IARSA seeks to help Editors of Journals and Conference Proceedings (e.g., Conference Programme Chairs) deal with problems of scholarly misconduct, especially plagiarism (including self-plagiarism and simultaneous or duplicate submission).  Editors may also encounter scholarly misconduct among editors and reviewers, and in those circumstances we urge editors to involve the Publication and Research Committee (PRC) quickly.

Common Principles

Because the timing pressures faced by journal editors and proceedings editors are so different, there are some differences in the processes that are recommended.  But common principles for both processes include:

  • Fair play for everyone: Just as the peer reviewing process must be fair, so too must the process for dealing with charges of scholarly misconduct.
  • Disclosure of conflict of interest: Editors are responsible for disclosing their own conflicts of interest and finding substitutes to handle situations where they have a conflict of interest. If you were involved in accepting either the original or the plagiarized article, appoint an alternative or ask the Chairman or his/her Vice to do so.
  • Confidentiality: Keep identities confidential unless and until it is totally impractical to do otherwise. Be careful when consulting with colleagues that confidentiality is maintained.
  • Cooperation in investigations: If another journal editor, another publisher, or any institution contacts you for help in resolving a charge of scholarly misconduct, it is your obligation to assist them in all haste.
  • Swift correction of the record, if necessary: If the PRC asks you to correct the publication record because scholarly misconduct has been determined, please do so in all haste. Remember that any decision to remove a paper from the digital library must come from the PRC and/or the IIERJ Editor-in-Chief, and should not be done just because the author requests it.
  • Maintain organizational memory: The Chair of the PRC will keep records of all cases of misconduct, both those that have been formally referred to the PRC by the IIERJ Editor-in-Chief, as well as cases that have been resolved by IIERJ or Proceedings editor. These records will be kept in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of all parties involved. No names or other details will be divulged outside the PRC, unless the case requires more formal action IIERJ Editor-in-Chief.

Much scholarly misconduct is the result of poor training.  Many authors, when confronted with a charge of misconduct, will withdraw the paper.  If the author has learned a lesson, that may be a satisfactory outcome. If there are several authors and one is senior enough to insure that training gaps are filled, that might be an even better outcome.  But if the paper simply gets submitted elsewhere, the editor has simply handed on the problem to the next editor. The IIERJ Editor-in-Chief’s judgment is paramount here. If you believe for any reason that stronger remedies than you can deliver are needed, you should turn the case over to the IIERJ Editor-in-Chief, who will forward it to the PRC if deemed necessary.

For one thing, the PRC has legal protections that IIERJ Editor-in-Chief doesn’t have.  For another thing, the PRC has more remedies at their disposal.  Thus, an IIERJ Editor-in-Chief’s job is to marshal as many facts as possible, deal quickly and fairly with situations where the authors have simply made a mistake and/or are sufficiently contrite, and turn the remaining cases over to the PRC. When you forward a case to the IIERJ Editor-in-Chief, please copy the Chair of the PRC in your email