Introduction to Publication Ethics

Why should you be concerned?

This section demonstrates the impact publication misconduct can have on your journal

What effects can misconduct have?

Research community

Misconduct can harm the research community causing:

  • Loss of trust in journals and research

  • Damage to careers, including those of innocent collaborators and colleagues
  • Damage to institutions' reputations
  • Corruption of the evidence base
  • Waste of time, effort and funds

Research participants

  • Unethical research may directly harm research participants

General public

Misconduct can also harm the general public because:

  • Practice and policy may be based on fraudulent research
  • Future research and funding may be misdirected

Group of people

Who might commit misconduct?

  • Authors and researchers

    Types of misconduct authors and researchers might commit include: unethical research ; fabrication; falsification, including image manipulation; plagiarism ; selective reporting ; redundant publication ; inappropriate authorship ; gift and ghost authorship ; undeclared conflicts of interests

  • Editors

    Types of misconduct editors might commit include: bias in selection; preferential treatment for friends or colleagues; breaching confidentiality; intentional delays for rivals

  • Reviewers

    Types of misconduct reviewers commit might include: plagiarism (of ideas, text or data); undeclared conflicts of interest; breaching confidentiality; intentional delays

  • Publishers

    Types of misconduct publishers commit might include: plagiarism (of ideas, text or data); undeclared conflicts of interest; breaching confidentiality; intentional delays

  • Funders

    Types of misconduct funders might commit include: suppressing inconvenient results; delaying publications; not giving authors access to data; attempting to bias the presentation of findings; not disclosing their involvement properly