Journal Ethics

This policy summarises the ethical values and principles that should be shared by everyone who is active within plaNext. The policy should be an instrument to decide on ethical issues which arise in the different activities, including initial acceptance of papers, selection of reviewers, and employment of Editorial Board members and other staff. It should also be a basis and stimulus for continued ethical discussion, both within plaNext as publication and editorial board and together with the broader network of AESOP and the AESOP-YA.

Core values

plaNext core values are based on democracy, the equal value of human beings, human rights and freedom and free and open discussion. Equality between men and women and the dissociation from all forms of discrimination are both an issue of quality and a natural part of plaNext core values. Equality and diversity among employees and students also represent important resources for plaNext.

As an international open access journal, plaNext has a particular responsibility for developing and sharing knowledge around planning and other related fields. Disseminated and shared knowledge should be contributed with, and used by, individuals and institutions who support the aforementioned values of plaNext. Through freely disseminated knowledge plaNext seeks to advance free exchange of information and just international collaboration.

Editorial Board, Referees and Community

  • Members of the Editorial Board and Referees should:
  • collaborate with respect, regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other social and political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or age;
  • act impartially and honestly, contribute to plaNext impartiality and its political and religious independence;
  • handle potentially sensitive personal data, with respect for personal integrity;
  • not use plaNext for any personal matters, or any racist and other inappropriate purposes.

Members of the Editorial Board should:

  • exercise their leadership and management with respect to the rights of both authors and reviewers;
  • contribute to decisions through openness, clarity, and justice; - conduct the publication process without tolerance for bias, plagiarism, cheating, improper influence and other improprieties;
  • reject any contribution to the journal that embrace disrespect of human rights;
  • reject any contribution from authors which in any way violate the values of plaNext;
  • reject any contribution thatfails to explicitly acknowledge human rights violations directly linked to the topics on stake;
  • reject any collaboration with institutions and individuals that in any way violate the values of plaNext.

plaNext’s collaboration with the surrounding community should:

  • be characterised by respect to human rights and integrity;
  • take place in such a manner that neither the publication process nor the values of the journal is jeopardised;
  • promote democracy and free exchange of information;
  • take place in an environment where nobody is subjected to discrimination;
  • be established with institutions and individuals who are not complicit with disrespect of human rights.


plaNext understands authorship/contributorship as substantial participation in the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing of articles and the research/planning content that the article disseminates. All those who significantly contributed to the research/planning and the conceptualisation/methodological development/writing/editing should be listed as authors/contributors. Individual members of larger research teams, cannot publish the research or the outcomes of this research under single/sole authorship, omitting research members who have substantially contributed to the body of work. A PhD supervisor cannot claim co-authorship solely based on a supervision role.


Complaints and appeals should be directed to plaNext' editor-in-chief, by email. The editor-in-chief will address each complaint/appeal case-by-case, making a concerted attempt to find suitable solutions. Complex cases will be referred to the advice of the editorial board. If needed further reference will be made to similar cases published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The final decision rests with the editor-in-chief. Written justifications, and reasoning that underpin the decision, will be released to authors in a timely manner.


plaNext follows protocols to avert potential conflict of interests. Regardless of the blind review process, the protocols avoid assigning reviewers from the same institution to the reviews of research/design work of authors. This includes verifying the co-publishing relationships between reviewers and research/design authors.

Authors are required to disclose commercial, financial, political and any other relationships that had a bearing on the development of the research/planning, including possible influences on the research/planning conclusions, under the acknowledgements section of each submission.

The editor-in-chief may, at any time during, or after the editorial process, reject or remove the contributions based on the omission of such disclosures.


plaNext encourages the publication of open data sets (including procedures/methodologies) when used to underpin research/planning findings or draw conclusions. However, plaNext accepts that existing copyright or privacy issues may prevent further publication of open data sets or protocols.


plaNext avoids publishing xenophobic, sexist, homophobic or intolerant content. The editor-in-chief may ask author(s) to demonstrate research compliance within ethical guidelines and codes of conduct - in line with institutional, academic or professional association(s). In parallel, the editor-in-chief reserves the right to compare ethical disputes with previous COPE case studies, in the mediation to seek viable solution to ethical concerns.


plaNext publishes original content. The use of published material, images and previously published research/design from others, or previously published research/design by authors themselves, are permitted under fair use guidelines and the citation of original sources.

Plagiarism under plaNext protocols, or the use of content without citation/acknowledgements of original sources, will not be permitted. This includes both the presentation of research outcomes (including its presentation in the original written form), as well as ideas produced by others claimed as intellectual property by authors themselves.

Authors retain ownership of their content under the plaNext policies. plaNext' does not require a transfer of intellectual property as a precondition for publication. Authors are free to publish pre- and postprint versions of their contributions without restriction, upon completion of the blind peer-review process.


Readers can submit a 'letter to the editor' in response to a published contribution in plaNext. Post-publication discussions may lead to corrections, revisions or even retractions. Such amendments are at the discretion of the editor-in-chief, based on evidence and set protocols.

Adjustment to articles after publication will use ‘versioning’; the publishing of corrections or retractions as updated versions of articles. Versioning allows for comparative readership between old and new versions, and further insight into the discussion or revision process.