Libel

When publishing critical research, it’s also important to think about any libel implications. Libel applies when any materials in your manuscript could damage the reputation of a person, group or company. For example, by ridiculing, inciting hatred or contempt or negatively impacting their business or career. The UK has some of the strictest libel laws in the world so many libel cases are often tried here.

As a British publisher, we need to be particularly careful around this subject. Statements or juxtaposition of materials can be considered libellous, if they imply or insinuate untrue defamatory information. You do not need to directly name someone to be guilty of libel, a description that implies or refers to a certain person or group can be seen as libel.

Libel cases are often long and complex and, as such, are difficult to win. So, please be careful what you write and remember that ‘truth’ is very rarely a winning defence. If you have any doubts, speak to your editor. Or read our libel guidelines.

What is critical academic publishing?

Find out more about critical academic publishers like Zed Books.