Wednesday, 3rd September 2014

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

 
 
 
 
 
 

Guidelines

Practice-Specific Issues

Summary                                                                              Disclaimer

•    Article material must be stringently quality-checked before being submitted for publication.
•    Peer-review is a vital step in determining the standard of the article and whether or not there are any areas of concern.
•    Corrections to the article should be performed in full and adhere to the recognised procedures and standards.
•    Information pertaining to the context and reasons behind a correction must always be disclosed to the reader to avoid ambiguity.
•    Retraction notices must be issued upon the founding of strong evidence that highlights where the article conclusions are flawed, unreliable, and/or misleading because of data problems.
•    If the evidence is inconclusive, then steps must be taken to inform the reader and an expression of concern issued.
•    Partial retractions are only to be applied if the data removed has no bearing on the final outcome or conclusion of the article. Most concerns can be rectified by corrections and retractions, as they are much clearer to the reader.
•    Correcting and republishing an article can be done for a variety of reasons, but the main stipulation is that the overall conclusion remains constant. Significant changes to the end result resulting from data changes and mistakes should only result in an instant retraction.
•    Duplicate or redundant publications are those which copy or significantly paraphrase previously published material without a reference or citation. It can also include authors writing about the same work in separate journals and not referencing the original.
•    Comments are an essential part of scholarly interaction. Both authors and editors have a duty to respect and respond to any comments received and follow the PIE guidelines regarding publication.
•    Updates are constantly in need as new evidence, relevant to the article’s proposition, comes to light. Updates are to be fully explained to the reader and fully indexed with links where possible.
•    Patient summaries are to be written in clear, plain English easily understandable to the lay person/patient.
•    Republishing articles is a great way to spread noteworthy studies and stimulate academic debate. Full referencing is vital to credit the original author and publisher. Editing is forbidden unless express permission is granted by the author.

Index

I. Errata
II. Retractions
III. Partial retractions
IV. Corrected and republished articles
V. Duplicate publications
VI. Comments (including author replies)
VII. Updates
VIII. Patient summaries
IX. Republished (reprinted) articles

Introduction

PIE guidelines are put forth to uphold the ethical integrity of academic publishing. By promoting a healthy and just system, our guidelines are for all those involved in publishing not only to reference themselves, but also to pass on to others. It is our primary aim to provide firm guidance, set robust definitions, and promote sustainable and strong principles of conduct in the publishing environment. Academia is a valued endeavour, and as such human rights and universal laws should be stringently regarded at all times. This will not occur by mere coincidence, and must be kept in order under clear and fair directives.  

Throughout all of our guidelines, we aim to identify, question, and scrutinise all factors that engender positive as well as negative behaviour and action. By analysing and then advising on the proper conduct in certain situations, the guidelines will act as a consistent reference point when issues and concerns arise. It must be understood that there will never be one definitive guide detailing every aspect of each guideline; such an achievement is both untenable and unrealistic. Therefore the guidelines are as much about promoting debate as they are about putting forth strict rules and regulations. We advise all to use the following points as a solid foundation to their thinking, and let the stipulations guide their thought process when initiating changes. Adapting the guidelines to other branches of publishing or editing is applicable; all are advised to have a working and grounded knowledge of the fundamental parameters of their industry from which they can tailor specific directives in their own area.

Quality publication will invariably attract comments, questions, concerns, and perhaps even notifications of error that may have been entirely honest. This should never be discouraged; academic publishing is a process that is perpetuated on engendering debate and disagreements so that clarity can prevail at the end. Disagreement, comments, and passionate discussion are more often than not a sign of success; it highlights how it is adding something new to the record and, as a result, people are taking notice. What is of utmost importance is how complaints and errors are dealt with, and that the correct procedures and steps are followed in order to get a satisfactory outcome. Listed below are a number of steps and directives that will help editors, authors, and publishers deal with errors, whether it is a full retraction or a slight change to a particular point. There is invariably an array of nuances to consider which makes decisive action a pivotal and fundamental quality to possess. The following guidelines will aid publishing professionals when determining the correct course of action, as any problems can be solved by following a set procedure. In the case of any disputes or infringement on the guidelines that need an objective eye in order to come to a resolution, then cases can be forwarded to the PIE Sub-Committee for arbitration.       

Academic publishing is a process demanding precision, trust, and transparency; it is a search for factual information, and must be sourced through legitimate and ethical means. Research, reports, and new findings can have a significant knock-on effect not only in the research community but on the population at large in both negative and positive ways. People involved with academic publishing should not only be aware of the rules governing their actions but actively promote and act according to their instruction. This is a great responsibility and will go a long way to ensuring that the research record is kept as free as possible of error, bad practice, and poor reporting. If in any doubt, peruse the PIE guidelines or forward any queries to PIE directly.

Publishing craft and consistency

I     Errata

The term errata refers to the corrections that editors are duty bound to execute upon their coming to light. An erratum is a technical issue caused by the journal who published the article, and a corrigendum is an error made by the author. The reader should be in full possession of the facts and therefore corrections should be unambiguously stated outright. Whether it is a third party, editorial board member, the editor-in-chief, or the result of PIE intervention that signalled the error, all corrections must adhere to the proper set procedures. Corrections are a necessary remedy in ensuring the integrity of the publishing and research record as a whole, as well as the body that issued the publication in the first place. This means that everyone in the publishing industry is required to highlight any concern as soon as they encounter it, as well as forwarding them to the correct authority in the event of another bringing the mistake to their attention. Only through fostering a strict attitude towards misleading information can the integrity and reliability of the research record be maintained.

1     Circumstances for the issuing of a correction/errata

1.1    If certain small errors are found within the body of a publication that overall can be considered informative, then issuing a correction is the required course of action. This is particularly relevant in the case of honest error whereby the mistake(s) was not intentional.

1.2     If the author list on a collaborative project is found to be erroneous then a correction must be issued. Occasionally, such an issue requires arbitration so forwarding the case to PIE is a logical and sensible action. All correspondence and relevant data up to the point of the intervention must be provided for PIE to conclude the matter. PIE will inform both parties of what is required, providing a step by step guide until a reasonable settlement and decision is made.

2     Formatting of an errata/correction  

2.1    The correction or errata must be obvious to the reader, and therefore the word correction or errata should be stated in the title to avoid ambiguity.

2.2    The correction should be listed on a numbered page and noted in the contents page as such on both printed and electronic versions.

2.3    Along with noting the correction, a full explanation ought to be written to help the reader understand why the correction was made, the reasoning behind it, and the concerns and context surrounding it.

2.4    The article’s origin is to be transparently ascertained.

2.5    For electronic versions, a link must be created between the amended and original.

3     Preventative measures

The best way to avoid corrections is through prevention. Adopting a few simple yet effective measures will ensure corrections are kept at a minimum, and disputes are sufficiently curtailed.

3.1    Promoting and endeavouring to push forth a working environment whereby PIE guidelines are predominately respected will have noticeable effects on the quality of publications. Strict attention to detail will be a prerequisite condition, thus helping to engender and maintain an ethical atmosphere of conduct.

3.2    Outlining the important details in writing before the commencement of a project will remove doubt and leave everyone clear on their expected input. This applies to peer-reviewers, authors, contributors on collaborative projects, editorial board members, publishers, and the editor-in-chief.

3.3    Gift and ghost authorship is a practice that should never be encouraged. It is the duty of every staff member to raise concerns about gift and ghost authorship to PIE so that a full investigation can take place.

3.4    Misleading or incorrect information must never be proffered as truth. Any conflicting data should be identified as such regardless of whether it is expedient for the publications main discourse or proposition.

3.5    Respected academic publishing is never subject to outside influences or agendas, including political, financial, ideological, or otherwise. Freedom and independence are prerequisites of strong and revered academic research; no agreement whereby a sponsor can censor material should ever be entered unless in cases of national security and classification.

II     Retractions

Retractions are a serious undertaking and therefore are subject to strict guidelines. A retraction is the method by which an editor signals the overall capricious and flawed nature of a publication. The retraction essentially amounts to the document being unreliable through flawed data, and can be the result of honest errors, conscious deception, or a mixture of both. The key difference between retraction and correction is that a correction constitutes a tiny component of an otherwise healthy piece of literature. Full retraction should be reserved for major digressions of reliability rendering the article obsolete. As with corrections, retraction procedures should start immediately upon the founding of a reliable prognosis alluding to the questionable nature of a given document. This can be that the article’s summations were based on defective logic, immoral research methods, or false data.

4     Circumstances for the issuing of a retraction

4.1    If clear evidence is brought forth to a publisher or editor highlighting the fraudulent or inaccurate nature of a piece of literature, whether by honest or calculated error, then the complaint must be handled professionally and in full. This entails decreeing an investigation and issuing a retraction should it be needed.

4.2    Redundant publication is the process of publishing material that has already been released by a different organisation. This is stipulated by material that has not had any recognised referencing and permission has not been sought. Redundant retraction is particularly relevant in regards to meta-analysis, as the article will double up creating faulty data. Additionally, redundant publication can confuse the figures when aiming to identify singular or organisational output. The redundant publication retraction notice must be published online with a referral to the duplicate article and published at the conclusion of the printed version. For more information, see the section below entitled duplicate publications.

4.3    Retraction must take place if parts of the content of the material constitute plagiarism. 

4.4    In the event of any severe conflicting interest coming to light that could have any repercussion upon the conclusions contained in the material, then a retraction must be considered upon the strength of available evidence. If further investigations are required, then an issue of concern may be the better course of action (see below). Possible conflicts of interest include financial sponsors, political alignment, ideological beliefs, or otherwise.

4.5    Retractions can be signalled by both authors and editors, but this does not mean that both must be in agreement in order to decree the retraction. As the editor carries ultimate responsibility, the final decision should rest squarely with them. Editors must not feel obliged to delay retraction if an author is being uncooperative and proceed according to the evidence in front of them and the PIE guidelines. Ideally, if there is a dispute between the editor and author, the editor should open a dialogue and try to agree the wording of the retraction before publication, obtaining written confirmation to avoid any libellous action later on. Editors have the responsibility to remain strong and not intimidated especially if all recognised procedures have been followed; if in serious doubt then legal consultation may be a possible avenue to explore.

4.6    If evidence is proffered highlighting unethical or immoral research methods being used as the basis of an article conclusion, then a retraction is required immediately. Culpable conduct in research is a principle that must be encouraged and adhered to.

4.7    If a change of authorship is necessary but the information within the document is considered to be accurate then a retraction is not needed.

4.8    When an article is circulated on a website before it is printed it is considered published. Therefore if a retraction is decreed before the print version is released, then the electronic version must be issued with a retraction notice and be retained on the website with permanent citation.   

5     Formatting a retraction

5.1    The word retraction must be evident in a heading where it is clearly discernible to the reader and can be differentiated from any other action, be it correction or a partial retraction.

5.2    The title of the publication should be inserted into the retraction notice along with the author or contributing authors who created the article. The notice must be located on a numbered page, and included within the contents section of the publication.

5.3    The identity of the person who issued the retraction must be disclosed.

5.4    As far as possible, an explanation pertaining to why the retraction notice was issued with specific reference to particular concerns is to be included in the heading. This can include context, conflicting interests, and any areas of interest deemed necessary to the reader. It is vital to differentiate honest errors from calculated deceptions, as retraction is a tool for correcting the research record, not for penalising authors for errors of an honest nature.

5.5    Retractions are never to be removed from either print or electronic publications. An integral and ethical record of published academic research is the overriding objective of PIE guidelines, making the clarity of a retraction notice an obligatory and vital necessity.

5.6    On electronic versions, links to the retracted article are to be included where possible. The origin of the article must also be disclosed.

5.7    Retractions can have a serious effect on the research record and must therefore be issued as soon as possible after the decision to retract has been made.

5.8    It is the duty of the editor to make certain that the retracted article is accessible to bibliographic databases with the inclusion of a link in electronic versions.

5.9    Editors must remain stringent on the wording of a retraction to curtail any libel action as a result of its issuing. Personal condemnation and attacks are neither advisable nor necessary.

5.10    In cases of collaborative authorship, signalled errors could be ascribable to an individual author who made the mistake(s). An overall retraction may cause disputes between the authors regarding culpability, which needs to be resolved by the editorial team. In general, collaborative research should be seen as a shared endeavour where all are encouraged to spread equal responsibility. If evidence suggests that certain people were not responsible for the retraction occurring, then the simple remedy is to mention this in the retraction notice. Nonetheless, editors are not obliged to remove authors who are free of error from the retracted article, and if any disputes arise then consult section 4.5 which provides further information.

6     Prevention

Retractions are a notable part of ethical and healthy academic publishing. As with corrections however, the best remedy is always prevention. Fostering best practice guidelines in every area of academic publishing will maintain high standards and help to avert more serious cases of misconduct. The editor-in-chief, publisher, and author can take steps to safeguard action after publication and are advised to do so.

6.1    If all recognised guidelines and procedures are followed then any cases of libel action are seriously undermined. It is the duty of the academic research publishing sector to promote integrity, ethical transparency, and accurate publication. Therefore simple measures such as encouraging referral and adherence to the guidelines will take care of many issues by proxy.

6.2    One of the most important measures of good practice is to outline in writing the expected standards before publication. Therefore if any instance requiring retraction becomes problematic, more often than not the written confirmation will curtail any challenge to the integrity of the editors.   

7     Expression of concern

An expression of concern is a veritable alternative to a correction or retraction when the available evidence is not entirely conclusive, and therefore fails to suggest a clear course of action.

7.1    Expressions of concern are to be issued by the editor if evidence of an inconclusive nature is proffered to them regarding misconduct of an author of a publication under their jurisdiction.     

7.2    Concern should be expressed if evidence pertaining to errors in the work of an article is highlighted, but the author or their organisation is unwilling to comply with the editor or consider the signalled error.

7.3    If evidence has been provided and an inquiry has been launched but the conclusions are not in a position of clarity, then an expression of concern should be issued to notify anyone who may cite the research in question.

7.4    An expression of concern must be issued if there is a sense that an investigation may be subject to outside interference whereby the conclusion put forth will be questionable in character. This can include financial or sponsorship issues, as well as political agenda. It may also be resultant of a contract entered before publication whereby outside influencers have the right to censor or influence the material, thus enabling them to avoid the negative publicity of a retraction. As a rule, these contracts should never be entered unless in circumstances of highly sensitive material related to national security which as a result is classified.

III     Partial retractions

A partial retraction can be utilised in instances whereby the overall article might include relevant, worthy, and correct data, but there are also components which are proved to be outright erroneous. The partial retraction identifies these elements and highlights their unreliable nature so that researchers do not cite and consider them when coming to an overall conclusion in their own work. More often than not, a correction will be the more beneficial course of action as partial retraction can confuse the reader as to which parts of the article are correct, and which parts should be discounted from their attention. 

8     Circumstances for the issuing of a partial retraction

8.1    Partial retraction suggestions can come from an author, editorial staff member, the peer-review system, the editor-in-chief, or as the result of notification from a third party. The editor-in-chief holds final responsibility and must relay their conclusions to the author(s) involved.

8.2    If the author(s) wish to disassociate themselves from the article or disagree with the partial retraction and threaten any legal action, then editors should be aware that they have no obligation to delay or accept if the evidence is conclusive. If all correct procedures have been followed, and the evidence is overwhelming as it should be in any form of retraction, then the editor should proceed as they see fit. 

8.3    If an author wishes to withdraw certain conclusions, but leave the data they based them upon as it is accurate and valuable, then partial retraction may be considered.   

9     Formatting partial retractions

9.1    Partial retractions should be labelled so and are ineligible if not. Due to their nature, absolute clarity must be relayed to the reader so they can ascertain the relevant information from the irrelevant.

9.2    The title of the publication, identity of the author, and the person who issued the partial retraction should be disclosed in the retraction decree.

9.3     Context and reasons should be proffered so that the reader can glean background information on why certain information has been withdrawn. This will include whether the error was honest or otherwise, and any conflicting interests that may have had an impact.

9.4    As with a full retraction, partial cases must never be removed from the record, need to be issued as soon as is viable, and have the ability to be indexed by bibliographic databases with the addition of a link on electronic formats. 

IV     Corrected and republished articles

When a publisher or editor notices a technical error in a previously released article, they can correct and re-publish the article in its entirety. Often the problem can be a minor editorial issue, or a problem with the print run. Sometimes the publisher, editor or author wishes to expand the article in question. In other circumstances, a data or measuring error may be ascertained post-publication that resulted in a significant effect upon the original data and figures put forth. When the correct data is determined, the end conclusion may not be any different and the article itself is, as a result, not seriously undermined in its summations (if it were, then the required response is full and outright retraction). The end result of all of the above will be that issuing a partial retraction or a large number of errata or corrigendum will prove to be more confusing than clarifying, and therefore a retraction and a corrected, republished article will be required. Publications that were intentionally falsified should never be republished and even removed if found to be a risk to health or in danger of possible legal action. The honest nature of the errors should always be disclosed in the new article.  

10     Corrected and republished article guidelines

10.1    If errors in a published article are perceived that are the result of an honest error then retraction guidelines should be referenced. If the findings are found to seriously undermine the overall conclusion then the editor must issue a retraction immediately and forego a republication. Similarly, the editor must use their own discretion to ascertain whether the signalled errors could be fixed through correction or partial retraction.

10.2    In the event of small printing or editorial issues being highlighted, the editor must also use their discretion to establish whether republishing is required or if corrections will suffice.

10.3    If corrections of partial retractions will result in confusion, then a retraction notice must be issued to minimise anyone using or citing the article in question before republication.

10.4    Upon the data corrections being sourced and the article being ready and set for republication, a full announcement in the heading of the article is obligatory. This heading must clearly outline the reason(s) for republishing the article and the context around it. The announcement should cite the original publication along with the date it was published, the person who retracted it, and the author(s) that were involved.

10.5    Transparency is the key principle, and any information or evidence should ideally be relayed to the readers. For example, if the republished article was originally signalled in a letter from the author(s) to the editor with corrected data and analysis, then perhaps a reference could be provided along with a link in electronic versions.

10.6    All new findings must be stringently peer-reviewed before republication.

11     Formatting concerns

11.1    If editors or authors wish to replace an article with a republished version, then retraction guidelines remain constant. The main difference with republishing is that the retraction notice in the electronic database should have a link to the republished replacement, with full information outlining the context for the reprint in full.

V     Duplicate publications

A duplicate publication refers to articles that significantly reproduce content from a previously published article without reference or permission. Duplication can either be by mistake or by conscious deception. Mistaken duplication can occur when a document is submitted to multiple publications, which constitutes an unethical action. The effects of this are serious as the process can misconstrue data analysis and hinder determining the correct output of a publication or author, as well as adding additional but unreliable authority to an author’s proposition. There are varying extents to which material may be duplicated, including outright replication to paraphrasing large segments of previously published articles in new publications without due reference. Research should only be submitted once and any reference should be cited in full. Normally, the original publisher will retain an exclusivity right even if the author has managed to retain copyright. Therefore permission to republish will always have to be sourced from the editor-in-chief of the original journal, despite the author owning the copyright.    

12     Redundant publication procedure and format

12.1    Upon the founding of duplicated material, the journal who originally published the article should be notified so they can issue a notice of redundant publication. However, only if the article findings are deemed unreliable should a retraction notice be applied.

12.2    All subsequent publishers of the duplicated material must retract the article with a citation and link to the original. A transparent explanation needs to be listed in the retraction notice heading.

12.3    If an article is submitted to a variety of publishers concurrently and a number of journals accept in unison, the date on which the licence to publish was signed by the author(s) is the determining factor for original publication.

12.4    When authors proffer new material that contains significant referral to previously published work, then the editor needs to determine what the optimum solution is to ensure readers are clear on new and old information. This may include retracting the article, republishing, or issuing a series of corrections and partial retractions. Similarly, a notice of redundant publication that differentiates old and new and cross references accordingly may be the necessary solution.

13     Preventative measures

13.1    Editors should insist on an author decree confirming that the submitted article is solely in their possession, and is not subject to simultaneous submission elsewhere. Similarly, authors must be outright in declaring any possible duplication issues and any previous submissions.  

13.2    Authors should be patient; if a paper is currently awaiting approval they should wait to hear back regarding the decision before approaching another journal.

13.3    Submitting articles that paraphrase the same research to multiple institutions without references should be avoided.

13.4    All referenced material must adhere to stringent quality controls regarding citation.

13.5    If the article is to be published in another language by a different journal, the editors of both the original and the foreign journal need to be aware and inform the reader accordingly.

13.6    Peer-review is a vital and required step in the publication process and can often be the source of the redundant publication coming to light. As this will occur in the submission stages, there are a number of recognised steps that the editor is advised to follow.

14     Redundant publication in submission stages

If a duplication issue arises in the submission stages then editors are advised to obtain the necessary information before deciding upon their course of action.

14.1    The editor must ascertain the extent and causality of the duplication in a robust manner. Determining whether there has been major, minor, or no overlap is essential. If there is no overlap then no action is required and the conclusion must be reverted back to the originator of the signalled error.  

14.2    Inform the author(s) of the investigation along with the necessary evidence. The author(s) response will either entail an admission of culpability for consciously deceptive behaviour, an appreciation of honest mistake, or an insufficient answer which is inconclusive in nature.

14.3    In all three of these instances the editor is duty bound to reply with a rejection letter that stipulates the publisher’s stance on duplicate material and a referral to the accepted code of conduct and guidelines. In instances of deceptive conduct, the editor should consider relaying the evidence to the author’s superior.

14.4    If there is no response, then the editor must endeavour to continue and maintain communicative procedures until response is received.

14.5    All conclusions must be reverted back to the person who originally signalled the error.

VI     Comments (including author replies)

Comments are defined by received responses concerning a particular article asserting support, challenge, expansion, or refutation, and are invariably considerable in volume and depth. They can also include expressions of concern (outlined above in point 7), from the editor stipulating alarm at the reliability of the article contents. Comments are written with the specific goal of drawing attention to an article in respect of observation(s) by the commentator.

15     Comment guidelines

15.1    Comments received by the editor should be reviewed for their content. Any fundamental errors that are signalled must be considered by referring to the PIE guidelines outlined in this document.

15.2    Significant comments that are published and replied to can be cited in the article in question depending upon the quality and relevance of the observation. If it contains clear evidence of poor conduct or errors, these must be investigated first and the necessary steps taken through retractions and corrections for example.

15.3    On the evidence proffered, the editor can choose to disregard the comment without reply, ask for more revisions and evidence before reply, or elicit a response from the author immediately. If the author is unwilling, the editor can reply in their stead after a referee has been sourced to review the comment. When the referee’s report is complete, the editor should forward this to the author(s) of the comment with the report of the referee and the reply. One edit of the comment can be made in light of the reply, and then the comment should be sent back to the editor and author(s). At this point, a decision can be made whether or not the comment is to be published.    

15.4    Comments should be formatted with the word ‘comment’ in the title and include a referral to the article in question with full citation. 

16     Author replies

16.1    More often than not, a comment forwarded to the author should be immediately responded to by the author, directly addressing the questions within the comment.

16.2    A referee will be required to check both the author reply and the comment they are replying to.

16.3    If any inconsistencies in the data or the conclusions are unearthed, then the author and editor must ensure that the recommendations are checked. Conclusions should be forwarded to the author of the comment.

16.4    Authors should take their responsibilities seriously and endeavour to be communicative with editors upon being forwarded a comment. Both editors and authors have a duty to encourage scholarly debate, which entails communicating with those who have taken the effort to respond.  

VII     Updates

Articles may at some point need to be updated with relevant information, therefore specific update procedures need to be followed to curtail any confusion on the part of the reader. This should only be done in cases where republishing the entire article is unnecessary, or corrections and retractions are not required. A comprehensive collection of links and citations must be relayed to the reader in order to highlight the nature of the update, and to curb any notifications of plagiarism or redundant publication. 

17     Update protocol

17.1    Updated articles are to be linked in, and back, to the original document under the unambiguous heading of “update in” or update from” at all times. Failure to do so will render the article ineligible.

17.2    The updated article must stipulate that it is the updated version of an already published article. Alternatively, it could be published in a journal that often or primarily publishes article updates, but the declaration of its status should still remain completely evident.

17.3    The reason(s) for the update as well as any necessary evidence should be disclosed in full to the reader.

17.4     If large swathes of the article are to be updated, then retraction, partial retraction, and republication are all to be considered as alternative avenues. Updates must add to the original document, not replace them, so the discretion of the editor is vital to make sure the reader is not left confused by lots of conflicting clauses.

17.5    Updated articles should be formatted so that indexing services can link the updated information back to the original source. 

VIII     Patient summaries

Patient summaries are regularly published by journals to offer an outline of some of the articles included within the same journal. They are aimed at people who are not specialised in the specific area in which the journal operates, and offer basic instruction as to the articles' main conclusions. For example, medical and scientific articles may be overly complex for the lay person to glean any understanding from, as they contain dedicated language to that particular area of study. A patient summary rectifies this, and can give a clear synopsis of the findings inside the article in clear English.  

18     Outlining a patient summary

18.1    Patient summaries are there to inform and to clarify, and must therefore be written in clear and simple language free from jargon and extreme technical terms.

18.2    Summaries need to be clearly linked back to the original article with comprehensive citation, so that people wishing to index or reference the material can locate the original source.

IX     Republished (reprinted) articles

Noteworthy and respected articles can be republished in separate journals soon after their original publication, in order to spread their readership and encourage widespread scholarly debate. Because of the outlined rules on duplicate publication however, specific procedures must be taken note of to ensure that all criteria pertaining to plagiarism are successfully circumvented. All republished articles must reference the original and give clear detail to the reader about the publisher, author, and time of publishing. Taking credit for another’s work will result in a notice of redundant publication (outlined above). 

19     Republished article procedures

19.1    The republished article must obviously declare that it is ‘republished from’ the original. This must include the author’s name, the date published, as well as the publisher, the journal, and the pages within the journal from which the article is taken. 

19.2    Electronic versions should carry a link where possible, back to the original publication.

19.3    The above guidelines are to be followed regardless of whether or not the article is republished with amendments or as an abridged version.

19.4    If the article is to be abridged or amended, then the editor must first make sure that correction guidelines are not infringed upon. Any correction must follow the recognised procedure outlined above in section 1 and 2.    

19.5    Republished articles are not to be confused with classic articles; republished articles are modern-day studies reprinted to spread valuable information, whereas classic articles were invariably published many years ago.

19.6    Any edits are strictly forbidden unless specific permission is sourced from the author.

Version 1 1st Aug 2013

Contributors
Colin Hopper - Waseem Jerjes - Hiang Boon Tan - Zaed Z R Hamady

© The Publication Integrity and Ethics
www.integrity-ethics.com

No permission is required for non-commercial use or redistribution of any part of these guidelines as long as a complete citation is provided.

While every effort has been made to make these guidelines accurate and comprehensive, research integrity and publication ethics are extensive disciplines and these guidelines make no claim to be exhaustive, nor should they be taken as legal advice.

 

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