The editors-in-chief of major medical journals in our specialty have reached an agreement intended to uphold high standards of ethical behavior on the part of our contributing authors. Although it represents only a tiny fraction of our submissions, each year we encounter a significant number of ethical lapses, sometimes minor, but occasionally serious in nature. These include plagiarism, duplicate publication,1-5 undisclosed conflicts of interest,6,7 inappropriate authorship,8,9 breaches in ethical research conduct including informed consent, and even outright scientific fraud. Heretofore, it was possible for an author who has engaged in unethical practices to simply resubmit his or her work to another specialty journal where the questionable practices might go undetected.
Benninger MS, Jackler RK, Johns MME, et al. Consortium of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Journals to Collaborate in Maintenance of High Ethical Standards. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(5):381–382. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.5.381
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