The future of science in general and the field of scientific publications largely depends not only on compliance with legislation and statutory regulations but also on respect for the principles of ethics in relationships between members of the scientific and publishing community. This contributes to an increase in the number of high-quality scientific publications and the successful development of cooperation between authors, publishers, and readers of scientific publications. The general experience of ethical conduct is consolidated in a single document – the Code of Ethics of Scientific Publications (hereinafter – the Code), developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics.
The Code of Ethics of Scientific Publications consolidates and reveals the general principles and rules that should guide the relationships between participants in the scientific publication process: authors, reviewers, editors, publishers, distributors, and readers.
Ethics of scientific publications is a system of professional conduct standards in the relationships between authors, reviewers, editors, publishers, and readers in the process of creating, distributing, and using scientific publications.
An editor is a representative of a scientific journal or publishing house who prepares materials for publication and communicates with authors and readers of scientific publications.
An author is a person or a group of persons (team of authors) involved in the publication of scientific research results.
A reviewer is an expert acting on behalf of a scientific journal or publishing house and carrying out a scientific examination of authors’ materials to determine the possibility of their publication.
A publisher is a legal entity or individual who issues a scientific publication.
A reader is any person who has familiarized him/herself with the published materials.
Plagiarism is the deliberate misappropriation of the authorship of someone else’s work of science or art, ideas or inventions. Plagiarism may be a violation of copyright and patent laws and as such may entail legal liability.
Professional ethics principles for editors and publishers
The editor is responsible for the publication of authors’ works, which implies the need to adhere to the following guiding principles:
— When making a decision on publication, the editor of a scientific journal is guided by the reliability of the presented data and the scientific significance of the work.
— The editor should assess the intellectual content of papers regardless of the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious views, origin, citizenship, social status, or political preferences.
— Unpublished data from the submitted papers should not be used for personal purposes or transferred to third parties without the written consent of the author. Information or ideas obtained during editing and associated with possible benefits should be kept confidential and not used for personal gain.
— The editor should not allow the publication of information if there are reasonable grounds to believe that this information is plagiarism.
— The editor and the publisher should not leave unanswered claims regarding the reviewed manuscripts or published materials, and in case a conflict situation is identified, they should take all necessary measures to restore the violated rights.
Ethical principles for reviewers
The reviewer conducts a scientific examination of authors’ materials; therefore, the reviewer’s actions should be impartial and adhere to the following principles:
— The paper received for review should be considered a confidential document that cannot be transferred for review or discussion to third parties not authorized to do this by the editorial board.
— The reviewer should give an unbiased and well-founded assessment of the research results. Personal criticism of the author is unacceptable.
— The reviewer is not entitled to use unpublished data from the submitted papers for personal purposes.
— If the reviewer believes that he or she does not have sufficient qualifications to assess the paper, or cannot give an unbiased assessment, for example, in the case of a conflict of interest with the author or organization, he or she should inform the editor about this with a request to exclude him or her from the review process of this paper.
Guiding principles for authors of scientific publications:
— The author (or team of authors) realizes that he or she bears the initial responsibility for the novelty and reliability of the research results, which implies compliance with the following principles:
— The authors of the paper must present reliable research results. Statements that are known to be erroneous or deliberately falsified are not acceptable.
— The authors should ensure that the research results presented in the submitted paper are completely original. Fragments or statements that are borrowed from other sources should be accompanied by an indication of the author and source. Excessive borrowing, as well as plagiarism in any form, including unacknowledged quotations, paraphrasing, or misappropriation of rights to other people’s research results, are unethical and unacceptable.
— The contribution of all persons who influenced the study in one way or another should be recognized. In particular, the paper should contain references to the works that were relevant to the research.
— The authors should not submit to the journal a paper that has been sent to another journal and is under consideration, or a paper already published in another journal.
— All persons who have made a significant contribution to the research should be mentioned among the co-authors of the papers. It is unacceptable to mention as co-authors persons who did not take part in the study.
— If the author finds significant errors or inaccuracies in the paper during its consideration or after its publication, he or she should notify the editorial board of the journal as soon as possible.