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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Combinatorial Theory

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Ethics Statement

Ethics Statement

The journal adheres generally to the Core Practices recommended by COPE.  These policies are based closely on those developed for Algebraic Combinatorics and adapted to Combinatorial Theory’s author, reviewer and editorial guidelines.

Allegations of misconduct

The Managing Editors will respond promptly when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted manuscript or published paper. All instances of reported unethical behavior in publishing, including those identified long after the publication date, will be investigated. Acts such as plagiarism and the publication of duplicate content are unequivocally regarded as misconduct. Should the investigation reveal that these ethical concerns are substantiated, the journal reserves the right to retract the implicated article or, alternatively, to issue a correction or a statement of concern in its pages and may contact the author’s academic institution.

Authorship and contributorship

The expectation is that every author named on a submitted paper has made a significant contribution to its creation and has agreed to its submission. Furthermore, authors are responsible for addressing any external claims regarding contribution to their paper.

Complaints and appeals

Appeals regarding editorial decisions, when supported by solid reasoning, should be submitted to the Managing Editors of the journal. Any concerns about editorial misconduct should be reported to the journal's Steering Committee. These issues will be taken seriously and handled swiftly, in accordance with the authority provided by the Combinatorial Theory constitution and Mission Statement. Specifically, the Steering Committee is responsible for making decisions on matters related to editorial policy and the content of the journal.

Conflicts of interest / Competing interests

The journal diligently works to address potential conflicts of interest involving authors, reviewers, and editors. In situations where editors have a conflict of interest with an author or authors of a paper, they are expected to recuse themselves from any discussions or decision-making processes related to that paper. Likewise, reviewers who find themselves in a conflict of interest with an author are advised to refuse the task of reviewing their work. Conflicts of interest can arise from various connections, including personal or business relationships, current advisory or mentorship roles, recent collaborative work, or shared affiliations with the same institution. A policy document addressing conflict of interest was approved by the editorial board of Combinatorial Theory on January 12, 2021.

Data and reproducibility

Authors who present papers featuring results derived from experimental data or computer-assisted proofs are urged to provide the pertinent code or data to facilitate reproducibility. The journal accommodates the inclusion of supplementary files with each article, which can be used to publish relevant data or computer code. It is important that instructions for replicating the data are clearly provided either in the main publication or within these auxiliary files.

Ethical oversight

The journal will take reasonable steps to ensure that publications avoid inflammatory language and do not disclose data that would violate an individual’s privacy. Personal data collected during the editorial process, beyond a paper’s bibliographic metadata, will be kept confidential.

Governance and Constitution

The journal's mission, ownership and governance structure are described in the journal’s constitution, approved by the Editorial Board on September 24, 2022.


Intellectual property

All articles in the journal are published under the Creative Commons license CC-BY 4.0. The journal charges no fees for authors nor for readers, and in particular, no article processing charges (APCs).  There is no restriction on prepublication of submitted papers in repositories, such as the arXiv or departmental websites.  Authors may deposit all versions of their article, including the submitted version and the accepted version, without embargo, provided that they indicate the URL of the original article. 


Journal management

The journal is funded through sponsorships from libraries and donations from various sources. Its publisher is [eScholarship (Open Access Publications from the University of California)]. Donors and sponsors are listed here on the journal website.

Peer review processes

Each submission is assigned to one of the Handling Editors. If the paper meets the standards set forth by the mission statement of the journal, then at least one independent external referee is invited to review the submission. If the Handling Editor determines that a submission does not meet the standards of the journal, then the authors will be notified and the paper may be rejected without additional reviews.

Combinatorial Theory uses a doubly anonymous reviewing process. Authors are asked to remove identifying information from their submission and reviewers are not informed of the authors’ identity.  Reviewers are asked to not search for the identity of authors.  However, reviewers are not asked to recuse themselves from the refereeing process if they are aware of the identity of the authors.

Referees are requested to provide their evaluations within a two to three-month period following receipt of the manuscript, with additional time allowed for longer articles. The Handling Editors rely on these referee reports to assess the research's merit, quality, and its relevance to the field. Decisions on manuscript submissions are based solely on these factors, ensuring impartiality regardless of the authors' gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, political views, or institutional association.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

Authors are expected to promptly notify the Editors of any significant errors found in their work that has been published in Combinatorial Theory. Should the editors learn of a third party questioning the accuracy of a publication, they will reach out to the authors. It is then the responsibility of the authors to thoroughly assess the claim and either confirm the error or offer a rebuttal.

In the event that a major error is verified, the journal will collaborate with the authors to inform the scientific community about the issue. This may include the publication of an erratum.

Publication schedule

The journal publishes three issues per year.

Long-term preservation policy

All materials submitted to eScholarship are automatically deposited in CDL's Merritt Preservation Repository for long-term preservation.