Guide to promoting integrity in scientific journals published by the Council of Science Editors

Reston, VA -- A guide to promoting integrity in scientific journal publications has been published by the Council of Science Editors (CSE) Editorial Policy Committee.

CSE's White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications was created as a resource to acquaint new editors with the scope of their duties and as an aid for all editors who are establishing and benchmarking their journals' policies and procedures.

"Public support of scientific and medical research stems from the public's trust in the integrity of research and its reporting. Press coverage of scientific journals shapes public opinion about the integrity of research, and it only takes a few cases of questionable journal practices to erode this support. CSE's white paper will be a valuable resource for editors, authors, reviewers, and journal owners to establish or reinforce all aspects of good publication process and maintain the public trust" said Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet, and CSE Past President.

"Peer-reviewed scientific journals are central to the effective dissemination of the knowledge gained from research," said CSE President Monica Bradford. "While the peer-review process has been the cornerstone of scholarly publishing for centuries, documentation of appropriate policies and practices will ensure that the peer-review process remains effective, fair, and rigorous into the future. The CSE's white paper is intended to provide guidance to scientists in their varied roles during the publication process."

This white paper covers the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in publishing: What are the roles of the editor, author, peer reviewers, and the publisher? What are the various models of authorship and contributorship? How can editors ensure that they have a workable conflict of interest policy?

The second half covers research misconduct. What is research misconduct? How is it identified? What are the international models for responding to research misconduct? What is the best way to correct the literature? What is the difference between a retraction and a published expression of concern?

"To create this living document, the CSE Editorial Policy Committee incorporated information and advice from a variety of experts from the commercial and non-profit publishing community, from international groups such as COPE, WAME, and ICMJE, from scientific societies and from law firms and government agencies with knowledge of research integrity," said Bradford, who is Executive Editor of the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Editorial Policy Committee's mandate was to ensure that all science disciplines could use this white paper as a resource. With the understanding that what may be appropriate for one discipline or organization may not be so for another, the publication intends to inform and guide rather than direct. The Committee will continue to update the white paper as needed."

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CSE's White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications is available at www.councilscienceeditors.org/editorial_policies/white_paper.cfm, or in the Editorial Policies section of the CSE Web site www.CouncilScienceEditors.org.

CSE is a professional organization with 1,200 members dedicated to promoting excellence in the communication of scientific information. It was established in 1957 by joint action of the National Science Foundation and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Today, it enjoys close relationships with a number of scientific publishing organizations, both national and international, but it functions autonomously, relying on the vigor of its more than members to attain the goals of the organization.


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