Publication Ethics The Agony and Ecstasy. Publication Ethics The Road Ahead

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1 Publication Ethics The Agony and Ecstasy John H. Nilson, PhD School of Molecular Biosciences Washington State University Publication Ethics The Road Ahead What Publication Ethics Really Means What Constitutes Scientific Misconduct What Constitutes Authorship (more than you want to know) Obligations of Authors Obligations of Reviewers Obligations of Editors Due Process Examples of Authors Gone Wrong 1

2 What Publication Ethics Really Means Not a choice but a must Ethical choice versus rule Peer-reviewed manuscripts Claxton, L.D., Scientific authorship. Part 1. A window into scientific fraud? Mutat Res, (1): p Claxton, L.D., Scientific authorship. Part 2. History, recurring issues, practices, and guidelines. Mutat Res, (1): p Know your other resources; this leads to good decisions Eggert, L.D. Best practices for allocating appropriate credit and responsibility to authors of multi-authored articles. Frontiers in Psych, : p Committee On Publication Ethics 2

3 Molecular Endocrinology: Instructions to Authors WSU Office of Research Conduct i/rcr_training.html 3

4 Scientific Misconduct (Endocrine Society) Prohibited acts include the following Plagiarism including theft of intellectual property and unattributed copying of another s work Fabrication making up results in whole or in part Falsification manipulating data including changing, altering, or omitting Redundant or duplicate publication submission in whole or in part of one already submitted or published Submission of animal or clinical research without institutional approval from the appropriate review board Honorary Authorship What is an Author? An author is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study, and biomedical authorship continues to have important academic, social, and financial implications. An author must take responsibility for at least one component of the work, should be able to identify who is responsible for each other component, and should ideally be confident in their coauthors ability and integrity. 4

5 Manuscripts Begin with Authors: What constitutes honorary authorship? 2009 Statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), also known as the Vancouver Group: Authorship credit should be based only on: 1. substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3. final approval of the version to be published. Conditions (1), (2), and (3) must all be met. Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship. WSU Subscribes to the ICMJE Principles 5

6 Two Different Criteria for Defining Authorship Each author should be able to present the entire paper including all of the data. In day-to-day practice, any author worthy of the name should be able to talk knowledgeably and off the cuff about the aims and findings of their published articles to an interested group for at least 5 minutes, for about 5 years after the article s publication. 1 1 Where Is the Honor in Honorary Authorship? Kressel, HY and MD and Dixon, AK. Radiology, Published online before printmarch 8, 2011, doi: /radiol Why Do We Care About Honorary Authorship? From COPE: by-lines often do not reflect who really did the work. 1 Many people (both editors and investigators) feel that this misrepresentation is a form of research misconduct, and that honesty in reporting science should extend to authorship. They argue that, if scientists are dishonest about their relationship to their work, this undermines confidence in the reporting of the work itself. 6

7 More About Why We Care About Honorary Authorship From the Endocrine Society Ethical Guidelines for Research: Authors signature on copyright form indicates author has participated in the final writing and editing, has a copy of the final manuscript, and agrees to share responsibility and accountability alleged misconduct subjects all authors to investigation Questions about Authorship lead to disputes and allegations of misconduct trigger investigation Reducing Incidence of Authorship Problems Encourage a culture of ethical authorship Start discussing authorship when the research planning begins and at appropriate stages thereafter Decide authorship before the article is started; be willing to negotiate changes later The COPE Report 2003, How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new investigators, Tim Albert and Elizbeth Wager; 7

8 Acknowledgements Key Concepts in Authorship Appeals the right to request withdrawal of your name (not disputes) Contributorship define contributions of each author Corresponding author First and last author Ghost authors Gift authors Group authorship Guarantor at least one author guarantees integrity of the entire project Instructions to the authors Number of authors Order of authors The COPE Report 2003, How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new investigators, Tim Albert and Elizbeth Wager Obligations of Authors Present a clear, honest, accurate, and complete account of the research Fragmentation of reports should be avoided. Details plus copies of results appearing in another journal, in publications of congresses, symposia, workshops, etc., should be supplied to the editor. Preliminary accounts or abstracts of the work, already published, must be referenced Describe work in sufficient detail to allow others to repeat Include all relevant data, including those which may not support the hypothesis 8

9 Author Obligations, continued Cite publications that bear directly on the novelty and interpretation of the results Provide reagents and other propagative materials such as DNA clones, cell lines, and hybridomas to qualified investigators Ensure no substitution, addition, or deletion of data or text during the proof correction process (after acceptance). Answers to author queries and changes to typographical or printer's errors may be made to proofs. Any other changes require re-review of the manuscript by the editorial office Clear any change in authorship with the Editor-in-Chief. Prior Publication Falls under the Ingelfinger Rule Failure to notify the editor that some results in the manuscript are being or have been previously published will result in placement of a notice in the journal that the authors have violated the Ethical Guidelines for Publication of Research in Endocrine Society Journals. 9

10 Copyright Assignment/Affirmation of Originality Acceptance and publication of any article in The Endocrine Society journals is contingent upon the author's warranty that the manuscript has not been published in total or in part, nor is it being submitted or considered for publication in total or in part elsewhere. The signature of each author on the Affirmation of Originality and Copyright Release form that must be submitted with the manuscript indicates that all authors have had a part in the writing and final editing of the report, all have been given a copy of the manuscript, all have approved the final version of the manuscript, and all are prepared to take public responsibility for the work, sharing responsibility and accountability for the results Obligation of Reviewers Provide expert, critical, unbiased review Should not review: lack of expertise Conflict of interest including close personal or professional relationship Provide detailed critique, especially for unfavorable recommendation Report any instance of suspected duplicate publication No part of manuscript under review should be revealed to anyone including your lab Never, ever admit you were the reviewer 10

11 Obligations of Editors Guarantee confidential, expert, critical, and unbiased review Cannot review your own work nor should you review that of a close competitor Act on any report of alleged misconduct Due Process Ensure prompt and discrete inquiry to any allegation of misconduct Provide written notification to alleged author and request information to assist in inquiry EIC consults with Editors, Publications, Committee, and EAC to determine reasonable cause of further inquiry Further inquiry provided by author s Institution Outcome of investigation reported back to EIC and EIC/Editors recommendation action to Council Actions can include: erratum, retraction, or apologia as well as other sanctions regarding membership in ES 11

12 Authors Go Wrong: Case #1 From: JJJ Dear John, One of my colleagues who wishes to remain anonymous has shown me some disturbing data recently published in Journal A that clearly has been cropped together from another paper in Journal B by the same authors, as well as duplicated from another figure in the same paper in Journal A. This documented in the attached Powerpoint (sic) and Word documents. Since the data is purported to represent different experiments with different cell lines and treatments, the validity of these results is clearly questionable. Since this is from a scientist at X University and a friend of mine (Dr. Z) is the head of the unit, I thought it would be appropriate to inform him of this problem. However, as the Editor-in-Chief of Journal A, I wanted to find out how you wished to proceed with respect to asking for a retraction of the paper, and whether you or I should notify Dr. Z. Dr. Z s is *. . By the way, I did not handle this manuscript! Please call me if you want to discuss this matter further, and let me know whether I should forward this to Dr. Z. Best Wishes, JJJ. Figure 11 Journal A Fig 11 C X No Vector C X Vector A C X Vector B Fig 12 C Z +X +Y Z Figure 12 Journal A 12

13 Figure 14 Journal B C A B D E F G C I J D/A EA K L Figure 9 Journal A Case Study #2 A graduate student devises a dissertation project based on her work at a practicum site. The dissertation committee is composed of the faculty supervisor, the practicum supervisor, and another faculty member. After a successful dissertation defense, the student writes the first draft of the manuscript for publication, but considerable revision is needed. However, the student has gone on to a teaching job and has lost interest in finishing the manuscript. What are the implications of this scenario for the order of authorship? 13

14 Case Study #3 An undergraduate student completed an honor s thesis under the direction of a faculty member. The student chose the topic of personality influences on voter preferences. The student conducted a literature review of existing measures of potentially relevant personality dimensions, but ultimately the faculty member decided a new measure was needed and he developed one. The student conducted the thesis, but the personality scale was not related to voter preference. However, the faculty advisor decided that a description of the new personality measure, along with data collected as part of the thesis on the reliability and validity of the measure, was worth writing up for publication. Preparing such an article is beyond the student s abilities. Should the student be a coauthor on the manuscript reporting a new measuring instrument? Know the Ethical Guidlines Edward Hopper Nighthawks 14

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