Ethical standards are crucial to ensure the high quality of scientific publications, credibility of scientific findings, and that authors receive credit for their work.
Copernicus Publications has several policies in place to guarantee high ethical standards. These guidelines can be viewed in the general terms, the general obligations for authors, the general obligations for editors, and the general obligations for referees.
SOIL is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Copernicus Publications especially recommends COPE's Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors as well as the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers as best practice. As a founding member of OASPA, Copernicus Publications also pursues OASPA's principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing.
Amongst other duties, editors have to ensure that all manuscripts received by their journal are reviewed for their scientific content without regard to sex, gender, race, religion, citizenship, etc. of the authors. Furthermore, the editors need to ensure that any information regarding manuscripts submitted by the authors is kept confidential.
The reviews of submitted manuscripts must be done objectively, and the referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Furthermore, referees need to be aware that any information regarding the manuscripts they are reviewing should be treated as privileged information.
Copernicus Publications itself aims to follow the Core Practices of COPE by
- guaranteeing editorial independence;
- respecting privacy of all stakeholders in the research and publications process;
- ensuring author's copyright and a liberal distribution licence.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, authors should be aware in particular about the following:
In order to avoid ethical violations, all journals published by Copernicus Publications are committed to only publishing original material that was not published before, except in the form of an abstract, an electronic preprint, a discussion paper or similar formats, and that is not considered for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts based on conference proceedings should include a significant novelty compared to the conference paper and the proceedings publication should not make out more than 60% of the manuscript content. Authors have to agree on that in a consent form. Furthermore, redundant publications ("salami tactic" of publishing small parts of the same research in several papers) should be avoided. Please also view the general terms.
Author contribution and funding statement
All authors listed on a presented scientific work must have contributed a significant part to it. Vice versa, all persons who contributed to the presented work need to be named in the list of authors. In addition, sources of financial support, if any, must be clearly disclosed.
Any manipulation of citations (e.g. including citations not contributing to a manuscript's scientific content, citations solely aiming at increasing an author's or a journal’s citations) is regarded as scientific malpractice.
Plagiarism means the use of any material and ideas developed or created by another person without acknowledging the original source. To avoid any form of plagiarism, each manuscript newly submitted to the Copernicus Office Editor (our online editorial support system) will be checked regarding plagiarism using iThenticate. The decision on whether a manuscript should be rejected because of fraud or should proceed to the peer-review process rests with the handling editor. The similarity reports are also made available to referees.
The Copernicus Office Editor automatically informs the handling editor and the Copernicus Publications Editorial Support if an author whose former manuscript was rejected because of fraud submits another manuscript to one of the journals published by Copernicus Publications. It is up to the respective handling editor to decide on whether the new manuscript should be considered for peer review.