Ethical obligations of authors

  1. An author’s central obligation is to present a concise and accurate account of the research, work, or project completed, together with an objective discussion of its significance.
  2. A submitted manuscript shall contain detail and reference to public sources of information sufficient to permit the author’s peers to repeat the work or otherwise verify its accuracy.
  3. An author shall cite and give appropriate attribution to those publications influential in determining the nature of the reported work sufficient to guide the reader quickly to earlier work essential to an understanding of the present work. Information obtained by an author privately, from conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, shall not be used or reported in the author’s work without explicit permission from the persons from whom the information was obtained. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, shall be treated in the same confidential manner.
  4. The submitted manuscript shall not contain plagiarized material or falsified research data. The Bulletin defines plagiarism as the use or presentation of the ideas or words of another person from an existing source without appropriate acknowledgment to that source. The Bulletin views any similar misappropriation of intellectual property, which may include data or interpretation, as plagiarism. [This definition is based on one used by the National Academy of Science The Bulletin added the sentence on misappropriation of intellectual property.]
  5. Fragmentation of research papers shall be avoided.
  6. In submitting a manuscript for publication, an author should inform the editor of related manuscripts that the author has under editorial consideration or in press. Copies of these manuscripts should be supplied to the editor, and the relationships of such manuscripts to the one submitted should be indicated.
  7. It is unethical for an author to submit for review more than one paper describing essentially the same research or project to more than one journal of primary publication.
  8. Scholarly criticism of a published paper may be justified; however, in no case is personal criticism considered appropriate.
  9. To protect the integrity of authorship, only persons who have significantly contributed to the research or project and manuscript preparation shall be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author attests to the fact that any others named as co-authors have seen the final version of the manuscript and have agreed to its submission for publication. Deceased persons who meet the criterion for co-authorship shall be included, with a footnote reporting date of death. No fictitious name shall be given as an author or co-author. An author who submits a manuscript for publication accepts responsibility for having properly included all, and only, qualified co-authors.
  10. It is inappropriate to submit manuscripts with an obvious commercial intent.
  11. It is inappropriate for an author either to write or co-author a discussion of his or her own manuscript; except in the case of a rebuttal or closure to criticism or discussion offered by others.
  12. An author should make no changes to a paper after it has been accepted. If there is a compelling reason for any changes, the author must inform the editor. Only the editor has the authority to approve such changes.
  13. The authors should reveal to the editor any potential conflict of interest, e.g., a consulting or financial interest in a company that might be affected by publication of the results contained in a manuscript. The authors should ensure that no contractual relations or proprietary considerations exist that would affect the publication of information in a submitted manuscript.