Ethical Guidelines and Conflict of Interest
Ethical Guidelines for Publication in Journals and Reviews
There is no universally agreed definition of authorship. As a minimum, authors should take responsibility for a particular section of the study. The award of authorship should balance intellectual contributions to the conception, design, analysis and writing of the study against the collection of data and other routine work. If there is no task that can reasonably be attributed to a particular individual, then that individual should not be credited with authorship. All authors must take public responsibility for the content of their paper. The multidisciplinary nature of much research can make this difficult, but this may be resolved by the disclosure of individual contributions.
Authors have the following responsibilities:
- To gather and interpret data in an honest way. Editors, referees, readers and publishers have the right to assume that submitted (and published) manuscripts do not contain scientific dishonesty and/or fraud comprising among others fictitious or manipulated data, plagiarised material (either from the previous work of the authors or that of other persons), reference omissions, false priority statements, 'hidden' multiple publication of the same data and incorrect authorship. Authors must not breach any copyright. When reproducing figures and/or schemes from previous publications, it is the authors' responsibility to seek appropriate permission from the relevant publishers.
- To present a concise and accurate report of their research and an objective discussion of its significance.
- To give due recognition to published work relating to their submitted manuscript by way of correct reference and citation. All sources should be disclosed, and if a significant amount of other people's material is to be used, permission must be sought by the author in accordance with copyright law. An author should not use privately obtained information (for example information obtained through conversation), or information obtained through the performance of a confidential service (for example the refereeing of a manuscript), without permission from the person from whom the information originated.
- (a) To avoid undue fragmentation of their work into multiple manuscripts. Editors have the right to reject submitted articles on the grounds of undue fragmentation. In particular, a piece of work should not be split into a number of manuscripts for publication as Communications. (b) Not to engage in redundant publication, which occurs when two or more papers, without full cross reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions. Previous publication of an abstract or preprint of the proceedings of meetings does not preclude subsequent submission for publication, but full disclosure should be made at the time of submission. Re-publication of a paper in another language is acceptable, provided that there is full and prominent disclosure of its original source at the time of submission.
- To consider publishing related manuscripts in the same journal or a small group of journals, as this can be of benefit to readers.
- To inform the editor of related manuscripts under consideration for publication by the same author in any journal, on submission of their current manuscript. Authors should provide copies of these related manuscripts, and details of their present status.
- To ensure that a manuscript is submitted for publication in only one journal at a time. It is not acceptable for an author to submit a manuscript (or manuscripts describing essentially the same matter) to more than one journal at a time. A manuscript which is a full paper report of a published communication may be submitted for publication; however the author has the responsibility to inform the editor of the previously published communication.
- To ensure that their submitted articles contain no personal criticism of other scientists. Criticism of the work of another scientist may, however, be justified. An article may not contain any defamatory or otherwise actionable material.
- To give due acknowledgement to all workers contributing to the work. Those who have contributed significantly to the research should be listed as co-authors. On submission of the manuscript, the corresponding author attests to the fact that those named as co-authors have agreed to its submission for publication and accepts the responsibility for having properly included all (and only) co-authors. If there are more than ten co-authors on the manuscript the corresponding author should provide a statement to specify the contribution of each co-author. The corresponding author signs a copyright licence on behalf of all the authors. Any change in authorship after initial submission must be approved by all authors and justified to the Editor.
- To declare all sources of funding for the work in the manuscript, and also to declare any conflict of interest (see Appendix A.1).
- To identify clearly in the manuscript any unusual hazards inherent in the use of chemicals, procedures or equipment in the investigation.
- In cases where a study involves the use of live animals or human subjects, to include in the Methods/Experimental section of the manuscript a statement that all experiments were performed in compliance with the relevant laws and institutional guidelines, and to state the institutional committee(s) that have approved the experiments. To include a statement that informed consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects. Referees may be asked to comment specifically on any cases in which concerns arise. More detailed guidelines for authors submitting to Toxicology Research can be found in the individual journal summary guidelines.