Governance and Editorial Standards for Critical Gambling Studies (CGS)
The everyday operations of CGS are guided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), an international and interdisciplinary organization committed to fostering academic integrity and transparency in Open Access Journal publishing. CGS will apply for membership in COPE in 2024.
The journal is managed by a team of three editors who meet regularly to discuss and decide journal business. The three editors make final editorial decisions collectively.
Review of Journal Scope and Documentation
Every 12 months the editors will extend an invitation to Editorial Board Members (EBMs) to review the journal’s scope and documentation. Typically this will be done through an annual general meeting held virtually and to which all editorial board members are invited. The editors will respond to constructive criticisms and concrete suggestions by making appropriate revisions as required.
Election of Editors
Every three years an election will be held allowing EBMs to vote for a new editorial team. To have a significant impact on the field of academic gambling studies, the journal must remain on sustainable footing. Editorial teams standing for election must provide evidence of editorial experience and a combined record of published research on gambling over at least 15 years. This could include editorial teams where senior members with established publication records mentor one or more early careers in the field. Editorial teams must also demonstrate access to time and funds that will enable them to publish at least two issues per year over the period of their editorship.
Articles submitted to CGS should include the names of all authors. Authors are those who have contributed substantially to the work. All authors share in the accountability for the work that was done and its presentation. It is the responsibility of the individuals who conducted the work to determine who should be listed as authors on the publication, as well as the order in which the authors’ names should be listed. Acknowledgements may be used to recognize contributions to the work that do not meet the criteria of authorship, such as those who have supported the study, collected data or acted as mentors.
Academic Misconduct Policy
In cases of suspected data falsification or plagiarism (including redundancy/“self-plagiarism” and use of AI-generated text), the editors will investigate and may use plagiarism screening tools or AI detection tools to help determine whether plagiarism has occurred. When allegations of misconduct are raised through the peer review process or after publication, they will always be investigated by one or more of the journal editors. The editor(s) will follow relevant COPE procedures and flowcharts. If allegations are substantiated in regard to a published article, a post-publication notice will be published and linked to the article. In rare circumstances, the journal may issue a retraction of an article. All final decisions about how to respond to allegations of misconduct will be made collectively by the three editors (unless one or more editors has recused themselves due to a conflict of interest as outlined below).
Ethical Standards and Conflict of Interest Policies
Academic integrity is a core value of CGS. The independence of researchers should be demonstrable at every level of study: from design and data collection through to analysis and interpretation of results. Each participant in the peer-review and publication process—including, authors, editors, editorial board members, and reviewers—must consider their conflicts of interest when participating in the process of article review and publication, disclosing all relationships that could be viewed as actual or potential conflicts of interest.
To guide us towards academic independence and transparency we have developed a set of basic ethical standards. These are necessitated by the unique character of regulated gambling provision and consumption in most jurisdictions whereby governments are direct beneficiaries of gambling revenue through taxation and gambling corporations work closely with governments to establish policies that facilitate profitable operations. We believe that gambling research must be disconnected from individuals or organizations that directly or indirectly profit from the growth of gambling. In addition to government agencies and private businesses which benefit from the expansion of commercial gambling, this includes pharmaceutical companies and other private organisations that profit from the diagnosis and treatment of problem gambling.
For example, provision of free medications by pharmaceutical companies for testing by academic researchers and medical practitioners can be perceived as putting at risk the integrity of their results. Provision of speakers’ fees and hospitality at events sponsored by gambling businesses or dependence on gambling funds to sustain gambling information and treatment can make recipients less inclined to be critical of social, community and individual harms related to gambling. Similarly, when access to venues and ‘big data’ is dependent on ‘partnerships’ with gambling industries or the governments which support their operations directly or indirectly, the independence of research is easily compromised. In view of the challenges outlined above, the following ethical standards have been developed.
1. Members of the editorial board will not accept funds or in-kind support from gambling industry actors in exchange for access to data or research participants. They will not accept funding, hospitality or gifts to participate in events sponsored or co-sponsored by gambling industry actors or the charities or organisations they fund, either directly or indirectly;
2. Submissions to the journal must include a full statement of financial and other support from all sources for the previous three years. Where funding or support from gambling industry actors has been received within that period, the paper will not normally be accepted for consideration. However, authors may make a case to the editors (to be published as an addendum to any published articles) that the submitted paper is based on research that is distinct and independent from these sources, and demonstrate how research findings have not been affected by a history of such support. If such papers are accepted for peer-review, peer-reviewers will be asked to consider the case as a key item in determining their view of the merits of the paper;
3. Where financial or other support derived from hypothecated gambling industry levies or taxation has been obtained, EBMs and authors making submissions to the journal must fully disclose the source of such support and provide evidence of processes in place to prevent influence on decisions of the administering body. These processes might include independent peer-review of research funding applications and other mechanisms to ensure arms-length distancing from government and corporate agendas;
4. Sometimes authors may collaborate with researchers who have, in the past, accepted funding from gambling industry actors, or undertaken commissioned research for governments without peer-review or other processes to guarantee academic integrity. In such cases, authors must make a case to the editors (to be published as an addendum to any published articles) that the submitted paper is based on research that is distinct and independent from these funding sources and that the contribution of collaborators with a history of receiving funding or support from gambling industry actors is not affected by a history of such support, as for (2.), above.
Conflicts of Interest
Editors will recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. These policies apply equally to guest editors of special issues.
Types of Conflicts of Interest
Editors will not make decisions on manuscripts submitted from their own institution, or by research collaborators, co-authors, or authors with whom the editor has a history of public or private conflict. To avoid the possibility of conflict, editors should will recuse themselves if they have published with, have collaborated with, or have been in a mentoring or hostile relationship with any author or contributor to the manuscript within the past three years. Editors will also recuse themselves if their work is cited extensively within a submission.
The most apparent type of conflict of financial interest occurs when an editor or affiliated organization may benefit financially from a decision to publish or to reject a manuscript. All financial interests of authors should be disclosed. In addition to national and international research funding bodies, these include:
- the name of all granting bodies
- the source of any commissioned research
- past and current investments in gambling and/or problem gambling treatment businesses
Other nonfinancial conflicts of interest should also be avoided or disclosed. Editorial decisions should be based on an objective and impartial consideration of the suitability and quality of the manuscript, exclusive of personal or professional bias. Non-financial conflicts involve consideration of:
Whether the reviewer has a history of research collaboration with the author/s
Whether the reviewer has a history of public or private conflict with the author/s
Conflict of Interest Statement for Authors and Reviewers
Authors and Reviewers must disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the editors and are asked the following questions:
- Do you have financial interests that may be related to the topic or viewpoint expressed in this manuscript? (e.g. you have received funding from related businesses or agencies or invested in businesses that deliver gambling or treatment for problem gambling)
- Do you have non-financial interests that may be related to the topic or viewpoint expressed in this manuscript (e.g. you have collaborated professionally or have a history of public or private conflict with the author).
Specific Conflict of Interest Policies
Editors and guest editors are responsible for recognizing the potential for conflicts of interest and to take appropriate action when these are likely. These are the policies we follow to address potential conflicts of interest:
Submission by an Editor
A paper submitted by an editor will be handled by a member of the editorial board who does not have a potential conflict with the review and who is not at the same institution as the submitting editor. The nominated editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. In such circumstances, full masking of the process must be ensured so that the anonymity of the peer reviewers is maintained. Therefore, the editor submitting the paper will not have access to the review records of their own manuscript.
Submission from the Same Institution
A paper submitted by an author at the same institution as one of the editors will be handled by a member of the editorial board who is at another institution. The nominated editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper.
Conflict of Interest of a Guest Editor
In the case where a guest editor of a special issue has a potential conflict of interest as described above, the paper will be handled by the journal editor who has been assigned to oversee the special issue. In the case where that editor also has a potential conflict of interest, a member of the editorial board who does not have a potential conflict will be nominated as editor for the paper as described above.
Once all editorial decisions have been finalized, we encourage all reviewers to identify themselves to the author of manuscripts reviewed and to the readers of the journal through acknowledgement in the published manuscript. However, we recognise that in some circumstances this is not possible and this will not prejudice our choice of reviewers.
Authors may nominate authors in the field of gambling studies who they do not wish to review the manuscript. They must provide a brief rationale for excluding potential reviewers.
Authors may also nominate authors in the field of gambling studies they judge to have relevant expertise in the topic their manuscript addresses.
Peer Review Rubric
Reviewers are provided with a rubric to assist in judging the merits and weaknesses of a manuscript and making a final recommendation regarding publication. The rubric scores the following criteria: research, methodology, argument, use of evidence, theoretical frameworks, quality of writing, originality, and organization & structure. The full rubric is available on the Reviewer Guidelines page.
Reviewers have the option to request to review the updated manuscript prior to acceptance and can indicate this as part of their review comments.
Author Self-Archiving Policy
Under the terms of the Creative Commons license, authors are permitted to post their work online in institutional/disciplinary repositories or on their own websites. Pre-print versions posted online should include a citation and link to the final published version in Critical Gambling Studies as soon as the issue is available; post-print versions (including the final publisher's PDF) should include a citation and link to the journal's website.