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.

Named authors are those who substantially contribute to research processes (envisioning, funding, or executing) or to authoring the manuscript.  Each named author takes full individual responsibility for the contents of an article. The listing of authors should be set at initial submission, but can be changed according to the procedures found here.

Artificial intelligence tools cannot accept responsibility and cannot be listed as a named author.  Full AI policy can be found here.

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

Diversity and Inclusion

The American Ceramic Society values diverse and inclusive participation within the field of ceramic and glass science and engineering. Articles in society publications must not contain language that could be construed as representing bias against specific individuals or groups on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, career path or academic level. For example, care should be taken in the use of gender pronouns within articles and to avoid writing that suggests broad characterizations of authors from specific demographic groups. Should a question about bias or inclusivity arise, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal will make the final determination about whether modification of the language is required prior to acceptance or publication.

Authorship Changes

The listing of authors is considered complete at submission of your manuscript. However, ACerS recognizes that authors may change during the review process for many reasons.  Authorship changes that occur during the manuscript revision process should be noted in the cover letter when submitting revised manuscripts.

Requests for authorship changes after submission of the final manuscript for review must be made in writing, with written acceptance of the change from all authors including any that are removed or added. Authorship changes must occur prior to online publication of the article.  Authorship changes after publication can only be made through submission of a Correction article.

Use of Artificial Intelligence Tools

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools can provide a variety of benefits in the scientific research process including in the generation, collection, analysis, and visualization of research data. Authors are expected to carefully review any data generated by or analyzed using AI or related computational techniques and must carry out the final interpretation of the results presented in the manuscript. Additionally, authors are expected to write the initial version of the manuscript themselves, although the use of AI is allowed to assist with language editing in subsequent drafts. Use of AI technology for any purpose including generating scientific content or preparing the manuscript must be clearly described in the methods section of the manuscript in sufficient detail to be reproducible. Misrepresentation of information generated by AI is not acceptable. Due to copyright considerations, AI generated images are typically not suitable for use as cover art.

The following examples, which cover some but not all examples of the potential use of AI, are provided as guidance for authors in determining whether their use of AI or related tools falls within these guidelines.

Acceptable uses of AI to conduct and report research in ACerS journals, if the details of the method and quality control or uncertainty quantification are described:

  • Analysis of experimental data, such as microstructure or spectroscopic feature identification and quantification, image segmentation, and reconstruction.
  • Guiding the selection of modeling or experimental conditions or parameters, such as using sequential learning models.
  • Analysis of datasets derived from the literature, computations, or experiments to identify trends or make predictions about material or device properties and performance.
  • Visualization of research results.

Unacceptable uses of AI to conduct and report research in ACerS journals:

  • Generating data that is presented as having been obtained by another method, such as creating synthetic XRD patterns or electron micrographs that as described as experimental results in the manuscript.
  • Manipulation, enhancement, or other editing of data in a manner that is intended to obscure the original results or mislead the reader.
  • Conducting the literature review and assembling reference lists in the manuscript.
  • Formulating conclusions or writing the original draft of the manuscript.