Peer review

All books published by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is peer-reviewed by at least two anonymous peer reviewers in a double-blind process.

The Managing Editor is responsible for creating reviewer guidelines for the Society’s scholarly publications.

All submissions are peer reviewed regardless open access. Reviewers are not informed of the funding status of any publication.

The Managing Editor will mediate all exchanges between authors and peer reviewers before publication. If agreement cannot be reached, the Managing Editor will invite comments from additional reviewer(s).

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The copyright of Society's books remains the property of the author(s). The author(s) assigns an exclusive right to the Society to publish the book while the author’s copyright subsists.

It is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce any third-party material used in their paper.

The Society retains the copyright of the layout and typography of SAIR.

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It is not necessary to obtain permission to reuse open access books published if reuse is in line with the stipulated Creative Commons licences assigned to the paper. Any reuse should include attribution to the author(s) and original publication.

Please note that these terms do not extend to any material that has separate licensing terms specified or any material that is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Permission to reproduce third-party material must be obtained directly from the copyright holders concerned.

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Take-down policy

We make every effort to ensure that published content does not infringe any person's rights, or applicable UK and Scots laws.

Should you discover published content that you believe to be illegal, or infringes any of your statutory rights, you may contact the Managing Editor who will review the complaint.

On receipt of a complaint, the editorial team will: 

  1. Make an initial assessment of validity;
  2. Acknowledge receipt of the complaint by email;
  3. Refer the complaint to the Society’s Legal Advisor for comment and advice;
  4. Seek to verify the identity and authority of the complainant.

When the authenticity of a complaint has been verified and the Managing Editor has been advised that it is ostensibly legitimate, the item will be removed from public access.

If a Legal Advisor confirms that the item does not breach any law then the item will be reinstated.

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Publication ethics

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland as a publisher of books and journals seeks to ensure that all publications hosted on our platforms adhere to the industry standards of ethical behaviour throughout the publication process.

This publication ethics statement has been compiled using guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The editorial team as part of the Society will work together with staff, Editorial Advisory Board and Council of Trustees to ensure its publications adhere to COPE’s Principles of Transparency: https://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines-new/principles-transparency-and-best-practice-scholarly-publishing

For the purposes of this policy, conflict of interest is defined as a situation where a participant in the publication evaluation process has a competing interest that could unduly influence the outcome.

Bias is defined as prejudice or an unfair predisposition exercised by a participant in the publication evaluation process without objective grounds.


Managing Editor will ensure they have set criteria by which to assess submissions. They will have processes in place for addenda, errata, corrigenda, and retractions. The journal’s acceptance criteria and guidelines will be fair and based on anonymized feedback from the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) and expert peer reviewers. Typescripts will be evaluated on clarity, originality and relevance to the scope of the publisher. There will be no discrimination on characteristics protected by law, including age, gender identity (reassignment), marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity leave, disability, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Information about submitted typescripts will be kept confidential between the editorial team, corresponding author, peer reviewers and potential peer reviewers, as appropriate. Information must not be shared with anyone else. Managing Editor will ensure that the identities of peer reviewers are kept anonymous to the author.

The Managing Editor will ensure that everyone they work with, including the wider editorial team, EAB, peer reviewers and authors, are aware of their duties in accordance with publication ethics. The EAB will be kept up to date on new policies.

The Managing Editor will inform their team if they have competing, or conflicting, interests with a submission. Competing interests include rivalry and financial gain. Editors should not handle submissions where they have a competing interest, unless appropriate statements have been made that show all parties are aware of the conflict.

The Managing Editor will refer to COPE flowcharts in cases of plagiarism, disputed authorship or general misconduct, available here: https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.2.26

The Society’s scholarly publications are committed to adhering to the COPE definition of Ethical Oversight: ‘Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and of business/marketing practices’. The Managing Editor will appeal against non-compliancy of ethical principles by authors.

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers must conduct reviews in an ethical and accountable manner. They should be objective, considerate and must remain unbiased by characteristics of the authors or editors. There should be no discrimination on characteristics protected by law.

Peer reviewers must declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests. Competing interests include rivalry, financial gain, and any associations with the author(s) such as family relationships.

Peer reviewers should aim to respond to an invite to review within a reasonable timeframe, even if they cannot accept an invitation. They should only accept to review if they are able to do so within the proposed or mutually agreed timeframe. If circumstances change, the peer reviewer should let the editorial team know as promptly as possible.

Peer reviewers must inform the Managing Editor of any suspected plagiarism in the content they are reviewing.

Information about submitted typescripts must be kept between the editorial team, corresponding author, peer reviewers, potential peer reviewers and the publisher, as appropriate. Information must not be shared with anyone else.


Authors are responsible for deciding authorship appropriately, referring to best practice in their discipline. The order of authorship should be agreed upon by all co-authors and lead authors. All authors should be aware of the completed article and subsequent submission.

Authors should ensure all the work reported in their article is original, citing information and content from other sources, and avoiding plagiarism.

Authors must declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests. Competing interests include financial, commercial, legal, or relationships with member(s) of the editorial team, that could in any way influence the decision to publish the research. Competing interests also involve personal rivalry. Authors must include a disclosure statement in their submission if they have a competing interest, and should talk to the Managing Editor if they are unsure.

Authors are responsible for ensuring their work does not contain libelous matter or infringe any copyright, intellectual property rights, or third-party rights. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure permissions are obtained for third-party content, including texts and images.

Authors should not submit their article elsewhere while under consideration by the Society. Any overlap in previously published content should be cited appropriately.

Any funding sources, or other sources of support, should be listed in the Acknowledgements.

Authors should immediately inform the editorial team if there are any major errors in the published work. The author will be responsible for working with the Managing Editor to publish the necessary addendum, erratum, or retraction.

Authors should adhere to the COPE definition of Ethical Oversight: ‘Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and of business/marketing practices’.

Data involving human or animal experiments should be descriptive about practices within the article. Authors are expected to have complied with prevailing ethical guidelines.

Author should detail how consent was obtained from any participants in their study. All participants have a right to confidentiality in regard to their personal data, which should not be broken without their consent. No identifying information should be included, unless essential to the work and written informed consent has been obtained, after which it can be included in the manuscript. No data on participants should be falsified or amended.

Authors have the right to appeal editorial decisions by submitting the grounds for their appeal to the publications office, addressed to the Managing Editor.


Article correction and retraction: The Society will implement a take-down policy to resolve conflict if it receives complaints regarding published content that infringes on any person’s rights, or applicable UK and Scots laws.

Access and digital preservation: The Society will test its sites and provide website accessibility statements. The Society will also preserve published content on its publications platforms by entering abstracting and indexing arrangements, and by feeding metadata and content to the Archaeology Data Service, a Trusted Digital Repository.

Privacy and consent: The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Scotland as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act (ref Z1108226). We are fully committed to complying with data protection regulations in regard of the information you provide to us. For more information please refer to our Data Protection Policy (www.socantscot.org/data-protection-policy/).

Equality, diversity and inclusion: We are an inclusive, anti-racist, pro-equality and pro-diversity charity. We believe that nobody holds a monopoly on Scotland’s history and that it should be shared by and for everyone. For over 240 years, we have provided expertise, support and resources to promote the understanding and enjoyment of Scotland’s past and the influence Scots have had around the world. We support and help with research and innovation, act as an independent voice for heritage matters, and share knowledge of the past with everyone. We are committed to working towards equality and accessibility in the Scottish-heritage sector and beyond.

Environment: The Society has an active part to play in helping resolve the climate crisis.  We will consider the impact on the environment of all our activities and strive towards carbon neutrality.

We aim to choose suppliers who minimise their environmental impact, for example in in book printing, warehousing and distribution. Similarly, we will look to reduce environmental impact through our grants, promoting carbon neutrality and acknowledgement of the climate crisis.  We will continue to provide hybrid lectures whenever possible to reduce travel and increase collaboration and will reduce the number of in-person meetings to reduce travel and other carbon impacts. Working with the Climate Heritage Network and others we will promote the opportunities that Scotland’s heritage presents in understanding and addressing climate change.

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