1. Whereby an individual carries concerns about breaching of the ethical editorial guidelines, a complaint may be formulated by submission of PIE’s complaint forms. A complaint may be raised by editors, authors, publishers, readers or peer-reviewers.
2. Before asking the sub-committee of the PIE council for a proper investigation and resolution, the problem must, in the first instance, be presented to the author, publisher or the editor in written form.
3. Whereupon the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she may pass the complaint to the overseeing body of the individual to whom they have initially sent the form.
4. If an overseeing body does not exist, complaints must be sent to PIE along with all the relevant correspondence that was exchanged during the first step of the process
5. When the complaint is referred to PIE’s council sub-committee, an administrator will verify whether it is formulated against a member of the organisation.
6. It must be authenticated that the complaint has passed through the proper initial steps before being addressed to the council and its sub-committee that will deal directly with it.
7. Furthermore, it will be ascertained if the problem is within the remit of the guidelines provided by PIE.
8. The complainant must provide all the documents and evidence related to the problem, including the correspondence exchanged with the publisher or the editor of the journal.
9. PIE will immediately inform the author/reviewer/editor/publisher that there is a complaint against him or her.
10. There are two possible outcomes when disputing a complaint: 1) the council sub-committee decides that the editor or publisher has dealt with the complaint and the complainant was satisfied. In this case both the complainant and the editor will be notified there is a resolution to the problem. 2) the council sub-committee may decide that there is a need for further investigation, in which case they will advise the complainant and the publisher or editor accordingly.