Workshop: Workshop: Publication ethics for authors, reviewers, and editors

Workshop: Publication ethics for authors, reviewers, and editors

Tips from the Editage workshops led Dr. Elizabeth Wager in Japan

In January 2014, Editage organized a series of workshops for researchers and journal editors at various locations in Japan and Korea. The workshops were conducted by experienced editor, medical writer, publications consultant, and trainer--Dr. Elizabeth Wager.  These workshops were attended by over 300 researchers and journal editors. This was part of the workshop series in Japan. These workshops were organized by Editage in collaboration with Elsevierand were held at Kyoto University, Osaka University, Keio University, and the University of Tokyo, Japan. Editage also collaborated with Uni Bio Press and and JST (Japan Science and Technology) on this topic for workshops in Tokyo and Kyoto

Dr. Elizabeth Wager began with a definition of misconduct; she also shared some interesting statistics on how often misconduct is detected. She said that in a study (Fanelli PLoS One 2009;4(5):e5738) 3,207 were screened. There were surveys conducted on fabrication and falsification. 2% admitted to misconduct themselves and 14% said that they were aware of misconduct by others. Dr. Wager went on to share some more statistics on how often this misconduct is detected. 


Here is a quick summary.

PubMed retractions:  0.02%

US Office of Research Integrity (ORI): 0.01-0.001% (1 in 10,000/100,000 scientists)

Image Manipulation in J Cell Biology:1% (8/800)

FDA Audit-investigators guilty of serious sci misconduct: 2%

She then shared simple rules to avoid plagiarism some of which are listed below.

·         If you refer to someone else’s work, always reference it.

·         If you copy more than a few words from someone else’s publication, put them in quotation marks and reference them.

·         If you want to use a figure or table from another publication, get peemission from the copyright holder.

·         There is no rule against plagiarizing your own work but you need to avoid redundant 



For editors and publishers, she had the following advice:

•       Detect research and publication misconduct

•       Prevent publication misconduct

•       Educate authors

•       Promote good practice

–      be aware of how journal policies may influence behaviour

•       Inform authorities, employers

•       Correct the literature


However, she said that editors cannot (1) prevent research misconduct, (2) Investigate research misconduct, (3) settle disputes around authorship, and (4) investigate most types of publication misconduct although they may request investigations.

She stated that while journals are not equipped to investigate serious research misconduct, it is important that researchers get a fair hearing. She said that journals should request that the authors’ institution investigates into the matter.

In this discussion, she also covered basic information about the different guidelines to improve research reporting.

See our upcoming workshops and webinars here. If you would like us to conduct a workshop/webinar for your organization, please contact us at

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