OTT’s Publishing Ethics

The formal component of the scholarly communication system, that is to say the publication of an article in a peer reviewed learned journal, serves many purposes outside of simple communication. It is a building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is prima facie evidence for the quality and impact of the research work of its authors and by extension the institutions that support them. It supports, and is itself and example, of the scientific method. For all these reasons and more, it is important to lay down standards of expected ethical behaviour by all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society for society-owned or sponsored journals. This includes all parties treating each other with respect and dignity and without discrimination, harassment, bullying or retaliation.

These guidelines are designed specifically for primary research journals, but may also be relevant for review and other professional publications as well. Individual journals will often have more elaborate or more distinct ethical procedures, generally reflected in their Guide for Authors, and many journals also accept and are in many cases founding participants with respect to discipline-specific standards or standard-setting bodies, such as the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT).