Part II: Writing and Submitting Your Manuscript
Wading Through the Swamp
Other Ethical Pitfalls
Several websites provide ethics resources and case studies of ethical dilemmas in scholarly publishing. These include the World Association of Medical Editors and the Committee on Publication Ethics. Issues addressed include conflicts of interest, data manipulation, ethical treatment of human research subjects, and attribution of authorship.
Conflicts of interest arise when authors, editors, or reviewers "have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgements on what is published."11 For example, an author may be employed by a company that stands to gain from positive research results, or a reviewer may have strongly held personal beliefs that hinder him or her from providing an unbiased review of a particular study.
An author needs to disclose any conflicts of interest when submitting a manuscript. Some journals require a signed statement as part of the submission process.
11 Committee on Publication Ethics, Guidelines on Good Publication Practice, http://medind.nic.in/ibi/t05/i3/ibit05i3p199.pdf (18 April 2013).