How not to get into the black list of authors? PERK и COPE are publishing ethics control tools

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Every journal indexed in Scopus and Web of Science has its own publication ethics which should be followed while working with a research article. Sometimes when there are serious and ambiguous moments, there is a need to solve them in the form of intervention of authoritative representatives of the scientific and publication space. In this article, we will talk about two information services that provide support to editors and scientists in such cases.


The first platform is the Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PARK) which was created by Elsevier.


PERK is an online access point that provides editors and scholars with unified information support in the form of links to the documents which help resolve issues related to the work with publication ethics.  This online platform provides solutions and recommended actions in various disputable situations, in the form of "question - answer". These actions from the side of Elsevier are created to prevent the publication of low-quality scientific content, in the form of unreliable information, plagiarism, incorrect work, etc., so that the content and formatting of articles meet high standards, provide help to the scientific community and recognition of its author.


Every employee of the journal, as well as authors and peer reviewers, should study this resource on their own to freely orient in all the difficult moments that may arise when publishing a paper. It is important to adhere to and comply with all ethical standards and observe that these rules are not violated. Ethical practice should become the norm of the culture of publications. 


With the help of PERK, one can solve any incidents, namely to determine what caused the problem (copying someone else's text, fraud, etc.) and evaluate it. And this mission falls on the shoulders of the editor-in-chief, whose duties are also controlled. It is an editor-in-chief who carefully considers all claims and consequences, but  not the representatives of Elsevier, as the editor has knowledge and experience in the field of research, is aware of what experiments are carried out, who carries them out, and what credibility a scientist has in the scientific community. Elsevier has a policy of trust and support for the decision taken by the editor.


Today, to be aware of the seriousness of the ethical problem in the publishing process is very important, and Elsevier believes that editors understand this. Also, the Legal Department may be involved to resolve the issue.


Next, we will consider the most common violations of publication ethics prescribed by PERK.​​​​


- Fraud is considered the most serious violation because it confuses other researchers, leads them into unsuccessful areas of experiments, harms research and misleads readers, especially when it comes to medical disciplines. There are different sanctions against these actions which are determined by degree of their severity. The most difficult punishment is any form of prohibition determined by the editor.


- One of the points of the publication ethics of the PERK is about blacklisting an author in case of plagiarism, but here the company itself has a double opinion. On one hand, Elsevier supports freedom of expression in publishing, but on the other hand, if an author is given a chance to familiarize himself with the rules of publication ethics, and after it he still violates it, then from Elsevier's point of view, expert peer review of the publications of this scientist for a period of time does not make sense and will be wasted.


- The editorial board resolves the issue of duplicate publication by joint efforts. If an article does not contain anything new, an author will be refused in publication. Sometimes it happens that violations of ethical norms are discovered only over the years, and only by collective efforts one can struggle with publication fraud and determine it in a timely manner.


All decisions about actions during the evaluation of any fraudulent cases are made carefully on the basis of serious facts.


We touched upon only a small area that PERK solves. With this service, one can settle many other pressing issues related to publication ethics.


The second company that helps scientists and editors with controversial issues during the publication of an article is Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


It is a platform that has the character of the forum where the integrity of a research paper is discussed and ethical issues are investigated. All journals that are a part of Elsevier become the COPE members.


It was created in 1997 by editors of medical periodicals who were concerned about the existence of plagiarism in articles, data falsification, privacy issues and other publication disagreements. COPE does not investigate any cases, the Committee submits reports on whether certain journals behaved lawfully, in accordance with the code of the organization.


Membership in COPE gives participants the opportunity to get the necessary information from the company's representatives, as well as free admission to seminars that take place once a year. Every subscriber has access to the website, blog, letters and presentations, newsletters and e-learning.  


The scientists who do not adhere to publication ethics, violate it, pester the editors with constant letters, get into an unspoken black list of authors, which entails difficulties in publication and the decline in their scientific career.


Scientific Publications-Publ.Science Company, working on articles by many scientists around the world, follows all the news and prescriptions from scientometric databases for successful publication processes. It is important for us that the labor of every researcher remain integral and be insured against any fraud. If you need any scientific and publication assistance, please contact us and we will be happy to provide it.


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