Individual data must be protected. All members of the editorial staff and publishers should protect the confidentiality of individual information and the right to privacy of every human being.
Confidentiality, consent for publication, authorship, integrity, transparency and the peer-review process should be respected in the same way, following strict guidelines.
An ethical working environment should be maintained by defining and protecting the policy of the journal.
Copyright and intellectual property must be respected and protected and action sought immediately against breaches of plagiarism rules or other similar issues. Support and advice must be accorded to colleagues whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism, whether their cases were analysed internally or by the PIE’s Sub-Committee.
Privacy of individuals and their right to seek anonymity must be respected; this applies whether or not they are connected with the publishing sector.
Individuals working in the publishing industry should be informed about the benefits of PIE membership, together with the principles defined by the organisation, including conflicts of interest between editors, publishers, authors, reviewers and other individuals.
Members of the editorial staff should follow the recommendations in an equally exemplary fashion, with full support.
Publishers and editorial board members who support the PIE membership and the code of conduct should adhere to the guidelines implemented in the document.
Publishers and editors are required to respect personal privacy of individuals. Personal information should only be sought when it is in the public’s interest to do so and report on a matter. Whilst undertaking research for their materials, editors and authors should not intrude upon the privacy of individuals whether or not they are public figures. Public figures knowingly sacrifice part of their privacy but intrusions should only be related to their public activities and not impinge on their personal life. Personal information should only be used for the purpose of which they were collected and any individual who provides such information is entitled to seek anonymity. In the case of a request for anonymity, the publisher will not disclose the identity of the individual.
Editors and publishers must balance the public interest and the informative aspect of the publishing materials with the readers’ sensibilities. They should fully abstain from publishing articles or images that may cause offence. Offensive and seriously deleterious materials are considered to be the articles or images that place inequitable emphasis on religion, race, colour, gender, disability, illness, age, sexual orientation or place of origin of individuals or groups of individuals. However, if such errors are reported and the PIE’s Council issues adjudications on the matter, the culpable journal should immediately correct the editorial errors and publish the adjudication with prominence.