The editor of a journal has complete responsibility and authority to accept a submitted paper for publication or to reject it. The editor may confer with associate editors or reviewers for an evaluation to use in making this decision.
An editor should give prompt and unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors, and respecting the intellectual independence of the authors. Situations that may lead to real or perceived conflicts of interest should be avoided.
The editor and the editorial staff should not disclose any information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than reviewers and potential reviewers. Unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author.
An editor presented with convincing evidence that the substance or conclusions of a published paper are erroneous should promote the publication of a correction or retraction.
Review by independent scientists provides advice to editors of scientific journals concerning the publication of research results. It is an essential component of the scientific enterprise, and all scientists have an obligation to participate in the process.
Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for competitive gain. Reviewers must disclose conflicts of interest resulting from direct competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with any of the authors, and avoid cases in which such conflicts preclude an objective evaluation.
Reviewers should judge objectively the quality of the research reported and respect the intellectual independence of the authors. In no case is personal criticism appropriate. Reviewers should explain and support their judgments in such a way that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments.
Reviewers should point out relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor’s attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or manuscript submitted concurrently to another journal.
A reviewer should treat a manuscript sent for review as a confidential document. It should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought; in that event, the identities of those consulted should be disclosed to the editor.
Reviewers should not use or disclose unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in a manuscript under consideration, except with the consent of the author.