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Ethics Policies and Guidance

IWA Publishing is committed to maintaining the highest standards of publishing ethics and trust in the quality of the peer review process. Any concerns of misconduct will be investigated in line with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and people who are found to have acted intentionally unethical will not be allowed to review or publish in IWA Publishing journals.

For any queries or concerns regarding the peer review or publication of an article in an IWA Publishing journal, please contact the Editorial Office at

Ethical processes and procedures

As a member of the Committee on Publications Ethics (COPE), IWA Publishing follows their guidance when we are notified of any misconduct or unethical behaviour. IWA Publishing takes all allegations seriously and the case will be open until a robust investigation is completed, and a conclusion has been made.

Those making an allegation must provide clear evidence and information to allow us to investigate the case. We will work with the Editor-in-Chief and the Editor who handled the paper to understand the concern raised and the author will be given a chance to respond to the issue.

In less serious cases, we will work with the authors to resolve the issue raised to both the authors’ and the person raising the issues’ satisfaction. Where appropriate, a Corrigendum will be issued and linked online to the original article.

For serious cases of misconduct, and in line with COPE’s guidelines, cases will be referred to the person’s institution or employer to make the final decision on how to proceed. This may lead to a retraction of the paper and a ban from publishing future papers in the journal.


The Editors of IWA Publishing journals are committed to maintaining the highest standards of ethics in reviewing and publishing submissions. On submission, all corresponding authors should accept the following statements:

  • Your paper is your original work and where you have included the work of others this has been fully and appropriately acknowledged*.
  • Authorship of the paper must include all those who have made significant contributions to the work, and they should be listed as co-authors. Persons who have not contributed significantly to the work must not be listed as co-authors.
  • As corresponding author you must ensure that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
  • You have not already published in another journal a paper describing essentially the same material, nor is your paper currently being considered for publication in another journal.
  • You should disclose in your paper any conflict of interest (financial or other) that might be construed to influence the content of this paper. All sources of financial support should be disclosed.

At Acceptance: Before indicating acceptance of these principles on behalf of co-authors, the corresponding author should confirm that they have informed all co-authors of these principles and are accepting them on their behalf.

*All citations should be referenced as per the Instructions for Authors. Sources should also be included for figures and tables that were not created by the authors, whether they are used ‘as published’ or ‘modified’. Authors must also obtain permission to reuse Figures and Tables from the authors or publishers of the original work. Please refer to the rights and permissions page.

Co-author verification

The corresponding author should agree to the above terms on behalf of all co-authors, who should have been informed of the intention to submit to the journal in advance.

IWA Publishing requests co-author verification for every paper. This means that each co-author will be notified that the manuscript has been submitted to an IWA Publishing journal and asked to confirm their authorship. Co-authors should also review and confirm the author list for the manuscript as part of their verification.

It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to provide valid email addresses for each co-author, preferably institutional email addresses.

Change of authorship

Please note that the author list provided on submission to the journal (and on the accepted publication) will be included on the version of record. As such, please ensure that the author names and order are correct.

Requests for significant changes to authorship during the peer review process will be investigated to determine the rationale for these changes. Where authorship changes are necessary, a Change of Authorship form must be completed and signed by all previous and new authors.

IWA Publishing generally does not support changes to authorship post-publication. Any requests for changes to authorship that occur after an article is published will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Author name change

An author may change their name, for example due to religious conversion, gender transition, marriage or divorce, and wish for their publication to reflect the change. IWA Publishing will update the article and send the metadata to secondary indexes. IWA Publishing respects authors’ privacy in this regard and, where appropriate, will not inform the author’s co-authors of the change. This includes not requesting a Change of Authorship form or publishing a Correction to the article. Authors requesting a name change should contact, including their list of publications that require a change.

Replication and duplicate submissions

Authors should not have the same work or work with high levels of similarity under consideration or published in multiple journals. This is the responsibility of the corresponding author, and all authors should decide which journal to submit to and who will be the corresponding author for any submission.

To verify originality, submissions may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck. IWA Publishing will remove duplicate, redundant, or concurrent publications submitted to the journal. Authors will be notified of the reason for removal before peer review and can contact the journal to discuss this.

Authors should ensure they check their proofs carefully to avoid errors in the final published article. However, if authors believe there is a scientifically relevant issue within the published article, please contact to a request a correction. Relevant reasons for a correction include:

  • An error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions of the article;
  • An error in data that does not alter the conclusions of the article;
  • Mislabelled figures;
  • An error in the author list (an author has been included or omitted);
  • An error introduced by the publisher during production.

For changes that may impact the scientific conclusions of articles, the relevant journal Editorial Board will be consulted.

AI Tools

IWA Publishing allows the use of AI tools used within a manuscript, but does not allow for AI-generated content to be used in the place of human authorship.

  • Authors will be held liable for any errors, potential plagiarism or inconsistencies introduced by AI tools.
  • Authorship must be verifiable, which is not possible from an AI tool or content generator.
  • If AI tools are used on an article submitted to IWA Publishing, their use must be clearly explained within the methodology section.

If AI-generated content is included within a manuscript without explanation, this will be grounds for rejection of the work at the discretion of the Editorial Board.


Open Data

To allow for replication studies, we encourage that all raw data is available as supplementary material or on request during peer review or after publication. When submitting to us, authors must make sure that they have also given an accurate report of the work performed, with an unbiased discussion included. This includes reporting on negative results.

Human Participants

IWA Publishing  adheres to the highest ethical standards in relation to research that involves human participants. Any research associated with human participants should have the appropriate assurances that the study design and implementation has been undertaken with the protection of the volunteers in the study in accordance with review from an appropriate ethics review committee.

All such articles submitted to the journal should contain the following ethics statement:

‘Free and informed consent of the participants or their legal representatives was obtained [if a waiver of informed consent was provided by the ethics committee, this should be mentioned] and the study protocol was approved by the appropriate Committee for the Protection of Human Participants [insert committee name], by the [insert university or approval agency, state, country, Protocol # and approval date]'.

IWA Publishing follows the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science Ethical Guidelines for Editors and Reviewers. If animals are used in the research, authors should read the guidelines and indicate in the submission that these have been followed.


For any queries or concerns, please contact the Editorial Office at

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