Ethical Standards and Misconduct Policy for Purdue Journals

1. Editorial responsibilities:

a. Editors must act in a balanced, objective, and fair way when completing their expected duties. Editors will not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, or geographical origin of the authors.

b. Editors will follow reasonable procedures in the event of complaints of an ethical nature or a conflict of interest. Editors will give authors an opportunity to respond to any and all complaints, but are equally responsible for the investigation of all complaints, no matter when the original publication was approved. Documentation associated with any such complaints must be retained.

2. Authors’ responsibilities:

a. All authors must participate in the peer review process.

b. All named authors must have significantly contributed to the research. This excludes individuals who may have referred subjects to researchers; performed routine laboratory work, data entry, or analysis; or proofread or corrected the format or style of the article.

c. By submitting an article for review, authors attest the article contains no plagiarism or fraudulent data. All articles must include a complete list of fully-documented references and acknowledgment of financial support. 

d. Authors must guarantee that submitted manuscripts have not been published elsewhere, are not currently under review elsewhere, except as the Publisher has been advised.

e. Authors must promptly notify the journal editors if a significant error in their publication is identified, as well as cooperate with the editor and publisher to publish an erratum, addendum, or retraction as necessary.

3. Reviewers’ responsibilities:

a. Reviewers are expected to contribute to the decision-making process and assist in improving the quality of the published paper. This means reviewers should complete reviews objectively and in a timely manner.

b. Reviewers must be aware of any potential conflicts of interest between the reviewer and the author and alert the editor to these. If necessary, reviewers should withdraw their services for the manuscript in question.

c. Reviewers should alert the editor to any relevant published or submitted work that is not yet cited.

d. Reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of any information supplied by the editors or authors, and may not retain or copy any manuscripts submitted for review.

4. Procedures for dealing with misconduct:

a. Identification and investigation:
i. Misconduct and unethical behavior may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone.

ii. Whoever informs the editor or publisher of misconduct must provide sufficient evidence or documentation for an investigation to be initiated.

iii. Journal editors have primary authority and responsibility for investigations into misconduct, and they should consult with or seek advice from the publisher as appropriate.

iv. Investigations should be undertaken discreetly, with all caution necessary to avoid spreading rumor or allegations beyond those individuals who need to know.

b. Misconduct and possible outcomes: The editor, in consultation with the publisher and society, is responsible for the final decision regarding actions for any identified misconduct, including whether the employers of the accused be notified of the breach. The following outcomes are ordered by increasing severity:
i. Informing or educating the author or reviewer where there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of standards.

ii. Strongly worded written communication to the author or reviewer as a warning against future behavior.

iii. Publication of a formal notice or editorial detailing the misconduct.

iv. A formal letter to the head of the author’s or reviewer’s department or funding agency.

v. Formal retraction of a publication from the journal, in conjunction with informing appropriate department heads, abstracting and indexing services, and the readership of the publication.

vi. Imposition of a formal embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.

vii. Formal report of the case and outcome to a professional organization or higher authority for further investigation and action