Research misconduct refers to fabrication, falsification, citation manipulation, or plagiarism in producing, performing, or reviewing research and in writing it up, or in the reporting of research results. When authors are found to have been involved in research misconduct or other serious irregularities involving articles that have been published in scientific journals, the editors have the responsibility to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the scientific records.
In cases of suspected misconduct, the editors and editorial board will use the best practices of COPE to assist them in resolving any complaint and addressing the misconduct fairly. This will include an investigation of the allegation by the editors. A submitted manuscript that is found to contain such misconduct will be rejected. In cases where a published paper is found to involve such misconduct, a retraction will be published and linked to the original article.
The first step in such a process involves determining the validity of the allegation and assessing whether it is consistent with the definition of research misconduct. This also involves determining whether the individuals alleging misconduct have relevant conflicts of interest.
If scientific misconduct or the presence of other substantial research irregularities is a possibility, the allegations will be shared with the corresponding author, who, on behalf of all of the co-authors, will be requested to provide a detailed response. After the response is received and evaluated, additional reviews and involvement of experts (such as statistical reviewers) may be needed. For cases in which it is unlikely that misconduct has occurred, clarifications, additional analyses, or both, published as letters to the editor, and often including a correction notice and correction to the published article, are sufficient.
Institutions are expected to conduct an appropriate and thorough investigation of allegations of scientific misconduct. Ultimately, authors, journals, and institutions have an important obligation to ensure the accuracy of scientific records. By responding appropriately to concerns about scientific misconduct, and taking necessary actions based on evaluation of such concerns, such as corrections, retractions with replacement, or retractions, IJPE will continue to fulfill its responsibilities of ensuring the validity and integrity of the scientific record.
The explanation of Allegation of Research Misconducts follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which can be accessed here.
Correction and Retraction
IJPE takes its responsibility to maintain the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record of our content for all end users very seriously. Changes to articles after they have been published online may only be made under the circumstances outlined below. IJPE places great importance on the authority of articles after they have been published and our policy is based on best practices in the academic publishing community.
An Erratum is a statement by the authors of the original paper that briefly describes any correction(s) resulting from errors or omissions. Any effects on the conclusions of the paper should be noted. The corrected article is not removed from the online journal, but notice of erratum is given. The Erratum is made freely available to all readers and is linked to the corrected article.
A Retraction is a notice that the paper should not be regarded as part of the scientific literature. Retractions are issued if there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, this can be as a result of misconduct or honest error; if the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper referencing, permission or justification; if the work is plagiarized; or if the work reports unethical research. To protect the integrity of the record, the retracted article is not removed from the online journal, but notice of retraction is given, is made freely available to all readers, and is linked to the retracted article. Retractions can be published by the authors when they have discovered substantial scientific errors; in other cases, the Editors or Publisher may conclude that retraction is appropriate. In all cases, the retraction indicates the reason for the action and who is responsible for the decision. If a retraction is made without the unanimous agreement of the authors, that is also noted. In rare and extreme cases involving legal infringement, the Publisher may redact or remove an article. Bibliographic information about the article will be retained to ensure the integrity of the scientific record.
A Publisher's Note notifies readers that an article has been corrected subsequent to publication. It is issued by the Publisher and is used in cases where typographical or production errors (which are the fault of the Publisher) affect the integrity of the article metadata (such as title, author list or byline) or will significantly impact the readers' ability to comprehend the article. The original article is removed and replaced with a corrected version. Publisher's Notes are freely available to all readers. Minor errors that do not affect the integrity of the metadata or a reader's ability to understand an article and that do not involve a scientific error or omission will be corrected at the discretion of the Publisher.
In such a case, the original article is removed and replaced with a corrected version. The date the correction is made is noted on the corrected article. Authors should also be aware that an original article can only be removed and replaced with a corrected version less than one year after the original publication date. Corrections to an article which has a publication date that is older than one year will only be documented by a Publisher's Note.