Publication Ethics

Ethical standards for publication exist to ensure high-quality scientific publications, public trust in scientific findings, and that people receive credit for their ideas. 

Data fabrication and falsification:

Data fabrication means the researcher did not actually do the study but faked the data. Data falsification means the researcher did the experiment, but then changed some of the data. The authors of submitted manuscripts or published articles that are found to have fabricated or falsified the results, including the manipulation of images, may incur sanctions, and published articles may be retracted.

Plagiarism:

Taking the ideas and work of other scientists without giving them credit is unfair and dishonest. Copying even one sentence from someone else’s manuscript, or even one of your own that has previously been published, without proper citation, is considered plagiarism—use your own words instead. Manuscripts that are found to have been plagiarized from a manuscript by other authors, whether published or unpublished, will be rejected and the authors may incur sanctions. Any published articles may need to be corrected or retracted.

Multiple submissions:

It is unethical to submit the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time. Doing this wastes the time of editors and peer reviewers, and can damage the reputation of the authors and the journals if published in more than one journal as the later publication will have to be retracted. 

Redundant publications:

This means publishing many very similar manuscripts based on the same experiment. Combining your results into one very robust paper is more likely to be of interest to a selective journal. Duplicate publication of the same, or a very similar, article may result in the retraction of the later article and the authors may incur sanctions.

Improper author contribution or attribution:

All listed authors must have made a significant scientific contribution to the research in the manuscript and approved all its claims. Don’t forget to list everyone who made a significant scientific contribution, including students and laboratory technicians. Do not “gift” authorship to those who did not contribute to the paper. If you are caught your manuscript may be rejected without review and your institution will be informed.

Submissions by anyone other than one of the authors will not be considered.

Citation manipulation

Authors whose submitted manuscripts are found to include citations whose primary purpose is to increase the number of citations to a given author’s work, or to articles published in a particular journal, may incur sanctions. Editors and reviewers must not ask authors to include references merely to increase citations to their own or an associate’s work, to the journal, or to another journal they are associated with.

Editors and Reviewers

Editors and reviewers should decline to be involved with a submission when they

  • Have a recent publication or current submission with any author
  • Collaborate or recently collaborated with any author
  • Have a close personal connection to any author
  • Have a financial interest in the subject of the work
  • Feel unable to be objective

Editors and reviewers must declare if they have previously discussed the manuscript with the authors.

Sanctions

If NSPS becomes aware of breaches of our publication ethics policies, whether or not the breach occurred in a journal published by NSPS, the following sanctions may be applied across the NSPS journals:

  • Rejection of the manuscript and any other manuscripts submitted by the author(s).
  • Not allowing submission for 1–3 years.
  • A prohibition from acting as an editor or reviewer.

NSPS may apply additional sanctions for severe ethical violations.

Investigations

Suspected breaches of our publication ethics policies, either before and after publication, as well as concerns about research ethics, should be reported to Editor-in-Chief (editor-in-chief@journal.nsps.org.ng) or the President, Nigerian Society of Physical Sciences (president@nsps.org.ng).

Corrections and retractions

When errors are identified in published articles, the publisher will consider what action is required and may consult the editors and the authors’ institution(s).

Errors by the authors may be corrected by a corrigendum and errors by the publisher by an erratum.

If there are errors that significantly affect the conclusions or there is evidence of misconduct, this may require retraction or an expression of concern following the COPE Retraction Guidelines.