In our last two resource roundup installments we looked at some of our favorite online tools and resources to keep you up to date on all the important publishing news. Today we take things a bit more serious and look at the ever-important area of ethics. Keeping up with current research and publication ethics is essential to good study conduct as well as ensuring your article gets published – and stays published. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to wade through all the information necessary to keep up on current best practices. Here, we’ve provided some top resources that can help you learn the details you need to know.
The go-to source for guidelines on all of the most common ethical issues that come up in publishing. COPE provides ethical guidance for journal editors and interested authors through helpful flowcharts, guidelines, online forums and learning modules. They also have an extensive database of real-life cases submitted by members along with proposed solutions.
Along with COPE, the ICMJE forms part of the major players in STM publishing when it comes to international ethics standards. They provide comprehensive explanations about common issues such as appropriate authorship their guidelines are held as the standard by most reputable medical journals worldwide. We also highly recommend their sample Conflict of Interest form if you are unsure what information you need to declare or your target journal does not provide specific guidance of their own.
Some of you may already be familiar with the CONSORT and STROBE statements because your target journal may have required you to submit their checklist along with your paper. CONSORT, or the Consolidated Statement on Reporting Trials, provides a helpful checklist that authors submitting papers on clinical trials can reference to ensure they have included all of the important details to help reviewers properly assess your manuscript. Journals that adopt CONSORT also usually require a flowchart showing the progress of all participants through the trial as one of your figures. STROBE – Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology – is similar to CONSORT, but for observational studies.
For a more lively way to brush up on your ethics knowledge, Elsevier has created a fun and interactive site that includes quizzes and videos on the most important issues researchers will face, along with links to news articles about ethics and further resources. They also provide a separate module for journal editors, so you can easily find the information tailored to your needs.
Finally, it goes without saying that if you are using any editing or writing assistance in the preparation of your manuscripts, that both you and the company you’re working with act in an ethical way. For specific details on the ethics that Edanz applies to our services, you can check out our ethics policies here.