from Reviewers; however, manuscripts that Editors deem clearly inappropriate may be rejected without such review.


Editors should exercise their position of privilege in a confidential, unbiased, prompt, constructive and sensitive manner. Editors have the duty to judge manuscripts only on their scholarly merits. Editors should operate without personal or ideological favoritism or malice.

Conflict of Interest:

Editors should avoid any practice that gives rise to a conflict of interest or the reasonable appearance of one. For example:

  • To avoid any appearance of a potential conflict of interest, the Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor should not publish in the Journal except for materials that are clearly identifiable or identified as non-refereed or single-blind refereed. Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by a JIBS Editor and submitted to JIBS should be delegated by the JIBS Editor-in-Chief to another qualified person, such as a past Editor of the Journal or a member of the JIBS Consulting Editors Board. Editorial consideration of the manuscript in any way or form by the Author-Editor is never acceptable.
  • Editors should excuse themselves from considering a manuscript in which they have a real or potential conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, financial or other relationships or connections with any of the Authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript. Examples of connections that represent possible Editor-Author conflicts of interest include: (1) the Editor and Author are both employed by the same institution; (2) the Editor was a member of the Author's dissertation committee, or vice versa; or (3) the Author and Editor are currently Co-Authors on another manuscript or have been Co-Authors on a manuscript within the past two years.

Double-Blind Review:

JIBS follows a double-blind review process, whereby Authors do not know Reviewers and vice versa. Where articles appear in the Journal that were not double-blind reviewed, the standard of review should be clearly stated in the printed Acknowledgements accompanying the article. For example, an introductory article written by Guest Editors for a Special Issue would normally be single-blind reviewed, and should be so identified when published. The level of review for an invited work published in the Journal (for example, a Commentary written by the Author(s) who received the JIBS Decade Award) should be stated in the Acknowledgements.


Editors and their editorial staff including student workers shall not disclose information about a manuscript to anyone other than Reviewers and Authors. Office procedures should be in place to maintain confidentiality of the review process. JIBS Editors are expected to ensure the confidentiality of the double-blind review process and not divulge any information that might identify Authors to Reviewers or vice versa. The anonymity of Reviewers can only be lifted if Editors receive permission from Reviewers to reveal their identities. Editors should ensure that their staff members conform to this practice. Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an Editor's own research without the express written consent of the Author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review should be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.

Review Quality:

Normally, three Reviewers should be invited to comment on a manuscript, but a minimum of two Reviewers is acceptable. Authors may request that certain Reviewers not be used, but this decision should be left to Editor's discretion. The Editor should routinely assess all reviews for quality. In rare circumstances, an Editor may edit a review before sending it to an Author (for example, to remove a phrase that would identify the Reviewer) or not send the review to the Author if it is not constructive or appropriate. Ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics should be periodically assessed by the JIBS Editor-in-Chief to assure optimal journal performance. These ratings should also contribute to decisions on reappointment to the JIBS Editorial Review Board and to ongoing review requests. Individual performance data on Reviewers should be available to the Editors but otherwise kept confidential.


Editors should take steps to ensure the timely review of all manuscripts and respond promptly to inquiries from Authors about the status of a review.

Decision Quality:

Editors have a responsibility to provide the Author with an explanation of the editorial decision on a manuscript. Editors should write high-quality editorial letters that integrate reviewer comments and offer additional suggestions to the Author. Editors should not send a decision letter, without explanation, attached to a set of reviewer comments.

Editors have a responsibility to discourage authors from “gaming” activities designed to either inflate their own citations or the journal’s citations, and editors should not engage in such “gaming” activities themselves on behalf of JIBS or any other journal. Author and journal self-cites should be included where appropriate and as needed, but editors should not encourage or request authors to engage in frivolous or unnecessary citations, either by the authors to their own previous publications or to other articles published in JIBS or any other specific journal.


An Editor presented with convincing evidence by a Reviewer that the substance or conclusion of an unpublished manuscript is erroneous should promptly inform the Author. If similar evidence is presented for a published manuscript, the Editor should ensure prompt publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as appropriate.


The JIBS Editor-in-Chief is selected by, reports directly to and serves at the pleasure of the Academy of International Business (AIB) Executive Board. The Editor-in-Chief must have ultimate authority and responsibility for the Journal. The Editor-in-Chief should respect the Journal's constituents (readers, Authors, Reviewers, Editors, editorial staff and publisher), and work to ensure the honesty and integrity of the Journal's contents and continuous improvement in journal quality. The Editor-in-Chief should select the members of the editorial team, including an Editorial Review Board; outline the rights and responsibilities of these individuals; and regularly assess their performance. The Editor-in-Chief should develop a strategy plan for the future of the Journal, including facilitating transition to the next editorial team.


The Editor-in-Chief should develop performance metrics for the Journal. These metrics should be presented to the AIB Executive Board on a regular basis. The Journal should publish annual audits of acceptance rates, publication intervals, percentage of submissions sent out for external peer review, and other performance data. Performance measures should be used to assess changes in peer review and publication processes that might improve Journal performance.




Reviewing for journals is a professional activity that provides value for the profession as a whole, and should be encouraged. Scholars who submit manuscripts to JIBS are normally expected to reciprocate by accepting an invitation to review for the Journal.

Right of Refusal:

Refusals to review a manuscript are from time to time necessary. For example, a Reviewer who feels inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in a manuscript should refuse to review the manuscript. Reviewers should refuse to review a manuscript if there is a potential conflict of interest. If asked to review a manuscript they have previously reviewed, Reviewers should make that prior review known to the JIBS Editor, unless it is clear that they are being asked to provide a reappraisal.

Double-Blind Review:

JIBS has a double-blind review process. Reviewers should refuse to review manuscripts where they have provided written comments on the manuscript or an earlier version to the Author. If a Reviewer knows the identity of an Author or Co-Author, this would normally be grounds for refusal to review. Reviewers also have a responsibility to avoid writing, doing or saying anything that could identify them to an Author.

Conflict of Interest:

Normally, Reviewers should refuse to review manuscripts in which they have any conflicts of interest resulting from collaborative, financial, institutional, personal, or other relationships or connections with any of the companies, institutions, or people connected to the papers. Reviewers who might have a conflict of interest on a particular manuscript should reveal that conflict to the Editor, who will then determine their appropriate level of involvement. An example occurs when the Reviewer has a similar manuscript under review in the same or another journal or a similar research project nearing completion. Note that under the double-blind review process, since Reviewers do not know Authors, Reviewers are unlikely to be aware of and are therefore not bound by conflicts of interest involving Authors. If Reviewers do become aware of such conflicts, they should inform the Editor.


Reviewers should evaluate manuscripts objectively, fairly and professionally. Reviewers should avoid personal biases in their comments and judgments.


Reviewers should respect the confidentiality of the review process. It is important to recognize that the manuscript is confidential. Reviewers should not discuss the manuscript with anyone other than the JIBS Editor, nor should they discuss any information from the manuscript without permission. If Reviewers suspect misconduct, they should notify the Editor in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties unless officially notified by the Journal that they may do so.


In evaluating the manuscript and crafting comments to the Author(s), Reviewers should always keep in mind that their review captures their scholarly judgment about the manuscript. Reviewers should be honest with the Author in terms of their concerns about the manuscript. Reviewers should explain and support their scholarly judgments adequately; that is, they should provide sufficient detail to the Author to justify their recommendation to the Editor. Reviews should not be "two-faced", providing overly friendly reviews to the Author but very negative reviews in private to the Editor.


Reviewers should be prompt with their reviews. If a Reviewer cannot meet the deadline given, the Reviewer should contact the JIBS Managing Editor as soon as possible to determine whether a longer time period or a new Reviewer should be chosen.

Reviewers should also read and follow the JIBS Guidelines for Reviewers when completing reviews for the journal.



The JIBS Code of Ethics was developed with the research assistance of Dean Matula. Helpful comments were received from Paul Beamish, Michael Hitt, Anne Hoekman, Bruce Kogut, Lee Radebaugh, Anne Tsui, Rosalie Tung and Alain Verbeke. The Code draws heavily from the following on-line sources, which are recommended reading on ethical guidelines for journals:

Prepared by Lorraine Eden, Former JIBS Editor-in-Chief, and subsequently amended by Lorraine Eden and John Cantwell, current Editor-in-Chief
Last revision: September 18, 2010