A formal Ethics Statement was approved for the journal Limnology and Oceanography by the ASLO Board on June 7, 1998. A comparable policy is considered to apply to Limnology and Oceanography: Methods and is shown below.
1. The Editor and Associate Editors have an obligation to:
1.1. Ensure objective and critical evaluation of each manuscript;
1.2. Ensure timely review of each manuscript;
1.3. Maintain confidentiality of the peer review process;
1.4. Evaluate potential conflicts of interest;
1.5. Respond to questions of authors and referees; and
1.6. Take responsibility for the final decision.
2. In addition, the Editor is responsible for:
2.1. Referring allegations of misconduct to the ASLO Professional Ethics Committee; and
2.2. Addressing complaints about Associate Editors.
3. Authors should be aware of the following policies concerning the submission of manuscripts to Limnology and Oceanography: Methods (the "Journal"):
3.1. The falsification and/or fabrication of data and/or results, plagiarism, and duplication of published articles without proper citation will not be tolerated. However, the Journal encourages publication of any analysis of data and results from archival reports and theses.
3.2. Only individuals who have made substantial contributions to the research should be included as co-authors and individuals that have not contributed should not be listed as co-authors. Co-authors should include all individuals who contributed intellectually to the design of the research, collection of data, analysis of data, and/or the writing of the manuscript. Individuals who have contributed less substantially should be thanked in the acknowledgments for their assistance.
3.2.1. The Journal will hold all co-authors accountable with the lead author for all aspects of the paper in their area of expertise. Co-authors have an opportunity to withdraw from a paper at any time prior to publication.
3.2.2. Each co-author is responsible for confirming to the lead author her or his willingness to be named as an author prior to initial submission and again when the paper is resubmitted following revision.
3.3. The Journal expects sufficient reporting of research results and procedures to permit critical evaluation and replication. Authors should retain all primary data, research records, analysis and results for at least 5 years after publication and make them available to qualified scientists on request.
3.4. The Journal requires written acknowledgment at the time of submission of financial support and other contributions to the research being reported. The editors reserve the right to decide the extent to which that information shall be disclosed to the readers.
3.4.1. Authors also must disclose to the editors if they have financial and managerial relationships with commercial entities whose products or processes figure prominently in the research. Relationships to be disclosed include: employment or consulting arrangements; stock ownership, service on the board of directors or on an advisory committee; receipt of honoraria, research support, patent royalties or licensing fees; or a close familial relationship with someone who has a disclosable relationship of the kind just described. Acknowledgments of financial and material support, which should specify the nature of the support and relationships that may pose a conflict of interest, should be included in the acknowledgments section of the manuscript.
3.5. The Journal will not knowingly publish research that involves violations by the authors of applicable laws, ethical norms, professional guidelines or industry standards. Examples of such misconduct include: mistreatment of animals, unauthorized release of genetically engineered organisms, or unauthorized major perturbations to the environment (i.e. introduction of exotic species).
3.6. The Journal requires that all reviewers disclose potential conflicts of interest, including close associations with an author, and maintain the confidentiality of all information contained in the manuscript under review.
3.6.1. Editors, peer reviewers, and Journal staff must not disclose any information from a manuscript, except to individuals involved in editorial review, and must not use information contained in unpublished manuscripts to further their own research or financial interests.
4. Responding to possible research misconduct, particularly "falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism" in papers submitted to Limnology and Oceanography: Methods.
Allegations or suggestions of research misconduct may arise during the review process or after publication. Such allegations may involve falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, or violation of any other aspects of ASLO policy. To assure that the scientific and educational values of Limnology and Oceanography: Methods remain intact and to protect the integrity of the scientific literature, the Editor will refer all allegations of research misconduct to the ASLO Professional Ethics Committee. The Committee will review the allegation in a confidential and timely manner and based upon their review will refer the allegation to the institution administratively responsible for the research in question. A finding of misconduct based on an institutional or governmental investigation will be handled as described below.
4.1. If the allegations are not proven, the President of ASLO will provide letters confirming this finding to editorial staff, outside reviewers, and others who were aware of the allegations.
4.2. If there is a finding of misconduct, the submitted manuscript will be rejected or, if the paper has been published, a retraction or correction of the article, with explanation, will be published in the Journal.
4.3. If there is a finding of misconduct, the author(s) responsible may be suspended from consideration for publication and excluded from service as a reviewer for a period of time, or indefinitely, at the discretion of the Professional Ethics Committee. Reinstatement following indefinite exclusion requires the approval of the Professional Ethics Committee and the President of ASLO.
Questions about the application of these policies to particular circumstances should be addressed to the ASLO Professional Ethics Committee.
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