Editorial Board confirms commitment “Ethical rules relating to publications in journals and to reviews of them”
One of the foundations of the profession of a scientist is the acceptance by all members of this community of a certain “code of conduct” which determines the desirable forms of behavior of the scientists and the duties of those who belong to this profession, in relation to each other and to the rest public. Such a code is designed to ensure the maximum usefulness of science both for society and for its own professional community. The progressive movement of science requires the joint mastering of knowledge, even though sometimes it requires the renunciation of immediate personal advantages. There is a certain responsibility of editors, authors and reviewers in order to maintain high ethical standards relating to the publication of articles in scientific journals. This document aims to emphasize the most important points related to such responsibility.
2. EDITORS (INCLUDING MEMBERS OF EDITORIAL BOARDS)
The editors and members of the editorial boards have the following duties:
2.1. Notify the receipt of the submitted manuscript within a few days from the receipt of the manuscript and provide a qualified, conscientious and operative review of the manuscript.
2.2. Ensure the confidentiality of the manuscript review process, not allowing any details to be disclosed without the permission of the author to anyone other than the designated reviewers, until a decision is made as to whether the manuscript will be published.
2.3. Make a final decision on whether this manuscript will be published or rejected.
2.4. To decide whether to accept the manuscript for publication or for refusal, taking into account only considerations of the importance, originality and clarity of the presentation of the material, as well as its correspondence to the profile of this journal.
2.5. Show respect for the intellectual independence of the author.
2.6. Notify any conflict of interest that may arise. In particular, in cases where the editor is the author of the submitted manuscript, this manuscript should be sent to another editor for independent, careful peer review.
2.7. We should not use the results of the work covered in the articles submitted but not yet published in our own studies.
2.8. Consider the possibility of reviewing articles by specialists recommended by the author himself. However, it is necessary to be sure that such a choice of the reviewer will not lead to a deliberately wrong positive result (for example, if the reviewer recommended by the author is his co-author in previous publications or his supervisor). In any case the editor reserves the right to appoint reviewers by his own choice.
2.9. Do not involve in reviewing those reviewers who are rejected by the author except for cases when the editor has different sufficiently valid reasons that outweigh the author’s arguments.
2.10. Ensure the confidentiality of names and other information relating to reviewers. When it is decided to recruit a new reviewer, the latter may be informed about the names of previous reviewers if this is necessary.
2.11. To react to any manifestations of incorrect scientific behavior by consultations with the author. This may entail the publication of a formal “refutation” or correction.
2.12. Correctly treat the authors’ complaints about refusals to publish the submitted manuscripts.
2.13. Consider the requirements for the protection of information if it is necessary.
There is no universal, generally accepted definition of authorship. As a minimum the author should be responsible for a certain part of the study. The honor of the authorship of scientific work should be commensurate with the intellectual contribution to the formulation of the concept and the form of presentation of results, to data analysis and writing work, but not necessarily to be related to data collection and other routine work. If there are no decisions that can reasonably be attributed to the performance of a particular person, then this person should not be honored to be the author of this work. All authors must assume the community responsibility for the content of their work. The interdisciplinary nature of most studies can make this difficult, but the problem can be resolved by taking into account the individual contributions of participants. The authors are responsible for meeting the following requirements:
3.1. To be honest when collecting and interpreting scientific data. Editors, reviewers, readers and persons who decide on the publication of this article have the right to believe that the submitted (and published) manuscript does not contain any unscrupulous and/or knowingly false statements, as well as any fictitious data, borrowed materials, erroneous references, false statements about priorities and that there is no “hidden” multiple publication of the same data and incorrect attribution of authorship. Authors should not violate any copyright of others. At the same time, the authors must:
3.2. Briefly and accurately describe their research and fairly objectively discuss their significance.
3.3. Properly recognize previously published works relating to the subject of the submitted manuscript, indicating references correctly and citing them adequately. All relevant publications should be listed, and if other published sources are used, then authorizations must be obtained from authors in accordance with copyright laws.
3.4. (A) Avoid unnecessary fragmentation of their work and presentation in the form of several manuscripts. Editors have the right to reject the submitted articles on the basis of such unnecessary fragmentation. In particular, some section of the work should not split into several parts for publication in the form of short messages. (B) Do not participate in multiple publications when two or more articles are published without accurate references to each other and at the same time repeat the same hypotheses and data, the same points of discussion or conclusions. The previous publication of abstracts or preprints in the materials of scientific meetings does not preclude the subsequent submission of scientific materials for publication. However, precise data should be given on the time (date) of the presentation in this case.
3.5. Publish several works relating to the same subject in the same journal or in a few magazines if it is possible in order to provide maximum convenience to the readers.
3.6. Inform the editors of the his manuscripts with similar topics about the publication by the same authors in any journal or about submitting their manuscript under consideration in another journal. Copies of manuscripts on a close subject may be requested from the authors, as well as information on the current state of these manuscripts.
3.7. Ensure that the manuscript is submitted for publication in only one journal. It is inadmissible to submit the same manuscript (or manuscripts describing essentially the same materials) simultaneously to more than one journal. It is also unacceptable that the author submits the manuscript to one journal, and his co-author simultaneously sends another article of the same content to another journal. For publication may be submitted manuscript whish includs a full description of previously published works, but in this case the author is obliged to inform the editor about the articles published earlier.
3.8. To trace, that there is no personal criticism of other scientists in the presented manuscript. However, criticism of the works of other scientists can be considered as justified. A scientific article should not contain any slanderous, disgraceful or any other similar material.
3.9. The author should reflect the contribution of all employees who participated in the work. Participants who have made a significant contribution to the implementation of this study should be co-authors. The author indicated in the manuscript as the person to be contacted should certify that all persons named as co-authors agree to submit the manuscript for publication. Also author assumes responsibility for the fact that the manuscript lists all co-authors (and only co-authors) of this work. The same author signs documents relating to copyright on behalf of all authors of this work.
3.10. To indicate in the manuscript all sources of funding for this work, and also to declare possible conflicts of interest.
3.11. Clear and specific indicate in the manuscript all the unusual dangers associated with chemicals or with equipment that are used in carrying out the experiments described in the article.
3.12. If the published study included animal or live experiments, then it is necessary to include in the section of the manuscript “Experimental methods” an indication that all the experiments were carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable to this matter in force in this scientific institution, as well as an indication that the relevant committee(s) of the scientific institution approved the conduct of these experiments. It is also necessary to include a special indication that all the experiments described on live subjects were given the appropriate permission and consent of the subjects. Referees may be asked by experts to comment in their reviews all such circumstances.
3.13. Do not offer reviewers who currently work together with the author of the submitted manuscript, in order to avoid biased positive assessments.
Reviewers are responsible for compliance with the following requirements:
4.1. Consider your work with the manuscript as confidential. If the reviewer consults with colleagues about the peer-reviewed manuscript, he must inform the editor about it.
4.2. To return or destroy the manuscript and inform the editor that the reviewer considers himself not enough qualified to review it or can not review the manuscript within the allotted time.
4.3. Make an objective judgment about the manuscript under review within the allotted time. The reviewer should not state any critical comments of a personal nature in his review.
4.4. Return the manuscript to the editor without review if there is a conflict of interest. In particular, the reviewer should not review the manuscripts if the author or co-author is the person with whom the reviewer is in close personal or professional relations, if there can be justified doubts that these relations can influence to the reviewer‘s conclusion.
4.5. Explain your judgment about the manuscript under review and reinforce your judgment so that the editors and authors can understand considerations on the basis of what these judgments were made and could argue an already published article if necessary.
4.6. Inform the editor about any similarity between the peer-reviewed manuscript and another article published or being considered in another journal.
4.7. Ensure the confidentiality of any unpublished data, its interpretation or other information contained in the article, and do not use the information contained in the peer-reviewed unpublished work in its own studies.
4.8. It is urgent to notify the editor that the manuscript in question contains borrowed materials or falsified data within his knowledge.
4.9. Do not keep copies and copy the peer-reviewed manuscripts in any form, in order to avoid violating the requirements of the copyrights regulating documents.
4.10. Report all cases of conflict of interest that may arise.
5. EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTUAL BEHAVIOR IN SCIENCE OR VIOLATION OF ETHICAL STANDARDS
There are examples of unacceptable behavior below when publishing scientific materials. This short list is not exhaustive.
- Deception: the presentation of fabricated results, or the concealment or arbitrary modification of data.
- Duplication of submitted manuscripts: submission of the same manuscript in two different journals until the final decision to publish by the editor of the journal that was the first was made.
- Simultaneous presentation of two articles with very close content without the necessary cross-citation.
- Duplicate publication: publish the same article first in one journal, and then again in another journal without proper references and permissions.
- Inadequate citation: improper citation of related works of other authors.
- Plagiarism: a presentation of material taken from the work of other authors as his own work.
- Self-copying: re-publication of one’s own material, which was previously published in another literary source, without reference to an earlier publication.
If the facts of such misconduct are revealed, then the editors may impose sanctions on the authors of the corresponding manuscript. Such sanctions may cover the range from an immediate denial of publication because of a violation of the rules, or a severe warning to the author about the fate of his future publications, up to the prohibition on the submission of articles for a certain period. Editors can draw the attention of editors of similar journals, as well as other publishers, to violations of ethical norms and publish information about violation of ethical rules, names of violators of these rules and sanctions imposed on them. All correspondence pertaining to one or another case of violation of ethical rules should be kept for 10 years. The right to decide which sanctions should be applied in each case belongs to the editors. Members of respected editorial boards may be involved as advisers in the most difficult cases, but only if this does not make the decision-making process excessively long.
(Taken from: Journal of Analytical Chemistry. 2007 T. 62, No. 4. P. 441-444.)
6. REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH EDITORIAL ETHICS
- Editors are accountable and must take responsibility for everything they publish.
- Editors must make fair and impartial decisions that are independent of commercial interests and ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process.
- Editors must adopt editorial policies that encourage maximum transparency and complete honest reporting.
- Editors must protect the integrity of published records by issuing corrections and refusals if necessary, and pursuing suspects in research or publishing misconduct.
- Editors should prevent the misconduct of reviewers and editorial staff.
- Editors should critically evaluate the ethical standards of research in humans and animals.
- Reviewers and authors should be aware of what is expected of them.
- Editors should implement appropriate policies to regulate editorial conflicts of interest.
Responsible research publication: international standards for editors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010