AGU has policies and guidelines covering many aspects of the scientific process. Today I’d like to tell you about one of these: ethical guidelines for authors. The main page on this topic is here, a page which contains a link to the larger PDF document on professional ethics and the broader-scope ethics policy of AGU.
The main point of the page is to give the Top 12 list of ethics expectations for authors of papers in AGU journals. Here are the highlights (my paraphrases of the full text):
- Give an accurate account of the research and its significance
- Give enough information for others to repeat the work
- Cite prior work that’s essential for understanding the investigation
- Be complete in documenting the methodology, including assumptions and uncertainties
- Follow the appropriate laws governing ethics of work with human or animal subjects
- Always provide appropriate citation instead of plagiarizing
- Keep the paper focused by avoid the LPU (Least Publishable Unit)
- Personal criticism is unacceptable
- Report to the Editor any changes made after acceptance
- The coauthor list should include everyone that contributed to the study, but only those that contributed; all coauthors share responsibility for the quality and integrity of the work
- Reveal to the Editor any potential conflicts of interest regarding authors and list all funding sources in the acknowledgments
- The corresponding author should ensure that all coauthors are aware of and approve of the submission (and revision submissions)
Okay, so maybe point 5 isn’t fully relevant to space physics research, but the rest of them are definitely applicable to our field. Please follow them when submitting any manuscript, whether to JGR Space Physics or to another journal.
The webpage above also has a section on “Avoiding Plagiarism.” This includes copying text verbatim out of your own published papers. A sentence here or there is not a problem, but big chunks of paragraphs are unacceptable. Your paper will be sent back to you to have these section rewritten.