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Ethical and Legal Considerations 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin


This chapter is intended to provide guidance to authors, editors, reviewers, and publishers in the fields of biomedicine, health, and the life sciences. The discussion focuses on ethical and legal issues involved in publication. According to Lundberg, human behavior is regulated by 3 forces: morality, ethics, and law. If personal morality does not regulate acceptable and appropriate behavior, we can rely on ethics. Ethical behavior is determined by norms, principles, guidelines, and policies. This chapter cites examples of the determinants of ethical behavior as they relate to scientific publication. If ethics do not regulate behavior, we are forced to rely on public laws. Examples of cases involving scientific publication when laws have been invoked or enforced are also provided in this chapter. Those ethical and legal considerations and dilemmas most commonly encountered in scholarly scientific publication are the focus of this chapter. References to sources for additional guidance and information not discussed in this chapter are also provided within the text and at the end of each subsection...

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