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Publishing Ethics
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Publishing Ethics

The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the work quality of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon the standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the authors, the journal editors, the peer reviewers, the publishers and the society of society-owned or sponsored journals.

Duties of Editors

Publication decision

Fair play

Confidentiality

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Involvement and cooperation in investigations

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decision

Promptness

Confidentiality

Standards of objectivity

Acknowledgement of source

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards

Data access and retention

Originality and plagiarism

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication

Acknowledgement of sources

Authorship of the paper

Hazards and human or animal subjects

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Fundamental errors in published works

Publishing responsibilities of authors

Reporting standards

Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Review and professional publication articles should also be accurate and objective, and editorial 'opinion' works should be identified as such.

Hazards and human or animal subjects

If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify these in the manuscript. If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Use of patient images or case details

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper.

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier on request.

Particular care should be taken with obtaining consent where children are concerned (in particular where a child has special needs or learning disabilities), where an individual's head or face appears, or where reference is made to an individual's name or other personal details.

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