Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

IASPM Journal is the peer-reviewed open-access e-journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, IASPM. Our members are invited to register and publish. When registering as author and reviewer in the journal, please complete your profile by identifying up to six specialist key areas as well as main working languages for review purposes.

As part of an international network, the journal aims to publish research and analysis in the field of popular music studies at both global and local levels. Therefore, the Advisory Board includes representatives of each of the IASPM branches and, although English is the main idiom to ensure global reach, articles may be submitted in any of the official languages of its current branches. Bilingual versions will only be prompted at the end of the reviewing process, when it is certain that a paper is accepted. Nominations for the Advisory Board should be sent to the Editor, Mary Fogarty Woehrel, marywoehrel[at]yorku[dot]ca

The journal offers the following sections, Articles (based on open submissions); Special Issue; Reviews of Books, DVDs or Scholarly Websites (both open and invited); PhD Thesis Abstracts; IASPM Branch Reports and occasionally invited commentaries.


Section Policies

Articles – Open Section

Research-based articles of up to 8000 words are based on open submissions. Please click here to select a copy of the Open CFP in your preferred language. If a submission is in a language other than English, please provide a 150-word summary in English.

In support of your submission, we select a member from the Editorial Board and, where relevant, a member from the International Advisory Board to enable a bespoke editorial process.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Book reviews are, normally, between 600-1500 words and in the language of the book under review – if the review is in a language other than English, a 150-word summary in English is expected.

Reviews of books that have not been received by the journal are also welcome, as are reviews of documentary DVDs and scholarly websites. Please keep these reviews to 600 words maximum.

  • Richard Osborne
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IASPM Branch Reports

IASPM branches are invited to submit an update on their branch activities: What research activities took place in the last 2 years, or so? Any stimulating conference or research seminars? Any major research publications? Perhaps a new scholarship scheme in poplar music studies? We like to hear from you.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Pop Music PhD - abstract

Providing an opportunity to announce emerging research, this is a space for open submissions of 350-word thesis abstracts in popular music studies!

  • Koos Zwaan
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Peer Review Process

This journal uses a double blind peer review process. All submissions in Articles and Special Edition are independently assessed by a minimum of 2 (two) well qualified, external reviewers not affiliated with the author. Reviewers are tasked with providing constructive, fair, and timely advice to both authors and editor.


Publication Frequency

Journal items are published collectively, as part of an issue with its own Table of Contents.


Open Access Policy

Providing a scholarly platform for members of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), this journal provides free public access to its content, enabling international knowledge exchange and widenening public impact. This journal does not charge APCs or submission charges.

The published work is protected by a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


IASPM Journal Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

This IASPM Journal Publication Malpractice Statement is based on the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Therefore this journal follows the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and the Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers. It also draws upon publisher Elsevier’s statement, on the basis that they also operate Scopus, the well-known citation and indexing system. It is expected of authors, reviewers and editors that they follow the best-practice guidelines on ethical behaviour contained. IASPM is the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and the journal also operates in accordance to the principles of that association, as it is the official journal of the IASPM. IASPM Statutes are available at IASPM Statutes and Rules. A selection of key points is included below.

Duties of Editors

Fair play and editorial independence
Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The IASPM Journal Editorial board, led by the Editor has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. The selection of the Editor and Editorial Board is approved by IASPM members and the members of the IASPM Executive Committee at IASPM international conferences, and thus the editor, editorial board, and journal, have the implicit support of IASPM, but in turn are accountable to IASPM in terms of operating ethically and in line with the various policies described above. However the editorial board are independent and guided by the principals of fair play described in this document.


Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.

Publication decisions

The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor is ultimately responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision, or delegate this responsibility to other editorial board members, while retaining oversight and right of veto.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations

Editors (in conjunction with the publisher and/or society) will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical publishing behaviour will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. AP-SMART editors follow the COPE Flowcharts when dealing with cases of suspected misconduct. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists editors in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their manuscripts. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour. AP-SMART shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to the scientific process have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.


Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.


Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.

Acknowledgement of sources

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Any invited referee who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial 'opinion' or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behaviour and are unacceptable.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data centre), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality and plagiarism

Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the manuscript should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from "passing off" another's paper as the author's own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.

Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication

Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behaviour and unacceptable.

The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Authorship of the manuscript

Only persons who meet these authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the manuscript as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content: (i) made significant contributions to the conception, design, execution, data acquisition, or analysis/interpretation of the study; and (ii) drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (iii) have seen and approved the final version of the paper and agreed to its submission for publication. All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section after their written permission to be named as been obtained. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate coauthors (according to the above definition) and no inappropriate coauthors are included in the author list and verify that all coauthors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript and agreed to its submission for publication.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Authors should—at the earliest stage possible (generally by submitting a disclosure form at the time of submission and including a statement in the manuscript)—disclose any conflicts of interest that might be construed to influence the results or their interpretation in the manuscript. Examples of potential conflicts of interest that should be disclosed include financial ones such as honoraria, educational grants or other funding, participation in speakers’ bureaus, membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest, and paid expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements, as well as non-financial ones such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the work should be disclosed (including the grant number or other reference number if any).

Acknowledgement of sources

Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained in the course of providing confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

Hazards and human or animal subjects

If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them; the manuscript should contain a statement to this effect. Authors should also include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed.

Peer review

Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of "revisions required", authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their manuscript to the journal by the deadline given.

Fundamental errors in published works

When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editors or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the paper in the form of an erratum or to retract the paper. If the editors or publisher learns from a third party that a published work contains a significant error or inaccuracy, then it is the authors’ obligation to promptly correct or retract the paper or provide evidence to the journal editors of the correctness of the paper.

Duties of IASPM Journal as publisher

Handling of unethical publishing behaviour

In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.

IASPM Journal does not charge any fees for article publication, and the editorial board operate on an unpaid, voluntary, elected basis. IASPM Journal does not approach authors to publish in the journal, although individual IASPM Journal board members may from time to time encourage researchers to submit articles for review.

Access to journal content

IASPM Journal is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive. IASPM Journal is an open access online journal.