Bulletin of the Irish Mathematical Society

Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement


This document outlines the ethical principles which underlie everything that the Bulletin of the Irish Mathematical Society does. These principles are based on the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) Best Practise Guidelines for Journal Editors.

Editor Responsibilities

The editor of the IMS Bulletin is responsible for deciding what goes in the Bulletin; in particular, they decide which submitted papers should be published. In making these decisions, the editor may be guided by the editorial board, and the policies of the IMS, but they also must satisfy all legal requirements regarding libel, copyright, and plagiarism. The editor should act with integrity, never compromising on intellectual and ethical standards. In particular, the editor is committed to, editorial independence, inasmuch as possible, not allowing commercial considerations impact upon or influence editorial decisions.

The editor should pursue reviewer misconduct, as well as misconduct of other members of the editorial board. The editorial board should pursue editor misconduct. The editor should always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies when required.

The editor should consider submitted papers only on the grounds of their intellectual content. The editor should not discriminate against the author(s) of the paper based on any of the nine grounds of discrimination listed in the Irish Equal Status Acts 2000-2015, nor the citizenship or political philosophy of the author(s). The editor should treat a paper under consideration as confidential, except for necessary communications with the author(s), potential reviewers, reviewers, and the editorial board.

The editor will be guided by COPE’s Guidelines for Retracting Articles when considering retraction of, concern with, or corrections of papers that have been published in the Bulletin.

In particular:

  • The editor will publish corrections as separate items, and contain a reference to the original article, which remains online;
  • The editor will follow up alleged errors with the author, with a view to a resolution by correction, if necessary;
  • When it is necessary to retract an article, the retracted article is kept online overprinted with a notice.

Unpublished submitted papers must not be used in an editor’s own research without the informed and explicit consent of the author(s). The editor should not use information nor ideas gleaned in the peer review process for personal advantage.

The editor should manage a fair peer review process. The editor must recuse themselves whenever a conflict of interest arises. Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, competitive/collaborative/personal relationships between the editor and the author(s) themselves, or between the editor and the author(s) institution(s). In such cases, another member of the editorial board should take on the role of editor for the purposes of dealing with the submitted paper. The editor must maintain the anonymity of the reviewer.

The editor will hear appeals from authors to decisions of reviewers, consider them on their merits, take any action that seems necessary, and communicate the result back to the author.

The editor should act to protect all those incolved in publication from abusive communication from reviewers or authors.

Reviewer Responsibilities

Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions, and may also assist the author(s) in improving the paper.

A reviewer should act according to COPE’s ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. A reviewer should recuse themselves whenever a conflict of interest arises. Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, competitive/collaborative/personal relationships between the reviewer and the author(s) themselves, or between the reviewer and the author(s) institution(s). In such cases, another reviewer will be appointed by the editor.

A reviewer should notify the editor immediately if they are unable to review a submitted paper in a timely and competent manner.

A reviewer should treat a paper under consideration as confidential, except for necessary communications with the editor.

A reviewer should be objective, and support their observations with appropriate arguments. Personalised criticism of the author(s) must not appear in a review.

A reviewer should identify published work that has not been appropriately cited by the author(s), and request in their review that appropriate citations be made. If a reviewer believes that a paper under review has a substantial similarity to an existing published work(s), this should be communicated to the editor.

Author Responsibilities

In their submitted paper, the author(s) should present accurate work. Knowingly presenting inaccurate work constitutes unethical behaviour, and is unacceptable. The submitted paper should also include an objective discussion of its significance. The paper should contain sufficient detail and citation so that others can replicate their arguments. The paper should not publish false statements that harm the reputation of individuals, groups, or organisations.

The author(s) should ensure, except for appropriate citation, that the submitted paper consists of entirely original work. The author(s) should also cite publications and authors who have inspired/influenced the author(s) to work on the submitted paper.

Parallel submission of different versions of a paper to multiple journals is unethical behaviour, and unacceptable.

Authorship should be limited to those who have:

  • made a substantial contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the work; and
  • drafted or revised the submitted paper; and
  • gave approval to submit the paper; and
  • agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Those who do not meet all criteria can instead be acknowledged.

The corresponding author who submits the paper on behalf of the author(s) has responsibility for:

  • ensuring that all authors are listed as such, and no non-authors are listed as authors.
  • Manuscript correction and proof reading.
  • Acting on behalf of all co-authors in responding to queries from all sources post-publication, including questions relating to publishing ethics, reuse of content, or the availability of data, materials, resources, etc.
  • The author(s) should disclose in the submitted paper both their institution(s) as well as any sources of financial support for the project.

    If an author(s) discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their paper published in the Bulletin, it is their responsibility to promptly communicate this to the editor, and cooperate with them to either retract the paper, or publish an erratum/correction as necessary.

    In cases of alleged or proven misconduct, the editor and the editorial board will take all appropriate measures, including retraction of the affected work.

    Where applicable, authors should maintain accurate records of supporting evidence necessary to allow others to understand, verify, and replicate new findings, and to supply or provide access to this supporting evidence, on reasonable request. Where appropriate, authors should deposit evidence in a suitable repository or storage location, for sharing and further use by others.

  • Last modified:  08 December 2021 (09:58)
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