Archive for Ethics Statement

Ethics Statement for the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in Open Access with tags , , , on August 3, 2022 by telescoper

For various reasons I spent yesterday evening, the last evening of my “break”, concocting an Ethics Statement for the Open Journal of Astrophysics. I don’t know much about this sort of thing so some of the text is based on similar statements elsewhere, e.g. at the AAS Journals site. So far we haven’t had many instances of misconduct but I have had to ban a couple of authors for violations.

Anyway, you can find the statement on the OJAp website but I’ve copied it below in case anyone has suggestions of things we might wish to add. If you have any such comments please use the box below:


  1. Ethics and Professionalism
    Authors of papers published in the Open Journal of Astrophysics (OJAp) are expected to adhere to basic standards of professional ethics and conduct that are common across all areas of scholarly publishing. Because we are an arXiv overlay journal we also require adherence to the specific standards stipulated in the arXiv code of conduct of conduct. By submitting a paper authors affirm that their work is theirs, is original and has not been published elsewhere. All parties are also expected to conform to common standards of professional respect and civility. This page summarizes the expected standards of professional and ethical conduct required for OJAp.
  2. Plagiarism (including Self-Plagarism)
    Plagiarism (understood as the act of reproducing text or other materials from other papers without properly crediting the source) represents a serious ethical breach, and may constitute legal breach of copyright if the reproduced material has been previously published. This includes repeating text from previously published papers by the author or authors (i.e., “self-plagiarism”). The arXiv submission process does an initial screen for plagiarism, and we will look very carefully at submissions that have triggered the arXiv filter.
  3. Citations and References
    Articles published in OJAp should include citations to previously published articles which are directly relevant to the results being presented. This requirement is especially important when new ideas or results are being presented. Deliberate refusal to credit or cite prior or corroborating results represents a breach of professional ethics, and can result in summary rejection of a manuscript but an unintentional failure to cite a relevant article does not necessarily imply misconduct. Responsibility for updating references after acceptance (but before publication) of an article rests fully with the authors, but the same principles should apply.
  4. Conflicts of Interest
    The referees selected by the editor assume responsibility for evaluating the scientific veracity, clarity, and significance of the results presented. For such a system to function effectively it is essential that the referee be free of any conflicts of interest that might influence the content or the promptness of the review. Authors may identify individuals who they believe are conflicted and should not serve as referees. Referees also have a responsibility to recuse themselves if they feel a conflict may arise. Editors are required to disqualify themselves whenever a real or perceived conflict is present.
  5. Confidentiality
    The Editorial Board of OJAp will not reveal the identities of referees nor the contents of peer-review-related materials to individuals outside of the respective peer-review process. Referees are also bound by strict confidentiality; neither the manuscripts nor the contents of referee correspondence may be shared with other parties without written permission from the editor. Authors are not bound by similar confidentiality requirements (for example, they may choose to consult with co-authors and colleagues when revising a manuscript in response to a referee report), but public dissemination of the contents of referee reports and editorial correspondence is highly inappropriate.
  6. Professional Conduct
    All participants in the publication process, including Editors, Authors and Referees, are expected to conform to basic standards of professional courtesy, and respect the basic rules and guidelines that govern the peer-review and publication process. Authors should also recognize that all our Editors and Referees are volunteers who give their time freely; that’s part of the reason why the journal is free. Personal attacks or verbal abuse are unacceptable and OJAp reserves the right to refuse submissions from individuals who repeatedly violate these guidelines or refuse to cooperate with editors and referees in the normal peer review and publication processes.
  7. Allegations of Misconduct
    The integrity of OJAp rests on the professionalism of its authors, referees, and editors. Alleged cases of unethical conduct within the editorial process will be investigated vigorously by the Editor-in-Chief or an appropriately delegated individual or individuals and with respect for confidentiality. Accusations of misconduct falling outside of the peer review or publication process may be more properly directed elsewhere. OJAp also recognizes its obligation to protect their authors and referees against malicious, frivolous, vexatious or unfounded allegations of misconduct. Repeated complaints of this type by individuals may be summarily dismissed.