News, Issue 14 June 2013

Springer and Publishing Ethics

In recent years, publishing ethics has grown in interest and attention. This is due to various factors:

  • “Publish or perish” / publish at all costs mentality
  • The internet is making it easier and easier to access information
  • Technological developments now make it easier to do unsupervised work
  • High-profile misconduct cases

Research has shown that almost 2/3 of the retractions in the biomedical and life sciences are attributable to misconduct. This may seem dramatic. However, the number of retractions is very small compared to the total number of annual publications: a few repeat offenders are contributing disproportionally to the number of retractions.

Essentially responsible research conduct is the best way to prevent research misconduct from happening. Researchers should conduct their research - from research proposal to publication - in line with best practices and the codes of conduct established by relevant professional bodies and/or national and international regulatory bodies.

In order to safeguard the quality of its journal publications, Springer has now updated its own policy and renamed it the Springer Guide on Publishing Ethics, a document in line with the philosophy of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE).

By preparing this guide, Springer aims to provide information and guidelines for Journal Editors, Society & Publishing Partners in terms of responding to misconduct. It is complemented by additional readings and will therefore also be of interest to all authors who wish to learn more about publishing ethics.

In the Springer Guide on Publishing Ethics you will find information on

  • Springer and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
  • Description of the ethical issues and recommended actions when possible misconduct is encountered
  • How the literature can be corrected
  • Further resources, for example links to other policy-producing bodies

If you have any questions or need more information, please visit the Springer Guide on Publishing Ethics or contact ethics.reporting@springer.com

If you wish to read more about specific ethical statements dealing with conflicts of interest, patient consent and human and animal rights, please visit: www.springer.com/PubMedEthicalPolicy