Publication Integrity & Ethics (PIE) was developed over a decade ago to address several areas of concern and promote real editorial freedom.Read more.
|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.|
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Who are the authors?
Authors are the main actors in the editorial activity as they are the creators of the texts being published within the pages of journals. Every author knows there are implications and responsibilities that cannot be separated from the writing activity. There’s a certain amount of power and influence behind written words and the writers bear the responsibility of what they say.
An author may work as an individual or as a member of a team. Apart from the classic writing style, collaborative writing allows the author to constantly improve their work, develop new ideas and attenuate the occurrence of errors and editorial mistakes. As each author has different points of view and personalities, collaborative writing challenges the authors to be more open and analyse their work from different perspectives.
An author's primary role may include:
• creating original content, whether they have to write scientific articles, books, poetry, reviews or news-related texts
• whilst working for journals, authors may be required to propose their own topics as well as to comply with the editor’s assignments
• the author studies the subject he/she is writing about, gathers information necessary in order to complete the task and organises the materials before effectively writing the article
• uses the written words to inform the readers on a subject or to express ideas regarding one topic or another
• revises, corrects and rewrites the material if necessary.
Duties of the authors
1. Criticism. The most effective authors have learned to cope with criticism and they are able to write content that readers can relate to and easily understand. In order to do that, they must collaborate with other peers and accept criticism while constantly improving their writing style.
2. Plausibility. While criticism may help the author to improve their style, the author must also keep the readers interested and focused on the subjects being debated through written words.
3. Research. The author conducts research and analyses the topic from multiple points of view, thinking outside the main discipline of expertise, linking the text with other fields. Cross disciplinary approaches are a great way of attracting a wider interest in the written and published article.
4. Novelty. Whether the article is a science paper or just a simple message to the readers, the author must do their best to deliver something new, to captivate reader attention and challenge them to think on the subject.
5. Examples. There are countless topics and subjects of interest for the readers. However, if the ideas passed to the readers are abstract in nature, the author should give real life examples to illustrate their points and opinions.
6. Language. The language and the writing style used by the authors are vital for the effectiveness of the content being published. Usually, the style depends mostly on what kind of publications they are writing for, on whether there must be a formal or an informal style, the targeted audience, the topics discussed and so on. Knowing this basic knowledge is important because it helps the author adapt and strike the right tone.
- Vocabulary: if the article is not a science paper, the writer must adapt the vocabulary to their readers’ interests and avoid the use of technical terms insofar as possible. If technical terms cannot be avoided, they must be explained properly.
- Simple language: this must be utilised in order to maintain clarity and to make the text easy to read and comprehend.
- Formal vs. Informal: while technical terms must be avoided if unnecessary, language that is too informal may not be appropriate. Chatty language and colloquialisms must be avoided.
- Grammar: this is important whether there are proofreaders or not. Writers must write in short, easy to read sentences, especially if their work is being published online or if the journal has a website that publishes some of the printed work. By using long and heavily punctuated sentences it may be harder to make a clear point on the subject.
- References and footnotes: these must be also kept to a minimum if the writer wants the readers to focus on the research or the article being published.
The editor-in-chief sets and implements the ethical standards while the peer reviewers are those who ascertain whether the articles are accurate, and according to PIE standards and recommendations. Authors also have the duty to comply to the rules and obligations that come with the job, to ensure their work is original and if there are references to other works, they are marked and highlighted, according to the editorial standards. As members of PIE, the authors must also comply with the main ethical rules and guidelines and if problems arise, to signal and dispute them with the peers.
Other typical duties of the authors:
- selecting the subjects they write about according to the publisher requirements or public interest
- constantly developing and improving their technical skills of writing as well as the general knowledge of the subjects being debated within the pages of the journal they work for
- maintaining the originality of the texts being published
- complying with the organisational rules, ethical restraints and values as well as with the deadlines
- verifying the accuracy of their ideas and the factual content of the written articles before being published or sent for peer-review
- maintaining an active interest in the field of knowledge they write about
- encouraging active and critical feedback from readers and peers.