Editors’ relationship with their publishers or journal owners must be always based on the principles of editorial independence.
Whereby editors are required to publish retractions, they must be clearly formulated and easily identifiable to readers. Retractions and corrections should be published as soon as an inaccuracy, error or misleading information is recognised.
Editors have a duty of responsibility to take swift action if they suspect misconduct or ethical uncertainties relating to the publishing sector; this applies whether they appear on published or unpublished papers. Editors must endeavour to ensure proper investigations are conducted in such cases and, if possible, to obtain immediate resolutions to the problems.
When dealing with complaints from third parties, editors must follow the proper channels of communication as certified by PIE; reasonable expediency in response to complainants should be ensured and immediate action taken to rectify the highlighted errors.
Unless the publication has an open review system, the identity of the reviewers must be protected. While under review, all the materials submitted to peer-reviewers must remain confidential. The guides for peer-reviewers must also be linked to the code of conduct presented in the PIE guidelines.
Editors are required to guide the staff serving under them in the methodology for best practice. They should also advise the individual reviewers too, by constantly updating them about the desired level of expectation of their work and ethics.
Editors should consistently guide the authors and offer them regular training for the purpose of improving the quality of the publication. However, the guidance offered to the authors must be regularly and consistently updated; it should be in accordance with the accepted PIE code of conduct. Authors must also be advised of the correct and acceptable ways in which they can appeal against the editorial decisions.
Objectivity is one of the required qualities of an editor. Therefore, if peer-reviews were conducted and editors decide there must be deviations from their recommendations, the changes have to be balanced and justified.
As direct managers of the editorial team, editors must guarantee quality of the materials accepted for publishing is informative in nature.
Editors must comply with the designated ethical standards and be willing to take action when errors are signalled by publishing corrections, retractions or even apologies if needed. These must be done in an expedient manner to achieve an accepted level of satisfaction to all injured or potentially injured parties.