Ethical Standards for Publication
Procedural guidelines remain the key to upholding ethical standards in publishing. Publishing typically occurs in an environment of significantly intellectual, financial, and potential political interests that may collide or compete. Good decisions and strong editorial processes designed to manage these interests will foster a sustainable and efficient publishing system, which will benefit academic societies, journal editors, authors, research funders, readers, and publishers (Graf et al, 2007, p. 1). They are eight sections that outline potential types and procedures for ethical breaches and violations during the publication process.
Section 1: Conflict of Interest
Financial or personal relationships could inappropriately influence individual actions. The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. Therefore, this behavior is prohibited when attempting to publish an article with the International Educators Group publication.
Additionally, public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making.
Section 2: Transparency
The International Educators Group publication embraces consistent collaboration and engagement among peers, when broadening the body of knowledge. To increase transparency these relationships, it is required for all co-authors, and research funders to be listed on all research manuscripts. Additionally, it prevents potential ghost-authorship (individuals who qualify for authorship, but not listed) or honorary authors (individuals who are listed but fail to qualify for authorship, hence not being directly involved in the research).
The role of the research funder, as well as contributing co-authors should be listed on the actual manuscript. Additionally, those who assist in designing the research, recruiting investigators/authors, collecting data, analyzing data, preparing the manuscript or controlling publication decisions should be stated in the publication.
If an authorship dispute arises during the publication process, the editor will contact the corresponding author in an attempt to establish the veracity of the case. Meaning, a declaration will be provided to ensure that authors meet agreed criteria that no one with deserving authorship has been omitted. Authors will then be responsible to additionally publishing a correction in the case of such errors, should this be determined after publication.
Section 3: Permissions to Reproduce Previously Published Material
Authors should include with their submission, copies of written permission to reproduce material published elsewhere (such as illustrations) from the copyright holder. Authors are responsible for paying any fees to reproduce material from said owners of the content.
Editors have a right to demand original work and to question authors about whether opinion pieces (for example, editorials, letters, non-systematic reviews) have been published before; journals should establish a policy about how much overlap is considered acceptable between such publications. Therefore, if a primary research report or manuscript is published and later found to be redundant, the editor should contact the authors and consider publishing a notice of redundant publication.
Section 4: Promoting Research Integrity
The International Educators Group publication prohibits any form or misleading data presentation, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, or fabrication. If the manuscript is found to be misleading, editors have a right to address the matter by contacting the authors and alerting affected authorities (employers, funders, regulatory authorities). The author will then have a right to respond to such allegations and for investigations to be carried out with appropriate speed and due diligence.
Section 5: Protecting the Rights of Research Participants/Subjects
Editors from the International Educators Group publication have full intent to promote ethical and responsible research practices. Please review the Human Subject Regulations Decision Chart before considering publication of human subjects. See here: https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/decision-charts/index.html
Section 6: Respecting Confidentiality
Explicit consent should be obtained when attempting to publish information, data, and images from individual participants/subjects. In the case of technical images (for example, radiographs, micrographs) editors should ensure that all information that could identify the subject has been removed from the image.
Section 7: Peer Reviewer Selection and Performance
Editors have a responsibility to ensure a high standard of objective, unbiased, and timely peer review. Therefore, editors will establish and maintain a database of suitably qualified peer reviewers. Editors will monitor the performance of all peer reviewers/editorial board members and record the quality and timeliness of their reviews. Peer reviewers are encouraged to use constructive feedback. Therefore, peer reviewers who produce poor quality, are rude, tardy, abusive, and unconstructive feedback will not be used again.
Section 8: Plagiarism and Copyright
The International Educators Group publication editorial board have the right to expect that submitted work is the author’s own, and that copyright has not been breached. If the editorial board suspects plagiarism, the manuscript will be submitted through an online tracking device (Turnitin) to check for this issue.
Graf, C., Wagner, E., Bowman, A., Flack, S., Scott-Lichter, D., and Robinson, A. (2007). Best practice guidelines on publication ethics: a publisher’s perspective. International Journal of Clinical Practice Supplement. 61(152), 1-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2006.01230.x