- Identification of unethical behaviour
- Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the Editor and publisher at any time, by anyone.
- Whoever informs the Editor or publisher of such misconduct should provide sufficient information in order for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and treated in the same way, until a successful decision or conclusion is reached.
- An initial decision should be taken by the Editor, who if appropriate should consult with or seek advice from the publisher.
- Evidence should be attained, while avoiding spreading any allegations beyond those who need to know.
- Minor cases
- Minor misconduct is dealt with without the need to consult more widely. In any event, the author should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations.
- Serious cases
- Serious misconduct requires that the employers of the accused be notified. The Editor, in consultation with the publisher, should make the decision whether or not to involve the employers, either by examining the available evidence themselves or by further consultation with a limited number of experts.
- Action on outcome
- Inform and educate the author or reviewer in case there appears to be a misunderstanding or misapplication of normal standards.
- Send a letter to the author or reviewer covering the misconduct, which should act as a warning on future behaviour.
- Publish a notice detailing the misconduct.
- Send a letter to the head of the author's or reviewer's department or funding agency.
- Formal retraction or withdrawal of a publication from the journal, or book series, together with informing the head of the author or reviewer's department, the relevant Abstracting & Indexing agencies and the readers of the publication.
- Impose an embargo on contributions from an individual for a defined period.
- Report the case and outcome to a relevant organisation or higher authority for further investigation and action.