How are Editors Selected, Recruited and Approved?

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1801-1804 (2017)
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Abstract

The editors of scholarly journals have a duty to uphold and promote the highest standards of ethical conduct of research. They also have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the literature, and to promote transparency and honesty in reporting research findings. In the process of screening manuscripts they receive for possible publication, editors have the obligation to report infractions to the institutions of offending authors, and request an investigation. Since editors can reject a paper on ethical grounds, they can be considered to be the guardians of ethics who should express high ethical standards in conducting and publishing their own research. An examination of several publishers’ websites reveals no such requirement or clear selection criteria for journal editors. Therefore, we aim to discuss the factors that publishers, in a broad sense, should consider when selecting editors for scholarly journals and believe that such criteria should be made public to ensure accountability. This would restore some of the eroding public trust in disseminated research, fortify confidence in the composition and qualification of members of an editorial board, and help to protect the reputations of publishers and editors.

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