Ethical Guidelines


Authorship and Contributorship

All authors listed should have contributed to the manuscript in some manner.  And, everyone who contributed to the research and manuscript should be included as an author.  Criteria for authorship include:

  1. Contribution to conception, design, data collection, data analysis
  2. Contribution to writing, editing, revision of manuscript draft that was critical to intellectual content
  3. Approve of final draft and be willing to be publicly responsible and accountable for the contents of the manuscript


Human Studies and Subjects

Manuscripts that detail research involving human subjects must include a statement identifying the ethics committee that approved the study.  Participant anonymity must be preserved.


Human Remains

Research that involves human remains must contain an ethical statement of how permission was obtained to research and publish data on the remains.  Human remains are defined as whole or portions of deceased individuals that include the skeleton or other soft tissues.  Data derived from human remains are also subject to these ethical guidelines to include photographs, radiographs, 3D scans, casts, and/or isotopic data. If permissions could not be obtained (e.g., there is no identified descendent community) ethical treatment of remains need still be discussed.


Animal Studies

Manuscripts that detail research involving animal subjects must include a statement identifying the ethics committee that approved the study. 



When the term race or any other such similar term (e.g., population, ethnicity) are used, they must be defined for clarity.  Similarly, so should the use of the terms sex and gender.


Responsibilities of Editor and Editorial Board

The editor and the editorial board should:

  1. Ensure the quality of published materials
  2. Ensure the integrity of the academic record
  3. Meet the needs of the authors, reviewers, and readers
  4. Allow freedom of expression
  5. Strive to promote a collegial environment
  6. Maintain confidentiality
  7. Be willing to publish retractions, errata, announcements, and apologies when needed
  8. Recuse themselves when there is a conflict of interest.


Responsibilities of Reviewers

Reviewers should strive to:

  1. Provide constructive and objective feedback
  2. Maintain a collegial environment
  3. Avoid conflicts of interest
  4. Allow freedom of expression.


Responsibilities of Authors

Authors must:

  1. Follow the ethical guidelines of this journal and of their institutions
  2. Alert the editor if a retraction or correction are needed
  3. Ensure the originality of their work and not publish the same material in multiple journals.



The editor and the editorial board are obliged to investigate and act on cases of misconduct.  If misconduct is suspected, a response will be sought from the accused. Depending on the nature of the accusation and the response, the editor and editorial board may pursue a formal investigation with a relevant regulatory body (e.g., a professional organization or the accused's employment).  To investigate cases of misconduct, the flowcharts provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics will be followed as appropriate. In cases of verified misconduct, manuscripts can be rejected or retracted with an editorial statement.


For more on publication ethics here are additional resources:

Committee on Publication Ethics

Elsevier Publishing Ethics

Wiley Best Practice Guidelines on Research Integrity and Publishing Ethics