2009 RESEARCH CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH INTEGRITY MAY 15-17, 2009 Saturday 10:45-12:30: Publication I: Authorship issues Analysis of a number and type of publications that editors publish in their own journals: Croatian case study Lana Bošnjak, Katarina Vukojević, Livia Puljak, Ana MarušićUniversity of Split School of Medicine Split, Croatia Presenter: Darko Hren, University of Split
M. El Naschie, editor ofthe “Chaos, SolitonsandFractals”:- authored at least 60 articlesin his own journalin 2008
… Perhaps the most significant finding from this study is the fact that for some journalsin the field of Education and Educational Psychology, in some years, a significantproportion of all citations that count toward the impact factor are from articlespublished by members of the journal’s editorial board. This means that a single articlepublished in the editorial board member’s own journal has the potential to influence theimpact factor to a considerable degree, a situation which may be particularly true forjournals that receive relatively few citations …
Guidelines for editors on publishing own research in own journals? ICMJE (http://www.icmje.org/#conflicts): II.D.3. Potential Conflicts of Interest Related to Commitments of Editors, Journal Staff, or Reviewers Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Other members of the editorial staff, if they participate in editorial decisions, must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisionsin which a conflict of interest exists. Editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain. Editors should publish regular disclosure statements about potential conflicts of interests related to the commitments of journal staff.
Guidelines for editors on publishing own research in own journals? WAME Publication Ethics Policies for Medical Journals (http://www.wame.org/resources/publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals#conflicts): Conflict of Interest Manuscripts authored by members of the editorial board present a special instance of potential conflict of interest. The review of these manuscripts must always be supervised by a senior editor (deputy editor or higher) who will review the decision of the assigned decision editor for objectivity before the decision is final.
Guidelines for editors on publishing own research in own journals? COPE (http://publicationethics.org/case/editor-author-own-journal): The issue here basically revolves around whether it is acceptable for editors to publish their own work in their journals; if it is, then the review process must be made as transparent and rigorous as possible. Certainly there are examples of editors publishing studies in their own journals, particularly in those circumstances where the choice of journals is limited, as in this case. Provided every effort is made to minimise any bias in the review process by having another associate editor handle the peer review procedure independently of the editor (recognising that it would be impossible to remove bias completely), and the process is absolutely transparent, then this would be the most appropriate route to take. …
Guidelines for editors on publishing own research in own journals? COPE (http://publicationethics.org/case/editor-author-own-journal): … It was suggested that the editor send the article out for review without any names on it, but he said the subject field was so narrow and specialised that any reviewer would know who had written the paper. As an extra precaution, if and when the article in question is published, the editor might like to publish an accompanying commentary showing how transparent the reviewing process had been.
Study aims Evaluate how often editors of Croatian journals publish their own research articles in their own journals Survey instructions/guidelines of their journals for policies on submission, review and publishing of manuscripts from editors and members of the editorial office or board
Study sample Editors in chief, executive editors and editorial bord members (n=256) from: 167 Croatian scientific journals from Croatian open access journal platform 13 other Croatian journals indexed in the Web of Science (Thomson Reuters)
Croatian open access journal platform HRČAK – tracking growth and usage of journals http://hrcak.srce.hr
Outcomemeasures No. of articles relevant for academic advancement (original research articles, review articles, professional articles) published in own journals For editors with more than 5 articles published in their journals from 2005 to Feb 2009: No. of their publications in other journals, indexed in relevant international bibliographical databases (Medline, Agricola, ERIC, PsychINFO, INSPEC, Web of Knowledge, SCOPUS) No. of journals with policy for editorial submissions in journal instructions/guidelines for authors
Results A half of the editors did not publish in their journals (n=114, 44.5%) The other half published: No. 1 article 72 (28.1%) 2 articles 31 (12.1%) 3 articles 14 (5.5%) 4 articles 9 (3.5%) ≥5 articles 16 (6.3%)
Results 16 journals with editors publishing ≥5 articles in their own journals: 4 from Biomedicine 6 from Natural Sciences /Engineering 5 from Social Sciences 2 from Humanities 3 editors published more than 10 articles: 2 from Natural Sciences/Engineering (13 and 14 articles) 1 from Biomedicine (15 articles)
Results J. editor – research field No. articles in journal own other 1 – Natural sci./ingineering 5 39 2 – Medicine 5 0 3 – Medicine 5 24 4 – Medicine 5 0 5 – Natural sci./ingineering 5 0 6 – Humanities 5 0 7 – Social sciences 5 0 8 – Natural sci./ingineering 5 0 9 – Natural sci./ingineering 6 7 10 – Social sciences 7 4 11 – Social sciences 7 4 12 – Humanities 9 0 13 – Social sciences 9 3 14 – Natural sci./ingineering 13 10 15 – Natural sci./ingineering 14 7 16 – Medicine 15 21
Results 4 editors published more in own that in other journals 7 editors published solely in own journals
Results Possiblelimitations: Only some bibliographicaldatabasesweresearched, andtheycoveredmostlythesciencesandsocialsciences. Thenumberofarticlesinotherjournals for editorsfromartsandhumanitiesmaybeunderestimated. As journalsfrom a singlecountrywereevaluated, thegeneralizabilityofthefindings is not clear.
Results Outof 180 journals, only 1had a policy for handlingsubmissionsfromtheeditorsandmembersoftheeditorial office or board.
Policy for submissions by members of theeditorial team As all editors and Editorial Board membersat the CMJ are activeprofessionals and researchers, it may happen that they wouldwant to submit their articles to the CMJ.This represents a potential conflict of interest,especially in cases of submissionsfrom decision-making editors. In reviewingsubmissions from its editors and EditorialBoard members, the CMJ follows theguidelines for good editorial practice set byinternational editorial organizations, suchas World Association of Medical Editors(WAME; http://www.wame.org/resources/publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals#conflicts) and Committee onPublication Ethics (COPE; http://publicationethics.org/case/editor-author-own-journal).The review of such manuscripts willnot be handled by the submitting editor(s);the review process will be supervised anddecisions made by a senior editor who willact independently of other editors. In somecases, the review process will be handledby an outside independent expert to minimizepossible bias in reviewing submissionsfrom editors.
Conclusions Editors from scholarly and association or institution journals publish not only editorial material but also research or review articles in their own journals. There is evidence that some may abuse their editorial position, as all do not have publicly available procedures for addressing potential conflict of interest in reviewing such submissions. Education of editors is needed – this should be the task of journals owners, publishers, and funders.