Journal Publication Ethics | The American Ceramic Society

Journal Publication Ethics

The foundations of scholarly communication are reporting the results truthfully, giving credit where credit is due and acting in good faith (without conflicts of interest).  These tenets apply to authors, reviewers, editors and publishers of scholarly communications equally.

Summary of ACerS Publications' Ethics Policy

This page highlights some of the key points of ACerS guidelines for behaving ethically and for its actions guiding discovery of rectification of unethical behavior.  The complete policy can be downloaded here.

The American Ceramic Society expects authors, reviewers, editors and others involved in the editorial process to safeguard its integrity and to alert the Society to possible misconduct when and if it appears.  The Society believe that it has a responsibility to ensure that allegations of research misconduct are properly investigated. ACerS will take such allegations seriously will take steps to examine their validity.

Examples of Misconduct

  1. Fraud – not reporting results honestly by fabricating, suppressing or altering data
  2. Publication of the same article in more than one publication simultaneously or sequentially
  3. Plagiarism – claiming credit for others’ work
  4. Self-plagiarism – republishing of author’s previous work without citing the previous work
  5. Failing to provide authorship credit where due or giving authorship to non-contributors
  6. Financial, institutional or personal conflicts of interest

Expectations for Authors

Authors are expected to avoid actions that can be deemed as misconduct. Work previously published must be cited. Authors must obtain consent to disclose information and to reuse others’ work prior to submitting manuscripts for publication.

Expectations for Referees (Reviewers) and Editors

Referees and editors are expected to render timely, objective, fair and consistent reviews of and decisions on manuscripts. Referees and editors must recuse themselves from the review process for manuscripts where they have financial, institutional, or other direct or conflicting interests. Examples include manuscripts from co-workers or competing corporations. Referees and editors should never misuse or information gained through review for personal gain or disclose information to third parties.

Investigating Allegations of Misconduct

ACerS will carry out investigations where allegations surround plagiarism, duplicate submission, or referee or editor misconduct.

ACerS will defer to an author’s institution or employer to investigate allegations of fraud or improper authorship. ACerS will present to the institution or employer the allegation and any existing evidence. ACers will request that the receiving party investigate the allegation and inform ACerS of progress.

When ACerS investigates allegations of misconduct, it does so under these guiding principles

  • Presumption of innocence
  • Strictly observe confidentiality, fairness and impartiality
  • Retain documentation of all communications and materials related to the case
  • Prompt resolution and taking further action only when warranted by the evidence

ACerS will form a committee to investigate allegations and analyze the evidence. The accused parties will be informed of the allegations, evidence and analysis and given the opportunity to address the concerns raised by the committee.

If the Review Committee concludes that no misconduct was committed or that a mild breech of ethical practice was committed without intent then the matter is considered closed.

If the Review Committee determines after discussions with the involved individual(s) that there was misconduct, it will recommend the appropriate course of action. ACerS will determine if a legal review is necessary before any action is undertaken.

Possible actions include, but are not limited to

  1. Returning the manuscript to the author if misconduct was uncovered prior to publication
  2. Notification of the institutions or employers of the involved individuals
  3. Issuing an official retraction of the paper and ensuring that electronic version is so marked
  4. Removing the paper from the electronic archives
  5. Prohibiting the involved individuals from further publication for a specific time period.

Informing other publishers in cases of plagiarism and requesting retraction where warranted.