A module covering ethical issues that arise in publishing and reviewing articles.
Author(s): Caroline Whitbeck
Ethical norms for reviewers and editors, field-dependent conventions, and guidelines from particular journals as to how authors, editors, and reviewers of manuscripts and grant proposals are to behave.
Distribution of scenarios for discussion.
Panel discussion or small group discussion based on those scenarios and questions and any others that students or faculty wish to add.
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For those in the physical sciences and engineering, it is useful to read:
"The review of a submitted manuscript may sometimes justify criticism, even severe criticism, from a reviewer. When appropriate, such criticism may be offered in published papers. However, in no case is personal criticism of the author considered to be appropriate."
Reading Questions for the Guidelines can be found here.
If your research is in biomedicine, it is useful to read the following very brief sections of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' (ICMJE) "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" updated May 2000 on the subjects of:
Council of Biology (CBE) Editors Editorial Policy Committee. (John C. Bailar, Marcia Angell, Sharon Boots, Karl Heumann, Melanie Miller, Evelyn Myers, Nancy Palmer, Sidney Weinhouse, and Patricia Woolf). 1990. Ethics and Policy in Scientific Publication. Bethesda, Maryland: Council of Biology Editors, Inc. This volume contains descriptions of ethical problems and abuses that arise or are discovered in the process of publishing scientific research, together with the results of an empirical study of the frequency with which scientific journal editors encounter them. Topics include redundant publication, data-dredging, conflicts of interest, withdrawal of an accepted paper, prior publication in a "throwaway" journal, prior publication in a non-English journal, disputes over authorship. Note that the Council of Biology Editors has now become the Council of Science Editors.
Ethical Issues in Biomedical Publication. Jones, Anne Hudson and Faith McLellan (Editors). 2000. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. This collection of essays includes several that specifically address issues of reviewing and editing including: "The Ethics of Peer Review," "Peer Review and the Ethics of Internet Publishing," "Educating the Leaders: Toward Systemic Change," and "Ethics in Cyberspace: The challenges of Electronic Scientific Publishing." Also included are essays about remedies and responses to problems which include attention to authorship issues.