Journal Policies

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is any interest, personal, legal, professional or financial that may impact and introduce bias in the research and the publication process. Authors as well as editors are required to disclose any conflicts of interest from the outset, that is when a manuscript is submitted for review the first time or a reviewer approached to act as peer reviewer. Any funding sources are also required to be disclosed.

Conflicts of interest may include (among others):

  • Personal or professional ties (or competition) between the reviewer and the author/s that may compromise objectivity and fairness during the reviewing process
  • Consultancies and Employment
  • Grants and financial support from commercial enterprises with a vested interest in the research
  • Financial support from commercial or other enterprises that have a vested interest in the results

Full disclosure is required by both author/s and reviewers and this information will be used by the Editor in Chief to inform editorial decisions. Disclosing a conflict of interest does not necessarily mean that a paper will not be accepted or automatically rejected. In some instances, a conflict of interest may be published, or the editor may decide to not publish the article on the basis of the information provided. Any conflict of interest must be declared on the cover letter upon submission. Reviewers are equally responsible to declare such interests immediately, and in such cases, an alternative reviewer approached and allocated. Failure to declare a conflict of interest during the submission or review process, may include a number of measures, including retraction of the article, or disassociation from the reviewer and further engagements.


While we do appreciate that articles may be theoretical, we expect all research and publications involving human subjects and human data to be conducted with utmost care and respect to protect the person and impose no harm, directly or indirectly to the subject and/or his/her family, community and acquaintances. This is especially the case with persons considered vulnerable and for who the study and its outcomes may constitute any form of risk (personal, familial, professional etc.). We expect any field studies to have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate ethics committee (University, Ministry etc.). Authors are to document the ethical procedures followed in the study alongside a statement indicating the process of ethical approval and the name of the ethics committee.

We expect that all research has been conducted with utmost integrity and respect and ethical procedures carefully followed, including informed consent from the participant (or legal guardian), anonymity, and for the rights of the participant to have been respected throughout, including that of withdrawing from the study at any time without any coercion. Authors are to document in detail this process. The identities of research participants should be anonymised at all times, especially when using direct quotes.

Finally, ethical procedures and commitments are to be respected throughout and following the study. This includes any participant wishing to withdraw from the study or any ensuing publications. DGS should be duely informed during and after publication.


At DGS, we take language very seriously, and we do not tolerate and will not publish any articles containing offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, or disabling language of any sort. This includes people being referred to using colloquial pejorative terms based on their medical label. While we do understand there are cultural nuances and specificities, we expect sensitivity at all stages. At DGS, we promote people first language and prefer the words ‘person with a disability’ or ‘disabled person’. Unless adequately qualified within the context of the study, we will not accept other words.

Open Access

DGS is an open access journal with the set aim of making all content in its entirety free for everyone and everywhere. All material can be freely downloaded and shared with others under a Creative Commons License. Our open access policy is motivated also by the need for material to circulate beyond academic circles into public spaces where it can be more effectively used.

DGS is published free of cost to both authors and readers. All articles are free to download everywhere.


Authors publishing with DGS understand and agree to the following terms:

  1. Copyright is retained by the authors and grant the journal the right to first publication. Under the Creative Commons License, the article can be shared by the author and others freely and without limitations, ideally by circulating the article in its entirety and as published by DGS, and to ensure that the authors and DGS are adequately acknowledged.
  2. Permission is granted to authors to include the journal’s published version of the work in repositories, or to enter into other agreements e.g. to publish a book or chapter using material from the DGS article, as long as the initial DGS publication is clearly acknowledged.
  3. Following publication, authors are free to circulate their article online and upload it on third party sites in its entirety.

Please note that in line with the Creative Commons License, while authors retain copyright ownership of their work, readers are permitted to print, share and republish an article, without asking for permission from the author or the journal, as long as the work is properly attributed to the author(s), isn’t used for commercial purposes, and not changed in any way.