Principles of Publishing
Our principles of publishing address issues of authorship, duplicate publication, plagiarism, accuracy of information, and the role of reviewers. In general, we follow the set of guidelines produces by the British Psychological Society.
The overriding principle on authorship is that only those collaborators who have made a significant contribution should be credited as authors. It is not only the writers of the material who are entitled to authorship. Inclusion is merited if an individual has made a major contribution to the project as a whole and/or the writing of the material presented.
Specifically, significant contributions are:
• Origination and formulation of the idea, thesis, or hypotheses described
• Design of the solution
• Designing and conducting major analysis
• Interpreting findings
• Writing a major section of the article, page, or material
A number of other contributions essential to the publication of any material do not merit authorship, but nevertheless should be acknowledged in a note. Minor contributions are generally considered as technical activities that provide no significant intellectual/scientific input into the material and process.
Authorship is not warranted if these are the sole activities undertaken by an individual. Examples of minor contributions include:
• Collection of data (including interviewing) and data entry, if these do not include a significant intellectual/scientific input
• Supervised data analysis
• Designing or building research apparatus
• Recruiting research participants and other administrative duties
• Advising on statistical issues
The order in which authors’ names appear should be determined by the relative size of everyone’s contribution. Thus, an individual who is judged consensually to have made the most significant contribution to the material would normally be the first-named author. A collaborator who has been a major contributor to the research overall but has a lesser role in writing a journal article would not qualify for principal authorship but should be listed as a co-author. In cases where two or more authors have had equal roles in the research and writing processes, names can be ordered randomly, or, alphabetically, with an author’s note as an explanation for the reader. Authorship is not merited by virtue of being, for example, the head of the group or department in which the material was prepared.
Duplicate publication occurs when authors pass off, as original, material that has been published either substantially or in its entirety elsewhere. Duplicate materials have shared hypotheses, data, discussion points, or conclusions, but do not cross-reference the prior publication.
Not only does duplicate publication constitute a possible copyright violation, but it also deceives the audience as to the extent of knowledge in a given field.
The burden of responsibility for preventing duplication falls to the author(s). If the work has previously been published only as a tradeshow or sales presentation, or conference abstract, or as a working paper, this does not constitute duplicate publication since these tend to have a limited audience.
Authors should avoid ‘cutting and pasting’ (i.e. copying verbatim) substantial chunks of text from their own previously published work. Moderate duplication, involving no more than a few paragraphs throughout the paper, is acceptable provided that reference is made to the publication in which the material first appeared.
Re-publication of material in another language does not constitute duplication, provided that information concerning the original source is. The published material should be clearly labelled as a translation.
Plagiarism is defined as taking another person’s ideas or writings and using them as if they were one’s own. Plagiarism applies to both published and unpublished ideas.
When another’s written words are lifted directly from a text, whether published or unpublished, quotation marks should be used, and the source of the quotation cited.
If paraphrasing is used (summarizing or slightly altering the original exposition of a written idea), the source of the paraphrase must be credited. All sources of ideas that were not conceived by the author(s) should be acknowledged. This includes ideas received in the form of personal communications and comments from reviewers, colleagues, or peers.
Accuracy of Information
Authors are ethically obligated to present a true and accurate account of their information gathering, sources, research process and findings.
A full explanation of all data collection methods, and the tools and techniques used in analysis, should be included when practical.
Data should be available for inspection upon request. Authors should not falsify or modify data to make the results fit their hypotheses, marketing claim or belief system. Data that does not fit neatly into the predicted patterns must not be omitted from the write-up.
If any errors are discovered in the data following publication, they should be made public as soon as possible.
Role oF Reviewers
We may appoint external experts as peer reviewers.
Their role is to evaluate the submitted material and provide written feedback to the authors.
The aim is to ensure that the published work will be as accurate, comprehensive, and valuable as possible.
Reviewers are placed in a position of trust during this process, and as such, must adhere to ethical standards of conduct regarding the treatment of the submitted work. Reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of the author(s) while assessing the material.
The ownership of the material must be respected throughout the process. To this end:
• The material should not be circulated or quoted except as is necessary for the review.
• Permission must be obtained if the reviewers wish to use any part of the submitted material (e.g. data, arguments, or interpretations) in their own work prior to publication of the material.
• Reviewers may contact the authors during the review process. Should reviewers suspect ethical misconduct by the author(s), following an assessment of the material, or by other reviewers during the review process, they must inform the company in confidence.