Editorial Policies & Ethical Guidelines


The policies outlined below describe the guidelines that affect the publication process of Dialectic, and the criteria that must be met by authors who publish their work in it. Specifically, Dialectic adopts and strive to adhere to the following standards and requirements:

COPE - Committee on Publication Ethics

The AIGA Standards of Professional Practice


An author is an individual who has significantly contributed to the development of a manuscript, visual narrative or visual essay. The Editorial Board, Producer and Advisory Board of Dialectic recommends that authorship be determined according to the following four criteria:

  1. Personnel who have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Personnel who have significantly contributed to the drafting of the work, or who were actively engaged in revising it critically for important intellectual and creative content; AND
  3. Personnel who will provide final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Personnel who agree to be accountable for all aspects of the intellectual integrity and accuracy of the work, and who agree to attempt to credibly answer questions raised concerning the integrity and accuracy of the work once it has been published by Dialectic.


Individuals who participated in the development of a manuscript but do not meet the criteria articulated above to be listed as an author should be acknowledged. Organizations that provided support in terms of funding and/or other resources should also be acknowledged.

Changes in Authorship

Whenever there is a need to make changes in the authorship of a manuscript or a published article or a visual narrative or essay, the changes will be implemented according to COPE specification and to instruction provided by one or more members of Dialectic’s Editorial Board, its Producer, or personnel from Michigan Publishing directly affiliated with Dialectic. Only corresponding authors can make request for a change in authorship. All types of these requests should be made directly and in writing to Dialectic’s Managing Editor or Producer.

For further guidance re: changes in authorship, please consult the flowcharts provided under the heading “Changes in Authorship” on the webpage titled “Flowcharts” at the Committee on Publication Ethics: COPE.

Authorial Approval

Authors listed on the manuscript or visual narrative or visual essay should have met the requirements for Authorship specified above. All authors should approve the final version of the manuscript or visual narrative or visual essay prior to submission. Once a manuscript or visual narrative or visual essay is submitted, it is therefore assumed that all authors have read and given their approval for its submission. Contact information for all authors should be stated on the cover letter that must accompany each individual submission to Dialectic. This contact information must include Surname/Other names, institutional or organizational affiliation, emails, and phone/fax numbers.

Any and all declarations of Conflicts of Interest (see below) should be stated in the manuscript immediately after the listings of the author(s)’ name(s).

Conflicts of Interest

Conflict of interest (COI) exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scholarly, research-based and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests.

Authors should disclose all financial/relevant interest that may have influenced the development of any work they have submitted for possible publication in Dialectic.

Reviewers should disclose any conflict of interest and, if necessary, decline the review of any manuscript they perceive to have a conflict of interest. Editors should also decline from considering any manuscript that may have conflict of interest. Such manuscripts will be re-assigned to other editors.

Further reading:
COPE - flowcharts on Conflict of Interest


Dialectic’s editorial team and the AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) use Teddi Fishman’s definition of plagiarism to guide the instructions it gives potential authors and peer reviewers regarding what, specifically, we believe that plagiarism is: “the use of ideas, content, or structures without appropriately acknowledging the source to benefit in a setting where originality is expected.”1 This definition applies to all manner of intellectual contributions that we receive, and include illustrations, renderings (manual or computer-generated or some combination of both), photographs, informational graphics of all types, tables, figures, text-based excerpts, and musical notations, as well as instances of unintentional plagiarism, plagiarism without consent of the original author, and self-plagiarism.

We ask that our peer reviewers—three or four are assigned to each piece that advances beyond the desk review stage in our publication process—to utilize a well-respected plagiarism detection service (most commonly iThenticate; less commonly Grammarly or Scribbr) to ascertain whether any portions of potentially publishable work we receive has been plagiarized. In some cases, members of our editorial team facilitated this process. Pieces that are determined to contain instances of plagiarized work are returned to their authors for revision or are rejected.

1 Fishman, Teddi. 2009. ‘We know it when we see it’ is not good enough: Toward a standard definition of plagiarism that transcends theft, fraud, and copyright. In Proceedings 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (4APCEI'09).


A submitted manuscript or visual essay or narrative is a confidential material. Dialectic will not disclose these to anyone except individuals who partake in the critical review, and, if accepted for publication, the processing and preparation necessary to do this. These individuals include editorial staff, corresponding authors, potential reviewers, actual reviewers, editors, producers and production personnel. However, in suspected cases of misconduct, a manuscript or visual essay or narrative may be revealed to members of an ad hoc ethics committee consisting of empaneled members of the AIGA DEC, and institutions/organizations that may require it for the resolution of the misconduct. Dialectic shall follow the appropriate COPE flowcharts wherever necessary.

Further reading:
STM - International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication


Misconduct constitutes violation of these editorial policies, Dialectic’s policies, publication ethics, or any applicable guidelines/policies specified by COPE or the AIGA DEC. Any other activities that threaten or compromise the integrity of Dialectic’s publication processes are potential misconducts. Suspected cases of misconduct will be investigated according to COPE guidelines.

Correction and Retraction of Articles and Visual Essays or Narratives

Corrections may be made to a published article with the authorization of the Managing Editor or the Producer of Dialectic. Members of the Editorial Board and the Producer will decide the magnitude of the corrections. Minor corrections will be made directly to the original submission and re-published on the Michigan Publishing website that hosts Dialectic. However, in cases of major corrections, the original published piece will remain unchanged, while the corrected version will also be published alongside in a later issue. Both the original and corrected version will be linked to each other. A statement indicating the reason for the major change to the piece will also be published. When necessary, retraction of articles will be done according to COPE retraction guidelines.

Author’s Retention of Rights

The AUTHOR and the AIGA Design Educators Community and Michigan Publishing agree that the author retains: (i) the rights to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform, and to publicly display the Article or Visual Narrative they have published in Dialectic in any medium for non-commercial purposes; (ii) the right to prepare derivative works from this Article or Visual Narrative; and (iii) the right to authorize others to make any non-commercial use of this Article or Visual Narrative so long as Author receives credit as author and Dialectic is cited as the source of first publication of the Article or Visual Narrative. For example, the Author may make and distribute copies in the course of his/her/their teaching and research, and may post the Article or Visual Narrative on personal or institutional web sites and in other open-access digital repositories.