Publication Integrity & Ethics (PIE) was developed over a decade ago to address several areas of concern and promote real editorial freedom.Read more.
When things go wrong
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Things may go wrong at any time inside a publication, even when the editorial staff is of great competence and maintains professionalism at all times. Whether they are ethical issues, publications errors, problems or concerns raised due to conflict of interest, they should be signalled and addressed with due prominence and as soon as possible. Through the PIE complaints system, publishers, editors, peer-reviewers and authors may complain about different issues regarding the editorial work such as:
• author mistakes
• authorship of the article
• copyright infringements
• publishing without consent
• data fabrication/manipulation/falsification
• editorial independence and decisions
• editorial misconduct
• ethical problems regarding the editorial team
• lack of ethical approval
• issues regarding the article submission
• confidentiality of the sources
• inappropriate peer review process…and more.
How should complaints be made?
Whether he or she is an author, an editor or a publisher, the complainant must complete the form provided by PIE in order to submit his or her complaint and ask for mediation from the Council Sub-Committee. There is no need for legal representatives; there are no fees taken for the procedure. The complaints are treated in an informal way and PIE encourages individuals and publishers to communicate directly with the Council Sub-Committee and with each other and not through legal representatives.
Possible issues and problems that may occur in the publishing sector:
Minor/major author mistakes: errors that need to be corrected through notices and errata published within the pages of the journals.
Authorship problems: any issue related to the authorship of a text, image or other materials used as information in the journal. Authorship disputes may be raised when several authors who contributed to the same project cannot agree the order of the listed author name or the author name selected to be credited for the text being published.
Copyright infringements: when copyrighted materials such as articles, texts, quotes or images are reproduced without permission. Copyright infringements may occur even in the case when the real author was credited with the material.
Data publication without consent: when authors fail to acquire explicit consent from a third party person involved in the research study or the gathering of data.
Data fabrication/falsification/manipulation: when authors or editors make up or manipulate the truth or data.
Editorial independence: when editorial decisions are being affected or interfered with by the publisher or senior authority.
Editorial misconduct: when the editorial team of a journal has acted in ways that are not in conformity with the PIE guidelines, recommendations and the code for good editorial conduct.
Inappropriate peer-review process: disputes regarding conflict of interests, unfair, biased or unethical reviews.
Issues about the role of the publisher: when publishers exercise their influence over editorial decisions, suppressing author and editor freedom.
Selective reporting of data: when the editor or the author deliberately fails to report important or relevant information from the article or the report he or she wrote in order to favour a particular product, company or organisation.