Research and Publication Ethics

SEPM Statement of Ethics in Research and Publication

The following principles of ethical and professional conduct apply to all persons who submit manuscripts or book proposals for review or publication by SEPM and to those persons who review or edit manuscripts for publications related to SEPM. General policy rules include: 1) Author Inclusion and Exclusion; 2) Data and Copyright Issues; 3) Editor and Reviewer Roles; and 4) Research Misconduct – Recognition and Guidelines for Action

Author Inclusion and Exclusion

General Rule: Recognition of authorship should indicate a substantive contribution to the intellectual content of the publication, and all substantive contributors should have the option of being listed as coauthors. Author order in the byline is a collective decision of the authors or study group. The authors should resolve disagreements about author order before the article is submitted for publication.

1. Individuals will claim authorship of a paper only if they have made a substantive contribution.

Authorship may legitimately be claimed if persons:

a. Conceived the ideas or experimental design, and or;

b. Participated actively in execution of the study, and or;

c. Analyzed and interpreted the data, and or

d. Wrote the manuscript.

2. Authors will not add or delete authors from a manuscript submitted for publication without consent of those authors. This consent must be forwarded to the publication editors.

3. All authors who have contributed intellectual content must have read and agreed to the content of the submitted manuscript or book proposal, as well as any subsequent versions. Authors may not include as coauthor(s) on publications any individual who has not read and agreed to the content of the all versions of the manuscript up to and including the final version.

Data and Copyright Issues

General Rule: SEPM does not publish articles as original material if the underlying ideas have beenpreviously published. The readers, reviewers, and editors of SEPM publications expect that manuscripts or book proposals submitted for publication: (1) are the work of the author(s); (2) represent original work, and (3) have not been plagiarized–– i.e., taken from another source or author without explicit acknowledgement or permission––including self-plagiarism.

4. Authors will not submit for publication any manuscript or book proposal containing data they are not authorized to use.

SEPM assumes the principal investigator(s) of a research project retain the right to control use of resulting unpublished data unless otherwise specified by contract or explicit agreement. A copy of all such agreements must be forwarded to the editors upon submission of the manuscript. Submission of a manuscript by a corporate employee will be presumed to indicate that the employee's company has consented to release of such material for external publication by the company.

5. Authors will not present research data, methods, results, or interpretation as new if they have been published or submitted elsewhere.

The corresponding author must include in the cover letter a statement to the SEPM editor about all submissions and previous materials that might be considered to be redundant or duplicate publication of similar work. This statement will indicate if the manuscript includes materials on which the authors have previously published, have submitted a related report to another publication, or have distributed the materials on the Internet. Copies of the related material should be submitted to the relevant SEPM editor to assist with the editorial decision of the manuscript, accompanied by a cover letter that explains in detail how the submitted manuscript overlaps with and differs from other submitted or published work––including Internet resources.

6. Authors will not submit a manuscript or book proposal for publication while a comparable manuscript or proposal is under review for possible publication elsewhere.

It is the responsibility of the authors to inform the publication editors of any other submitted manuscripts or book proposals that may compromise this rule.

7. When using ideas or results of other persons in manuscripts submitted for publication, authors will give full attribution of sources. If the ideas or results have not been published, they may not be used without permission of the original researcher. Illustrations or tables from other publications or manuscripts may be used only with permission of the copyright owner.

Authors frequently wish to reuse previously published images and other copyrighted material. It is each author' s responsibility to follow journal or publisher guidelines to reuse any copyrighted material and provide proper attribution. This aspect includes the author's own work even if the copyright was transferred to a publisher or journal. Authors should contact the journal or publisher of the source material or consult the permissions information page that can be found on many of their web sites. Permission should be granted in writing and the authors should retain this documentation. The SEPM editor should receive a copy of this notification with the initial submission.

8. Authors submitting manuscripts for publication will promptly report to editors any errors in research results or interpretations discovered after submission or publication.

Editor and Reviewer Roles

General Rule: Progress in science relies heavily on effective communication of trusted information. Review by objective, impartial, and competent reviewers represents the fundamental basis for maintaining this trust. As such, editors and reviewers play important roles in SEPM’s mission and have special responsibilities.

9. Editors or reviewers will treat manuscripts under review as confidential, recognizing them as the intellectual property of the author(s).

10. Scientists will not serve as editors or reviewers of a manuscript if present or past connections with he author or the author’s institution may prevent objective evaluation of the work.

11. Scientists will not purposely delay publication of another person’s manuscript to gain advantage over that person.

Research Misconduct––Recognition and Guidelines for Action

As a society responsible for communication of the most important science in sedimentary geology, SEPM is dedicated to integrity in its research products and publications. SEPM considers research misconduct a serious offense; such offenses include data fabrication, data falsification, inappropriate image manipulation, or plagiarism.

Detailed discussion of issues of misconduct is well beyond the scope of this statement. In general, however, SEPM follows the best practices of Committee on Publication Ethics. These practices for specific cases of research and publication misconduct are available at:


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