Which of the following are grounds for a charge of scientific misconduct?
a. fabrication or falsification of data
c. manipulation of figures that alter the original data
d. all of the above
Editor's Note: Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results (§5.4, Scientific Misconduct, p 155 in print). In addition, although some enhancements to figures, such as cropping or adjusting color of the entire image, may be appropriate if such manipulations do not alter the interpretation of the original data or omit or obscure important data, any manipulation that results in a change in how the original data will be interpreted or that selectively reports, omits, or obscures important data (such as adding or altering a data element or adjusting tone or compression of an image to make it appear as a uniquely different image) is considered scientific misconduct (§5.4.3, Inappropriate Manipulation of Digital Images, pp 158-159 in print).
Which of the following areas will not meet the criteria for authorship?
Persons making substantial contributions to
a. conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
b. drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content
c. extensive editing on the manuscript before submission
d. approval of the version of the manuscript to be published
Editor's Note: To justify authorship, an author must meet each of the criteria at (a), (b), and (d).
However, in this regard the term substantial contribution has not been adequately defined. As a result, the first criterion, “conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of the data,” may be interpreted broadly. For example, an author of a nonresearch paper may not have analyzed data per se but may have analyzed literature, events, theories, arguments, or opinions. Therefore, according to the AMA Manual of Style, substantial contribution constitutes an important intellectual contribution, without which the work, or an important part of the work, could not have been completed or the manuscript could not have been written and submitted for publication (§5.1.1, Authorship: Definition, Criteria, Contributions, and Requirements, p 128 in print).
Editor's Note: To give proper credit to those who have provided writing or editorial assistance to authors, journal editors should require authors to identify all persons who have participated substantially in the writing or editing of the manuscript. This should include the persons’ names, academic degrees, affiliations, contributions, and indication of whether compensation was received for these contributions. Substantial editing or writing assistance should be disclosed to the editor at the time of manuscript submission and mentioned in the Acknowledgment. Note that journal staff who are listed on the journal’s masthead who edit manuscripts do not need to be credited on specific articles (§5.1.2, Guest and Ghost Authors, p 132 in print).
Strict confidentiality regarding submitted manuscripts must be maintained between the
editor and author except in which of the following circumstances?
a. when a prospective author is invited to write an editorial commenting on the submitted paper
b. when the editor or author considers it necessary to consult a governmental agency representative on a matter that requires notification by law
c. when an editor is investigating an allegation of alleged scientific misconduct against the author and needs to consult an institutional or funding authority
d. all of the above
Editor's Note: To maintain confidentiality, editors should deny requests or demands for confidential information during editorial evaluation, during peer review, and after publication from any third party, including readers, authors of other manuscripts, owners of the journal, publishing staff other than those essential to producing the journal in print/online, news media, advertisers, governmental agencies, academic institutions, commercial entities, and representatives of those seeking information for use in actual or threatened legal proceedings. Exceptions to this policy may be made in specific circumstances provided that disclosures are limited and that anyone else given access to confidential information agrees to keep the information confidential. Examples of exceptions include the following: (1) a prospective author who is invited by an editor to write an editorial commenting on a paper that has not yet been published; (2) a governmental agency representative consulted by the editor or author on a matter considered a public health emergency or a matter that by regulation requires notification (eg, serious adverse drug event); and (3) an institutional or funding authority requested by the editor to investigate an allegation of scientific misconduct related to a manuscript under consideration or a published article (§5.7.1, Confidentiality During Editorial Evaluation and Peer Review and After Publication, pp 218-222 in print).
Which of the following is considered duplicate submission of previously published content?
a. poster previously presented at a meeting
b. abstract previously presented at a meeting
c. abstract previously published in a meeting program proceedings
d. complete manuscript previously published in a meeting program book/proceedings but only available to meeting participants
Editor's Note: Following the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), a policy that prohibits or discourages duplicate publication does not preclude consideration of manuscripts that have been presented orally or in abstract or poster form at a professional meeting. However, publication of complete manuscripts in proceedings of such meetings in print or online may preclude consideration for publication in a primary-source journal (§5.3, Duplicate Publication, pp 148-149 in print).
Questions adapted from Ethical and Legal Considerations Quiz
by Laura King, MA, ELS
Copyright © American Medical Association, 2010. For educational use only.