Journal Policy on Research Misconduct
(Final March 13, 2009)2
The journals3 published by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, University of the Philippines Diliman (OVCRD, UP Diliman) uphold the highest standards of excellence and ethics in the conduct of research. These being publications of the flagship campus of the only National University of the Philippines, the editorial boards consider the maintenance of such standards part of their commitment to public trust and the pure pursuit of new knowledge. As such, research misconduct shall never be tolerated.
This document defines research misconduct, specifies the internal controls the journals have formulated to prevent such misconduct, describes the process for responding to allegations of research misconduct, and identifies appropriate disciplinary actions.
Scientific misconduct or research misconduct (henceforth these shall be used interchangeably) is the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research in reporting research results.4
Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.5
Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving appropriate credit.
Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
Appointments to the editorial boards are based on track records of scholarship and research integrity.
The journals strictly follow a double-blind refereeing process in which at least two experts review any manuscript submission.
Three mechanisms ensure adequate safeguards against research misconduct. The “Note to Contributors” stipulates that “all articles must have a high degree of scholarship,” “all articles must be original,” and “all allegations of research misconduct shall be pursued assiduously.” The “Manuscript Submission Form” includes a certification from the corresponding author on the veracity of the presentations of the co-authors. The Publication Agreement, which the (corresponding) author signs before the article is published, includes among others, a provision allowing wide latitude in responding to research misconduct: “The Author warrants that the articles is original and does not infringe upon any proprietary or intellectual property right...”
Response to allegations of Research Misconduct
Upon receipt of a written allegation of research misconduct, the editor-in-chief shall convene the editorial board to review the allegation. The editorial board shall seek to establish if the complaint is a) an instance of research misconduct as defined above and b) specific and substantiated. If these requirements are not met, the editor-in-chief writes the complainant of the board’s decision to dismiss the complaint and the base for such dismissal. If these are met, the board consults with the referees of the article and may opt to consult with another expert in the research area concerned, to further determine the substance of the allegation. In both instances, the respondent shall be advised in writing of the receipt of such allegation and shall be allowed to respond.
If the manuscript in question has not yet been published in the journal, the board shall return the article to the author with specific advice on how to rework the article; the author is also given the option to withdraw the manuscript. If the manuscript has already been published in the journal and research misconduct is proven, the editor-in-chief shall notify the author and the institution to which the author is affiliated as well as the funding agency that supported the research. The board shall ensure correction of the literature in the succeeding issue through various methods as defined by the board. These may include errata, retractions, and apologies to be written by the author concerned.
Moreover, the board can opt to impose the following sanctions: 1. disallow the contributor concerned from refeering a manuscript submission; 2. ban the contributor from publishing in the journal for a period the Board shall determine.
The editorial board does not consider it within its purview to impose disciplinary sanctions against the contributors concerned. However, in the case of faculty, researchers, and students from UP Diliman, it shall adhere to the protocol in processing written complaints against the faculty and employees and suppport appropriate disciplinary action stipulated in the Rules and Regulations on the Discipline of Faculty Members and Employees of the UP Diliman Faculty and Administrative Manual.
This document was based on discussions in the meetings held on February 2, 2009 and February 24, 2009 at the OVCRD Conference Room in response to Dean Saloma’s request for Science Diliman to formulate a policy for misconduct in the sciences. In attendance were: Dr. Corazon D. Villareal, RDUO Director, presiding; Dr. Henry J. Ramos, PMRGO Director; Atty. Vyva Victoria Aguirre, OVCRD Legal Consultant; Editors-in-Chief Dr. Maricor Soriano (Science Diliman) and Dr. Maria Mangahas (Social Science Diliman). Ms. Nanie Domingo and Ms. Dercy Mararac, editorial assistants for OVCRD journals, took down the minutes.
2 As approved in the meeting of the above discussants on February 24, 2009 at the OVCRD Conference Room.
3 Science Diliman, Social Science Diliman, and Humanities Diliman.
4 Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, United States of America.
5 These definitions of the forms of research misconduct are quoted verbatim from the policy of the Office of Research Integrity of the United States Public Health Service. Similar phrasings of definitions are adopted in the references listed at the end of this document
Council of Science Editors. “White Paper on Promoting Integrity on Scientific Journal Publications, As Approved by the CSE Board of Directors on September 3, 2006.”
www.CouncilScienceEditors.org. Accessed on January 26, 2009.
“Policy on Scientific Misconduct: University of Southern California. http://policies.usc.edu/policies/
“Scientific Misconduct Policy: New York University, The Office of Sponsored Programs. https://www.
“Manuscript Submission.” Optical and Quantum Electronics. http://www.springer.com/physics/optics/
“Manuscript Submission Procedures.” American Journal of Physics. http://www.kzoo.edu/ajp/submit.