The authors should carefully follow the standard methods for reporting the results of the their work, as commonly used in their respective fields of research. Adhering to the reporting standards enables good understanding and beneficent use of the results by the readers.
Results Access and Availability
In certain fields of research, readers usually would wish to access the results reported in a specific paper in its raw format, in order to apply extended analysis, reproduce extra interpretations of the results, or to make use of the results as a benchmark for their own independent research. In many cases, the authors do not own the results due to research funding and institutional commitments, especially such associated with IP and nondisclosure agreements. Therefore, publishing results in their raw format must be accompanied by a statement from the authors which clearly disclose their right to publish this data. This is the sole responsibility of the authors.
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use or imitation of works, language, and ideas of another. Generally, in the context of article publication, plagiarism occurs when one researcher/author uses the words, language, or ideas of another researcher/author without making it clear within the narrative or referencing of the article that this has occurred; that is, passing off a piece of research or text as his or her own.
However, authors should also be aware of self plagiarism (redundant publication). This may occur where an author presents in an article items that he or she has previously published in his or her other works, and makes no reference to those other works.
Plagiarism can be committed through the literal copying of other authors’ work without making proper acknowledgement, but also through copying “substantial” elements of a work. Plagiarism may also take place through paraphrasing of another’s work without acknowledgement.
Authors should ensure that they clearly cite, reference and acknowledge all instances where they have used or been influenced by the work of others, including their own previously published articles and research material. Self plagiarism, especially where the copyright of the published article has been assigned to a publisher, learned society or other third party, is as serious as plagiarism of others, and must be avoided. All sources must be disclosed.
If an article reproduces research material, tables, images, or quotations of a substantial nature, the author must seek permission to use that material and fully acknowledge the owner and/or copyright owner.
Redundant submission is the multiple submission (or publication) of the same research to different journals by an author. This includes publication of an article in different languages. It includes the reuse of substantial portions of articles without acknowledgement of prior publication.
Multiple submission or multiple publication of research is unethical. It wastes the time of the editors and reviewers that form research communities and contribute to the publication of scholarly journals.
Authors should note that the submission of substantially similar articles to multiple journals, where perhaps some wording has been changed, but the outcome of the paper is substantially the same, also counts as redundant publication.
The practice of fragmenting research findings in order to increase the number of possible articles available for publication is to be discouraged in the strongest possible terms.
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the work reported and who share responsibility and accountability for the results.
The 2011 guidelines from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) state that authorship should be limited to those who have fulfilled all of the following criteria:
- Substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
- Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and,
- Final approval of the version to be published
If others participated in substantial aspects of the research but do not meet the criteria for authorship, they should be listed as contributors in the acknowledgments.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone does not constitute authorship. Those who did not make a meaningful contribution should not be included as contributing authors for the sake of prestige or their own referencing quota.
For studies conducted by large, multi-centred groups, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.