Research Integrity

Standards and Misconduct

Professional Standards

The journal expects editors, reviewers, and authors to respect the integrity of the research process and conform to rigorous standards in the citation and acknowledgement of the work of other scholars. The Editor, Action Editors, members of the Editorial Board, reviewers, and authors must act in a professional and fair way when completing their expected duties, and must not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, or geographical origin of the authors. The journal will not tolerate misconduct by its Editor, Action Editors, members of the Editorial Board, reviewers, or authors, including that of (but not limited to) plagiarism, harassment, and failing to uphold standards of professional conduct. The journal strives to follow the Core Practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics ( (COPE), which include:

  • A clearly described process for handling allegations of misconduct.
  • Clear policies (that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity) regarding authorship and contributorship.
  • A clearly described process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, Editorial Board or publisher.
  • Clear definitions of conflicts of interest and processes for handling conflicts of interest of authors, reviewers, editors, journals and publishers, whether identified before or after publication.
  • Policies on data availability
  • Policies on ethical oversight, including consent to publication, research using human subjects, and handling confidential data
  • Policies on intellectual property, including copyright and publishing licenses, any costs associated with publishing, what counts as prepublication that will preclude consideration, and what constitutes plagiarism/overlapping publication.
  • Policies on journal management including business model, processes for efficient running of an editorially independent journal, as well as the efficient management and training the Editorial Board and editorial staff.
  • A transparently described and well managed peer review process, including training for Action Editors and reviewers, and processes for handling conflicts of interest, appeals and disputes that may arise in peer review.
  • Mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication, and for allowing debate post publication through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubMed Commons or PubPeer.

Complaints Procedures

The journal has three distinct procedures:

  1. Authors may appeal against publication decisions using the appeals procedure (see the Author Guidelines for details).
  2. Any person may make an allegation of misconduct by an author, Action Editor, Editor, or member of the Editorial Board by emailing either the Editor or the Head of the Editorial Board (anonymously if they wish). Whether the initial allegation is made to the Editor or to the Head of the Editorial Board, The Editorial Board will determine any remedial action (such as retraction of the paper, overturning of a decision to reject a paper, or any other action they deem appropriate) by means of a vote in which more than 50% of Editorial Board members participate (in order to reach quorum) and more than 50% of voting Editorial Board members vote in favour of the proposed action; the vote to be organized by the head of the Editorial Board. Note: On 5th March, 2020, the Editorial Board took a vote as to whether anonymous complaints should be allowed. The result was as follows: Yes (69.2%), No (30.8%), with 26 members of the board voting, and four abstentions.
  3. Any person may make a request for the correction, revision or retraction of a published article, whether or not an allegation of misconduct has been made, by emailing the Editor. Valid grounds for a correction, revision or retraction exist when, in the opinion of the Editor, a paper contains one or more substantive errors of fact (not simply a disagreement on matters of academic opinion). Requests for simple corrections and revisions will be dealt with by the Editor who will, if such corrections/revisions are deemed to be necessary, liaise with the authors to ensure that they are implemented. If the (a) request is for a retraction, or (b) the Editor considers a retraction may be necessary or (c) the authors dispute the Editor’s suggested remedial action or do not respond to the Editor’s correspondence or (d) the Editor is an author on the paper, the matter will be referred to the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board will determine any remedial action (such as correction or retraction of the paper) by means of a vote in which more than 50% of Editorial Board members participate (in order to reach quorum) and more than 50% of voting Editorial Board members vote in favour of the proposed action; the vote to be organized by the head of the Editorial Board.


The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) defines plagiarism as “rang[ing] from the unreferenced use of others’ published and unpublished ideas,  including  research grant  applications  to  submission  under  “new” authorship of a complete paper, sometimes in a different language”. Papers submitted to the journal will be automatically checked with plagiarism detection software, and articles with large chunks of unattributed text from other published sources (including authors’ own previous publications) will be rejected without review. Authors including long quotations from previous publications (including their own) must take particular care to check that they are compliant with copyright law, as set out in the Author Agreement. Any person wishing to make an allegation of plagiarism in a published article should follow the journal’s complaints procedures for making an allegation of misconduct and/or a request for correction, revision or retraction. The journal accepts submissions of manuscripts previously posted on preprint servers such as Psyarxiv and the Open Science Framework and manuscripts previously presented at conferences, provided that manuscripts submitted to the journal do not contain copyright material. For example, if a manuscript has previously been published as part of a conference proceedings volume, the authors may have assigned copyright to the publisher of that volume, meaning that an identical or even substantially edited manuscript may not be submitted to the journal.

Peer Review Policy

All submissions are reviewed by a minimum of two peer reviewers, and one of our Action Editors, all well-established senior researchers, chosen to represent a wide range of theoretical and methodological expertise. Action Editors select peer reviewers on the basis of their expertise and experience in publishing papers in the relevant topic area. The journal operates a single-anonymous review policy and an optional double-anonymous review policy. That is, reviewers are anonymous to authors, unless they waive anonymity by clearly signing their review. By default, authors are not anonymous to reviewers, since the journal encourages public posting and sharing of submitted preprints, but authors may opt for double-anonymous review, in which they are additionally anonymous to reviewers.

License and copyright

Language Development Research operates on a Diamond Open Acess basis (also known as "Platinum" or "Universal" Open Access). That is, the journal does not charge any fees for access (e.g., subscription or download fees) or for publication (e.g., article processing charges). All articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which does not allow for commercial use, but does allow derivative uses (e.g., free re-use of tables and figures in other publications with no permissions needed, provided citations are given). Although authors grant first digital publication rights to LDR, and agree to publish under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license, authors retain their copyright and full publishing rights.

Author Agreement

Authors shall agree to publish their article with Language Development Research ("the journal") under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license (summary:; full license: 

Authors hereby grant to Language Development Research and Carnegie Mellon University Libraries a nonexclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, translate, transmit, prepare derivative works, and publish their contribution on the Internet. Authors represent and warrant that any article submitted is wholly original and not published or under review elsewhere (except for material in the public domain or used with permission of its owner). Authors represent and warrant that the submission is the work of the authors stated, and that all authors have agreed to its truthfulness and have given permission to publish the article with Language Development Research. Authors also shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Editor, Action Editors, members of the Editorial Board, Carnegie Mellon University and its officers, trustees, agents, and employees from all liability arising from their work. In particular, authors warrant that submitted articles do not infringe upon any copyright, and do not constitute defamation or invasion of the right of privacy or publicity or any other rights of third parties. Authors shall notify the Editor of any factual errors that they discover in submitted articles and make any necessary changes the Editor may require to rectify the errors in a timely manner. Language Development Research reserves the right to remove an article at any time for any or no reason. By submitting a manuscript to Language Development Research, authors are agreeing to abide by this Author Agreement and by all Policies and Procedures set out in the present webpages and the full Policies and Procedures document.

Policies and Procedures

The complete Policies and Procedures for the Language Development Research journal are available via the "Full Policies" link at the top of this page.