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.
Information for authors about how to publish ethically is available in the Ethics section on the Elsevier Publishing Campus. For downloadable resources on ethics, visit the Elsevier Publishing Campus Resources section. 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.
- 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.