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Allegations Involving Manuscripts Under Editorial Consideration 

Allegations Involving Manuscripts Under Editorial Consideration

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Subscriber: null; date: 28 October 2016

Allegations Involving Manuscripts Under Editorial Consideration

In the case of a manuscript under consideration that is not yet published in which fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism is suspected, the editor should ask the corresponding author for a written explanation. If an explanation is not provided or is unsatisfactory, the editor should contact the author’s institutional authority (ie, dean, director, ethical conduct/research integrity officer) or governmental agency with jurisdiction to investigate allegations of scientific misconduct to request an investigation. In all such communications with authors and institutional authorities, the editor should take care to maintain confidentiality and should follow the same procedures described in 5.4.4, Editorial Policy and Procedures for Detecting and Handling Allegations of Scientific Misconduct. If the author’s explanation or institutional investigation demonstrates that the misconduct did not occur, the editor should continue to consider the manuscript on its own merits. If the author’s explanation or a formal investigation demonstrates misconduct, the editor should promptly reject the paper. However, the US Office of Research Integrity advises that rejecting and returning to an author a manuscript associated with suspected or confirmed misconduct without confronting the possible misconduct issues is inappropriate because it may result in the work being published elsewhere.29

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