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Research Publication Ethics

Ethical Guidelines for Publication

 

A. Ethical Obligations of Editors of Scientific Journals

1. An editor should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).

2. The sole responsibility for acceptance or rejection of a manuscript rests with the editor. Responsible and prudent exercise of this duty normally requires that the editor seek advice from reviewers, chosen for their expertise and good judgment, as to the quality and reliability of manuscripts submitted for publication. However, manuscripts may be rejected without external review if considered by the editors to be inappropriate for the journal. Such rejections may be based on the failure of the manuscript to fit the scope of the journal, to be of current or sufficiently broad interest, to provide adequate depth of content, to be written in acceptable English, or other reasons.

3. The editor and members of the editor’s staff should not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice is sought. After a decision has been made about a manuscript, the editor and members of the editor’s staff may disclose or publish manuscript titles and authors’ names of papers that have been accepted for publication, but no more than that unless the author’s permission has been obtained.

4. An editor should respect the intellectual independence of authors.

5. Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s journal should be delegated to some other qualified person. Editorial consideration of the manuscript in any way or form by the author-editor would constitute a conflict of interest, and is therefore improper.

6. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author. However, if such information indicates that some of the editor’s own research is unlikely to be profitable, the editor could ethically discontinue the work. When a manuscript is so closely related to the current or past research of an editor as to create a conflict of interest, the editor should arrange for some other qualified person to take editorial responsibility for that manuscript.

7. If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a report published in an editor’s journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate report pointing out the error. The report may be written by the person who discovered the error or by an original author.

8. An author may request that the editor not use certain reviewers in consideration of a manuscript. However, the editor may decide to use one or more of these reviewers, if the editor feels their opinions are important in the fair consideration of a manuscript.

 

B. Ethical Obligations of Authors

1. An author’s central obligation is to present an accurate and complete account of the research performed, absolutely avoiding deception, including the data collected or used, as well as an objective discussion of the significance of the research. The research report and the data collected should contain sufficient detail and reference to public sources of information to permit a trained professional to reproduce the experimental observations.

2. When requested, the authors should make every reasonable effort to provide data, methods, and samples of unusual materials unavailable elsewhere, such as clones, microorganism strains, antibodies, etc., to other researchers, with appropriate material transfer agreements to restrict the field of use of the materials so as to protect the legitimate interests of the authors. Authors are encouraged to submit their data to a public database, where available.

3. An author should cite those publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work and that will guide the reader quickly to the earlier work that is essential for understanding the present investigation. An author is obligated to perform a literature search to find, and then cite, the original publications that describe closely related work. For critical materials used in the work, proper citation to sources should also be made when these were supplied by a nonauthor.

4. Any unusual hazards inherent in the chemicals, equipment, or procedures used in an investigation should be clearly identified in a manuscript reporting the work. Authors should inform the editor if a manuscript could be considered to report research that could be directly misapplied by others to pose a threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, or materiel.

5. Fragmentation of research reports should be avoided. A scientist who has done extensive work on a system or group of related systems should organize publication so that each report gives a well-rounded account of a particular aspect of the general study.

6. In submitting a manuscript for publication, an author should inform the editor of related manuscripts that the author has under editorial consideration or in press. Copies of those manuscripts should be supplied to the editor, and the relationships of such manuscripts to the one submitted should be indicated.

7. It is improper for an author to submit manuscripts describing essentially the same research to more than one journal of primary publication, unless it is a resubmission of a manuscript rejected for or withdrawn from publication

8. An author should identify the source of all information quoted or offered, except that which is common knowledge. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, should not be used or reported in the author’s work without explicit permission from the investigator with whom the information originated.

9. An experimental or theoretical study may sometimes justify criticism, even severe criticism, of the work of another scientist. When appropriate, such criticism may be offered in published papers. However, in no case is personal criticism considered to be appropriate.

10. The co-authors of a paper should be all those persons who have made significant scientific contributions to the work reported and who share responsibility and accountability for the results. Other contributions should be indicated in a footnote or an “Acknowledgments” section. No fictitious name should be listed as an author or coauthor. The author who submits a manuscript for publication accepts the responsibility of having included as co-authors all persons appropriate and none inappropriate. The submitting author should have sent each living co-author a draft copy of the manuscript and have obtained the co-author’s assent to co-authorship of it.

11. The corresponding author must reveal to the editor and to the readers of the journal any potential and/or relevant competing financial or other interest (of all authors) that might be affected by publication of the results contained in the authors’ manuscript. The corresponding author must advise the editor at the time of submission either that there is no conflict of interest to declare, or should disclose potential conflicts of interest that will be acknowledged in the published article.

12. Plagiarism is not acceptable in JCNS. JCNS adhere to the definition of plagiarism as “the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit”. Authors should not engage in plagiarism

- verbatim or near-verbatim copying, or very close paraphrasing, of text or results from another’s work. Authors should not engage in self-plagiarism (also known as duplicate publication) - unacceptably close replication of the author’s own previously published text or results without acknowledgement of the source. If one or two identical sentences previously published by an author appear in a subsequent work by the same author, this is unlikely to be regarded as duplicate publication. Material quoted verbatim from the author’s previously published work must be placed in quotation marks.

13. Research involving animals must be performed in accordance with institutional guidelines as defined by institutional animal care committee in countries. Research studies involving humans must have institutional review board approval. Authors are requested to identify the institutional or licensing committee that has approved the experiments.

14. Images should be free from misleading manipulation. When images are included in an account of research performed or in the data collection as part of the research, an accurate description of how the images were generated and produced should be provided.

 

C. Ethical Obligations of Reviewers of Manuscripts

1. Since the reviewing of manuscripts is an essential step in the publication process, every scientist has an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.

2. A chosen reviewer who feels inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in a manuscript should return it promptly to the editor.

3. A reviewer of a manuscript should judge objectively the quality of the complete manuscript including the experimental and theoretical data, the interpretations and exposition, with due regard to the maintenance of high scientific and literary standards. A reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the authors.

4. A reviewer should be sensitive to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the reviewer’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the reviewer should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

5. A reviewer should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.

6. A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought, in that event, the identities of those consulted should be disclosed to the editor.

7. Reviewers should explain and support their judgments adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Unsupported assertions by reviewers (or by authors in rebuttal) are of little value and should be avoided.

8. A reviewer should be alert to failure of authors to cite relevant work by other scientists, bearing in mind that complaints that the reviewer’s own research was insufficiently cited may seem self-serving. A reviewer should call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or any manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal.

9. A reviewer should act promptly, submitting a report in a timely manner. Should a reviewer receive a manuscript at a time when circumstances preclude prompt attention to it, the unreviewed manuscript should be returned immediately

to the editor. Alternatively, the reviewer might notify the editor of probable delays and propose a revised review date.

10. Reviewers should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author. If this information indicates that some of the reviewer’s work is unlikely to be profitable, the reviewer, however, could ethically discontinue the work.

11. The review of a submitted manuscript may sometimes justify criticism, even severe criticism, from a reviewer. When appropriate, such criticism may be offered in published papers. However, in no case is personal criticism of the author considered to be appropriate.

12. Reviewers should notify editors of concerns with respect to manuscripts that report research that could be directly misapplied by others to pose a threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, or materiel.

 

D. Ethical Obligations of Scientists Publishing outside the Scientific Literature

1. A scientist publishing in the popular literature has the same basic obligation to be accurate in reporting observations and unbiased in interpreting them as when publishing in a scientific journal.

2. Inasmuch as laymen may not understand scientific terminology, the scientist may find it necessary to use common words of lesser precision to increase public comprehension.

3. A scientist should not proclaim a discovery to the public unless the experimental, statistical, or theoretical support for it is of strength sufficient to warrant publication in the scientific literature. Scientists should, however, be aware

that disclosure of research results in the public press or in an electronic database or bulletin board might be considered by a journal editor as equivalent to a preliminary communication in the scientific literature.


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