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Resources → EditorsPublication ethics for editors and reviewers

The policies and guidelines provided on this page are put in place to protect the quality and integrity of all forms of scholarly practice and research, as well as the reputations of the publications produced by Maney Publishing and the learned societies that we represent. To view Maney’s full policy and guidelines that authors are asked to read prior to publication please click here.

Maney has compiled documents to guide editors and reviewers through the process of dealing with each issue raised by publishing ethics.

One important element of dealing with any suspected violation of Publishing Ethics is confidentiality. The whole peer review process should be treated as confidential and sensitive. Any suspicion that Publishing Ethics have been violated should be treated in the same way.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Maney Publishing is now a member of COPE which has a number of useful resources, such as guidelines, discussion papers and the COPE Code of Conduct. For more information, please visit the website.

Maney recommends the COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors as well as our own procedure documents available here.

COPE also provide an excellent set of flow charts to aid editors and reviewers when instances of suspected violation of publishing ethics occur. Advice on offer includes what to do when:

•    Suspected duplicate/redundant submission occurs
•    Suspected plagiarism occurs
•    Suspected fabrication of data occurs
•    Changes in authorship occur
•    A reviewer suspects undisclosed conflict of interests
•    A reader suspects undisclosed conflict of interests
•    An ethical problem with a manuscript arises
•    An editor suspects that a reviewer has appropriated an author’s ideas or data

For a full list please visit the COPE website.

Reviewer Responsibilities
Maney Publishing appreciates the essential role of the reviewer in the publishing and dissemination of scholarly research. We therefore request that reviewers read our Publishing Ethics prior to conducting a review for a Maney journal, as an aid to carrying out their duties and to ensure they act in full awareness of our policies and practices.

It is the responsibility of all reviewers to deal with requests from editors to review papers, and make those reviews, in a timely manner, with care, consideration and above all objectivity, exercising confidentiality at every stage. It is appreciated by authors when reviewers explain and support their judgements so that comments may be fully understood. Reviewers should not retain copies of any article that they review.

Conflicts of interests – if a reviewer believes that his/her relationship to an author, if known, or the subject matter of an article, may constitute a conflict of interests for any reason, this must be disclosed to the journal editor.

Redundant submission or plagiarism – if a reviewer suspects for any reason that the author may have submitted the paper in the same or similar form to another publication, or suspects that plagiarism has occurred, this should be discretely bought to the attention of the journal editor.

Reviewers must take great care to maintain confidentiality in all cases as accusations, whether suspicions are proven or disproven, can have a serious and damaging effect on the career and reputation of the individual(s) concerned. Any communication with the editor must be balanced, carefully argued and suitably qualified such that reviewers do not to leave themselves, the journal editor, or the publisher open to accusations of libel, which may occur whether or not the case is proven.

Once suspicions have been communicated to the journal editor they will be investigated with the same discretion by the editor and Maney staff. Guidelines for editors are included below for the interest of reviewers, to highlight how any suspicions will be investigated once drawn to the attention of the journal editor. All procedures will be carried out in a sensitive and confidential manner.  

Editor Responsibilities
(Including editorial boards and Maney managing editors)
Journal editors and editorial board members are central to the journal publishing process. They serve the research community in the publication and dissemination of scholarly research. We therefore request that all members of the editorial team read our Publishing Ethics as soon as they are appointed, as an aid to carrying out their duties and to ensure they act in full awareness of our policies and practices.

The main responsibilities of editors and editorial board members are:
•    To handle all submissions fairly and in a timely manner, acknowledging submissions and communicating decisions made after peer review, including any help or advice that can be provided by the reviewers or the editors themselves.
•    To ensure that all submitted manuscripts are treated confidentially. Details should not be disclosed to others without the prior consent of the author. Equally, the identity and details of all reviewers should be treated confidentially.
•    To act objectively, making decisions about papers based entirely on their relevance, importance and quality.
•    To make known any conflict of interests that might occur.
•    To take account of authors wishes regarding reviewer choices.
•    To ensure that, should any suspicions of scientific or publishing misconduct occur, they are treated reasonably, sensibly and confidentially; and to deal fairly with any author appeals.
•    To comply with data protection regulations as appropriate.

Freedom of Information
If you are employed by an organisation or institution that receives public funding it is conceivable that correspondence carried out in connection with your editing of the journal could be subject to a claim for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act or similar legislation. We are not aware of any such claims having been made and cannot therefore say if there is a likelihood of success.

A claim is most likely to arise in relation to dispute over authorship, priority or allegations of plagiarism, or where an author disagrees with the decision reached on an article. In Maney’s experience, disputes reach the stage where legal action is even threatened only where concerns are not addressed in a timely manner or there is evidence of editorial misconduct; for example, by failure to follow proper procedures or through statements that could be deemed libellous or slanderous. It is in our opinion extremely unlikely that a Freedom of Information claim will arise but it is important to make editors aware of the possibility.