One of the foundations of the scientific profession is the acceptance by its members of a 'code of conduct', which outlines desired behaviour and obligations of members of the profession to each other and the public.
Such a code of conduct seeks to maximise the benefits of science to society and the profession. The advancement of science requires the sharing of knowledge, even though this may sometimes forego any immediate personal advantage.
The information on this page was reproduced in part-with permission-from Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research, Chem Rev., 1995, 95, pp 11A-13A. © 1985, 1989, 1995 American Chemical Society; and from International Ethical Principles for Scholarly Publication, International Association of STM Publishers.
On this page
Declaration of conflict of interest
The publication of scientific research in books is one of the core ways in which we serve the chemical science communities.
Central to this service are certain responsibilities accorded to series editorial board members, commissioning editors, editors and authors in order to maintain the high ethical standard relating to the publication of manuscripts in journals published by us.
In cases where these guidelines are breached – or appear to be so – we will consult the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), and act accordingly.
Please see the relevant tab below for detailed information on your responsilities.
Series editorial board members & our commissioning editors must:
acknowledge receipt of submitted book proposals within a few days of receipt and ensure the efficient, fair and timely review process of submitted book proposals
make certain that submitted book proposals are handled in a confidential manner, with the details never disclosed to anyone other than the referees without the permission of the editor/author(s) until a decision has been taken as to whether the book proposal has been accepted
decide to accept or reject a book proposal for publication with reference only to the book proposal's importance, originality and clarity, and its relevance to our publishing programme
respect the intellectual independence of editor/author(s)
make known any conflicts of interest that might arise (see 'Declaration of conflict of interest'); specifically, in cases where a series editorial board member is an editor/author of a submitted book proposal, the series editorial board member must not provide a review of the book proposal
consider the use of an editor/author's suggested referees for their submitted book proposal; however, the commissioning editor maintains the right to use referees of their own choice
ensure the confidentiality of the names and other details of referees
comply with data protection regulations, as appropriate.
And must not:
use for their own research, work reported in unpublished books
use referees that an editor/author has requested are not to be consulted, unless the commissioning editor reasonably considers there to be a significant overriding interest in so doing.
inform the commissioning editor of related manuscripts under consideration for publication by the same editor(s) with another publisher; editors should provide details of these related manuscripts and their present status
ensure that a manuscript is submitted for publication to only one publisher at a time; it is unacceptable for an editor to submit a manuscript (or manuscripts describing essentially the same matter) to more than one publisher at a time
ensure that submitted chapters contain no personal criticism of other scientists; while criticism of the work of another scientist may be justified, a chapter may not contain any defamatory or otherwise actionable material
give due acknowledgement to all workers contributing to the work; those who have contributed significantly to the book as a whole should be listed as editors; on submission of the manuscript, the editor(s) attests to the fact that those named as editor(s) have agreed to its submission for publication and accept the responsibility for having properly included all editor(s); any change in editorship after submission of the manuscript must be approved by all editor(s) and justified to the commissioning editor
declare any conflict of interest (see 'Declaration of conflict of interest')
identify clearly in the manuscript any unusual hazards inherent in the use of chemicals, procedures or equipment in the investigation
include – in cases where a study involves the use of live animals or human subjects – a statement in the 'Methods/Experimental' section of the manuscript 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; and include a statement that informed consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects.
acknowledge receipt of a book proposal within a few days of receipt and ensure the efficient, fair and timely review of the book proposal
notify the editor and excuse him/herself from the review process if he or she feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or know that its prompt review will be impossible
treat the book proposal as confidential; the book proposal (or its existence) should not be shown or disclosed to, or discussed with, others
destroy/erase the book proposal and to inform the commissioning editor should they be unqualified to review the manuscript, or lack the time to review the manuscript, without undue delay
judge the manuscript objectively and in a timely fashion; referees should not make personal criticism in their reviews
inform the commissioning editor if there is a conflict of interest (see Declaration of 'conflict of interest'); specifically, referees should not review book proposals by a person with whom the referee has a close personal or professional relationship, if this relationship could be reasonably thought to bias the review
respect the intellectual independence of the editor/author(s)
explain and support their judgements so that editor/author(s) and commissioning editor may understand the basis of their comments
ensure that all unpublished data, information, interpretation and discussion in a submitted book proposal remain confidential and not use reported work in unpublished, submitted articles for their own research.
And must not:
Retain or copy the submitted book proposal in any form; to comply with data protection regulations, as appropriate.
Declaration of conflict of interest
The commissioning editor should be informed of any significant* conflict of interest that editors, authors or referees may have, in order to determine whether any action may be appropriate. Conflicts of interest are almost inevitable, though, so it's not possible to – nor do we intend to – eliminate them completely.
Editors, authors and referees of a book proposal, chapter, manuscript, etc should inform the commissioning editor at the earliest possible stage of any significant financial interest (recent, present or anticipated) in any organisation that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the piece – for example:
- Employment by such an organisation
- Funds for research
- Funds for a member of staff
- Fees for consulting
- Stock or share holdings
- Patent interests
If you have such an interest, you may have a conflict of interest, which – in the spirit of openness – should be declared to the commissioning editor.
Editors and authors should inform the commissioning editor of any financial or other relevant interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their work and should disclose this in their manuscript.
An editor, author or referee may wish to disclose to the commissioning editor another conflict of interest that would be embarrassing if it became generally known (for example, an academic link or rivalry or a close relationship with – or a strong antipathy towards – a person whose interests may be affected by publication of an article, editorial).
Reviewers should not consider a book proposal in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, funders, or institutions connected to the proposal. In addition, reviewers should not consider a book proposal where they have any interests in organisations that may benefit or suffer from publication of the work.