The indication of the surname in the list of authors in a scientific article guarantees that the corresponding persons receive recognition of the authorship of the results obtained and are responsible for the conducted studies. Intentional distortion of the attitude of a scientist to his work is considered one of the forms of an offense that undermines the credibility of the work itself.
Although there is no universal definition of authorship, the "author" is usually considered to be a person who has made a significant intellectual contribution to the study.
According to the guidelines of authorship: all persons appointed as authors should apply for authorship, and all those who have the right to participate must be indicated.
In order to be listed as the author of the work, four criteria must be fulfilled:
- made a significant contribution to the concept and development of the research, data collection, analysis and interpretation;
- participated in the preparation or correction of the article content;
- responsible for all aspects of work related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work;
- took part in the approval of the article final version;
Below are some general recommendations for the authors of the article:
- The order of authorship should be a " joint decision of the co-authors»;
- Persons participating in the study, but not satisfying the criteria for publication, should be listed as "Assistant" or "Identity Person". Examples include: consulting in research, providing space and equipment for research, assisting in obtaining financial support;
- In the alphabetical list of co-authors, it is considered that all co-authors made an equal contribution to the study. The change in the alphabetical list highlights the special contribution of some co-authors.
Three types of authorship are considered unacceptable:
- “Ghost” authors, who make a significant contribution but are not recognized and are often paid by commercial sponsors;
- "Guest" authors, who do not make any appreciable contributions, but are listed in order to obtain authorship for the publication;
- “Gift” authors, whose contribution is based solely on insignificant membership in the study.
If the authorship issues in the preparation of the publication are not properly resolved, they will not be adequately addressed, which often leads to proceedings. Some proceedings are based on misconduct, such as lying about one's role; others arise from questions of interpretation, such as how a person's contribution can be considered "significant".
Other potential issues may include: participating in the research, but not listed as the author; someone takes your idea and publish an article claimimg full authorship; finding your name in the publication without permission.
If a complaint is made regarding the authorship, an investigation may be conducted with the editor of the journal and the author’s institution for making a decision.
Authors of original research reports should submit an accurate report on the work performed, as well as an objective discussion of its significance. The direct data must be accurately represented in the document. The document should contain sufficient details and links that allow others to print the work. Fraudulent or deliberately inaccurate statements are unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Articles of the review and professional publication should also be accurate and objective, and editorial "opinions" should be clearly identified.
Data access and storage
Authors may be asked to provide research data confirming their work, for editorial review and/or compliance with the requirements for open journal data. Authors should be ready to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should be ready to store such data for a reasonable number of years after publication.
Originality and confirmation of soures
Authors must ensure that they have written completely original works, and if the authors used the work and/or words of others, it was appropriately quoted and permission was obtained, if necessary.
It is always necessary to give proper confirmation of the results of other authors. Authors should refer to publications that have influenced his work, and which are part of a larger scientific report. Information received in confidence, such as in conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties, should not be used or revised without the explicit written permission of the source.
Plagiarism takes many forms: the submission of someone else's article as the author's own article, copying or rephrasing the essential parts of another article without the appropriate references, borrowing the results of the research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms is unethical and unacceptable.
Authorship of the manuscript
Authorship should be limited by those who have made a significant contribution to the concept, plan, implementation or interpretation of the published research. All those who have made a significant contribution, should be listed as co-authors.
Those who participate in other significant aspects of the work (for example, editing the language, individual calculations and measurements) should be recognized in the thanks section.
The author, who is in correspondence with the editorial staff of the journal, must ensure that all relevant co-authors are included in the article, and that all co-authors approved the final version of the article and agreed to submit it for publication.
It is expected that the authors will carefully consider the list and order of the authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the final list of authors at the time of the initial submission.
The editor considers only in exceptional cases (at his discretion) the addition, removal or regrouping of the authors after the manuscript has been received by the editorial office. The author must accurately designate such a request to the editor. All authors must agree with any such addition, removal or regrouping.
The authors take collective responsibility for the work. Each individual author is responsible for ensuring that issues related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are properly investigated and resolved.
Information received in the form of confidential services, for example, hand-written materials or grants applications, should not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work related to these services.
Hazards to humans/animals
If the work is related to chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unforeseen dangers inherent in their use, the author must clearly identify them in the handwritten text.
If the work involves the use of animals or people, the author must ensure that the manuscript contains a statement that all procedures have been carried out in accordance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the relevant committee or organization has approved them. Authors should include in the manuscript the statement according to which the received consent was received for experiments with people.
Conflict of interest as “the discrepancy between the private interests of a person (competing interests) and his duties with respect to scientific and publishing activities such that the thinking reader may wonder whether the behavior or judgment of a person is motivated by considerations of his competing interests”. All authors should disclose in their manuscript any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can be considered as an inadequate influence on their work.
It is necessary to disclose all sources of financial support for conducting research and/or preparing an article, as well as the role of the sponsor(s), if any:
- in the research project;
- in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data;
- when writing an article;
- in the decision to submit an article for publication.
If the source of financing did not have such participation, then this should be indicated.
Examples of potential conflicts of interests that must be disclosed include employment, consultations, share ownership, fees, paid expert evidence, patent applications/registrations, grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interests should be disclosed at the earliest possible stage.
Significant errors in published works
When the author finds a significant error or inaccuracy in his published work, it is the author's duty to immediately notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to cancel or amend the document if it is deemed necessary by the editor. If the editor or publisher learns from a third party that the published work contains an error, it is the author's responsibility to cooperate with the editor, including providing evidence to the editor where required.
It is unacceptable to improve, hide, move, delete or enter a specific function in an image. Brightness, contrast or color balance corrections are acceptable if and until they hide or eliminate the information contained in the original. Manipulation of images for greater clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes can be regarded as a violation of scientific ethics.
Simultaneous submission of the manuscript to different publishers
The authors are obliged to make sure that their manuscript is based on the original of never published research. Deliberate submission or re-submission of work for duplication of publication is considered a violation of publishing ethics.
Simultaneous presentation occurs when a person submits a manuscript to different publishing houses simultaneously, which can lead to the fact that more than one journal publishes the same article.
Duplicate/multiple publication occurs when two or more articles without a full cross reference have essentially the same hypotheses, data, points of discussion and/or conclusions. This can occur to varying degrees: literal duplication, partial, but significant duplication or duplication by paraphrasing.
One of the main reasons for considering the duplication of the publication of original research as unethical is that it may lead to an unintended double count or inappropriate weighing of the results of one study that distorts the available data.
It is possible to publish translations of articles if the preliminary approval of this publication by the first publisher has been granted and that the full disclosure of the original source is given.
The main rule: the articles submitted for publication must be original and should not be submitted to any other publication. At the time of application, authors should disclose any details of related articles (also in another language), similar articles in the press and their translations.
Possible actions when duplicating an article:
- Avoid submitting the same manuscript to more than one publisher;
- Even if the submitted manuscript is currently under review and you do not know its status, wait to find out the solution from the publisher before proceeding with another journal.
- Avoid submitting a previously published document for review in another journal;
- Avoid submitting manuscripts that describe basically the same research in more than one journal;
- Always provide full disclosure of any previous material (including presentations of meetings and publication of results in registries) that can be considered duplicate publications.
Duplicating by paraphrasing or text processing
- Quote everything that is taken directly from the previously published work, even if you re-use something in your own words;
- Do not forget to specify the source.
Publication of translations of articles into another language
- If you want to send your paper to a journal that is published in another country or in another language, contact the publisher for permission;
- When submitting, disclose any details related to publications in another language and any existing translations.
Fraud during research
Fraud in research is the publication of data or conclusions that have not been obtained through experimentation or observation, but through fabrication or manipulation of data. There are two types of fraud in studies and scientific publications:
- fabrication of research data and results, their registration or publication;
- falsification is the manipulation of results and research methods. Falsification includes changing or excluding data or results in such a way that the research is consistent with the desired final result.
Both fabrication and falsification are serious misconducts, because they lead to scientific publication, which does not accurately reflect reality.
Some cases of fraud can be easily identified, for example, if the referee knows that this laboratory does not have the capacity to conduct published studies or if it is obvious that the results presented are distorted or composed of several different experiments. The data of the control experiments can be ‘too perfect’. In such situations, it is necessary to conduct an investigation to determine whether an act of fraud has been committed.
The case of an unintentional error that looks like an unlawful behavior is not an offense. However, it is important for the author to understand what is the correct collection and analysis of data in the studies.
In order to prevent fraud, most publishers have strict rules for submission and accessing data. It is desirable to have the opportunity to read them before the work is presented.
Some general recommendations include:
Manipulation of presenting
- Data representations can only be processed for their clarity;
- No specific feature in the image can be improved, shaded, moved, redirected or introduced;
- Brightness, contrast, or color balance adjustments are generally acceptable if they do not hide or eliminate the information contained in the original.
Data access and storage
- The author may be asked to provide raw data for editorial review. Therefore, all the data for a particular article should be retained within a reasonable time before and after publication.
Guidance on fraud charges and how to prevent them:
- Do not forge or modify data;
- Keep detailed records of your data;
- Records of raw data should be available in case the editor requests them, even after the publication of your article;
- Understand the publisher's policy regarding data before sending the manuscript.
Manipulating data representation
- If you need to customize the display of results for greater clarity, make sure that you know what is considered acceptable before submitting your article;
- Even if manipulations with data images are considered acceptable, report it before submitting your article;
Match any data images used in your manuscript with the original data views to make sure that nothing has changed.