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Professional/Education/Science Policies

Policy number Policy name Policy date Sunset date
PP 16-C Medical Physics and JACMP Policies and Procedures for Reviewing and Adjudicating Individual Cases of Alleged Violations of Standards for Scientific Integrity and Conduct 11/25/2018 12/31/2023
Policy source
November 25, 2018 Board Meeting
Policy text
  1. RATIONALE AND BACKGROUND

This report was initially written in response to charges approved by the Medical Physics Editorial Board in 2015, which were subsequently endorsed by JACMP in 2018. This report was drafted by the Scientific Integrity Subcommittee (SISC) of the Medical Physics Editorial Board, whose membership was expanded in 2018 to include representation from JACMP leadership.

SISC Charge #2 states:

“Develop a written, comprehensive policy for scientific integrity standards specific to Medical Physics and its readership, and ensure such policy is disseminated to authors and reviewers.”

SISC Charge #3 states:

“Devise a process for review and adjudication of individual cases of alleged scientific integrity infractions”

In support of these charges, a policy has been prepared to define scientific integrity standards, establish processes for review and adjudication of individual cases of alleged scientific integrity infractions, and to disseminate the requirements of this policy to authors of Medical Physics and JACMP manuscripts and to participants in the Medical Physics and JACMP editorial board and manuscript review process.

Aspects of this policy have been adopted in part or directly from the following references:

  • 2011 iThenticate®, “White paper: The ethics of self-plagiarism,” www.ithenticate.com Oakland, CA.
  • D. Scott-Lichter and the Editorial Policy Committee, Council of Science Editors, “CSE’s White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications,” 2012 Update. 3rd Revised Edition. Wheat Ridge, CO.
  • 2013 Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). First published 2006, Revised May 2011.
  • International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals,” www.icmje.org Updated December 2014.
  • AAPM policy PP 16-B (approved 11/29/2012) on Plagiarism in AAPM Journals:

http://www.aapm.org/org/policies/details.asp?id=329&type=PP

  • AP 102-B (approved 7/28/17) on Editorial Conflict of Interest Policy:

https://www.aapm.org/org/policies/details.asp?id=424&type=AP

Further, Bill Hendee (editor-in-chief emeritus of Medical Physics) published an editorial specific to plagiarism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2830384

Upon receiving all pertinent approvals, this policy is meant to supersede the AAPM policy PP 16-B on Plagiarism in AAPM Journals, specifically Medical Physics and JACMP.

  1. DEFINITIONS

Scientific integrity is defined as a truthful quality of a publication or truthful actions of authors. It is expected that manuscripts submitted to Medical Physics and JACMP will exhibit scientific integrity, and that the authors of such manuscripts will be truthful in their account of the manuscript contents. Examples of lapses in scientific integrity are given below.

Plagiarism is a fraudulent activity (literary theft) and can occur when the authors of a manuscript fail to inform the journal that another manuscript or publication (either by the authors or by others) contains major redundancy with the considered manuscript. Thus, plagiarism may be categorized as self plagiarism or plagiarism of others’ work.

Contributor errors occur when manuscript authors and their affiliations (location of research and/or writing) are inappropriately excluded, included, or described. This results in an untruthful account of the manuscript contributors. The likelihood of this occurring has diminished since 2016 due to a new practice of notifying all coauthors upon receipt of a manuscript. It is appropriate for authors to be included on a manuscript if they:

  • have contributed substantially to any of the conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data,
  • were directly involved in the drafting or revising of the publication, and
  • have given final approval of the version to be submitted for review.

Conflict-of-interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise, or have the appearance of compromising, an author’s judgment in conducting or reporting research. In the context of scientific publishing, Editors, Associate Editors, and referees can have conflicts-of-interest with respect to their roles in the peer-review process. Often, but not always, disclosing conflicts of interest is sufficient management.

Conflict-of-interest errors are situations in which an actual or apparent conflict of interest is not properly managed. A necessary but not always sufficient component of proper management is disclosure of all relevant conflicts of interest. Disclosure of all relevant conflicts-of-interest is necessary but is not always sufficient for proper management of conflicts-of-interest.

Data fabrication is the act of making up data and recording or reporting these data.

Data falsification is the act of manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the manuscript or paper.

  1. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

Lapses in scientific integrity may have varying severity. A low-level example is plagiarism (or self-plagiarism) such as the copying of published materials without attribution. This also includes Proceedings papers, which by editorial policy, are allowed to have significant overlap with Medical Physics and JACMP submissions as long as proper credit is given and cited for the Proceedings. A medium-level example would be plagiarism (or self-plagiarism) without attribution, with massive copying of previously published materials (such as copying whole paragraphs, figures or tables). A high-level example would be at least a 2nd offense of the medium-level, or the unacknowledged copying of data or results from other published materials. This high-level lapse of scientific integrity would also include documented data fabrication or data falsification. When scientific misconduct (e.g., data falsification, plagiarism, authorship dispute) is reported following publication of a paper, the Editor (in consultation with SISC) may require publication of an erratum or retraction of the paper, in addition to the author-specific actions listed below.

Lapses in scientific integrity by authors discovered during manuscript review are subject to the following consequences, based on severity score:

low                  reject with opportunity to resubmit manuscript following evaluation of the authors’ response

medium           reject outright with no chance for resubmission of that manuscript

high                 reject outright, place a note in the author database, and possibly contact the authors' employer and relevant research sponsors (if applicable) and the AAPM Ethics Committee (if any of the authors are AAPM members).

Lapses in scientific integrity by authors discovered after publication of the paper in question are subject to the following consequences, based on severity score

low                  personal note of chastisement from the Editor

medium           erratum or published apology

high                 retraction in whole or in part of the fully published or Early View paper,

Lapses in scientific integrity by journal reviewers, AEs, and Editors during the peer-review process are less common and may be identified by the authors or editors. Most common are conflicts-of-interest to reject competitor’s work or undue promotion of their own work. A low-level example would be failure to disclose an apparent COI. A high-level example would be intentional violation of reviewer or AE anonymity, or intentionally submitting a biased review in service of financial or personal interests that unfairly promotes or demotes a paper. Another high-level example would be submitting a biased review with the intent of suppressing a paper perceived to be inimical to the reviewer’s financial or academic interests. In addition, Editors must scrupulously avoid the appearance of COI in selecting articles for honors (e.g., cover art, AAPM Awards nomination, marketing, or Editors’ choice) as outlined in AAPM Administrative Policy AP-102-B.

If it is the reviewer’s first offense and a relatively minor infraction, it would qualify as the low category where the reviewer will be informed of the lapse, asked to provide an explanation for his or her behavior, given a warning, and removed from any subsequent review of the pertinent manuscript. If the reviewer has previously demonstrated a lapse of scientific integrity or intentionally compromised the scientific peer-review process, this could qualify as the medium category. All actions taken against a reviewer for scientific integrity violations will be clearly communicated to the individual in question. Based on the intensity of the lapse of scientific integrity, such actions can include removal from a particular manuscript, banning the individual from all peer review activities (either permanently or for a specified interval), informing the reviewer’s employer, and/or referral to the AAPM Ethics Committee (if she or he is an AAPM member).

Lapses in scientific integrity by reviewers are subject to the following consequences based on severity score:

low                  removal as a reviewer or AE for a specific Medical Physics and JACMP manuscript or author group, or following review by an Editor, retroactive declaration of any undisclosed COI

medium           removal as a reviewer or AE for all Medical Physics and JACMP manuscripts

high                 removal as a reviewer or AE for all Medical Physics and JACMP manuscripts, and forward to the AAPM Ethics Committee (if an AAPM member) or contact the reviewer’s institution.

Similarly, lapses in scientific integrity by anyone on the Editorial Board or Board of Associate Editors can result in a hearing by SISC (with 50% majority participation), and expulsion from the editorial board with disciplinary actions similar to those mentioned above for reviewers.

All lapses in scientific integrity will be recorded in a database maintained by SISC for at least 7 years.

AAPM counsel will review proposed actions that involve any external interactions (e.g., contacting an employer) beyond disposition (e.g., rejection or retraction) of an individual article.

  1. PROCESS AND PROCEDURES

Lapses in scientific integrity by authors may be identified either before or after a manuscript is published.

4.1. Stages in peer-review/production workflows where lapses can be detected

There are six stages in manuscript processing when lapses in scientific integrity by authors may be identified. These stages include:

  1. during the quality control (QC) stage performed by the journal managing editor preceding assignment to an editor,
  2. by the editor when considering a manuscript for review and identifying an associate editor,
  3. by the associate editor when considering a manuscript for review and identifying reviewers,
  4. by the reviewers when reviewing a manuscript for consideration for publishing in the journal,
  5. by the production team after a manuscript has gone through the review process, been accepted for publication, and is being typeset for proof, and
  6. by readers or colleagues of the authors following publication of a paper. 

Regardless of where in the workflow a potential lapse of scientific integrity is discovered or by whom, the process for managing such incidents is the same. The potential lapse must be communicated to the Editor of record, the Editor who is managing (stages 1-4) or had managed the peer review process (stages 5-6) of the manuscript in question who is responsible for initial investigation and disposition of the incident. For low- and medium-level potential lapses, the Editor investigates the incident to determine whether there is, in fact, an actual lapse. This may involve communication with the authors (for plagiarism) or other individuals (for authorship disputes or accusations of data fabrication/falsification or biased reviews). As noted above, such cases are often managed by the Editor chastising the authors and requesting a corrected or revised manuscript. For borderline medium/high level infractions, manuscript rejection without the right of appeal is often appropriate. In such cases, the Editor must copy the SISC Chair on all relevant correspondence so that a record of the offense can be created and maintained.

Alternatively, the Editor can request that the SISC evaluate the manuscript to support or invalidate the determination of a lapse in scientific integrity. Via a consultation session (or other confidential electronic means of communicating), the SISC will evaluate the manuscript and vote within 60 days of being notified of the potential infraction (with the vote determined by a simple majority of all voting members). If SISC finds that scientific misconduct has not occurred, manuscripts in stages 1-4, the peer review process may proceed as normal. If it is determined that there was a lapse in scientific integrity, the manuscript will be rejected using standardized language (with or without the opportunity to amend the manuscript) along with text indicating the SISC findings. The authors are allowed to appeal the finding of scientific misconduct. The Editor should request formal involvement of SISC for all cases of scientific misconduct where a disciplinary action stronger than rejection of the manuscript in question is contemplated. This includes banning the authors from submitting manuscripts to the Journal, retraction of a published article (be it fully published or Early View), involving an authors’ employer or supervisor, involving the AAPM Ethics Committee, or demanding a public expression of apology.

4.2. Plagiarism

Potential plagiarism detected in preproduction stages 1-4 is the most common form of scientific misconduct. The main tool for detecting plagiarism is CrossCheck/iThenticate software which the Managing Editor uses as a quality check to screen all new submissions to the Journal for plagiarism. The Managing Editor will flag all manuscripts with a CrossCheck score > 10% as a threshold indicating potentially substantial overlap of the manuscript with previously published materials may exist. The Editor will then review the iThenticate report in detail as the CrossCheck score alone is not diagnostic for plagiarism. For example, a manuscript may have a 20% CrossCheck score because of flagging numerous small-strings of text from many different publications, erroneously including references in the comparison scope, or a very short manuscript, or because whole paragraphs were lifted from a published work. Nor is CrossCheck able to determine whether the source of duplicated material was properly credited or cited. It is common for text in Methods sections to be established and not to differ substantially for certain research topics. On the other hand, even a single figure (or figure caption) or a single paragraph that overlaps published content could be grounds for plagiarism, can trigger a low CrossCheck score. In addition, there are many special cases where duplication of or overlap with an author’s prior publications is reasonable, e.g., overlap with Annual Meeting abstracts and dissertations; and substantive expansions of proceedings papers and Medical Physics Letters. Generally, acknowledgement of these prior sources and generous use of citations is sufficient to avoid the charge of self-plagiarism. Duplication of large segments of text and whole figures or tables from authors’ prior publication may require permission from the publisher of the prior work. A nominal threshold of 100 words may be acceptable. Editors typically manage low- to medium-level lapses, e.g., failure to cite or declare prior publication of an abstract or proceedings, through the EJP manuscript correction process; rejecting the paper with resubmission allowed; or addressing the lapse during the revision process. SISC should be informed of all such lapses and Editor-initiated remediations.

While rare, more egregious incidents of plagiarism do occur. Authors have concealed a previously accepted article having substantive overlap with an accepted and published submission so that the review team would not criticize it as a duplicate publication. In such a case, retraction should be considered as a potential punitive measure. Formal involvement of SISC is indicated if evidence supports such a medium or high level of plagiarism in a published paper. The editor will contact the accused author(s), the author(s) whose work may have been plagiarized, and the copyright holder of the original material if different from the author(s). These communications should include the alleged plagiarizing language, together with a copy of the original and the submitted paper, and the CrossCheck report. This information should be submitted to SISC for consideration. If all parties agree that plagiarism (whether intentional or unintentional) has occurred and SISC concurs that the severity of the infraction is sufficient, one potential remedy is a written letter of apology to be sent promptly by the offending author(s) to the editor, the author(s), and copyright holder of the plagiarized work. Upon receipt of this apology letter, the editor-in-chief shall place a Notice of Plagiarism in the online version of the journal that contains the offending publication, and (if possible) in the next available printed version of the journal. This Notice of Plagiarism shall identify the offending publication, the exact text that was plagiarized, and the original publication from where the plagiarized text was extracted. Further, the offending author(s) shall agree in writing that no further dissemination of the offending publication shall occur without it being accompanied by the Notice of Plagiarism. Some authors may not issue an apology. Another option is retraction of the paper in question. This option should be reserved for cases in which research findings and data were (self)-plagiarized to the extent that the scientific value of the Medical Physics or JACMP paper is called into question. An example communication indicating and mitigating the plagiarism of others’ work is given in http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1782675

If the accused author(s) deny that plagiarism has occurred, the written accusation and all supporting materials shall be referred to SISC. The accused author(s) shall be encouraged by the editor to submit any additional information that may be relevant to defend against the accusation. Further, the accused author(s) may request in writing (and be granted) a telephone conference call (having a majority presence or SISC members) with the understanding that expenses of the accused author(s) related to the hearing shall be borne by the accused author(s). If SISC rules by majority vote in support of the accusation of plagiarism, the process described above where plagiarism is admitted shall be instituted, with or without the authors’ participation. Further, SISC shall decide whether the plagiarism is sufficiently egregious to warrant referral to the AAPM Ethics Committee if the person(s) found guilty are AAPM member(s). If SISC rules against the accusation, a letter so stating this ruling shall be provided to the accuser, the accused author(s), the author(s) of the original work, and the copyright holder if different from the author(s). Of course, it is possible that the other journal would arrive at a different conclusion, and the possibility for a competing decision should be respected.

4.3. Lapses of Scientific Integrity other than Plagiarism

Other forms of scientific misconduct that have been encountered include submitting manuscripts with prominent co-authors without their knowledge, excluding contributors from the author list, and fabrication or falsification of data. Should this potential misconduct be discovered in pre-publication stages 1-4, the procedures outlined above for plagiarism should be followed. Upon discovery receipt of a written allegation of a potential lapse in scientific integrity in a published Medical Physics or JACMP paper, the Editor will contact the accused author(s) and any related parties. Included in the correspondence shall be the alleged infraction and any supporting materials. If all parties agree that a lapse in scientific integrity (whether intentional or unintentional) has occurred, a written letter of apology shall be sent promptly by the offending author(s) to the Editor and any related parties. Upon receipt of this apology letter, the Editors shall (depending on the nature of the infraction) request an erratum from the author(s). The erratum shall identify the offending publication and the precise nature of the scientific integrity infraction. Further, the offending author(s) shall agree in writing that no further dissemination of the offending publication shall occur without it being accompanied by the Erratum. In a situation where scientific integrity lapse calls into question the scientific value of the paper, full retraction should be considered. If the accused author(s) denies the lapse in scientific integrity, the appeal process in Section 4.1 for post-publication plagiarism incidents should be followed.

  1. POLICY DISSEMINATION

This policy will be posted on the Medical Physics and JACMP websites, and will be provided to all parties (editorial board members and reviewers) participating in the review processes through a link in the correspondence for invitation to participate. The journal instructions to authors will also reference this policy:

http://www.medphys.org/NewInstructions.asp

https://aapm.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15269914

Appendix A: Suggested Standardized Language

Following are standardized responses to communicate with authors and reviewers the concerns for lapses in scientific integrity that are rated as low- or medium-level severity (highly-rated lapses will require customized letters). The standardized responses below should be modified as necessary for an individual case. For brevity, the greetings are included only in the first letter (Section A.1.1.1) below.

A.1. AUTHOR(S)

A.1.1. Author(s): First offense

A.1.1.1. Plagiarism of others’ text identified during the stage of manuscript QC

Dear Dr. XXX,

Your manuscript entitled,

“XXX”

has been checked with our CrossCheck plagiarism detection software and was found to have XX% of its words in common with other papers including:

XX% overlap (XXX words) in common with “Title,” J. Vol. X, pp. X-X (20XX). NOT REFERENCED

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript. However, it must be rewritten to be in your own words, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

Finally, the topic of your manuscript may be more appropriate for a different journal such as J.XXX. You should of course correct the manuscript for plagiarism issues before submission to these or any other journals.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at medphys@wiley.com (or jacmpeditorial@wiley.com)?

Sincerely,

XXX, Editors of Medical Physics or JACMP Editors

AAPM

1631 Prince Street

Alexandria, VA  22314

A.1.1.2. Plagiarism of others’ data

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined to include data from the following unreferenced paper(s):

“Title,” J. Vol. X, pp. X-X (20XX). NOT REFERENCED

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript. However, it must be rewritten to clarify the origin of all data, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

A.1.1.3. Contribution errors

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that some authors listed below are inappropriately included/excluded:

coauthor #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript. However, it must be rewritten to accurately account for the manuscript contributors, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

A.1.1.4. Conflicts-of-interest

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that the following conflicts of interest listed below are inappropriately included/excluded:

conflict of interest #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript. However, it must be rewritten to accurately account for all conflicts of interest, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

A.1.1.5. Data fabrication

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that data fabrication has occurred based on the following evidence:

evidence #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript if it makes sense given any available truthful data. However, it must be rewritten to accurately clarify the origin of all data, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

A.1.1.6. Data falsification

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that data falsification has occurred based on the following evidence:

evidence #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript.

As it is your first offense, we would consider submission of a new manuscript if it makes sense given any available truthful data. However, it must be rewritten to accurately clarify the origin of all data, and include a letter of response referencing your current manuscript (MS# 18-XXXX) and the reject decision.

A.1.2. Author(s): Second or further offense

A.1.2.1. Plagiarism of others’ text identified during the stage of manuscript QC

has been checked with our CrossCheck plagiarism detection software and was found to have XX% of its words in common with other papers including:

XX% overlap (XXX words) in common with “Title,” J. Vol. X, pp. X-X (20XX). NOT REFERENCED

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider your submission of a new manuscript.

A.1.2.2. Plagiarism of others’ data

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined to include data in the following unreferenced paper(s):

“Title,” J. Vol. X, pp. X-X (20XX). NOT REFERENCED

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider submission of a new manuscript.

A.1.2.3. Contribution errors

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that some authors listed below are inappropriately included/excluded:

coauthor #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider submission of a new manuscript.

A.1.2.4. Conflicts-of-interest

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that the following conflicts of interest listed below are inappropriately included/excluded:

conflict of interest #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider submission of a new manuscript.

A.1.2.5. Data fabrication

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that data fabrication has occurred based on the following evidence:

evidence #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider submission of a new manuscript.

A.1.2.6. Data falsification

has been examined during the review process, and it has been determined that data falsification has occurred based on the following evidence:

evidence #1, etc.

We therefore must reject your manuscript. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider submission of a new manuscript.

A.2. REVIEWER

A.2.1. Reviewer: First offense

A.2.1.1. Undue rejection of others’ work

Dear Dr. XXX,

You were recently invited to serve as reviewer for the manuscript (18-XXXX) entitled:

“XXX”

It has been determined that you have suppressed the manuscript for your benefit without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. This qualifies as a lapse of scientific integrity, and consequently, you have been removed from any subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we still will consider you to serve as a reviewer in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.2.1.2. Undue promotion of a reviewer’s work

It has been determined that you have promoted your own work without benefit to the author(s) or readership, and without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. This qualifies as a lapse of scientific integrity, and consequently, you have been removed from any subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we still will consider you to serve as a reviewer in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.2.1.3. Undue promotion of the authors’ work

It has been determined that you have promoted this manuscript to benefit the author(s) without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. This qualifies as a lapse of scientific integrity, and consequently, you have been removed from any subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we still will consider you to serve as a reviewer in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.2.2. Reviewer: Second or further offense

A.2.2.1. Undue rejection of others’ work or promotion of a reviewer’s work

It has been determined that you suppressed the manuscript for your benefit without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as a reviewer for our journal.

A.2.2.2. Undue promotion of a reviewer’s work

It has been determined that you have promoted your own work without benefit to the author(s) or readership, and without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as a reviewer for our journal.

A.2.2.3. Undue promotion of the authors’ work

It has been determined that you have promoted this manuscript to benefit the author(s) without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as a reviewer for our journal.

A.3. ASSOCIATE EDITOR

A.3.1. AE: First offense

A.3.1.1. Undue rejection of others’ work

Dear Dr. XXX,

You were recently invited to serve as AE for the manuscript (18-XXXX) entitled,

“XXX”

It has been determined that you suppressed the manuscript for your benefit without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. Consequently, you have been removed from subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we may consider you to serve as AE in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.3.1.2. Undue promotion of AE’s work

It has been determined that you have promoted your own work without benefit to the author(s) or readership, and without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. This qualifies as a lapse of scientific integrity, and consequently you have been removed from any subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we still will consider you to serve as AE in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.3.1.3. Undue promotion of the authors’ work

It has been determined that you have promoted this manuscript to benefit the author(s) without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. This qualifies as a lapse of scientific integrity, and consequently, you have been removed from any subsequent review of this manuscript. You may appeal this decision. As it is your first offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we still will consider you to serve as AE in the future for other manuscripts in which you have needed expertise.

A.3.2. AE: Second or further offense

A.3.2.1. Undue rejection of others’ work or promotion of a reviewer’s work

It has been determined that you suppressed the manuscript for your benefit without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as AE for our journal.

A.3.2.2. Undue promotion of AE’s work

It has been determined that you have promoted your own work without benefit to the author(s) or readership, and without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as AE for our journal.

A.3.2.3. Undue promotion of the authors’ work

It has been determined that you have promoted this manuscript to benefit the author(s) without declaring a conflict of interest to the editorial staff. As it is your Nth offense demonstrating a lapse of scientific integrity, we will not consider you in the future to serve as AE for our journal.


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