Ethical Standards

Since its creation, the Political Observatory has focused on various activities and objectives. Notably, it has established a scientific journal dedicated to the reflection, debate, and dissemination of research in the field of Political Science. The journal maintains a neutral position on all issues it covers.

The Political Observer (former) Portuguese Journal of Political Science (RCPC) is an official scientific publication created by the Political Observatory. Its objectives are to publish, circulate, and advertise original and innovative academic research in the field of Political Science. The journal covers various perspectives of the area, including Political Theory, Political Processes and Institutions, and Strategy and Security.

The publication of an article in an academic and peer-reviewed journal involves multiple parties, all of whom must adhere to the expected ethical standards throughout their involvement. The Political Observatory is also committed to upholding these ethical standards at all stages of the publication process.

Under Article 17 of the Portuguese Press Law (Law No. 2/99, dated January 13th), we are committed to upholding deontological principles and professional ethics in our research work, as well as ensuring the good faith of our readers. The Portuguese Journal of Political Science is registered with the Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC).

We adhere to industry guidelines, such as those established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), to meet the requirements of our Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement (PEMS). As such, our editors, peer reviewers, and authors must be aware of the following ethical principles:

1. Ethical principles

For Editors

Editors have a responsibility to act in a balanced, objective, and fair manner when carrying out their duties, without discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, or ethnic or geographical origin of the authors.
All submitted papers must be treated as confidential.
In the event of complaints of an ethical or conflicting nature, reasonable procedures must be adopted and followed. Authors must be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to any complaints. All complaints must be investigated regardless of when the original publication was approved. Any documentation related to such complaints must be retained.

For Reviewers

Reviewers have the responsibility to contribute to the decision-making process and improve the quality of the published paper by objectively reviewing the manuscript on time.
They must maintain the confidentiality of any information provided by the editor or author and must not retain or copy the manuscript.
The reviewer should inform the editor of any published or submitted content that is substantially similar to the material being reviewed.
Additionally, the reviewer should be aware of any potential conflicts of interest, such as financial, institutional, or collaborative relationships with the author, and should inform the editor of these. If necessary, the reviewer should withdraw their services for that manuscript.

For Authors

The author must keep accurate records of the data related to the submitted manuscript and provide or allow access to such data upon reasonable request.
Additionally, the author must confirm that the manuscript has not been submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere. The author must also provide the editor with copies of all submitted manuscripts that may contain overlapping or closely related content.
Confirming the originality of all work in the submitted manuscript and acknowledging and citing any reproduced content from other sources is crucial. The author must obtain permission to reproduce content from other sources.
When declaring any potential conflicts of interest, it is important to mark any competing interests that could be considered or perceived to have an undue influence on your duties at any stage of the publication process.
If a significant error is discovered in the publication, it is crucial to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher.

For Publisher

Political Observatory shall ensure that good practice is maintained under the standards set out above.

2. Procedures for dealing with misconduct

Identification of misconduct

Misconduct and unethical behavior can be reported to the Editor and Publisher at any time.
This includes but is not limited to, the examples listed above.
If you report such behavior, please provide enough information and evidence for an investigation to be carried out. All allegations will be taken seriously and treated equally until a decision or conclusion is reached.

Investigating misconduct

The decision regarding authorship should be made by the publisher, the Political Observatory.
In cases of doubt, the Urkund tool will be used. Urkund is an automatic text recognition system designed to detect, prevent, and deal with plagiarism.
The aim is to gather evidence while avoiding the dissemination of allegations beyond those who need to know.

Minor misconduct

Minor misconduct may be dealt with without further investigation. In any case, the author should be allowed to respond to any allegations.

Serious misconduct

Serious misconduct may require notification of the accused's employer. The Political Observatory should decide whether or not to involve the institution, either by examining the available evidence itself or by further consultation with a limited number of experts.


In case of a misunderstanding or misapplication of acceptable standards, it is crucial to inform the author or reviewer.
A letter with clear language should be sent to the author or reviewer to explain the misconduct and caution against future behavior.
Furthermore, a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism should be published,
along with an editorial detailing the misconduct.
A formal letter should also be sent to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency. A formal embargo should be imposed on contributions by the person responsible for the misconduct for a specified period. Retraction or withdrawal of a publication from a journal is a formal process.
The case and outcome should be reported to a professional body or higher authority for further investigation and action.