Publication Ethics-(Part 2)

Deception

Deception involves the presentation of untrue findings, alteration of data, or selective reporting of findings. It is very difficult for a journal to identify this fraud at the point of article submission. However, the editorial board and the reviewers must be aware of the possibility of this fraud because this is a very serious case and leads to distrust in studying and damages the spirit of scientific research. In case the deception is confirmed, the scientific community will lose trust in the authors of the paper and the institutions that support the study.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is referred to as using text, data, or ideas of others (whether published or unpublished) without mentioning the author. In this case, the names of the authors of the original article are not noted. Currently, with the Internet it is very easy to perform and the contents of web pages can easily be copied and pasted.

Nonetheless, Nowadays plagiarism is very simple to identify using some specialized software, a number of which are free. Plagiarism is more common among the non-English authors and can be hidden or overt. It is scientifically difficult to determine exactly how much of the ideas of an author can be copied word by word without plagiarism. However, authors should always be encouraged to express their thoughts with their own words and not only avoid plagiarism due to fear from the law.

Moreover, authors should improve their language skills and their understanding of scientific writing. In case an author wants to quote another, the reference must be fully noted and the words should be included in “…” or «…». Editors play an important role in raising awareness about plagiarism and avoidance from the consequences.

 

Resubmitting an Article

Resubmission of a paper happens when an article that has been previously submitted to a journal is simultaneously sent to another journal. This is unethical because there will be a conflict between the journals in terms of copyright issues if the paper is published. Furthermore, the publication of an article in more than one scientific journal might be accompanied by a variety of problems, such as bias in the findings of the reviews and meta-analyses. In addition, no journal tends to publish an article that has already been published in another journal. When submitting an article, all scientific journals should explicitly request the authors to state that the article is not under review or is not published in any other journal. If a journal did not approve the draft of an article for publication, the authors could submit that draft to another journal for publication.

Sometimes authors may feel that the process of reviewing has taken much time in a scientific journal and prefer to send it to another scientific journal for publication. In this case, it is the duty of the journal authorities to effectively prevent this feeling in authors and teach them that resubmitting an article to another journal is unacceptable.

Submitting a Draft to Several Scientific Journals

This occurs when a research project is written by two or more separate groups as separate articles and they are not aware of the writing and submission. Publishing such articles can be a waste of time for readers and referees. Moreover, such paper will not be of value for the authors as several groups have spent their time. In order to avoid duplicate submission of papers, scientific journals require to ask the authors to state whether there are other articles similar to this one based on the same research or whether similar papers have been submitted to another journal. Definitely, it is always tempting for researchers to publish as many articles as possible from their data.

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