Ethical Guidelines and Conflict of Interest
Ethical Guidelines for Publication in Journals and Reviews
Editors (including Editorial Board members and RSC Managing Editors) have the following responsibilities:
- To acknowledge receipt of submitted manuscripts within a few days of receipt and to ensure the efficient, fair and timely review process of submitted manuscripts.
- To ensure that submitted manuscripts are handled in a confidential manner, with no details being disclosed to anyone, with the exception of the referees, without the permission of the author, until a decision has been taken as to whether the manuscript is to be published.
- To make the final decision concerning acceptance or rejection of a manuscript.
- To decide to accept or reject a manuscript for publication with reference only to the manuscript's importance, originality and clarity, and its relevance to the journal.
- To respect the intellectual independence of authors.
- To make known any conflicts of interest that might arise (see Appendix A.1). Specifically, in cases where an editor is an author of a submitted manuscript, the manuscript must be passed to another editor for independent peer review.
- Not to use for their own research, work reported in unpublished submitted articles.
- To consider the use of an author's suggested referees for their submitted article. However, the editor maintains the right to use referees of their own choice.
- Not to use referees which an author has requested are not to be consulted, unless the editor reasonably considers there to be a significant over-riding interest in so doing.
- To ensure the confidentiality of the names and other details of referees; adjudication and appeal referees may be informed of the names of prior referees, if appropriate.
- To respond to any suggestions of scientific misconduct or to convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a published manuscript is erroneous, usually through consultation with the author. This may require the publication of a formal 'retraction' or correction.
- To deal fairly with an author's appeal against the rejection of a submitted manuscript.
- To comply with data protection regulations, as appropriate.
NB Only in the most extreme and unusual cases, and with the specific agreement of the Editorial Board and the Chair of the Journals Committee, may sanctions of limited duration be applied to an author.