The journals of Learned Societies are an important part of the scientific literature. Their management should be of the highest quality and ethically sound.
First, the relationship of Editors of the journals of Learned Societies to those Societies is often complex. However, notwithstanding the economic and political realities of their journals, directors of Learned Societies should respect that their editors should make decisions on which articles to publish based on quality and suitability for readers rather than for immediate financial or political gain. Directors and employees should not be able to overrule these decisions. The relationship of Editors of the journals of Learned Societies to those Societies should be based firmly on the principle of editorial independence.
Second, membership of the board of directors should include non-society members to ensure some degree of independence.
Third, all members should declare conflicts of interest and the board should have a policy to manage members’ conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest include relevant financial (e.g. patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies), publishing (e.g. editor of a competitor journal, employment by competitor publisher), personal, political, intellectual, or religious interests.
Fourth, the board of directors must maintain confidentiality and not divulge information about the journal to third parties.
About this resource
Author Written and approved by COPE Council June 2008
Version 1 2008
How to cite this
COPE Council. Guidelines for the Board of Directors of Learned Society Journals. Version 1. October 2008 https://doi.org/10.24318/cope.2019.1.5
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