Sunday, 26th February 2017

Publication Integrity & Ethics (PIE) was developed over a decade ago to address several areas of concern and promote real editorial freedom.Read more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Complaints

Publisher

PIE Highlights
You are invited to join the Publication Integrity and Ethics as one of its founding members. PIE offers free membership to all interested individuals. Read more.
As an Editor-in-Chief Member you will play a central role in shaping the organisation; you will benefit from the many and varied facilities the P.I.E. Read more.
The Publication Integrity and Ethics intends to publish a special peer-reviewed periodical that will publish short debate articles in science. Read more.

 

 

Review our news and updates

- News and updates - Debate Issues - Guidelines -

 

 

 

Any individual or representative of an organisation is able to formulate complaints against publishers, editors, authors, peer-reviewers and other members of the editorial staff of journals if they are aware of editorial misconduct or any other breach in the PIE guidelines.

Currently PIE does not offer membership to publishers, however publishers can select to be PIE adherents, if they wish, and will have full access to PIE and its facilities. Becoming a PIE adherent publisher is free of charge.

PIE offers to every member or adherent (publisher) the possibility to formulate complaints in case of breach of the guidelines or ethical misconduct. Publishers, editors, authors and peer-reviewers are all able to formulate such complaints regarding any ethical or misconduct matters, as soon as the problem arises.

If ethical issues are signalled, observed, identified, or there is a breach in the ethical editorial code, publishers (who are PIE adherents) may complain through PIE and ask for resolution in cases such as the following:

Author writing errors: everybody makes mistakes, even the most professional and proficient authors. However, the errors must be corrected through notices published within the pages of the journals they write for. Such issues may be addressed through PIE and resolved as soon as they arise.

Authorship of the article: sometimes, there are issues that involve the authorship of an article that has been signed incorrectly or published under a false name. Peer-reviewers and authors are able to signal such errors and request resolutions through PIE complaints regarding changes in the authorship of an article may also be stated when the author requests them after they have already submitted their work.

Authorship disputes may be raised when several authors who contributed to the same project cannot agree the order of the names on an author list or the name selected to be credited for the text being published.

Copyright infringements: such complaints and disputes are submitted to PIE when copyrighted materials (texts, quotes or entire articles) are reproduced without permission under the same or another name, within the pages of a journal.

Publishing without consent: sometimes authors need explicit consent in order to be able to publish personal details of another person whether they conduct a case study/report or writing a historical article. If such consent is required and the author chooses to ignore it, the issue may be addressed and resolved through PIE.

Data fabrication/manipulation/falsification: comprises complaints about journalists or scientists who manipulate research or facts, make up stories and research findings that are unreal but are being presented as truthful and accurate. It includes manipulation of pictures without disclosure of what was added or eliminated from the real images.

Editorial independence and decisions: there are cases when the editorial decisions are being put to questions based on ethical values. The most common issues usually refer to commercial influence on the decisions being made or the restrictions of editorial freedom.

Editorial misconduct and ethical problems regarding the editorial team: these complaints are usually made by third parties, other editors, publishers or peer-reviewers when an editorial team has acted in ways that are not in conformity with PIE’s guidelines and recommendations.

Lack of ethical approval: there are times when certain topics (i.e. research studies) need reviews and ethical approval in order to be published. Usually, these are scientific studies where the research must pass several approval processes in order to be conducted.

Other authorship problems not mentioned above: sometimes, publishers forget to credit the real authors of an article, especially when the piece was written in collaboration by multiple authors. When their contribution was omitted, by error or by choice, authors are able to submit a complaint through PIE and address the issue to the publisher. On the other hand, such issues may also appear when an author who has made insignificant or no contribution to the article is credited as an author or included in the list of authors if the peace is a collaborative material.

Minor errors and mistakes: these are usually addressed by peers and reviewers regarding some minor grammatical errors, misplaced texts, changes in names, omissions, typographical errors and other minor journal mistakes that can be resolved through an errata.

Confidentiality of the source or participant: journalist investigations and journal articles as well as other types of written texts must always comply with the ethical rules of this branch. Failing to respect the rights of individuals and sources of information may lead to conflicts between the publishers or the authors and the individuals they disclose without consent. Participants in research and scientific experiments must also be disclosed only if they are fully informed on the matter and if the publication manages to acquire their consent.

Inappropriate peer-review process: however rare these concerns may appear, they lead in some cases to public complaints and disputes regarding the conflict of interest, unfair, biased or unethical reviews.

Complaints about plagiarism: these issues are raised when individual authors, editors or even publishers assume the work of others and present it as if it were theirs without acknowledgement of the author of the article, idea, image or scientific theory being published. This may start as a small issue if due to an error, but the plagiarism problem may need to be addressed in some cases to higher instances.

Issues about the role of the publisher: some publishers assume the editor-in-chief duty as well. While in some cases the publisher may be closer to the editorial team if he/she assumes such a role, usually he/she will exert a great influence over editorial decisions, suppressing the authors and editors freedom.

Retraction of published articles: if a request to retract information or texts has been made but it remained unanswered, complaints may be submitted through PIE according to the rules and guidelines of the organisation.

Peer-reviewer misconduct: complaints about peer-reviewer misconduct may be formulated when the reviewer fails to comply with the tasks and chooses to use the articles, and other information received for their own benefit. Such unethical actions may involve reporting the data as if it were their own, submitting a biased review, plagiarism, stolen ideas…and others. Sanctions for misconduct may also be addressed and resolved through PIE.

Selective reporting of data: when the editor or the author deliberately omits data from the article or the report in order to favour a particular product, company or organisation.
 

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