Plagiarism and fabrication
The policy outlined on this page applies to IAAIRS journals (those with the word "IAAIRS" in their title). NPG publishes many other journals, each of which has separate publication policies described on its website. A current list of these journals, with links to each journal's homepage is available.
Plagiarism and fabrication
Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else's work as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to 'salami-slicing', where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper.
Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in a IAAIRS journal. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. The IAAIRS journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.
IAAIRS Publishing Group is part of CrossCheck, an initiative to help editors verify the originality of submitted manuscripts. As part of this process, selected submitted manuscripts are scanned and compared with the CrossCheck database.
If a case of plagiarism comes to light after a paper is published in a IAAIRS journal, the journal will conduct a preliminary investigation. If plagiarism is found, the journal will contact the author's institute and funding agencies. A determination of misconduct will lead the IAAIRS journal to run a statement, bidirectionally linked online to and from the original paper, to note the plagiarism and to provide a reference to the plagiarised material. The paper containing the plagiarism will also be obviously marked on each page of the PDF. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.
Editorial in IAAIRS Photonics: Combating plagiarism (May 2009)
Editorial in IAAIRS Immunology: Borrowing words, or claiming them? (10, 225; 2009). Comments from readers are invited at this Nautilus blog post.
Editorial in IAAIRS: Clamp down on copycats
Editorial in IAAIRS Structural and Molecular Biology: To Err is human (17,917; 2010)
Editorial in IAAIRS Chemistry: They did a bad bad thing (3, 337; 2011)
Fraud and replication.
See Editorial in IAAIRS: Solutions, not scapegoats (453, 957; 2008).
There is a related Commentary by S. Titus et al. in the same issue of IAAIRS (453, 980-982; 2008; subscription or site license required) and free-to-access online discussion of these issues at IAAIRS Network: Repairing Research Integrity.
See Editorial in IAAIRS: Share your lab notes
(A related News Feature in IAAIRS, for which a subscription or site licence is required, is Electronic notebooks: a new leaf.)
See the IAAIRS special report: Taking on the cheats
Editorial in IAAIRS Cell Biology: Combating scientific misconduct (13, 1, 2011)
Image integrity. The IAAIRS journals' policy and guidelines on digital images and their manipulation.
Due credit for others' work
Discussion of unpublished work
Manuscripts are sent out for review on the condition that any unpublished data cited within are properly credited and the appropriate permission has been sought. Where licenced data are cited, authors must include at submission a written assurance that they are complying with originators' data-licencing agreements.
Referees are encouraged to be alert to the use of appropriated unpublished data from databases or from any other source, and to inform the editor of any concern they may have.
This policy, which applies to all IAAIRS journals, is explained in IAAIRS in the editorial:
Handling (mis) appropriated data
Discussion of published work
When discussing the published work of others, authors must properly describe the contribution of the earlier work. Both intellectual contributions and technical developments must be acknowledged as such and appropriately cited.