Plagiarism, Copyright and Open Access


If you are thinking of submitting to Mapping the Impossible, then your paper must be original. The submitted work must be entirely that of the stated Authors, and be properly referenced, with due consideration of previous scholarship. All of the named Authors must have made a substantial contribution to the work. As a basic requirement, the work must not have been published elsewhere (e.g. in another journal).

As a student journal, we are actively seeking essays and dissertations that students have produced as part of their studies and, as such, it is perfectly fine for such pieces of work to be submitted. However, the Author(s) must ensure that the submission has been approved by the institution where the work was carried out.

An act of plagiarism is defined by the ACM as one “in which one misrepresents ideas, words, computer codes or other creative expression as one’s own… (and) can also represent a violation of copyright law, punishable by statute”. The ACM illustrates three forms of plagiarism:

  • “verbatim copying, near verbatim copying, or purposely paraphrasing portions of another author’s paper”;
  • “copying elements of another author’s paper”, e.g. illustrations or equations “that are not common knowledge”; or “paraphrasing sentences without citing the source”; and,
  • “verbatim copying… without clearly differentiating what… has been copied… not citing the source properly”.

The Editorial Board of Mapping the Impossible will not accept responsibility for authors who commit an act of plagiarism.


Copyright for papers and articles published in this journal is retained by the Authors, with first publication rights granted to the University of Glasgow. It is a condition of publication that authors license their paper or article under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (we recommend the CC BY-NC, so as to prevent commercial adaptation, but CC BY is essential as a minumum). Authors who make a successful submission to Mapping the Impossible also agree that the contents and appearance of their submissions may be altered and edited prior to publication.

Authors are also expected to respect the ownership of material by other individuals and organisations. Papers must not contain any imagery, data, quotations (e.g. from manuals or books), statements or linked media, which is copyright of other people or organisations, without written permission from the owners. Likewise, Authors must not submit material, which infringes any trademarks or patents owned by any person or organisation.

If a submission contains any material which is copyright of people or an organisation (with permission), the Authors must attribute it to the relevant people or organisation. The Editor and Editorial Board of Mapping the Impossible will not accept responsibility for Authors publishing work in breach of copyright, trademark, patent or other rights of people or organisations.

All private and commercially sensitive material should be omitted from any files being submitted for consideration by the Editorial Board. Authors must seek permission from the relevant people and organisations before attempting to distribute and publish any information, which is commercially sensitive or personally private. The Editorial Board of Mapping the Impossible will not accept responsibility if an author publishes sensitive information without authorisation.

Open Access Policy

Mapping the Impossible provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. This journal understands ‘open access’ in terms of the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

“By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

Mapping the Impossible does not charge authors any submission or article processing charges, and does not pay for publication.