Policies and 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 quality of work of the author and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behavior.
Find information about how to publish ethically under the "Ethics" topic on Elsevier Researcher Academy. Other useful information specifically developed for editors but useful for anyone with a deep interest in the topic is the Publishing Ethics Resource Kit.
Ethics topics to consider when publishing:
- Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. Transparency about the contributions of authors is encouraged, for example in the form of a CRediT author statement.
CRediT author statement
|Conceptualization||Ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims|
|Methodology||Development or design of methodology; creation of models|
|Software||Programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components|
|Validation||Verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/ reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs|
|Formal Analysis||Application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data|
|Investigation||Conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection|
|Resources||Provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools|
|Data Curation||Management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later reuse|
|Writing – Original Draft||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation)|
|Writing – Review & Editing||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision – including pre-or postpublication stages|
|Visualization||Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/ data presentation|
|Supervision||Oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team|
|Project Administration||Management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution|
|Funding Acquisition||Acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication|
* Reproduced from Brand et al. (2015), Learned Publishing 28(2), with permission of the authors.
CRediT offers authors the opportunity to share an accurate and detailed description of their diverse contributions to the published work.
- The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that the descriptions are accurate and agreed by all authors.
- The role(s) of all authors should be listed, using the relevant above categories.
- Authors may have contributed in multiple roles.
- CRediT in no way changes the journal’s criteria to qualify for authorship.
Author statements should be provided in a separate file during the submission process and will appear above the Acknowledgement section of the published paper as shown below.
CRediT author statement
Elizabeth Ash: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software. Catriona Fennell: Data curation, Writing- Original draft preparation. Linda Gruner: Visualization, Investigation. Ton Bos: Supervision. Ramya Kannan: Software, Validation. Kalaivani Moorthy: Writing- Reviewing and Editing, Supervision. Lucia Muñoz Franco: Data curation, Software, Validation.
More about CRediT
CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) was introduced with the intention of recognizing individual author contributions, reducing authorship disputes and facilitating collaboration. The idea came about in 2015 at a Harvard workshop and it became a collaborative effort led by the Wellcome Trust and Digital Science, with input from publishers, including Elsevier, represented by Cell Press. Several journals now encourage submission of a CRediT statement, consult your guide for authors for more information.
- Originality and plagiarism: The authors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.
- Data access and retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data.
- Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Elsevier does not view the following uses of a work as prior publication: publication in the form of an abstract; publication as an academic thesis; publication as an electronic preprint. Information on prior publication is included within each Elsevier journal’s Guide for Authors. Note: Cell Press, The Lancet, and some society-owned titles have different policies on prior publication. Information on these is available on the journal homepage.
- Acknowledgement of sources: Proper acknowledgment.
- Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.
- Fundamental errors in published works: When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author's obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
- 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.
- Hazards and human or animal subjects: Statements of compliance are required if the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, or if it involves the use of animal or human subjects.
- 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.